There are two types of Bible carriers. The first type of Bible carriers are things that carry Bibles. The second type of Bible carriers are Christians who smuggle Bibles to persecuted Christians in countries that forbid or severely restrict access to Bibles.

This is an account of the latter type of Bible carriers, adapted from email updates to prayer supporters. To protect sensitive details, the names of people and places have been altered or omitted. Please feel free to email your questions or comments.

The First Run

I landed on Monday night and had my first Bible smuggling run - a relatively light load - along with four others, on Tuesday morning. All of us made it through. Later in the day, I made another run with one of the local leaders. I had 180-190 Bibles with me and walked right past the guards as the Lord granted again. The joy of boxing up the Bibles at the safe house on the other side of the border is hard to describe.

The people who serve here, mostly Westerners, do little else but pray, smuggle Bibles and serve God in other ways. They don't eat much, never more than cheap local or fast food, and don't sleep much either. Their living quarters are spartan and their office is a small warehouse crammed with Bibles and a wild array of suitcases, backpacks and other bags for hauling (concealed) Bibles.

The day starts with Bible runs and are capped by either prayers and/or Bible studies that start at 10 PM and run late. The one three nights ago ended at 5 AM.

Smuggling Bibles is less dangerous, at least for Westerners, than I envisioned. When caught yesterday morning, for example, I actually got to speak for about 15 minutes to three guards and a few bystanders who gathered around the opened suitcase of Bibles and tell them why their country needs Bibles. The guards were polite and attentive.

When caught two days ago, I had a decent chat with a female guard who even lowered her gaze while conceding that their customs law against Bibles contradicts their Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom, at least on paper.

But the same can't be said for the organization's contacts across the border. Two nights ago, I had the privilege of meeting and sharing a meal with the man who ships to the interior of the country the Bibles that we bring across the border. Given the volume that he moves, if caught, he would face a long prison term. Due to the risks involved, he can't even tell his family what he does.

Physically, smuggling Bibles is more trying than I expected. Bags stuffed with 190 Bibles, for example, weigh about 150 pounds (~70 kg). Pulling them around tires after a while but lifting them onto scanners and buses require God-given strength, especially when having to haul them back to base after getting caught (For a fine, confiscated Bibles can be retrieved from the customs when exiting the country). I've seen guys leave with loads that weigh as much as or even more than themselves, just trusting the Lord for the extra strength when needed. And Bible carriers aren't just young guys; as you will soon read, they also include old men and women.

Satan's defense against the entry of Bibles is tight. Yesterday, while waiting to recover my confiscated Bibles, I watched the customs guards in action. Two guards stood in the middle of the traveler flow and told everyone carrying more than a briefcase or a small backpack to put their stuff into the scanner, which scans each item from different angles. Bibles - probably the paper or the ink - show up as solid black mass, and I've seen anywhere from one to five guards with their eyes glued to the scanner monitor.

  â–º Hidden Bibles