Saturday, April 6, 2013

More Numbers for OCC--4/14--Dr. Luis Bush at OCC Global Connect Conference

Dr. Luis Bush, international facilitator of Transform World Connections and the 4/14 Movement brought a message on Saturday morning at the Operation Christmas Child Global Connect Conference.

This numbers thing is getting a little confusing.  Last night I blogged about how OCC is heading toward the goal of 10:4 (10 million boxes and 4 million children being discipled per year from the US).  And I mentioned how that made me think of the 10/40 window.

This numberophile was excited again this morning to learn about how OCC fits into the 4/14 Movement.  But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself...

Dr. Bush began by saying, "Operation Christmas Child can transform a whole generation.  OCC can transform a community."

He told how he, as a 13-year-old boy running the streets of Sao Paolo, was led to Christ by his older brother.  Dr. Bush then talked about how around the year 2000 he began to identify the concern of the 4/14 window--the years between the ages of 4 and 14 when a child is most ready to receive the gospel.  This is a demographic perspective rather than a geographic perspective like the aforementioned 10/40 window.

Operation Christmas Child is uniquely able to meet this challenge.  It's a moment in time of great opportunity.

We live in a time like no other.  Minds and hearts are open to release and raise up children as agents of great mission.  We can raise up a new generation from the 4/14 window to change the world. This could be the time.  This could be the hour.  And you (I) could be the agent God is calling.

He presented some startling statistics about the decline in the percentage of those who identify themselves as Christians--
--in the Builder's Generation - 60%
--in the Baby Boomers - 30%
--in Baby Busters - 15%
--in Gen Y -  4%

Youth are asking "Where are the hearts of the fathers?" and there is a growing despondency.  A survey of youth in China revealed that 47% reported they had thought about taking their own lives in the past 3 months and 37% reported they had actually attempted to take their own lives in the past 3 months.

In a study of declining civilizations it was found that the extent to which a culture fails to respond to the challenges it faces will lead to its decline.

There is no more significant response to the challenges in our society than focusing on children.  Dr. Bush believes that to see children raised up as agents of mission will take four steps:

1)  Reach the children (the OCC shoebox gifts lead to a gospel opportunity)
2)  Root the children (The Greatest Journey discipleship program)
3)  Request the Lord to save them (bathe our ministry in prayer)
4)  Release the children to ministry--(even with an attrition rate of 50%, with the program growing at the present rate 1 billion children could be released into ministry by 2021.

Dr. Bush concluded by saying, "As a volunteer you can influence the face of global missions in our generation."

(Wow!--way to translate the cause, Dr. Bush.  Well done!)

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