Lord, in my luggage I have Scripture I want to take to Your children. When you were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind. Do not let the guards see those things You do not want them to see.
As I inched forward in the Volkswagen my heart thumped harder. Yugoslavia was just within my reach. Soon I’d be in the country, able to distribute Bibles and tracts to the people there.
As soon as I got past the border guards.
Two men stepped out of the guardhouse and I rolled down my window.
“May I see your passport?” asked the one guard in German.
I handed it over. The other guard asked me to step out of the car. I did and hoped they didn’t notice my shaking legs. He began searching around. He got closer and closer to my camping gear, where I had hidden some of the tracts. My skin crawled when I thought about the consequences of being caught smuggling Christian material behind closed borders. Some of the stories I had heard made my blood curdle.
“Please take the suitcase out,” commanded the second guard. He motioned to the one that held more gospel tracts. I gulped but hauled it out. The man threw it open, moved aside my shirts, and exposed the tracts.
I sucked in my breath. Lord, make seeing eyes blind. Make seeing eyes blind.
I started chatting about the weather, mostly to break the awful silence. The guards continued searching and after I declared my more important items (not the Bibles and tracts), they sent me on my way.
Thank You, God, I prayed as I waved to the guards and tried not to speed away. I crossed the border and breathed a sigh of relief. Those Bibles and tracts would reach Yugoslavia after all.
Brother Andrew’s real name was Andrew van der Bijl. He was born in 1928 and as a boy fought in the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis. After being redeemed from the life of an alcoholic he began to smuggle Christian material behind the Iron Curtain and closed borders. He married Corrie van Dam in 1958 and together they had five children. In later years he smuggled material into China and helped Christians in Muslim countries. He died in September 2022 at the age of ninety-four and is survived by his children and eleven grandchildren. Today his once small ministry has become Open Doors, an international ministry that still helps isolated and persecuted Christians. More of his adventures are told in his memoir God’s Smuggler, written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.