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GO INTO ALL THE WORLD

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THROUGH PRAYER

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   We can have a big part in making Christ known to the world. You want to know how? By taking to heart the prayer requests of our missionaries!

   For instance, my son’s team has recently made a most agonizing decision to not return to the country where they have spent the last few years.  Yet, they are concerned about the young disciples and the churches that were planted there. Additionally, they are seeking God as to where He will lead them next. Sharing these prayer requests is a priority for them.

  There is much we can do regarding these requests, even though we are not serving as missionaries ourselves. We should never underestimate the power of millions of people praying over missionaries’ prayer requests. For the more people who know of these requests the more people there will be who will be praying over them.

  It is standard operating procedure these days for missionaries to call on friends and families to join their prayer team. Joining these prayer teams and recruiting others to do the same is a responsibility we should take very seriously. Following their blogs and their twitter accounts keep us informed of their prayer concerns. When you get a prayer request be faithful to pray over it and share it with as many as possible. (Always using the security guidelines the missionaries have given)

   Taking to heart the prayer requests of our missionaries gives us the opportunity to take an active part in making Christ known to the world. In America we live in an environment where the temptation to live for ourselves instead of Christ (2 Cor. 5:15) is formidable. This temptation won’t be so easy to succumb to, if we direct our focus onto something outside of ourselves such as the prayer request of our missionaries.G

The Fruits of Giving

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   Below are excerpts from the IMB organization concerning our 2015 Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Our leadership in the IMB had to make some radical and difficult choices as did their employees and missionaries. But we have come through those initial trying times and are now declaring a witness that is more honoring of our LORD.

     On behalf of my family, I am grateful to be part of an organization that cares deeply about keeping their house in order so that more people can be reached for Christ. Because our churches gave, our missionaries are able to stay on the field and make Christ known to those who have no way of hearing about Jesus plus train them to take this Good News to their own people.

Finalized in early June, the 2015 Lottie Moon offering totaled $165.8 million — the highest total in the 127-year history of the offering. The offering surpassed the previous all-time record of $154 million in 2013 by $11.8 million. The 2014 Lottie Moon offering totaled just over $153 million.

“Southern Baptists have exhibited their commitment to God’s mission through these gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” said IMB President David Platt. “Especially after a year in which we have walked through many challenges together, the support Southern Baptists have shown through this offering will not only sustain but also encourage the thousands of missionaries sent from Southern Baptist churches who are spreading the gospel right now. As an IMB family, on behalf of unreached people around the world, we are deeply grateful for the generosity of Southern Baptists who have given for God’s glory among the nations.”   

Full-time missionaries are essential as leaders who continue to be the key strategic workers in some of the most difficult places on earth. More than 3,600 IMB missionaries depend on the Lottie Moon offering and regular missions giving by churches through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program for missionary salaries, housing, medical care, children’s education, field transportation and other expenses. Supporting one fully funded missionary overseas costs an average of $141 per day, or about $51,000 per year.

The Lottie Moon offering enables missionaries to make a difference.

Consider the refugee crisis in Northern Africa and the Middle East. It’s hard to imagine anything but a continued descending darkness closing in on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. While images and reports of cruelty and pure evil continue to shadow refugees — numbering in the millions — from any light of hope, there is hope in the good news of Jesus Christ.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY, HERE’S THE LINK:

http://imb.org/updates/storyview-4516.aspx#.V1mFp4Rb-FI

IS JESUS WORTH THE RISK?

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     As I was talking to my son the other day, via Skype (all missionary parents should be aware of this technology) I asked him about the status of our missionaries who are living in areas near the Ebola crisis (and other dangerous areas), as to whether they would stay or not? His response follows:

This question is one our missionary leadership and personnel must seriously considered especially in current days. When all has been evaluated and the decision is made to stay, it has come down to THIS:

Their devotion to Christ and making Him known to the people they have been called to serve is worth whatever risk that must be taken!

After pondering on this statement, this question formed in my mind:

What if the Church in America felt this same courageous devotion to Christ?

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