Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I joined The Gideons a couple of months ago. Today was the first day I actually did anything with them. About 70 of us, including four from our county, converged on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus to pass out "Testaments" which are the little Gideon New Testaments plus Psalms and Proverbs which we all remember getting as kids except these have green covers instead of red covers.

They spread us out across the campus and dropped us off at the curb with our box of 100 Testaments. We had to stay out of the campus buildings as we passed them out. It was freezing cold and you-can-guess-who forgot to bring anything heavier than his sportscoat and a ball cap. Actually, I didn't get too cold but gloves would have been really nice. And I kept wanting to walk over to High Street to find the Starbucks that apparently everyone else on campus had visited that morning.

When we first got started and my leg and feet began hurting and my fingers were going numb, I really wondered by I was there. But I prayed that God would show me and, in His true fashion, He did.

It's been a really long time since I have spent much time on a college campus. Okay, 20 years to be exact. The students seemed a lot younger than they used to. I was wondering if they were all maybe super-intelligent "Doogie Howser" junior high students who were in college. Anyway, it was relaly neat to see the fresh faces and wide variety of students. It seemed like everyone dresses much more stylish than we did in college. Especially the young ladies. And they all had cell phones and MP3 players.

Oh, enough wistful yearning to be young again.

Wow, it was a neat experience. I could not believe how polite and courteous the students were toward us. I attended a very small Christian college known for its friendliness but, honestly, the OSU campus seemed much more friendly toward an old fart stranger in a sportscoat and ball cap standing on the corner trying to hand them a little green book than I would have ever been in college. Or probably today for that matter.

Many students accepted a Testament. In fact, as a group, I think we handed out over 10,000 in four hours. Wow. And double wow. (Okay, that just sounded like Joey Lawrence. Sorry.)

Many students explained that they already had a Bible or that they'd already been given a Testament that morning. Some just showed me the Testament they already had. Sure, there were a couple of people with negative or under-their-breath comments but given the number of students I approached this morning, the negative ones were very few. Several students approached me and thanked me for what we were doing. So did a couple of profs and other campus workers. One student told me that he himself was a Gideon and he'd come to bring a coffee to his dad, also a Gideon, who was passing out the Bibles with us.

I found that, the more enthusiastically I approached someone with a bright "Good Morning!" the more receptive they were to what I had to say. Those who I accidentally approached a couple of times during the morning were very forgiving.

You know what really thrilled me the most though? Several times during the course of the morning, I saw students walking through campus reading their Testaments as they walked.

That was truly neat. It warmed my heart and encouraged me and helped me to understand why I'd said "yes" to going to OSU today despite my still-painful leg, and despite what I was sure would be frost-bitten fingers.

God is good. Just as always, though I may have started the day questioning the whole thing, I received much more today than I gave.

  posted at 9:21 PM  

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Art said...

That's great. I've always admired the Gideons and the work that you do... I think I still have the little Bible that I got in grade school!

We've also had Gideon speakers come to our church for the past several years to share their thoughts and to tell about your organization.

But there's something that I've always wanted to ask but have never had the opportunity: Why just the New Testament plus Psalms and Proverbs? Is it a 'cost effective' thing or is there something else going on?

BTW, this is meant as a serious and respectful question - I'm not trying to be controversial - I just want to know.

Anyway, nice blog and nice post. Keep up the good work and God bless you!

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Todd M said...

Thanks for your comments.

You know, I am new at being a Gideon and I have always had the same question and didn't know until I arrived yesterday that the Bible handed out at colleges is basically the same as that one we all received in grade school. Of course, the Bibles they place in hotels and other places include the full OT.

I think this is a cost effective thing plus trying to provide that scripture which folks new to The Word may be most attracted to and best able to understand.

I will try to get a better answer for you, though, and post it here.

Again, thanks for your comments.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Todd M said...

I just did some checking and the answers I posted earlier do appear to be factual, plus they wanted the student Testaments to be small, easy to carry, and pocket size.

They distribute full Bibles many places across the world -- hotels, prisons, doctors offices, nursing homes, etc.


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Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

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