A Lamp and a Light

Spiritual Sundays

I wrote a while back about the hubby and my father being active Gideons.  One of the things the Gideons do is hold Pastors’ Banquets.  They are showing appreciation for all that pastors do and for the pastors’ letting speakers into their churches to talk about the Gideons.  I accompanied the hubby to our local Pastors’ Banquet on Tuesday night.  I always like to go because there are  testimonies that move me to tears, and this night was no exception.

Our speaker had been on a Bible blitz in Africa, and he told the story of meeting a former mercenary executioner as he traveled.  This man told our speaker that a Gideon Bible had saved his life although the man who gave it to him would never know it.  I had to hear more.

This mercenary, it seems, had been asked to kill a priest in his country more than twenty years ago.  The priest asked to pray with him before he was shot.  I had a hard time even imagining that.  Somebody is going to shoot you, and you ask to pray with them?  But that’s not even all of what happened!  The prisoner gave his executioner a  Bible!  And the executioner stuck it in a drawer and kept it for many year

Since the former soldier is now a Gideon, I expected to hear that the priest’s prayer had worked and he had been converted on the spot.  That’s not the story, though.  After the priest prayed with him, his prayer being, “Father, forgive him.  He doesn’t know what he is doing,” the mercenary went ahead and shot him

Oh.  I was humbled by the faith of the priest as I listened.  I think that, if I were in his position, my knees would be shaking and my teeth would be chattering and the last thing I would be doing would be praying for my executioner.  I so wish I had that kind of faith!

But…the guilt of that execution stayed with the mercenary for twenty plus years.  It came to a head when he began seeing little blue Gideon testaments everywhere during a Bible blitz in his country.  Coincidentally–or not–:), someone gave him a testament, and he was able to read the words the priest had said to him so long ago and find out that they were the words Jesus said to the thief on the cross.  He accepted Jesus as his Savior, and now he goes around everywhere he can find military troops and gives testaments to other soldiers, hoping and praying that the Word of God will bear fruit for them like it did for him because of that priest’s prayer so long ago.

What a story that will be for the two of them to share in heaven!

The other story concerned a teenage girl and a motel room.  Our speaker was at a church, and he thanked the pastor for letting him speak.  Not all pastors welcome Gideons into their churches.  The pastor said he knew how important Gideon Bibles were, and proceeded to tell our speaker his story.

Once upon a time, he said, there was a teenage girl who really wanted to fit in with a certain group of girls in her school.  You know how teenage girls are.  She really had to find a way to fit in.  The girls, in that way they have in high school which is often incredibly cruel, told her that they would accept her– after she had sex with a married man.  They were even kind enough to set up the encounter for her and deliver her to the motel.

The girl arrived at the motel first, and as she was waiting, she opened a drawer and found a Gideon Bible.  It was open on her lap when the man entered the room.  He saw it and took her home.

That girl, the pastor told our speaker, was his daughter.

I could feel the tears running down my face.  When I looked around, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

The Gideons try to witness  to unbelievers and get the Word of God into their hands.  That is their mission.  In both of these testimonies, it is easy to see that the power of God’s Word.  In the case of the mercenary, that priest’s prayer lit his path until the time was right for him to receive its message.  In the case of the teenage girl, it could only have been God who led her to that drawer for a Bible and allowed the presence of it to convict her would-be seducer.

God’s Word says this about itself:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

–Isaiah 55:11

The Gideon who put the Bible in the hands of the mercenary did not know his background.  And the Gideon who placed the Bible in the motel room where the teenage girl found it will never know the good it did.

But God does.

This post is a part of Spiritual Sundays.  If you want to read more posts like it, click here.

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10 Responses to “A Lamp and a Light”


  1. 1 rcubes September 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Inspiring stories. The first one was so powerful. Powerful because in one’s physical death, someone ended up receiving the gift of eternal life even if it took many years. The priest uttered Jesus’ own words. His Word does remain forever…And I’m glad it penetrated the executioner’s heart. Happy SS! and God bless.

  2. 2 Clif September 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    The Word of God is powerful. Thank you for sharing these marvelous stories/testimonies. I am thankful for the Gideons or anybody that will distribute Bibles. This was an inspiring post. Thank you.

  3. 3 Charlotte September 26, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    What a powerful post. I know those Gideon Bibles have been a blessing to many many people. I’m so glad to know that your husband and father are involved in this wonderful ministry. Thank you for sharing these inspiring stories.
    Charlotte

  4. 4 sue September 27, 2009 at 12:16 am

    What awesome stories you have posted,and I can understand there not being a dry eye, The Gideons do such wonderful work toward building the kingdom of God, thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Sue

  5. 5 Ginger September 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

    How I pray that my faith will be as strong as the first mans. Thank-you for sharing this powerful story.
    Blessings,
    Ginger

  6. 6 Regina September 27, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Beautiful and inspiring story.
    Gideon was my first bible. Amazing.
    My SpiritualSundayPost
    A blessed week.

  7. 8 Sally September 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Long after we’re gone, the Word of God will stand. I hope you have a beautiful Sunday.

  8. 9 Cathy September 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I loved those wonderful stories. God bless the Gideons. I love having Bibles at doctor’s offices and in hospitals. That scripture you shared gives us hope that the Words we share will reach others.

  9. 10 Jan October 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing testimony and thoughts about the Gideons. Its a blessing to me to read this on this particular day. My Dad is a Gideon himself and this week is distrubuting Bibles at a Bible Blitz in New York City. He has been very blessed and has had the opportunity to place Gods word in NYC for at least the last 20 years. You never know how God can use your actions or your words to bring someone to Him. God Bless!


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