Date:                    June 23, 2020

At 9.30 p.m., somewhere in the Middle East, all that John* had prayed against was happening. At the border, a customs officer had stopped him. John waited, hoping they wouldn’t tell him to open his suitcase. But they did. Hours later, he was sitting in a police station jail cell in a country hostile to his faith and his mission.

At one point, at least five officials interrogated him about the 50 Bibles he had attempted to bring to secret believers. 

Nothing was going right for the modern-day Bible smuggler. The books had been confiscated. They had his phone. And now he was behind bars. Failure, it seemed, was guaranteed.

In his jail cell, John started talking with the officer who oversaw the prisoners. “[You’re] different than the others,” the official told John. In a vulnerable moment, the guard shared with John that his father was seriously ill.

What happened next is a powerful reminder that our God is working behind the scenes in unseen ways to rescue and redeem His creation—even in places where Christians are persecuted in His name. 
I hope you’ll read John’s story and retell it often. It’s one of those beautiful accounts that shows us just how far the Shepherd will go to find and bring home the one sheep. And how God has intentionally invited us, His people, to join Him in this adventure—if we’re willing. 

Each time you and I pray for our persecuted family, share their stories with others or give to strengthen the church in places like the Middle East, India, Nigeria, North Korea and beyond, we say “yes” to this invitation to walk with God and be used by Him. 

Like this modern-day Bible smuggler and Brother Andrew, the Bible smuggler who founded Open Doors, we get to be part of a much, much bigger plan.