JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists are encouraged to join with other believers across the continent in support of the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO). The promotion will begin with churches uniting in a Week of Prayer March 5-12, followed up with individualized church fundraising initiatives that will contribute towards reaching a $70 million goal set for this year.
The AAEO was named after the founder and first corresponding secretary of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), Annie Walker Armstrong. Established to help fund mission work in North America, the Offering continues today to be a major source of financial assistance to the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
“Disturbingly, statistics indicate that three out of four people in North America do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Cherri Crump said, President of Missouri WMU. “I urge our Missouri WMU groups and churches to support this worthwhile effort, which will help missionaries across our continent to reach these lost souls with the saving knowledge of Jesus.”
The AAEO theme is “Together for His Kingdom,” and the scripture verses are Matthew 9:36-38. Like Jesus, let us be burdened by the multitude of sheep without a shepherd and let us be moved to work together in reaching this year’s goal, so the laborers may be equipped, Crump said.
There are plenty of resources available for preparing a creative and successful church campaign, including planning guides, bulletin inserts, prayer maps, Power Points, offering envelopes and posters. A church can even select a story to focus on about a missionary family living and working in any region in North America, including one from the Midwest. These items and more are available from WMU at www.anniearmstrong.com and www.mobaptist.org/annie.
Also available from WMU are ideas to help raise awareness of the Offering, like “You’ve Been Egged!” Anyone can help with this project, including a children’s group in your church. Using plastic eggs, ask the volunteers to attach a note about the importance of giving to AAEO, and then have them hand the eggs out at a worship service.
WMU offers relevant mission-related discipleship materials for preschool through adults, which can be previewed at the website. WMU wants to encourage all believers to learn about missional living, how to apply the power of prayer, to give to missions and to serve.