I Love to Tell the Story
Yesterday in church our opening hymn was “I Love to Tell the Story.” It is one of those great old hymns where you really don’t need to have the words on the overhead screen or in the bulletin because everyone knows it. I don’t think we’ve ever sung it in church before, but it was perfect to go with the message we heard. (Our worship team always does a great job of selecting music appropriate for the message!)
Before I get to the message, I wanted to share this Alan Jackson version of this beautiful hymn:
We had a special guest speaker who is a perfect example of one who loves to tell the story. He is a representative of The Gideons International. He shared with us how the Gideons distribute Bibles worldwide and the impact they have made.
When I think of the Gideons, I think of how there has always been a Bible placed by the Gideons in every hotel or motel room I’ve ever stayed in. I always thought that was the only way they distributed Bibles. And our speaker did mention that there are some new hotels with a policy that they will not open until all the Gideon Bibles are placed. He also told the story of a local hotel where the Gideons couldn’t get there before the grand opening. When they arrived a few days after the opening, the manager told him the story of a couple who had enjoyed their stay, but noticed that there was no Gideon Bible in the room.
I learned yesterday, however, that putting Bibles in hotel and motel rooms is only a small part of what the Gideons do. They also bring Bibles to people in hospitals, distribute Bibles in prisons, and on college campuses. According to their website, in the last fiscal year they placed 10,802,435 Bibles in the United States, including youth Testaments, college Testaments, hotel Bibles, hospital Bibles, prison Bibles, and medical Testaments. They also distribute 68,190,377 Bibles to 192 countries worldwide last year. Since they first started in 1908, the Gideons have placed over 1.7 billion Bibles.
A great thing about this ministry is that if you donate money to them, 100% of your donation goes to the purchase and distribution of Bibles because the Gideons, who are all volunteer, pay their own expenses and the administrative costs.
The Gideons’ ministry is based on two wonderful scriptures that were our readings for yesterday’s service:
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV).
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV).
I know I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love. That’s what this blog is all about. It is always such an encouragement to hear from others who love to tell His story, too. I left church yesterday quite encouraged by this speaker, having learned of another great way to help distribute God’s Word around the world to those who want and need it. Our guest speaker asked mostly for prayer, and so I am passing his request on to you. Please pray for this terrific ministry. And if the Holy Spirit leads you, they can certainly use your financial support as well. Just click on the link above to visit their website and learn more.
Thanks for this encouragement. My husband is a Gideon and I am an Auxiliary. The auxiliary ladies place Bibles and Testaments in doctor and paramedical waiting rooms as well as in safe houses, women’s refuges and similar places and present them to graduating nurses.
One of the greatest thrills is the numerous “returns” we receive – that is, testimonies from people who were saved as a result of reading a Gideon Bible. We receive quite a number from people who were about to take their own lives in a hotel room and “by chance” picked up the Gideon Bible.
Another great thrill is the privilege of always carrying a small, soft-covered blue New Testament & Psalms for the sole purpose of giving it away. We buy these for a low $1.50 each. I give one to cash-register operators, salesmen, women sitting on a seat in the shopping malls etc. These New Testaments have a “where to find help in times of ….” in the front and the way of salvation in the back. They also have John 3:16 in many different languages and this is a good talking point with people of ethnic origins. I have never yet had any “bad” experiences in offering people a New Testament. What a great opportunity!
One very good way a non-Gideon can assist the ministry is through their Card program. I expect a Card system was explained and is possibly available at the Church.
Angela, That is so cool! Thank you for sharing your testimony of the work you have done for the Kingdom. We didn’t hear about the Card program. The gentleman who spoke to us asked for prayer and financial donations is all. Peace, Linda
The Card Ministry is actually part of the Auxiliary work, but many Gideons leave a rack of cards at the Church. New Card programs were introduced recently, but the Memorial cards have been used for many years. Here in Oz and I’m sure there too, donations are given to charities instead of giving flowers. The deceased’s family often nominates a preferred charity. The memorial cards are GIVEN at the funeral and the sender sends a donation to Gideons as per the form with the card. Each $5 will place a Bible or $1.50 will enable a pocket Testament to be given to High Schoolers, nurses etc.
Cards recently introduced are equal in quality to purchased cards and available for birthdays, anniversaries, thinking of you, congratulations, etc. These cards are GIVEN to Christians in a mixed pack and once again, a donation is sent to Gideons.
An enquiry to your local Gideons group would supply you with all the details and if you desired it, an Auxiliary lady would attend one of your ladies’ meetings and explain the system to you.
Thank you, Linda
This means much to me. I have visited, I have prayed, I will pass the word along.
Ann, I knew you would like this one. 🙂 Peace, Linda
Beautiful song , beautiful story, and beautiful ministry. Thank you for sharing about the Gideons. I didn’t know all of that before and the numbers of Bibles distributed are quite amazing. What an encouragement to know all that is being done to tell His story.
God bless you, Linda, as you help us to help others!
Deb, It is pretty amazing, isn’t it? 1.7 billion is a lot of Bibles with a purpose that will not return void. I was happy to be able to share the news of the Gideons’ ministry. Peace, Linda
Prayers are being started for The Gideons and I will forward to my friendly prayer warrier
Prayers for your day
Thank you! I’m sure they will appreciate it. God is faithful and will continue to work through their distribution of the Word. Peace, Linda