Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, we had a resting morning at the Catholic retreat center before we went to the revival event in Keroka in the afternoon and into the evening (got back to our rooms at about 12:30am this morning). We were blessed to be invited to the morning Mass. One of the songs that was sung by a small group of women as the service was starting was a song to Mary – the words of which are below…
Umebarikiwa kuliko wanawake wote na Yesu mzao wa tumbo lako amebarikiwa(x2)
Salaam, Salaam Maria, Salaam, Salaam, Salaam mama Maria(x2)
Even though virtually all of the Mass was spoken in Swahili, we felt the Spirit moving beautifully throughout the service but it was this song that stayed with me throughout the day. And specifically “Salaam” – I was surprised to hear it as the song was Swahili and not Arabic and I made the assumption that the song was speaking of peace. However, when I spoke with Father Arnold (their priest) afterward, he said that in Swahili, the word means “thanks.” So, that one word in one language means thanks and in another means peace.
I think that is a beautiful thing that one word can say beautiful things in different languages.