Stepping Out In Faith Through Open Doors In Lithuania

To help bring more people of Lithuania into a saving faith in Jesus Christ, The Gideons International conducted a week-long International Scripture Blitz there in early April.

In the months leading up to the distribution, prayers for the event were being lifted up by Gideons and Auxiliary in the city of Vilnius, as well as by the six participants from the U.S., and two more from Germany and Finland. Many churches in the Vilnius community also were actively praying for the event’s success.

Last Minute Delays And Cancellations

For some of the team members, just getting to Lithuania had its share of challenges. The blitz team leader and another member from the U.S. both experienced 24-hour flight delays.

The local members had done a tremendous amount of pre-planning. Yet what they had not planned on were cancellations by the venues where many distributions had been scheduled. As the blitz began, many of the schools began calling at the last minute to call off the distributions. For the team members, it seemed like the week was unraveling.

However, the men remained determined to share God’s Word without fear. “This team was perhaps the most gifted group I have ever had the privilege to lead,” said team leader and former International President of The Gideons International Perrin Prescott. “They took every opportunity to put a Scripture in every hand that was outstretched. Their faithfulness was a great blessing and encouragement to me.”

While many doors closed at the last moment, at the remaining scheduled distribution locations, the freedom to share God’s Word was wide open for the Gideons. “I was very encouraged that others not only gave us access but graciously guided us around so all their classes could hear the Gospel and get their own New Testaments,” said team member Leon Hurst. “It was totally different from my distribution experiences in the U.S.”

“The thrill of being a part of an event much larger than ourselves was humbling,” he added. “There is no doubt that God will use this blitz to change lives.”

Gideons Experience The Impact Of Sharing God’s Word

During the blitz, Hurst says the team met a Catholic priest who told them that he had come to faith in Jesus by reading a copy of God’s Word provided by a Gideon.

“This blitz increased my motivation to do even more with the Gideons, and invest more time and money toward the distribution of God’s Word,” said Andreas Klapproth of Germany. He said that he was very encouraged meeting so many other faithful Christians from around the world who participated in the blitz.

For team member Ken Bischoff of the U.S., participating in the distributions in Lithuania was truly a miracle. “In the months prior to this blitz, there were times I questioned my ability to even go due to multiple major surgeries on my back and shoulders, numerous spider bites, and three financial set-backs,” he says. “I refused to relent, asking God for Elisha’s double-portion,” said Ken, referring to II Kings 2:9 when Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his spirit. “The enemy tried his best to hinder us from attending this blitz, but our God is greater than the enemy’s fiery darts.”

“This blitz was not work, but truly a labor of love and a wonderful experience,” he added. “For us to be welcomed into student classrooms to give out Testaments to almost every student by Lithuanian high school teachers, university professors, librarians, and their administrators, was a most gratifying and humbling experience. It was an experience I treasure and will never forget.”

Blitz Results In 20,724 More Scriptures In Lithuania

In addition to the 24 schools and 5 universities where Gideons shared Scriptures, distributions were also conducted in 3 hotels and 4 hospitals. Still, the many cancellations at schools severely reduced the number of opportunities to share God’s Word, and the team distributed only a little over half the original goal of 40,000 Scriptures.

However, based on many testimonies we have received over the years, we know that even a single copy of God’s Word can result in several salvation testimonies. So we pray that God will multiply the impact of those Scriptures distributed during our week in Lithuania.

It was in 1992 that The Gideons International first organized a local presence in Lithuania. Today, the country has six camps, 49 Gideons and 20 Auxiliary. To date, our members have placed over 1.5 million Scriptures there.

The Gideons International thanks all the members who participated in the blitz, and the many churches and others who supported us with their prayers and financial support. And most of all, we thank the Lord for making it possible to share His Word with the people of Lithuania.

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