Our church hosted a Gideon speaker a couple of weeks ago who came and shared with us the mission of The Gideons International, which is to distribute God’s Word around the world and engage in evangelism. This Gideon speaker was also my father-in-law!
He shared some wonderful stories of how God has used a small Gideon Bible in big ways to change the lives of hopeless, desperate people. For every wonderful story the Gideons know about, there are probably 100 stories they don’t know about.
One story he told was about a man in Denmark who built a fire in his fireplace and noticed that the smoke was filling his house instead of going out the chimney. Climbing to his roof to find the reason, he found, to his horror, that a stork had built a nest right on top of his chimney. In their culture, it is considered bad luck for a stork to build a nest on a chimney because it meant someone in that household was going to die. Immediately, he began removing the nest. As he was tearing the huge nest apart, he noticed small, white pages woven into the sticks and leaves. He pulled the pages out and began reading them, only to discover they were pages from a Gideon Bible in this man’s language! This man and his household were saved! That stork was anything but bad luck! How amazing that God would use one of his creatures to bring the Good News to a man’s rooftop!
Another story was of a man in Siberia who was a very poor farmer and sat out in his field one day crying out to one of the many gods he believed in. As he sat praying, something fell right at his feet. He opened his eyes and discovered a little Gideon Bible in his language, which he read and learned about the one true God and was saved. Little did he know, a helicopter flying overhead needed to lighten its load and threw a box of Gideon Bibles out, one landing next to this desperate man. I love how God works!
The Gideons International is a Christian organization dedicated to distributing the Bible in 94 languages in over 190 countries around the world. They place Bibles in hotels, prisons, and hospitals. They give them to students across college campuses and to new military recruits. To date, they have given away about 1.6 billion Bibles free to the recipients. God is using this group in amazing ways! Visit http://www.gideons.org/ for more information.