Then after lunch I started doing some media work and submitting announcements to radio and TV stations' online calendar events listings. In the midst of that I got an unexpected call from an OCC friend and staff member who just wanted to ask for prayer requests and pray for me. That was like hearing God's voice in my ear coaching me, in the words of my so-frequently-watched movie 'Facing The Giants', "Don't give up! Give me twenty more steps!"
Before I ended my phone conversation with that OCC friend, however, we got onto the topic of praying for God to provide the funds to support these thousands of Operation Christmas Child boxes we're packing.
I pray constantly about this. OCC asks for a 'suggested' donation of $7.00 to cover shipping of the boxes and the cost for the literature and ministry expenses to support them.
Back in 2006 they raised the suggested donation from $5.00 to $7.00 per box. I packed 3,100 boxes that year and it was the first year I couldn't make the full shipping donation--even with help from donations from members of my church.
Ever since then I've been struggling, because as the number of boxes I can pack is rising, the amount of donations for shipping has remained about the same. This year I'll only be able to contribute somewhere between 50 and 75 cents per box for shipping--not nearly enough to cover the costs.
I could scale back to packing 3,500 boxes or so that are fully funded. Is that what God's calling me to do? The OCC staff person I spoke with today challenged me to keep packing thousands of boxes but to pray for someone(s) who are gifted at fundraising to come alongside and partner in that area.
So now that's all I can think about. That's all I keep praying about this afternoon and evening. I joked once with Leigh Fisher that the only way I could think of to subsidize the shipping costs was to take out a life insurance policy and make Samaritan's Purse the beneficiary, but I'm not sure I'm even worth that much.
Doing the math--at $7.00 per box for (so far) 17,508 boxes--adds up to $122,556.00. Whoa--that's almost an eighth of a million. In the words of Bill Hybels, that's a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).
But, tell me, what is impossible with God?