A Path to Purpose

Matthew 4:19 (ESV) says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

When Debbie started her journey as a new believer, she had no idea those words would pertain to her. When she married her husband, John, he was already a member of The Gideons International. The couple’s first two years of marriage were busy, as they blended their family together and added a new baby boy to their mix, as well. They received a phone call from a very faithful Gideon inviting them to each monthly camp meeting, and every single month she would have to decline because they had soccer practice Monday through Thursday and three soccer games to attend on Saturday.

A Memory Turns into a Mission

One very rainy evening, soccer practice was canceled, and they were able to attend the camp meeting. Debbie was impressed with their warm welcome. “As we took a seat, I noticed the array of Scriptures on a nearby table. My eyes went directly to the white Medical Testament. I picked it up, went to the back page, and knew at that very moment that I would be part of The Auxiliary of The Gideons International,” she remembers.

A Medical Testament had been used by a nurse to lead her to the Lord 10 years prior. She says, “I’ll never forget how the Scriptures on the back page of that Medical Testament and the nurse’s prayer changed my life forever. Only God could lead me right back to that Testament and open the door for me to serve and partner with Him as an Auxiliary of The Gideons.”

Going and Growing with God

Debbie and her husband were able to change their schedule so they could attend every camp meeting from that night on. She was very impressed with the blessings of establishing a stronger prayer life. “I watched and I learned how to be a prayer warrior. I had never prayed out loud before, and the sweet Auxiliary sisters were patient with me and never made me feel uncomfortable. Only God could take a shy baby Christian and grow her into an international Auxiliary chaplain.”

That is only one of the areas God has grown and directed me into during this incredible journey. He grew me into various camp and state cabinet offices. She remembers attending her first state convention sitting next to the lady who was being nominated to the office of Auxiliary president. She thought, “Oh, wow. I could never do something like that.” God has a plan, and we can sometimes be very, very surprised at the paths that He has for us.

“I’ll never forget how the Scriptures on the back page of that Medical Testament and the nurse’s prayer changed my life forever.”

Her first appointed office was Auxiliary Scripture coordinator. As she grew and learned her responsibility as an encourager in all areas of distribution, there was just one area she felt she couldn’t be a part of: jail ministry. She was scared to go into a correctional facility. The Lord worked on my heart, and she decided to go on a jail distribution. “I was overwhelmed by the women and their eagerness to have a Testament. I remember thinking, ‘These women don’t look like hardened criminals. These were hurting, scared, broken women looking for comfort.’ That experience opened a new door that only God could open.” She has been blessed to lead Auxiliary distribution teams to that same correctional facility for the past 20 years.

Ongoing Blessing and Purpose

Debbie is grateful for the years she has been an Auxiliary—there are so many stories and journeys she has been blessed to be part of because she joined her husband in The Gideons International.

She says,

“I know our marriage is stronger and our service to our Heavenly Father has been an example to our children and our grandchildren. And the opportunities are ongoing. Do I step out in faith? Oh, absolutely. Have I seen firsthand God’s hand at work? Absolutely. I can tell you I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Some of my personal blessings come in the friendships that we have made along the way. I have always said many people go to church for many different reasons, but as Gideons and Auxiliary, we come together for the same reason—to win men, women, boys, and girls for our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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