RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–“It is customary to send a ‘thank you’ note to acknowledge receipt of a gift. But sometimes a gift is so generous that words do not seem sufficient to express appropriate gratitude,” say Cal and Patty McIntire, career missionaries to the Lebou people of West Africa.
More than 100 International Mission Board missionaries recently wrote to Southern Baptists, thanking them for their gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program.
While the McIntires easily thanked Southern Baptists for the home they live in and the car they drive, they found it more difficult to express their gratitude at being able to share the Gospel with those who don’t know the Good News.
“What words can express the joy of praying for the first time with a new believer, or the honor of helping that new believer grow in his or her love for the Lord?” they ask. “How could I ever thank you for allowing me to obey God’s call on my life?”
Every penny of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supports missionaries and their ministries. Its provisions include missionary housing, transportation, salary and children’s education. But most important, it allows missionaries to live as witnesses of the Good News among the lost.
Mark and Barbara Stevens serve as career missionaries in the Philippines. In their thank you letter, they wrote of seven tribal people groups on the island of Mindanao. Last year none of those people groups understood the Gospel.
“As you have prayed and supported our work here, we have seen God work and four of these tribal people groups are now engaged for the Gospel and have churches!” the Stevenses recounted. “Thank you, dear Southern Baptists, for giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.”
A REAL DIFFERENCE
Some who wrote work in parts of the world where their names and specific locations can’t be identified, but the difference Southern Baptists’ gifts make in their ministries is very real.
“Last month, we had a member of an unreached people group attend training at our center, which continues to be developed by your gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” a worker in China wrote. “There is only one known Christian among this people group. Our national staff was able to share with him and explain to him how much God loves him.”
The man believed — doubling the Christian population of his unreached people group — and was baptized. Now he’s sharing the Gospel with his family and friends.
The missionary thank you letters are posted at http://ime.imb.org/Offering/thankyou.asp. Letters will be added each week throughout Lottie Moon season.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: WORKERS’ GRATITUDE.