MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL
Vasili took the Testament to a local church and asked the pastor there to help him understand the Word of God. This pastor trained Vasili in the true meaning of the Scriptures, and soon Vasili understood the love of Christ and his need for salvation. Today Vasili is an active member of the local Gideon Camp and working hard to make sure people in his community have a chance to receive their own copies of God’s Word.
The late Dean Martin sang it over and over again, “You Are Nobody Until Somebody Loves You.” Only in Jesus Christ does the love of God overwhelm us. I must be precious to God for Him to do what He did for me on the cross. The love of God for me is the blood of Jesus Christ for my sins. No one has ever been loved in the ultimate sense of the word until they experience the love of God in Jesus Christ for each and every sinner. The Bible is the Book of God’s love enabling the one who feels he is nobody to realize that he is really somebody in God’s heart.
FINDING FAITH AND A CHRISTIAN HUSBAND
Mary was a high school student in the Ukraine when she received a little blue New Testament from the Gideons visiting her school. She began reading it immediately and continued to do so for many weeks. Soon she received Jesus as her Savior and Lord.
Mary then joined a local church and eventually met a fine young Christian man who she married. This man is now pastor of a growing evangelical congregation that actively supports the Gideon Ministry. He tells how he is grateful to the organization that took the time to hand out New Testaments at his wife’s high school.
As another song goes, “Little is much when God is in it.” A high school student is given a little New Testament which is full of God. Now her life is full of Jesus and full of God’s purpose for her as she is the wife of a man of God who became a preacher of the Gospel. Mary is a living example that God intends better for us than we ever intended for ourselves. This too is the gift of God to everyone who believes in His Son. There was more in that little New Testament than Mary could have every dreamed or imagined, and the greatest is yet to be.
A QUESTION QUANTUM PHYSICS COULDN’T ANSWER
Oronzo was a physics professor at a university in Albania. He always thought about God, but he did not know what “belonging to God” really meant. He seemed satisfied with teaching his physics class – in spite of the political situation in his country.
One day, Oronzo heard a Gideon speaking in front of his university building about Jesus Christ and his plan for salvation. The speaker was also distributing New Testaments. The speaker asked Oronzo what would become of him after death. Suddenly Oronzo realized that everything he was doing was meaningless in comparison to this one question.
Oronzo began reading his New Testament, and soon came to the day when he wrote his name in the back of that New Testament as he accepted Christ as his Savior. Jesus Christ wrote Oronzo’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life that same say.
What will become of you after death? Lane Adams was a nightclub singer in Las Vegas and married a nightclub singer in Las Vegas as well. One night during an argument with his wife in a motel room, she threw a Gideon Bible across the room at him and said, “You ought to read this.” He did, and later Lane who looked like a Greek god and sang like Robert Goulet – became a man of God.
One day on a plane, Lane noticed the stewardess. He called her back and asked, “What are you planning? She said, “Well, I’m going to college on the side, and I plan to graduate.” Lane queried again, “What about after that?” She said, “I hope to get married.” And again he asked, “And after that?” She smiled and said, “I hope to have children.” “But then what,” he asked. She said, “Well, I guess we’ll buy a home.” He asked, “What then?” She replied, “Well, I guess we’ll buy a boat.” “And after that, then what,” he asked. “Well,” said, “I guess then we’ll retire.” “And what about after that,” he asked. She said, “I suppose we’ll die.” He asked again, “And after that?” This time there was no answer, she we silent. Only the Word of God gives us the answer to that eternal and all important question.
FROM NEAR DEATH TO EVERLASTING LIFE
Nicolai was in prison and dying from tuberculosis. He was also a chronic smoker, alcoholic, and a drug addict. In the prison library, Nicolai found a blue New Testament placed there by the Gideons. He began to read the Bible and came under the conviction that he was a sinner. The Holy Spirit moved in his heart, and Nicolai confessed his sins and received Jesus as His Savior and Lord.
Nicolai quit smoking, regained his health, and was miraculously healed of his tuberculosis. The doctors could find no indication that he ever had the diseases from which earlier he was dying. Upon his release from prison, Nicolai found a church to attend. Nicolai became an active leader in his congregation and a powerful tool in the hands of the Master.
HUNGER FOR THE WORD
One of the most significant doors in the world opened to Scripture distribution by the Gideons and others when the Iron Curtain came down in 1989-1990. People in Russia, and the states that made up the former Soviet Union, needed more than their freedom, they needed the Word of God.
In those dark Soviet Block 70 years, people were so hungry for the Word of God and its message of hope, that they were willing to pay one or two month’s salary for a Bible…if they could find one. Bibles were sold for as much as $100.00 on the black market. And when the Gideons began placing Bibles in Russian hotels for free, 70% of them were gone within a couple of weeks. Hotel management would tell the guests not to take the Bibles, but guests said, “I will take it and read it, and God will forgive me.”
It is obvious that God has powerfully intervened in Eastern Europe and used his missionaries, pastors, the people of God and His powerful Holy Word to help pull these people in the former Soviet Union from the depths of despair and hopelessness. The door to Russia is yet open, and we must take full advantage of it before it is closed again.