PERSPECTIVE: Give Joyously
It was an amazing experience. I, along with a few others, had the privilege of entering the land of Lottie. There we walked beside several heroes of the faith. Some were people of the land and others were missionaries who are giving their lives so that this vast country teeming with people may hear the good news of Jesus.
For most of us, the first thought about the land of Lottie is that there are millions of people who are without Christ. How true that statement is! Everywhere we went, from the villages to the cities, there was a sea of people. Our traveling companion, who grew up in that great nation, told us that one city we passed through, populated by 17 million, had been nothing more than a village of 500 30 years ago. Amazing!
The youthfulness of the people in this vast mission field was remarkable. I was struck by the vitality and aggressive nature of the church there. Worshipers often had to meet in out-of-the-way places, and the house churches were always under threat of government intervention—but the Lord’s people did not waver.
Almost everywhere we visited, the people would spend two hours in prayer before services started. The breath of God was apparent as we walked into the little shacks where humble believers worshiped.
The boldness of the believers and their witness made me ashamed of my own timidity when witnessing in our land of the free. Young people fearlessly handed out tracts on the subway. They openly witnessed to people at work. On the university campus they shared the Gospel with fellow students. All of this in a land where open witness is prohibited.
But I must tell you, our Southern Baptist workers in the land of Lottie are bold, creative, cautious and focused. Lottie would be amazed at the breadth of work that goes on in this forbidden land. At the core is the training of nationals to do the work of the Kingdom. They are making a remarkable impact for Christ.
How can these workers be so focused on their mission? Because Southern Baptists give to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, it is not necessary for them to come home and raise funds.
They can stay on the field, knowing their needs will be met.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering gives us one of the greatest opportunities to extend and expand the work of the Kingdom in the land of Lottie. In a real sense, you and I hold the rope for those who give their lives to take the Gospel to places that are in darkness.
As I walked beside our missionaries, my heart soared. It was a privilege to walk beside modern heroes of the faith. They are daily pouring out their lives as an offering before the Lord.
As Polla and I give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, our hearts are filled with great joy, knowing that we have a part in the ministry of these great servants of the Lord. I challenge your family to give joyously to this offering during this Christmas season. You too can help spread the good news of Jesus in the land of Lottie.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.