In 1955, Brother Andrew made it his mission to distribute bibles to Christians without easy access to God's Word. Now in his 80s, Brother Andrew continues to serve the Persecuted Church, along with a large team, referred to as 'Open Doors.'
In 1955, a young Dutch missionary went on a group tour to Poland, at that time a part of the Soviet bloc. There he discovered remnant of the Body of Christ desperately in need of Bibles, support and prayer. Brother Andrew (as he would later be known around the world) distributed a suitcase full of bibles and Christian literature, making the humble beginnings of Open Doors with Brother Andrew.
God's Smuggler, Brother Andrew's autobiography chronicling those early years, details dangerous border crossings, KGB (Soviet Secret Service) pursuits, and his courageous journey toward living radically for Jesus Christ. The international bestseller has made a tremendous impact on Christians in the West.
Through the book and the work of the Holy Spirit, Brother Andrew's small Dutch mission became an international ministry with offices in 27 countries, working in more than 60 countries to strengthen the Persecuted Church.
It is estimated Brother Andrew has visited 125 countries in his travels to preach and befriend those in need. During his trips, he said he never had a Bible confiscated and was arrested only three times.
A Challenge for the Church
Brother Andrew feels passionately that the rapid spread of Islam could be, by far, the greatest challenge the Christian Church worldwide has faced yet. His friendships and the love of God have taken Brother Andrew into private meetings with leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. He is among the few Western leaders to regularly travel to the Middle East as an ambassador for Christ to these groups.
He has also broken Christian religious barriers by preaching in Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches.
He has often said, "Our mission is called 'Open Doors' because we believe any door is open, anytime and anywhere" I literally believe that.
" Every door is open to go in and proclaim Christ, as long as you are willing to go and are not worried about coming back."
Brother Andrew's work through Open Doors has led the organisation into places where most Christians are unwilling to go. His underground network of indigenous Christians has aided in the secret distribution of millions of Bibles each year.
Open Doors trains thousands of Christian pastors and lay leaders through seminaries and persecution seminars, and assists in economic relief, literacy training and vocational training in the most dangerous countries in the world.
Lifetime of achievements
The story of Brother Andrew's ministry in the Middle East is told in his recent book, Light Force, co-authored with Al Janssen.
He has written ten other books, including The Calling, which reveals his secrets for ministry, illustrated by his experiences over 30-plus years in countries like China, Sudan and Cuba.
In 1994, Brother Andrew was knighted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.
In 1997, he was the recipient of the World Evangelical Fellowship's Religious Liberty Award, recognizing his lifetime of service to the Persecuted Church and passion for spreading the gospel.
In America, on 22 February 2003 he received the Heritage of Faithfulness Award from the Christian Association of Senior Adults.
One more honour of which Brother Andrew is particularly proud, is that after the fall of the Iron Curtain, he obtained copies of the KGB reports (the Soviet secret service) numbering more than 150 pages about his work in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He was surprised they knew so much about him yet were not able to stop his work!
In 2011 Brother Andrew was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement/Hero of the Faith Award, at the Youth Pastor Summit held by Student Leadership University.
Today, Brother Andrew and his wife, Corrie, live in Holland and have five children and eight grandchildren. He is still very active in the Open Doors ministry, and continues to serve the Persecuted Church. It is his passion.