Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 2017 - Pray with Operation Christmas Child

NEA OCC Requests:
  1. Our local Northeast-Arkansas Team as we are seeking God’s direction in an Area Coordinator, Logistics Coordinator, Central Drop-off and seeking the right person to be our Local Drop-off leader for one of our current locations, also we are trying to add more prayer mobilization team members.
  2. Forty-five (45) new Prayer Network Partners from our area team which could translate to 4 to 5 children per minute coming to Jesus through The Greatest Journey! Your role is so pivotal in making disciples across the globe. PNP are not year around volunteers, but they are vital prayer warriors! Who should you ask to be a Prayer Network Partner--Fellow believers, Prayer warriors, Family, Friends, Co-workers, Church prayer groups, Christian organizations, Organized prayer groups, Denominational groups, Anyone who will pray over these request they receive! They can sign up to be a Prayer Network Partner at: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/praywithocc
  3. Pray for Matthew Barnett (Kevin & Jennifer’s son) as he will be on a Mission Trip to Kazakhstan June 8-28th.
OCC Mid-South Prayer Request:
  1. Praise God for those Connect Volunteers who have recommitted for 2017 and for 61 new volunteers! 
  2. Praise for an amazing vision trip to Rwanda and for all that God is doing in that country. 
  3. Mid-South goal of 850,000 Gospel Opportunities.
  4. Pray for new churches to partner with us as Central Drop-off and Drop-off locations. 
  5. Pray for God to call leader volunteers. 
  6. Pray for volunteers in our region who are experiencing health issues. 
East Africa International Prayer Requests - General Prayer Requests each country faces:
  1. Wisdom to recruit, select, lead, and develop new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members.
  2. Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.
WEEK 1: June 1-7 
Burundi
  1. Praise God for the current peace and stability in the country, which gives Operation Christmas Child an opportunity to reach more children and to import the shoeboxes without any issues. 
  2. Pray for the teachers all over Burundi who are currently leading The Greatest Journey classes. Pray the children will be able to understand the lessons and will learn more about the Lord Jesus.
Kenya
  1. Praise God the shoeboxes were released from customs even in the midst of challenges with government. 
  2. Pray for a peaceful election this year, by the grace of God, that the work of Operation Christmas Child would not be hindered.
WEEK 2: June 8-14

Rwanda
  1. Praise God for the opportunities to host the 2017 Harvest Vision Trip (for Year-Round Area Coordinator Volunteers) and to reach over 152,000 children with the Gospel in Rwanda. 
  2. Pray for the children going through The Greatest Journey right now in Rwanda that God will lead and speak to their souls. Pray God would allow every teacher and child to complete their discipleship class.
South Sudan: Praise God all the containers safely arrived in Juba and now the shoeboxes are making their journey to the regions and the refugee camps.

WEEK 3: June 15-21

Tanzania
  1. Praise God for the new Senior Regional Leadership Team members who have been trained, understand the vision of Operation Christmas Child, and are now leading trainings in their regions. 
  2. Pray for the changes in the government’s importation policies that are making it very difficult to obtain the tax exoneration.
WEEK 4: June 22-30

Uganda
  1. Praise God for the opportunity to have the volunteer National Leadership Team and a few strategic regional volunteer members attend the Global Connect Conference in Orlando this past April. 
  2. Pray for Operation Christmas Child’s ministry in Uganda as it is becoming more challenging to import the shoeboxes without paying taxes; pray the LORD will change the hearts of the government leaders so they will grant the tax exoneration.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD | Build a Shoebox Online | Disciple a Child

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Solitude... "absence make the heart grow fonder" or is it "out of sight out of mind"?

My past five months have been that of solitude. As defined by Merriam-Webster solitude is the quality or state of being alone or remote from society: seclusion; a lonely place (such as a desert).  While I was not alone or in seclusion or in solitary confinement...I was without my best friend, my true love.  My boys were with me, but due to the calling on our life Kevin was an hour away. Our family unit was not as it was supposed to be. We knew it wouldn't be fun or easy but it was necessary so he could pastor the the church to which our family had been called. At first it was like we were dating again with lots of excitement to just say hi or see each other for a few minutes, but after almost 23 years of marriage only seeing each other about 3 nights a week was hard. It wasn't fun, especially since my love language is "quality time" as defined by Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts - it is a great book, read it sometime! (To Discover Your Love Language Click Here) We knew it was going to be over in a few months so I thought I would make the best of it. I had great plans of all the things I could get done while he was at the other house...cleaning out closets cabinets, drawers...but I found myself just wanting to go home, not cook supper, take a bath and go to bed. Twenty years ago (before kids) we lived 2 hours apart for 2 year while married and attending college; we had done this before, 5 months should be a piece of cake compared to 2 years, right!?! Well, I guess I am older and set in my ways, I did not like it! It was even hard to talk on the phone because his was either ringing all the time or I couldn't talk very well. About two months ago I finally went to the doctor for my voice - I had been hoarse since September and it was getting worse! I ENJOY TALKING A LOT and I like to talk LOUD!!! I was told I had a vocal cord granuloma caused by coughing and talking too much, talking too loud, and general overuse...imagine that!!! I was told to not sing for two months (I didn't know I enjoyed singing until I was told to stop), to try to not cough, and to talk just above a whisper (almost impossible but I done it some...with the help of my kids and Kev telling me "SHHHHH!") FINALLY, my voice is coming back!!! Praise the Lord!  For a few weeks Kevin and I had to text more than talk because of my voice. His life was busy, there were weeks that a glance across the room was a "hello" or " bye" as we would head back to Lake City. Does "absence make the heart grow fonder" or is it "out of sight out of mind"? It depends on what you put into the relationship. Do you want it to grow stronger or fade away? Do what God called you to do as a spouse or friend, then things will align and keep the relationship strong. Put effort into it. Relationships take work. Being apart takes work. A text can light up your face, or an unanswered phone call can break your heart.  Satan attacks when you are weak and lonely. You have to learn to be intentional and purposeful with the time you have, make the most of the time, treasure the moments, minutes, or any time you have, no matter how short or how many interruptions. When you want to succeed you will. What this experience has taught me is to have a much greater compassion for those who have no choice in this lifestyle - for those forced to be apart while their child is being born because they are active military defending our country; or are missing their families while protecting us, for those who live across the world from family because they are called to be missionaries; for those who are lonely because they have forever lost the love of their life on this earth. My solitude ends TONIGHT...we are all back under one roof again, we are our family again, we are HOME! Excuse me, if a have a glow the next few days....life is back to as it should be for us and that makes me happy, happy, happy! I see patients every day who live daily as we did for 5 months, this is their everyday normal.  When  you see people in these situations, I challenge you to love on them, love them big...a listening ear, a hug or a smile of understanding could turn their day around. It could put a smile on their face and in their heart! Let others know you love and appreciate them. Walk a mile in their shoes with them. We are told to love one another so others will see that we are Jesus' disciples in John 13:34-35. Are we being the salt and light as much as we should?
Treasure your moments! Love deeply! While I am super excited my journey is ending, this solitude may be just beginning for many others in this world. Our two sons may be being a form of solitude also.  Matthew graduated last week, so as my Daddy says, "Welcome to the grown-up world!". Today our youngest, Michael, walks the halls of Bay High School for the last time. He has to say "until I see you again" to friends and teachers - he really does like them! His new world is really just beginning. Our oldest, Matthew, leaves for E-team Kazakhstan  June 8-28th, just when the boys are starting to get close and like hanging out as brothers. Then Matthew will move off to Nashville to attend Welch College in August as Michael makes a transition into a new school in Pocahontas. I will never forget the day my sister got married and moved out...it was horrible. There are people all around us going through some sort of solitude. Look for them, reach out to them. Try to figure out their love language and express it the best way you can as a friend, as a follower of Christ. Love others! Give THANKS because HIS LOVE endures FOREVER! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 Randolph County Flood




The Pocahontas Ministerial Alliance has set up an account at the Pocahontas Integrity Bank for Monetary donations to go to the Flood Relief for the Pocahontas/Randolph County residents. Donations need to be marked "Flood Victims". You may contact the bank at (870)892-5286 for further instructions if you are unable to make donations at the physical location. All donations will be greatly appreciated.

You may also donate online through this trusted, safe site. The ministeral alliance set up an online fund. The money collected will be distributed to those affected by the flooding. The link is:  https://www.youcaring.com/allresidentofpocahontasaffectedbytheflooding-816898 
First Community Bank also accepting donations. They have set up a benefit account for anyone who would like to donate to help families in need due to the flooding in Pocahontas and surrounding areas! If you feel compelled to do so, stop by any of their locations and just let your teller know you'd like to deposit to the Benefit Account!

Please be cautious of donating to places or individuals, if you do not know them,  other than banks or trusted organizations...scams may unfortunately pop up in the days to come. 

“Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].”
GALATIANS 6:2 AMP 

Pocahontas is a great community that my family has quickly feel in love with since January, 2017.  Our hearts break for everyone affected by the flood in this wonderful community.  I have never experienced living somewhere like this...it is a strong community, a close community, one that looks for ways to help each other continuously. What a blessing that God that chose to send Kevin to pastor Sutton Church in Pocahontas.  If a few short months our love has grown deep for the people in this place. I can't image being anywhere else!


 
    
   

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May Operation Christmas Child Prayer Reminders

May Operation Christmas Child Prayer Reminders:
  1. Praise God for Operation Christmas Child’s Global Connect conference where over 3,000 attendees from 130 countries gathered in Orlando, Florida to worship, pray, and be equipped to further the Gospel around the world. 
  2. Praise God for the 58 countries that have received shoeboxes and volunteer teams who are now working diligently at Outreach Events to share the Good News with over 7.6 million children.
  3. Pray for the over 273,000 shoeboxes still en route on ships to children in two countries. 
  4. Pray for tax exemption of shoeboxes destined for six countries with 557,000 going to sensitive countries. 
  5. Pray for customs clearance of sea containers filled with shoebox Gospel Opportunities in 11 countries. 
  6. Praise God over 8,000 gift-filled shoeboxes were delivered to sensitive countries. 
Watch our OCC Prayer Video OCC Prayer Video  and share it with your friends.

Mid-South Prayer Praises and Requests:
Praises:
  1. New AC’s Debbie Young: Bowling Green-KY AT, Lisa Steen: Louisville-KY AT, and David and Marilyn Killian: Chattanooga-TN AT
  2. Four churches committing to SAPP
Mid-South Prayer Requests:
  1. Hasty Martin, Regional Director as she leads a Vision Trip to Togo this week, returning May 3
  2. Todd Edwards, Mid-South Director as he leads a vision Trip to Kigali, Rwanda, May 14-25. Prayer for: Wisdom as he leads this team, Team unity, Safety while traveling and while in country, For each child that will be receiving a shoebox gift, that they will experience God’s love and open their heart to the Gospel.
  3. Health for our volunteers, for healing, wisdom for doctors treating them and for family members
  4. Returning Drop Off leaders/locations to complete their paper work by the fast approaching deadline of May 12!
  5. Our Mid-South goal of 850,000 shoebox gifts
  6. Our leader volunteers
North-East Arkansas Team Prayer Requests:
  1. Pray for God to reveal who He is calling to be our new Area Coordinator 
  2. Pray for our Area Team to secure a new Central Drop Off Location in the Jonesboro Area.
  3. Pray for our NEA Shoebox Goal of: 11,550!!! Encourage more people to join this ministry today and pack shoeboxes! Reach out to the churches in your area and let them know our goal for this year - encourage them to set goals also! With God's blessing and putting forth effort, we can surpass this goal!
  4. Pray for everyone affected by the flood
  5. Pray for Kevin & Jennifer's son Matthew as he prepares to go to Kazakhstan June 8-28 on a mission trip.
  6. Pray for each other! If you would like a list of each of our team members so you can pray for them specifically, just let Jennifer Barnett know.  Satan attacks, especially when good things are happening so be faithful to lift each other up in prayer!
  7. Pray for our area team to continue to grow with new team members and coordinators. 
  8. Pray for all the graduates of 2017 - that they would keep or make God a priority and be world-changers.
West and Central Africa International Prayer Requests General Prayer Requests each country faces: 1. Wisdom to recruit, select, lead, and develop new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members. 2. Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.

WEEK 1: May 1-7 - Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Central Africa Republic
Burkina Faso: Pray for stability in the country as there have been many conflicts which greatly affect the OCC ministry. Pray many will hear the Gospel this season despite these ongoing conflicts.

Cameroon: Pray God will grant His peace in all the regions so that there won’t be any obstacles for the Outreach Events. Pray the many disturbances, particularly in the west, won’t prevent any child in Cameroon from hearing the Gospel. Pray the Ministry Partners will be faithful to the OCC vision and principles while distributing and discipling children. Pray God touches their hearts so that they fully support this work

Central African Republic: Pray for peace and stability in the Central Africa Republic so that the discipleship of children will not be hindered in any way.

WEEK 2: May 8-14 - Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea

Chad: Pray there will continue to be peace in the country and for an end to the economic crisis so as not to hinder children from being discipled through The Greatest Journey 12-week discipleship program.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Pray for stability in the government so every planned Outreach Event will be held successfully.

Equatorial Guinea: Pray the churches to remain faithful in their desire to have long-term spiritual influence on children through OCC.

​​WEEK 3: May 15-21 - Liberia, Niger and Nigeria
Liberia: Pray for the many children orphaned by the terrible Ebola epidemic; pray the team will share God’s love with each one of them. 
Liberia
Liberia

Niger: Pray for the new believers as they grow in their faith. Pray the insecurity of the country won’t interfere with the OCC outreach events. 

Nigeria: Pray for the success of all the OCC activities in Nigeria throughout 2017. Pray especially for the distributions, discipleship, and prayer events.  Pray for divine wisdom as the national and regional leadership teams lead the project this year. Pray their leadership will open a way for many children to hear of Jesus Christ and become disciples through The Greatest Journey.

WEEK 4: May 22-31 - Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo

Republic of Congo:
Pray for the expansion of the OCC ministry in the Congo as this will allow more children to hear about Jesus and have the opportunity to be disciple.
Pray the insecurity of the country won’t interfere with the OCC outreach events.

Senegal: Pray The Greatest Journey teachers will be well trained and teach effectively. Pray for the team as they prepare for the Unreached People Group exploration trip later this year.

Sierra Leone: Pray that the Ministry Partners will understand the OCC vision more deeply and be effective in sharing the Gospel.

Togo: Pray the team’s plan of action will be successful and the Holy Spirit will touch many children and their families.

Country Highlight Senegal:  My name is Aissatou Barry. There are four in our family. I am the third daughter. I am nine years old and I do not go to school because my parents find that it is not important. We are cattle farmers and our staple food is milk produced by these animals. It is not a custom in our family for parents to give us gifts, because it costs a fortune for them. Operation Christmas Child gifts are not only special for us as children, but also for the parents of this village because, for them, it has never been seen. This gesture of giving gifts of such value is unimaginable, even impossible. For the first time in the history of this village, the Fulani people are looking at Christians with another look as they earlier considered them enemies. Now throughout the village, they are only singing the goodness of Christ's disciples. The booklets are even welcomed by parents for all the Fulani children. They are willing to have their children participate in discipleship programs. Nothing is impossible with God. The love of God manifested in a tangible way and a village was touched and we are continually thanking Him. 

"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Over 3,000 attendees at Operation Christmas Child’s Global Connect conference where 130 countries gathered in early April to worship, pray, and be equipped to further the Gospel read these words multiple times together – each in their own language. It was powerful. It was humbling. It was significant. In the Old Testament, the entire tribe of Israel stood – sometimes for hours – in honor of the Lord as the Word of God was read. We stood, too. We are called to GO to our local, regional, national and international areas. You may not have had an opportunity to go beyond the borders of the United States, but we are not bound by the physical realm. Through prayer, we can “go” by diligently and faithfully interceding for children who have and will receive a gift-filled shoebox. Maybe it is The Greatest Journey that you are particularly passionate about. Pray God will raise up more teachers than the 200,000 who have been trained already around the world so more children have an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel and be discipled to live out the call of God on their lives. Another option is to research the country where a child received your shoebox. Find pictures of children from that country to use as a focal point in connecting your heart in prayer with the child who received your shoebox. Ask your OCC volunteer who sent you this email if you would like to receive more specific prayer requests from a particular country. They have access to more resources. Wherever God has called you to “go,” disciples will be made as we stay faithful to His call to pray. One of the ways He has called the global Operation Christmas Child family to “go” is participate in the Quarterly Day of Prayer and Fasting. Join in as thousands around the world pray and fast together on our National Day of Prayer and our quarterly days of fasting for OCC during the year. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child during April 2017

April Prayer Reminders
  • Praise God for the 49 countries that have received shoeboxes and volunteer teams who are now working diligently at Outreach Events to share the Good News with over 8.9 million children. 
  • Pray for the over 1.25 million shoeboxes still en route on ships to children in 14 countries. 
  • Pray for tax exemption of shoeboxes destined for seven countries with 487,500 going to sensitive countries. 
  • Pray for customs clearance of sea containers filled with shoebox Gospel Opportunities in three countries. 
  • Praise God for the tax exemption received for over 260,000 shoeboxes in Indonesia. 
Russia, Europe and Central Asia: International Prayer Requests – General Prayer Requests each country faces: 
  • Wisdom to recruit, select, and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members. 
  • Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year. 

NEA REQUESTS:
  • 2017 NEA SHOEBOX GOAL IS 11,550 SHOEBOX GOSPEL OPPORTUNITIES FROM OUR 7 COUNTIES! PRAY AND PACK SOME SHOEBOXES…WE CAN DO THIS!!!! 
  • Pray for our area team as we seek God’s guidance for a New Area Coordinator, New Central Drop-Off Location, New Central-Drop Off Coordinator, and more people with a heart and passion for packing shoeboxes! Pray God will open doors with new churches and new volunteers! 
  • Pray for our 2017 recommitment of our volunteers. We still have a few who have not re-committed. Pray that all our volunteers in NEA and the Midsouth will prayerfully consider their continued partnership with this ministry.
  • Pray for our NEA and Mid-South teams - we all have families, loved ones and friends going through difficult times and God is faithful to hear and answer our prayers.
  • Pray that the NEW $9 SUGGESTED SHIPPING DONATION will be well received by everyone. Why $9? A donation of $9 per shoebox gift is critical for Operation Christmas Child....$9 Shipping News Click Here
WEEK 1: April 1-7 
Belarus 
Belarus
• Pray for increased communication between the national and newly formed regional leadership volunteers and for sufficient capacity to reach out to children in their country through shoebox gifts. 

WEEK 2: April 8-14
Republic of Georgia 
• Pray God will lead the process of selecting a new national volunteer leadership team. Pray the Lord touches the hearts of the right people to serve on the team.

WEEK 3: April 15-21
Mongolia 
Mongolia

• Pray for churches reaching out to new children this season and sharing the Gospel with them.
• Pray that all discipleship trainings will be successfully led throughout Mongolia.

WEEK 4: April 22-30
Ukraine 
• Pray the churches to remain faithful in their desire to have long-term spiritual influence on children through OCC.

FORWARD TO A FRIEND: Forward this e-mail to a friend who you think would be interested praying for or learning more about the ministry of Operation Christmas Child.

See our new OCC Prayer Video CLICK HERE

Salvation Belongs to Our God
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-10)

The heavenly hosts burst forth in adoration to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords declaring to all that exists in heaven and earth, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" It will be a great and glorious day when all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues glorify the Lord with one voice and one heart. All division that exists among us on earth will fade away at the majestic splendor of Jesus. Nothing … nothing compares to the One who created heaven and earth and is the Desire of the Nations. We won’t be able to think about anything else because the true beauty of Jesus will be in our full view and no longer appear dim as it is now. We will be overcome. We will be overwhelmed. We will be undone.

A small glimpse of that will be happening at our global volunteer conference April 2-9 this year. Over 3,000 Operation Christmas Child volunteers from all over the world will gather for worship, prayer, and equipping so that the Gospel is proclaimed to the ends of the earth. We are seeing an increase in the effectiveness of The Greatest Journey discipleship program through the training the volunteers are receiving. With resources and focused equipping, the Gospel presentations are improving dramatically so children are hearing who Jesus really is when they receive a shoebox gift. More children’s hearts are being impacted and more are making decisions for Christ.

It is because of your partnership in prayer that we are seeing such amazing results. Praise God for you! 


Country Highlight
Russia, Europe and Central Asia – Sensitive Country
A four-year-old boy in a village has been suffering from leukemia for 2 years. He would constantly have terrible headaches and could not sleep at night until they gave him an injection. He spends most of his time in the hospital. He received a gift-filled shoebox and asked if the volunteers would visit him. They talked with him and prayed for him. The next day when they went to see him, he was very happy and told them that he had slept well after they prayed for him. He played with the cars from his box and then pulled out a coloring book with pictures of Jesus and children. He told the volunteers, "You’ve told me that Jesus loves children, and I said, Jesus, if you love those children, please, come to love me too". He slept well that night. The volunteers were encouraged that God worked a miracle in the boy’s life. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child - March 2017 week 4

What a privilege we have to be able to call out to the Almighty God in prayer, to speak to Him and He hear us and answer us! We can call out to Him and He listens...we should not take this lightly. We should not underestimate the power of prayer.  James 5:16-18 declares, "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers. With that in mind, do we pray as often and sincerely as we should? Do we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)?  Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you". (Matthew 17:20). The Bible urges us, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18). Will you join me in praying for the Operation Christmas Child ministry with bold faith, believing God is going to move mountains with this ministry?  The specific request for the last week of March are listed below. Thank you for being a prayer warrior for this ministry!

NEA REQUESTS: 
  1. Pray as we seek the Lord’s direction for the next Area Coordinator for our team. 
  2. Pray for a new Collection Center Coordinator (central drop off leader) and Collection Center (Central Drop-Off Location). Pray for God to reveal who and where this needs to be in NEA.
  3. Pray for Vicki Pepper (our Mid-South Regional Manager) as she helps NEA and travels to fills in the voids where teams are missing leadership. 
  4. Pray for our 2017 Shoebox Gospel Opportunity Goal for the 7 counties of NEA that will be announced soon!!! 
Mid-South Requests: 
  1. The Lord to raise up key leaders for multiple developing teams. 
  2. A smooth upcoming re-commitment process for year-round Connect Volunteers. 
  3. Provision for volunteers who will be attending the Global Connect Conference in April. International Prayer Requests that each country faces: 
  4. Wisdom to recruit, select and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members. 
  5. Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.

Middle East and North Africa:
  1. Pray for the upcoming training events and the new season. \
  2. ray for wisdom as new teams are growing in their knowledge and the love of OCC ministry.
  3. Pray God will open doors to enter into unreached areas. 
  4. Pray for the political stability in the country. 
Middle East and North Africa:
  1. Pray that the Ministry of Religious Affairs will approve the importation of the containers. 
  2. Pray for adequate storage of the shoeboxes and ministry materials for this season. 
  3. Pray for wisdom and a successful season for the team.
Russia, Europe and Central Asia:
  1. Pray for the importation process as it is becoming more complicated every season. 
  2. Pray the team finds a way to import the boxes, in spite of the new restrictions, so that children will be able to receive the gifts.
South Asia:
  1. Pray for security for the volunteer team following a very tumultuous year, which Christians were targeted by terrorist groups. Pray for God’s protection over all believers in the country. 
  2.  Pray for favor and a smooth process as the team seeks to obtain the 2017 tax exemption from the Muslim majority government. 
  3. Pray God will provide the right person to serve as National Coordinator.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child, March 15-21, 2017

NEA REQUESTS:

  • Pray as we seek the Lord’s direction for the next Area Coordinator for our team. 
  • Pray for a new Collection Center Coordinator 0(central drop off leader) and Collection Center (Central Drop-Off Location). Pray for God to reveal who and where this need to be in NEA very soon. 
  • Pray for Vicki Pepper (our Mid-South Regional Manager) as she helps NEA and travels to fills in the voids where teams are missing leadership all over the mid-south.
  • Pray for our 2017 Shoebox Gospel Opportunity Goal for the 7 counties of NEA that will be released soon!!!

Mid-South Requests:

  • The Lord to raise up key leaders for multiple developing teams. 
  • A smooth upcoming re-commitment process for year-round Connect Volunteers. 
  • Provision for volunteers who will be attending the Global Connect Conference in April.

International Prayer Requests that each country faces:

  • Wisdom to recruit, select and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members. 
  • Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.

We are continuing to pray for the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Europe, Central Asia and South Asia this week. Specifically, the following are prayer requests from each country:

Middle East and North Africa

  1. Pray God will appoint a Prayer Mobilization Coordinator for the volunteer regional leadership team in the north. 
  2. Pray the team will be able to obtain tax exemption for this season. 
  3. Pray God will give OCC a way to import into the country after last year’s attack from the secret police.

Russia, Europe and Central Asia

  1. Pray for the recruitment and selection of a new volunteer National Leadership Team Prayer Mobilization Coordinator. 
  2. Pray for The Greatest Journey discipleship program trainings. 
  3. Pray for the new house churches that will start after the distributions and The Greatest Journey discipleship program classes this season.

South Asia

  1. Pray for God’s immense favor in selecting quality, spiritually oriented Ministry Partners for the 2017-2018 season. Pray for the vision casting meetings the volunteer team will be holding for potential Ministry Partners next month. 
  2. Pray for the training sessions. Pray that the vision of OCC will be conveyed clearly and understood by the Ministry Partners and The Greatest Journey discipleship program teachers.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child March 8-14th

March 2017 Week 2 Pray with OCC March 8-14th we are praying for the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Europe, Central Asia (RECA), and South Asia.
  • Praise God for the 38 countries that have received shoeboxes and volunteer teams who are now working diligently through Outreach Events to share the Good News with over 5.7 million children.  
  • Pray for the children who are just beginning to hear more about Jesus through The Greatest Journey after receiving their shoebox.  
  • Pray for the over 2 million shoeboxes still en route on ships to children in 20 countries.  
  • Pray for tax exemption of shoeboxes in 15 countries.  
  • Praise for customs clearance of sea containers filled with shoebox Gospel Opportunities in 18 countries.
NEA Requests: 
  • Pray as we seek the Lord’s direction for the next Area Coordinator for our team. 
  • Pray for a new Collection Center Coordinator (central drop off leader) - hopefully within First Free Will Baptist Church in Jonesboro so we can keep the same Collection Center (Central Drop-Off Location).
Mid-South Requests: 
  • The Lord to raise up key leaders for multiple developing teams. 
  • A smooth upcoming re-commitment process for year-round Connect Volunteers. 
  • Provision for volunteers who will be attending the Global Connect Conference in April. 
International Prayer Requests that each country faces:

  • Wisdom to recruit, select and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members. 
  • Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.
Middle East and North Africa:

  1. Pray for the tax exemption process that, in the coming months, children in our country would have an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. 
  2. Pray for the Ministry Partners who were trained and are excited to receive gift boxes for the first time. 
  3. Pray for the children and the partners who will be ministering to them this season. 
Russia, Europe and Central Asia
  1. Pray the Ministry Partners will be able to reach children with the OCC gifts and Good News in remote areas.  
  2. Pray God will give grace to believers in the eyes of the government officials so that the latter will not create problems for the volunteer National Leadership Teams and Ministry Partners. 
South Asia
  1. Pray for the provision of good partners in areas that are greatly affected by insurgent groups. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and protection as the teams seek these new Ministry Partners. 
  2. Pray for God’s mercy and favor as the team searches for the right candidate to support the ministry in an area inhabited by an unreached people group.

Drumroll Please...2016 Shoebox Gospel Opportunity Totals are in!!!


We have an exciting announcement—the numbers are in! Join us in praising God for 11,485,662 shoebox gifts packed in 2016! That's 11,485,662 children and 11,485,662 Gospel Opportunities, packed by all of YOU...WOW!

Please continue to pray for each child receiving these gifts, that they will feel God's love and experience the Good News and Great Joy of Jesus Christ. Since the project began, over 146 million shoebox gifts have been collected and delivered to children in more than 150 countries around the world.

Shoebox gifts collected in 2016 by country: 
United States - 9,121,799
United Kingdom - 872,104
Canada - 664,525
Germany - 388,673
Australia & New Zealand - 346,592
Spain - 41,107
Finland - 37,144
Japan - 13,718
-------------------------------
Total: 11,485,662 Gospel Opportunities

Someone may have been praying for the exact Shoebox Gospel Opportunity that you packed!  Pack a shoebox (or two, or three, or 3000) touch a live and change it forever in 2017! Have you set a goal for how many your family, church or organization will pack in 2017? If so comment below at the end of this blog post-we would be thrilled to hear from you!
Philippines



Friday, March 3, 2017

March Operation Christmas Child Prayer

This month Operation Christmas Child is praying for Sensitive Countries.  Will you join us in prayer?

Praise God for the 38 countries that have received shoeboxes and volunteer teams who are now working diligently through Outreach Events to share the Good News with over 5.7 million children.
Pray for the children who are just beginning to hear more about Jesus through The Greatest Journey after receiving their shoebox.
Pray for the over 2 million shoeboxes still en route on ships to children in 20 countries.
Pray for tax exemption of shoeboxes in 15 countries.
Praise for customs clearance of sea containers filled with shoebox Gospel Opportunities in 18 countries.

NEA REQUESTS:
Pray as we seek the Lord’s direction for the next Area Coordinator for our team.
Pray for a new Collection Center Coordinator (central drop off leader) - hopefully within First Free Will Baptist Church in Jonesboro so we can keep our Collection Center (Central Drop-Off Location) the same this year.

Mid-South Requests:
Praises:
Praise God for a highly successful AC Planning meeting with leader volunteers
Praise God for the area team multiplications which have, and are taking place.
We are thankful to the Lord for the National Coordination Meetings which entailed key 2017 initiatives and encouraging words from OCC Leadership.
Prayer For:
The Lord to raise up key leaders for multiple developing teams.
A smooth upcoming recommitment process for year-round Connect Volunteers.
Provision for volunteers who will be attending the Global Connect Conference in April.

International Prayer Requests that each country faces:
Wisdom to recruit, select and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members.
Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.

​Specific country requests:
Middle East and North Africa:
Pray for the tax exemption process that, in the coming months, children in our country would have an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel.
Pray for the Ministry Partners who were trained and are excited to receive gift boxes for the first time.
Pray for the children and the Ministry Partners who will be ministering to them this season.
Pray God will help the team have a smooth process this year.

Russia, Europe and Central Asia:
Pray God will lead in the process of distributing the gift boxes.
Pray the team will be able to reach children in all of the regions with the gifts.

South Asia:
Pray for the completion of the discipleship program and the graduation events this month.
Pray for the upcoming vision casting meeting and the selection of Ministry Partners this month.
Pray for the safe arrival and custom clearance of 12 containers.


“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child - January 2017 week 4

Until the end of January we are praying for Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The specific requests are listed below. Join us in prayer as we lift them up!

Suriname
·         Pray for the recruitment and selection of a new Prayer Coordinator. 

Uruguay
·         Pray for the implementation of the Ministry Partner materials on how to increase the effectiveness of the Gospel presentation to children. 
Uruguay OCC
Venezuela
·         Praise God for His care and provision in the midst of difficult times. Praise God for the strength He has given the team to remain faithful to His calling and work.
·         Praise Him that the children and adolescents who have received the message of salvation are persevering and believing the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ.
·         Pray for peace in Venezuela- that God in His mercy will take control of the situation. Pray the country will experience political changes without bloodshed.

Join the OCC global family in prayer and fasting the first Wednesday of each quarter (starting in February) as we humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father and ask Him to work in the hearts of children impacted by war, poverty, famine, disease and exploitation that they may know Jesus.

The dates for 2017 are:
February 1
May 3
August 2
November 1

A booklet of praises and prayer requests from all Operation Christmas Child countries is published on the Extranet each quarter. This resource is made available at the request of many Prayer Mobilization Coordinators who are interested in receiving it. Feel free to use it or simply refer to your Monthly Prayer Update to pray for one region’s requests.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pray with Operation Christmas Child - January 2017 Week 3

Will you join us in praying for South America this month? This week we are praying for Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

Panama
·         Pray God will provide a new storage and distribution location for the shoeboxes for this year. Pray against challenges as the teams distribute the shoeboxes to the ministry partners.
·         Pray for the logistics process; pray that all of the communication and work with customs and the port will be handled without any delays. 
Paraguay 
·         Praise God OCC was able to reach the city of PuentesiƱo, which is difficult to access. Praise Him the team was able to reach over 1,000 children, demonstrating the tangible love of God.
·         Pray God will guide the team to hear His voice and will provide the ideal person to serve as the volunteer National Coordinator for Paraguay.
Peru
·         Pray that the successful church-planting tool of shoebox gifts will continue to multiply. 
Peru June 2016
Peru June 2016


Peru June 2016
Javier is a volunteer with OCC in Peru...the other side of the box, Judy and I are on the NEA Area team in the USA, we met him as our translator when we were on a medical/dental mission trip last summer (June 2016)
Proverbs 3:5 - this hangs on a wall in the church in Neuvo Pachacutec, Lima Peru.

Peru June 2016 - you can NOT send liquid in shoeboxes but we were able to take it on out mission trip, the kids loved bubbles!


Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Friday, January 13, 2017

January 1-14, 2017 Operation Christmas Child Prayer South America week 1 & 2

Prayer Reminders
Prayer is what opens the heart of a child to the redemption available through the blood of Jesus. Franklin Graham says, “The most important item you can send in a shoebox is prayer.” Faithful prayers are what allows the journey to accomplish its intended purpose. What a glorious opportunity we have to participate in his plan.

                                See our new OCC Prayer Video and share it with your friends.

This month we are praying for South America
General Prayer Requests each country faces:
·            Wisdom to recruit, select, and lead new and/or transitioning volunteer leadership team members.
·            Provision of resources and the person who leads this area so they are able to reach their God-sized goals for the current year.
MID-SOUTH PRAYER REQUESTS:
·              Pray for the new Mid-South Regional Director Todd Edwards as he transitions to the region January 3rd.
·              Praise God for the many gospel opportunities that He blessed our region with in 2016!
·              Pray for Godly wisdom for Mid-South staff and Area Coordinators as they begin planning for 2017.
·              Please continue to pray for prospective volunteers who are showing interests in serving with OCC on their local Area Teams as year-round Connect volunteers.
·              Pray for all National Leadership Teams as they begin receiving and distributing shoeboxes.
·              Pray for the many children who will receive shoeboxes and as they have the opportunity to attend The Greatest Journey.

NEA Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for our area team as Vicki Pepper, our Regional Manager, as she will be helping our Area Team until we have a new Area Coordinator. 
  • Pray for Melinda Dixon and her mom as she is healing. Pray for blessing on Melinda as she is a care giver for her mom and as her work load increases - she had to resign, with heavy heart as our AC and will be greatly missed.
PRAISE ITEMS:
  1. Millions of shoebox gifts packed by prayerful donors are on their way to children in over 100 countries. God has allowed Operation Christmas Child to reach more children this year than any previous year with the precious gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
  2. Praise God for the 11 countries that have already received their 2016 season shoeboxes and for the volunteer teams now working hard in Outreach Events to share the Good News with over 200,000 children. 
  3. Pray for the over 6 million shoeboxes on the way to children in 43 countries 
  4. Prayer is what opens the heart of a child to the redemption available through the blood of Jesus. Franklin Graham says, “The most important item you can send in a shoebox is prayer.” Faithful prayers are what allows the journey to accomplish its intended purpose. What a glorious opportunity we have to participate in his plan.

Argentina
Argentina OCC
·         Praise God for the completion of the volunteer National Leadership Team this year.
·         Pray for the children enrolled in The Greatest Journey in the cities of Buenos Aires and Corrientes to grow in discipleship. 
Bolivia
·         Praise God for the honor of preparing pastors and teachers, as well as mobilizing churches, for the spiritual formation of the new generations that will come to know God the Father.
·         Pray that in this season, God will open the doors to reach new unreached communities where the Gospel has previously been inaccessible. 
Bolivia OCC - The Greatest Gift Book
Brazil
·         Pray for an opening in the bureaucratic process to allow the importation of shoeboxes in the future.
·         Pray for wisdom for the volunteer team in the city of Recife as they plan for future seasons.
·         Pray for the contacts that will be made with new churches and ministries in the Northeast of Brazil for this year. 
Chile
·         Praise God for the more than 5,000 children who received Christ in 2016. 
Colombia
·         Pray for the vision castings, as well as the Ministry Partner and The Greatest Journey trainings that occurred throughout the various regions in Colombia for greater effectiveness. 
Ecuador OCC
Ecuador
·         Praise God for the largest and most effective national volunteer conference in the country held recently.
·         Praise God for the provision of various gift-in-kind donations for storage of the OCC materials.
·         Pray for wisdom in navigating the government bureaucracy that comes with managing a large amount of boxes in the country.