I am very, and this is putting is rather mildly, very skeptical of statistics. Far to often, they are used to manipulate and coerce people into some sort of action. Consider this, from a book I'm reading, Upside by Bradley Wright.
"Some of the worst statistics are flat-out made up--as factual as fairy tales.... Joel Best nominate this one as one of the worst social statistics ever. Professor Best was reading a student's dissertation prospectus that started with this attention-grabbing line: 'Every year since 1950, the number of American children gunned down has doubled.' The student drew this statistic from a 1995 article published in an academic journal. What's the problem with this number? Doubling numbers adds up really fast. As best calculated, if only one American child was murdered in 1950, then it would be two in 1951, four in 1952, eight in 1953, and so on. By 1960, it would be 1,024 murders, and by 1970 it would be one million kids murdered. In 1980 there would be 1 billion children murdered in the United States, and in 1995, the time of the article, the estimate would be 35 trillion children murdered. Wow! Now that would be a problem."
That said, here are the statistics from our summer. As a group of 24 students and 5 staff we:
-Initiated spiritual conversations with 1,261 students.
-Shared the gospel with 860 students!
-Saw 90 people choose to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of their lives!
-Had a "How to walk in the Holy Spirit" conversation with 64 students!
-Went through follow-up materials with 75 students!
-And, as a bonus, we had 2 or 3 group presentations (to an entire class of 30 or so) in which the Christian student organization we are with was the focus, and we got to see first time Bible studies begin on parts of campus that we've never seen before!
It was crazy. Just crazy. God did some truly remarkable things. But, as the opening could lead one to think, statistics can be misleading. But, I think, what they are good indicators of, (if they are honest as least) in this realm, is effort and faithfulness to the mission. We really showed up this summer to see God do some great things, and He did. We pushed ourselves to the limit that the gospel would be proclaimed.
Would you join with me to pray for the continued faithfulness of the church in Venezuela? And would you pray for Vida Estudiantil (CCC in Valencia) with me?