Win The World Through God’s Word

by The Gideons International on July 2, 2015

The number of Scriptures distributed this past year through The Gideons International by geographic region. Click image to view full-size. © 2015 The Gideons International

The number of Scriptures distributed this past year through The Gideons International by geographic region. Click image to view full-size. © 2015 The Gideons International

Today, there are approximately 7.3 billion people in the world. At least two-thirds of these do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Through the prayers and support of churches and Christian donors, over 300,000 members of The Gideons International share God’s Word in 200 countries, territories, and possessions. They distribute more than two Bibles or New Testaments every second of every day. We praise the Lord for His continual blessings on this ministry.

Here is an overview of specific ways God is working through your faithfulness to give to and pray for The Gideons International:

Africa: A dominant area for men, women, and young people seeking the Lord, Gideons shared almost 17 million Scriptures this past year. The Gideons International also added over 3,000 new members here to meet growing needs.

Asia: This is the most populous continent and an area of Gideon emphasis. Last year, we distributed more than 17 million Scriptures. India is wide open to The Gideons International, and our membership there is growing faster than anywhere. The Lord is also paving a way for us in The People’s Republic of China.

Central America: We distributed more than 7.5 million Scriptures last year—a double-digit increase. Central America also realized a 4.3% jump in Gideon membership during the past twelve months.

Europe: There is great need for God’s Word as revival is overdue. In countries where the Gospel was suppressed for years, requests steadily grow. Last year, Gideons distributed over 7.2 million Scriptures across Europe, a 6% increase over the previous year.

Pacific Rim: There is steady growth in requests for Scriptures here, and Gideon distributions increased by over 19% last year to 5.8 million.

South America: We shared over 19 million Bibles and New Testaments last year, the most on any continent. In Brazil alone, Gideons placed 6.7 million Scriptures. Demand for God’s Word across South America should double by 2020.

USA: United States Gideons and Auxiliary shared 10.9 million copies of God’s Word last year. Our members personally witness and offer Scriptures in numerous venues, including hotels and motels, prisons, hospitals, and more.

We Still Face Great Challenges
Did you know in one-third of the 200 countries, territories, and possessions where The Gideons International is organized, yearly income (GDP) is less than $8,000? These people may never own, or even see, God’s Word without the ongoing support of The Gideons International.

Learn more about how you can become involved in the ministry of The Gideons International by visiting Friends of Gideons.

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Pastor Timothy Mattox: From Darkness To Light

by The Gideons International on June 26, 2015

Pastor Tim Mattox

Pastor Tim Mattox

Tim Mattox was born and raised by his mother in the USA, where he lived a fairly normal life until he reached his early teens. Struggling with adolescence, Tim began experimenting with alcohol and drugs to gain the acceptance of his peers.

At age 16, he lost his mother to cancer. Tim was angry and disillusioned with life and turned to stronger drugs to numb the pain. As Tim reached his early twenties, he lost all sense of self-worth, and his life was filled with whatever was necessary to maintain his drug habits. This eventually landed him in jail.

In his jail cell, he became clear-headed for the first time in years. Tim began to realize who he had become and felt a crippling sense of hopelessness. One day, he found a small Gideon-placed New Testament in his cell and began thumbing through the pages, landing in the book of Matthew. While he struggled at first to understand the words, soon Tim was captivated as the pages narrated the extraordinary life of Jesus Christ. Soon, Tim’s understanding of a better life led him to a fully surrendered heart.

Choosing Life
Tim realized God was offering him a brand new start. He understood what God was saying through the words, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness… do not worry about tomorrow,” (Matthew 6:33-34). Tim’s conviction was strong. He confessed his sins to God that day and invited Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. The painful, empty, and visionless life he had led was replaced with joy, purpose, and a future. Ephesians 2:4-5 taught him, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”

Tim saw only one reasonable response to what God had done for him: to tell anyone who would listen about the life-changing power of Jesus. It was during this time Tim began doing ministry with youth and the elderly. The simple and solid commitment to the study of God’s Word revolutionized Tim’s relationship with God. Working in him and through him, the Lord was gracious in using this unfinished vessel to reach others with His love.

Reaping the Harvest
In 1994, Tim went on a 10-day mission trip to Moscow, where God confirmed His call on Tim’s life to work in the mission field long term. Later that year, Tim returned to Moscow to reach people on the streets with Jesus’ love, work with local churches, and disciple young believers. During the 8 years spent in Moscow, Tim met and married his wife, planted a church, and received his pastor’s ordination.

Pastor Tim and his wife Darlene, along with their daughters, currently live in Cyprus, where he serves as the pastor of Calvary Chapel Paphos. Pastor Tim and his wife disciple a multicultural community of believers from all corners of the globe.

It is with an everlasting love and kindness our God draws us to Himself (Jeremiah 31:3). Pastor Tim’s story gives us hope by reminding us no one is beyond salvation and God’s plan is perfect for those who accept his Lordship.

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