62 Years of Bible Delivery

View All Blogs
Image: In 1981 Project Pearl delivered one million Bibles in China by boat.
By Beth Westwood | 26 April 2018

Brother Andrew was a young man when he was enlisted in the Dutch Army. He was seriously wounded in Indonesia and during his time in hospital, he noticed something different about the Christians around him. 

“One day I asked the nun who came to bathe me how it was that she and the other sisters were always so cheerful,” said Brother Andrew.

“Why Andrew, you ought to know the answer to that–a good Dutch boy like you. It’s the love of Christ,” she said.

BA Indonesia
Image: Brother Andrew (far right) recovering at St. Elisabeth Hospital in Semarang, Indonesia.

Brother Andrew began to read a little Bible his mother had given him before he left for Indonesia. After he recovered, he returned to Holland and gave his life to God.

Brother Andrew was an ordinary man who said ‘yes’ to God’s plan and was led into a life of adventure. 

Bold Beginnings

In 1955, at the height of the Cold War, Brother Andrew began helping persecuted Christians living behind the Iron Curtain in Communist countries.

He hid Bibles in his blue Volkswagen Beetle to make it across the checkpoints. It was the first time Brother Andrew prayed the smuggler’s prayer: “Lord you made blind eyes see. Now I pray, make seeing eyes blind.”

Image: Brother Andrew with his VW Beetle in Yugoslavia.

At a border inspection in Romania, Brother Andrew saw God move radically.

“Dear Lord, what am I going to do?” he asked as he arrived at the border where cars were being taken apart and searched. 

“Any serious inspection will show up these Romanian Bibles right away.”

He placed a pile of Bibles on his front seat, knowing full well they were impossible to miss and it would only be a miracle from God if he was able to pass. Brother Andrew pulled up to the officer standing beside the road, handed him his papers, and started to get out of the car for the search. 

“But [the soldier’s] knee was against the door, holding it closed,” he said. “He looked at my photograph in the passport, scribbled something down, shoved the papers back under my nose, and abruptly waved me on. Surely thirty seconds had not passed.”

“My heart was racing. Not with the excitement of the crossing, but with the excitement of having caught such a spectacular glimpse of God at work!”

The ministry of Open Doors had begun.

Most Successful Smuggle Of The 20th Century

In 1981 Open Doors launched an operation called ‘Project Pearl’ which saw one million Bibles delivered to a secluded beach in China, in one night. Thousands of believers gathered at the shore to receive them. 

Image: Loading Bibles onto a barge during Project Pearl.

Project Pearl was described by Time magazine's Beijing bureau chief, as one of the most unusual and successful smuggling operations of the 20th century. Time called it “the largest operation of its kind in the history of China”.

In 1985 Open Doors also distributed five million pieces of Christian literature into Latin America. The delivery was called ‘Project Crossfire’ and helped thousands of young people grow and share their faith in Jesus.

A Bible For Every Believer

In 1994, Children’s Bibles were manufactured and dispersed throughout China for the first time. And in 1999 Open Doors began working with North Korean believers and distributed 10,000 Korean Bibles.

NK Bible
Image: A North Korean Bible.

As a ministry, Open Doors continues to put Bibles in the hands of believers living in the hardest countries on earth to follow Jesus.

“The challenge for us is that we don’t have enough [Bibles] to distribute,” said an Open Doors worker in Vietnam. “Each year people want more and more...I think that shows how many lives it changes and transforms.” 

This month Open Doors is delivering the Word of God to 16 countries across Asia. These Bibles aren’t just sent, they are delivered, which means every Bible has a destination and a purpose.

Each Bible has been requested by our local contacts in the country and is given to a specific person, church or pastor.

The Bible is the living, breathing and active Word of God. It has the ability to change lives and transform communities, churches and nations. As a ministry, Open Doors continues to serve the global body of Christ, and God willing, we will do so for many years to come.

Pray For The Persecuted Church

Subscribe to our Prayer Guide and Frontline Faith magazine for the latest prayer requests and stories.

Sign Up