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Gideons hold annual pastor appreciation breakfast

Gideons International members and guest at its annual pastors appreciation breakfast. (Photo Credit: Gary L. Harbour)

By Gary L. Harbour

On May 6, 2014, the Oxnard Camp of Gideons International held its annual Pastors Appreciation Breakfast at the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard. To know the story of Gideon, is to know that pending a great war, God had his servant Gideon send several thousands of his soldiers home against seeming insurmountable odds. He wanted the world to know that the guaranteed victory was God’s alone.

The Gideon Pastor Appreciation Breakfast began with a welcome from Oxnard Vice-President Art Dawson, followed by Camp President Gary L. Harbour singing “Amazing Grace”.  The program continued with Camp Treasurer James Clifton discussing recent scripture distribution efforts in several convalescent homes. His wife, auxiliary member Irene, shared the distribution efforts of the Auxiliary (wives of Gideons), bible distributions in hospitals, doctor offices, battered women’s shelters, dentist offices and women’s missions.

Gideon’s International began in 1897 with a Christian traveling salesman named John Nicholson. In a hotel, he met and fellow-shipped with another Christian traveling salesman named William Knight. They read scripture and prayed together. The following year they met Sam Hill, another Christian traveling salesman. The men thought it would be good to place bibles in hotels wherever they went. In 1899, the three formed a Christian fellowship for traveling salesmen called the “Gideons”. Like Johnny Appleseed, they “planted” God’s word in all the hotels they visited while traveling for their jobs.   Gideon bibles are now in hotels, schools, universities, military bases, hospitals, convalescent homes, and communities in 197 countries in 45 different languages. Last fiscal year 87 million bibles and testaments were distributed worldwide.

The program concluded with Ralph Nichols, the Camp Chaplain, leading the group in prayer and scripture. Ralph discussed the Gideon “Card” program. The program allows people to dedicate bibles through tax deductible monetary contribution, on behalf of individuals, churches, community groups etc…. Mr. Nichols explained that the funds generated through donations allow worldwide distribution of God’s word. Ralph fondly recalled that at one time, all U.S. soldiers received a Gideon bible when they enlisted.  He summed up with the mission of the Gideons International as it pertains to Oxnard and surrounding cities.

The Oxnard Gideon Camp meets every Saturday Morning at 7 A.M. at the B & G Coffee Shop and Deli, 428 S. A St. in Oxnard CA . The for more information call:  Art Dawson (805) 490-4225, Ed & Joan Nichols (805) 815-4242, Ralph Nichols (805) 984-7689, Gary Harbour (805) 984-2841.

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