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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 42: God’s Smuggler (2010)

Week 42: God’s Smuggler (2010)

Have you ever read any stories about a man named Brother Andrew? He was a great guy who smuggled Bibles for a job, and a strong Christian. Now you may think that there aren’t any people left like him, but let me tell you; you’re wrong. How do I know? I bet you can guess (the last 41 weeks should give you a clue). It’s because of the man I met with today, Paul Wang. How does he pertain to Brother Andrew, you wonder. Well, keep reading and you’ll find out.
For starters, Mr. Wang is a Chinese man living in America. Okay, so maybe “living” isn’t exactly the right word. The U.S. is where he has a house and a family, but he travels so much, it’s hard to call any place his home. This week, he arrived from a month-long trip in Japan on Monday, attended a conference on Tuesday, and we met on Wednesday. He knows what country he’s going to be in eight months from now, and he’s got his schedule all planned out. Constantly on the go, Paul is one big bundle of energy, always at a different place every week. But today, when I met him he was calmly working on his computer.

Editors note: Due to security concerns, we have tried to protect Bro. Wang’s identity.

As usual, Dad left us alone after saying hey and stuff like that, and we settled down to business. Dad had wanted Mr. Wang to tell me some of the things he has done in his life, so that’s what he started to do. He was born in China, and lived there for all of his childhood. However, when he became Christian while working as a Communist interpreter, he wanted to come to a theology school here in America. He didn’t think that his superiors wanted their employees studying Western theology in America, but God intervened in a special way. When his boss read the resume, he mistook the phrase Theology for Technology, and approved Paul’s trip to the States. He even gave him money for the school, so Paul didn’t have to pay anything!
As he got older, Mr. Wang realized that God was calling him back to his native country, but not to live there. He was to be a smuggler for the kingdom of God, and carry Bibles to the people there. Now, you may think that in a nation of 1.4 billion, a few dozen Bibles don’t do any good. But in actuality, one Bible alone touches an average of 200 lives! You do the math. Paul obeyed his calling, and has made countless trips to China with friends who are also interested in his work. But don’t think it’s all fun and games. Not at all; over thirty of Mr. Wang’s friends are in jail because of their willingness to follow the Lord. He himself got caught last year, and was sent out of the country, with all of his Bibles being confiscated. They told him sternly not to return. Being the follower of the Lord that he was, he came back the next year. However, he was once again caught, and was detained for two days. He was interrogated all day and night by five secret service police, trying to find out who his superior was. However, the Holy Spirit told him to answer every question “Jesus”, as it says in Hebrews 12:2. “Who provided the money for you to come here?” “Jesus.” “Who organized your route to China?” “Jesus.” So on and so forth. Finally, after they were done questioning him, the police officially banned him from the country for several years and kicked him out.
And that just about brings us up to the present. After hearing about Paul’s life, I was amazed at his sacrifice and dedication to God. I knew we as Christians are supposed to follow the Lord, but Mr. Wang takes it to a whole new level! When he was done, Paul offered a few tips on how to live life to the best of your ability. The first one he gave me was about how to get closer to God. It was made up of eight things to do differently in your life, and it went like this:

  • Know him more intimately
  • Love him more intensely
  • Trust him more deeply
  • Obey him more completely (Matthew 5:29)
  • Follow him more faithfully (Mark 1:17)
  • Serve him more gladly
  • Please him more purposefully (2 Corinthians 5:9)
  • Proclaim him more boldly (Acts 4:31)

In every single one of those, you are striving for God more each day, and you’re becoming more like Christ. Next, Paul told me six individual ways to be the best leader possible, whether on a ball field or in an office. Follow before leading (people will respect you more), calculate the cost (don’t just rush into things), count the blessing (in everything give thanks), take the risk (nobody will follow a coward), assume responsibilities (don’t be afraid to admit you were wrong), and pay the price (give even when it hurts). Those traits will allow you to be a general commanding your army anywhere you go. And no matter what position you’re in now, you’ll have more people looking to you for help than you may want.
When Paul had finished giving me those tips, I asked him some questions. First, I wanted to know how and where he met his wife. He chuckled and let me know that they were childhood sweethearts. Now I know this may be hard to grasp, but they both attended the same preschool, middle school, college, and seminary as the other. Obviously, it was a marriage built in heaven. Next, I asked him to share some of the good and bad decisions he has made in his life. Instead of giving me instances, like everyone else, Paul gave me certain precedents in which he makes his best (and worst) choices. For example, every time he feels the peace of God, and finds a Biblical instance for his action, he makes a good decision. But the times when his judgment is the worst can be explained in an easy to remember acronym, H.A.L.T.- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Those are the circumstances when a person should never make a decision, if possible. Pretty cool, huh?
Unfortunately, the end of our hour together arrived all too soon. But I knew that we would definitely talk again. Maybe not for as long of a time, or on the same topic, but another conversation was definitely coming up soon. So with that in mind, I bid Paul Wang goodbye, gathered my things, and left the office of one of the most dedicated, driven, and obedient men I’ve ever known: a true modern Brother Andrew.

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