Open Doors Live Event: I Infiltrated an Embassy
This month we had a Secret Guest in Sydney. We can't publish his name, or show his face online. Why? Because he will be sharing about working on the ground with persecuted Christians. He is the creator of the World Watch List, with over 30 years experience with the ministry, five years spent in the Soviet Union, 16 years in the Middle East, and that’s just the start!
He is an Open Doors field worker. This is the story of his first assignment to travel inside the USSR.
Between 1960-1980 he went behind the Iron Curtain to spread the gospel and strengthen Christians living under persecution. In those early missions, staff teams traveled in pairs to meet Christian leaders, learn the needs of local churches, and figure out new ways to deliver and distribute Bibles.
His First Mission
Our field worker was briefed on his mission schedule, down to the minute. “Now on the second evening, you are going to infiltrate this embassy.”
He started to laugh, until he saw his partner taking notes. “I really thought she was making a joke,” he admitted. “Then I realised this was serious.” For each of their contacts, he had to memorise their name, phone number, address, and travel directions.
He can still recite the directions he was given on his very first mission. “You couldn’t take a taxi—taxi drivers could give you away. So we used public transportation and did a lot of walking."
“Take the [metro] circle route, then transfer to the gray line going south and get off at “X” Station.
“Go to the right and up the stairs and when they split, go left.
“Start walking north. At the second apartment block, walk behind the first building, turn around, and go in the second door.
“Ring the bell and when the door opens put your finger to your mouth and your contact will do the same because ‘the walls have ears.’”
Eager For Bibles
It was at this location our field worker made contact with Brother Anatoli, a pastor from the underground church. “All of the churches are eager for Bibles.” Brother Anatoli said. He had spent two years in a labour camp. He had been body searched at an airport when they found a tiny piece of paper with a pastor’s number on it.
Later in the trip, our field worker met Vladimir Poresh who had also spent time in a labour camp for leading people to Christ at a University. When the judge asked him what he hoped to accomplish, Vladamir said “We want to win the whole world for Jesus Christ!” Immediately the judge sentenced him to two years in labour camp but Vladamir never complained. And once released, he immediately started to evangelise to students again.
What About The Embassy Infiltration?
One evening there was a meeting of Christian workers from various embassies in Moscow. Our field worker walked right into the meeting—the guards just assumed he worked for another embassy. The goal was to find contacts who might be willing to take a risk for God’s Kingdom.
Twenty years later, our field worker asked his former boss if anything had resulted from that embassy contact. “Yes, a good relationship was established with an embassy official,” he was told. “He travelled several times to Finland and because he had a diplomatic passport he was not searched going back into the Soviet Union.” This diplomat ended up smuggling a printing press into the country that allowed believers to print Christian resources, playing a significant part in the growth of the church.
Hear more stories from our Secret Guest field worker at our Open Doors Live Event.