Missionaries serving in Kenya report that the First Presidency has recently approved the translation of basic church materials and the Book of Mormon into Kamba. Spoken by over four million native speakers, Kamba is currently the language with the 48th most speakers without LDS materials. At present, the Church has not officially translated any materials into Kamba although senior missionaries reported that local members have made some unofficial translations of the sacrament prayers to facilitate comprehension among elderly members who have difficulty listening to the prayers in English. The Church has held a strict standard for baptizing new converts in Kenya and several other African nations over the years by requiring members to pass their baptismal interviews in their country's respective national languages. Within the past couple years, the Church has become more flexible in permitting converts to join the Church despite low levels of competency in English or their national language if it is determined that they will likely remain active. The decision to translate church materials the scriptures into Kamba is a major development which will likely increase growth and testimony development among many Kamba-speaking Latter-day Saints.
Currently, Kamba-speaking Latter-day Saints are concentrated in the Kilunga Hills which are located approximately 50 miles southeast of Nairobi. Four branches function in the Kilunga Hills and each have exhibited good convert retention and member activity rates. One of the most recently organized branches - the Matini Branch - has nearly 300 attend church services at present. The total number of Kamba-speaking Latter-day Saints may currently number over 1,000. Prospects appear very favorable for a district to be organized for the four branches in the area as they do not pertain to a stake or district at present.
It is unclear when translations of LDS materials and scriptures will be available in Kamba, but based on the time table for other languages translations of basic materials may be available within the next year and the Book of Mormon may be available by 2015.