Book – God’s Smuggler
Author – Brother Andrew
Year – 1968
Genre – Autobiography
Pages – 291
Bought for me by John Gompers
This is not the kind of book that I usually read. I am not a Christian, but when John bought this for me for my birthday, I thought that it would be interesting to read it. It has been a massively influential book, pushing the growth of Christianity in places that persecute against the church, but I wanted to read it simply as a book, and not a piece of religious promotion.
And to that end it is actually not bad. It is the story of Brother Andrew, a very poor man from Holland, who has some bad experiences in the war in Indonesia, and becomes a Christian. He then decides that it is his calling to become a missionary, and smuggles Bibles into Communist countries where they would otherwise be outlawed.
There are moments that become pretty preachy, and even the occasional part that outlines a story where God provides Andrew with exactly what he needs at exactly the right moment, that my brain cannot help but believe is exaggerated for the effect. But at the heart of the book is a fantastic story about a man who cares so much about something that he is willing to sacrifice everything in order to help others to see what he sees. There is something pretty inspirational about that for Christians and non-Christians alike. It also gives a very nice – if somewhat focused – view of life behind the Iron Curtain. This is an area of history that didn’t seem to have enough of an impact on Britain to be taught regularly in schools, so my knowledge of the rise and fall of Communism in Europe is pretty small. Whilst looking it it primarily in terms of its impact upon the church, there is still enough in there to give an idea of the situation, and I would like to read more about it.
This is a book aimed at Christians, but certainly not accessible only by Christians. When you allow for the incredible readability of his work, Brother Andrew has written a book that, whilst it may not change your life, is interesting enough to take a look at.