Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Christmas is for Missions Support
by Tom Goodman
November 28, 2007

I hope you'll join my family in giving to the cause of international missions this Christmas.  The "Lottie Moon Christmas Offering" that our church promotes each December is named for a Southern Baptist missionary who served in China in the late 1800s.

Nicknamed "Lottie" by those around her, Charlotte Moon was born to a wealthy Virginia family in 1841.  She began her work as a missionary to China in 1873.  Slowly, she overcame her language problems and cultural differences to connect with the Chinese people.  She wrote about her experiences to churches in the United States, and her letters became popular sources of information about Christian mission efforts.

When China was swept by a famine, Lottie suffered this deprivation with those she served, refusing to eat any more than what was available to those around her.  She soon became ill and she was ordered back to the States.  But before the boat left port, she died.  It was Christmas Eve 1912, and she was 72 years old.  Now, Southern Baptists have an offering called "the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering" to honor her service.

Today, our church contributes to the support of 5,193 missionaries through our giving to the International Mission Board.  Last year, these missionaries started 23,486 churches and celebrated 475,072 baptisms around the world.  Their work continues, as over half of the 11,362 people groups worldwide are still unreached, meaning that less than 2 percent of the population identifies with an evangelical church.

It costs $40,866.61 a year to support an IMB missionary, which includes things like housing, food, children's education, and retirement.  About 13 percent of your regular contributions to Hillcrest already go to missions work, but at Christmas time we challenge you to give directly to missions through the Lottie Moon Offering.

This Sunday, I will introduce Grant Perkins' parents, John and Sarah, who will speak about their experiences as missionaries to France.  Join us at the 9:30am"Bold Blend" service or the 10:45am "Smooth Blend" service, or listen online Monday (iTunes; website).

Baptism.  I've scheduled baptism into the worship service this week.  If you're ready to follow Christ in this powerful symbol of your union to him, contact me!

What to Do with The Golden Compass?  I'm sure you've seen promotions for the film based on Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy.  I've read the series, and before you drop your kids off to see the film, you might want to read my thoughts here.


Israel Trip.  The deadline for your deposit is 4 weeks away!  Learn more about our pilgrimage to the Holy Land here.

Celebrate This Season!  Make time for the "Kids Music Theater" performance of "Angels Aware" December 9 at 6pm, then the Christmas Festival of Music December 16 at 6pm, and then our Christmas Eve Service December 24 at 6pm.

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new the "Song of the Week" (A new series on hymns continues with "Only Hope" by Caedmon's Call), giving up on Friday Night Lights, jonesin' for an overlooked generation, why you should join me in Israel, and my take on The Golden Compass.

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