God’s Faithfulness Continues
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Gideons International! God has accomplished so much this past fiscal year and beyond for His glory. We are eternally grateful for the role we play in sharing the hope of the Gospel. Join us in celebrating the following ways God has been using the ministry of The Gideons International to reach more people for Him:
Bru Language Bible Becomes the 109th Translation Approved for Gideon Use
In late 2020, the Bru translation Bible was approved for distribution by The Gideons. It is the 109th language translation of God’s Word made available for placement and distribution wherever Gideons are active in service around the world. The Bru community is one of the twenty-one tribes in the Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura—and with a population of about 600,000, they are the second-largest tribe in Tripura. Most of the Bru are poor and live in very remote areas. Although many have adopted more modern agricultural practices, they are primarily a farming community. The majority of the Bru people follow the Hindu religion. This means they are polytheists who believe in multiple gods and goddesses. Bru also observe Animism, which includes the worship of ancestors, along with fire spirits and the spirits of rice. The new Gideon-sponsored translation will help these Bru people understand that there is only one true God who deserves their worship and devotion.
A Successful Scripture Blitz in Antsirabe, Madagascar
This past January was the first time Gideons in Antsirabe, Madagascar, organized an in-country Scripture blitz. Antsirabe is a town located south of the capital city, Antananarivo. Eight Gideons, consisting of four teams of two, visited several distribution venues. The teams faced challenges due to the rainy season. At times, members had to ride motorcycles and hire a rickshaw to transport the Scriptures from location to location. These obstacles didn’t prevent the men from fulfilling the Kingdom work God had prepared for them. God answered their prayers as Gideons surpassed the goal of impacting 30,000 people with the Gospel. Gideons reached over 39,000 people in just five days, sharing God’s Word at 121 schools, one jail, and two military camps.
God Working Amid a Condo Collapse
On June 24, 2021, a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed, leaving nearly 100 people confirmed dead. Through all of the disaster and loss of life, God worked in the hearts of survivors and those who had lost loved ones. Gideons reached out to survivors in a nearby hotel, as well as people still waiting to hear about their loved ones. Members from Miami and surrounding areas supplied Testaments to one Gideon, who is a first responder. He was able to share them with those inside the disaster area, which had limited access.
Gideons also connected with local chaplains from the Red Cross. South Florida Lead Chaplain Pat Lucey said, “Gideons have been a blessing to work with here in Miami. Keep us in prayer. It is heartbreaking, yet God is working in the hearts of people like I haven’t seen in a long time.”
“Gideons have been a blessing to work with here in Miami. Keep us in prayer. It is heartbreaking, yet God is working in the hearts of people like I haven’t seen in a long time.”
—South Florida Red Cross Lead Chaplain Pat Lucey
Hope in the Midst of Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida presented another opportunity to reach people in need. This hurricane struck the Louisiana coast in September 2021—exactly 16 years to the day when Hurricane Katrina hit the same coast. While relief efforts were soon underway, many felt overwhelmed by the long road ahead. Many local members lost their businesses and suffered major damage to their homes. “We know God’s Word provides the ultimate comfort and hope during the worst of times. Gideons and Auxiliary are thankful for the opportunities God gave them to share Scriptures and encouragement. Almost everyone we offered a Scripture and prayer to were open and grateful, even crying when we shared words of comfort and hope,” said Chris, a Gideon from Louisiana. Over 25,000 Scriptures were shared with those suffering from the devastation.
Growing Again after 2020
These are just four short stories of impact in which God used ordinary Christian business and professional men, along with their wives, to reach people for Jesus—offering hope to people in their most challenging moments of life.
We celebrate worldwide growth in Scripture distributions coming out of the pandemic. Over the past fiscal year, 3.9 million Scriptures were distributed in the United States, over 2.9 million in Latin America, over 4.1 million in Africa, and over 16 million Scriptures in Asia. Our Scripture receipts have increased including funds given through the GideonCard Bible Program, which increased 20% last year and is growing another 10% this year. This allows us to impact more and more people with the hope of the Gospel.
Through training and encouragement, we are seeing an increased utilization of Testaments by Gideons and Auxiliary on a personal basis, as they individually share their faith with those God places in their path.
We are thankful for the opportunities our members had to meet and pray together utilizing online platforms. Members in California were even able to have a virtual Pastors Event to pray for and encourage pastors and their wives. One pastor said following the event, “My wife and I would like to thank you and all those involved in providing the Pastors Appreciation Event. We truly felt appreciated by their words and stories of how God’s Word impacts people worldwide through The Gideons. The Association’s sincere appreciation for pastors came through to us loud and clear. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in including us in a memorable evening.”
In addition, we praise God for new members joining this Association all over the world. Our prayer of gratitude is the same as the apostle Paul to the church of Thessalonica—“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 ESV).
This holiday season we pray you and your family will enjoy time together remembering the Savior’s birth. As we celebrate, we are eternally grateful for the moments He has allowed us to share the hope of the Gospel with people all over the world.