Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Cowboy Preacher amazed by hunger for the Lord


July 21, 2018

COURTESY/James Scott

James Scott, the cowboy preacher, baptizes A Malawi woman who lives on the Likoma Island during his mission to Malawi, Africa June 13.

This is the second part of a two-part series on Pastor James Scott's three-week mission trip to Africa. The first part of the series ran in Friday's Northern Wyoming Daily News.

WORLAND – Going on a three-week mission trip in June to Malawi, Africa, forever changed Shell Cowboy Church pastor James Scott, known as the Cowboy Preacher. But it was more than the cultural and economical differences, the African people's hunger for the Lord also played a large part in the change.

"It was amazing, I have never witnessed a hunger for the Lord, which they didn't even know they had, until you mention the name of Jesus. We don't see that in the United States. I went three days before some said no to Jesus. I might go three months in the U.S. before someone says yes to Jesus," Scott exclaimed. "We got to watch up to 500 people at a time getting saved. When you cast that net and you ask how many would like to pray to receive Jesus and make him the Lord of your life and you see that many hands go up, it's just utterly amazing," he added.

"We saw from 8 years of age to probably in the 80s getting saved and everything in between. Chiefs, immigration officers, police officers, school teachers, principals, workers, just anybody and everybody, they just realized that that's what they needed," Scott said.

The missionary team, which has gone to Africa the past four years, had a movie about Jesus for the people, in their language and every evening they would show the movie on a makeshift screen made out of PVC pipe and a screen. Scott stated that most of the people who watched the movie had never seen a movie before. Some evenings up to 100 people would watch the movie, other evenings up to 500 would watch the movie, Scott said. "When Jesus was on the cross at the very end when he said, 'It is finished' and he dies we would stop the video and then we would share the Gospel."

More surprising than the hunger for the word was the fact that most of the people Scott talked to had never even heard of Jesus. "I would say probably eight to nine people out of 10 that I talked to had never even heard the name of Jesus. That is what just blew my mind; that God would allow us to go to a country that for the most part people didn't even know who Jesus Christ was. I would typically ask the people if they wanted to go to heaven and most of them would say yes, which you would think, even in the U.S. people say yes. Then I would ask them how they were going to get there and they would just give me that deer in the headlights look and go 'I don't know.' So I would tell them," Scott said.

"I think in America people think that if we live a good life, we do this, we do that, we die, we go to heaven, that's how it works. Well that ain't how it works, that's not what Scripture says. So I tell them, you can't go to heaven yet and they are like, 'How do I get there?' I used the Roman's road [a set of verses from the Bible designed to show people the way to salvation], that's what I use most of the time. In John 14:6 [Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.] People would just respond as fast as they could to accepting Jesus and asking him to forgive their sins and knowing that if they confess Christ that they can have eternity in heaven. They could not pray fast enough, people were so thankful, you would get ready to leave the hut and they would start talking to the interpreter and the interpreter would say, 'This family wants to tell you thank you for stopping at their hut and telling them this good news.' They would just profusely thank you for stopping at their hut," Scott added.

Scott told a story about how a group of children came up to him asking for items and unfortunately he didn't have anything with him at the time. He said he told them that he didn't have anything physical to give them but he did have something much better and asked them to sit down. "Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ? One of the boys said, 'Yes, he is the healer.' I'm like, 'hey that's pretty good.' So my interpreter came over and I said, 'ask him if he needs a healer.' He said, 'No, I don't have a disease.' I said, 'You all have a disease and me.' Their eyes got big and I said, 'Every person in the world has a disease and it's called sin and we need a healer to heal us from our sin problem.' So these kids went from wanting stuff to sitting on the ground and listening to the healer named Jesus Christ. Before we were all done 12 of those kids prayed to receive the Lord," Scott said.

The number of people in Malawi who have not heard about Jesus could intimidate people but Scott has a theory which brings it into perspective. "It's kind of like the star fish theory: you can't save every starfish that comes up onto the beach but you and I can walk down the beach and go but yeah I can take this starfish and I can pick it up and I can throw it back out in to the water and save that starfish. It's the same thing with the Gospel. There are I think 18 million people in Malawi, we just don't have enough resources to go share the Gospel with 18 million people. The Scripture says the harvest is plenty but the workers are few and I saw that, I saw what it looked like to have a few workers. You just talk to the ones that God puts in your path and you make a difference for those people," Scott explained.

"I used to chase cows, today I chase souls. I think most people know that. We have, in Luke 12 the end of verse 48 [From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.] We have been given so much as far as stuff, but that verse isn't about stuff, that verse is about, we've been given salvation through Jesus and if you have repented of your sins, if you have asked Christ to be your Lord and Savior, you get to spend eternity in heaven, that's what it is. So we have that, for those who are Christians so why wouldn't we want to go share that with somebody. There are people that we know dying and going to hell and the question that we should ask ourselves is, 'What are we doing about it?' Because, I can tell you 10 years ago, my answer would have been nothing, I'm not doing anything. But I don't think that's the answer God wants us to be telling Him, even though it's an honest answer. When you realize that each person has a soul and each soul is going somewhere and if you have the cure for that person, we need to be sharing that with people. Not only in Africa, we need to be doing this in our own backyards as well. We all have family members, best friends, buddies that don't know Christ as their Lord and Savior and we need to be sharing that with as many people as we can," Scott said.

"If you get outside of the Americas, people are starving for the word [of God]. After they get saved they ask, 'can you teach us more? Can you come back, can you share with us?' They want to know more. Being so desensitized to the Gospel where we live versus going somewhere and people wanting to hear what you have to say, it changes everything about you and your mindset. We have been given a lot and if we have been given a lot we are responsible for a lot. I just challenge people to pray and seek where the Lord might be leading them to go. Acts 1:8 [But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth] talks about something local, something a little bit further away, something really far away and something you can't even imagine. Ten thousand miles for somebody from little old Greybull is a long ways, but God allowed us to travel that far to share him in such a way. If I didn't believe what I believe in, I wouldn't have gone so far to tell someone about it," Scott stated.

One person can make a difference in someone else's life, Scott said. "If God can use someone like me, than God can use someone like you. You just have to get to the point where you're sold out enough to Him that the Gospel has changed your life where you can take that same Gospel and go share it with someone else so their life is changed as well. I can't wait to see where God allows us to go next time."

He added, "I want to thank the Shell Cowboy Church, and my wife. They were instrumental in praying daily for us as well as people all around the United States of America. We have a pretty big support group on social media and you know a lot of them guys are incredible pray warriors. To everybody that prayed for us and or gave a financial donation to allow us to go, I just want to tell them thank you. I want them to know that thanks for continuing to support the efforts of the Gospel being spread not only in Greybull or Worland but to the ends of the earth," Scott said.

He added that if anyone is interested in learning about Jesus or about him, they can go to his web page at


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