The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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          According to some estimates, the world’s population exceeded 8 billion in November of this year. Of further note is the fact that half of this number live in 7 countries, namely…China, India, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Brazil. As the world’s population continues to grow, the response of Christians to Jesus’ charge and commission to be witnesses “to the ends of the earth” and to “make disciples of all nations” requires an intentional, focused, and cooperative effort.
          The theme for the 2022 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is “Reaching the Nations, Together.” Through this annual emphasis, named in honor and memory of a determined woman who gave all she had for the people of China, Southern Baptists have a unique opportunity to continue Lottie’s missionary efforts on a global scale. Ours is a monumental task to be sure but one that is attainable as Christians join hearts and hands in prayer and participation.

          Supporting the mission efforts through the Lottie Moon Christmas offering is especially meaningful when friends, college classmates, and others that are known personally are serving the Lord around the globe. My wife and I have some friends who served as Southern Baptist missionaries in Southern Africa. During the years that this couple served with the IMB, we corresponded with them through email. A portion of one email that we received one December stated…                                

           I must close as I will have to get up far too soon to go to Serowe in the morning. As I do close, please, more than all of the other things that I have mentioned above, remember that Christmas is coming. I was in South Africa today, in the town of Zeerust. In this heavy Afrikaner town not too far removed from apartheid; out on the street, come from one of those boom boxes, was the song “God, Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”  This gave me a little dose of culture shock. But I thought, “Christmas is coming. Even in Zeerust where we have no Baptist work, Christmas is coming.”  

          Along with Christmas is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in many of your churches. The goal this year is astronomical. That’s more money that I’ll make in half a lifetime or a thousand lifetimes. But, as you give, as we give, others can go. I think about just my own requests that will soon be going out for five or so additional personnel.  Impossible without you. Impossible without the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It underwrites a full 50% of what we do.  

        I think often about this: somewhere, there is that one person. There is that last person who needs to hear the gospel and then, it’s over. The books are closed, the work is done, the trumpet sounds. I’d love to be there with that last person, asking them “Can I tell you about the One that can change your life now and forever?” And they say “yes” and I tell them and that’s it. I do know that when that moment comes, I want to be busy doing what I’m supposed to do, where I’m supposed to be doing it. And I couldn’t do it without you.

          Without those of you that support through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Without your prayers, I could not do it. And I want you to hear a heart-felt “thank you.” So, as your pastor, or the WMU, or the Brotherhood, or whoever it is who starts mentioning Lottie Moon, think to yourself… Maybe this year, maybe this year. Wouldn’t it be great if this was the last year for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering… (As Christ returns and claims His bride, the church and all who comprise His body)?

          As we approach Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth, please Pray for the 8 billion people living in our world today. Everyone represented by this large and growing number needs Jesus. May you also be encouraged to Pay for mission efforts around the world through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions as we strive to “Reach the Nations, Together.”

Dear Heavenly Father, May I be an instrument of Thy peace by helping to introduce those within my sphere of influence to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May others do the same as we work together to reach the nations. Amen.