Make Contacts

(This story is taken from a fantastic biography about Brother Andrew, called The Narrow Road. This part of the story happened in Russia.)

We took just one of the Bibles, locked the car, and left the campsite. It was Thursday night: the night of the midweek service at the Baptist church that we had been heading for.

There were about twelve hundred people attending the Thursday night prayer meeting! The form of the service was much the same as the one I had attended two years earlier, but I did not see Ivanhoff either on the platform or in the part of the congregation I could see.

When the meeting was over, Hans and I walked out to the vestibule and began milling about in the crowd. The main purpose of the evening for us was to make contacts to whom we could deliver our supply of Bibles. I edged my way around the big entrance hall, glancing into face after face, asking God to give me as He had so often before, that moment of recognition that, for Christians, can do the work of many years of acquaintance and growing confidence.

And before long I saw him: a thin, balding man in his middle forties standing against a wall and staring into the crowd. I had such a clear directive to speak to him that I almost forgot about Hans. But in a real Christian partnership, one member's guidance is always submitted to the other's for correction and confirmation. So I waited until Hans had inched his great bulk over to my side. "I've spotted our man!" He said before I could speak. And out of the hundreds of people in that vestibule, he nodded to the man I too had chosen. Hearts high, we pushed our way to him.

"Kak vi po zhi vayete, " Hans began.

"Kak vi po zhi vayete, " the man answered, instantly alert.

As Hans launched into a description of who we were and where we were from, however, the man's face grew more and more perplexed. But when Hans came to the word "Dutch," he burst out laughing. He told us that he himself was German; he was a second-generation immigrant living in Siberia, and his family still spoke German in the home.

Immediately the three of us fell into conversation. And as we talked, Hans and I grew more and more incredulous. For this man was from a little church in Siberia, two thousand miles away, where there were 150 communicants but not a single Bible. One day he had been told in a dream to go to Moscow where he would find a Bible for his church. He resisted the idea at first, he said, for he knew as well as anyone that there were precious few Bibles in Moscow. And that was the end of his story.

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 269-271.

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