Recently I had a meeting with a missionary working with Wycliffe Bible Translators who has been involved in Bible translation work for the past 20 years. His focus is on reaching peoples who have never heard the gospel. The Lord has used him to help translate the Scriptures in to the language of the Mwani in Mozambique. (We heard something of this recently from another Wycliffe representative who challenged us with the Beans for Bibles project.) This brother wanted to discuss with me the need for the local church to be at the centre of such translation work. The conversation has begun and I trust that in the months ahead much good will come from such dialogue—dialogue that will, I trust, lead to doing.
This brother told me of a group of people in Angola numbering some 70,000 that is completely unreached. There is not a single known convert in this people group.
Here is some information about this unreached people from some recent correspondence with my contact:
The people group that I mentioned is the Kuvale, or MuKuvale, or even called the Mukubal. Sebastião and Kami Kambuto are a Baptist couple who are missionaries among the Mukubal. As I said yesterday, until now they are still completely untouched by the gospel. Not a single believer yet, let alone a church. Since Sebastião is Baptist with the CBA (Convenção Baptista de Angola), the understanding is that the emerging Kuvale church will be under the CBA. YWAM does not plant churches in their own name but want some evangelical church immediately to take ownership. The problem is that often such national churches are not very aware of the cultural issues and worldview dynamics at play in such a new church plant in an unreached context, and it is right here where worldview-aware churches from the wider fraternity (like BBC) could play a major role.
The Kuvale mainly live in the dry semi-desert regions close to the coast of Namibe province, SW Angola. They amount to about 20,000 in the area where Sebastião lives, about 90 km west of the city of Lubango. But they stretch further north and south and total about 70-80,000.
Think for a moment: a people group of 70,000 only a couple of thousand kilometres from us. What will we do? What can we do?
I am not sure at this point what we will do but I do know what we can do: Pray. You will recall that the apostles saw prayer as a priority to them (Acts 6:4), for this preceded the advancement of the ministry of the Word. The Lord Jesus instructed the disciples, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38). Since we now know the names of two of these labourers, let us pray for Sebastião and Kami Kambuto. Pray for their perseverance in this difficult but promising task. Pray for their physical as well as their spiritual welfare. And pray for the Lord to open the minds and hearts of the Kuvale people to the gospel of God. Pray that sooner than later they will join other nations who have been made glad in the gospel to the glory of God (Psalm 67).
As indicated there is a possibility of BBC being more practical involved in this project in the future but for now our prayers are vitally important. Let me therefore take this opportunity to encourage you to add the Kuvale/MuKuvale/Mukubal to your prayer list along with Sebastião and Kami.
There is coming a day in which some from every people group on the globe will surround God’s throne and give the Lord Jesus Christ the praise for which He is so worthy (Revelation 5:8-10; 7:9-10)—and the Kuvale are a part of the promise. May God be pleased to use BBC to fulfil that prophecy and to close the gap of the unreached. There are millions who have never heard. Let us aim at helping at least 70,000 of these being blessed with the opportunity to hear the gospel in their tongue. Brethren, let us pray!