Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
~ Romans 12.6
Dear Covenant Family,
You are amazing! You have given generously in so many different ways, using many different gifts. Whether you packed a box, donated items, helped on packing day, worked the Collection site, gave money for shipping and/or evangelism, carried boxes to the chancel on the Sunday of blessing, or prayed for the children, you have made a huge difference. I’m so excited to report what God has done through you during our Operation Christmas Child Collection in 2020. As you know, 10 days before the final collection day, we had fewer than 70 boxes collected and we still had hundreds of empty boxes in the lobby and narthex. We also had only four slots of the 44 slots filled for our Collection Site (starting in 4 days!). I sent emails letting you know, and you responded far more than I could have imagined.
We collected a total of 408 boxes at Covenant, including 135+ assembled on our packing day from donations you provided throughout 2020! The total was more than the 335 we packed last year and far than the highest donation of 201 prior to 2019. Last week I checked our OCC goal site for making boxes online and you had made 23 of those, bringing our grand total to 431! Praise the Lord! These 431 precious children will receive your gifts and hear the story of Jesus and God’s great love.
For our National OCC Collection Site, we had all volunteer slots filled plus more. We also had three families participate who don’t even attend Covenant. AND, we collected 1,243 boxes, nearly twice what we collected in 2019. Some collection sites weren’t open this year, so it was really exciting to see what God did here at Covenant. We had several churches, including a small Hispanic church, bring their boxes to Covenant’s collection site. This little church brought 25 boxes last year – their first year to participate. This year, they brought nearly 100 boxes. It is so exciting to see churches and individuals catch the vision of this ministry and reach children around the world.
We also had lots of individuals bring boxes. Many were telling us how much they appreciated Covenant’s participation in this ministry. We heard some wonderful stories. We had a nurse from a local hospital unit. That unit had made nearly 20 boxes for this ministry. We had folks who wanted to know about our choir program this year and others who wanted to know about our children’s programs. We had one family come to the Wednesday outdoor movie event that week! This is a great opportunity to minister not only to the children around the world but also to those in our own community.
We all enjoyed the families who donated and the children who were excited about building boxes for other children. One little six year-old girl was thrilled that her family had packed EIGHT boxes this year! Her mom said that for her birthday, this little girl had asked people not to bring her presents but to bring items for OCC shoeboxes. The little girl also excitedly shared with me that she was baptized just the week before. When we offered to pray with this family over their boxes, this little girl wanted to pray. It was so precious as she prayed for the children who would receive these boxes that they would hear the story of Jesus being born in a manger and that they would really like their gifts and that they would come to know Jesus themselves.
Only in heaven will we know the impact of these boxes AND prayers in these children’s lives. Greater Vision (Southern gospel group) sings a song called Faces that talks about that. The last line says, “One day He’ll smile and show you all the faces...the faces...you’ll see their faces.”
On a personal note, thank you so much for all your prayers after my recent cancer diagnosis. God has been so good to me, and the surgery did remove all the cancer. I am so blessed. And so thankful for all of you.
In the Name of our Great God,