PERSPECTIVE: Step to the plate
This week something very powerful will transpire almost without notice. Even when it does receive attention, some will ignore it or see it as nothing more than a few senior ladies getting together. But I promise you, it will be heaven-touching and world-shaking. It is the Week of Prayer for International Missions led by the Woman’s Missionary Union.
Yes, Virginia, there is still a WMU in Oklahoma. These ladies are as committed as ever to supporting our missionaries who serve overseas through prayer and giving. In most of our churches, these women are still the most ardent encouragers of missions. Be assured, they will not allow the Christmas season to pass without their churches being given the opportunity to pray for missionaries and give through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
When these ladies pray, things happen around the world. Missionaries often speak of remarkable, supernatural events that occur in their personal lives and ministries because of the prayer support of WMU ladies. In addition to this week of prayer, the WMU regularly prays for our missionaries on their birthdays. Testimony after testimony from missionaries suggests that prayer is not just a good practice but a powerful spiritual tool that produces dramatic results.
During the month of December, Southern Baptists across the nation pray and give to international missions. The needs now are greater than ever. The pipeline of mission candidates is full, but the coffers to send them are running low. The International Mission Board has had to slow the sending of new missionaries because the funds are not available. Millions are waiting to hear the Gospel while prepared missionaries must stay home and bide their time.
The economy is pressing all of us. Our churches are facing tough times in many parts of Oklahoma, and thus Cooperative Program giving is down—which impacts our mission sending ability. Giving a record Lottie Moon Offering will demand great sacrifice from all of us. We will have to give less to our families in order to give a significant offering to missions. Other sacrifices will be required if we give so that our missionaries can go rather than sit and wait.
God is moving dramatically in the lives of His people. He is answering the prayer for laborers to be sent into the harvest. In Oklahoma, we are seeing incredible response to mission service. We are seeing tremendous response to missions among young people and sponsors at Falls Creek. OBU continues to lead all universities in the number of graduates who serve through the International Mission Board. God is calling. Now the question is, will Southern Baptists and Oklahoma Baptists step to the plate and give a record Lottie Moon Offering?
I encourage you to join our WMU ladies in praying for the work of our missionaries. Ask your church WMU leader or pastor to help you identify a missionary for whom your family can pray during this season. Call our Women’s Missions & Ministries office at the BGCO if you would like to pray for Oklahomans serving overseas.
Sit down with your family and decide how you can sacrifice in order to give more than ever before to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. As you give, you will touch lives around the globe. One day in Heaven we will stand around the throne of God with people from every tribe and nation, singing praises to our Savior. Your sacrifice will seem small when compared with the remarkable joy that you and your family have in sending the Gospel to the nations.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.