The group takes its name from the Biblical figure Gideon, who is depicted in Judges 6 in the story in which flaming torches were placed inside clay jars – such a jar being the well-known logo of the Gideons, found on the cover of each scripture they distribute.
Today, Gideons International provides Bibles not only for hotels and motels, but also for schools, hospitals, medical offices, military bases, prisons, abuse safe houses and many more venues where they might be appreciated, as well as in sidewalk distribution in many cities. The “Bible Blitzes” they regularly organize are named after the Second World War “Blitz” of intensive bombing of certain areas – but referring now to intensive coverage of selected areas with Bibles!
Two recent Blitzes conducted by the Gideons show the scope and extent of their work. September 13-19 the organization conducted the “New York City Bible Blitz 2014” which distributed some 236,238 Bibles and Testaments in all five boroughs of the Metro New York City area in less than a week. Gideons also spoke in over 100 churches in the city, explaining their ministry and encouraging congregations to consider supporting their work through prayer, giving and involvement.
Further from home, a two-week International Scripture Blitz was also conducted this September in Nairobi, Eldoret, and Kisumu, Kenya. There, the Gideons had set a goal of distributing some 400,000 Scriptures in hospitals, schools, and other venues, but by the end of the Blitz the Gideons’ teams had exceeded their goal and had distributed over 600,000 free copies of God’s Word in Kenya.
One has to stop and think about the numbers involved to begin to understand the amazing accomplishment of these Blitzes. The Gideons work in almost 200 countries and have distributed scriptures in over 90 languages. More than 1.9 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been distributed by the organization since 1908. On average, numerous copies of the scriptures are distributed every second of every day through Gideons International, and it is anticipated that the organization will give away its two billionth Bible or testament in 2015.
This is clearly an organization doing wonderful work that is worthy of our support. You may find it inspiring to take a look at the Gideons International website some time.