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An organisation, which has distributed bibles all over the world for over one-hundred years, has taken the decision to allow women to join as members for the first time, in the UK.
Gideons UK started in 1949 (with Gideons International starting over one-hundred years ago) and its members have handed out over 45 million Bibles to people in the UK, in places including hospitals, care homes, fire stations, prisons, schools and universities.
Each year they distribute more than 800,000 scriptures in the UK and were previously a men's only group.
Gideons UK have made the decision to break away from Gideons International, which remains a men's only organisation.
Gideons Sweden and Gideons Canada are also now accepting women members.
National vice president of Gideons UK, William Thomas told Premier: "When you think just what one copy (of the Bible) can do, then we just prayed, the Spirit of God will use all those copies to His glory. We had just one Amen. That's it. Men, women and young people will come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour. It's not just about giving out books and Bibles.
Speaking about the choice to allow women in to the organisation, William said: "we felt it was right to do so and now we've relaxed those rules in that respect, it is open to men and women who love the word of God and who just love the gospel.
"We just want more members and God's really encouraged us in that. The current international leadership want to keep the Gideons International as a men's organisation. That's why we've got this new name, Gideons UK and a new emblem, which is the open Bible.
"We are a separate organisation from the Gideons International, but we are linking with Gideons in Canada and Sweden, we are now working together with them. We are working together internationally under an umbrella organisation called, Share Word Global, where we are going into other countries and going to pastors in churches all over the world, particularly the rural areas where they can't get Bibles and taking Bibles there.
"God is opening doors, which is just a mark of His grace. It's so often people will read the Bible later on, they may not read it just when they get it, but put it in a bag. Numbers of times we've had testimonies of people saying, 'I found it just when I needed it', maybe several years later, but God's seed will always produce roots."
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