Mission! It is not just about how many churches or Bible school students, it is really about reaching and finding individuals like Jeremiah Monosi. Here is my story about Jeremiah.
In September 2012, I was teaching a class on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. As I taught the 26 students in class that morning, I emphasized that there needs to be preaching on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I also mentioned to the students that God not only baptizes adults, but children can also be recipients of this wonderful experience. Then I told the students the following story to illustrate what I had just said.
I told them that 15 years ago, I had been invited to a church to preach on the baptism for two consecutive Sunday. On the first Sunday, after the Word was preached, a number of people were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues including an 8 year old boy. As I laid my hands so this young boy, immediately he began to speak in tongues. I went back the following week and preached again. As I gave the invitation for people who wanted to receive the baptism to come forward, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to use the 8 year old boy. I argued briefly with the Spirit since children in Africa are viewed as property and not very important. I obeyed the voice of the Spirit and watched in amazement as God used this 8 year old boy. Many adults were baptized as this boy laid hands on them and prayed. It was an event that I never forgot. My only regret that day was that I never knew what happened to that boy. As a missionary, I visit churches every Sunday and do not get back to churches as often as I would l have like to. As I told the story, I began to hear crying behind me. It was my interpreter, Jeremiah Monosi. Jeremiah was a third year student at the Bible School and had interpreted most of my classes for me. I thought that Jeremiah was simply touched emotionally by the story but he continued to weep. I finally stopped and asked Jeremiah why he was crying. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he looked at me and said, “That 8 year old boy, that was me!” Then I began to weep and soon the entire classroom of students joined us. After several minutes of this I again turned to Jeremiah and reminded him that he had been at the school for three years and why had he not told me this before. Jeremiah looked at me again and said, “I was an 8 year old boy, I did not think you would remember what happened that day.” Jeremiah graduated last December and had great gifts as a preacher and evangelist. He is a young man that I believe God will use in a great way.
After 20 years in Lesotho, God has directed us to Zululand in South Africa and I believe that there are some more Jeremiahs that need to be found and prayed for. Pray for the Pettengers and our adventure in Zululand.