Spring is fast approaching, and the beginnings of new life will soon be evident all around us in the plant and animal kingdoms. As trees that have been dormant during the winter months begin to bud then blossom, and as flowers start to burst forth with beautiful, radiant colors, I hope we will stop and ponder how God provides this to make the world around us a wonderful place to live.
He did not have to design the color in flowers or give the wild birds a song to sing, but He chose to make His creation beautiful so we might enjoy it and praise His name.
Can the magnificence of His creation also remind us of the ultimate life – the new life that became available to us when Christ died for our sins and arose from the grave on Resurrection Sunday?
As you celebrate the spiritual life we have in Christ this Easter, I hope you will also reflect on the present condition and the future plight of those individuals who do not realize that Jesus gave His life to pay the penalty for their sin and then conquered death, hell and the grave in order to provide eternal life for them.
With 269 million lost people, North America is one of the most spiritually dark places in the world, but we can affect lostness on this continent through the grace and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Each year, our North American Mission Board (NAMB) promotes prayer and receives the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) that provides almost 50 percent of NAMB’s income. This year, the AAEO’s theme is “Together for His Kingdom.”
As the Body of Christ in North America, we can make a great impact for the Lord through this offering.
The week of prayer for North America is March 5-12, and I hope that you will join me in praying for featured missionaries during this week. The AAEO makes possible the necessary training, resources and education for our missionaries, but don’t forget that all 5,684 NAMB missionaries also depend upon your intercessory prayer support for their work.
The goal for the AAEO this year is $70 million.
In 2016, 55 percent of funds received through the AAEO were allocated to the Send network (NAMB’s church planting strategy) and Send relief missionary support. In addition, 30 percent of the funds went to missionary development and training, and 15 percent of the funds went to missionary health care.
Last year, in comparison to other states, North Carolina Baptist churches were the leading contributors to the AAEO, giving in excess of $6 million for this special offering. Give all the praise and glory to our God for what He enabled us to do!
How much will you pray, and how much will you give to God in 2017 to help reach North America with the gospel, that we might all be “Together for His Kingdom?”
If you would like to learn more about the missionaries supported through the AAEO, please visit anniearmstrong.com. Another great resource is a DVD entitled “52 Sundays” which the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina produced and mailed to each of our churches. It contains short video clips of NAMB missionaries. You can also download this material at bit.ly/52SundaysResource.