Christmas season is a season of giving. For Southern Baptists, this season of giving is important for giving to our International Mission Board through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. I hope that you have given your offering already. If not, I hope that you will give soon through your local church.
On behalf of the approximately 3,656 missionaries and their children, let me thank you for that gift. Let me thank you for your investment in the progress of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Specifically, let me thank you on behalf of several individual families that I have met with in recent weeks.
First, thank you on behalf of parents of missionary families who are facing their first Christmas with their children in another country. The sacrifice of the missionaries who go is often talked about by us. This is certainly appropriate. What sometimes is overlooked is the sacrifice of their parents who stay behind while their kids go to distant, often dangerous places.
Second, let me thank you on behalf of a missionary couple whom I know well. In a recent visit with them, they spoke of their car. Knowing that they had not always had a car in their country, I asked specifically about their access to a car. “Oh,” they said, “the car was provided by Lottie Moon.” I smiled. I knew exactly what that meant. They are thankful.
Finally, let me thank you on behalf of a new missionary family I was introduced to by one of our Louisiana pastors. The couple has served in an undisclosed country for 27 years. They shared with incredible joy about their work for several hours. Upon my departure, the missionary said, “Can I ask a favor?”
I said, “Tell me what it is.”
He said, “Promise me that to the next 5 groups you speak to, you will say ‘thank you’ for us.”
I promised them I would. I have. And now, I want to go beyond those five groups and say to all who read and have given, “Thank you.”
But beyond this, thank you on behalf of those who have heard the Gospel in their heart language and responded to the offer of God’s Amazing Grace!
As the old hymn says, “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!”
As we read in Revelation, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. . . . And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”