Do they speak English in Uganda? Yes.
Is it my kind of English? Nope!!
In Churches they speak the local languages so that people can hear the Gospel in their native language and will feel encouraged in a way that is most natural for them. When English is used in non-academic settings, everyone has to move very slow to make sure the heavy American or Ugandan accent doesn’t trip things up.
When I got to church this morning, I wasn’t sure when I would speak. I was a guest preacher at a Pentecostal church and, well, let’s just say it isn’t like the 8:00 service at Holy Cross. Well, it wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen in the United States. But, it was a taste of the worship we will enjoy around the Throne – a true experience of God’s kingdom.
The funny thing about the worship was the translator. She was fantastic — but didn’t know she was going to be translating that morning. We worked well together and she was able to follow the flow of my preaching fairly well. The funny moment happened when I said something in Ugandan. I was preaching on Acts 5… the disciples are behind locked doors… and I said, Jesus came and said, “Wah-sue-zot-ja” and she said, “How was the night!”
All of the sudden, she realized that she was speaking English and tilted her head to one side and looked at me funny. I returned the look and asked her if she wanted me to continue in Lugandan… and she could do the English. And… well… the thought of that made everyone laugh!
I long for the day when language will no longer be a barrier between our communication but instead will be a sweet addition, like the many voices of the orchestra, to the music around the throne!