sit at my computer

By Cliff Hall

As I sit at my computer this evening I am very excited to share with all of you the rest of the story. In August I shared how God changed my heart towards Giving. In September I shared how God changed my direction in ministry, specifically how He led me into a deeper relationship with Him as He provided not only a local church for our 1st Collection Center for Operation Christmas Child in north Idaho, but also His harvest of 6725 shoeboxes for children around the world. All the praise goes to Him.
Last November during the collection week God did some amazing things. We had over 25 volunteers from many different churches in North Idaho. The week was full of prayer as each person or group that brought boxes in was involved in praying over the boxes. I remember one little 5 year old boy kneeling and praying over his box, or a class at the Christian school that went on a field trip to the collection center and they brought boxes.
In February of this year I was asked to become the Area Coordinator for North Idaho. After a few days of prayer and wise council I accepted the position. Then I was asked to attend a Connect Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. This conference was made up of 400 Area Coordinators from all over the United States as well as other countries. As we gathered every morning for worship and devotions I was reminded how awesome our God truly is. We would have classes during the day and then close out the evening with more worship and speakers.
It was a very powerful conference and all of the topics were exciting. However one struck me as something I needed to share with passion to the world.
I knew that an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox went to a child someplace in the world and that this child heard the gospel message and received a booklet in their language, called the greatest gift. I also new many children accepted the Lord and that parents, cities and countries would feel the ripple effect, many of them accepting the Lord as well. That is why I got so involved.
Now for the Rest of the Story:
In 2009 Samaritans Purse launched The Greatest Journey. The purpose of this class was to disciple children that had received a shoebox. After a child receives a shoebox the child has an opportunity to take this 12 week class. The class is designed to teach the children three main things: Who Jesus is and what He has done for all. (Gods Great Gift.) How to walk the walk as a Christian. (Walking with God.) and... How to share their new faith with others. (Sharing Godís Gift.)
I am going to give you some numbers and I would like you to experience how Godís amazing multiplication is exploding around the world. This is something you and I cannot accomplish without God.
The chart below shows one small country in South America. Children 5 to 14 years old. In only 4 years and it has been reported that these totals have already doubled in 2014.
Now letís look at the world for one year 2013:
83 countries were used for these numbers and again only children 5 to 14 years old participated.

World 83 countries 2013
Teachers Trained 59,413
Children Enrolled 1,166,831
Children Graduated 793,613
Children Accepted Christ. 502,883
Children share with others 569,543

When I grasped what was going on here the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. Imagine 502,883 children accepting Christ, in one year, with knowledge of the Word of God. It has been projected that if this multiplication continues in 5 years 5,000,000 children will accept the Lord in the 5th year. In my opinion this has the potential to change the world as we know it.
These children are receiving shoeboxes full of Jesusí love, receiving The Greatest Gift and enrolling in The Greatest Journey and look what happens.
In closing this series of how God has changed my life with regards to a simple shoebox gift, I would like to encourage all of your readers to take a minute and pray about what God may be speaking to you about. Does God want you to pack a box this year, does God want you to teach your children to give to other children, does God want you to get your church or business involved, does God want you to get involved in this ministry. Allow Godís team here in North Idaho to help you get started.
Matthew 28:19-20
ďGo therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.Ē
Thank you for reading this series and may God Bless you richly,
Cliff Hall
Area Coordinator
Samaritans Purse
Operation Christmas Child