Words from the Pastors - Rob Inrig

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Closed doors Open hearts

by Rob Inrig

It seemed like Andy, the fourth of ten children, was born with a sense of daring. What others wouldn’t even think of doing, Andy had already done. Perhaps his spirit of adventure was fostered by an invalid mother and a poor, near deaf blacksmith, who took on the challenges of life rather than letting life defeat them. Perhaps it was just a personality that wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Who’s to say? But something about him, spurred him on when others quit.

As a young man he was intent on attending a specialized school in Scotland. Informed there were no openings, he left Holland anyway and showed up at the school’s door. No obstacle had stopped him before and no obstacle would stop him now. He would not be denied. Finally admitted into the program, he experienced excruciating back pain that often left him debilitated. Sometimes he was unable to move. If he fell, he would often remain in place waiting until someone came to his aid. Clearly, Andy’s goal of studying to become a missionary at the World Evangelization Crusade (WEC) school would not be realized. The school could not offer him a position as a missionary and so, with regret, 27-year old Andy closed the door on WEC and returned to Holland.

He had no degree, no money and no plans other than a crazy desire to go behind the Iron Curtain to attend a youth conference in Poland. The idea was crazy but not nearly as crazy as the fact that this was a communist youth conference in a communist dominated country.

But all along, God was preparing Andy to walk through shut doors. As Andy would tell it, God had awakened his spirit with the words of Revelation 3:2, “Wake up, strengthen what remains and is about to die". With this commission, Andy stepped into many communist-ruled countries where Christians were persecuted for their faith. But still he went, at great personal risk, filling his suitcase with large numbers of God’s Word bringing them into places that were vehemently opposed to the things of Christ. God’s Smuggler, Andy, or as he became better known, Brother Andrew, taking the Gospel behind closed doors and into waiting and open hearts.