God Opens The Doors For Country 198 – Cook Islands

by The Gideons International on July 23, 2014

cook islands map image

The Gideons International is pleased to announce the opening of Country 198, Cook Islands. The country has a population of 20,000 of which 55% are Protestant.

The island country is located in the South Pacific Ocean and operates as a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand.

In June, Geoffrey Severin, a member of the International Outreach Committee of The Gideons International, visited the city of Rarotonga. During his visit, a camp was formed with 7 Gideons and 5 Auxiliary. The estimated annual potential for distributions there is 4,300 Scriptures.

We praise God for His faithfulness in continuing to open doors where Gideons and Auxiliary can share copies of God’s Word, and lead the lost to Christ. Please pray that as these new members share Scriptures in the Cook Islands, many more of the country’s inhabitants will receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

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Waking Up To Discover God’s Word

by The Gideons International on July 15, 2014

I became a mother at the age of sixteen.

When I learned of my pregnancy, I thought it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Looking back, I now realize my son is one of the greatest blessings God has ever given me. After two failed marriages, it is my son who continues to show me unconditional love.

My faith journey has been long and difficult at times. Being brought up in a home full of fear and intimidation, I did not know how to trust others, let alone myself.
I have been haunted with suicidal thoughts for years.

During my last hospitalization, I was not only suffering from suicidal thoughts but had become very paranoid. Because I hadn’t slept for days, I was locked in a room and given a shot to make me sleep. Before the needle pierced my skin, I began to pray from my heart, asking God to give me the answers I needed to continue to live. My hope was if I awoke things would be different.

Hospital Bible from GideonsI awoke in a hospital room and beside me on the nightstand was a Gideon-placed Bible. I picked it up and began to read. I did not fully understand what I was reading at the time, but vowed to keep seeking the answers I needed from God in His Word.

To make a long story short, a friend invited me to attend a women’s Bible fellowship and I have been a member for three years now. The answers I have been seeking my whole life I found in the Holy Bible. I now know that God has been more concerned with my character than my comfort. When He doesn’t change my situation, He’s trying to change my heart.

I recently attended a church service at Taylor Chapel. George Konley, a Gideon, was the guest speaker and was sharing testimonies of lives transformed through Scriptures placed by Gideons. He held up a red Bible and at that moment I realized it was identical to the Bible I picked up in my hospital room some years ago. I wanted to jump out of my seat and share my story with the whole congregation.

I will forever be grateful to the Gideons for planting the seed of truth to grow my faith, and for my church family who allowed me to share my story and cement it in my heart.

As we read in 1 John 5:9-10:

“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself…”

Cindy R.
Fort Wayne, IN
June 2014

Edited by The Gideons International

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