As I said before, I love playing with numbers and when each of those numbers represents another child who will receive an Operation Christmas Child gift--well, there's nothing better than that.
I've been waiting for this day to arrive for almost a year. Today is the day when our regional, national, and international totals of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for 2011 were revealed. All those numbers added up to.......
Mid-Atlantic region--723,327 (don't you LOVE that memorable palindrome?) We prayed all year for 700,000 but God gave us an incredible 12.88% increase over last year. Stunning!
United States--6,051,799. We'd been praying for 5,800,000 and never imagined God would give us this increase of almost 10% over last year.
International--8,630,568. After praying for 8,500,000 our gracious God saw fit to bless more than 1/8th million more children beyond that goal.
After hearing these numbers I went on to my first Operation Christmas Child Northwestern PA Area Team meeting for 2012. Because of a freak storm (RAIN, not snow in January) with 60 mph winds there were only four of us at the meeting. We discussed goals and are planning to trust God for 40,000 shoeboxes in our area next year (that would be 14.5% growth over this year's 34,941.)
I sent Leigh Fisher, our Mid-Atlantic regional director a text informing her that if God gives us another 12.88% growth spurt for 2012 our goal should be 816,491 boxes. Uh......WOW!
Who knows what God has planned for 2012? These numbers have a huge 'wow factor' but the most wonder-filled fact is that each of them means that thousands and millions of children will have a gospel opportunity.
These numbers aren't playing around. WOW!