A Call to Reach Responders

Through 2020 Gideon members were challenged to take on the task of distributing Scriptures to those involved in emergency services. We are privileged to have outstanding men and women serving as first responders who have been facing immense challenges this year. Many have had to face extraordinary and incredibly distressing situations. At the very least they deserve our gratitude and continued prayers. Providing them with a copy of God’s Holy Word is a wonderful way to say thank you.Recently members in Sydney organised a distribution to emergency services in our area. This was preceded by weeks of prayer. An audit was done of all police, ambulance, fire stations, rural fire service stations, state emergency service stations and marine rescue. We found 30 sites altogether. Around 80 churches in our area were contacted to inform them about the distribution and they were asked to cover the mission in prayer, especially for open doors and open hearts to the Gospel. They were also notified that this was a national strategy happening throughout the land.

With the restrictions relating to covid-19 we were conscious that we would probably not be able to personally hand Scriptures to individuals.

25 carry bags were packed with testaments, Tim Tams and a ‘Thanking You’ Gideon card with a message thanking the officers for their service.
Available members were assembled one Saturday afternoon. Others were asked to cover the distribution in prayer.

After a time of prayer, a briefing involved instructing members how to approach the stations. After praying for each site on arrival, they were to approach wearing face masks and disposable gloves. Following introducing themselves they would then tell the staff on duty how grateful we are for their great service to the community, especially under very difficult circumstances and would like to leave them a gift. The gift consisted of some New Testaments, some Tim Tams and a card to say thank you to the officers and staff.

So far we have visited 15 stations that were open. All were very glad to accept the Scriptures. Only one police station declined, saying it was against their policy to accept any gifts of any kind. However we were able to have a time of prayer. The officer on duty was very grateful to have prayer for himself and his fellow officers. So far around 300 Testaments have been distributed. We still have another 15 sites to revisit which we hope to complete by the time this article appears. On the day, there was a fire at North Head in Sydney, so many stations had deployed their officers. When we have completed the distribution we intend to send a report to our area churches.

Later that day we reassembled and enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship over a meal at one of the local Thai restaurants. It was a great time for members to go on mission together, mentor each other, fellowship, get new members involved, husbands and wives striving side by side and spreading God’s Holy Word!

It doesn’t sound like a lot of Testaments, but when you multiply this across our nation… I did a quick online search of police, fire, ambulance stations, rural fire service units, SES units, marine rescue and in one state there are just over 3,300 sites. If we were to place on average 30 Testaments at each site – that’s a lot of testaments!

Have a blessed week serving our wonderful King and Saviour.

Your brother in Christ
Dr Warren Ling
(from Sydney NSW)