Cape Verde’s Rebelados [JFP 2013]

jayson JFP 2013 Annual Report Leave a Comment


Cape Verde gained it’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Since then, the descendants of escaped colonial-era slaves – known as Rebelados – have continued to live apart from the greater society – often making choices about lifestyle that would remind us of the Amish. Their isolation was so complete, that they would often drive away pastors and missionaries with small acts of violence.

From the Annual Report:

Rebelados photo by Olav Aalberg, obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Rebelados photo by Olav Aalberg, obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

The Rebelados worship an old Spanish Bible which a priest gave to one of the escaped slaves. Unable to read, they do not understand the message of this book. Many Cape Verdian pastors prayed that one day
these people might understand the message of the book they worship.

During a recent Easter season, ministry workers showed JESUS for the first time in Sotaventu Kabuverdianu, the heart language of all the people on Santiago. When Robert (name changed), a retired Nazarene pastor, received a copy of JESUS, he decided to show this version of the film as his full-time ministry. … He traveled to remote rural areas and to the mountains where he set up camp… people walked for miles to see the film, and many came to know the Lord personally.

After a village chief, the direct descendent of the slave who received the Bible walked 10 miles to see the film – that same chief asked Pastor Robert to come back to his village to show it. He traveled, showed the film three times and preached.

Since Pastor Robert’s showings of JESUS, Rebelado communities have opened up to the Cape Verdian churches. Translated Scripture portions have been introduced, so that the Rebelados could learn to read—in their own language—the message of the old Spanish book they worshipped throughout their history.

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