It’s amazing how God leads us when we follow Him. Our guest this week was happily working a career at J.C. Penney. He’d grown up in Church, left, and returned because of his wife. He’d begun to learn who God was and how much God loved him. But he’d never considered missions work.
Until a pastor friend started talking about Haiti.
Now, fast forward a few years and James Human (pen name) has been to Brazil, Niger during Ramadan, the last tea house on the way to Mount Everest, India, and Malaysia. Sharing the Gospel along the way.
He’s an expert on Sikhs and as we talked in Part 1 of his story, James shared how he shifted from Oak Ridge, Tennessee to world traveler, how he was able to share the Gospel with Muslims during Ramadan, and much more.
If you want to download both parts of the interview, you can use the button below.
Getting to know James Human
How did you get from Oak Ridge, Tennessee to being a global missionary with an expertise on Sikhs?
It started a long time ago with his mom taking him to church. There, he learned about God and who he was.
However, at 13, James left God but then returned to church because of his wife, years later. Because of that, he began to understand how much God loved him.
Then, about 25 years ago, he started to hear about a pastor friend who was going to Haiti. That put a desire for missions in his heart but he never did anything about it. Until they were in a little church in Tennessee.
Then his wife let him know that he needed to go.
He wasn’t sure how to afford it but he went to the meeting. There, a lady let him know that his finances were covered.
In Brazil, James learned that he loved sharing the Gospel. That it was one of his gifts.
On the corner of a street in Rio De Janeiro, God showed him the people and asked two simple questions:
- “Where are they going?”
- Who’s going to tell them?
At age 56, God revealed what He wanted James to do.
James was working at J.C. Penney’s and God let him know that He was going to let him know what He wanted him to do. But James didn’t know where to go, so he took some advice to go to the IMB (International Mission Board) volunteer network and Niger, Africa was the first thing he saw.
OK, I guess you want me to go to Niger…
James decided to go, even though he was going to be alone. But then God sent someone else with him.
James was able to share the Gospel over 300 times in Niger during Ramadan using an Evangecube.
At the age of 57, God revealed what He wanted James to do – again.
At the time, James didn’t have a clue but discovered that God wanted him to retire from J.C. Penney’s and his wife to resign from her job. From there, they began to go on missions.
From there, God led them to India. Then, after 2 years they went to Malaysia for 2 more years, looking for Sikhs.
Stories of James sharing his faith in Niger during Ramadan.
James had never used the Evangecube much. And in many of the countries he’s ministered, you might not want to start a conversation about Christ. But if people ask, you can answer.
So, the Evangecube ended up being a conversation starter for him.
This is a great story. Would you like to hear it?
With the Evangecube, they were able to share the Gospel in markets, on street corners, and more. During that time, three people professed faith in Christ and the local missionary followed up with them.
But it started with them wanting to know the story of the Gospel.
What is an Evangecube?
Two more Evangecube stories
- At the last teahouse in the Himalayas, James ate dinner with the Evangecube on his table and was able to share the Gospel with his Sherpa guide.
- He’s been able to share the Gospel with Native Americans at their pow wow because they asked questions about his Evangecube.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:2-6)
And also – Show people God’s Love! Don’t just tell them. Show them.
A significant challenge in James’s life
There was a time when God was teaching James to trust in Him. He was way out in the villages in India and his wife was in Malaysia. While they were there, a message let them know that their daughter was in a “life or death” medical situation because of a spider bite.
She didn’t have a lot of people around her to help. And there was nothing James could do in the middle of India.
A pastor said “James, we have pastors and lay people all over the area praying for your daughter.”
Through some unique circumstances, she got better.
The struggle of “Am I effective?”
- Am I effective?
- I don’t see results.
- Am I in God’s will?
In those times, God often confirms us, as He did James when he got a phone call from California. There were some people looking for an expert with Sikhs and his name was the only one they could find.
James had been praying for California and the city they called from was only about 45 minutes from the area James had been praying for.
It’s in my time. – God
The Engaging Missions Leadership Minute
Scott McClelland of FX Missions shares about how all leaders are learners.
If you have a question about leadership that you’d like to have answered on the show, email it to email@example.com.
What we talked about
- [00:50] – Introduction to James Human
- [01:43] – How did you get from Oak Ridge, TN to being a global missionary with an expertise on Sikhs?
- [05:00] – At the age of 56, God revealed what He wanted James to do.
- [06:30] – James was able to share the Gospel over 300 times in Niger during Ramadan using an Evangecube
- [06:40] – At the age of 57, God revealed what He wanted James to do – again.
- [08:50] – Stories of James sharing his faith in Niger during Ramadan.
- [11:57] – What is an Evangecube?
- [12:17] – Two more Evangecube stories.
- [13:57] – Meaningful Scripture
- [15:15] – A significant challenge in James’s life.
- [17:37] – The struggle of “Am I effective?”
- [19:59] – The Engaging Missions Leadership Minute with Scott McClelland
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