Brother Andrew & Loretta Lynn
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Andrew van de Bijl, whose furtive efforts to get Bibles past the Iron Curtain earned him the nickname “God’s Smuggler,” died aged 94 in his native Netherlands on Sept. 27. Van de Bijl converted to Christianity in his early 20s after participating in the killing of civilians as a Dutch soldier in Indonesia in the late 1940s. By 1955 Brother Andrew, as he became known, had created Open Doors, a nondenominational mission organization dedicated to serving Christians being persecuted for their faith. Despite the personal risk, van de Bijl drove Bibles into Moscow in a donated Volkswagen Beetle. Later smuggling missions led van de Bijl to penetrate Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, China, and Castro-controlled Cuba.
Country singer and songwriter Loretta Lynn, whose music gave voice to millions of women navigating love and hardship, died on Oct. 4. She was 90. Raised in poverty in rural Kentucky, Lynn grew up singing in her family home but didn’t launch a musical career until she was married with four children. Her raw songs about growing up as a “coal miner’s daughter” and, later, living as the wife of a drinking, womanizing husband resonated with listeners, as did her pronounced Appalachian drawl. A winner of four Grammies, Lynn was the first woman named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Association (in 1972). She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
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