The 2015 Chile International Scripture Blitz

In April of this year, Gideons and Auxiliary in Chile conducted an International Scripture Blitz. During the two-week event, they placed and distributed over a half million copies of God’s Word at schools, colleges, hotels, medical facilities, and prisons. The local members were greatly encouraged to have 23 Gideons travelling from around the world to help them share the Gospel in the cities of Santiago, Concepcion, and Valparaiso.

Scripture blitzes are one of the most unique and effective methods of distribution in which The Gideons International participates. Months of prayer and planning in advance made all the difference as God prepared the way and opened doors.

With any Scripture blitz, there are questions in the minds of the participants. Questions like, “How receptive will people be to receiving Scriptures?” and “How will God use me to impact a life?” Once the blitz began, team members discovered that they weren’t the only ones with questions.

Sharing God’s Word With Chile’s Students

Most of the Scripture distributions were scheduled at schools and universities. Students at grade schools and high schools were very open to receiving Scriptures.

“The youth are asking real questions,” says Ara Sobek, a Gideon from Nashville who participated in the Chile blitz. “They are honestly wanting to know the truth.”

“When you speak in front of that many kids and see them looking at you with their big eyes and you know you have an opportunity to change their eternal destiny… you don’t forget that. It’s a phenomenal opportunity that not just anyone gets.”

As Gideons entered some of the impoverished areas of Chile to share God’s Word, they understood the message of hope they were bringing could have both earthly and heavenly impact on lives. Sobek described the blitz as a chance “to tell kids there was a hope for something that is beyond anything they’ve ever known.”

At one school, the headmaster first allowed the Gideons to only place Scriptures in the classroom designated for the study of world religions. As the Gideons entered the room, they noted that while the major religions of the world were represented by literature in the classroom, there seemed to be nothing relating to Christianity. That quickly changed as Gideons placed New Testaments in the room.

Once finished, the headmaster told them, “One more classroom and that is all.” He led them to that classroom and they placed copies of God’s Word. He then said he would permit Scriptures in one more classroom. This pattern continued. By the time they left that school, the Gideons were able to place approximately 600 copies of God’s Word.

Overall, school students in Chile responded with interest and enthusiasm for receiving Scriptures. They were genuinely appreciative of the Gideons coming to their classrooms to offer them free New Testaments.

On the university campuses, Gideons were not as warmly welcomed. Often a student would pass by a Gideon and totally ignore the offer of a free Scripture. This was not always the case, but the Gideons continue to pray for opportunities.

Noel Fuller, one of the international Gideons, told of one classroom where the spiritual climate was changing as they prayed. He told of a female student who firmly rejected the New Testament, raising her hands to block the Scripture from coming near her, and turning her head away as well. As his team continued with their presentation of Scriptures, Fuller continued to observe her reaction as other classmates accepted their copies of God’s Word.

In that time, she began to have a change of heart. “In just minutes, the young lady went from ‘not interested’ to ‘curious,’” Fuller says. As the team was leaving the classroom, Fuller took one more opportunity to extend a New Testament to the young lady. Her reaction this time was different. She reached out her hand to receive it.

Making An Eternal Impact In Chile

By the end of the two-week event, Gideons and Auxiliary had distributed over 523,000 copies of God’s Word. There were many testimonies of Gideons and Auxiliary leading students and other residents of Chile in prayers to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

As the international Gideons prepared to fly back home, they discovered that a volcano eruption a few hundred miles away caused some airlines to cancel departing flights. With God’s blessing and many prayers being lifted up, the flight delays were minimalized and most all the internationals boarded flights home within 24 hours of their originally scheduled departure time.

We thank the Gideons and Auxiliary of Chile for their commitment to sharing God’s Word. The Gideons have been in Chile since 1958 and to date have distributed more than 18 million Scriptures there. These are business and professional men and their wives who work and live in these Chilean cities and continue to do our mission of sharing God’s Word. That’s what makes The Gideons unique–we are not visitors–we have members who live and work in the communities where we serve.

Please pray for the Gideons and Auxiliary of Chile and that the Scriptures distributed during this blitz will continue to impact lives. Most of all, we give God all the glory and praise for all we believe He will accomplish in the hearts of the people of Chile as a result of these Scriptures.

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