7 Apr

It seemed the only natural thing to do. God had given me as Pastor a vision for our church partnering with a Tanzanian pastor. I had met Jeremiah Motomoto on a trip in 2012 to Tanzania.

Motomoto is a name that means “Fire-fire”. And when you see that man preaching, even if you don’t understand the language that he is speaking, you catch that he has a fire of the Holy Spirit inside. When you consider the fact that he was raised by pagan parents and often beat by his own father for his belief in Jesus and never once abandoned that faith, you have more appreciation for the fire inside. When you realize that he is respected all over his country for the work that he does, you cannot help but admire the fire inside. When you consider the fact that the man has planted 30 churches, you have no doubt that there is a fire inside.

But I could not help but wonder something. Our plan was to bring him to America for two weeks. Let the people in my church meet. Let them see his passion. But I began to wonder. Would that fire that is inside the visible to those in the United States when one considers the language and culture barriers? Would they see in Texas what we saw in Africa? I just wasn’t sure. But I had promised my friend, the African pastor, evangelist, and church planter, that I would bring him to the United States. And I believe that a promise made needs to be a promise kept.

So, on March 26, my friend Jeremiah Motomoto touched feet on American soil. Even better, he touched feet on Texas soil. I could not help but chuckle a little as his eyes took in the large interstate after we left the airport. I had to laugh as he tried American food for the first time. I remembered myself and all of the amazement I felt as I account his culture for the first time in 2005.

He spoke to the senior adults at my church the next day. He read from a script that he had written which contained his testimony. Most of it was struggling with the language but my people understood and were touched. Still, I wonder, what would it be like when he preached? I had been enthralled with his preaching in Tanzania. Would it be the same in America?

On Friday, we gathered at a house and he reunited many with whom he had spent much time with on previous trips to Tanzania. Still, I wondered, what would it be like when he preached? He was smiling, cracking jokes, enjoying the food. But, he had yet to get behind the pulpit.

Then Sunday morning came.

I introduced his interpreter. A good friend of mine and a good friend of the church. A man who was local. But also, a man of African descent. Then, I introduced Motomoto. The entire room fell silent as he switched the microphone to the “on” position.

And the fire came. A fire that can only come from the Holy Spirit! A fire that burned with the love of Jesus! A fire that showed his love for the people of his country. A fire that showed his love for the lost anywhere in the world.

And once again, I was touched. What’s again, I was mesmerized as he preached. What’s again, I was impacted by this man who was obedient to the Holy Spirit and delivered fire in his preaching.

He will talk of the future, no doubt, about how he will never forget his trip to America. He will never forget the things he saw. He will never forget the things that God told him.

And neither will we.


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