Shout for joy!

Because of you, Angola’s Umbundu people finally have the gospel message in their mother tongue.

Ulu!

You’ve probably never seen this word in your Bible. But the Umbundu people in Angola have seen it in theirs.

Ulu!

They can find this word in Matthew 25:6, which reads, “Ulu, ulu, sandombwa yo wiya!” or, “Here comes the bridegroom!”

Ulu!

It is a word of ecstasy—a shrill cry of joy ringing out during a long-awaited celebration.

Ulu!

And it’s the perfect word to express the joy that your prayers, love, and support have brought to the Umbundu people.

After decades of waiting, your brothers and sisters in Angola finally have the New Testament in the language of their hearts.

The Umbundu people have been waiting for God’s Word.

Before you entered their story, the Umbundu people could describe their relationship to the Bible in a single word: Waiting.

Several barriers prevented them from experiencing God’s message of love in the language of their hearts. For one thing, use of the Umbundu language was suppressed during the Portuguese colonization of Angola.

“If we would have taught our children Umbundu, they would have been beaten by their teachers,” explains Amos Mulanda, a retired schoolteacher. “Our colleagues called Umbundu, ‘the language of a dog.’ ”

Even after Angola obtained independence in 1975, civil war raged for decades. The mission of bringing God’s Word to the Umbundu people remained fitful, painstaking, and slow.

You made the difference they needed.

Something needed to change. Someone needed to step in and ensure that the 6 million Umbundu people in Angola can fellowship with their Lord through the Scriptures.

You were that someone! Your prayers and support dramatically accelerated the translation of God’s Word into Umbundu.

“We used to work by candlelight,” says Albertino Nunes, leader of the Umbundu translation team. “We didn’t have computers for everybody. We had one person who would type.”

Can you picture Albertino and his team, huddled by the flickering light of a candle, slowly pecking away on a single keyboard? Can you feel the urgency in their hearts?

What a difference to have you standing by their side.

“An enormous step has been taken!” Albertino exclaims. “Now we have offices where we work. Everyone has their own computers. We’ve had training in the latest Bible translation software. We are very happy and grateful!”

One little girl jumped for joy.

Once Albertino and his team had the resources they needed, the Umbundu people soon welcomed the New Testament into their hearts and homes with vibrant dancing and singing.

“Before, we had to read the Bible in Portuguese,” says Julia Nangueve, a 55-year-old Umbundu woman. “But now I will start reading the New Testament in Umbundu, as this is my mother tongue.”

One young girl named Adriana literally leapt for joy when she received the priceless treasure of God’s Word.

“After receiving my New Testament, I gave great leaps of joy in my house and many smiles of joy,” Adriana says. “I want to have a good relationship with God, and this New Testament will help me achieve that.”

Thank you for sharing God's Word!

The Bible translation journey in Angola is not over yet. It will take a few more years to complete the Old Testament.

“With your help,” says translator Domingos Vicente, “the Umbundu people will soon have a new Bible in their hands, and the name of Jesus Christ will be glorified in Angola.”

Thanks to you, a day is quickly approaching when the Umbundu people will once again lift their voices to God with a mighty “Ulu!”

Pray With Us

  • for the 138 million people who still don’t have any Scripture in their heart language. Lift them up in prayer at abs.bible/stewprayer19
  • as we seek to begin Bible translation work for every language group on earth by the year 2026.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

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