Brother James followed the Lord’s leading to serve in the Middle East. He arrived for what he expected to be one year of service knowing almost nothing about Islam or the culture in which he would be serving. He remembers being startled awake the very first morning by the Muslim call to prayer, wondering who was screaming at 4:30 in the morning!
Soon he would understand that he was serving in a culture where choosing to follow Christ could cost one’s life. He would also come to understand that God’s call would last much longer than one year.
He acknowledges that there are times when fear rises up in him but says as Christians, we must not let fear drown out the call God has placed on us. His prayer in times of fear is a simple one: “Lord, don’t let them see me shake.”
During years living among Muslims, the Lord clearly confirmed James’ calling to serve in the Middle East through several Bible verses – Isaiah 40:28-31, Isaiah 41: 10-13, and John 14:13-14. And he has experienced God’s protection and covering, sometimes in miraculous ways. Listen for the story of James asking Jesus to be “the Great Mechanic”—and how God answered his prayer.
Christian persecution for our brothers and sisters in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan or Lebanon often comes first from members of their own family. Many Muslims there have an incorrect view of Christianity and are often surprised when they meet a follower of Jesus and understand what the Bible really teaches. James says Muslims are often open to conversation about religion, and shares stories from his time in the region.
James encourages listeners to pray for persecuted Christians in the Middles East as they face attacks from family members and governments. And he offers advice for those seeking to reach out with the gospel to Muslims here at home.