Daily life during 2020 continues to change. What began as fear, panic, and uncertainty for many believers has also produced a renewed sense of peace and thankfulness for every present moment God gives us. It seems this year has been a stark reminder to make the most of the influence we have as Christ-followers…as men and women who understand the lasting hope found only in the Gospel.
In late July, Gideons and Auxiliary began leaning into God’s direction to take action. While many of our normal ministry activities were put on hold, we knew God had a unique assignment for us. Following His leading, we launched an effort called Reach Responders—a simple way to show appreciation to those in our communities and neighborhoods worldwide who are helping others during this time. These men and women often feel empty and drained after pouring into others. Such exhaustion is the perfect place for God’s peace, love, and comfort to intervene. In addition to expressing appreciation, Gideons and Auxiliary are taking this opportunity to pray for these individuals, and offer a Testament, explaining how Scripture gives lasting hope during our toughest times.
So, how is Reach Responders working? We’ve gathered some recent success stories to show how God is at work through this effort.
Gideons and Auxiliary in Illinois knew it was time to act after one Gideon had an interaction with a frontline worker at a local hospital who was exhausted and discouraged. This opened the door for them to distribute Testaments to over 50 frontline workers. In addition to the free gift of Scripture, they also provided lunch as a way to let the workers know they are appreciated. Members in Illinois continue to look for opportunities to reach others who may be searching for the light of Jesus Christ.
Adolfo, a Gideon from the Dominican Republic, shared the following recap from Reach Responders efforts in his region:
Reach Responders is a gift from Heaven. Our members are shoulder to shoulder and face to face with these men and women, working to win the lost for Christ. Seven people came to know Christ in the Dominican Republic in just one Scripture distribution to first responders. Reach Responders is encouraging our camps to work—to fight the good battle of faith. Thanks be to God for what He allows us to do. We are working under all the protective guidelines to take care of our members’ health. We are blessed to know the Lord and declare His great name!
Don and his wife, Brenda, from Somerset, Kentucky, recently reconnected with a young man they knew from Sunday School, who is now a police officer in Somerset. Don and Brenda could tell this season has been hard for him and his team. Don wanted to do something, so he went to his fellow Gideons with a plan. Together, they visited the Somerset Police Department for a time of Scripture distribution and prayer.
“Our members are shoulder to shoulder and face to face with these men and women, working to win the lost for Christ.”
The local officers were grateful for the Gideons and their ministry efforts. These Gideons hope to reach all local fire departments and emergency medical services over the next few months.
Bradford County, Pennsylvania
Eager to embrace Reach Responders, Dale, a Gideon from Pennsylvania, decided to contact police stations and emergency services personnel in his community. He began by thanking these men and women, then he asked if he and fellow Gideons could come by for a visit. The responses were unanimous: yes! The Gideons spent three days distributing God’s Word and expressing words of appreciation to local responders.
Because He First Loved Us
As Christ followers, we are called to love one another, just as Christ first loved us. John 13:35 (ESV) tells us, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Scripture distribution and personal witnessing are just two of the tangible ways that Gideons and Auxiliary worldwide love others in their communities.
“As Christ followers, we are called to love one another, just as Christ first loved us.”
We are thankful for the ways God is allowing us to remain active in ministry and present in local communities by opening doors to share the Gospel with medical personnel and first responders. It has been and continues to be a blessing to put the Word of God into seeking hands. There is no greater gift or answer than the truth of Scripture.
We invite you today, and in the days ahead, to look for the doors God is opening around you. Let us together continue to seek first His Kingdom, His will, and His righteousness to bring hope to the world.