“For we are God’s fellow-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
The following accounts tell of God’s gracious leading and prompting as members joined together for the three days of the Blitz.
The power of a Personal Worker Testament!
John Marshall, Adrian Snookes and Jill Massey were out and about in Boston on the first day and having driven into the rear yard of a Funeral Directors, discovered that the town centre team, out on foot, were already at the front door! They left them to it. The road ahead to a nearby Residential Home was closed. There was a workman in his van nearby keeping an eye out. John approached him and asked if there was any possibility of driving to the Care Home about 100 yards further down the road.
The man asked, “Are you a Funeral Director?”
John replied “No, I am a Gideon” and showed him his ID badge.
“What is a Gideon?”
Reply: “We distribute Bibles and New Testaments. Would you like one?”
Reply: “Thanks mate – I’ll have a read of that in about ten minutes whilst having my break”.
John pointed out the Bible helps before a further response with a cheerful smile… “You can drive through mate!”
John’s answer: “Bless you!”
Big is beautiful!
On a visit to a Care Home in Frampton near Boston, an Ultra Giant Print New Testament & Psalms proved very popular with one resident. On leaving a Bible in one lounge Michael, a resident, said to John Marshall, “You need to speak with Caroline in the dining room – she will want to see you”. Having been introduced to John’s colleague Eileen, Caroline commented that she read the Bible and had learned much from it but added, “It’s now proving very difficult as I can’t easily see the words”. John opened the Large Print Testament and asked, “How about this one?”
The smile on her face said it all. “That’s beautiful. I can read it!” She was delighted and asked if she might keep it to read in her room and could we write her name in it. No sooner said than done!
We encountered a similar experience at another Care Home. Two days later John received a phone call asking for another visit. Living nearby he duly obliged and was introduced to partially sighted Ron, a resident in temporary respite care. Ron had seen the copy left earlier and was keen to read the contents. Being handed a Large Print Testament, he responded with a big smile and said, “This is the first time I have been able to read anything for a long time”.
What a blessing for both of us!
Prayer paving the way…
Prayer for the Scripture Blitz had been offered during all the planning stages as well as on and during the three days of visits.
In the month before the visits were made, a prayer leaflet had been circulated to Churches Together for prayer throughout the blitz areas giving information as to our mission and ministry and requesting prayer support.
On Day 1, at a solicitors’ office in Sleaford which was not on the list to be visited, the receptionist mentioned to Brenda Hitchcock and Peter Whitney that she had that day been asked to purchase two new Bibles for their office. A gift of two Bibles was made together with a Service Testament for the receptionist.
On Day 2, on their visit to a Funeral Director in Ruskington, Brenda Hitchcock and Michael Hodges were delighted to be welcomed by Lydia Phillips with the words “We have been expecting you.”
On day 3, Zone 4 Chaplain Garth Jones, with Brenda Hitchcock and Peter Whitney, on their way through the villages south of Grantham, came across the Cross Swords Inn at Skillington, near the Viking Way. They had made a wrong turning and were making their way back to the next place on the list.
The Cross Swords Inn was not on their list, but they stopped to investigate.
The landlady, Linda Wood, said that she had been wondering about Bibles for the courtyard accommodation there. “Prayer answered!” said Garth. Linda took three Bibles and a Personal Worker Testament for herself and her husband Francis.
“I know it couldn’t have happened by chance”
On Tuesday, Vic Billitt and Richard Morrison went to a local hotel and spoke with the coffee house assistant who recognised Richard from previous visits.
She called the manageress who agreed that each of the 12 bedrooms could have a Bible installed, but added that it meant nothing to her at all as she was an atheist. Richard acknowledged that she had obviously thought this out and turned to the Megan, the assistant and asked for her opinion.
Megan said these wonderful words: “I’m a bit on the fence about this, but when I think about the beauty and the intricacy of the world and the universe, I know it couldn’t have happened by chance”. Richard handed her a Personal Worker Testament and said, “This will help you to explore your next two questions – if there is something/someone behind the creation, perhaps it is worth understanding and getting to know this. This book will help you so much. Start with the Psalms at the back.” Richard will be back at that hotel soon for another meeting in the coffee house and will seek to continue his conversation with Megan.
On Thursday, Richard and Vic were in Spalding and found a hotel under new management, with the proprietor keen to develop the pub side of the business. They offered him four Hotel Bibles with the thought that all sorts of folk would come to find accommodation for all sorts of reasons – even possibly those who might have to spend the night there after being in the pub. They might find themselves wondering what it was all about and why and how life was to be treated. It would be part of a great service to guests to provide help in tricky times. The proprietor was up for that and took all four Bibles.
Over the course of the three days, 300 establishments accepted over 1,300 Bibles and New Testaments with further follow up to take place soon.
We can only thank GOD and keep on praying!