Sunday, April 29, 2007

Talking about Open Doors

"You need to feel the power of the persecuted church, because they are God's means to show us the way of Christ. Following Christ always involves suffering, as we have to cast self aside and embrace His cross. It is a way of joy and pain (...) It takes someone to stand in the gap between their experience and ours, someone who has the experience of both and can connect the two worlds." (Brother Andrew in the Introduction of Faith that Endures - by Ronald Boyd-MacMillan).

Last week I had an appointment at the Dutch office of Open Doors. I was talking with some people from Marketing Communications about our publishing projects when all of a sudden somebody entered the room. I recognized Al Janssen, co-author of Light Force, a book about the church in the Middle East, written by him and Anne van der Bijl (better known outside our country as Brother Andrew).

Guess what, I peered through the open door (how appropriate!) and saw a friendly elderly man smiling back at me. Yes, this was Brother Andrew - a.k.a. God's smuggler. He didn't want to interrupt our conversation and waited patiently in the hall until his co-writer came back to join him again.

I've met brother Andrew before because we've published the Dutch edition of Light Force and I assisted him during press conferences and even visited him at his house once; but it was such a privilege to meet this living legend face to face again. Please don't get me wrong - I am not idolizing human beings - I just have a soft spot for people like Corrie ten Boom, Henri Nouwen and Anne van der Bijl. I think all three of them are great examples as radical followers of Christ.

I just want to share this experience with you. Brother Andrew is such a humble man and I have so much respect for him. Even at his age (God willing he will celebrate his 79th birthday on May 11, 2007) he is still actively travelling to dangerous areas in this world to support and encourage persecuted Christians and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all people who want to listen. And if you talk to him about this, he will only say that he is doing what all Christians should be doing. Yes, he's right. Let's all be humble, friendly, dedicated and radial followers of Jesus Christ!

I can only advice you to read brother Andrew's books and support the work of organisations such as Open Doors who are doing so many good things for persecuted Christians around the globe.


Phil & Sue said...

Great to hear That Bro Andrew is still going so well. I last heard him speak in Australia around 5 years ago and found him just as inspiring as I did when I read God's Smuggler as a young man.
Thanks for continuing to tell people about OD still one of my favourite organisations