Praise to God in an African Local Language

Kim Min-gyu from Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa

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The Republic of South Africa uses English as an official language, but there are ten more local languages: Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Ndebele, Venda, Southern Sotho, and Swati. Even though you are fluent in speaking English, if you have your own mother tongue, you will feel more comfortable with your mother tongue. People here, too, like to speak in their tribal languages. It is the same with Zion members. Sometimes, when I greet them with a short sentence in their local language, they are delighted like a child, saying, “How did you know that?”

This happened when the New Songs were translated into the Afrikaans and Xhosa languages.

After the morning service on a Sabbath day, we announced that from then on they might use the New Song books translated in those languages. Honestly speaking, I was a little worried.

‘If all Zion family members sing the New Songs in their own languages, won’t it be confusing?’

The worries quickly disappeared as soon as they began to sing the New Songs to prepare for the afternoon service. Brothers and sisters sang the New Songs louder than usual as if they were competing with each other. Despite their different languages, it performed a beautiful harmony. Since they joyfully praised God, their gratitude towards God was overflowing. Seeing them delightfully praising God like little children with bright smiles, I was greatly touched from the bottom of my heart.

‘When Father and Mother see them, how much will They be pleased?’

When the overseas members visited Korea, Heavenly Mother spoke to them in their own languages, “God bless you,” “Aren’t you tired?” “Enjoy your meal,” “I love you,” and so on.

After hearing the voice of Heavenly Mother speaking to them in their local languages, the overseas members must have been deeply touched beyond words. We cannot fathom the concerns and the love of Mother, who got acquainted with foreign languages for Her children who speak all different languages.

Mother knows best what Her children need. Mother wants to give us everything. I believe that Mother granted the New Songs in African local languages for their joy and salvation. Through the New Songs translated into their languages, the brothers and sisters seemed to realize Mother’s love even more deeply in their hearts.

I knew in my head that it was important to distribute the Truth Books, sermons, New Songs and videos in local languages, but not in my heart. Once we began to sing New Songs in local languages, I came to realize its importance and Father and Mother’s love and concern for Their children.

Nelson Mandela, a former President of South Africa said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” God allowed us to deliver the gospel in their mother tongues to complete the gospel swiftly and make them realize God’s great love and sacrifice.

Mother, I give thanks to You for blessing African members to praise Elohim in their languages. I will spread Your love with all my heart and mind and strength without rest until all people on African continent offer up praises to You.