This coming week begins the Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. This special annual offering helps support about 5,000 missionaries who are faithfully sharing the gospel with people who need to know that salvation is found in Jesus Christ.
Your gifts to this offering help support missionaries serving in areas of North America that are in desperate need of the gospel. For example, you help support missionaries serving throughout Canada. Last year, about 43 percent of Canadians did not attend any religious worship service. In the Greater Toronto Area there is only one church for about every 275,000 people and only 40 Southern Baptist churches. Through our state convention’s Office of Great Commission Partnerships we are working with the North American Mission Board and the Canadian National Baptist Convention to help start churches in Canada.
If you visit anniearmstrong.com you can read more about missionary work in Canada and other areas of North America. At this website you will find specific prayer requests from missionaries and information about their ministry. I encourage you to spend time this week in prayer, asking the Lord to work in a mighty way through His servants for His glory and His purposes.
This year’s Annie Armstrong goal is $70 million and the theme is “Whatever it Takes.”
As followers of Jesus Christ we must live with a “whatever it takes” perspective in order to reach the 259 million lost people in North America. We must be willing to do whatever God asks of us so that people have an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
Missionaries supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering have responded in obedience to God’s call to do whatever it takes, and this means serving in a variety of ways. They plant new churches, work on college campuses, help meet physical needs in rural and inner-city areas, train pastors and laity, and minister among people from different countries and religious backgrounds.
I am grateful for the way North Carolina Baptists support this offering. Last year, despite a very difficult economic season, our churches significantly increased their support of this special offering. In fact, North Carolina churches led all state conventions in giving to this offering, as well as to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
Amazingly, by God’s grace and provision, we can give even more than we gave in 2011 if we will only obey Him. We can sacrificially give out of hearts that desire, above all else, to see disciples made for Jesus Christ.
I challenge you to ask God how much He wants you to give in support of North American missions this Easter through this special missions offering. Your giving can help make an impact that will last for eternity.
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9