Sharing Peace By Sharing God’s Word
Daniel Silguero with his daughter, Danielle. Mr. Silguero found encouragement to face leukemia through his regular reading of a New Testament received from a Gideon.
While earning his degree at South Texas College, Daniel Silguero received a New Testament from a Gideon participating in a Scripture distribution. Already a believer, he thanked the Gideon, slipped the New Testament into his backpack, and promptly forgot about it.
On July 24, 2015, Daniel was diagnosed with leukemia. The news came as a terrible shock to him and to his family. “You are never prepared to hear something like that,” says Daniel, who now lives with his family in Weslaco, Texas. “It was devastating. I did not know how to comprehend the news.”
He began to consider what the road ahead would look like and how the cancer would affect the remainder of his life, as well as the lives of his wife, Maricela, and his two young children, Danielle and Andrew. Just as he was beginning to lose hope, Daniel came across the New Testament that had been handed to him years earlier.
He read the New Testament cover to cover and was surprised by how much encouragement it brought him. “I cannot express how helpful that New Testament was,” he says. “It was small enough that I was able to carry it with me everywhere. The more I studied it, the more it continued to bring me closer to God. It was a frightening time, but the Word gave me hope. I knew that no matter what, I needed to have faith that God would see me through it.”
Sixteen days after his diagnosis, Daniel went into remission. It was a miraculous turn of events that left his oncologist stunned. For the Silguero family, it was a humbling demonstration of the incredible power of prayer. “God is mighty,” says Daniel, “Matthew 17:20 tells us that faith as small as a mustard seed can make great things happen. I am living testimony that this is true.”
Daniel’s experience convinced him that he needed to be more intentional about witnessing to others, so they could experience the same peace he is experiencing. He decided one way to do that was to sign up to become a Friend of Gideons. As a Friend, Daniel has opportunities to participate closely with Gideons in reaching the lost with God’s Word. He also receives regular updates about the impact Gideons are making throughout the world.
“After everything I have been through and all the battles I fought, I have realized that there is a tremendous amount of need,” he says. “So many people either do not know God or are too involved in their daily routine that they forget about how He can deliver them from their pain and hardships. The Gideon New Testament was given to me so that I would have it in my most desperate time of need, and it gave me peace when I needed it most. In return, I would like to continue spreading His Word by providing people with New Testaments.”
Daniel plans to take New Testaments to the cancer center he visits so he can provide them to the patients undergoing treatment. He explains, “When you get news like the news that was given to me, it is devastating. The people undergoing treatment are in a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally. I know that receiving a New Testament will be a real blessing, just like it was to me.”
“I feel connected to The Gideons by being a Friend,” says Daniel. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of this Association, because I know that we are making a difference in the world.”
If you would like to find out how you can serve, as either a prayer or a financial partner, along with more than 90,000 other Friends of Gideons throughout the world, please click here.
Equipping The World’s Military For Spiritual Battle
A serviceman in a Special Forces unit in Ecuador reads his Service Testament moments after receiving it from Gideons during the 2015 Ecuador International Scripture Blitz. “This is the greatest weapon you will own… use it, read it, and I promise you will be more effective soldiers,” the unit’s commanding officer told his troops.
The Gideons International officially began distributing Scriptures to soldiers in 1941 at induction centers under the motto, “arm them with the Gospel too.” While Gideons are mostly known for placing God’s Word in hotels, reaching the lost with the Gospel includes distribution of Scriptures at the military installations of a multitude of countries, including The USA, The British Isles, The Republic of China, Korea, Latin America, West Africa, and Japan. Last year, Gideons placed and distributed over 1.7 million Service Testaments.
Members of the Venezuelan National Guard in Puerto la Cruz explore the Scriptures they received from Gideons during the 2016 Venezuela International Scripture Blitz.
As Christians, we are all called into a spiritual battle. Ours is a fight for the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls. By sharing God’s Word with the military, Gideons are equipping servicemen and servicewomen with the greatest weapon of all:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Just In Time For Pearl Harbor
Gideons have been distributing Scriptures to men and women in the armed forces since 1941. Through trusting the Lord and regular time spent in God’s Word, a soldier is armed for spiritual battles.
In 1940, Charles J. Pietsch, a member of The Gideons International, felt led to contact the Chief Chaplains of both the U.S. Army and Navy. He was seeking permission to give a copy of the New Testament to every man and woman in the armed forces of the U.S. who wished to receive one.
Navy Chief Chaplain R.D. Workman met with Mr. Pietsch in Washington D.C. and immediately granted approval to the proposal to offer Testaments to naval personnel.
So in January of 1941, the decision to supply armed forces with copies of God’s Word was approved by The Gideons International and 50,000 Testaments were ordered.
On December 2, 1941, some of the first Service Testaments from The Gideons were distributed to the U.S. Navy personnel at Pearl Harbor. Five days later, Pearl Harbor became ground zero for a date that would live in infamy.
Years later, in 1949, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur sent a telegram to The Gideons International asking that a representative of The Gideons International be sent to Japan to “Make first hand survey of situation [sic]” in regards to distributing New Testaments to the people there stating that, “Your assistance will be of inestimable value.” The Gideons responded to the request and in 1950 the first Gideon camp in Japan was established.
God’s Word Brings Peace, Even In War
Veteran Carl Crisp received his New Testament from The Gideons at an induction center in Houston, TX. Crisp served in the US Army as a UH-1 helicopter crew chief during the Vietnam war. “I carried my New Testament with me at every duty station during my time in Vietnam. It was a comfort to me–a constant reminder of God’s love and of my salvation should I not return home.” Crisp says he remembers his comrades also held onto their New Testaments and often saw his fellow servicemen reading the Scriptures. Today, Crisp serves the Lord as a Gideon in the Palestine Camp, Texas.
Last year, Gideons placed and distributed over 1.7 million Service Testaments to military in a number of countries, territories, and possessions – from Japan to Latin America.
One way The Gideons International has been able to reach servicemen and servicewomen is by working through military chaplains throughout the world. Michael Kelly, Chaplain at Fort Jackson, SC, knows just how great the need for spiritual guidance is among soldiers. “With every new group of soldiers that comes through for training, I get to see an entire cross-section of America, and really from around the world. They come from all walks of life, with the same problems we all face, most of them looking to fill a void. It is at this moment that they reach out and we place a book in their hands–the New Testament provided by Gideons.”
Answering Another Call To Active Service
While disembarking from the U.S.S. Breckenridge after its return from the Korean War, serviceman Orv Room received a New Testament from The Gideons. “Over 50 years later, I still have it in my possession,” says Orv. He says its message transformed his life. In fact, Orv began serving in The Gideons in 1956 and his wife, Corine, joined the Auxiliary in 1957. They still serve in the Sacramento North Camp, California.
After graduating from the University of Houston, Jim Blunk joined the military. He attended flight school and became an Army helicopter pilot. While serving overseas in Operation Desert Storm, he noticed a chaplain bringing boxes of New Testaments into the mess tent. Jim witnessed lives being transformed and baptisms taking place in the middle of the desert. Though his father was a pastor and had always taught him about the Lord while growing up, Jim admits he didn’t fully understand what it meant to be a Christian until he was an adult.
In the mid 1990s, Jim was recruited for a different type of service by a retired colonel, who also served in The Gideons. Since 1997, Jim and his wife, Lannis, have served with the Granbury Camp of Gideons in Texas, helping to reach lost men, women, boys, and girls with God’s Word.
When we introduce soldiers to Scripture, we’re introducing those who are ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for their nation to the One who sacrificed his life for the sins of the whole world.
We thank God for bringing so many from the trenches to His side through the reading of His Word. Please continue to pray for the safety of the men and women in uniform around the world, and for the chaplains who serve them.
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God Brings A Harvest In Uganda
As Gideons shared Scriptures with thousands and thousands of students, they saw a harvest of souls, as many prayed to receive Christ.
The Gideons International partners with churches in 200 countries, territories and possessions to reach lost men, women, boys and girls with God’s Word, so that lives may be transformed by the Gospel as they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One of the countries where Gideons place and distribute God’s Word is Uganda.
Gideons in Uganda prepare for reaching the lost through Scripture distributions in the 2016 Uganda International Scripture Blitz.
This June, Gideons and Auxiliary hosted the 2016 Uganda International Scripture Blitz in the cities of Hoima and Masindi. Gideons from the USA and the British Isles also came to Uganda to help carry out the distributions.
“When you talk about the uttermost parts of the world, this is it,” says blitz team leader Gary Richardson of the West Wilson Camp, Tennessee. “It leaves you with a sense of how far-reaching The Gideons International is.”
Gideons in Uganda did an excellent job of planning for the blitz. Transportation, which can be a big challenge in such rural areas, was in place and Scriptures were boxed up and waiting for distribution.
Some roads the teams drove on had not seen any automobile traffic in weeks or months.
“We encountered washed out roads that were virtually impassable by any standard in the USA or Europe,” said one Gideon on the blitz. “We can literally feel the prayers from people all over the world for us. There’s no other way we could continue to move forward under these conditions.”
Worshipping With The Uttermost
The first Sunday in Uganda, one team member presented at a local church that partners with The Gideons International. In these churches, it is not uncommon to see people bringing produce such as bananas or mangos as their offering.
A collection was taken for The Gideons International and the total amount was about 40,000 shillings, which equals about $15 USD. Given that the annual wages for 60 hours of labor a week in Uganda would likely be less than $500, the collection total was an example of people giving abundantly, even in their lack.
Going In Faith
Dwight Carter, a Gideon from Tennessee, ran into some early problems securing his visa. Someone asked him, “Aren’t you worried?” “Nope,” replied Dwight. “The Lord put this team together. I just follow through with what I’m supposed to do and let the Lord take care of the rest.”
Tim Thuemling is a Gideon from the Waukesha West Camp, Wisconsin/Upper Michigan. As a partner in a manufacturing company, he shifted his focus from his busy schedule to help out in this Scripture blitz.
One of the blessings Tim experienced occurred as the Word of God was placed at a large health clinic. By the end of the placement, 21 souls had received Christ. “What a joy, as these people came in search of physical healing, and instead left the clinic with the pure spiritual healing that only Jesus Christ can provide,” says Tim.
Early in the blitz, one of the distribution teams drove their truck into a huge mud hole. If the truck got stuck, it could create a serious dilemma in reaching many of the schools scheduled to receive Scriptures. After three attempts to power the truck out of the mud, the Gideon behind the wheel of the vehicle told the other three Gideons in the vehicle their best hope was to pray. The team prayed and the driver made one more attempt. “This time, it felt as if there were people from behind pushing the vehicle out of the mud,” said one of the Gideons. “We just drove right up onto the road.”
Gideons Sow And Witness The Harvest
Schools were just starting back for the summer, and for the first few days, student attendance was very light. By the end of the week, attendance was back to normal. As Gideons made their distributions, the students bowed after receiving their Scriptures as a sign of respect.
In Masindi, Gideons arrived at a military base to distribute Scriptures at two schools inside the base. When they approached the officials, the team was turned away because they did not have all of the required authorizations. That night at the hotel, the team shared their experience with some of the other Gideons. A Gideon employed by Uganda’s Department of Defense, accompanied the team the next day as they returned to the base. As the other Gideons prayed for an open door, the Gideon was able to speak with the military officials and secured the opportunity to distribute Scriptures. Those open doors allowed about 1,600 students and faculty to receive Scriptures that day.
At a prison in Masindi, Gideons distributed over 1,300 Scriptures to inmates and were able to deliver a full presentation of the Gospel. When they offered the prisoners an invitation to receive Christ, 44 inmates came forward ready to place their faith in Jesus.
Gideons saw evidence that other Gideons had been to Uganda’s uttermost areas years ago. They met one woman who received a Scripture at a school when she was a child. It led to her receiving Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Today, she is the director of a school. They also met another woman who grew up in a Muslim home in Uganda. As a child, she received a New Testament from Gideons. After reading it, she placed her faith in Jesus, and today she is a school teacher.
Gideons Return Home Eager To Continue Sharing Christ
Blitz participant John Coldwell has operated a travel agency for the past 20 years in the British Isles. While he has made travel arrangements for many other Gideons on International Scripture Blitzes, the Scripture blitz in Uganda was his first to participate in himself.
A group of boys explore their New Testaments after receiving them from Gideons during the 2016 Uganda ISB.
“I was greatly impressed by the children,” says Coldwell. “They were polite, courteous, obedient, joyful, and thoroughly charming.” At each distribution, Coldwell told the children how precious they were, how much God loved them, and how much He desired they love Him back.
“The experience has made a deep impression on me. The people and children in Uganda were, almost without exception, some of the kindest and most hospitable I have ever met, making it easy to witness to them.” Coldwell, who attends a church in the village of Dinnington, says it has also reminded him that the people of his homeland are just as precious to God, though they are not as easy to witness to. “I must redouble my efforts to reach them in whatever way I can. In a sense, I have received a gift from Uganda—seeing anew God’s love for mankind through these wonderfully gentle people.”
Blitz participant Tim Thuemling is a member of Highview Evangelical Church in Wisconsin. He says this experience left him with a deeper conviction and love for the lost in his hometown. “Sometimes we can forget about the people who live close to us, but this trip reinforced to me the truth that the Gospel must be shared with everyone and that my busy schedule should not hamper that.”
While Gideons rejoice that so many in Uganda received Scriptures and made public decisions to receive Christ, they also know many more lives need to be reached with the Gospel. That thought has been weighing heavily on one of the Gideons who shared, “We would be at a school giving out Scriptures to students in fifth grade. We would see some of the younger children watching us from behind trees or through school windows, wishing they were old enough to receive a copy of God’s Word. I just wonder, will someone be able to reach them with a copy of God’s Word in the years to come?”
By the end of the blitz, 80,717 copies of God’s Word were sown in Hoima and Masindi. We praise God for the open doors and receptivity the Gideons experienced during this blitz. We pray that as men, women, boys, and girls read the Scriptures received, they will place their faith in the Lord and continue to draw closer to Him. We thank the pastors, churches, donors, and others who supported this blitz through their prayers and donations.
Gideons Bring Living Water To Uganda
Some of the students who received Scriptures from The Gideons in the 2016 Uganda International Scripture Blitz
Last week, Gideons and Auxiliary hosted the 2016 Uganda International Scripture Blitz in the cities of Hoima and Masindi.
Thousands of students now have their own copy of God’s Word they can take home to their families. There are so many testimonies from people placing their faith in Christ after having a Scripture placed in their hand. However, it’s the small encounters that provide big results.
One person Gideons met last week was Flora. She runs a small cafe in a rural area outside of Hoima. Several Gideons stopped there for bottled water after driving on the dusty roads to the next Scripture distribution. They began talking to Flora about what they were doing.
They presented her with a New Testament and showed her the “helps” section and the plan of salvation in it. The conversation came to the point they asked Flora if she would like to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. “Yes, I would,” she replied.
One of the Gideons led Flora in a prayer to ask Jesus into her heart. They rejoiced that they only needed bottled water, but the Lord arranged it so they could offer Flora living water, that she may never thirst again. Thank God for dry, dusty roads.
We also thank God for the many more testimonies we will share with you from this recent Scripture blitz. Keep watching for more news and testimonies from the Uganda International Scripture Blitz.
Gideons Partner Across The World To Reach The Lost for Christ
Pastor Horne and other members of the worship team lead a recent service at Crossroads Fellowship in Nyali, Kenya
The Gideons International partners with churches in 200 countries, territories and possessions to help reach the lost with God’s Word. Ultimately, this results in more men, women, boys, and girls coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
One of the churches Gideons partner with is Crossroads Fellowship, a 1,200 member congregation in the coastal town of Nyali, Kenya. The church’s senior pastor is Jim Horne, who moved to Kenya from the USA. He and his wife, Susie, have served in ministry in Kenya for nearly 40 years. In addition to supporting many local ministry efforts, the church also designates donations each month to The Gideons International.
The pastor was inspired to partner with Gideons after discovering one of his members was an employee of The Gideons International. “I realized this gentleman was travelling all over the world, so I asked him, ‘What are you doing on these travels?’” The Gideon replied by telling the pastor he was helping spread the Gospel through his service in The Gideons International. This touched the pastor. “How could I not support The Gideons?” he says. The pastor says he feels it is important to support ministry efforts his church members are involved with.
“The Bible says we’re to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That doesn’t happen just by prayer and the Holy Spirit,” says the pastor. “It has to be the proper knowledge, dwelling on the Scriptures.”
If you travel around Kenya, you can see churches, schools, and even a Bible college built as a direct result of the church’s dedication to impacting lives for Christ. Education has become a primary component of Jim and Susie’s outreach. “I want to make sure everyone we educate in Africa has a Bible, regardless of their religious background,” says Horne. “The best way to do that is through partnering with The Gideons International.”
We thank Pastor Jim and Susie for their joint effort with The Gideons International to help share God’s Word. We praise God for how He is working through their ministry. Please pray for the Lord’s continued blessings on the Horne family and their ministry.
You and your church can partner with The Gideons International, too. Click here to learn more.
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Ride for Christ
Brent Young is a 54-year-old Gideon from Warsaw, Missouri. Like many of his fellow Gideons, he enjoys watching people come to Christ, handing out the Word of God, and hearing testimonies of how God is changing lives around the world. However, Young’s ministry is unique in one way—he operates from the saddle of a red Trek bicycle.
In 2012, Brent Young decided it was time to start over. He had been an alcoholic, a drug addict, and bound by the desires of the world. God pursued him, and he knew he had to stop running. In fact, he knew God was calling him to start riding.
Before he found the Lord, Young had toyed with the idea of riding a bike on long expeditions just to see if he could. However, after he became a Christian, he knew God was calling him to take his dream a little further, “I just prayed and asked God, ‘What can I do? You’ve done so much for me, what can I do for you?’ And He told me, ‘You love to ride your bike. Ride for me.’” Since then, Young has been biking across America under the motto “Ride for Christ.”
“This is not my first ride. The first ride I did was a thousand miles, and my second ride was over 2,500 miles,” says Young. He is now on his third tour across the USA, currently pedaling through mile 1,240 in Winslow, Arizona.
The Gideons in his home camp back in Missouri have not seen him in quite some time. However, Young is still meeting with Gideons for prayer and encouragement in the towns he rides through. “I feel like part of a big family when I meet with Gideons across different states,” he says, “They hug me and recharge my spirit to continue spreading the Gospel.” Gideons along his journey often pray over him and replenish his saddle bag with New Testaments to share with those he meets on the road. So far, Young has biked through 17 states and placed copies of God’s Word into around 300 hands.
Dan is one of the many people Young had an opportunity to share the Gospel with. While resting at a traffic corner in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dan asked Young why he was riding. Young replied simply that he was spreading the Word of Jesus and handing out Scriptures. Without missing a beat, Dan asked for a copy, and Young was able to give him a New Testament and witness to him. “It was the best part of my day,” said Young.
The road is not always easy. In fact, riding with the buzzing sound of semi-trucks speeding by, going against the wind, through heat and exhaustion—these are common struggles Young faces on a typical day’s ride. However, the heaviest burden he experiences is seeing the spiritual drought most people live in.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he says, “I have been where people steal my clothes, I’ve been assaulted, I’ve been rejected. But I’ve also felt the Holy Spirit protect me every day. I’ve seen the beauty of God’s creation across many lands, and I’ve seen the beauty of His people. When you’re actually out here in the world, among the people, you’re attuned to people’s needs in a different way. I am just trying to be the light in whatever way God leads me to be.”
In a recent post on his Facebook page, Young sports a yellow poncho and talks about the beauty of riding in the rain, “This is Sunday. I got to worship, I got a wide road, and it’s all good. It’s good to hear the birds singing after the rain. They’re happy…and so am I. It’s good to be out here serving God.”
Lord willing, Young plans to continue his ride to California before heading home. You can pray with us for his safety on the road, as well as his strength spiritually, as he witnesses to those he meets.
Sharing God’s Word On Rocky Soil
Montie Matlock, a Gideon from the USA, talks with a hotel clerk during the 2016 Malaysia blitz about the plan of salvation.
Last week, Gideons in Malaysia welcomed Gideons from other parts of the world as they came together to witness and share God’s Word during the 2016 Malaysia International Scripture Blitz.
On the Sunday before leaving for the blitz, Montie Matlock, a Gideon from Jackson, Tennessee, stood in the hallway of Englewood Baptist Church with his pastor, Jordan Easley. The pastor prayed for Montie as he was about to head to Malaysia and start the work of placing Scriptures in hotels, schools, and jails.
The Gideons of Malaysia were very encouraged to have Gideons from other countries of the world come to the city of Penang to help them reach the lost for Jesus. As the teams made Scripture distributions at schools, the Malaysian Gideons would run from student to student, placing God’s Word into their hands. “They were all in,” says Matlock in terms of their dedication in sharing the Gospel.
The restrictions in Malaysia on sharing Scriptures makes distributing God’s Word there especially challenging. However, God’s Word gets through despite the country being a mix of Islam (60%), Buddhist (19%), Christian (9%) and Hindu (6%) amongst others.
By the end of the week-long blitz, Gideons and Auxiliary distributed more than 38,500 copies of God’s Word. Scriptures were distributed in three different languages: Chinese, English, and Tamil.
Matlock says this blitz was one of the most challenging he has participated in, calling it the “rockiest soil” in which he’s ever tried to sow God’s Word. However, he says it’s not about the number of Scriptures distributed, but about being faithful to go where the Lord would have you go and serve in the way He would have you serve. “I believe we accomplished one very important thing that I pray we always leave behind: Hope not only for the lost, but for the local Gideons and pastors to know we understand the soil they are working.”
On a Friday evening, a total of 150 Gideons and church representatives joined together for a pastors appreciation dinner. The local pastors of Penang expressed their appreciation for all the Scriptures that were distributed in the area. Isaiah 55:11 reminds us, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty.”
The Gideons International is an association of Christian business and professional men and their wives dedicated to telling people about Jesus through sharing personally and by providing Bibles and New Testaments. While we are known worldwide for our work with hotels, we predominantly share Scriptures in schools and colleges, prisons and jails, hospitals, and medical offices. We also provide Scriptures daily to police and fire personnel and members of the armed forces.
The Gideons International partners with churches anywhere, to reach the unreached everywhere—from Jackson, Tennessee to Penang, Malaysia.
Follow us on that journey by becoming a prayer partner.
From Prisoner To Professor
Christopher Yuan was at home when he heard a knock at his front door.
He opened the door to find himself surrounded by a dozen federal agents and police officers, as well as two large German shepherds. For Christopher’s parents, this moment was an answer to prayer.
Watch Christopher share his story in this touching testimony of God’s redemptive power.
A Child Of God Whose Life Touched Many
On April 17th, Mary Kay Beard passed into the presence of the Lord. As a frequent speaker at events of The Gideons International, she shared the powerful testimony of how Jesus changed her life. And there’s no doubt her story will continue to inspire those who hear it.
As a notorious safecracker and bank robber, Mary was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list by the age of 27.
On September 22, 1972, the law caught up with Mary and she was arrested. While awaiting trial from her Alabama jail cell, she noticed one of the Bibles placed there by Gideons.
When Mary opened that Bible, she read the following passage:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27
Lying restless in her bunk in the middle of the night, Mary began reviewing her life. The memories were painful.
She had left home at the age of 15 after suffering a nervous breakdown brought about by her intense hatred of her alcoholic father. A few years later, she married a man she had only known for nine days. She later discovered he was a criminal and eventually she became one, too.
Reflecting on her poor choices while behind those prison bars, the passage from Ezekiel echoed in her mind.
Desperate and broken, Mary slid down from the metal bunk and onto the cold, cement floor. Kneeling she prayed, “Lord help me. I’ve made such a mess of everything. If your promise is true, and if You love me as John 3:16 says, then take my life and make it whatever You want it to be.”
Mary later recalled what happened after that prayer. “As tears streamed unchecked down my face, a flood of joy filled my whole being. I felt light, as though I’d been loosed from a mighty anchor.”
“Since becoming a child of God, I have learned that many people out there in the free world are prisoners in way that is worse than my confinement,” Mary wrote from her prison cell in 1978. “They’re prisoners of lust and greed, of drink and drugs, of hatred and selfishness, and of a thousand other things. They are slaves of their own passions, neither happy nor free. I know because I have been one.”
Mary’s experience behind bars also helped her to understand the loneliness of those in confinement. After she was released from prison, she founded the Angel Tree ministry to help prisoners and their families draw closer together by drawing them to Jesus. For more than 25 years, she served in ministry, reaching the lost by showing God’s love.
As we praise God for Mary Kay Beard’s testimony, our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family.
In the Aftermath of Ecuador’s Earthquake, Gideons Share the Hope of Jesus with Survivors
A young woman at an emergency shelter in Ecuador reads her copy of God’s Word, received from Gideons.
As faithful Christians, Gideons and their wives are dedicated to telling people about Jesus, no matter what the circumstances.
So when a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador in April, The Gideons International implemented the Disaster Scripture Distribution Program. Members of The Gideons in Ecuador responded by placing copies of God’s Word into the hands of those impacted by the disaster. Since the earthquake, Gideons and Auxiliary have distributed over 19,000 Scriptures in Portoviejo, Manta, Bahia, and Chone.
Vanessa, one of the earthquake survivors who has decided to follow Jesus after receiving a Scripture from The Gideons
Vanessa was one of the earthquake survivors to receive a New Testament from Gideons. She and her husband escaped piling rubble from their building’s collapse through the doors of a meat packing shop on the ground floor. Those doors are always padlocked but at the time of the quake, the locks were not in place. Vanessa acknowledges only God could have known the people living in her building needed those doors unlocked to escape. With God’s Word now in her possession, she has decided to follow Him in her everyday life, and thanks God for His protection. Please keep Vanessa and her husband in your prayers as they are among the many who lost their homes to the quake.
A young man finds rest at an Ecuador emergency shelter as he reads a New Testament received from The Gideons.
We thank the Lord for our members in Ecuador and for their faithful service in reaching out to share the love of Jesus in the midst of these devastating events. We thank all our supporters whose donations provide for Scriptures to help the lost and hurting find the everlasting hope that comes only from a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Please keep praying for the families of those who died in the earthquake, as well as for all who have lost homes and other personal property.
If you would like to give to The Gideons International, please click here.
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