Actually, it just passed midnight, so it's NOW officially National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. We area coordinator volunteers were having a Facebook discussion about how we felt on the eve of NCW. It's a butterflies-in-the-stomach blend of anticipation, excitement and apprehension. I liken it to the way I felt at the starting line of a marathon back when I did a lot of distance running. You've spent all those months training and preparing and you stand at the line and wonder how it will all work out. Then as soon as the starting gun sounds you take off running straight for the finish line.
So now we run.
Tonight I did my final speaking engagement for OCC. I went to the First Baptist Church in Meadville. It was a blessing that my husband drove since I forgot to take the church address and couldn't program the GPS. It's a good thing he loves me as he patiently waited for me to go into another Baptist Church's evening service and ask for directions. I'm so glad to be home.
The best news today, though, came from Linda Bennett, our Prayer Coordinator. Linda comes from a rural church that actually began OCC in Erie County back in 1995. Their small church doubled their shoebox numbers to 88 this year. This morning they had the children's Sunday school class pack 12 boxes. They showed the DVD and explained to the children that these boxes were being given to tell children about Jesus, and they also gave out those credit-card size Salvation Poems.
Linda said there were several children there who she sensed had never made a commitment of their lives to Jesus, so they shared the salvation message and gave an invitation. And THREE precious children trusted Christ today at a little church's OCC Packing Party. Linda says they are children who've had a tough life but now they know Christ. Just wanted to tell you that as an encouragement. Our boxes are ALREADY bringing little hearts to Jesus.
Will you pray with us for a great harvest of shoeboxes this week and an even greater harvest of souls?