The time is NOW and the opportunities are LIMITLESS to get the Gospel to the people of the world who do not know Jesus, and so many who have never even heard His name. The International Mission Board reports that “nearly a million people are plunging into a Christ-less eternity every single month in China alone. Millions of Syrian refugees are more open today to hearing the Gospel than ever before. People groups who are not only unengaged and unreached, but up until now have been totally uncontacted by the outside world.”
In light of these facts, there is no time for us to be stagnant, or retreat from the world. The Gospel is for the whole world and Jesus has commissioned His church to get the job done of getting the Gospel to all people everywhere.
This is what the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is all about.
Don’t you think it is a good idea, before we spend the dollars to give ourselves a wonderful Christmas, that we set aside a generous offering to enable our international missionaries to share the Gospel among the people of the world? There is no greater need or calling in this hour than to take the light of Christ to those in darkness.
As you review this year’s Week of Prayer for International Missions materials, you will learn about the amazing work being done by our missionaries. I encourage you to take time to view the magnificent videos that have been prepared. It would be wonderful if you would share them with your Sunday morning congregation over the Sundays in December as it will inspire them to be more engaged in our international mission efforts as Southern Baptists.
You will learn about the Bagbys who are serving in Nepal, seeking to reach the 28 people groups throughout the Himalayas. The scenery on the video is breathtaking, but more compelling are the faces of those who need Jesus and the joy in the faces of those who have received Christ. We are urged to pray for our brothers and sisters in the faith who have been expelled from their circle of family and friends because of their faith if Christ.
Radford Bagby said, “It will be a lot of thankless work for a few years, but I do think we will see a lot of progress in our lifetime. It’s just very slow. The fields are hard.”
The Bagbys report that they have seen God soften the hearts of the Tibetan people through earthquakes and through the Bagby children. “The couple has trekked for days at a time uphill with toddlers, even when Sarah was pregnant. People see our kids, and they open up about their lives and about the children they lost in the earthquake.”
The Bagbys make two prayer requests: (1.) “Pray for God to remove barriers.” (2.) “Pray for God to continue to open hearts in Nepal so that the nationals can take the Gospel to other villages.”
As you give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, remember that 100 percent of the gifts to this offering will be used to fund IMB missionaries who are making disciples and multiplying churches among unreached people and places. In the last year reported, 2015, there were 1.9 million who heard the Gospel. There were 175,290 new believers and 93,922 baptisms. Over 15,000 pastors were trained, and there were 6,138 new churches. In August of 2016 there were 872 people groups engaged by IMB personnel and in June of this year, it was reported there are 3,203 unreached people groups who have not been engaged. There are 42,704 overseas churches with a membership of 780,215.
A lot of work has been done, but so much more can be done if Southern Baptists will be generous in this season to bless our international mission efforts. I encourage you to go to the IMB website, review the materials, share them with your church, and then, give the most generous Lottie Moon Offering you have ever given.