God, When Will You Speak in My Tongue?


The poem below was written by a man from Southern Sudan expressing his desire to have the Bible in his language. Sometimes, Bible translation is presented as something done where there are few believers. But in Africa, there are places where there has been a Gospel witness for decades and a growing church, but no Bible in the language of the people, their heart language. In such cases, believers long to have God’s word in a language they really understand. They know that the Bible is being translated into languages around them, and they wonder when it will be their turn. Put yourself in the place of those believers when you read this poem.


Lokuuda Kadanya

James Lokuuda Kadanya

Far and near
It is said that you, God, speak!
How do you do that?
Is it in their tongues?
If it is truly so,
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

East and west, north and south,
The Creator speaks, it is said!
Not in the language as of birds;
But in other human tongues I cannot understand!
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

Children and grown-ups of other lands,
With their different tongues,
Know your voice.
In their tongues you speak a special message to them!
If you speak messages in different tongues,
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

South Sudan in Africa mapIn the world around, we perceive you,
Yet your language is not clear.
We want to know you personally,
We want to hear you speak to us.
If you know all tongues,
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

We search you as a treasure.
Our eyes look on mountains, rivers,
Even in caves, forest and world around us.
Many voices are heard, confused we become,
If your voice is one, as of that of the Creator of all,
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

Oh! God, Creator of all people,
You who do not segregate,
Is it possible to hear you speak?
Can you speak in my tongue?
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

—James Lokuuda Kadanya

South Sudan Flag

South Sudan Flag

James speaks the Toposa language of South Sudan, which is spoken by more than a half million people. Today he is operating Salt and Light Outreach Ministries in South Sudan.
This post is re-blogged from The Seed Company Blog.

5 thoughts on “God, When Will You Speak in My Tongue?

  1. Dear Ed and Dayle,
    Your emails continue to amaze me–this new way of relating information about Africa is right on! The poem in today’s email touched my heart and is proof how much Africaners (and we) need God in our lives through interpretation and the Wycliffe organization!
    Ghana is so blessed to have you there. Thank you for your work, skills and caring.
    In His Name,
    Jean Major,Sr.


  2. Pingback: God, when will you speak in my tongue? — Missionary Blog Watch

  3. That´s really lovely! God bless His beloved people! Brothers, may i translate this poem and publish at a website that i help to manage, here im Brazil?

    In Christ,

    Camila Almeida


  4. Reblogged this on Evident Grace and commented:
    For people who speak almost 2000 language around the world, this heart cry applies, whether or not they are aware of it. It needs to be the heart cry of those of us who already have the Bible in our language as well–both to read/study/memorize/obey/cherish it and also to do whatever we can to provide it for people like this author.


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