Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. Revelation 3: 2 (NASB).
Brother Andrew has been smuggling Bibles into hostile countries since before I was born, which if you ask my grown children, is a very long time. Also known as God’s Smuggler, Andrew sneaked God’s Word into Soviet Bloc nations and is still carrying it into communist China and scores of other countries.
For Brother Andrew, the Iron Curtain proved to be pliable fabric. The curtain would fall in 1989, but in the 1970s, Andrew sensed a shifting of the evil in the world. He could see that communism was waning and a new threat was emerging.
“The only power that can overcome a bad power is a worse power and I saw that already then as the Islam,” he said (CBN).
Andrew’s original mission was to Christians. Believers under persecution needed the encouragement of God’s written Word. Brother Andrew sensed the need to “strengthen the things that remain”–the remnants of the Church. And he delivered through God’s provision and his own steadfastness.
It was a Catholic nun who prompted the wounded Dutch soldier in an Indonesian hospital to finally open the Bible his mother had given him two and a half years earlier. As he lay on his hospital bed, he asked the nun how she could be so cheerful. The account from his book is on his website.
“Why Andrew, you ought to know the answer to that–a good Dutch boy like you. It’s the love of Christ.” When she said it, her eyes sparkled, and I knew without question that for her this was the whole answer: she could have talked all afternoon and said no more. “But you’re teasing me, aren’t you?” she said, tapping the well-worn little Bible where it still lay on the bedside table. “You’ve got the answer right here.”
Months later, Andrew embraced that answer. A few years later, he was running missions to deliver a forbidden book to believers who yearned for it.
Today, Andrew’s borders have expanded. He exemplifies the Golden Rule: That we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. While his earlier ministry was largely to Christians, today his ministry reaches out to persecuted Christians and radical Muslims.
“We must love the Muslims just as much as we love the Christians or ourselves,” he explained.
Then he says something shocking.
“I find the more radical the Muslims are, the more receptive they are to receive the word of God” (CBN).
That is a great paradox. Those who want to convert or kill Christians are more receptive to the love of the Gospel. Andrew reaches past fear and anger many of us feel over every terrorist attack to see even radical Muslims as Christ sees them: people in need of the Savior.
“People are never the enemy,” he said, “only the devil” (Charisma).
Andrew is not afraid. I’m sure I would be.
But the words “Fear not” from the Bible are more than comfort; they are command.
Perhaps the most beautiful of all God’s creations is a heart aflame with Gospel passion and devoid of dampening fear.
Lord, breathe that flame into our hearts today!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”