Andrew van der Bijl founder of Open Doors U.S.A also known as Brother Andrew (God’s Smuggler) to the world and responsible for smuggling Bibles into communist countries has died at the age of 94.
The Dutch Evangelist garnered attention from the world with the book ‘God’s Smuggler’ in 1967 written by evangelical journalists John and Elizabeth Sherrill and published under the missionary’s code name “Brother Andrew,”. Inside he gave an account of how he smuggled Bibles across borders hidden under his Volkswagen Beetle.
In the book, Brother Andrew had narrated a miraculous passage through the Romanian border in his car which was packed with illegal Bibles.
Brother Andrew remembered praying, asking God what he could possibly do to escape from the guards who were thoroughly searching each car. Then a very bold idea struck him.
“I know that no amount of cleverness on my part can get me through this border search. Dare I ask for a miracle? Let me take some of the Bibles out and leave them in the open where they will be seen,” he later recalled.
So he put the Bibles out in open so the guards could see them. He pulled up to the guard post and the guard looked at his passport and then waved him on.
“I coasted forward, my foot poised above the brake. Nothing happened. I looked out the rear mirror. The guard was waving the next car to a stop, indicating to the driver that he had to get out,” Brother Andrew said. His prayer had been answered.
His organization states that brother Andrew was the chief adventurer and the lead risk taker. On his recent demise at the age of 94. Open Doors noted on its website that if van der Bijl could talk to each of us, he would say, “The Bible is full of ordinary people who went to impossible places and did wondrous things simply because they decided to follow Jesus.”
“The real calling,” he has said, “is not a certain place or career but to everyday obedience. And that call is extended to every Christian, not just a select few.”
Every year his organization distributes 300,000 Bibles and 1.5 million Christian Books training materials, and discipleship manuals. It is also involved in providing relief, aid, community development, and trauma counseling and also advocates for persecuted Christians around the globe.
He was a man led by one objective alone, to distribute the Bible as much as he could to as many people as he could. His life and his works have blessed and inspired so many others to come to know Jesus.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)