The Gideons International delights in being a missionary arm of the local church. Throughout our history, members of this Association have locked arms with pastors and churches to reach more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter what circumstances may arise across the globe, this mission will never change.
For four pastors from four unique parts of the world, serving alongside local Gideons and Auxiliary has resulted in fruitful ministry. May their experiences inspire other Christ followers to keep sharing the Gospel and encourage pastors to faithfully continue equipping the body of Christ.
Pastor Jose (Colombia)
As Pastor Jose prays and thinks through the ways he and his congregation can best impact families with the Gospel in Bogotá, Colombia, The Gideons International comes to mind. Twenty-six years ago, in the city of Cali, he encountered the Association when a church member invited him to a meeting with The Gideons. “I very much enjoyed the testimonies, and I liked what I heard,” Pastor Jose affectionately recalls. Since becoming a pastor, he has stayed in close contact with The Gideons. In fact, a Gideon frequently comes to his congregation to share how God is using the Association. His congregation also invited local Gideons to train, equip, and help them share their faith. He knows The Gideons provides an opportunity for those in his church to participate in expanding the Kingdom by adding new believers. “When I look at the Gideon emblem, I immediately think of reach and impact. I have had a long admiration for the work God is doing through The Gideons International,” says Pastor Jose.
Pastor Raja (India)
Pastor Raja in India has also been ministered to on a personal level by The Gideons. He first learned about The Gideons while working for Lufthansa. Every hotel he stayed in had a Bible placed by The Gideons. “There were times when I felt low, and I used to open the Bible in the hotel for comfort. I don’t know whether you can comprehend what you have done to save lives. This ministry has been influential in so many people’s lives. It has been in my own life,” says Pastor Raja. Another connection to The Gideons has been through a spiritual figure in his life—a woman he now calls Mom. She has family members who are Gideons and mentioned the Association as a great ministry partner. Through her influence, his church now partners with The Gideons to provide more Scriptures. Raja looks forward to a continued partnership and hearing about the many people changed by the Gospel. He knows with the truth of the Gospel, a significant impact can be made for the Kingdom.
Pastor David (Florida)
Pastor David Delph, who leads First Presbyterian Church in Plant City, Florida, treasures the worldwide impact his congregation and Gideons make together. He has welcomed Gideons to share with his congregants about the work God is doing in and through the Association. “I began to learn more about The Gideons by having lunch with the members who came and shared with us. After the worship service, we would eat, and I heard the stories and passion for getting the Word out. I got a grasp of what God was doing through these interactions.” Pastor David also loves The Gideons’ passion for coming alongside him and his congregation as an arm of the Church. It’s a phrase he has heard many times over the years and has experienced firsthand as a pastor. “One of the desires of Gideons is to be a tool that your church can use to send Scriptures to a place that, perhaps, your church can’t physically get to, but together we can get the Word out.” He loves the healthy relationship he has with Gideons in Plant City. “They come beside us and don’t ask for anything of us. Never once have Gideons put pressure on me to do anything. They simply want to be there as an arm of the Church—to get the Word that changed my life and the lives of many others out into the world.”
Pastor Derek (Colorado)
Pastor Derek Jones serves as the lead pastor at Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado—a 60-year-old congregation known for international missions, intentional discipleship, and reproducing/funding church plants. Within the 750-member congregation, nearly 20 faithful Gideons serve as key leaders in the church. Not growing up in church, Pastor Derek had previously never met a Gideon. Yet, he quickly became a huge supporter of the Association’s vision and ministry reach. “I have gotten to know these godly men in our church as we serve together,” says Pastor Derek. He continues, “I think about Gideons like Bob in my church who always has a Testament with him and is faithfully sharing Jesus with others. That is the type of example I desire to see in all our members—that is what I want to see reproduced.”
“There is no better time to get the Word of God in people’s hands,” he says. “The church grows when it gets persecuted. The passion of Gideons for Jesus Christ needs to continue to change the culture of the local church. I’m excited about what the Lord will do in the days ahead.”
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul gives his young protégé timely instruction. He teaches Timothy to “…always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5 ESV) These past several months have been challenging for pastors and churches. However, God is faithful, and The Gideons International is extremely thankful for the countless men and women called of God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We applaud how God uses you to fulfill your ministry, and we stand beside you as partners to fulfill the Great Commission.