Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Oatmeal and Oranges Have in Common with You and Brother Andrew

Amid all the choices I had to read, I’m not sure how I happened at age eleven upon the blue hardbound book entitled “God’s Smuggler” by the founder of Open Doors, an organization which still ministers to persecuted Christians around the world.

Known as Brother Andrew, this Dutchman loved God and risked his life repeatedly to smuggle pornographic material into Communist countries. You see, after the communist government had declared the Bible to be pornographic, jail, torture, or death awaited those foolish enough to carry such contraband.

Once, Brother Andrew prayed the eyes of the border patrol would be blinded as he stacked Bibles openly on his seat. Every other car was pulled apart and searched, but he was waved through with only a cursory glance at his passport.

What most captured me was that God Almighty gave specific direction. “Andrew, go to Red Street, knock on the fifth door on the right and ask whoever answers if they would like a Bible.” Andrew obeyed, and was kept safe. His response amazed me every bit as much as this account from Genesis 12:1, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.’”

Andrew wasn’t exempt from life’s problems. People betrayed his trust. Not every moment was so clearly defined. He had human frailties. Even so, God accomplished His purpose to reach Eastern European hearts just as He promised Abram that all peoples on earth will be blessed through him and his obedience.

As a young mother, I read a true account of an intercessor awakened by God and told to go shopping. She browsed the grocery aisles listening for further instruction as she filled the cart with flour, sugar, milk, baby formula, oatmeal. She hesitated over oranges, an expensive treat, but didn’t feel the task was complete until she’d added them. She didn’t know that a hungry little girl, being taught by her parents to pray to God to supply breakfast, had specifically requested them.

If God has given you a task – say to write—don’t grow weary in doing that job. Don’t let opposition or difficulties or logic sway you. There is power in the written word. Stories of Brother Andrew and that nameless woman impressed me to follow their example. You will impress others to draw closer to God through your writing. Don’t ever underestimate the power of an obedient heart sold out 100% to the Lord. Be that heart.

Who has been a Brother Andrew example for you? How has it impacted your writing experience? What is the hardest step of obedience/ trust you’ve had to make in writing?


  1. Great post, Mary -- very meaningful and uplifting for me (and I'm sure for many others). . . thanks! Yes, I have a writing project "from God" that's gotten lots of negatives, along with positives that keep me going, thankfully. I've been pondering what to blog about next week, so I think I'll answer your questions in more detail then -- be sure to check back on May 14. :-)

  2. Mary, I have that book on my shelf I found at a booksale, old and tattered. I have yet to read it, but am thankful you reminded me it is there. What a wonderful post