Andrew van der Bijl, best known to Christians throughout the world as Brother Andrew, passed away on Tuesday in his native Netherlands at age 94. David Curry, who heads the USA branch of Open Doors, the organization Brother Andrew founded, tells AFN, "We really lost a great hero of the faith."
"His story was one of great courage, of a great sense of unity for the body of Christ," Curry continues. "He became famous for his elaborate plans to smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain first and then into China and in the Middle East."
In his Volkswagen Beetle, Brother Andrew reportedly managed to get millions of Bibles past unsuspecting border guards into communist nations that forbade or restricted God's Word, and he maintained that his faith and his concern for the persecuted Church are what gave him courage.
"He was deeply troubled by the fact that churches in what some people call the free world had lost track of what their brothers and sisters were suffering for the faith," Curry shares.
While believers mourn the loss of "God's Smuggler," he leaves behind a legacy that continues in more than 60 countries, including the places where it is most difficult to be a follower of Jesus.
"We're a presence ministry, so we're there with them, standing with them, advocating for them," Curry asserts. "That's the legacy of Brother Andrew."
His book, "God's Smuggler," was written by evangelical journalists John and Elizabeth Sherrill and published in 1967.