Hallelujah! Angola’s Umbangala People Welcome their First New Testament

Pray for Umbangala people as they read God’s Word in their heart language

On June 12, 2022, in Muxinda Angola, more than 500 people gathered to celebrate the very first New Testament in the Umbangala language. This joyous occasion was marked by singing, dancing, and a beautiful procession of children carrying copies of the New Testament in palm-leaf baskets before sharing them with the eager community.

“I have dreamed of this day for years!” said Rose, an Umbangala speaker, as she held up her copy of the Umbangala New Testament.

Rose is just one of many Umbangala speakers rejoicing because they can now read God’s Word in their own language.

Coming Together for Umbangala Speakers

Around 400,000 people speak Umbangala. They live in the province of Lunda Norte and Malanje. Until now, they had never had Scripture in their own language. Many Christians and pastors were using the Bible in Cokwe, but they could never fully understand it because it is not in the language they speak. Not having the Scriptures in their language also made it difficult to evangelize people in the community.

In 2009, as a joint effort between Bible Society in Angola and different church denominations, work began to translate the Bible into the Umbangala language. The tireless efforts and dedication of this translation team led to the completion of the very first Umbangala New Testament.

“We will no longer need to use the Bible in a language that does not touch our hearts, and where we go to evangelise we will have no more difficulties,” notes Cristiana, a participant at the celebration.

We Need Your Prayers for Ongoing Work

Many Umbangala speakers live in poverty. Instead of getting an education, they can be found struggling as street vendors or market sellers.

That’s why Bible Society in Angola are working to record the Umbangala New Testament in audio for those who are unable to read. They also need prayer for an Umbangala literacy program and the translation of the Old Testament. Join us as we pray for these things.

Father, thank you that the Bible is now available in the Umbangala language. May your life-giving words revive the Umbangala community and transform hearts. We pray for Bible Society in Angola and the churches as they work to distribute your Word, disciple new believers, and evangelize those who have never heard the gospel. Grant them success in all they do to bring your Word to all Umbangala speakers. We pray this Jesus’s name. Amen

Witness the joyful scene as the Umbangala community receives the New Testament in this video from our Bible Society partners!

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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