THE BOLDNESS OF BIBLE-SMUGGLERS
Sixty-five years ago, Brother Andrew – the founder of Open Doors and the original Bible smuggler – set in motion a courageous legacy that continues today. While advances in technology mean that most Bibles and Christian literature are now passed on in digital form – through MP3s, memory cards and audiobooks – there are still churches that request Bibles in print. And, where possible, our secret networks continue to deliver them, thanks to your prayers and support.
In Luke’s Gospel, we read the parable of the shepherd – Jesus – leaving the 99 sheep for the one that had wandered off. John*, a modern-day Bible smuggler, witnessed the reality of that parable for himself when he got caught with a suitcase of Bibles at the border of an Islamic country in the Middle East.
“I was held and interrogated at the police station for many hours during that night,” he says. “I was questioned by customs officers and local policemen; there were seven of them. Sometimes two entered the cell and asked questions. Once there were even five interrogators at the same time.”
In photo: Brother Andrew with his Bible-smuggling VW Beetle
‘I WAS DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS’
Around 3am, John struck up a conversation with the guard who oversaw the prison cells. “The man said that I was different from the others,” John recalls.
“I started to talk with him. At a certain moment he told me that his father was seriously ill.” John didn’t hesitate and asked if he could pray for the officer’s father.
“He agreed and I prayed for the man. After that, I told him my testimony and explained how important Jesus is for me… He accepted Jesus as his Saviour. I had tears in my eyes.”
The official promised to help John. By 8am, he had given John the Bibles back and taken him to the airport!
“All the time since my suitcase was opened until I entered the aeroplane, I thanked the Lord,” says John. “I had peace, the peace of God that transcends all understanding. I saw the hand of God in all that happened. It went different than I had planned. He decided to change everything for this one soul. I was just a spectator. Thanks to my Father, thank You Jesus.”
A VITAL MISSION
Thanks to supporters like you, Open Doors’ secret networks can distribute Bibles and other Christian literature to believers! It cannot be overstated how precious Scripture is to persecuted Christians – it is absolutely crucial for discipling new believers and growing churches.
Colin*, an Open Doors staff member who oversees these smuggling trips, says, “I thank God that most of our Bible-smuggling trips work out well. Often, the travellers give testimonies after their travel about how God protected the special luggage they were carrying.
“Having Bibles, having Christian books and discipleship material is crucial for a growing church with new believers.”
One secret church leader says, “We are grateful for the Christian literature that we regularly receive. A few years ago, our church suffered a lot from lack of literature – especially Gospels for new converts… Thank you that you help us.”
Digital forms of Scripture are also greatly appreciated. Another church leader says, “We had difficulties with the believers who can neither read nor write, especially the elderly. We were so happy with the arrival of memory cards and audiobooks… Glory to God!”
*Name changed for security reasons
- For all believers who are currently without Scripture – pray that God will provide them with His Word.
- Bible smugglers like John are essential to the continuing work of Open Doors, to strengthen churches and Christians who are determined to keep sharing Jesus no matter the cost. Please continue to pray for their protection, and for all those taking great risks to deliver God’s Word to all those who are hungry for it.
- For Open Doors partners stepping up their online presence in response to the Covid-19 crisis, to support believers in the region with online teaching, encouragement, Bible reading and prayer apps.
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