Lori is a 14-year-old victim of human trafficking. When she first entered the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home’s Freedom 43:19 program, she was addicted to drugs, had missed a lot of school, and was extremely aggressive in her behavior. Whether she would stay in the program was anyone’s guess.
Even so, staff members prayed for her and poured God’s love into her troubled young life. Rather than flee, Lori surprised everyone by staying. She is now drug-free, on the honor roll at school, and no longer displaying aggression. She talks about God, while staff members continue to pray that she will ask Jesus into her life.
You may not realize it, but as a Missouri Baptist, you played a key role in Lori’s success story. That’s because your church supports the ministries of the MBCH through the Cooperative Program – and through our annual state missions offering, the Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions Offering (MMO).
The Children’s Home is one of 18 ministries you support through your generous gifts to MMO. From the ministries of church multipliers to the labors of nearly 100 collegiate summer missionaries, your gifts to MMO support missions projects that reach hundreds of communities across our state.
The theme of this year’s offering is drawn from 1 Chronicles 29:14b: “Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”
As we give generously through MMO, we acknowledge God as the source of all our blessings, and we reinvest a portion of His goodness in the work of His kingdom.
You may have noticed the insert in this issue of The Pathway. It features general information about MMO, including how to obtain free resources for your personal study or for a church to use. The inside spread is a reprint of our most-requested resource: The Eight Days of Prayer Guide. I encourage you to pray and give a bodaciously generous gift through your church.
Five marks of successful state missions
I’m so proud of our churches’ growing involvement in state missions. Let me invite you to consider five marks of successful missions within the boundaries of the Show Me State.
(1) Balance. Your MMO gifts support missions projects in Missouri. While the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering helps keep several thousand full-time missionaries on the field around the world, and while the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering supports mission efforts across North America, MMO focuses on 18 missions projects right here in Missouri. Your generous participation in these three offerings help take the gospel to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
(2) Return. Your MMO gifts come back to you. Ten percent of your church’s gifts to MMO are returned to your association to aid in projects ranging from church planting to youth camps to State Fair ministry. Check out MMO associational reports at mobaptist.org/mmo.
(3) Momentum. Missouri Baptist churches are catching the MMO vision and giving more. Last year was the highest giving total since 2001 ($759,920), and your giving has exceeded $700,000 for five straight years. Amazing!
(4) Buy-in. A growing number of Missouri Baptist churches are taking part in MMO. Last year 778 Missouri Baptist churches supported MMO, up from 757 the previous year. We are praying that 800 churches take part this year. If your church hasn’t supported MMO in the past, would you encourage your church’s leaders to consider doing so in 2018?
(5) Impact. The smallest gift can do a lot. Consider that just 65 cents provide a hot meal for a hungry child in a loving environment where the gospel is shared. For $12, a woman rescued from human trafficking receives a basket with a Bible and toiletries. A gift of $18 provides a hotel room in Mexico for two Missouri Baptists taking part in their first partnership missions vision trip. And $125 keeps a collegiate disaster-relief intern on the field for an entire week. Check out “Where your MMO gifts go” at mobaptist.org/mmo.
Again, be sure to check out the insert in this edition of The Pathway, and go online at mobaptist.org/mmo to view, download, and share posters, prayer guides, allocation budgets, and videos. All MMO resources are provided free of charge.
Thank you for your cooperative spirit and generous giving. As the Scripture theme of this year’s MMO makes clear, we serve a gracious God, who has given us all things. In our tithes and offerings, we are only giving back a portion of what He has entrusted to us.
May the Lord bless you and your church as we serve together for the glory of God and the sake of His kingdom.