May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way
may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2
Before I get into why it is so important to support our international missionaries, I just want to praise the Lord for the church’s decision to give $50,000 for disaster relief efforts in western Kentucky. I’m thankful that we were blessed to get our church debt paid off last year and I’m thankful that you have given so faithfully during the uncertain weeks and months of the pandemic. It blessed me to see the church’s desire and consensus in giving generously to bless the churches and people who were devastated by the tornados last weekend. Your generosity has even encouraged other churches to give sacrificially to help those in need. Thank you!
We believe that God is worthy of praise from people from all nations. However, there are lots of people, and people groups, who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because some parts of the world are unreached with the gospel, it is imperative that we give, go, and pray for the nations to hear the good news of Jesus and His salvation. This month we are collecting for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) that goes directly to support our missionaries all around the world. I was so encouraged when we met and surpassed our LMCO goal of $20,000 last year. Our total giving was over $22,000. Our goal this year is $21,000. Please prayerfully consider how much you can give towards taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Last week we had the privilege of praying for our missionaries around the world. We prayed for missionaries and churches in Central America, North Africa, Middle East, South Asia, West Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Czechia. We pray regularly for Kyle and Molly and their work in Indonesia. (I hope you pray for Kyle and Molly regularly.) We saw pictures and video of a massive volcano eruption in the general area where Kyle and Molly live. We pray that God uses this devastation to make people more receptive to the good news of the gospel.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal is $185 million this year. As Southern Baptist, we have approximately 3,635 missionaries on the field. Years ago, we had over 5,000 missionaries. Our goal as Southern Baptist is to increase our number of missionaries by 500 in the next 5 years. As the cost-of-living increases, it becomes more expensive and challenging to add missionaries. With that said, Southern Baptist have now given over $5 billion to international missions. We believe that reaching the nations with the gospel is what the Lord has called us to in the Great Commission and the effort is worth our sacrificial giving, praying, and going. The reason I am such a strong advocate for the LMCO is because 100% of what is given to this offering goes directly to support our missionaries.
One number that recently caught my attention is 155,000. Approximately 155,000 people die daily without Christ. The need to take the gospel is URGENT! There are nearly 4.5 billion unreached people on the earth and 7,200 unreached people groups. Last year, 247 people groups were engaged for the first time. God might call some of you to go to the mission field. He invites us all to pray for the nations and give to support the work. I want to thank you in advance for your faithful giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. We will spend eternity with some people on the other side of the world that were able to hear the gospel because we prayed and gave to support our missionaries. Isn’t that an awesome thought? May God bless our giving and multiply our missionary force for His glory!!!