Middle Creek was recently blessed with the opportunity to hear from a representative of Gideons International. He shared with us the story of a man whose life was forever changed by the work of the Gideons.
Let’s call this man Jimmy.
Jimmy was thief. As a young man, he began picking pockets. Time passed and Jimmy's thievery evolved. He began breaking into homes and hotel rooms to steal. One day, he had broken into a local hotel room while its occupant was away. He removed the pillow from its case and began filling the pillowcase with any valuables he could find - everything from jewelry to credit cards to the book in the nightstand drawer.
Mid-robbery, the occupant of the hotel room - a tall, burly man - returned, catching Jimmy in the act. Jimmy ran to the balcony and jumped over the railing to escape. Well, unfortunately for Jimmy, he had forgotten that he was on the fourth floor.
With two broken ankles, of course Jimmy was caught and taken to the hospital. While laying in his hospital bed recovering, he searched the bedside table and found a book. Jimmy thought to himself that this book looked just like the one he took from the hotel room. He opened to book to find one particular verse staring back at him in capital letters: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (Matthew 27:37). He kept reading about this Jesus person and learned he was crucified between two thieves and that he died for the sins of the world.
Of course, Jimmy still had to serve his punishment for what he had done, but he left that hospital room a changed man. He continued to read the Bible and grow in his faith. His sentence was shortened by his good behavior and he now serves in ministry.
This is just one small example of the impact made by the work of the Gideons.
Founded in 1899, the Gideons International has distributed over 2 billion copies of God’s word and have over 3000 members worldwide. They have a presence in over 200 countries and distribute bibles in over 95 different languages. They've even developed an app to make the bible even more accessible in today's tech-centric society.
These bibles are distributed two ways: First, as we learned from Jimmy’s story, scriptures are placed in many locations, including hotels, motels, hospitals, medical offices, shelters, and prisons. Pocket-sized bibles are also distributed personally to individuals whenever possible.
The work of the Gideons is truly incredible and has been changing lives and bringing people to Christ for many years.
So, how can you support this ministry with us?
Well first, as our speaker put it to our congregation, “If we could buy bibles with dirt, I’d be standing up here talking about dirt.” But the fact of the matter is, it costs money to buy bibles. Hotel room bibles cost $5 and personal bibles range from $1.25 to $1.40. Every dollar donated goes directly toward the purchase of a bible that will impact someone’s life for Christ. If you feel so inclined, donations can be made online: https://www2.gideons.org/donate
You can also support the Gideon’s in prayer - prayer for open doors to share their message, safety for those ministering in dangerous parts of the world, and prayer for funding that their ministry may continue to grow.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…” (Col. 4:3)