God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill: Young Reader's Edition is quite an interesting read.
It gives you an overview of the life of 'Brother Andrew, as he later became known, he was a Bible smuggler.
Andrew, like everyone, did not start out life as a Christian, he was struggling with life-purpose into his early adulthood. He became a Christian and had a growing desire for knowledge of the Word of God and an eagerness to put into practice what he learned and to share the Gospel with others.
After becoming a Christian, Andrew became aware of, and concerned with the peril of churches in countries that were under communist rule. He found that the Bible, in many of those countries, was scarce and hard to obtain, despite the idea being touted by the communists that they promoted freedom of religion. In some countries there were no Bibles being printed, in others there were plenty of Bibles available but hardly anyone was interested in owning one, and in one country the communists advertised that they were printing their own translation of the Bible, but they delayed its publication and did not allow any other publication of Bibles. Andrew sees a ministry opportunity in this need for Bibles and starts smuggling Bibles into those countries. This book details many of the ways that God protected Andrew and his co-workers in their getting the Bibles past the various country borders.
I do need to mention a couple of things that I didn't feel comfortable with the prophetic 'impressions' that Andrew and other people had about certain things: Feeling positive that God would give a car, or getting a confident thought that God would not let authorities harm them on a certain day. How does one know that one's confidence is in God at those moments and not merely in one's own feelings/desires? Perhaps this may be considered a drastic example, but what if I am locked up in jail for being a Christian and I'm not given any food. I will think that I need food, I may even have an impression that God will supply it, but what if it turns out that God wants me to starve, die and be with Him? That was my problem, and the fact that Andrew never seemed to believe that God would ever say "no" to anything he asked (like getting a helpmeet for instance). I know that they didn't mean it this way but it could come across to a kid as if God will give you any material, earth-based thing for which you ask.
But other than those things I really liked the book. One of my favorite parts to read was of a time before Andrew became a Bible smuggler. He went to a missionary training school, and quite a unique one! The school actually sounded like a real mission school based on faith in God and His provision rather than teaching potential missionaries to solicit people for funds and help. "The real purpose of this training….is to teach our students that they can trust God to do what He said. He would do……They cannot be effective if they are afraid or if they doubt that God really means what He says in His Word." On their practice Evangelistic trips they would be sent out with only one pound, and would rely upon God to supply their needs and His supplying did not merely take the form of money, it also took the form of food and clothes being given at just the right time. That seems to be a more biblical form of missionary activity than what one sees nowadays, and more faith-based. I know that all missionaries are not like this, but many come across as if they focus on money and the help of people If they really are called to the mission field, God will give the needed supplies even without them going to people for help. So I was very refreshed to see the perspective of the people in this book in regards to their trust in God to supply all their needs.
I believe that I would have liked this account a lot as a kid and a teenager. It was very well written, intriguing and it left me wanting more. It is quite fascinating to see what God has done in the lives of other Christians and to see the various circumstances God put them in in order to conform them to the image of Christ and to bring the Gospel to other people. I think that this was an abridgment of the original work and so one can probably find an unabridged copy of this account if one wants to learn more (which I will probably end up doing).
Many thanks to the folks at Cross Focused Reviews for the free review copy!
A couple of the websites where one may purchase this book are Amazon.com and Christian Book Distributors