Category Archives: UK News

Warcop Army Training Camp

Hi Everyone

Greetings from sunny Cumbria.

Yesterday, bright and early, Jim and Jenny McCallum along with William and June Allen from South Lakeland Branch visited the Army Training Camp at Warcop in Cumbria. Nearly 400 Cadets from the Lothian and Borders Battalion were in the camp for two weeks training.


Their Padre, Cameron Mackenzie, a fantastic Christian ambassador, gave the Cadets a wonderful “Gideon Talk” on the parade ground, using the illustration of a sat nav. He emphasised the need for direction and guidance in all the complexities of life. The Bible provides both.

Padre Cameron Mackenzie
Padre Cameron Mackenzie

Jim then made a presentation of an Army Cadet Force Badged Camouflage Testament to a 17 year old young Cadet which was gratefully received after which we ended up in the camp coffee shop talking with the uniformed Army Cadet trainers.

A very worthwhile experience!

Jim McCallum 
Jim McCallum making the presentation to a Cadet

Struggling at school

Lord bless you

Dear Gideons

A few years ago I wrote to thank you on behalf of our son for the New Testament you placed in his hands at the beginning of his first year in secondary school.

Three years later as he moves into Year 10 that New Testament is still his most treasured possession and well read. He has other Bibles, but that one goes pretty much everywhere and he reads it at night. He has since left that school and attends a different secondary school however that visit and that gift was probably the most treasured and import life lines in what was otherwise a grim time at the previous school. The Lord is gracious, however, and he is now extremely happy in his new school and still walking with the Lord.

However, that isn’t the main reason I am contacting you. Once more it is to say a huge ‘thank you’.

My father, now in his late 70s, was admitted into hospital yesterday in Telford. As the years have gone by he has become very frail, has many medical conditions and although he loves the Lord still, has become increasingly stubborn and belligerent. He is also convinced that everything he reads in the press is true to the letter and as a consequence he has a completely irrational fear of hospitals.

After a long and tiring day of tests and admission procedures he arrived in the ward yesterday evening. As I was unpacking his bag, at the back of the locker I spotted a Gideons New Testament. And that is why I am emailing you.

I showed it to him and he became so excited and genuinely happy. I can’t say what a blessing that was. I have no idea if he will ever leave the hospital and if he does if he will ever go home but he was delighted to find that Bible yesterday.

So, could I say a huge ‘thank you’ to whoever placed those Bibles in that hospital. You helped settle a very awkward patient in a hospital he hates. That Bible brought him peace.

Please persevere with your work. It is tough in the public arena in the UK today but do know you are making a huge difference. Our Lord and Saviour is gracious, compassionate and loving. Above all He knows His own – even if they have turned into grumpy old men! His Word is precious and powerful and He makes a difference.

Thank you. May God bless you all mightily and keep you safe and cause His light to shine upon you all.

With all of our love and thanks

Amanda and Family

A Japanese language testament

The following encouragement was submitted by Bob Cooper of the Bournemouth of The Gideons a few weeks ago:

My wife Jane and I went to Richmond Park Church in Bournemouth recently to speak about the work of The Gideons. Like most Branches who visit churches we have a display and put out a range of our Bibles.

As we were chatting before the service we were introduced to an overseas student, Akihiro. He had wandered into the church a few weeks before and had been coming ever since. One of the church members came up and asked if it would be possible to have one of the Testaments that were on display as Akihiro didn’t have one of his own. He was Japanese and noticed the Bilingual Japanese/English Testament. We had seen this Testament when we put out the display but had no idea what language it was! Naturally we said yes.

We see the Lord’s hand in this. The timing was just right. A few weeks earlier he wouldn’t even have been there. We were there just at the time he needed a copy of God’s Word. Our Branch has never needed or asked for a Japanese Testament and have no idea where that Testament came from or how it got into our display materials. It just shouldn’t have been there!

We need to pray that as Akihiro reads his New Testament the Holy Spirit will work in his life and bring him to the Lord.

Then just this week, Bob emailed to say:

“Just to let you know that your prayers have been answered. Akihiro came to the Lord a couple of weeks ago and we had the joy of meeting him last week.”

Praise the Lord!

Telling the gospel after church

I was doing a Gideon presentation at Cherith Christian Fellowship in Wycombe last week and there was a man in his 30s loitering about outside before the service. He was looking at the notice board then wandered off before coming back to the board. He was approached by one of the elders to try and help. The man said he doesn’t go to church and had not been in one since childhood but he asked, “what’s it about today anyway?” When he was told that it was a talk about The Gideons, he replied that he had heard of them and so would come in to the service.

He sat there very attentive all throughout the service and afterwards he spoke at length to the elder who had invited him in. He was then pointed in my direction and, after quite a chat, he prayed with me and gave his heart to the Lord! Praise God! I thought you would be encouraged and blessed by that – I certainly was!

Every blessing

Andrew, Member of the Bucks South Branch of The Gideons

Gideon testimony at baptism

Dear Gideons,

Yesterday [18 June] I was baptised and had the opportunity to share the story of how God brought me to Him. A key part of this story was reading a Gideons New Testament that I was given at school, through which God showed me the truth.

I’d like to thank you for providing me with a copy of God’s Word, which truly is His power to save lives.

I hope this example of God’s work in my life encourages you to continue providing copies of God’s Holy Word to people all over the world.

I pray that God will continue to strengthen you in this wonderful work that you are doing.

In Christ,


Guided by a little red book

Bible Helps

As a child I grew up in a home where faith wasn’t really discussed. My closest interaction with faith was the fact that I attended the nearest primary school to our house, a Church of England School. I always believed in God but had no real source of information, no one around me was a Christian to ask.

I am not sure if it was my primary school where I inherited ‘my little red New Testament and Psalms Gideon book’ (judging by my very childish handwriting most probably) but that little red book was to be my go to guide all throughout my childhood, my teens, and has continued to be my go to guide ever since!

It was that little red book that really brought me closer to God and connected me to Christianity when I had no one else to tell me about Jesus. In my early teens I started attending church with a school friend but a serious road accident that my church friends were in meant most of my friends were hospitalised. I fell away from attending my newly discovered church whilst they recovered in hospital.

But I still had my little red book!

The book took me through various aspects of my life – if I felt lonely, or afraid, or even if I needed to find a job – there would be a quick go to guide at the front of the book!

Years on and I’m now a regular church attending Christian, working in a church and singing the Gospel as part of a trio. Now with more than a few Bibles in my household I still use my Gideons New Testament and I use it to give others a verse when they are in need. Sitting in the busy reception of a church I often see many who are going through something!

I like to take my little red book on holiday, in fits just nice in my suitcase. The simplicity of the Gideons book really meant that even before I gathered the courage to attend a church I had somewhere to go and that simplicity still encourages me to find a verse for myself or others.

The Gideons book for me is more than just a little red book. It was the only place I could learn about Jesus and I have used it to tell more than a few others about Jesus too!

God bless you and your amazing simple but simply amazing ministry.


St John Ambulance Celebration Service

St John Ambulance 1
Cadets and Officers of St John Ambulance with their Gideon New Testaments (photo used with parental permission obtained by St John Ambulance)

Earlier this year, a service was held at Bentley Pentecostal Church to celebrate 40 years of the St John Ambulance in the villages of Arksey and Bentley near Doncaster. The St John Ambulance group was started originally in Arksey 40 years ago and then moved to Bentley Pentecostal Church around three years ago.

Stephen Anderson, Elder at the Church and Vice Chairman of the Gideons Doncaster Branch says, “We were delighted to be able to help our friends at St John with the use of our Church Community Centre and have enjoyed a good relationship with them which has included joint services together at Christmas and Easter. At the request of the St John Officers, the service included hymns, prayer and modern worship songs led by members of the church worship team.

Gideons have presented Bibles at previous awards ceremonies and were asked if Bibles could be presented at this very special celebration. Thanks to the great help of the team at the Gideons National Office and the kind permission from St John HQ, we were able to provide special celebration New Testaments. These were green to match the St John uniform with their crest printed in gold on the front and the Brigade prayer inside.

The Cadets and Officers received awards from St John for their progress and achievements and Stephen presented Bibles to each one. He was also asked to give a short message focused on the first line of the St John Oath of Chivalry taken by all Officers and Cadets which states, ‘To Serve God’.

Janet Havenhand, the Officer in charge of the St John group was there at the very beginning 40 years ago and received a special Presentation Bible also with the St John Ambulance crest on the front. A second Presentation Bible was sent to be on display in the St John Museum to commemorate the event. The Gideons in Doncaster, along with the Bentley Pentecostal Church, look forward to continuing this relationship with St John Ambulance in the coming months and years.

Submitted by Stephen and Ann Anderson, Doncaster Branch of The Gideons

Veterans testament

Veterans Testaments

When I was going into the hospital in Irvine, Ayrshire to visit my wife Susan, I was wearing my Veterans Badge and as I was walking down the corridor this man called Joe spotted my badge and said, “Hi! What mob were you in?” Meaning which Regiment was I in. I told him I was in The Royal Scots Fusiliers and asked which Regiment he belonged to and he told me he was part of REME (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers).

I said to him, “Before you go I would like to give you this” and I gave him a copy of the Gideons Veterans New Testament & Psalms. I explained to Joe about the Helps section and the Daily Readings at the front of the Testament as well as the Veterans Prayer inside the back pages. I then said that while we are here at the back of the book, if you should make a decision to follow Jesus as your personal Saviour, you can fill in your name and the date in the commitment page. Joe thanked me and went on his way.

Later I met another man named Henry and he also spotted my Veterans Badge and came out with the same question, “What mob were you in?” Again I told him, just as I had done with Joe and he told me he was with a Landing Craft Unit at Normandy. And so the next day I took along another copy of the Veterans Testament and I gave it to him and explained everything I had told Joe.

The next day, before I arrived at the hospital, Henry had spoken to Joe and thanked him for his Veterans New Testament and said how he hadn’t realised there was so much in it, “what a great book” he told Joe.

When I arrived, Joe came up to me and passed on what Henry had told him earlier. I don’t know how Henry had mistook Joe for me but I think it could be down to our similar haircuts, bald and short!

Henry also said he would continue to study it and see what more he could get out of it. So Praise THE LORD and please pray for Joe and Henry.

God bless

Sam Rodger, Ayrshire North Branch of The Gideons

Read the Word

Pictured is Ronnie, who celebrated his 90th birthday on 1 April 2017

Ronnie, a ninety year old Christian friend, told me recently about an experience he had over 45 years ago when he was attending the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast to have his annual check up following an ear operation. For some time he had also been suffering with both vertigo and tinnitus. When he arrived at the hospital, he collapsed when he was just about to see the consultant. Consequently, he was admitted for observation and treatment.

As he did not have his own Bible with him, he opened the bedside locker and found a Gideon New Testament & Psalms in a bracket on the inside of the door. While lying in bed on his back with his eyes closed, he had a panic attack. He had the Bible on his chest when he clearly heard a voice in his head saying, “Read the Word. Read the Word. Read the Word.”

Ronnie ventured to open one eye and found he could focus without the vertigo causing him problems. He then opened the other eye with the same result. He instantly opened the Gideon New Testament & Psalms and his eyes fell on Romans chapter 8 verses 15-18. He found verse 18 especially comforting, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Ever since this experience, throughout his life Ronnie has returned to this passage of Scripture for assurance and comfort.

Ronnie says, “I shall never forget the blessing I received through reading that Gideon New Testament & Psalms while I was in hospital.” As his sight is now failing, he recently received an Ultra Large Print Gideon New Testament & Psalms for which he is extremely grateful.

Submitted by Sam McEwen, Down North Branch of The Gideons

Finding a Bible on holiday

“Dear Friends,

In 2013 my family and I travelled to England from the United States for vacation. I chose not to take my Bible with me because of limited space in my luggage.

After several days without any contact with the Word of God, I was feeling very down and discouraged. When we checked into a hotel in London, I was delighted to find a Gideon Bible which I read excitedly!

Thank you for your work encouraging the body of Christ and bringing lost souls to salvation.

May God bless you richly for all you do!

Valerie Fountain

Mississippi, United States”

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