The Luvale tribe is found in the most remote parts of north-western Zambia and south-eastern Angola. “The people there are really cut off from most of the privileges that other people in the towns and big cities are enjoying,” explains Masaha, a leader from Angola. “There are no hospitals. There are no good schools for the children. People are living like in the olden days. They rely on fishing for their life. There are no markets where they can sell their fish, where they can have income. They have to travel long distances to better markets to sell their fish. Generally, the people are not living well.”

 

Harvesters Knows How to Open the Way

“To open the way for a tribe that desperately needs Jesus takes a huge effort with PRAYER as a starting point,” declares Francois Rauch, Harvesters’ Global Church Planting Engineer.

“Getting into remote areas where no one ever visits can be tricky.” But Harvesters Ministries is seasoned at going where there are no churches to evangelise the unreached!

Francois unpacked his thoughts. “To plant churches in the most remote areas on the globe:

  1. Never stop once God is opening the way.
  2. Persevere.
  3. Have an adventurous spirit.
  4. And a plan… always a plan.
  5. Have Faith,
  6. Water,
  7. Humour,
  8. …and a Landcruiser!”

“Finding the way starts off with a map and a few road signs,” Francois explained. “Well, and a Landcruiser! The owner of a vision and a Landcruiser will always get you through!”

“And then is the REWARD – meeting the people who Christ died for! Connecting, bringing hope, and making new friends.”

 

Going to Meet the Luvale

A group of Harvesters’ trainers and partners embarked on the difficult journey to visit the lost Luvale. The group consisted of Reverend Reynold Fourie, adventurer AJ Kruger, missionary John Leach from Zambia, and Pierre Botha and Paul van der Merwe – who had just concluded training in Zambezi, Zambia with 20 leaders after 2 years of Covid delays.

After a day and a half searching for the border crossing, which as Francois describes was “battered and lonely as if it was on Mars – with no life,” the team were on their way.

“Chimene Mwane. Muno yoyo mwane? Shikenu mwane!” The friendly greeting of a language forgotten welcomed the Harvesters’ team as they arrived, saying “Good morning. How are you? Welcome!”

In the nearly 40 degrees Celsius heat, the Luvale people gathered excitedly to welcome their guests. “Africa still meets under trees,” remarks Francois. “Nobody ever visits in these remote areas, so when guests do come community life comes to a standstill.”

Meetings were held with the elders of the tribe to explain the mission of Harvesters. “The need for the Gospel was discussed at length and a door was opened in heaven to reach out to the Luvale people,” praised Francois.

The witchdoctor watched from a distance, slowly sucking patiently on his pipe and disappearing in the smoke. “Salenuho mwane” he whispered – “bye.”

Afterwards the celebrations continued. For many of the children this was a first – meeting people from the west. Their faces grin expectantly. “They are about to hear the story of HOPE that Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE,” smiles Francois.

Bellville Reformed church will take responsibility for opening the way with the Luvale tribe in Angola with Harvesters.  Pray for them as they seek a sustainable strategy to build bridges between God and the Luvale people. May God be honoured forevermore!