God’s Smuggler: Brother Andrew Who Smuggled Bibles Into Communist Countries Dies at 94


The gentleman recognized to Christians around the globe as Brother Andrew, who was responsible for smuggling Bibles into communist nations around the world, died Tuesday. He was 94. 

His Dutch name was Andrew van der Bijl, an evangelical who grew to become the founder of Open Doors U.S.A. But on its web site, the ministry explained him this way:

“We typically describe Brother Andrew as the founder of Open up Doorways. But referring to him as ‘the founder’ could direct people today to picture him as a suit-sporting govt who provides shows in a boardroom. That impression, nevertheless, couldn’t be even more from the truth. In actuality, Brother Andrew is our chief adventurer and lead danger taker. He’s very best identified, in truth, for courageously putting his lifestyle on the line to smuggle Bibles at the rear of the Iron Curtain at the height of the Chilly War.”

The news of van der Bijl’s dying was initially claimed by Netherlands Dagblad. A spokesman for Open up Doorways verified his dying to the newspaper. 

Van der Bijl 1st garnered the world’s focus in 1967 with the publishing of the guide God’s Smuggler

In the book, Brother Andrew gave his account of how he smuggled Bibles into countries suitable underneath the noses of unsuspecting border guards hidden in his Volkswagen Beetle. 

Composed by evangelical journalists John and Elizabeth Sherrill and released below the missionary’s code title “Brother Andrew,” the ebook sold more than 10 million copies and was translated into 35 languages. 

Throughout his everyday living, van der Bijl had many stories of smuggling Bibles into communist international locations. But a person of his most loved tales can be found on the Open Doors site.

In this incident, Brother Andrew was approaching the Romanian border in his vehicle which was packed with unlawful Bibles.  While waiting around in line at the border, he observed how a lot time the border guards were being having with each auto and how they carefully searched every a person. 

“Dear Lord,” Brother Andrew remembered praying, “What am I likely to do?”

Then as he prayed, he experienced a daring idea.  

“I know that no amount of money of cleverness on my element can get me by way of this border research.  Dare I ask for a wonder? Let me get some of the Bibles out and go away them in the open where by they will be found,” he later on recalled. 

So he set the Bibles out in open up so the guards could see them. 

He pulled up to the guard publish and the guard seemed at his passport and then waved him on. 

“I coasted forward, my foot poised above the brake. Absolutely nothing transpired. I seemed out the rear mirror. The guard was waving the next vehicle to a halt, indicating to the driver that he had to get out,” Brother Andrew said. His prayer experienced been answered.

Born in the Netherlands in 1928, he was 12 when the German Army invaded the state in Globe War II. He spent the war hiding from the Germans in order to keep away from staying pressed into joining the army. 

In accordance to Christianity Nowadays, at the time of his loss of life, the ministry van der Bijl founded was serving to Christians in extra than 60 nations. Open up Doors distributes 300,000 Bibles and 1.5 million Christian guides, education elements, and discipleship manuals just about every yr. The group also offers reduction, help, community growth, and trauma counseling, whilst advocating for persecuted Christians all-around the globe.

Open up Doorways noted on its internet site if van der Bijl could chat to every of us, he would say, “The Bible is whole of regular individuals who went to difficult places and did wondrous issues simply due to the fact they determined to stick to Jesus.”

“The authentic calling,” he has said, “is not a specific put or job but to daily obedience. And that simply call is extended to each individual Christian, not just a find number of.”

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