Through the Windy City

Chicago is the third most populated city in the USA. With a culture of many different people groups, the Chicago metro area is filled with opportunities for God to work among the nations--all within this single city.

The eight-day Chicago Scripture Blitz began September 29, 2014. Around 150 Gideon and Auxiliary members participated, which allowed for a wide expanse of Scripture distribution throughout the city. Major colleges and universities, middle and high schools, nursing homes, hotels, hospitals, and many fire and police stations received the Word of God thanks to your prayers.

God Works On Hearts At Chicago Schools

At the University of Chicago, students streamed out of classrooms, and Gideons were met with so many opportunities they struggled to distribute Scriptures fast enough to meet the demand. Blitz team member Gunard Polite from North Chicago was overwhelmed by the response, as he quickly emptied a box of New Testaments and called for more.

One student, Michael, received his New Testament and just stood there looking at it, turning the book over in his hands nervously. A Gideon began to explain to Michael the Helps in the front of the book and the Plan of Salvation in the back. He shared the Gospel message of God’s love for the world and His plan to send His Son to die for our sins. As if a light were suddenly turned on, Michael’s face lit up. “That is wonderful,” he said. The young man was not ready to make a commitment at that time, but he promised he would read the New Testament.

God continued to protect Gideons as they shared copies of God’s Word at inner-city schools. By God’s grace, at one school, Gideons were in position to give Scriptures to students who had just left the scene of a fight.

One scheduled school distribution was cancelled due to weather, and Gideons again prayed for a “heavenly umbrella” so they could complete the work. The team continued their distributions in the surrounding area schools. The students were very open to receiving Scriptures. As the last two New Testaments remaining were handed out, the rain poured. God was at work at Chicago schools, and just like the rain, His Word began to saturate the campuses.

An Amazing Jail Visit

Saturday, a group of Gideons walked into Cook County Jail, the third-largest jail in the USA with over 12,500 inmates. The building was separated into 14 large rooms, each containing rows of bunk beds, tables, and sinks. The inmates were gathered in groups, playing cards, lying on beds, or watching television. As a guard stood watch, the door opened to the cell and a group of Gideons stepped in, praying for protection and boldness as the eyes of hardened criminals followed their steps.

Dave Youmans, a Gideon from Illinois, opened a box of Bibles and stated in a loud voice, “We have a free gift for everyone. If you could turn off the television, and everyone gather around, we have great news for you!” The guards were amazed at the boldness of this Gideon as well as the inmates’ instant interest in hearing what the Gideons had to say. The Gideon began to proclaim the Gospel as the prisoners stood attentive.

When offered an opportunity to receive Christ, a group of the prisoners wept. It was like the Spirit of God was rushing in as wind through that cell.

Those same men, who only a half hour earlier appeared so intimidating, were now joining hands with the Gideons in prayer. You could hear the echoes of the sinner’s prayer bouncing off the walls, as they prayed in unison.

“Imagine a circle of criminals, rough looking men tattooed with gang symbols, joined hand-in-hand asking the God of creation to forgive their sins and change their lives. The air was thick with the Holy Spirit—you could just reach out and touch it.” one member added.

The Impact Of The Chicago Blitz

To our members, donors, pastors and others who support us through prayer and giving, thank you for helping make the Chicago Scripture Blitz a success. At latest count, the team distributed nearly 100,000 copies of Gods’ Word that week.

We praise God that in this day and age, the Word of God continues to get out into our inner cities.

Share in the effort