Andrew van der Bijl, commonly known as Brother Andrew, played a significant role in ensuring that Bibles reached Communist countries notwithstanding the impregnable Iron Curtain that had been erected during the Cold War era. He was smart at fooling border point guards by praying God to blind their eyes. In these adventures, Bother Andrew came face to face with numerous miracles of God. He experienced God’s super workings first hand. In his book, ‘God’s Smuggler’ Andrew reviews an incident in which he managed to cross a heavily manned border point with ease.
As he approached a Romanian border checkpoint, he realized that the guards were taking long to inspect one car. It actually took forty minutes to check the first car. Everything in the car was emptied and rummaged through; one by one. Every vehicle ahead of him was subjected to the same procedure. In extreme cases, the engine and seats were removed.
There was now only one car in front of Andy, and he prayed, ‘Lord, 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. Then, Lord, I cannot possibly be depending on my own stratagems, can I? I will depend utterly upon you.”
As the last car was undergoing the unnerving checks, Brother Andrew managed to take several Bibles from their hiding places and piled them on the seat beside him.
It was now his turn. He drove his little Volkswagen closer to the officer and handed him his papers. He soon started to get out of the car, but the officer’s knee was against the door, holding it closed. The officer looked at his photograph in the passport, scribbled something down, handed papers back to Andy and waved him to pass.
Brother Andrew says that the whole process took less than thirty seconds. He started his engine with the bibles still intact on the car seat. He checked the rear mirror just to ensure that what had happened was real. The next car after him was stopped and the driver asked to get out.
An exercise that was taking between half an hour to one hour, and thorough checks, had only taken less than one minute for Brother Andrew. The Bibles would now reach Romania. He was instantly filled with joy and thanksgiving for the miracle God had performed before His very own eyes.
Brother Andrew has continued to penetrate walls of exclusion in spreading the Good News. He has focused his attention on the Middle East after the fall of the Communism.
Christians in Communist bloc were confined behind the Iron Curtain, but God used Andy to reach them just as He wills to use us to contact others. ‘Iron Curtain’ was a phrase coined by Winston Churchill to describe the political, military, and the ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union after the Second World War to seal itself and dependant Eastern and Central European countries from Western influence.
Rise above discouragements
Apart from Brother Andrew, there are many other Christians who have defied all odds in the quest to spread the Good News. Their difficult childhood, level of education, socio-economic statuses have not stopped the fire burning in their souls.
One good example is Jarena Lee, who lived in the Eighteenth Century. She defied all forces of discouragement and rose up to become one of the greatest African American woman evangelists. This happened when slavery was still legitimate.
Nehemiah 4 records stiff opposition to the Rebuilding of the Wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah and his men are mentally and physically opposed by their enemies, but they refuse to budge. They soldier on to the end.
Discouragements will never end, but those who put their trust in Jehovah God will always prevail. We need to place our faith in God and not in our strengths. We have to understand that God will provide a way where there seems to be no way. He is capable of blinding enemies, not for our own selfish interests, but of His will.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”