"Sowing the Seed," by Tony John,

Bible Smuggler

Reprint from Anchored Magazine, Autumn Number, October-December 2007

I got back to Vietnam and then went straight back to Cambodia and on to Thailand to start my work again. I managed to get the visa I needed so I am now legal in Thailand, but not in the surrounding countries. Once I obtained my visa I wasted no time. Spending the money on Bibles I decided to do some major missions immediately, as I had the funding. (I can do some smaller missions later as funds diminish.).

One of the first missions was to get a thousand Bibles into Laos. The problem is that the only Bibles I can get in their language are very big and not good for smuggling in. They are the size of a Thompson Chain Study Bible and expensive, but it's all we can get just now. You can imagine how many boxes were needed to contain them. The mission was a little complicated but briefly I recruited three fishermen with their small boats to take the bibles by night over the Miakon River. I gave them instructions to take three days and leave the boxes at three different locations. It's like talking to a brick wall! No matter what you tell some people to do, you're wasting your time. I recently asked a man to fit a bathroom int he kiddies' centre, but despite drawing a diagram and marking exactly on a wall where I wanted the taps, they ended up four inches from the floor!

The three fishermen took all the Bibles over on the first night and put the boxes all together by the road. By the time I got to to the drop-off point the men had gone, and I was alone next to the Miakon River with dozens of boxes of Bibles by the side of the road. If I say I stood out like a sore thumb it would be an understatement. I might as well have had a big neon arrow pointing at me, and a man with a tannoy shouting "ARREST THIS MAN". The reason for taking three days over delivery was to allow time for the pastor who was getting the Bibles, to reach me with a truck. Now I had a three day wait and nowhere to hide! I could not lie down because of the bugs, and there was no way I was going to sit on the Bibles. I don't put anything on a Bible, not even a piece of paper.

As the new day dawned, the road got more and more busy and everyone took an interest in me. Boy! Did I pray? Then, around 10 a.m on that first morning the pastor showed up on a moped. I was overjoyed just to have a friend there.

Although he had not brought a truck--he arrived leading about thirty mopeds and little scooters, and each one had two or three members of his church hoisted on it. He explained that he felt led to travel early and wait for me to arrive. However, he had travelled all through the night on the moped because the members of his church wanted to come with him, simply to guarantee that they would all get one of the new Bibles. They had travelled twelve hours by night just to get their own Bible. I tell you, I was moved at the value they put on their Bibles, and when I look back I can see God's hand, as the timing was perfect. If there was an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for how much you could carry on a moped, that church would win! It reminds me of when I was in Southern China with Colin, we actually saw a man with a full three piece suite on a bycycle!

Please give thanks to the Lord for missions accomplished. We have a really good one under our belts, 600 New Testaments into Saudi Arabia. I am not allowed back there, so another team member has filled this gap. Pray that I get help in Myanmar. It's very hard there and we need someone familiar with languages, also good Christian teaching material in so many languages. Back in Southern Tailand, next to the Malaysian border, there is a school that teaches all its pupils by using "Narnia". We have recently had the opportunity to explain this book from the Christian perspective, especially the sacrifice by Aslan. It has made a dramatic impact on four of the teachers and opened the door for Christian teaching [Isn't this amazing news, that C.S. Lewis's series about Aslan the the Christ-like lion and English school children wandering in another land they found by a door in a big, old wardrobe has been, now bearing spiritual fruit in Thailand, of all places?--Ed.].

Going back to the Bibles in to Laos, can you imagine the impact these will have on the church? It is a rare event for 1,000 full Bibles to get into Laos [a Communist country] and I know it is going to yield fruit. How many of the Christians will the Lord anoint as they read the Word? Apostles, evangelists, teachers, preachers, healing ministries, and more. This work you are supporting will be fruitful; it is the perfect investment that cannot fail.--Seed BMI, Bible Mission International, P.O. Box 3, Skelton, TS12 3YT, U.K.

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