Brother Andrew's
life journey

A life worth remembering

Brother Andrew was born on the 11th of May, 1928, in Sint Pancras, Netherlands. He went home to be with Jesus on September 27, 2022 and we are certain that his arrival in heaven was a joyous affair, even though his presence on earth will be greatly missed.

We are deeply grateful for the work God has accomplished through Brother Andrew’s life—truly a revolutionary life.

And as an organization, Open Doors remains committed to honoring his legacy of faith through continuing to strengthen the Body of Christ in places where faith costs the most.

"One man with God is always a majority."

Brother Andrew

1928

Brother Andrew is born.

1946

Brother Andrew enters the Dutch army.

1949

Brother Andrew is injured, as he recovers, nuns in his hospital influence him and he begins to read the Bible. This changes his life.

Brother Andrew travels with a Dutch delegation to the World Youth Congress in Warsaw, Poland.

1955
57

Brother Andrew starts Open Doors. He also smuggles Bibles into the Eastern Bloc for the first time.

1958

Brother Andrew marries his wife of 59 years, Corry.

1967

Brother Andrew releases his first book, God’s Smuggler

God's Smuggler

The worldwide Christian community was introduced to Brother Andrew and the persecuted church through his international best seller God’s Smuggler, published in 1967.

In God’s Smuggler, Brother Andrew relates how in 1955, as a young Dutch missionary, he went on a group tour to Poland. In this country he discovered a remnant of the Body of Christ behind the Iron Curtain, desperately in need of Bibles. And he was determined to get them the gospel, no matter what it took.

His fearless determination to serve the Body of Christ in closed countries eventually led him to personally lead Open Doors, as an organization, into places where most Christians were unwilling to go. It has also led to the distribution of millions of copies of the Word of God to Christians in desperate need of it.

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Going wherever God sent him

What is most striking about Brother Andrew’s journey with the Lord was his willingness to go wherever God sent him.

During the height of the Cold War, Communist countries were keeping tight control on their borders, but God had called Brother Andrew to help the Christians behind that Iron Curtain:

“When I pulled up to the checkpoint on the other side of the Danube, I said to myself, ‘Well, I’m in luck. Only half a dozen cars. This Romanian border crossing should go swiftly.’ But when it took 40 minutes to inspect the first car, I began to worry…literally everything that family was carrying had to be taken out and spread on the ground.”

Brother Andrew waited. Every car ahead of him went through the same routine.

‘Dear Lord,’ I said, as at last there was just one car ahead of me, ‘What am I going to do? Any serious inspection will show up these Romanian Bibles right away. I know that no amount of cleverness on my part can get me through this border search.

Dare I ask for a miracle? Let me take some of the Bibles out and leave them in the open where they will be seen. Then, Lord, I cannot possibly be depending on my own stratagems, can I? I will be depending utterly upon You.’

1975

Brother Andrew makes his first trip to China.

1981

Project Pearl delivers 1 million Bibles to China in just one night.

1985

Project Crossfire distributes 5 million pieces of Christian literature in Latin America.

1989

1 million New Testaments delivered to Russia.

1997

Open Doors launches Standing Strong through the Storm – a training program for Christians facing persecution.

1999

Open Doors’ work in North Korea begins with the delivery of 10,000 Korean Bibles.

2005

Brother Andrew speaks in Netherlands celebrating Open Doors’ 50th anniversary.

2013

Open Doors launches its largest relief programme supporting Christians in Syria to stay and shine.

2015

Open Doors celebrates 60 years of serving the persecuted Church and God’s Smuggler is reprinted.

2018

Brother Andrew turns 90! And makes his last trip to Pakistan.

2022

Brother Andrew passes and is in the presence of our Lord Jesus.

Brother Andrew uncovered several Bibles from their hiding places and piled them on the seat beside him as he pulled up to the checkpoint.

He stopped and handed the officer his papers and his passport.

“The officer looked at me, my photograph in my passport, scribbled something down, shoved the papers back under my nose and abruptly waved me on.”

Brother Andrew was shocked as he slowly pulled forward.

“My heart was racing. Not with excitement of the crossing, but with the excitement of having caught such a spectacular glimpse of God at work!”

This willingness to go has been a great blessing to the persecuted church, from the time of that first visit to Poland when a pastor stood up after a meeting that Brother Andrew attended and said, “We want to thank you for being here. Even if you had not said a word, just seeing you would have meant so much. We feel at times as if we are all alone in our struggle.”

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Going wherever God sent him

The journey that began in Poland eventually took Brother Andrew into private meetings with Yasser Arafat and with leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Taliban and Hezbollah, during which he could illustrate God’s love for the people of the Middle East.

He is among the few Western leaders to regularly go to these groups as an ambassador for Christ. Brother Andrew also broke Christian religious barriers by preaching in various denominations of churches.

Today, those from the free world, who follow Brother Andrew’s example, continue to refresh the hearts of the saints by their mere presence in restricted countries.

As Brother Andrew said, “We have to live a life that is more revolutionary than that of the revolutionaries.”