Bolivia is a beautiful country in South America surrounded by a long stretch of the Andean mountains. It makes you think of Psalm 27:4, “…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”
It was also the next stop on the world tour of Scripture blitzes for The Gideons International. The blitz objective was simple: share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible in a one-week period. There are over 600 members of The Gideons International and their wives living in Bolivia. They were joined by a few more Gideons traveling to Bolivia to participate in the Scripture blitz. Said Gideon Geoff Severin visiting from Australia, “The people’s genuine interest in talking about Jesus was encouraging with everything going on in the world today.”
Getting the Word Out
Gideons were granted a special invitation into individual classrooms of schools across the capital city of La Paz, and were also allowed to speak about the importance of reading God’s Word. On some occasions, teachers and students were so moved by hearing the message of repentance and salvation, they accepted Christ readily with tears streaming down their faces.
Gideons also distributed Scriptures to the Bolivian military stationed in the nearby city El Alto. Not only did over 270 soldiers receive their own copies of God’s Word, they also were presented with the Gospel message as Gideons spoke about the power of the Scriptures to overcome all trials in life.
By the end of the week, Gideons had placed over 158,000 copies of God’s Word into the hands of not only students and the military, but also in hospitals, jails, and to police units. As opportunities for personal witnessing followed Gideons throughout their week, God opened the hearts of many to receive His Word. One such occasion caught up with Indiana Gideon Bob Hubler during a taxi ride.
“Every street is either uphill or downhill,” said Hubler. “As I travelled with my fellow Gideons from Bolivia, our taxi driver, Hugo, became very excited about hearing the Gospel. However, we encouraged him to keep his eyes on the road.” Once they pulled over, Hugo shared he was separated from his family. Hugo saw in the front of the New Testament the Helps section and his eyes went to the Scriptures dealing with loneliness. With the car safely in park, Hugo was anxious to accept Christ and his spirits were immediately lifted.
The Next Generation
Gideons visited one school where students filled the courtyard for a break from their studies. One young man, Marcos, approached a Gideon and asked where he was from. As the two continued in conversation, the young man’s friends began to gather and listen in. The Gideon took the opportunity of the gathering crowd to share about Jesus. At the end of his message, twelve students went through the plan of salvation in the back of their New Testaments. Then, each young man signed his own name as having accepted Christ. In this turbulent world, God’s Word is still “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Among the many students who received New Testaments, Maria felt led to give Gideons a gift in return. She handed one of the Gideons a drink and a small plastic bag of corn chips. It was her lunch, and as the Gideon turned it down, Maria explained she wanted to thank them for coming to her school and giving her and her friends God’s Word. She was thanking all our donors and supporters as well.
The Spirit of the Lord continues to flow through the cities of La Paz, El Alto, and Viacha. With every Scripture blitz, and with each New Testament given out, Gideons around the world pursue a common goal of reaching men, women, boys, and girls for the Lord Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for hearts to be opened to the Gospel message and for lives to be changed by reading His Word.