Gideons from the British Isles, USA, Australia, Norway, South Africa and Finland joined with members in Mexico to take part in the 2016 Mexico International Scripture Blitz in Mexico City and San Louis Potosi.
In 1978, the very first International Scripture Blitz started in Mexico City during which 45,650 Scriptures were distributed in seven days. Nearly forty years later, the target is 350,000 Scriptures in two weeks.
The teams got started early on Monday at the National University of Mexico. Students poured out of the subway and on to the campus. At first a policeman told the Gideons they couldn’t stay there but one Gideon, Fernando, started talking with him and the conversation soon was about who we are and what we do. The police officer, Benito Hernandez, started sharing about how he fears for his life almost every day in his job. So there under there a bridge, Benito walked through the plan of salvation and gave his life to Christ. He also allowed us to stay so that others could receive the Good News and by noon, almost 10,000 students had received a Scripture.
One policeman became very friendly with The Gideons and he would tell students they couldn’t come in without showing their school ID and a New Testament. The kids look stunned and went back outside to get one until he started laughing.
The relationships are so good with the community that when the police were called by one school, the officers told them, “They’re okay, they’re just Gideons.”
After a distribution at a large high school, a team was standing at a street vendor eating a snack. A taxi driver also stopped and started a conversation. The driver, Sergio, told the Gideons that he had a lot of life issues including a drug habit. He said he knows the Word of God but often feels he is being viciously attacked by a demon he can’t control. He wakes up and realises that he has taken drugs again. He uses his money on his bad habits and his family doesn’t eat. Sergio said he needs help as tears began running down his face.
The Gideons shared with him from a New Testament and after about five minutes Sergio abruptly dropped to the sidewalk and began to pray as the rest of the team gathered around him. After a few minutes Sergio got up smiling.
Teams of ladies were out in force with Grace Rivera of the Pueblo Camp leading them. “I love what we get to do every day,” she said. Grace and her team handed out over 7,000 Scriptures to the medical staff at La Raza Hospital and almost 30,000 hospital staff received a Scripture from the Mexican ladies taking part in the Blitz. The hospitals in Mexico City are huge but the ladies were bold in taking the opportunities to witness.
There were 2,200 Scriptures shared at the Santa Marta Prison. Clancy Trent, a Gideon from Kentucky said, “These are young kids, mostly under 30, and in this prison with no hope. The conditions are so bad you wouldn’t want to go back if you ever served time there. Everyone treated us kindly and that says a lot for the Gideon camps in this area who visit the prison often.”
Only six members of the team were allowed to go into the prison and they were able to witness from pod to pod in small groups. Doug Hamilton from Indiana said that one of the guards helped him translate as he preached the Gospel. The guard kept following him around all morning repeating God’s Word. Doug found out later that the guard had actually accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour that afternoon.
One of the last testimonies from Mexico City came from a high school student who tried to burn a New Testament. During an afternoon distribution a student accepted a New Testament but then tried to burn it but had a hard time keeping it lit. That’s when the student literally felt a change in his heart and brought the Testament back to the Gideons and said, “I shouldn’t have done that.”
His name was Omar and the Gideons walked him through many Scriptures. They opened up God’s Word and this time it burned in his heart. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour.
His four friends watched from afar and went over to the Gideons after Omar left and asked, “What just happened?” The Gideons told this same story and his four friends then accepted Christ.
The Blitz started with the team leader, Cal Lucas, reading from John 21 about fishing on the other side. There were three points he made about what the apostles saw. One, following God’s command is absolute. Two, God’s timing is perfect. And three, God’s grace knows no bounds. Cal reminded us the best fishing is in a moving current…so fish with endurance.
The total number of Scriptures distributed during the Mexico International Scripture Blitz was 405,000, but these testimonies of people giving their life to Christ are far more exciting.