God’s Smuggler. Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2001.
“God’s Smuggler was required reading in the KGB. Just about every agent had a copy. We knew what you were doing.”
This statement by a KGB agent, tucked into the epilogue of the 2001 edition of this biography (originally published in 1967), is an electrifying postscript to an adventure story I just couldn’t put down. The man known as Brother Andrew was born in Holland in 1928. He recounts that he was raised in a strict Christian home but always had a yearning for mischief and adventure. As a boy he got involved in sabotage work against the German occupation. Later he joined the Dutch army, but harrowing experiences in Indonesia left him an emotional and spiritual wreck. When he came home he was converted to Christianity. Soon after that he became a freelance Bible smuggler behind the Iron Curtain. The book details how he brought Bibles and hope to Eastern European Christians. Later his travels took him to China and the Middle East.
I appreciated seeing how God used Brother Andrew’s innate thirst for adventure to enable him to do an extraordinary work. Not just anyone could have made those solitary trips in a little run-down car with suitcases full of Bibles. He combined smart strategies like changing methods every trip with total dependence on God for his funding and safety. He followed the George Muller method of fundraising, never soliciting funds, but praying for what he needed. People would then send him money out of the blue—often the exact amount he needed for a specific purpose. And instead of deceit in dealing with Communist agents, he used prayer. He said, “Looking back, I think the real answer is that the KGB could not stop us…. God made seeing eyes blind, hearing ears deaf, so His isolated people could receive encouragement.” Brother Andrew is now in his eighties and his organization, Open Doors, is still working to spread the Word all over the world.
This book is available in the Biography section of the Covenant Presbyterian Church Library.