We hope this letter finds you enjoying this very special time of year when we celebrate our Savior’s birth! I love reading the Christmas story at this time of year and God always teaches me new truths! Here is just one of many…THOUGHTS… This year, He has shown me that peace is not for all, but for those on whom His favor rests and with whom He is pleased – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV) “…on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14 NASB) We please Him when we walk by faith – “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NASB) I pray that you experience His peace in your life as you seek Him and trust Him to be “the author and perfecter of faith..” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB)
- Visiting our IMB teams in Central Europe and helping them become healthy and strong
- Seeing God answer SO MANY prayers in such amazing ways
- Watching our sons, from a distance, make good decisions and grow into fine, young men
- Growing in our love for each other as empty nesters and 30 years of marriage
- Providing orientation for the Ouachita Baptist University mission team in Bratislava and then accompanying some of them for 2 weeks to Debrecen, Hungary
- Meeting two new girlfriends in the Atkins family (we need more females in this family!)
- Vacationing in my new favorite city – Vienna!
- Watching our son, Bret, play hoop over streaming video
- Setting up our nest, having many guests, and adjusting to our new city of Bratislava
Season of Giving
This is the time of the year when we are encouraged to give gifts to those we love. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who give in any way to enable us to live in Bratislava and carry out the ministry that God has called us to. Thank you to Southern Baptists who give generously to their church’s missions offerings. The information below gives you a better picture of what the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is and how it has impacted the world this past year.
Who was Lottie Moon?
Lottie Moon – the namesake of the International Mission Offering has become something of a legend to us. But in her time Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today’s missionaries. She was a hard-working, deep-loving Southern Baptist who labored tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus.
Why was the offering named for this early missionary? Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptists’ first Christmas offering for international missions – enough to send three new missionaries to China.
We are to love the Lord (Matthew 22:36–39) and be totally His in reaching those He loves. Our task is to fulfill the Great Commission as Jesus has commanded — individually, as a church, as Southern Baptists working cooperatively to reach all the nations. What happens because you give?
Southern Baptists’ faithful giving undergirds the thousands of missionaries sent from our churches, through IMB, and all for a single, eternal purpose: making disciples in the name of Jesus. This is what it means for all of us, together, to be totally His.
Here are some numbers to celebrate! In a recent year, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program enabled missionaries and their national partners to:
- present the Gospel to more than 1,400,000 individuals
- baptize more than 266,000 new believers
- start more than 24,000 churches
- engage 133 new people groups
More exciting news — some people groups are reaching their own and others!
- 141 people groups are engaging their own people inside their country
- 153 people groups are going to other peoples inside their country
- 41 people groups are going outside their country
100% of this offering supports US and nearly 5,000 other field personnel
YOUR GIFTS to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering allows us to live in Croatia and Bosnia and to engage & serve the Croat people group!
You allow us to fulfill God’s Call, so
THANK YOU for your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering;
THANK YOU for your prayers
THANK YOU for your faithfulness to HIM!