Generosity and gratitude. These words resonate with International Mission Board missionaries when they hear of how faithfully Southern Baptists continue to support them through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® and the Cooperative Program.
The current total of gifts to the 2022-23 Lottie Moon offering is $196.1 million — besting the $190 million goal.
“Thank you, Southern Baptists, for your growing commitment to get the gospel to the nations!” IMB President Paul Chitwood said. “Your generous giving through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, along with your ongoing commitment to the Cooperative Program, has the IMB positioned to overcome the staggering impact of global inflation and meet the needs of your missionaries.”
These gifts empower IMB missionaries to tackle the greatest problem — spiritual lostness.
Trey Fleming serves with his family in Osaka, Japan. He said he recently shared the gospel with a woman who had never heard it before.
“That’s the greatest problem in the world today, lostness,” Fleming said. ”We’re diving into that, trying our best to share the gospel with people who are all around us here in Osaka, Japan, who have just never heard the story before,” Fleming said.
He expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thank you so much for sending us and supporting us.”
Moses Mivedor serves with his family in Senegal, and this year, he taught a new church how to sing worship songs to God. In the past, the people sang to worship idols, and now they praise Jesus. The generous gifts to the LMCO make it possible for Mivedor to lead these believers in song.
Southern Baptists have not forgotten Ukrainians in their era of need. Pastor Vitaly Sorokun of the Baptist Union of Ukraine thanked Southern Baptists for their history of sending missionaries to Ukraine and their ongoing support in the country’s great hour of need.
“I came to know Jesus Christ because of a Southern Baptist missionary. I began to grow as a Christian because of a Southern Baptist missionary. And we have served with the missionaries from the IMB over all these years,” Sorokun said.
An IMB missionary ordained Sorokun, and he planted a church. When the war in Ukraine began, his wife walked across the border to Romania.
“The first people who met her on that other side were our dear friends from the IMB. They were able to welcome her, to give her a hug, to give her a hot cup of tea and to send her further,” Sorokun said. “Thank you for your support. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your prayers. And thank you for your presence with us around the world. God bless you abundantly.”
The $190 million goal for 2022-23 was set in partnership with Woman’s Missionary Union. The $196.1 million total includes gifts to specific projects, often referred to as Lottie Moon challenges or Lottie giving projects.
“We celebrate the generosity demonstrated by these incredible gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, the executive director-treasurer for Woman’s Missionary Union.
“Southern Baptists have no intention of abdicating their mandate of taking the gospel to the nations. We joyfully sacrifice at home and abroad to address the world’s greatest problem, lostness,” Wisdom-Martin continued.
One hundred percent of the money given to the offering and directly to the IMB goes to the work overseas to support missionaries and their mission initiatives. Because of faithful giving to the Cooperative Program, which pays for support staff in the U.S. as well as missionary support, every dollar of the LMCO goes toward gospel advance overseas. Southern Baptists use these offerings together to carry out the work of the Great Commission.
“Your generosity also makes way for a growing missionary force amid the unprecedented growth of lostness,” Chitwood said. The IMB missionary applicant pipeline recently reached 1,300, which positions Southern Baptists well to grow the current number of missionaries overseas.
“As we begin a new fiscal year, we are praying that giving continues to grow and keeps pace with the growing number of missionaries who want to serve through the IMB.”