Whenever I hear that phrase, "Oh my soul" I can't help but think of Leigh Fisher. Leigh is our Operation Christmas Child Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and a good friend, and that phrase is a signature one for her.
Speaking of Leigh, I got a great e-mail from her today telling us that the Mid-Atlantic region has definitely surpassed the prayed-for goal of 700,000 shoeboxes! We won't know the final total until the end of January but this is a huge victory representing thousands and maybe millions of answered prayers. We couldn't believe it when God blessed us with 640,778 boxes last year and to have Him give us this increase is astounding.
I've been meditating a lot this week on the passage from the first chapter of Luke that we call "the Magnificat" when Mary responds to the news that she will be the mother of Jesus. Here it is from the ESV.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
I can't help but think about ways that I can magnify the Lord because He has definitely done great things for me this year. My spirit rejoices to see Him providing all the items for me to be involved in packing 17,777 shoeboxes.
Then He allowed our Northwestern PA area team to collect 34,941 shoeboxes--way beyond the 32,011 we prayed for.
Last Saturday we discovered that we are past the prayed-for goal of 5.8 million shoeboxes nationally. And now today we know that we are beyond 700,000 regionally.
Now we wait for the grand international total to be released in January--we're praying for 8.5 million. And even as we wait we pray every day for as many boxes as possible to be mailed in to national collection centers or built through the Build-A-Box online--because we know that EVERY box means ONE MORE CHILD who won't have to wait.
He has looked on the humble estate of we, his servants; He has done great things for us; He has shown strength with His arm; He has filled the hungry with good things--
All from the very complex love that comes from the power of a simple gift.
Oh, my soul!