Please Pray and Support Lottie Moon
    November 16 2009 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

    Even though Southern Baptists promote and pray for international missions throughout the year, we are in the season when Woman’s Missionary Union challenges us to give special attention to a concerted prayer effort and the special offering that our International Mission Board (IMB) depends on to provide more than half of their annual budget.

    The goal for the 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) is $175 million. North Carolina Baptist churches led the Southern Baptist Convention in supporting the 2008 LMCO. I hope we will do the same in 2009.

    This December I will be privileged to preach in the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, Va., to help promote this offering.

    I feel greatly honored because this is the home church of Charlotte Diggs Moon.

    In 1873, she became one of only six Southern Baptist workers to serve in China.  For almost 40 years, Lottie Moon served God faithfully as a traveling evangelist in China.

    She pleaded through many written letters for Southern Baptists to pray more, do more and give more for the cause of reaching 360 million lost people in China.

    In 1887, she suggested to the women in her home state of Virginia that a week of prayer and a special Christmas offering for foreign missions be promoted in Southern Baptist churches.

    Eventually, due to broken health and starvation because she literally gave her life and food to the Chinese people during a time of severe famine, Lottie Moon was forced to return home.

    She died on a ship on Christmas Eve 1912 that was carrying her back to the U.S. The LMCO commemorates her life poured out for others because of her love for Jesus. Inscribed on a monument at her grave are these three words: “faithful unto death.”

    Despite financial hardships created by the economic downturn, Southern Baptists gave $141 million to support the work of international missions through the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

    However, this amount fell nearly $30 million short of the $170 million goal.

    One hundred percent of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes to the International Mission Board’s overseas budget to support missionary work.

    The IMB spends 71 percent of its total budget of $319.8 million, including a major portion of funds received from the Cooperative Program, on missionary support which includes funding 5,587 IMB missionaries serving in 174 countries.

    Because of the economic downturn and the staggering level of unemployment some Southern Baptists may need to give more sacrificially than in past years.

    The Great Commission of Christ compels us to give in support of our missionaries during these challenging times.

    Statistics reveal that more than 1.5 billion people in our world have still never heard the story of Jesus. We must pray, we must give financially and we must be willing to go so that all may hear.

    “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19

    11/16/2009 8:05:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments

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