Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Danish Gideons at Work

It amazes me to discover something new about Danish people who love the Lord and are busy in the work of the Kingdom of God. Just when I think I have learned about all there is to know, something new comes to my attention. For instance, I hadn’t the slightest idea that there are Gideon camps throughout Denmark until I came across the Danish Gideons’ webpage ( just a few minutes before I sat down to begin writing this issue of Pray for The Gideons are not strangers to me for when I was a child my father was a Gideon and I accompanied him often when he spoke in churches about Bible and Testament distribution. Later, as a pastor I also had the privilege of welcoming Gideons to speak about their work in our services.

For those who may not be familiar with Gideons International, its members throughout the world are mainly Christian businessmen and professionals. Generally, local Gideon groups (called in Gideon parlance “camps”) also have an associated Gideons wives auxiliary (in Danish, gideonithustruers). The Gideons number around 280,000 members in 193 countries. The website of Gideons International may be viewed at

The Gideons are wholeheartedly dedicated to Bible distribution and evangelism. Gideons’ focus worldwide is on the distribution of complete Bibles or New Testaments in more than 90 languages. Copies are presented directly to certain individuals such as students, prisoners, and police, fire, medical and military personnel, or to individuals they have witnessed to about faith in Jesus Christ. The Gideons are perhaps best known for the copies of the Scriptures they have placed in hotels and motels, hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices, domestic violence shelters, or prisons and jails or in selected public locations where large numbers of seeking individuals have found life-changing answers from the Word of God for their spiritual needs.

Though there were precursor organizations in the country, the work of Gideons (Gideonitters) in Denmark dates from 1969 and has since spread throughout the country. Currently there are around 260 Danish Gideons who come from local folkekirker or evangelisk frikirker. Gideon camps are found in Bornholm, Esbjerg, Frederikshavn, Haderslev, Herning, Hjøring, Horsens, Næstved, Nørresundby, Odense, Randers, Roskilde, Silkeborg, Sønderborg, Thisted, Vejle, Viborg, Aalborg, Århus, Aars, and several camps in metropolitan Copenhagen. Danish Gideons distribute 3500 New Testaments annually.

The Danish Gideons webpage tells of the first Bible-Blitz held in Denmark in October 2003 (week 44) when within a week's time several thousand New Testaments were distributed in schools, universities and colleges and other locales in West Jutland, Lolland, Falster, Roskilde, Odense, and in the Copenhagen area.

Whether from churches or individuals, all contributions go toward purchase of Bibles or New Testaments. Gideons themselves pay for administrative expenses. As in other countries, Gideons value invitations to speak in churches and Christian groups about their work of Bible distribution. Though non-denominational in nature, the Gideon’s depend on contributions from churches’ and individuals’ to assist them in their work of Bible distribution.

PRAY that Danish Gideons will see Scripture distribution as an important avenue of evangelism and that they themselves will not lose sight of or water down the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAY that many individuals and families will come to know the truth of the Gospel and be saved through reading a Bible or New Testament placed in hotels and other locations by Danish Gideons.

PRAY that Gideons will find open doors in many more locations throughout Denmark for distribution of Bibles or New Testaments.

PRAY that God will supply needed funds through His people to help Danish Gideons purchase Bibles and Testaments for distribution.

PRAY that chairman Tommy Petersen will be able to provide godly and effective leadership for Danish Gideons as they seek to increase the number of groups (camps) and members throughout Denmark.