Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some Thoughts About Christian Efforts From Thirty Years Ago

Today I was reading an old WORLD magazine while putting in my time on the elliptical at the gym. It contained the results of a contest they had where people submitted the last lines of books to be judged as to which were the best. A couple of the books included were Nicky Cruz's RUN BABY RUN and BROTHER ANDREW by, who else but, Brother Andrew. It was very interesting reading, and kept my mind off of those slowly-passing minutes on the elliptical.

What it made me think about was the activities of Christians back in the days of Brother Andrew, when the Iron Curtain was up and people were creative in their evangelistic efforts. I remember that Bible smuggling, ala Brother Andrew and others, was a real and dangerous activity (just like into China today). I remember a group of guy friends spending a summer doing that, and a group of girls who met once a week to pray for their safety.

I remember getting envelopes of various sizes and colors from some organization (can't remember the name), stuffed with Bible passage portions, and also a list of names and addresses of people in Russia. We would address the envelopes and stamp them, then mail them - the idea being various handwritings, stamps, and envelopes would help evade detection by mail authorities.

I wonder whatever happened to all those Bible portions - what percentage made it through, and of those, what percentage actually made a difference. That was thirty years ago - I wonder if anyone has a changed life due to those efforts. I wonder if one of those portions served as the impetus for events that may have started a church in a small Russian town.

It will be interesting, in eternity, to see if any good was done.


Barbara H. said...

It will be -- that will likely be the only time we'll ever know.

There was a man who spoke at BJU chapel once who lived in a free country but made many forays into countries behind the Iron Curtain. He told a story of a man who was not a believer, but his wife was, and one time he accompanied her to a secret church gathering, where he was scared to death of being discovered. They passed out portions of Scripture, and all his said was, "And the Lord said unto Jeremiah." At first he thought, "Jeremiah? Who is this Jeremiah?" Then he thought, "If God can speak to this Jeremiah, who know one has heard of, then perhaps he can speak to me, too." I don't remember the rest of the story or how he was saved, but that was the turning point in being willing to learn about it. That story is one that has stayed with me through the years.

Beth said...

One does wonder, but Isaiah 55:11 is still true!