God’s Smuggler, Andrew Van der Bijl is Dead

In Christendom all over the world, Andrew Van der Bijl  is known as Brother Andrew. Brother Andrew was known as God’s Smuggler because of his audacity in smuggling Bibles into countries behind the Iron Curtain. He died on September 27 at the age of 94.

His adventures as a Bible smuggler began after a trip in 1955 to visit the underground church in Poland. Compelled to respond to the summons by Jesus, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” (Revelation 3:2).

Over the years he also visited the Soviet Union, China, Czechoslovakia and Cuba. During this time he began to pray, “Lord, in my luggage I have scripture that I want to take to your children, when you were on Earth, you made bling eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind. Do not let the guards see those things you do not want them to see.” Time and time again, Brother Andrew’s prayer was answered as he was permitted into countries where it was illegal to bring in religious literature.

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

When the Iron Curtain fell this missionary shifted his focus to the Middle East and churches in the Moslem world. In the 1970s he visited the country of Lebanon a few times, this continued in the 1990s and he also gave Bibles to renowned PLO  and Hamas leaders Yasser Arafat and Ahmed Yassin.

The founder of Open Doors was moved by his belief that, “The real calling is not a certain place or career, but to everyday obedience. And that call is extended to every Christian, not just a select few.” Furthermore, Van der Bijl also pointed out that, “The Bible is full of ordinary people who went to impossible places and did wondrous things simply because they decided to follow Jesus.”

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