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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.