Saturday, 28 July 2012 22:11

Bibles for the USSR Featured

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In the 1970’s, Rev. Mikhail I. Khorev was responsible in the persecuted church for maintaining contacts with Christians abroad: tons of Bibles and other Christian literature were secretly brought into the country.  He was responsible for organizing clandestine unloading, storage and distribution of Bibles and other literature across the country.  In 2011, Rev. Mikhail I. Khorev shared the following story:

While in prison In Omsk, I was summoned for questioning by a KGB officer from Moldova.  He was furious that I had organized to receive Christian literature from abroad and was never caught by them.  

In 1979, we organized to receive 50,000 Bibles.  A year earlier in Leningrad, I met a believer from Finland.  We spoke in his car to avoid wiretaps.  He asked me, “Brother Mikhail, will you be able to receive 50,000 Bibles?”  “If God allows you to prepare so many Bibles, then we’ll find a way to receive them.”  From that day on, I could not rest until I thought through minute details of the operation.  We arranged to meet at 1:00 a.m. near the town of Leusheny, 7 miles from the border of Romania.  The border area was heavily secured.  I left my home that evening to oversee this operation, while my wife spent the night by the phone, praying and expecting a call from police about my arrest.  At the appointed time, a 78 foot trailer carrying a mobile home from Finland pulled up to the agreed location.  We prepared five large trucks from our side to unload the Bibles.  I had agreed with the truck drivers: I’ll be sitting in a car parked nearby to keep an eye on the area.  If anyone asks you any questions, point them to me and tell them that you were hired to do it.  I’ll take full responsibility for it. 

One hour and twenty minutes later, all five trucks were fully loaded.  At approximately 3 a.m., five loaded trucks headed in the direction of Chisinau.  We had to pass by a police check point.  I was traveling ahead of the group, with five trucks following behind.  How do we divert the attention of the policeman at the check point?  I said to the driver, “Step on it!  Build some distance between you and the trucks behind us.”  He did that.  As we approached the check point, the policeman tried to stop us.  We continued traveling at high speed and the policeman jumped into the patrol car to chase us.  This was the answer to our prayer.  We continued for a while and then pulled over to the side of the road.  A police lieutenant approached us, “Why didn’t you stop?”  While we were talking, the five trucks safely passed the police check point.  We paid a fine and continued on our way, while the lieutenant returned to the police check point. 

We unloaded the Bibles in the town of Krikovo at the home of a Christian family.  At 6 a.m. I returned home and opened the door to find my wife sitting by the phone.  She had endured so much during that night, but she never tried to talk me out of participating in the ministry, even though it was accompanied by much risk.  Next, the load had to be distributed throughout the country.  There was a group of Christian apple farmers in the village of Kitskany, Moldova.  I agreed with them to load 10 tons of Bibles into a truck and to cover the boxes with 2 tons of apples.  Whenever a truck approached a police check point, policemen were overwhelmed by the smell of fresh apples.  The driver generously treated policemen to some apples, and the truck would be released without a thorough inspection.  

I flew to Samara to welcome the truck at the home of a fellow minister Nikolai Kreker.  It was New Years.  He prepared a home on the outskirts of the city.  The ground was covered with fresh snow during a moonlit night.  A truck pulled up and the men worked quickly to unload 10 tons of Bibles on the ground.  The truck was quickly dispatched on the way back.  Six men who were unloading the truck bypassed carrying the load inside the house to kneel down on the snow and thank God!  I encouraged them, “Brothers, let’s hide the Bibles first and then, after the work is done, we’ll pray together.”  But out of sheer joy and gratitude, not a single one of them could get off their knees!  All the Bibles were later transported in smaller portions throughout Siberia, Urals, and Northern Kazakhstan.  

I returned to Chisinau, as we had to arrange for transportation of a second truck.  By then, we received an alert that police check points were inspecting all trucks carrying apples!  But the Bible says, “Behold, I make all things new.”  (Rev. 21:5)  The Lord does not repeat Himself in His wisdom, and we also had to find new ways to distribute the Bibles.  Not a single country in the world was supplied with Bibles clandestinely like the USSR.  The Lord blessed us in amazing ways to meet the spiritual needs of His people!  This example is not an isolated event, but a ministry that was carried out over the course of many years.   When I was asked by Western Christians, “Brother Mikhail, how many Bibles would you need for the USSR?”  I would respond, “How much rain would a dry land require after years of drought?  Over 215 million people in our country have never held a Bible in their hands!  How many Bibles do you think would be enough to satisfy the spiritual thirst!?”  The Lord has opened the windows of heaven and poured out His abundant blessings upon our people.  His deeds are marvelous!”

Last modified on Monday, 30 July 2012 19:54
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