I didn't like your talk


(This story is taken from a fantastic biography about Brother Andrew, called The Narrow Road)

(P.S. Brother Andrew had just come back from his first missionary trip to Warsaw)

I had not been home a week before the invitations began to come in. Churches, clubs, civic groups, schools; everybody wanted to know about life behind the iron Curtain.

I accepted them all. In part I needed the payment they offered. But I had an even stronger reason. Somehow I felt sure that through the speeches I was going to be shown what I was to do next. And that's what happened.

A church in Haarlem where I was to speak had posted adver­tisements all over town stating that my subject was to be "How Christians Live Behind the Iron Curtain." I would never have pre­sumed to speak on such a topic after a three-week visit to one city. But at least the announcements did draw a crowd-the hall was jammed. And they drew something else: a group of Communists.

I recognized them right away-some of them had been on the trip-and I wondered what heckling I might be in for. To my sur­prise, however, they made no move either during the speech or during the question period that followed. But afterward one of the women came up to me. She had been a leader of the Dutch delegation in Warsaw.

"I didn't like your talk," she said. "I'm sorry. I didn't think you would."

"You told only part of the story," she said. "Obviously you haven't seen enough. You need to travel more, visit more coun­tries, meet more leaders."

I said nothing. What was she leading up to?

"In other words, you ought to take another trip, and that's what I've come to suggest." I held my breath. "I am in charge of select­ing fifteen people from Holland to take a trip to Czechoslovakia.

They'll be gone four weeks. There'll be students and professors and people in communications, and we'd like someone from the churches. Would you come?"

Was this God's hand? Was this the next door opening in His plan for me? I decided to put the question before Him once again in terms of money. I knew I didn't have funds for such a trip. "If You want me to go, Lord," I said in a flash prayer beneath my breath, "You will have to supply the means."

"Thanks, " I said aloud, "but I could never afford such a trip. I'm sorry." I began to pack away the pictures of Warsaw I had brought with me.

I could feel the lady staring at me.

"Well," she said finally, "we can work that out." I looked up. "What do you mean?"

"About the expenses. For you, there will be no charge."

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 128-129.

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