This is week #3 of ‘Throwing Out There’ a whole Lotta Lottie.
Lottie Moon died on Christmas Eve in 1912 at the age of 72. She died of illness and starvation. She gave all that she had – literally – to the Chinese, so that they might be healthy and remain alive long enough to know Christ. At her death, she weighed 50 lbs. The woman who was known as the ‘cookie lady’ for making teacake cookies, gave all she had to bring others joy.
The offering that bears her name is an offering- created by her then – carries the same exact purpose today: send and support missionaries overseas. The first Christmas offering received for this specific purpose in 1888 had a $2,000.00 goal. The result? $3,315.26. Enough to send 3 single missionaries (read more here). The official ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ (named for her, at her request) did not launch until 1918 (read more here).
Since then, every year at Christmas – going on now for 95 years – Southern Baptist’s have taken up a special offering guaranteed to ensure every penny given be used to send and support God-called SBC international missionaries. This has enabled thousands of Southern Baptist’s to serve overseas without requesting support from individuals nor being faced with having to make money during their service abroad. Due to SBCers giving to this offering, missionaries going through the IMB can focus solely on the task of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
The national goal for 2013? $175 million.
The goal for FBC El Dorado? $100,000.00.
Next week, we will look a bit more of what’s at stake when we give (or don’t give!) to this offering.
For now, as Thanksgiving approaches and Black Friday looms, I simply ask you to pray for the Lord to lay an amount on your heart for you to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year. If it’s true that every penny is used to send and support God-called missionaries to live and serve overseas to share the Gospel (and it is); and if these men and women are going where people who have little or no access to the Gospel (and they are); and if the Gospel is the power of God for salvation (and it is); and the lost are responding and putting their faith in Christ (and they are); then what else could we possibly want to spend our money on?