EAST ASIA (BP) -- If you hear about something enough times, the topic can become mundane. That's what the name "Lottie Moon" became to me growing up in the church. I knew the name was associated with a Christmas offering, but I couldn't tell you who she was, why the offering was named after her, or why she was worthy of remembrance. I certainly didn't know the hardship she endured as she sought to relieve the suffering of others -- placing herself in harm's way to provide hope in the midst of a physical and spiritual famine. Now I realize that we need to know more about Lottie Moon, and we need to pass on her legacy through word and action.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (BP) -- Missions is alive and well at First Baptist Church Park Street in Charlottesville, Va. This should come as no surprise, given that the church, founded in 1831, is home to one of Southern Baptists' most famous international missionaries -- Lottie Moon. Charlotte "Lottie" Diggs Moon was born Dec. 12, 1840, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Charlottesville is the county seat. In 1857, John Broadus, pastor of First Baptist Park Street, preached a revival service at the Albemarle Female Institute, which he founded. A young, rebellious Lottie Moon attended the service and surrendered her life to Christ. She was baptized at FBC Park Street Dec. 22, 1858.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- If you're heading to Mount Harmony Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., you don't need to stop at a fancy coffee shop on your way to church. Multi-flavored coffees and lattes will be ready for you when you arrive, served by smiling baristas. Donations at the coffee counter raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but also raise awareness about the offering's namesake. "I didn't just want it to be a table with people coming up to give money and get a latte," says Emily Sheddan, who started "Lattes for Lottie" in her church in 2017. "It was on my heart to get them involved and really know who Lottie was."
QUEBEC, Canada (BP) -- Jacques* had a head full of questions. He had wrestled with them his whole life, and when he joined the soccer team at his university, he brought them with him. Robert Pinkston saw them -- and he knew he had answers.
TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- How significant is the Lottie Moon offering to an IMB missionary? Kentucky native and IMB missionary to Zimbabwe Nick Moore explains it well. "It's everything -- from the car we drive, to the house we live in, to the salary we make, our insurance," said Moore, who along with his wife Kyndra and their seven children returned to Kentucky in June and will return to Zimbabwe in January. "We've had at least three sets of stitches, a couple of broken arms, a concussion -- numerous trips to the hospitals.
"The most influential Southern Baptist woman in ministry gave her life in service to Christ," pastor Kie Bowman says. "Is there another Lottie Moon in your youth group?"
SOFIA, Bulgaria (BP) -- George remembers the secret police raiding his house twice when he was young. He went to secret Christian meetings, and his family tucked their Bibles away so they wouldn't be found. "We were a persecuted Christian family," he said. But despite his family's gritty faith, George's heart hadn't experienced real change. Christianity was a cause to him, not a relationship. It wasn't until after the fall of communism when IMB missionary Bill Wardlaw came and preached at George's church that he heard the Gospel differently.
BOGOTÁ, Columbia (BP) -- The day they heard Carlos' story, Paul and Robin Tinley had just dropped off the last little bit of winter clothing they had collected. They had been passing clothes out for months, and this was the first time they had run out. It's not hard to see why they did. The flow of human need just hasn't stopped.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., (BP) -- "Cooperative missions has a name and a face -- actually, tens of thousands of them," Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board (IMB), said. "They are the names and faces of Southern Baptist missionaries who have been sharing the Gospel among the nations for the past 174 years." Connecting those faces of the real people who are on the field to the financial resources needed to keep them there is what drives congregational giving.
SOUTH KOREA (BP) -- Im-Sara is a believer -- a preacher's kid too. But she had never been involved in missions. So when Hun Sol asked her if she wanted to be part of the six-month-long student missions program he runs, she wasn't sure. "I prayed that God would move her," said Hun, an IMB missionary.