Blessings in Belgium: The 2014 Belgium International Scripture Blitz

“Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” was the theme of the International Scripture Blitz in Belgium, home to 11 million citizens.

The local Gideons and Auxiliary were joined by members from the United States, Finland, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Each morning, the team began with prayer in Dutch, French, Flemish, Swiss, Finish, Italian, and English. They felt especially enthusiastic as the trip was held right in the middle of the Christmas season. All week, team members greeted people with Christmas spirit while distributing the Word of God, the true reason for holiday celebration.

There were challenges. Many facilities rejected Scripture placements with comments such as, “We cannot accept Scriptures; we must cater to everyone.” In addition, a national strike shut down all public air and ground transportation, causing schools and universities to close early for holiday breaks. Protesters blockaded traffic, preventing smooth transportation from one distribution site to the next. However, your prayers were present and God still had plans for Belgium.

One team visited a local seminary where students from over 35 countries were studying for ministry. The Gideons were asked to explain the history of The Gideons International and emphasize the importance of the partnership with local churches. After the presentation, International Treasurer Allen J. Huth gave the students a pop quiz. “Who provides the money for the Scriptures we distribute?” he asked. “Churches!” they shouted. “Who provides the members for The Gideons International?” he continued. “Churches!” they shouted again. The Gideons left that day encouraged by the future pastors who clearly understood their significance in partnering with The Gideons International to win people to Christ.

There Are No Coincidences

As one team called a prison to schedule a distribution, they discovered the prison was hosting a training session for chaplains from across northern Belgium. Instead of reaching just one prison, the team had the opportunity to explain the Gideon prison ministry to nearly 30 chaplains at once.

After a discouraging morning of school closures and rejections, a group of Gideons decided to take a break for lunch. They prayed for God’s intervention. As they headed back out after lunch, a large group of students was walking down a sidewalk right in front of them. The Gideons learned they were all headed to a Christmas program. Gideons took the opportunity to distribute another 200 Dutch New Testaments to the students as they entered the school program.

By the end of the week, over 45,000 Scriptures were distributed. Since The Gideons first organized in Belgium in 1965, over 1.2 million Scriptures have been placed in the country. Praise the Lord for His marvelous grace and divine plan.

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