After years of smuggling Bibles into communist countries and travelling around the world to work with the persecuted Church, Brother Andrew has gone on "his greatest journey yet."

Andrew van der Bijl, known as Brother Andrew to Christians around the world, began getting Scripture into restricted countries after a trip to Communist Poland in 1955. He has said that on that trip he felt a call to respond to Jesus' words in Revelation 3:2, "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God."

Van der Bijl died on Tuesday at the age of 94.

A black and white photo of a young man standing beside a small volkswagen beetle on a muddy dirt roadBrother Andrew on one of his many trips in his Volkswagen Beetle. (Open Doors USA)

Open Doors, the ministry that Brother Andrew founded in 1955 after that first trip to Poland, described him as the organization's "chief adventurer and lead risk taker."

As he pulled up to the border checkpoint of Romania in 1957 he quickly realized there was no way to fool the guards. His vehicle was filled with Bibles and there was no where he could hide them that they would not find them. “Dear Lord, what am I going to do?” Open Doors recounts him praying. “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.”

He put some of the Bibles in the open, pulled up to the guard, and as he handed over his passport and prepared to exit the vehicle for it to be searched the guard instead just waved him through. He slowly pulled forward thinking at first that perhaps he was supposed to be pulling to the side for the car to be taken apart. “I coasted forward, my foot poised above the brake. Nothing happened. I looked out the rear mirror. The guard was waving the next car to a stop, indicating to the driver that he had to get out.”

God continued to clear the path wherever he went. He began to pray what he came to call his "smuggler's prayer." 

“Lord, in my luggage I have Scripture I want to take to your children. When you were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind.  Do not let the guards see those things You do not want them to see.” His worked earned him the nickname, God's Smuggler.

In the late 1970s van der Bijl told Pat Robertson that in 20 years of smuggling and praying the smuggler's prayer he had never lost one Bible.

He published a book in 1967 called God's Smuggler, and it has since sold over 10 million copies in dozens of languages around the world. In 1972 it was turned into a comic book by Spire Comics.

A comic book cover shows a young man in a small car praying as he pulls up to a border with armed guards.The cover of the 1972 comic book edition of God's Smuggler.

Brother Andrew became a Christian in the 1940s while recovering from an injury while serving with the colonial army of the Dutch East Indies during the rebellion that would eventually form Indonesia. While recovering he "read the Bible obsessively," and eventually gave his life to Christ.

After the fall of the Soviet Union he turned his eyes to the Middle East and worked to bring the Gospel to people living under persecution. 

Today Open Doors, which is headquartered in his native Netherlands, says that it is "present, on the ground in more than 60 countries where faith costs most. From Sudan to Syria and North Korea to Nigeria—we are serving persecuted Christians where the risk is greatest."

The ministry says that there are currently 360 million Christians worldwide who face persecution.

This is a developing story. More to come.