Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crossing Borders for Christ

"For we live by faith, not by sight."

~2 Corinthians 5:7


We recently spent time with some amazing people I really wish you could meet first hand.

They call themselves Bible Couriers. It is their primary goal to smuggle Bibles past guarded borders into countries that restrict their printing and get them into the hands of Christians who are part of the underground church.

The stories they tell remind us of stories we have read about heros of the faith- like Corrie Ten Boom or Brother Andrew. Stories about guards distracted by another guard or a guard plagued by a fierce head itch just long enough for their sizable bags to pass through xray machines undetected.

Elizabeth*, the dearest looking older woman you can imagine, smiled sweetly as her husband John* shared that she had personally made over 250 border crossings to bring God's Word to saints persecuted around the world.

As we began to hear their stories, we were shocked to learn that during these border crossings, with bags loaded full of Bibles- and only Bibles- they had no back up plan. No tricky schemes devised to get them past the carefully guarded borders of China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba.

These mighty saints simply trust that God has called them to walk by faith- and not by sight. Are they afraid? Oh yes- they say their knees shake every time- but they know the fear they feel when making each trip is not from Him.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity...”

~2 Timothy 1:7

They have learned to force themselves to push through the fear and cross through restricted borders often two or three times in a single day to make the most of the resources God has provided. Each time they pray and wait for God alone to perform some miracle as their large bags work their way through the x-ray machine and past the eyes that were hired to prevent their passing.


What gets someone started on an adventure like this?

John and Elizabeth shared that years before they had heard about a village in Africa where a team had gone to bring Bibles. In other countries, it is not uncommon for villages own only one Bible. Villagers may receive a single, hand copied page of their very own. The villagers would read and re-read their single page.

Some believers have only have a single, hand copied page of the Bible like this one.

As couriers finished distributing Bibles to a certain tribe, a young man ran up to them and asked if they might have a Bible for him. The courier replied that he was sorry, he had just passed out the last Bible. Had this young man wanted one?

The young man replied that he desperately wanted one. He only owned one page of the Bible which he had read and read- and he really desired to know what was on the next page.

That single request launched John and Elizabeth into a life of full time ministry.

In their travels, they have met people from all over simply desperate for the truth of God's Word. People who listen to sermons on hand crank radios or gospel messages on records they need to turn by hand.

Creative saints have been able to bring gospel messages and sermons to far off lands in the past with inventions like this- a cardboard record player that really works!


There is such a hunger for the Word in countries where it is prohibited. Our friends shared about a blind sister in China they met who had no arms. She greatly desired to read the Word daily, but with no arms and no sight her options are limited.

She has learned to read a Braille Cantonese Bible every day- with her tongue. Although she greatly desires to be in the Word often, she must stop when her tongue is so raw that it begins to bleed for fear of ruining her copy of the Bible.

A blind believer in China reads braille- with her tongue.


We aren't all called to be Bible smugglers, but wouldn't it be wonderful to pray for those who are and to learn some of what God is doing in restricted countries?

Sign up for a free newsletter and e-mail updates by sending an e-mail to: bci@cwo.com

They will never solicit you for money and there is NO obligation of any kind. You and your family will simply have the blessing of learning some of what God is doing in His underground church and remembering them in your prayers.

Because of the dangerous nature of their ministry, they do not have a web presence and their names have been changed for our post.

May you be blessed!

P.S. If you'd like a camp experience that includes the entire family and other homeschoolers, make plans to come to FAMILY HOMESCHOOL CAMP. These dear Bible Couriers will be there- and so will we! We'd love to meet you!

*Names have been changed for the protection of those involved in this ministry.


  1. GREAT post! We are so excited for camp! We've been preparing by reading "Tortured for Christ" "Fox's book of martyrs" and the BCI newsletters.

    Thank you for the early personal look into the hearts of this couple, and BCI.

  2. I have a friend who was a Bible smuggler in college. I love to listen to her stories! Very captivating and suspenseful! I've had her re-tell some of them to my kiddos so they could understand what it takes to "preach to the ends of the earth"!

  3. How neat it would be to talk with these wonderful people! It is so awesome to see how God reaches those in persecuted areas. Praising God for these folks...thanks for sharing :-)

    Lots of love,

  4. Thank you friends. I know they greatly appreciate your prayers.

  5. Just wondering if the record is or is not a 45 rpm? They usually have larger holes in the middle.

  6. Love your post! We are looking forward to meeting these amazing people at camp. We are going to sign up for their newsletter now.

    Love ya!

  7. UPDATE: I had mistakenly shared that their e-mail address ended in .org, but in fact it ends in .com

    Please try them at: bci@cwo.com

    Thanks friends!