Introduction / History
The Tembo people of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are primarily subsistence farmers who grow their own food. The DR Congo has virtually no economy due to the continued instability associated with the ongoing civil war in their area. The people find themselves caught between the Rwandan soldiers and indigenous rebel groups seeking to oust the Rwandans. Many find themselves displaced due to the civil war and have moved to the towns of Bukavu and Goma along Lake Kivu.
The most dominant religion among the Tembo people is Roman Catholicism. The Protestant churches claim a membership of around 15,000 people, which is about 6% of the population. Protestant missionaries evangelized the Tembo area in the late 50s and early 60s. Their desire to have the Scriptures in their own language dates back to the 1970s when unfruitful attempts at translation were made. The first SIL missionaries entered the language area in 1986 and remained until 1988. In 1993 two other SIL families entered the area and remained until 1996.
Since 1996 the Tembo area has remained too unstable to permit their return. Translation was begun 1998 by three Tembo pastors along with SIL guidance. The first publication of the Scriptures was in 2002 when the Book of Luke was published and distributed to the churches for circulation. The Tembo people continue to desire missionary involvement to strengthen their churches, assist them with their translation and literacy programs, and further develop their other church programs, such as education and health care.
Scripture Prayers for the Tembo-Kivu in Congo, Democratic Republic of.