The International Mission Board (IMB) is rejoicing at God’s work through the generosity of Southern Baptists, who gave $203.7 million to the 2021-22 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This is the largest offering in the 177-year history of the IMB.
Missionaries serving on the field are aware of the significance of this record-breaking total and the impact every dollar has on reaching the lost.
“We want to thank you for giving to the Lottie Moon offering,” said Travis and Beth Burkhalter, serving in Medellín, Colombia. “Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We’re able to focus on our ministry. We don’t have to worry about raising support, and we’re able to dedicate all of our time to sharing the Good News to people who’ve never heard.”
Phil and Becca Bartuska, serving in Vienna, Austria, shared their thankfulness. “Because of your generous giving, we are able to share the light of Christ to the nearly 2 million people who don’t know the Good News. So, thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program and to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so that our family can live here, gather locals to study God’s Word and plant new churches.”
Gifts to the offering sailed past the original goal by nearly $20 million.
“I came to the IMB four years ago praying God would grant a new season of growth,” IMB President Paul Chitwood said. “Growth in sending hinged upon growth in funding, and growth in funding hinged upon growing relationships.
“As we’ve invested in new and renewed relationships with pastors, churches and givers, we are seeing God grant a new season of growth. The increase in giving is astounding and wonderful.”
The $185 million goal for 2021-22 was set in partnership with the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). The $203.7 total includes gifts to specific projects, often referred to as Lottie Moon challenges or Lottie giving projects.
“Each and every day we enjoy God’s abundant grace toward us,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director and treasurer of the national WMU. “The historic record receipts of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering means more will have the opportunity to hear and respond to this message of grace.
“How grateful I am to Southern Baptists for their incredible generosity. The Great Commission is indeed imprinted on our hearts. Now we pray diligently for a rich harvest for the sake of the gospel.”
One hundred percent of gifts given to the offering and directly to the IMB are spent each year in direct support of overseas operations. Southern Baptists also gave generously to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program (CP) in 2021-22. IMB received more than $100.4 million from CP giving to support the Great Commission.
These historic offerings will continue to make it possible for Zack and Jennifer Dove and their two sons to serve in Norway.
“Lottie enables us to live here and focus 100% of our time on serving the Norwegian church in different cities all over Norway,” Zack said. “It enables us to reach out to those who don’t yet know the true gospel message and to teach those who have just started to believe.”
Norwegian men and women are hearing the gospel because of the gifts of Southern Baptists, and the Dove family’s needs are met so they can meet the spiritual needs of Norwegians.
“Each day, we are incredibly thankful for each Southern Baptist who gives so that we can be here, have food on our table and share the love of Jesus with those around us,” Zack said.
The gratefulness the Doves expressed was echoed by missionaries across the globe who shared how blessed they are by the generosity of Southern Baptists.
Chitwood echoed his thanks for the commitment of those ready to reach the nations, together.
“The world’s greatest problem demands our greatest resources.”
Find downloadable 2022-23 Lottie resources now. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tessa Sanchez writes for the IMB.)