March 15, 2024

‘Gideon’s 300’ Teens Learn How to Give Bible Studies

In southern Brazil, hundreds of young people receive Bible training and a special kit.

Cláudia Brito, South American Division, and Adventist Review
More than 530 teenagers gathered for training to give Bible studies at Cruzeiro do Sul Adventist Institute in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on February 25. [Photo: South American Division News]

On Sunday, February 25, more than 530 teenagers gathered at Cruzeiro do Sul Adventist Institute (IACS) in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to participate in the training of the “Gideon’s 300” project.

The goal of the project is to prepare young people to teach Bible studies, strengthening the faith of those adolescents and engaging them in the mission of teaching and preparing a mission-minded generation. Besides the 530 teens at IACS, the event included 120 participants in the city of Passo Fundo, organizers said.

“Gideon’s 300”

In the Bible book of Judges, the story of Gideon tells how he and 300 chosen men fought an enemy army of 120,000 soldiers. The history reports that out of the 32,000 men initially summoned, 22,000 Israelites chose to give up and leave before the beginning of the fight. Of the 10,000 who remained, only 300 men passed a test that God asked Gideon to give them. The outcome of the story is the victory of these 300 men in war, using divine wisdom and instruction to save all of God’s people.

Júlia Cardoso, leader of child and adolescent ministries in the South Brazil Union Conference of the Adventist Church, said that Gideon’s 300 is nothing more than “a missionary elite of teenagers.” “This elite conducts Bible studies not in a revolutionary but in a simple way, using only a Bible and a Bible study guide. Our idea was to have 300 teenagers in each conference across our region, but we are already above that number,” Cardoso said.

According to Cardoso, this generation of teenagers is indeed connected to God and concerned about their friends and fellow human beings. “They are very much into mission, and I praise God for that,” Cardoso said. “Seeing how teenagers attended the training on a Sunday morning is moving, because I can see the Lord touched their hearts as they opened to the influence of the Holy Spirit.”

Involved in Mission

The Gideon’s 300 project began at 8:00 a.m. with the check-in and distribution of materials. Then participants enjoyed moments of praise and worship, followed by training on how to conduct Bible studies and bring the message of Jesus to the younger generations. After lunch, participants had free time to enjoy recreational activities such as various games and a swimming pool. The event ended in the late afternoon.

Throughout the training, teens demonstrated commitment and focus, organizers said. “You could tell they were not attending just to have fun,” they said.

Teen attendee Geovana dos Santos said she learned a lot from the training and hopes to fulfill the purpose of the project, which is to bring the love of Christ to other people. “I had very high expectations for the training, and I have felt very blessed,” dos Santos said. “I plan to give Bible studies to my friends at school as I share the love of Christ with them.”

Focus and Discipline

During the training, each teenager received a themed T-shirt and a kit containing a Bible, a Bible study guide, and a highlighter. With the kit, they will be able to put into practice what they have learned. Through Gideon’s 300, teens embark on a journey of spiritual and missional transformation, determined to make a difference in their communities and beyond, organizers explained.

Teen Vicente Alves said he came to the training “very eager to learn how to give Bible studies and to look for someone to learn more about the Bible.” The young man said he already has members of his family in mind with whom he hopes to share what he has learned.

A Very Present Future

The leader responsible for implementing the project in northern Rio Grande do Sul is Cláudia Graeep. She explained that the goal of the children and adolescent ministries department she leads at the North Rio Grande do Sul Conference is to provide “an even greater emphasis for teens to go out and give Bible studies and get involved in local and even international mission.”

According to Graeep, “we thought of teenagers as the future of the church, but we can see they are ready to go out and give Bible studies [now]. They are a very present future.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news story.