LA MIRADA, Calif. — Andrew van der Bijl — known as “God’s Smuggler” — is the recipient of Biola University’s 2020 Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage Award. Biola President Barry H. Corey, will present the award to Dr. David Curry, president of Open Doors, who is receiving it on behalf of Brother Andrew. A video of the ceremony will be released on Thursday, March 25. The Colson Award is honored to recipients who have demonstrated a life of serving God by surmounting adversity and overcoming challenges for Christ and his Kingdom.
“Brother Andrew is known as ‘God’s Smuggler,’ a nickname well earned by his courageous lifestyle which emerged from his conviction that everyone in the world should have the freedom to know Jesus, no matter where they live,” said Corey. “His bold ministry began in the mid 1950s during the height of the Cold War, carrying out secret missions smuggling Bibles into areas of Eastern Europe that were closed to the gospel and risky to enter as a Christian believer.”
Brother Andrew’s autobiography, God’s Smuggler, tells of his early ministry which has been translated into 35 languages and has sold over 10 million copies. This book’s success led to the launch of his ministry, Open Doors USA, a global organization committed to reaching persecuted Christians.The organization provides Bibles, training, prayer and support for the persecuted Church across the Globe.
The Colson Award was first established by Biola in 2014, named after Charles W. Colson. Biola established the award in honor of Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview in consultation with the Colson family. The award honors Colson with recognizing individuals displaying exceptional character that align with the conviction of Biola’s mission to impact the world for Christ through courage and resilience. Past recipients include John M. Perkins, Maggie Gobran, and Joni Eareckson Tada among others.
Recipients of the award are found to be individuals who demonstrate unshakable commitment to the truths of a biblical worldview and embody conviction in the face of severe adversity. According to Corey, recipients are people committed to advancing Christ’s kingdom through evangelism, discipleship and Christian worldview training; individuals who defend religious freedom and advocate for the weak and defenseless; and men and women who model bold, visionary and courageous Christian leadership for the next generation.
For over 60 years, Brother Andrew delivered Bibles across the globe where Christians are being persecuted and have restricted access to the Church and Christian literature. He has led efforts in countries such as Cuba, China, as well as conflict zones in Africa and Central America, such as Nicaragua and El Salvador during their civil wars.
Biola University is a leading Christ-centered university in Southern California that offers a premier, nationally ranked education and has been named one of the nation's “up and coming” universities by U.S. News & World Report four times in five years. Founded in 1908, Biola is committed to the mission of biblically centered education, scholarship and service — equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. With more than 6,300 students at its Los Angeles-area campus and around the world, the university offers more than 150 academic programs through its nine schools, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visitwww.biola.edu.
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