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Lottie Moon 2013
We praise God for our 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas offering which totaled $95,167.48. We are so thankful to be a part of a church that sacrificially gives so that others may hear and receive the “Greatest Gift of All which is JESUS.”
A Lottie Moon Success Story
December 4, 2013 at 9:13am
A different perspective of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering from a young woman born to parents on the mission field, to parents whose salaries, housing, vehicle, budgets, etc. came from the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program.
A LOTTIE MOON SUCCESS STORY / December 2, 2013 / Jessica Yates
Yesterday was the official launch for the Lottie Moon 2013 Christmas Offering. I can’t recall the first time that I heard the name Lottie Moon, or the first time that I realized how it impacted me and my family. Instead, it somehow seems that as a missionary kid, I was programmed with the knowledge of who Lottie Moon was, how the offering came to be, and just how important the offering is to the work of IMB missionaries. I’ve visited countless churches with my parents over the holiday seasons; I’ve sat in the front pew with my sister and listened as my dad told stories about women bowed under the weight of several kilos of firewood before he broke up the seriousness with the age old story of finding fresh leopard tracks on the way back from the fishing hole. I’ve looked around at the wreaths, the decorated trees, the advent candles, and all of the churchgoers bedecked in the holiday uniform of red and black as my parents, together with the local pastor, implored them to give to the Lottie Moon fund. Lottie Moon has been my reality ever since I was born. That is why it never to fails to surprise me when I meet someone who knows about the offering, has given to the offering, and may even promote the offering, yet they have no idea what they’ve fostered by doing so.
In the most cliché way possible, I am a Lottie success story. I was born on the mission field, in the middle of a sprawling, but crowded African city. That was only made possible because Lottie Moon paid for my parents and my family to live in Kenya. It is Lottie Moon that provided for the 15+ trips back and forth to the States when there was a family emergency, wedding, or when my parents needed a break. It is Lottie Moon that put clothes on my back and fed me. It is Lottie Moon that paid for the malaria medication when I was sick and the x-rays when I hurt my wrist. It is Lottie Moon that made possible for me to go to a school where over 40 nations were represented, teaching me the invaluable lesson that God did not make a standard among humanity; instead everyone is unique, different, and special in his sight. It is Lottie Moon that then paid for my books in college when my scholarships and grants didn’t cover that exorbitant fee. It is Lottie Moon that paid for my family’s Christmas tree and the Holiday CD’s and movies when we lived in a region where people think snow is a myth. It is Lottie Moon that gave me the ability to say that I’ve pet a rhino and a cheetah, ridden a camel, watched a zebra give birth, and kept hedgehogs as pets. It is Lottie Moon that gave me the experiences of swimming in the Indian Ocean, witnessing countless African sunsets and sunrises, and feeling the red clay dirt under my bare feet. It is Lottie Moon that gave me an extended family within my mission; a family that is so wide spread now that on my birthday, I receive well wishes and birthday blessings for a global day, starting in the morning in Australia, and ending at night in Hawaii. It is Lottie Moon that made it imperative that if a boy ever wants to marry me, he has to ask not only my father, but my Luo uncle and his brothers first. It is Lottie Moon that blessed me with a family – by blood and by faith – so strong in the spirit that I have no doubt what Jesus and Paul intended when they called for the Body of Christ to be one. I am a Lottie success story.
But none of that comes close to comparing with the real Lottie Moon story. Because there is nothing else that I have experienced in this world that is similar to the feeling that you get when a woman’s face completely changes and the invisible weight is lifted off of her shoulders when she accepts Christ. There is nothing like holding an orphaned toddler, who until two weeks ago was testing as HIV positive, but is now healthy because of proper nutrition, medication, and the undying love of his new family. There is nothing like giving a New Testament to an illiterate elderly woman whose children have all died from AIDS, and watching as her granddaughter – one of many that she is having to raise in her old age – opens the silken pages to read John 3:16 to her family. There is nothing like watching the tears of pain change to tears of joy because the young high school girl believes whole heartedly that your prayer for her just reached the ears of God. There’s nothing like sitting under the shade of a Baobab – a tree that was not in fact made up by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – and listening to a trifecta of local languages praising God for the new church plant. There’s nothing like sharing a warm coke with a young man and realizing he was discipled by a missionary who you fondly remember as a grandfather figure. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of a small child, suffering from malaria, ring worm and malnutrition, holding your hand as he falls asleep in your lap because he’s finally comfortable and feels safe. There is nothing like watching a group of fourteen year old Muslim girls ask your best friend to pray for their examinations. And there is nothing like seeing a young girl run around the church like she owns it and realize that she was born in the midst of a bloody and violent post-election period. Because all of that, just in case you were wondering, all those people, they are Lottie Moon. Their hope, their tears, their laughter – all of it is the real Lottie success story.
So I challenge you, if you give to Lottie Moon or, if you have no idea what Lottie Moon is and instead individually sponsor missions, remember this: God does not deal in numbers and statistics – he deals in people. The Lottie Moon offering isn’t about money, and it definitely isn’t about the certificate that your church receives from the Baptist Convention, it is about the people. It is not about the missionary that you remember speaking at your church when you were little, it is about the work that they did and their dedication to the Great Commission. That’s my challenge; to realize that you are touching and impacting the lives of real people; real women, men, and children, who deserve every opportunity that they can to feel hope.