Your Labor Is Not in Vain

Imagine a team of Gideons and Auxiliary on a mission to reach over 100,000 people in Ecuador with the Word of God. Against all odds and unforeseen challenges, they not only met but exceeded their target. Join us as we share their inspiring story and give glory to God for His hand at work.

Guayaquil, Ecuador, has been welcoming travelers for hundreds of years. The city, built on the coastal plain in the mid-1500s, has weathered the centuries and grown with the times. Today, Guayaquil remains Ecuador’s largest metropolitan area, with a population of well over 2.5 million people. The city still serves as the country’s main port, with most of the country’s industry within the city limits or located nearby. Guayaquil’s international airport is just 5 kilometers from the city center, and it was here that the visiting Gideons disembarked and first felt the muggy heat of South America and glimpsed the neighborhoods and streets of the city. Would they reach their distribution goals? How many of the people would soon have their own copies of God’s Word?  

In the words of Ecuador Blitz Team Leader David, a Gideon from Florida: 

"It was a joy to reflect on the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:58 during the course of the 2023 Ecuador International Scripture Blitz. While there was physical work to be done in distributing the Scriptures, that work could be done with complete confidence that the Word of God would accomplish His purpose in the lives of those who received it."

Prayer and Planning

The one-week blitz took place in early September 2023. Members from seven local camps had planned and prayed for months leading up to this event. The work of the blitz centered on the distribution opportunities in schools and colleges, hospitals and medical facilities, prisons, and military and law enforcement institutions.  

The local Auxiliary worked determinedly alongside the Gideons to ensure that the hospitals, medical institutions and offices, and the women’s prison were covered. Much work had been done to prepare, and a goal of 100,000 Scriptures was set.

In advance of the blitz, local Gideons and Auxiliary compiled a survey of distribution opportunities. This survey included a very large university, where it was planned for over 25,000 Scriptures to be distributed. Unfortunately, Gideons discovered the university was closed for the week and no students would be on the campus. It appeared that without this very large university distribution a significantly lower number of students would be reached. Yet, the teams were blessed and amazed by the many open doors God provided enabling the distributions to well exceed the goal without the university campus. In total, 123,803 people received a Scripture. Nearly 94% of those Scriptures were distributed to students at schools and one local university.

Teacher Can Now Point to God’s Word

Daryll, a Blitz participant from Pennsylvania, saw God move from the moment he received the invitation until the day of his departure for Ecuador, but it was nothing compared to how God moved once the blitz began.

Before a quick breakfast, his team began each day with prayer—asking for open doors, open hands, and open hearts—then headed out with a group of local Gideons. At 6:45 a.m., his team gathered outside a school where they began offering each student a Testament. It seemed every student was open and grateful to receive God's Word.

Their next stop was at a school with classes already underway. As they entered, the administrator greeted them and was grateful they were there. The group then began going room to room, not just handing out God’s Word, but sharing briefly with each class who they were and that they had a special gift just for them.


“As we handed them the Scriptures, many held it gently in their hands or hugged it close, then opened the Testament, and wrote their name on the inside cover,” said Daryll.

While this happened in many rooms, the real blessing was hearing the teacher say, “My students hear about Jesus, as I am a Christian and share about Him when I can.” What a blessing to know that the teacher now has His Word to point to when sharing about the Savior!

From Outside the Church to a Brother in Christ

On the Sunday before the blitz started, a Gideon gave a presentation at a church in Guayaquil. During the presentation, he noticed out of the open front door that a man with no shirt, threadbare jeans, and no shoes had laid down in front of the door. As congregants left, they stepped over and around him. The Gideon and the pastor went outside and woke him up. His name was Victor. He was in rough shape with sores on his bare feet and legs. “Pastor Zaruna and I laid hands on Victor and prayed for healing in his physical body. My Gideon brother, Fernando, gave Victor a Testament and talked with him about his salvation,” said the Gideon. “Victor received Christ on the stoop of that church and signed his name in the back of that Testament. Now Victor has his name in the Book of Life.” Pastor Zaruna found some new clothes for Victor and helped him on his way.

The Best Decision He Ever Made

After completing a distribution to an 8th grade class, a teacher asked if he could say a few words to the class and to the Gideons. He shared how Gideons came to his class many years before and give Him a Testament as a student. Every day in school, he would read from the Testament. Though many other students teased him, he did not care. At age 17, he gave his life to Jesus Christ, and it was the best decision he ever made. “This teacher was a living witness of the power of God’s Word to us Gideons and more importantly to all the students in his class,” said one of the blitz participants.

A Student’s Prayer

During a distribution in Durán at the Academia Naval Amazonas, the Adult Commander called some 200 students into formation. Gideons addressed the students and gave them Testaments. When the formation was dismissed, a young girl about fifteen years old went to the Commander and asked if she could speak to the Gideons. He gave her permission. She was emotional as she thanked them for being at her school and sharing about God. She asked if she could pray for them, so they all gathered around and held hands while this young Ecuadorian girl in uniform prayed. The Holy Spirit was at work in that place!

The Ground Prepared

One morning after a school distribution and a following visit to a police station, a Gideon named Michael spotted a shop on the corner with two ladies conversing out front. He grabbed the closest local Gideon and walked with him to the shop. The local Gideon started speaking to the ladies while Michael went into the shop to see if any more people were inside. When he came back outside, the two ladies had accepted Jesus Christ, and the Gideon was already leading them through the sinner’s prayer.  

“For the weeks and months leading up to the blitz, I had been asking my camp and my church to be praying according to Mark 4:20 that the Holy Spirit would go ahead of us and prepare the soil,” said Michael. “The fact that these ladies were so immediately responsive to the call of salvation is evidence that the ground had been plowed. Praise God for answered prayer and for two more names in the Lamb’s Book of Life!”

Undoubtedly, God used Gideons and Auxiliary to greatly impact the city of Guayaquil. Let’s not forget the impact blitzes also have on Gideons and Auxiliary. Blitz participants can make an eternal difference for thousands of people in a very short span of time, possibly changing the lives of entire families or even generations. Events such as these are a life-changing way to put faith into action, dramatically fulfill a burden for the lost, and widen your ministry vision.

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