St John Ambulance Celebration Service

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Cadets and Officers of St John Ambulance with their Gideon New Testaments (photo used with parental permission obtained by St John Ambulance)

Earlier this year, a service was held at Bentley Pentecostal Church to celebrate 40 years of the St John Ambulance in the villages of Arksey and Bentley near Doncaster. The St John Ambulance group was started originally in Arksey 40 years ago and then moved to Bentley Pentecostal Church around three years ago.

Stephen Anderson, Elder at the Church and Vice Chairman of the Gideons Doncaster Branch says, “We were delighted to be able to help our friends at St John with the use of our Church Community Centre and have enjoyed a good relationship with them which has included joint services together at Christmas and Easter. At the request of the St John Officers, the service included hymns, prayer and modern worship songs led by members of the church worship team.

Gideons have presented Bibles at previous awards ceremonies and were asked if Bibles could be presented at this very special celebration. Thanks to the great help of the team at the Gideons National Office and the kind permission from St John HQ, we were able to provide special celebration New Testaments. These were green to match the St John uniform with their crest printed in gold on the front and the Brigade prayer inside.

The Cadets and Officers received awards from St John for their progress and achievements and Stephen presented Bibles to each one. He was also asked to give a short message focused on the first line of the St John Oath of Chivalry taken by all Officers and Cadets which states, ‘To Serve God’.

Janet Havenhand, the Officer in charge of the St John group was there at the very beginning 40 years ago and received a special Presentation Bible also with the St John Ambulance crest on the front. A second Presentation Bible was sent to be on display in the St John Museum to commemorate the event. The Gideons in Doncaster, along with the Bentley Pentecostal Church, look forward to continuing this relationship with St John Ambulance in the coming months and years.

Submitted by Stephen and Ann Anderson, Doncaster Branch of The Gideons

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Friday Blessing

Veterans Testaments

When I was going into the hospital in Irvine, Ayrshire to visit my wife Susan, I was wearing my Veterans Badge and as I was walking down the corridor this man called Joe spotted my badge and said, “Hi! What mob were you in?” Meaning which Regiment was I in. I told him I was in The Royal Scots Fusiliers and asked which Regiment he belonged to and he told me he was part of REME (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers).

I said to him, “Before you go I would like to give you this” and I gave him a copy of the Gideons Veterans New Testament & Psalms. I explained to Joe about the Helps section and the Daily Readings at the front of the Testament as well as the Veterans Prayer inside the back pages. I then said that while we are here at the back of the book, if you should make a decision to follow Jesus as your personal Saviour, you can fill in your name and the date in the commitment page. Joe thanked me and went on his way.

Later I met another man named Henry and he also spotted my Veterans Badge and came out with the same question, “What mob were you in?” Again I told him, just as I had done with Joe and he told me he was with a Landing Craft Unit at Normandy. And so the next day I took along another copy of the Veterans Testament and I gave it to him and explained everything I had told Joe.

The next day, before I arrived at the hospital, Henry had spoken to Joe and thanked him for his Veterans New Testament and said how he hadn’t realised there was so much in it, “what a great book” he told Joe.

When I arrived, Joe came up to me and passed on what Henry had told him earlier. I don’t know how Henry had mistook Joe for me but I think it could be down to our similar haircuts, bald and short!

Henry also said he would continue to study it and see what more he could get out of it. So Praise THE LORD and please pray for Joe and Henry.

God bless

Sam Rodger, Ayrshire North Branch of The Gideons

Friday Blessing – “Read the Word”

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Pictured is Ronnie, who celebrated his 90th birthday on 1 April 2017

Ronnie, a ninety year old Christian friend, told me recently about an experience he had over 45 years ago when he was attending the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast to have his annual check up following an ear operation. For some time he had also been suffering with both vertigo and tinnitus. When he arrived at the hospital, he collapsed when he was just about to see the consultant. Consequently, he was admitted for observation and treatment.

As he did not have his own Bible with him, he opened the bedside locker and found a Gideon New Testament & Psalms in a bracket on the inside of the door. While lying in bed on his back with his eyes closed, he had a panic attack. He had the Bible on his chest when he clearly heard a voice in his head saying, “Read the Word. Read the Word. Read the Word.”

Ronnie ventured to open one eye and found he could focus without the vertigo causing him problems. He then opened the other eye with the same result. He instantly opened the Gideon New Testament & Psalms and his eyes fell on Romans chapter 8 verses 15-18. He found verse 18 especially comforting, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Ever since this experience, throughout his life Ronnie has returned to this passage of Scripture for assurance and comfort.

Ronnie says, “I shall never forget the blessing I received through reading that Gideon New Testament & Psalms while I was in hospital.” As his sight is now failing, he recently received an Ultra Large Print Gideon New Testament & Psalms for which he is extremely grateful.

Submitted by Sam McEwen, Down North Branch of The Gideons

Friday Blessing

“Dear Friends,

In 2013 my family and I travelled to England from the United States for vacation. I chose not to take my Bible with me because of limited space in my luggage.

After several days without any contact with the Word of God, I was feeling very down and discouraged. When we checked into a hotel in London, I was delighted to find a Gideon Bible which I read excitedly!

Thank you for your work encouraging the body of Christ and bringing lost souls to salvation.

May God bless you richly for all you do!

Valerie Fountain

Mississippi, United States”

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Easter Blessing

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Hi folks,

I’ve been going through a black time in recent months. I was staying in a hotel in London last week and I hope you don’t mind but I took your very special book home with me.

Wow. After the first 12 pages I can now see the sunshine and smell the fresh spring flowers. Thank you so much for opening my crying eyes. Please forward details of where I can make a donation.

Once again thank you,

Michael

God is at work in this world. Share the Good News this Easter.

During the Easter period, around 25,000 New Testaments & Psalms will be handed to members of the public at Easter events around the country by Gideon members. Inside the New Testament is a special Easter bookmark pointing people to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Please pray for many opportunities for Gideon members to witness this Easter. Pray that people will read the Good News and, like Michael, their eyes will be opened to what Jesus has done for them through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and that they will put their faith in Him.

We thank you all for your support and we wish you a very blessed Easter.

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#PrayForLondon

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On Wednesday, three members of the Gideons National Office Team were travelling through London on their way to a meeting in Kent. Sat on the London Underground between Euston Station and Charing Cross, one lady spotted the Gideon badge on our jackets and began sharing her story with us.

She was on holiday in the Lake District many years ago where she was involved in a serious car crash. Luckily, or so she thought, she was totally unharmed. When she got back to her hotel room she opened the drawer by her bedside and took out the Bible, placed there by The Gideons. She opened it on Psalm 34 where she read, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:19-20

It was at that moment she gave her life to the Lord. She realised it was not luck that helped her survive.

Of the millions of people to pass through London that day, we were sat next to this lady. We were so grateful to God for this encouragement at the outset of a busy day.

Less than a mile from where we left this lady at Charing Cross was a stark reminder that day of how much we need the protection of our Saviour.

Wednesday 22 March 2017 was also the day that London, the UK, and the world witnessed a terrible attack on Westminster and on our nation. Please join us in praying for our nation and those affected by Wednesday’s terrorist attack:

  • pray for those who lost loved ones in the attack
  • pray for those who were injured
  • pray for our Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Leaders of Government
  • pray for those who follow evil ways and seek to inflict violence on others that they would find Jesus
  • pray for peace to fill our nation

We live in a world of evil and darkness but we serve a Risen King who has the victory over evil and darkness.

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Friday Blessing

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Hello

I knew of the Gideon Bible but I have just discovered your website and realised you are an organisation that helps spread the Gospel by sharing the Word of God with people.

The Gideon Bible saved my life on 11 November 2003. I was at the lowest point in my life, I lost hope in everything and in the world. Absolutely nothing could renew my mind or give me hope.  I was given a Gideon Bibles outside Middlesex University in Enfield, London. I read the whole book of Matthew and no words can explain the calm feeling that flowed from inside me, I felt this peace that I have not felt in a long time and I had the best nights sleep ever. I woke up the next day full of confidence and hope, the key Scripture that has been my anchor in my life since that day is to “live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

My life has grown like a seed into a tree ever since. To keep my testimony short, I was told I would never have children but my faith has cured me and I am now blessed with two beautiful children, my son Jacob and my daughter Jada. My wife and I are truly blessed and we give all praise and glory to God and I thank Him for His power and wisdom that has renewed my mind and transformed my life from the inside out.

Thank you and God bless everyone involved in sharing the Word of God to the world. Now that I have found and discovered your organisation, I will now start supporting the work to help spread the Gospel.

God bless always,

Victor

Friday Blessing Live!

 

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This is Andy. In 2009 Andy wrote to the Gideons National Office from inside HMP Gartree where he was serving a life sentence for murder. This is the story he shared with us in that letter:

In August 2006, while in prison, I decided to take my own life. My situation had become so hopeless I had lost the will to live.

I sat in my cell down in the segregation unit waiting for the day shift to change over to their night time colleagues. It would be then that I would put the noose I had made around my neck, fix it up at the window and let myself hang to death.

No more pain and no more shame, that’s what I thought. Relief from the awful situation I was in, serving a life sentence for murder, the result of a drunken argument.

A quiet voice spoke to me, “Just read that Bible.” On the shelf sat a copy of the New Testament & Psalms placed by The Gideons which, until then, had been an object on the shelf in my cell. My mind answered immediately, “What good is that going to do me.” Again the voice replied, “Just read that Bible.”

I opened the book at the beginning,  Matthew’s Gospel, and started to read. It was just a list of names but something was stirring inside of me. Something was happening! At Luke’s Gospel it happened – the parable of the lost son. During this parable the tears started to flow, my hopelessness disappeared, the wretchedness I had suffered went as well and most of all the idea that I was unworthy of forgiveness was taken from me.

The angry, frightened, desperate person I had become ceased to exist there and then. I was found indeed. I wept openly with joy. Suddenly I had hope. I wanted to live.

Come Sunday, in the prison chapel, I went to the front and gave my life to Jesus.

Andy was moments away from taking his own life but the Lord spoke to him through that New Testament & Psalms placed by The Gideons. We have shared Andy’s testimony at many church services over the past few years and we have always looked forward to the day when he would arrive at the Gideons National Office a free man and share his testimony in person. Today the Lord blessed us with that day! Andy spoke this morning at a special meeting of the Gideon leadership at Chapel Street Christian Fellowship, Lutterworth. What an amazing blessing to hear Andy share his testimony himself in person.

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On the right pictured above is Pastor Alan from Chapel Street Christian Fellowship and he is praying here for Andy specifically that he would get a job and would get one soon. It can be extremely tough for ex-offenders to find work once they are released from prison and Pastor Alan and his church have committed to pray for Andy every day that he would get a job soon. Please join them and us in praying into this situation every day.

Friday Blessing

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Dear Gideons,

In October I was a patient in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. I had broken my wrist and fractured my hip. I knew Gideon Bibles were in hotels as I have often found them there. Imagine my delight when I found one in the bedside locker the night before the operation on my wrist.

I was afraid and found such support from finding the few familiar passages such as Psalm 23 and others that friends were texting me to look up.

This is such a wonderful service and generosity you offer. I had no idea having been fortunate enough not to have been a hospital patient for all my life apart from aged 11 when I had my tonsils taken out.

This letter comes somewhat belatedly but nonetheless with my gratitude.

Warm regards,

Angela

A Pocket Full of Power

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Lester Harper is currently the Pastor at Reilly Springs Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas

I grew up in Northern Virginia, in a town called Manassas. I had loving parents who did everything in their power to raise me and my siblings right; they just didn’t take us to church. I remember making wrong decisions so many times growing up. I was a bad kid – a liar, addict, alcoholic, and blasphemer.

Halfway through my senior year of high school my principal came to me and said, “Lester, you have enough credits to graduate. You need to leave now. Don’t come back until June when you walk for graduation.” I was basically kicked out of high school.

At age 17, I felt a need to change my life. I didn’t even know who God was but I sensed him speaking to my heart. I enlisted in the military in an attempt to escape from the life I was living. I remember standing in the Military Entrance Processing Station in Baltimore, Maryland, when a man approached. He handed me a New Testament and said, “You’re making the best decision of your life.” I thought to myself: I don’t know, I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff but this is scary!

As I left for basic training I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant. We got married when I came home on leave in December but when I returned to training, life was a struggle. I traded a lifestyle of drugs for one filled with alcohol. I had a new wife, a child on the way and I was drinking myself to death.

I had no idea about the power of the Word of God but I knew there was something special about it.

For whatever reason, I carried that New Testament in my left front pocket. Every time I changed my uniform I would transfer it to the next front pocket. I had no idea about the power of the Word of God but I knew there was something special about it. Even when I deployed to Vicenza, Italy, on a Quick Reaction Force team I carried that New Testament with me.

Eventually, my wife arrived in Italy with my two week old daughter. I picked them up at the airport in Venice and took them to our home. Then, I jumped on an airplane to Congo. I came back six months later but then immediately went to Haiti. When I came back from Haiti I was off somewhere else. I deployed over and over again. Before I knew it my daughter was four years old and I had seen her very few times. In September 2001 I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I got out of the service and I went back home to Virginia.

The next five years of my life were spent trying to rebuild a relationship with my family but I could not put what I had done behind me. I pulled out that New Testament and read Matthew 11:28 which says, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” With that, I surrendered my life to Christ. I was baptised that year and I felt God’s call on my life to ministry. However, He wasn’t done and things got worse.

After Christmas in 2004, we lost everything to a house fire. A month later my dad fell off a scaffold and we had to shut down our masonry business. Feeling overwhelmed, I reenlisted in the military. Four years later I was in an airborne accident that shattered both of my legs, broke my back, and separated my shoulder. I thought to myself: What now, Lord?

On an airplane heading back to Landstuhl, Germany, I said, “God, You’ve got to give me something. I don’t know what I’m doing.” He said, “I called you into ministry, so why are you running?” That day, I surrendered my life completely. I prayed, “Lord, whatever it is you want me to, I will do it. I can’t do anything else now and there is nowhere to run.” The Lord called me to preach, so I became a minister.

My own power kept me running. His power gave me rest.

That New Testament was given to me in 1996 and I carried it with me because I knew it had some kind of power. It exploded in my heart and it revealed the one true God to me. It showed me where I could find what I needed. My own power kept me running. His power gave me rest.