The Gideons International Scripture Blitz Hits Erie County
Allowing people to encounter the truth of God’s Word themselves, The Gideons International, famous for their distribution of compact Bibles, continues its efforts of spreading Scripture all throughout the world, focusing this time in Erie County, Pa.
For the first time, local members of the organization are holding their Scripture Blitz event in the county, attempting to give away 20,000 Bibles and New Testaments in just three days, according to Erie Times-News.
The blitz, which began Monday, is expected to reach many who have either never heard or read about the Gospel message, or heard but not thoroughly understood the message.
Gary Richardson, Chief Operations Officer at TGI, told The Christian Post that the Scripture Blitz was a very intense effort to meet the opportunities available in a metropolitan area.
“It’s something that we’ve done for many years in our ministry,” he added.
About 30 to 40 Gideons will deliver the Bibles and New Testaments to Erie County residents, taking the Bibles everywhere from nursing homes to schools and colleges. About 3,000 of the texts will be distributed to hotels and motels, a practice the organization is widely known for.
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“It’s a way of making sure a Bible is in every room,” Dave Hillman, general chairman of the blitz, told Erie Times-News.
Similar events held in Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg and Pittsburg – have had great success as well, he said.
Of the less than 300,000 people in the Pennsylvania county, there are 100 Gideons, along with 65 spouses, who are auxiliary members.
Worldwide, there are more than 290,000 Gideons and auxiliary members in more than 10,000 local groups.
The efforts of Gideons around the world have been impacting people for Christ since the organization began in 1899.
TGI serves as an extended missionary arm of the church and is the oldest association of Christian businessmen and professional men in the United States.
Just in the last 10 years, more than 700 million Bibles and New Testaments were distributed worldwide. On average, more than two copies of God’s Word are distributed per second.
“Having God’s Word can and does lead people to faith in Christ, and those new Christians then grow by studying their Scriptures, and even use them to share their faith with others,” the organization states on its website.
“Distributing complete copies of God’s Word also: plants powerful seeds that God can use in His timing, allows people to read the truth for themselves, provides a continuing witness when the Gideon is no longer present, makes it easier for the people we reach to, in turn, reach others with the truth about Jesus, and makes it possible for new Christians to learn and grow through personal Bible study,” TGI highlights.
Earlier in January, men from the international team of Gideons went to the Philippines to carry out a two-week International Scripture Blitz with the help of 57 local camps.
In those two weeks alone, 1.6 million copies of the Bible were distributed, a new record even for an International Scripture Blitz by TGI.
“We praise God for the revival that will take place in the Philippines as a result of this massive influx of God’s Word,” TGI noted in its blog. “Families will see men step up as spiritual leaders. Schools will see children who live to honor God and obey their parents. Pastors will see new Christians showing up at their churches.”
TGI also held a Scripture Blitz in New York last month.
Copies of God’s Word were distributed at hospitals, police stations, fire stations, nursing homes, shelters, prisons and campuses in all five boroughs of New York – Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens.
God is opening up many doors for His Word to be shared throughout the world, TGI said.
Much of the work done by the Gideons is accomplished in cooperation with local churches around the area, Richardson told CP.
Many who begin a relationship with Christ initially by the reading of God’s Word can continue to follow up with any of the local churches, maintaining and further deepening their newfound relationship.
The international president of The Gideons announced a three-tier strategy for keeping the ministry moving forward. The effort began with focusing on relationship with churches, followed by membership and then Scripture distribution.
“All to win more men, women, boys and girls to Jesus Christ.”