1898. Boscobel, Wisconsin. Two businessmen, John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill, arrived in town looking for a place to spend the night. However, the Central Hotel was so crowded that there was only one room left available. Nicholson and Hill, who had never met one another before, agreed to share that room with a double bed for the night. These men soon discovered that they were Christians. They prayed and read the Bible together. As these men were on their knees, they soon realized an idea that would eventually become the Bible distribution ministry of the Gideons.
If you stay at nearly any hotel these days, pull open the bedside drawer and chances are that you will find a Bible placed there by the Gideons. Over a hundred years after Nicholson and Hill met that evening together, first as strangers, then as brothers in Christ, the Gideons International has placed over 1.9 billion Bibles all over the world, in multiple languages, at an average rate of two copies of the Bible per second. The Gideons record countless stories of changed lives through people picking up a Gideon distributed Bible. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross had grown up in a completely secularized environment until he took the time to read a copy of the Bible given to him by the Gideons in his school, which eventually led him to place his faith in Christ. I myself remember getting my own green copy of the New Testament as a freshman in college.
But have you ever seen a sticker placed by an atheist on a Gideon Bible?