The Missionary With A Gun To His Head
Missionary to America Rev. James Roy
Three men forced him into a car and drove him to a place where no one would hear the gunshot. James Roy had been the executive director of a Christian care ministry in Bangladesh. In his role of directing various relief efforts, he did not shy away from using words to relieve spiritual pain, telling hurting people about the love of God, shown chiefly in God’s Son, Jesus. Now three Muslim extremists were trying to convince him to eschew that type of relief. When one of them put a gun to his temple, he knew they were serious. It was also a reason to leave Bangladesh. James knew it was time for him to step back from evangelistic ministry for a while. His agency helped him leave quickly, and settle in New York City.
He was offered a coordinator position for an educational ministry on Long Island. He was all set to accept their $60,000 a year offer when a different call came out of the blue, rather, out of the subway. James was emerging from the Jamaica, Queens, subway station when Pr. Udit, a missionary from Guyana, approached him. They had not met before. Missionary Udit stopped James Roy and said to him, “We need someone to preach to Muslims in New York. Maybe God has chosen you.”
James was astounded; he did not know how to respond. Pr. Udit asked for his phone number and three days later James heard from Udit’s boss, Rev. Dave Born. Rev. Born offered him $1,200 a month to begin an outreach to Bengali speaking refugees in New York City. The education ministry on Long Island was tempting, for many reasons. In the end, James Roy could not ignore the call to again bring Jesus to Muslim hearts. He says, “If I did not go and preach to Muslims, I would have been like Jonah.” Today Rev. James is a missionary/pastor to a Bengali congregation in NYC.
It is a gift to be able to know when one should end a ministry. It was clear in Rev. Roy’s time in Bangladesh. St. Paul had to end his dream of bringing the gospel to Asia when he saw the door had closed to Bithynia. It took faith and courage to move on. That is when the Spirit showed him the open door to Europe, via Macedonia.
Maybe you can see the end of a ministry. You may be afraid or guilty. Instead, look up – there is another door that is open, even if it is hard to see right now. After all, who saw the door God would open for Israel through a sea, or above all, the open door of the tomb where Jesus was placed. Tell me, if God can open the closed door of a tomb, wouldn’t He be able to open any closed door?