Friday Blessing

Dear all at Gideons,

My name is Neill Hudson. I am a 50 year old Christian who used to work for the Salvation Army. I had just got married, and like most young families we were finding things tough financially. I left the Salvation Army employment and as things became more difficult, the more hours I would work. Eventually I found myself working seven days a week just to keep our heads above water.

A few years came and went and I worked what seemed like incredibly long hours and saw less and less of my family and I missed them as much as I know they missed me. I became incredibly tired and eventually went to see the family doctor who took some blood for tests.

I went back to work and the following morning I received a phone call telling me I had late-onset type 1 diabetes. A diagnosis I was shocked but not particularly surprised by as all my family were diagnosed with the same condition. Anyway, I not only walked away from the Lord but I committed one of the worst sins I could, I led my family away from the Lord also.

On the 13 September 2017 I was admitted to Cheltenham General Hospital where I was operated on and had my left leg amputated below the knee. Today, Monday 18 September, I was sat in my wheelchair feeling sorry for myself, packing my belongings away in my locker when I found a New Testament and Psalms placed by The Gideons.

I let it fall open and you hear of people having these wonderful epiphanies but there it was! Psalm 46, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

What a foolish man I have been. I tried leading my family when all I needed to do was leave it with the Lord. I’ve done that tonight in my hospital bed. I rang my wife and we prayed together on the phone and we are going to go back to church.

Things are still quite tough but I am excited after rededicating my life to the Lord. Please feel free to use this witness statement because I will be telling everyone, not as my own glory, but the Lords.

Neill Hudson

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Friday Blessing

I have had the privilege to have been invited into Albany and Parkhurst Prisons by the Prison Chaplain during the past few weeks. On the 24th July I was able to spend three hours with 21 prisoners at Albany Prison, Isle of Wight. It was a time of great blessing as I was able to share what the Lord is doing through The Gideons International and sharing a number of testimonies of the power of the Word of God.

One prisoner pulled out from the inside of his trousers a polythene bag with his Gideon Testament he received at school in 1976. At the end of my presentation one prisoner asked for prayer and another one wanted to know how he could become a Christian.

On the 7th August I visited Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight and spent two hours with fifteen prisoners. Once again it was a time of real blessing.

One prisoner shared his testimony with me. When he entered the prison he was given a Gideon Bible by the Prison Chaplain. When he was given the Bible he said he had no use for it and put it to one side. However, after two years he decided he could take no more and had decided to end his life. He saved up all his sleeping tablets in preparation to take them all at once.

The time arrived when he was prepared to end his life and got the glass of water ready. He put the tablets into his mouth and as he put the glass of water to his lips he heard a voice saying, “I am with you” at which time he spat the tablets out of his mouth and turned to the Gideon Bible and grasped it and said, “Is that you Lord?” As a result of this experience he started reading the Bible and realised he needed the Lord and asked the Lord to forgive him and invited Him into his life.

Every blessing

Gordon Ainger, Member of The Gideons Isle of Wight Branch

Friday Blessing

Dear Gideons,

I have recently been in the Royal United Hospital, Bath, with a very serious illness (a cancer growth in my spine and lung). This was a terrible shock as it came on very suddenly and as you can imagine I was devastated.

I just wanted to tell you what a comfort it was to find your little Bible in my bedside cabinet, I don’t know what I would have done without it – the ‘Where To Find Help’ in the front of the Bible is amazing and gave me so much hope. I also thought it was lovely to receive visits from The Gideons in Bath – such nice people and so helpful to be able to pray with them.

The good news I can give you is that the emergency radiotherapy and drugs they have given me have worked wonders and I am now home as the CAT scan showed that the cancer has disappeared. The consultants exact words were that the scan showed no cancer as before and that they are so pleased with me but it is a complete mystery to them how this could happen so quickly.

I have no doubt the medical things helped but I know that the prayers from all my friends and especially the Bath Gideons have been the main reason for my recovery.

I cannot thank you enough and hope you will keep up such good work in the hospitals.

God bless you

Margaret

Friday Blessing

Merseyside Police 1

Hello All,

A few weeks ago, we received an email from Tony Lovering, Scripture Manager for The Gideons International, regarding the Christian Police Association National Day of Prayer.

Our Branch had been in contact with Alan, a Community Engagement Officer with the Merseyside Police and asked if they would like to receive some New Testaments, embossed with the Merseyside Police crest on the front. Alan had already received some before which had all been passed on to either Officers or retired Officers.

We had a small stock left which I passed on and ordered another 100 which I took round to the Police Headquarters one afternoon. Alan was delighted to receive them and other Officers were coming over and asking for one before I had even finished opening the box!

God’s Blessings

Ron Barber, Member of the Wirral South Branch of The Gideons

Merseyside Police 2

Warcop Army Training Camp

Hi Everyone

Greetings from sunny Cumbria.

Yesterday, bright and early, Jim and Jenny McCallum along with William and June Allen from South Lakeland Branch visited the Army Training Camp at Warcop in Cumbria. Nearly 400 Cadets from the Lothian and Borders Battalion were in the camp for two weeks training.

IMG_2246

Their Padre, Cameron Mackenzie, a fantastic Christian ambassador, gave the Cadets a wonderful “Gideon Talk” on the parade ground, using the illustration of a sat nav. He emphasised the need for direction and guidance in all the complexities of life. The Bible provides both.

Padre Cameron Mackenzie
Padre Cameron Mackenzie

Jim then made a presentation of an Army Cadet Force Badged Camouflage Testament to a 17 year old young Cadet which was gratefully received after which we ended up in the camp coffee shop talking with the uniformed Army Cadet trainers.

A very worthwhile experience!

Jim McCallum
Jim McCallum making the presentation to a Cadet

Friday Blessing

Lord bless you

Dear Gideons

A few years ago I wrote to thank you on behalf of our son for the New Testament you placed in his hands at the beginning of his first year in secondary school.

Three years later as he moves into Year 10 that New Testament is still his most treasured possession and well read. He has other Bibles, but that one goes pretty much everywhere and he reads it at night. He has since left that school and attends a different secondary school however that visit and that gift was probably the most treasured and import life lines in what was otherwise a grim time at the previous school. The Lord is gracious, however, and he is now extremely happy in his new school and still walking with the Lord.

However, that isn’t the main reason I am contacting you. Once more it is to say a huge ‘thank you’.

My father, now in his late 70s, was admitted into hospital yesterday in Telford. As the years have gone by he has become very frail, has many medical conditions and although he loves the Lord still, has become increasingly stubborn and belligerent. He is also convinced that everything he reads in the press is true to the letter and as a consequence he has a completely irrational fear of hospitals.

After a long and tiring day of tests and admission procedures he arrived in the ward yesterday evening. As I was unpacking his bag, at the back of the locker I spotted a Gideons New Testament. And that is why I am emailing you.

I showed it to him and he became so excited and genuinely happy. I can’t say what a blessing that was. I have no idea if he will ever leave the hospital and if he does if he will ever go home but he was delighted to find that Bible yesterday.

So, could I say a huge ‘thank you’ to whoever placed those Bibles in that hospital. You helped settle a very awkward patient in a hospital he hates. That Bible brought him peace.

Please persevere with your work. It is tough in the public arena in the UK today but do know you are making a huge difference. Our Lord and Saviour is gracious, compassionate and loving. Above all He knows His own – even if they have turned into grumpy old men! His Word is precious and powerful and He makes a difference.

Thank you. May God bless you all mightily and keep you safe and cause His light to shine upon you all.

With all of our love and thanks

Amanda and Family

Friday Blessing

The following encouragement was submitted by Bob Cooper of the Bournemouth of The Gideons a few weeks ago:

My wife Jane and I went to Richmond Park Church in Bournemouth recently to speak about the work of The Gideons. Like most Branches who visit churches we have a display and put out a range of our Bibles.

As we were chatting before the service we were introduced to an overseas student, Akihiro. He had wandered into the church a few weeks before and had been coming ever since. One of the church members came up and asked if it would be possible to have one of the Testaments that were on display as Akihiro didn’t have one of his own. He was Japanese and noticed the Bilingual Japanese/English Testament. We had seen this Testament when we put out the display but had no idea what language it was! Naturally we said yes.

We see the Lord’s hand in this. The timing was just right. A few weeks earlier he wouldn’t even have been there. We were there just at the time he needed a copy of God’s Word. Our Branch has never needed or asked for a Japanese Testament and have no idea where that Testament came from or how it got into our display materials. It just shouldn’t have been there!

We need to pray that as Akihiro reads his New Testament the Holy Spirit will work in his life and bring him to the Lord.

Then just this week, Bob emailed to say:

“Just to let you know that your prayers have been answered. Akihiro came to the Lord a couple of weeks ago and we had the joy of meeting him last week.”

Praise the Lord!

Friday Blessing

I was doing a Gideon presentation at Cherith Christian Fellowship in Wycombe last week and there was a man in his 30s loitering about outside before the service. He was looking at the notice board then wandered off before coming back to the board. He was approached by one of the elders to try and help. The man said he doesn’t go to church and had not been in one since childhood but he asked, “what’s it about today anyway?” When he was told that it was a talk about The Gideons, he replied that he had heard of them and so would come in to the service.

He sat there very attentive all throughout the service and afterwards he spoke at length to the elder who had invited him in. He was then pointed in my direction and, after quite a chat, he prayed with me and gave his heart to the Lord! Praise God! I thought you would be encouraged and blessed by that – I certainly was!

Every blessing

Andrew, Member of the Bucks South Branch of The Gideons

Friday Blessing

Dear Gideons,

Yesterday [18 June] I was baptised and had the opportunity to share the story of how God brought me to Him. A key part of this story was reading a Gideons New Testament that I was given at school, through which God showed me the truth.

I’d like to thank you for providing me with a copy of God’s Word, which truly is His power to save lives.

I hope this example of God’s work in my life encourages you to continue providing copies of God’s Holy Word to people all over the world.

I pray that God will continue to strengthen you in this wonderful work that you are doing.

In Christ,

Rose

Friday Blessing

Bible Helps

As a child I grew up in a home where faith wasn’t really discussed. My closest interaction with faith was the fact that I attended the nearest primary school to our house, a Church of England School. I always believed in God but had no real source of information, no one around me was a Christian to ask.

I am not sure if it was my primary school where I inherited ‘my little red New Testament and Psalms Gideon book’ (judging by my very childish handwriting most probably) but that little red book was to be my go to guide all throughout my childhood, my teens, and has continued to be my go to guide ever since!

It was that little red book that really brought me closer to God and connected me to Christianity when I had no one else to tell me about Jesus. In my early teens I started attending church with a school friend but a serious road accident that my church friends were in meant most of my friends were hospitalised. I fell away from attending my newly discovered church whilst they recovered in hospital.

But I still had my little red book!

The book took me through various aspects of my life – if I felt lonely, or afraid, or even if I needed to find a job – there would be a quick go to guide at the front of the book!

Years on and I’m now a regular church attending Christian, working in a church and singing the Gospel as part of a trio. Now with more than a few Bibles in my household I still use my Gideons New Testament and I use it to give others a verse when they are in need. Sitting in the busy reception of a church I often see many who are going through something!

I like to take my little red book on holiday, in fits just nice in my suitcase. The simplicity of the Gideons book really meant that even before I gathered the courage to attend a church I had somewhere to go and that simplicity still encourages me to find a verse for myself or others.

The Gideons book for me is more than just a little red book. It was the only place I could learn about Jesus and I have used it to tell more than a few others about Jesus too!

God bless you and your amazing simple but simply amazing ministry.

Juliette