The 2015 Thailand International Scripture Blitz

In September, Gideons in Thailand conducted a one-week International Scripture Blitz. Gideons from the USA, Korea, and the British Isles traveled to be a part of this opportunity to share God’s Word with the people of Thailand in hopes of reaching the lost for Christ.

Gideons established the first camp in Thailand in 1961. Today, there are 100 Gideon camps in the country with 1,572 Gideons and 478 Auxiliary. It was from these members that Soothorn Adchariyaprateep, a Field Representative for The Gideons International in Thailand, coordinated the team of local members to serve in this blitz.

The theme verse for this blitz was:“This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” – John 17:3

“We chose this verse in light of the blitz being in a country where there is a worship of multiple gods and idols,” said International President Dr. Bill Thomas of the British Isles, who served as the team leader for the blitz.

During the blitz, team members placed and distributed Scriptures in the southern province of Songkhla. Throughout the week, members from multiple camps in Thailand traveled into the province to help carry out distributions at a number of locations including schools, universities, jails, hotels, and hospitals. “Their enthusiasm was infectious,” says Thomas. “I thank God for their commitment.”

God’s Word Goes Forth, Even in Rainy Weather

Going into the blitz, there were concerns about the weather. Forecasts for torrential rain were predicted for the entire week, which could present a challenge for any outdoor distributions.

However, in God’s grace, the weather cooperated. At times when it did rain hard, members were distributing Scriptures at venues where they could easily continue their activities under shelter.

One evening, rain poured as Gideons distributed copies of God’s Word to students inside a classroom building. Students remained inside the building waiting for the rain to end. This created an opportunity for Gideons to engage in personal witnessing. Two  young men, Datana and Visariot, approached the Gideons and asked where they were from and why they were in Thailand. The Gideons explained they came from around the world to bring them the most important gift they could offer - God’s Word.

The young men asked why these Scriptures were so important. The Gideons pointed to the plan of salvation inside the back cover of the New Testament. As Datana and Visariot read the verses, the Holy Spirit was at work. Moments later, they both asked the Gideons if they could pray to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The rain continued falling outside, but God’s love was shining bright inside the hearts of these two new Christians.

Hearts Open to the Gospel

Gideons were uplifted to see people of other faiths interested to learn how the Gospel of Christ differed from their own religious traditions. “Wherever we went we were well-received. We were amazed at the openness,” said Dr. Thomas.

As Gideons distributed Scriptures at Thaksin University, a young man named Meyi approached them. He shared he was Buddhist; however, he was interested in learning more about the Christian faith. The Gideons gave him a New Testament in the Thai language. “I shared with him how God loved him. I told him about Jesus and encouraged him to read the New Testament to learn more about Christianity,” said Bill Sandel, a Gideon from Florida. One of the Gideons of Thailand also befriended Meyi to continue the relationship established that day.

At one grade school distribution, Gideons ran out of Scriptures before all the students received a copy. David Autry, a Gideon from Tennessee, was saddened by the disappointed faces of children who didn’t receive a Scripture. “You could see the hurt in their eyes. The expressions on their faces spoke volumes – ‘Do you not have one for me? Where is my copy of God’s Word?’” David said those memories will inspire him to continue serving in The Gideons International in hopes that someday those children and others like them will also receive a copy of God’s Word.

One day during the blitz, Larry Wright, a Gideon from Arkansas, was inside a coffee shop when a young student approached him and told him he received a New Testament from Wright three days earlier at his school. He thanked Wright, telling him he took the Scripture home, read it, and dedicated his life to the Lord. “We’re just servants of the Lord telling the people of Thailand about our living God and declaring His glory among the nations,” said Wright.

God’s Faithfulness

The Scripture goal for this blitz was 60,000 copies of Gods Word. However, Gideons far exceeded the goal, distributing 32,419 Scriptures in Songkhla and 56,581 in Hat Yai, for a total of 89,000 Scriptures. That’s 89,000 Scriptures into the hands of families in this predominantly Buddhist culture.

Bill Thomas said, “My prayer is that the Spirit of God will use these 89,000 copies of God’s inspired, infallible and inerrant Word to the end that thousands of men, women and children in the wonderful country of Thailand will come to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

“Indeed we were given the privilege of witnessing so many coming to faith while we were there. We rejoice God has promised if we are faithful in sowing the seed, He will provide the increase. As we see the blessings and fruit of this blitz, may we be careful to give all the glory to our Heavenly Father.”

We thank everyone who participated in this blitz, as well as all our members, donors, and others whose prayers and support helped open doors for Gideons and Auxilary to share God’s Word. Most of all, we thank God for all we believe He will do in the hearts of those who will come in contact with the Scriptures placed during the Thailand International Scripture Blitz.

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