New records set in Southeast Asia

By August 5, 2015
(Photo credit: Robert Pittman)

(Photo credit: Robert Pittman)

SE Asia (MNN) — Terrorists aren’t the only ones making headlines these days. In SE Asia, pirates are pillaging at a 12-year high.

Officials say small coastal tankers are being hijacked about once every two weeks. As reported by Financial Times, SE Asia’s piracy problem isn’t on the same scale as Somalia’s, but it’s noteworthy all the same.

“This is more akin to armed robbery or petty crime,” Singapore lawyer Gerald Yee told Financial Times. “It’s basically hopping on the boat and robbing the crew at gun or knife point.”

Vision Beyond Borders’ Patrick Klein is coming across records of a different kind in SE Asia.

Southeast Asia map


“30 years of carrying Bibles into closed countries and yet, this has never happened to me before,” he says.

While traveling to a closed nation in Southeast Asia recently, two authorities stopped Klein at customs. It wasn’t just because the Bibles he was smuggling in were illegal.

“They were more interested in their eternal soul, and I thought, ‘God, only You could do that in these men,’” Klein says.

Hear how the whole scenario unfolded.

What’s the big deal?

In this closed nation, following Christ–or even inquiring about Him–is a serious offense. Reading God’s Word is punishable by law.

Macau Customs Services uniform (Wikimedia Commons)

Macau Customs Services uniform
(Wikimedia Commons)

“If a customs official gets caught with a Bible, they could go to prison for years,” explains Klein.

“If they get caught reading it, they get in a lot of trouble–they can lose their jobs, they’d be demoted.”

And yet, the two authorities asked Klein to pray for them. They weren’t just off to one side, either, Klein says. The three men prayed together in an open area with many potential witnesses.

“They were not afraid of being caught by their officials or of being turned in,” Klein recounts. “They were more concerned about their souls.”

Even better, the guards let Klein take the hundreds of Bibles he was smuggling to a local VBB partner.

“I saw some of the pastors actually receive some of the Bibles, and they were just thrilled to receive the Word of God,” he shares.

What you can do about it

Since its establishment, Vision Beyond Borders has helped distribute over 1 million Bibles worldwide. With your help, they can bring another million copies of God’s Word to Christians in need.

Find a list of upcoming trips here.

“We’ve got a lot of Bibles that need to be moved to these countries, and we need people to come help us,” says Klein.


  • Deborah says:

    Could you explain why do you show the photo of Macau Customs Services uniform along with this article? It seems misleading to me. I was born in Macau, it was Portuguese. Although it was reverted back to China in December 2000, people are still free like Hong Kong, there are many Christians and Churches, people are practicing their faith freely. Many Christian evangelistic movements have their base in Hong Kong and Macau in order to do outreach in mainland (communist) China!

  • Katey Hearth says:

    Hey Deborah,

    Thanks for your question, you raise a valid point! I didn’t choose the photo because of any connection in the story to Macau, I was simply looking for a generic yet relevant photo.

    I thought this photo would be relevant (customs officials in Asia) yet still generic enough to protect the sensitive content discussed.

    Thanks again for weighing in, hope this explanation helps clear up any confusion!

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