After the Paris terrorist attacks, like many, I was angered by what happened even though I was over 5,000 kms away.
How would I react if I had personally been attacked by a Muslim? The closest I came was at a local grocery store in our community a couple of years back. Though a very minor incident, it still bothered me.
I was slowly driving through the lot looking for a parking spot, when a van turned into the aisle I was driving down and came towards me. Though there was plenty of room for both of us to pass, a few yards out the older, blue van veered into my lane stopping right in front of me.
I slammed on my brakes. Our two vehicles were now nose to nose. Inside the van, I saw a young, bearded man at the wheel, staring and smiling. He was enjoying what he had done.
A woman presumably his wife, dressed head to toe in a hajib, opened the van door, quickly stepped out of the vehicle and started walking to the store.
The man continued to glare at me. It was obvious this was no accident. I waited a bit after the woman departed to see if he would move. He was going nowhere. I put my car into reverse, backed up, and drove around the van.
As I watched him smirking as I drove off, I was entertaining some nasty, unChristian thoughts. What’s even worse, I let this minor incident bother me for days.
Sadly, my reaction was completely different from Ray who went through a much more serious confrontation. Charisma News wrote about this Christian man’s brutal encounter with a Muslim terrorist in a West African country. I noticed that his last name was never used in the article, nor the country named.
Ray was taking his daughter Hannah, then 10, to an ocean beach for a swim. As they drove up, a Muslim man appeared out of the sand dunes. He walked up to their vehicle, put a gun to Ray’s head and pulled the trigger.
The gun misfired.
He rapidly pulled the trigger several times, before the gun went off. Went it finally did, the barrel was pointing down. The bullet sliced through Ray’s arm hitting his daughter in the chest who immediately collapsed into the seat beside him.
The Muslim man ran off.
Fortunately, Ray and his daughter survived the attack. But after the shooting, his family returned to the US.
But they eventually came back to West Africa to the very community where Ray and his daughter were shot. The Muslims who he had befriended and ministered to while there were thankful Ray had not given up on them.
Ray continues to minster the Gospel to Muslims who he refers to as one of the most unreached groups in the world.
Ray says we must not associate all Muslims with the Paris terrorists. He adds, “everyday Muslims are not our enemy and the church must reach out to them with the compassion of Jesus.”
He told Charisma that our faith can’t be distorted by fear. Even his daughter, now in her 20s, says the incident transformed her life as she forgave her attacker.
“We cannot let radical acts allows us to be motivated by fear of the unknown or cause us to redefine our position. We have to remember that Jesus equipped us with love.”
Brother Andrew goes a step further. He started Open Doors in the 1950s. It is dedicated to taking the Gospel to some of the darkest places in the world. During the early days of his ministry, he smuggled Bibles into Communist countries.
Today, one of the goals of Open Doors is to strengthen the persecuted church in over 60 countries, many of them found in Islamic dominated cultures.
Brother Andrew has even shared the Gospel with leaders of the Hamas and Taliban. In a web broadcast to his organization in 2014, Brother Andrew said:
“We must love the Muslims just as much as we love the Christians or ourselves. I find the more radical the Muslims are, the more receptive they are to receive the word of God.“