Was anyone ever more fearless than missionary Mary Slessor?

     The virtue of courage is well documented for Mary Slessor . For the cause of Christ she overcame her almost pathological fear of men. She entered areas so wild in what is now Nigeria that white and black intruders alike were usually killed. Read about one incident displaying this virtue of courage in her vignette under ''defining moments'. She had many moments as trying as that.
     So did Brother Andrew, who took incredible risks smuggling Bibles into Communist countries beginning in 1955. The fall of Communism later blurred memories of how tyrannical those countries were. But enemies of the state simply disappeared - for years because they were imprisoned or forever because they were murdered. However, Brother Andrew's fearlessness can perhaps best be illustrated by an incident that occurred in Saudi Arabia, the Muslim nation his organization Open Doors graded in the 1990's the country most devoid of religious freedom in the world!
     The Saudis used absolute, total oppression. The Saudis were worse than the worst of the old hard-line Communists, even the Albanians. The Saudis permitted no devotion outside Islam by anyone. Period. If a Christian foreigner was even suspected of praying in private the authorities would coerce his company into sending him permanently out of the country. Documented private worship resulted in a prison sentence. Often Christians serving sentences in prison for private worship remained there even after their sentences ran out. Any open devotion was punishable by death.
     It was no different in 1967. While Andrew had been speaking in Switzerland he was invited by an English scholar on a clandestine trip. The Englishman was going to do nothing less than drive a Land Rover into Saudi Arabia to explore for the real Mount Sinai! Of course Brother Andrew jumped at the chance, adding a colleague and loading the vehicle with Bibles in Arabic.
     Although the Saudi Arabians maintained an official posture of rabid opposition to other religious beliefs Brother Andrew knew the average Arab was quite a different challenge from a Godless Communist. Muslims were spiritual cousins of Jews and Christians. Although the Koran, their sacred book, nowhere directly quoted the Old or New Testaments it nevertheless acknowledged Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus as holy prophets who preceded Mohammed. So devout Muslims had at least some curiosity about these Jewish prophets and Jesus. And Andrew knew their curiosity could be satisfied only by the Bible.
     As they approached the Saudi Arabian border at a town on the Gulf of Aqaba, Andrew felt like Moses: 'a stranger in a strange land'! But the Saudis would not let the Englishman - or his Land Rover - in. He urged Andrew and his colleague to continue on the mission - if they could. Amazingly the two were allowed to enter. Brother Andrew hired a taxi and they transferred as many of the Bibles from the Land Rover into it as they could. Then off they rumbled into Saudi Arabia! They skirted Medina, one of Mohammed's holy places. A sign read INFIDELS FORBIDDEN. Near another holy site, Mecca, they stopped in Jidda where Andrew knew a Christian worked.
     The man blinked in disbelief. Then the man was horrified. Brother Andrew and his colleague went to the local bazaar and handed out Bibles! It was such an outrageous act no one quite understood what they were doing. It was virtual suicide to do such a thing. But having done it the two missionaries calmly obtained exit visas and departed Saudi Arabia from the Jidda airport. The trip had been flawed nearly every step of the way, yet Brother Andrew penetrated the heart of Saudi Arabia. Who knew how many lives were changed by the Bibles they distributed in Jidda? Brother Andrew never underestimated the power of the Bible.

Brother Andrew entered the most religiously intolerant Muslim country in the world to pass out Bibles!

Brother Andrew
Bible 'Supplier'








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