JEFFERSON CITY – Kendra* never ventured outside of St. Louis. A victim of human trafficking, her life to this point was little more than one harrowing experience after another. So the trip to Branson to see “Samson” at Sight and Sound Theatre was a game changer.
At every stop – the theater, a restaurant, a hotel – she experienced a more welcoming world and the love of caring Christians, thanks to Human Trafficking Rescue, a ministry of the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. Thanks to this ministry, Kendra’s life will never be the same.
The Children’s Home is one of 16 ministries Missouri Baptists support through the Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions Offering (MMO).
Last week, the Missouri Baptist Convention mailed packets of promotional materials to church leaders across the state to help them prepare for the 2019 state missions offering. The packets should arrive early in July, giving church leaders ample time to prepare for MMO’s fall promotion and week of prayer, slated for Sept. 15-22.
The theme of this year’s offering is drawn from 2 Corinthians 9:7 – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
MBC Executive Director John Yeats notes, “Missouri Baptists are greatly blessed of the Lord. And when we give back to Him a portion of His abundance through MMO, we are investing in the transformation of lives and communities with the gospel all across our state.”
Last year, 794 Missouri Baptist churches supported MMO. Yeats expressed his hope that the number of participating churches tops 900 this year: “If your church hasn’t been taking up an MMO offering, please review the promotional resources arriving soon and bless your people with an opportunity to give cheerfully to the Lord’s work across our state.”
The statewide goal this year is $715,000. Last year, Missouri Baptists contributed $791,104 to MMO, outpacing 2017 gifts of $759,920 and reaching a level not seen since 2000. Further, it marked the sixth straight year of MMO giving above $700,000.
Supporting missions projects
MMO is our state’s annual missions offering, named after Rheubin L. South, the late executive director who pioneered the annual giving emphasis that today supports projects in three areas of ministry:
1. Making disciples – collegiate summer missions training and service; sports evangelism; youth evangelism and missions; Vacation Bible School training and resource development; international student ministry missions conference and new work resources; and Missouri State Fair ministry
2. Multiplying churches – next-step requests for church multipliers; partnership missions in Mexico, Italy, and Minnesota/Wisconsin; and strategic missionary development
3. Developing leaders – disaster relief equipment and volunteer readiness; Missouri WMU; developing leaders strategic initiatives; hunger relief; and volunteer mobilization
In addition, 17 percent of MMO receipts go to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, which provides spiritual guidance, counseling, and a safe haven from abuse and neglect at five state campuses.
And 10 percent of MMO gifts go back to the associations of the giving churches, where the funds support regional mission projects.
The promotional packets feature a get-started guide, posters, prayer guide, allocations budget, associational report, clip art, and an order card.
Most of these resources are available as free downloads at mobaptist.org/mmo. The move toward electronic resources enables the MBC to significantly reduce postage fees and invest more in MMO mission projects.
“We encourage you to set a faith goal for your church and use the promotional resources to show how the Lord uses even the smallest gift to do great things,” said Yeats.
There are four simple ways to order MMO materials:
• Complete the order card in the promotional mailer and send it back. All materials are free of charge.
• Click on mobaptist.org/mmo to download materials or to place an order electronically.
• Call 1.800.736.6227, ext. 303, to tell us which resources to send.
• Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Name changed for security reasons