Lottie Moon offering breaks record

by Erich Bridges
Southern Baptists gave an unprecedented $154 million to the 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, breaking the record for the largest total in the offering’s 125-year history.

The 2013 offering, finalized June 5, reached $154,057,852. The total represents an increase of nearly $4.8 million over 2012, or 3.2 percent. It tops the previous record, $150.4 million in 2007, by more than $3.6 million, and marks the fourth increase since 2008.

“This gives us an opportunity to reflect on the incredible generosity of Southern Baptists over many years,” said International Mission Board President Tom Elliff on behalf of the missionaries.

“The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering represents well over half of our budget each year, so those who give sacrificially and out of concern for the lost can be assured that an enormous portion of all that happens overseas can be directly tied to their support.

Wanda Lee, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union-SBC, which promotes the offering in partnership with IMB, also expressed gratitude:

“How exciting that Southern Baptists would give the largest amount ever to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering on the 125th anniversary of both the first offering for international missions and WMU!” Lee said.

“In 1888, when WMU was founded, it was for the purpose of ‘stimulating the missionary spirit’ and ‘collecting funds’ to support the work of missionaries around the globe. We are grateful for the response of our churches as they embrace both personal missions involvement and sacrificial giving so the story of Jesus may be shared with all who have yet to hear.”

The 2014 Week of Prayer for International Missions is set for Nov. 30-Dec. 7. The theme is “One Sacred Effort” and the Scripture is Matthew 28:19-20.