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Time for Reflection

– in the Scottish Parliament on 19th November 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Macintosh Kenneth Macintosh Labour

Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection, and our leader is Mr George Innes from the Gideons.

Mr George Innes (GideonsUK):

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, thank you for the opportunity to share with you this afternoon.

In the year 1899, in the state of Wisconsin, in the United States of America, three men met to form an organisation that would facilitate the free availability of the word of God, primarily in hotels. Thus, the Gideon ministry began. Today, Gideons are represented in more than 200 countries worldwide, with the Bible translated into more than 95 languages and placed in every traffic lane of life. In 1949, our British isles national association was formed, and this year we celebrate 70 years of God’s faithfulness to us.

Our sole objective is that everyone should have the opportunity freely to read the Bible, which we believe contains the maker’s instructions for life. Our Bibles are on duty 24/7, whether they be in hotels, at hospital bedsides, in prison cells or on North Sea oil rigs. The “Where to find help” section at the front of them deals with every experience in life. It directs readers to words of advice, help, instruction, warning, comfort, hope, correction and direction, and to predictions and promises—above all, to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, hope for the future, peace of mind and an assurance of eternal life. We are greatly encouraged by the fact that we frequently receive personal testimonies of how a Gideons Bible has changed a life—often without human intervention. To keep apace with our digital age, we also have a Gideon Bible app, which offers mobile access to scriptures in a multitude of languages.

Scotland was once known as the land of the book, and it has a rich Christian heritage. During those former days of obedience to God’s word, Scotland was richly blessed. It sent missionaries all over the world and made significant global contributions to the fields of engineering, science, medicine, banking, economics and education. Today, as we face immense moral, political, financial, social and spiritual challenges, both nationally and internationally, it is our passionate belief that we need to turn to God’s word for peace and stability, personally and collectively.

Please be assured that GideonsUK prays for all in the Scottish Parliament, committing each of you to God’s care and guidance as you faithfully serve.

Every aspect of my 30 years’ service as a Gideon has been a joy and a privilege, but none has been greater than placing the little red book that contains the New Testament and the Psalms into the hands of secondary 1 school pupils—so offering them sure foundation in a world that is fraught with pitfalls.