I'm declaring it Good News Friday and gonna put up several interesting stories I've been hoarding.
First of all, I want to talk about Brother Andrew and Open Doors Ministry. Those of our readers who have spent time in the evangelical world will probably recognize the name (a pseudonym to preserve his anonymity). I was raised on stories of this Dutch man's exploits: first as "God's Smuggler", smuggling Bibles into and supporting underground Christians in the then Soviet Union and communist countries of eastern Europe. Then it was China. Then Cuba and Africa. And now underground Christians in the Muslim world.
A personal Biblical mandate has guided his actions for over 50 years: "Wake up, strengthen what remains and is about to die" (Revelation 3:2).
But today, I want to share what this remarkable man said was his turning point so many years ago.
As a young man Brother Andrew joined the Dutch Army looking for adventure, and was severely wounded in Indonesia. . . .
"The hospital to which I had been assigned was run by Franciscan sisters. I soon fell in love with every one of them. From dawn until midnight they were busy in the wards, cleaning bedpans, swabbing wounds, writing letters for us, laughing, singing. I never once heard them complain.
"One day I asked the nun who came to bathe me how it was that she and the other sisters were always so cheerful.
"Why Andrew, you ought to know the answer to that--a good Dutch boy like you. It's the love of Christ." When she said it, her eyes sparkled, and I knew without question that for her this was the whole answer: she could have talked all afternoon and said no more. "But you're teasing me, aren't you?" she said, tapping the well-worn little Bible where it still lay on the bedside table. "You've got the answer right here."
"So now, when my restless hand struck it again, I picked it up. In the two and a half years since my mother had given it to me, I had never opened it. But I thought about the sisters, their joy, their tranquility: "You've got the answer right here..."
I have never realized the turning point for this world famous evangelical Protestant hero was his encounter with the love of Christ manifested by Franciscan sisters. Wonderful.