How Church Donations Help to Spread the Word of God in South Africa
The Gideons International is not a church. As such, the phrase “church donations” don’t quite fit. Though this is true, The Gideons partners with churches in various places to reach the lost across the world. The church donations received from such churches are used towards printing of Bibles and distributing Scripture in hotels, schools, colleges, military camps, prisons, and hospitals. Each Bible placed in a hotel room has the potential of reaching 2300 people. Worn Bibles are replaced, and as such it is an ongoing process. Churches also provide prayer support and it is from the church communities where new members are often recruited. Members periodically meet with the church pastors to pray for their communities, their needs, and their church ministries.
Every Gideon is a member of a Protestant or Evangelical church and as such, also active in their church communities. To become a member of The Gideons International, the member’s pastor must recommend them and as such, we ensure that the message and ministry stay on course and focussed on spreading the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Donations from churches help the organisation to print new Bibles, distribute them, and to replace worn ones. In addition, the organisation serves as a practical extension of missionary work. Christian congregations donate through a donor programme. Their church members’ contributions thus directly contribute to the distribution of God’s Word.
The Gideons International aims to develop ongoing relationships with eligible churches and to distribute 120 million Bibles and New Testaments a year by 2020. Protestant and Evangelical churches are encouraged to become involved in the donor programme and so become active participants in the ministry.
The organisation endeavours to use every Bible placement opportunity in South Africa to reach the goal of placing 1,5 million New Testaments and to have each member distribute at least one Personal Worker’s Testament a week (and thus four a month). The goal is to adopt over 2200 church presentations in the country and to ensure maximum usage of presentation opportunities at churches in South Africa.
How the Donor Programme Works
The programme makes it possible for the members of Protestant and Evangelical churches to make contributions to The Gideons International without being Gideons members. Funding can be made via electronic fund transfers, fund-raising activities, donations at church presentations, cash contributions, debit orders, or direct deposits to The Gideons International bank account. Donors are registered as contributors and they are kept up to date regarding the progress of the distribution work and where Bibles are needed.
In addition to the donor programme we offer a legacy programme where people leave part or their entire estate to The Gideons International. Various legacies exist, such as general legacy, which gives a fixed amount of money from the donor’s estate; resultant legacy, where the surplus of the donor’s estate goes towards the organisation; conditional bequest, which stipulates that a specific event must take place before the donation can take place; insurance policy, where the Gideons becomes a beneficiary of the life insurance policy; and bequeathing, where a child’s portion is given to the Gideons. In the last instance, the Gideons gets, for example, a third of the inheritance if there are two children, each receiving a third of the estate.
Church donation and participation in the donor or legacy programme are welcomed.