The Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions Offering (MMO) is one of the three big designated offerings that Missouri Baptist churches receive during the course of a year. The other two are the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. All three offerings by our Missouri Baptist churches are valuable and essential to the powerful work the Lord does with our churches toward sharing the gospel in the world, our nation, and right here in Missouri.
Some Missouri Baptists just completed the “Eight Days of Prayer for Missouri Missions.” The stories of God at work through the mission projects were exceptionally powerful this year. Perhaps you read, as I did, the testimony of “Mark,” who came to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home as a physically abused, malnourished, and emotionally ravaged adolescent.
He was so damaged, the hospital physicians and medical staff reported to our ministry leaders at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home that they did not think he would have survived another week in his family environment. He was placed with one of our MBCH treatment care families that your church supports through the Cooperative Program and the Missouri Missions Offering. Pray for “Mark” and other neglected children rescued and placed in the care of our churches through the ministry of the MBCH. Your church’s gift makes a huge difference.
Perhaps one of the most visible recipients of MMO support is Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief. Not only do our people stand ready to go and pray, they are engaged in a powerful work of bringing help, hope, and healing to survivors of natural and manmade disasters. Just this past week, Gaylon Moss sent me a spread sheet about the work of our DR volunteers in DeRidder, La., helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
The statistical data is only a snapshot in time during a very fluid situation. What we do know is our amazing people have shared the gospel message some 96 times since Laura made landfall. They have coordinated the response and worked alongside other Southern Baptists from the state conventions of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas/Nebraska, and Michigan to distribute 270,300 meals and wash 3,559 loads of laundry. They have already completed 946 chainsaw jobs and distributed 1,404 Bibles (data through 9/14/2020).
Your church’s giving to the Missouri Missions Offering provided the tools and equipment for our volunteers to touch the lives of people wounded by the storm.
Along with the volunteers, there is another group of people whose ministry is funded by MMO. That is our Disaster Relief Summer Interns. One intern, Taylor, is a student at Missouri S&T University in Rolla. Taylor majored in geology and ministered to a rock-collecting homeowner who was affected by the storm. By entering the homeowner’s world, the students were able to have a gospel conversation and pray with this lady. This unique summer mission initiative attracted nine students in 2020. They were trained in DR ministry and experienced large-scale emergency management.
Your church’s giving to the Missouri Missions Offering provided lodging, meals, transportation, and a small stipend. In turn, these young adults learned valuable teamwork and credentialed disaster-response skills.
There are so many stories of gospel impact that your church takes part in because of its giving to MMO. Another story is about a ministry to inmates at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Inmates there can acquire a degree in biblical studies through Hannibal-LaGrange University. In partnership with the Department of Corrections, officials believe this initiative will expand to other prisons, including the women’s prison.
Your church’s giving to MMO covers a significant portion of the cost for a director, a theological library and qualified professors. The goal is to make a gospel difference in the prison environment in Missouri.
There are so many stories. These are just three stories you can read about in the free prayer guide at www.mobaptist.org/MMO. There are other resources there that will greatly encourage you to understand the impact you are making in the lives of people through the Missouri Missions Offering.
If your church doesn’t normally receive the MMO offering as part of its annual rhythm, start in 2020. It is one of the best designated investments in ministry your church will ever make. It is different than some heavily-promoted parachurch ministries. Your church’s gift goes directly to the projects like the ones I have identified in this column and we have audits to verify it.
MMO is vitally important to you and to those you touch in Jesus’ Name through your generous gift.