This year missionaries, just like church members, have faced unique challenges prompted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the world strives to adapt to a “new normal,” Southern Baptist missionaries want to say a special word of thanks to everyone who has remembered missionaries, prayed together for them and contributed sacrificially to support their work. Any day is appropriate to say “thank you” to Southern Baptists who give generously so that the Gospel spreads to all nations. However, in this giving season - the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering season - showing appreciation seems especially meaningful.
In March 2020, International Mission Board missionary Reid Karr’s church was unable to meet because the Italian government had already restricted gatherings. A baptism planned at Karr’s church took place in a bathtub and was shown online to the rejoicing church. Because of your giving, Karr and his family have been able to stay in Rome and continue their ministry.
“I would like to take this occasion to thank our many faithful Southern Baptists who continue to give faithfully to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” said Karr. “You will never know the full extent to which your generosity is having on the kingdom of God in many places around the world. It is times like these that remind us of the importance of what Southern Baptists are doing around the world as they work alongside their partners and the local church to see the Gospel spread and transform hearts and lives.”
In the midst of a citywide shutdown, David and Sarah McNeill looked for new opportunities to spread the hope of Christ in their apartment building. Their children wrote notes with Bible verses to neighbors, leaving colorful pictures and small treats at every door.
“We cannot adequately express our thankfulness for the support we receive through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” said the McNeills. “Because of the sacrifice and generous giving of Southern Baptists, our family has received all we need to serve as missionaries in Bogota, Colombia. This year, because of your generosity, we were able to build relationships with national partners, share the Gospel, teach the Bible and even begin a new church!”
From Japan, missionaries Daniel and Tara Rice add their thanks, too. This year has challenged them. They were leading the IMB’s 2020 Olympic ministries, but the Olympic games were postponed.
“We are deeply grateful for your prayer and [for your] financial support of the IMB and our ministry efforts. As you undoubtedly have heard, the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until summer 2021 due to the current global health crisis. We see this postponement as a blessing and an opportunity given to us by the Lord, not only to minister to our neighbors in this unique time in history but also to fine-tune our ministry plans and to steward even more wisely the generous gifts we have received,” the Rices said. “Thank you for your continued prayer and support as we utilize this special opportunity to reach Japanese unbelievers and to encourage Japanese believers!”