Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let's give Lottie Moon a new face...

If you're a Southern Baptist, the name Lottie Moon is a familiar one. Each Christmas the International Mission Board sponsors a special offering just for international missions in Lottie Moon's name.

Most people don't really know much about this solemn-faced young lady. She was a missionary to China as a single lady in the late 1800's. She wrote passionate letters back home to churches encouraging them to pray and give to missions. She initiated the very first Christmas offering, urging Southern Baptists to give to missions. They gave so much that year that 3 new missionaries to China were sponsored. 

But that was more than 125 years ago....

I wonder if Lottie Moon were around today if her passionate would ignite the same generosity and excitement for international missions as it did in the 1880s. 

When I heard our church's goal for the Lottie Moon offering, it held more importance for me because this year, a couple I know is days away from boarding a plane and moving to Africa to bring Jesus to an unreached people group. The Lottie Moon offering is for them. When I see that reminder in the church bulletin, I don't see Lottie Moon's face, I see Robert and Maridith Lane's faces. 

I asked Maridith to share what the Lottie Moon offering means to her and what Jesus is laying on her heart....

"Growing up, I heard the name Lottie Moon thrown around a lot during the Christmas season, but had no idea what it meant. All I knew is that I'd throw some change in the offering plate as it passed by and wish 'ole Lottie the best. But I wish someone would have told me more early on...
This year in particular, Lottie Moon has come to mean so much more than a churchy Christmas association. In January 2012, my husband and I will board a plane that will land us in East Africa. There, we will find ourselves living among millions of people who've never been given the chance to trust Jesus as Savior, as His name has never been uttered to them. We will go to the unreached (less than 2% Christian), unengaged (no current Christian evangelical presence) peoples of South Sudan with the glorious news of our Lord Jesus, hoping that people will surrender to Him and turn from their evil ways.
"But what does Lottie Moon have to do with that?" you may ask. She has everything to do with that. Because faithful brothers and sisters give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we are able to do what we do... shatter this world's darkness with the light found in Christ. The IMB takes such good care of their missionaries... with everything from salary/benefits to vaccinations taken care of for us, we are left with only one task : to be obedient to take God's plan of redemption to the lost.
We praise God for those of you who give to Lottie Moon, and ask you to challenge yourself to give more this year for the sake of the Gospel. Thank you!"

Do you hear her passion to reach people for the Gospel? When you see a Lottie Moon video or bulletin insert or hear a reminder of the offering, please, don't think of a missionary from the 1800s. Be reminded of the over 5000 full-time active IMB missionaries who are reaching people for Jesus every day, and give from your heart to support them.
If you want to follow Maridith and Robert's journey, check out her blog -
Feel free to save the Lane's prayer card to your computer and print it out so you can pray for them too!

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