The 2015 Ecuador International Scripture Blitz

by The Gideons International on May 27, 2015

The Gideons International Ecuador ISB photo

A Gideon shares a copy of God’s Word during the 2015 Ecuador International Scripture Blitz. © 2015 The Gideons International

The South American country of Ecuador is home to approximately 15.5 million people. This past April, local Gideons and their wives, along with a team of international members, distributed over 200,000 copies of God’s Word to the people of Ecuador; to schools, colleges, medical centers and prisons. By the end of the week, at least 100 people made professions of faith in Christ.

Gideons started in the city of Ambato to pray for the Lord’s guidance. Ambato is a city located in the central Andean valley.

The Gideons had planned a distribution to a Special Forces unit on a military base nearby. They were given the opportunity to speak to hundreds of uniformed men and women on the parade grounds and each soldier received a New Testament. The personal endorsement by the company’s commanding officer was particularly moving. He held his New Testament in the air and spoke to his soldiers, “This is the greatest weapon you will own. For a weapon to be effective, you have to spend time learning how to use it. You must care for it, and practice often. This weapon is no different – use it, read it, and I promise you will be more effective soldiers.”

Several teams also distributed Scriptures at the local technical university. A team of Gideons handed out New Testaments as thousands of students passed through the campus. Over 80% of the Scriptures distributed during this blitz went to students for an ongoing investment in the next generation.

During the week there were several highlights as men, women and young people gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here are a few examples of God making divine appointments in Ecuador:

While walking through a market, I gave an elderly Ecuadorian man a New Testament. I began showing him Scripture verses. He was kind and gentle, but held a sad, dejected expression on his face. He humbly asked, “Well, how can I be saved?” I explained salvation was a free gift and he only needed to believe, repent of his sins, and ask Jesus Christ to come into his life. His sad face transformed into a wide smile as he decided to put his faith in Jesus Christ.

As a team of Gideons made a distribution at Alfonso Castillo School, they presented New Testaments to three teachers in the staff room. One of the Gideons asked if they were Christians. Two of them said they were. However, one of the teachers, Alexandra, said she was not. One of the Gideons asked if he could explain to her how she could become a Christian. She said yes. He asked her to open her New Testament to the back and explained the plan of salvation. When he was finished, he asked her if she understood she was a sinner and needed Jesus in her heart. She again said yes and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior. The other two teachers were shedding tears of joy as they watched their friend sign the back of her Scripture. They also agreed to provide spiritual guidance and support for their new sister in Christ.

We rejoice in God’s promise that if we are faithful in sowing the seed, He will provide the increase. Thank you for being a part of this effort. Pray the Spirit of God will use these 204,000 copies of His Word to the eternal salvation of men, women, and young people in Ecuador.


Pastor’s Point: Pointing to Jesus

by The Gideons International on May 22, 2015

Pastor Brett Meador of Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Pastor Brett Meador of Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Wilsonville, Oregon.

One day, Pastor Brett Meador had an appointment at his office at Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Wilsonville, Oregon. That individual didn’t arrive. However, in the Lord’s perfect timing, someone else did show up at the church’s door.

“A fellow walked in and asked if he could talk to the pastor,” says Meador. “You could tell he was a hard working guy. He drove a truck with all kinds of heavy-duty equipment and was very tough looking. He had one of those gruff voices.” It was clear to the pastor the man was not at peace.

At first, Meador thought perhaps the man had come because he had a problem with the church. Meador asked how he could help him.

“I haven’t been to church since I was a kid,” he said, and began to get emotional. “My life is lost. I’ve got nothing.” The man then burst into tears.

The pastor realized he had misread the man’s motives for coming to see him. The man then asked, “What do I need to do to become a Christian?”

Meador was relieved. He was thrilled to help the man find his way to Jesus. “It was really one of the easiest times I’ve ever had sharing the Gospel. He was so ready to receive it.”

Teaching God’s Word Since Age 12
Pastor Meador has been teaching the Bible most of his life. He grew up in south Oregon where he was raised in the church and inspired by his pastor’s verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible.

“At the age of 12, I decided I wanted to be a pastor,” he says. So he started teaching the first grade class at Sunday school and has been teaching people God’s Word ever since.

What God Is Doing At Athey Creek

A large headline on the website of Athey Creek Christian Fellowship reads: “We want everything we do to point to Jesus.”

Meador realizes the importance of outreach, and he knows it takes an entire church to do it. He exhorts his members to live out their lives among their neighbors, and in doing so to share the Gospel. He wants them to witness in a way that’s natural, not contrived. So in addition to living out their faith among their neighbors, Athey Creek’s members help feed the homeless and are very involved with the schools.

Athey Creek Christian Fellowship worship service photo

Athey Creek Christian Fellowship has a weekly attendance of around 4,000 people who worship in the church’s warehouse-style space in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Between the rise of liberal theology and the growing secularism in the USA, Pastor Meador thinks that Christians are going to face more challenges in terms of being bold in their faith. “It used to be that even people who didn’t believe the Bible had a certain respect for it. I am seeing more hostility, to the point of trying to keep people from having the right to share God’s Word openly.”

A Long Time Supporter Of Gideons
“My first connection to The Gideons was in middle school. I got a really cool New Testament,” Meador says. That moment left an impression on him.

There is a Gideon in his own family. “I was excited when my grandfather told me he was going to be a Gideon.” He says his grandfather helped coordinate distributions. “He was always carrying around boxes of Scriptures.” His grandfather is 92 years old now.

Meador encourages men to become Gideons. Some of the men in his church are now Gideons. He also always checks for a Gideon Bible whenever he stays in a hotel.

“We pray for The Gideons. We enjoy giving to the Gideon ministry,” says Meador. “What better thing can a person do than to place a copy of God’s Word into the hands of someone?”

As for the big burly man who showed up at Meador’s office that one day, the pastor says this new child in Christ has attended every worship service since. “Even someone as tough as nails needs the One who was tougher than the nails that held Him to a cross.”

We thank Pastor Meador and Athey Creek Christian Fellowship for their support of The Gideons International. And for their boldness in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.