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Hispanics aim for $1M Lottie Moon offering

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Members of Vida Nueva (New Life) Baptist Church know all too well about sacrifice. Many of them are immigrants making low wages.

But the congregation of fewer than 100 has found reason to celebrate and to give sacrificially to missions. The Richmond, Va., church recently marked its second anniversary and welcomed a newly ordained pastor. Halfway through the year, they decided to support the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions for the first time. As of Dec. 1, they had collected more than $5,000.

“We have given to the [Lottie Moon] offering because we understand that is the responsibility of Vida Nueva Baptist Church, for His name to be known in all nations, and all peoples are able to hear and know Jesus,” said pastor Diego Fernandez.

The International Mission Board’s Hispanic mobilization team has encouraged Hispanic congregations to reach a goal of $1 million to this year’s Lottie Moon offering. In addition, they launched hispanos.imb.org, a website to help Spanish-speaking churches learn more about overseas missions.

“We are challenging the pastors with the [$1 million goal],” said Mauricio Alvarez, Hispanic mobilizer for the IMB. “We are challenging them to challenge others. This is a goal [Hispanics] can grab on to…. We can make a difference.”

Though the national goal for the offering is $170 million, $1 million is a step of faith for Hispanic Baptist churches. Of the 600 Hispanic churches the IMB works with, 200 have registered online to give to the offering this year.

IMB Hispanic mobilization consultant Jason Carlisle and his team are working with Hispanic congregations to increase awareness about Hispanic missionaries. More than 100 Hispanics are among the 5,500 IMB missionaries serving overseas.

“The goal is to train mobilizers to help other Hispanics understand God’s plan for them,” Carlisle said. The mobilizers encourage Hispanic churches to conduct missions workshops and adopt unreached people groups.

“Part of the vision is the unreached. Part of the vision is the role of Hispanics in reaching the unreached,” Carlisle said. “And part of the vision is … understanding God’s plan for finances … that He invests in those who invest in the Kingdom.”

Carlisle, a missionary kid from Uruguay, understands the importance of giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It was the source of his family’s livelihood — house, car, food, church supplies and much more.

But Carlisle says Hispanics shouldn’t limit themselves to just reaching other Hispanics.

“Hispanics aren’t called to just Spanish-speaking countries — but to the nations,” he said.
Emilee Brandon is a writer with the International Mission Board. To learn more about the $1 million Lottie Moon Christmas Offering challenge, Hispanic ministries and how churches can get involved, visit hispanos.imb.org.

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  • Emilee Brandon