That’s me, standing with Martin and Khan Masimango and a couple other Swahili speaking friends. (I’m the one in the middle.)
This past Sunday in Mosaic Church of Aurora’s worship service, my sermon was translated into Swahili. Yes, Swahili. I didn’t see that coming.
Over two years ago (through the generosity of a friend of Mosaic), we bought simultaneous translation equipment. We used it for a while translating into Spanish, but recently those attending our worship services understand English well enough to not need the translation. Two weeks ago, Martin Masimango (a refugee from the Congo) stopped by our building, the Opportunity Center, to see if I’d let him use a room where he could start a Swahili speaking church–like he had done in the refugee camp in Uganda.
I told him I didn’t think it would work, explaining how busy our Sunday schedule is–five worship services. He was pretty persistent and asked me to pray about it and to meet him the next week. I agreed. We met again last Friday. Martin said that as he had been praying, he sensed they were supposed to be a part of Mosaic and asked if they could come and worship with us. I asked him if those he was ministering to understood English. He said no, but that he’d be willing to translate. Well, how could I say no to that? I just happened to have simultaneous translation equipment stored in my garage!
I don’t know what this all means or what God might orchestrate in the coming days, but I do know that this past Sunday at Mosaic Church of Aurora the life changing message of God’s love, hope, and transformation was proclaimed in English, Korean, Spanish, and, for the first time, Swahili. I have been praying that God would give us more and more opportunities to be his voice in this community, but Swahili? I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming.
Please keep on praying.
Reid Hettich is senior pastor at Mosaic Church of Aurora in Aurora, Colorado. The church is part of the Mountain Plains District of The Wesleyan Church.