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Monday, September 20, 2010

Gideons in Eastern Europe


Taking God’s Word to Eastern Europe
Three countries of Eastern Europe where the Gideons International operates are Czech Republic, Slovakia and Albania. The three countries combined have 251 Gideons, 72 Auxiliary and 36 camps.

Setting early precedents for Vision 2020
Overall, the camps in Czech Republic and Slovakia are well organized and their activities, such as Scripture distributions, are running smoothly. Meetings start on time and are well attended.
At least two camps in the Czech Republic are setting early precedents for the Gideons’ Vision 2020 goal to have intentionally developed relationships with each eligible church in a camp area. One camp reports that all seven churches in their area opened their doors for Gideon presentations. Another camp was planning to make visits to all six churches in its area.

Camps in Albania struggle with challenges
Gideon camps in Albania appear to be struggling more with challenges, ranging from lack of personal transportation to too few Gideons. However, it’s hoped that more training at the camp level will help the camps overcome some of these challenges. Thankfully, there are some Albanian camps that are performing very well, relying on God to help them overcome the challenges.

Stirring testimonies change a discouraged Gideon’s heart
As the Gideons arrived for an election of Gideon camp officers in Czech Republic, they noticed the camp president’s card and Gideon emblem lying on the table. He was discouraged and ready to quit not only his presidency, but the ministry, as well.

The Gideons continued with the meeting, during which a number of stirring testimonies were shared of lives that had been radically changed as a result of coming to know Christ by way of the copies of God’s Word placed by The Gideons International. After hearing a number of the testimonies, the room watched as the camp president reached over to the table and retrieved his card and Gideon emblem.
Before the meeting adjourned, the camp members unanimously agreed to re-elect that camp president. Never underestimate the inspiring power of testimonies.

Saved from the garbage
Caught up in hard drugs, Pavel lost his job and after the deaths of his parents, he was evicted from their home as he owed money to creditors. Homeless, he started picking out food scraps from trash containers. One day, while picking through the trash, he discovered a little blue Gideon New Testament. He started reading it, as he wandered from town to town, and eventually prayed to receive Christ. Soon after, Pavel found employment and was able to move into a home of his own.
–Czech Republic

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