Yes, it’s true! A tiny 3x5 book saved not only my life, but my very soul! Let me explain. Ya see, I was heavily involved in Satanism and the Occult for 33 years. I didn’t believe in Jesus, thought the Bible was just another mythology book like all the others I studied, and I despised Christians! I was so hardcore that upon my first incarceration in prison at the age of 18, I noticed the chapel allowed many religions to have services, but not the pagans. So, the next 6 years I fought to get “Wiccan/Pagan Religious Groups” going. After a 6 year battle, and being transferred from prison to prison, doing most of that time in the hole, I won the battle. And to this day every prison in Wisconsin has a Wiccan/Pagan Religious Group.
Even when sitting in county jails, they had to let me out one hour every day and put me into a single cell so I could do my rituals. So, at the age of 44 and sitting in the jail again and probably looking at spending most of the rest of my life in prison, I had come to myself and realized I couldn’t do this anymore. I knew the drugs were my biggest problem and was actually going to DO something about it.
They had a 14 week drug and alcohol program in the jail which was faith based. You had to have a bible to do the homework. I didn’t want anyone, including the jailers, to see me with a bible. I got to the library by myself one day, found one of those 3x5 pocket Gideon Bibles, stashed it down my sock, and got back and hid it under my pillow. After they locked us up at night and the guards made their rounds, I would break out that little pocket testament and fill in the blanks on my homework. Long story, but because I was reading the truth, the truth of Jesus Christ, it set me free!!
I have destroyed many bibles in my past, but it only took that one to save my life. I praise the Lord for the Gideon who placed that little testament in that jail!
Since my release on June 1, 2010 and after telling my story at a jail ministry fundraiser, there was a Gideon there who approached me after and asked if the little Bible I talked about was a Gideon Testament. I told him yes. Since that day I have had the opportunity to speak at Gideon Conventions at least twice a year all around the United States, including the International Gideon Convention in Orlando about 3 years ago. I am heading to another Gideon convention this weekend in Iowa.
Who are the Gideons? In my opinion, the Gideons are the one organization who encompass all of the things which a ministry needs to be about: Sharing the Gospel with others, praying and evangelizing. They do all of that and more. There are more times than not when I am asked to speak at a Church or Church function and I do not get prayed for before I go up. With the gideons, they not only do that, but they are in prayer for me long before I arrive, and usually hook my up with a prayer warrior while at these events. I have been to the airport
leaving a convention with other Gideons and have walked the airport with them ministering to people, praying with people, and spreading the gospel.
The Gideons are all about reaching men and women, boys and girls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are active in over 200 countries. They have been around for over 100 years and have handed out over 2 BILLION bibles since 1908. On average they hand out more than 2 copies of God’s Word per second, over one million every 4 days. They are the ones who place bibles in the prisons, hotels, hospitals, and other places.
Last October I was working alongside the Gideons for a week in Pennsylvania and spoke in 10 places. There was another Gideon along with us named Ray Woodcock who was the key Gideon Speaker who gave the message in many of those places. We were side by side for a week and really got to know each other. Ray is much older than me, but we really hit it off. Just 2 weeks ago Ray came all the way from Pennsylvania to stay with me and my family for 3 days. The above picture is Ray and myself. My kids loved him instantly!
That is a picture of all of the Gideons! A love for Jesus and therefore a love for people. A love for people enough to not want to see anyone outside of the Kingdom of heaven and suffering an eternity apart from Him. I praise God for the Gideon Ministry. Thank you all for what you do and your service in the Name of Jesus Christ.