Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lottie Moon Results for 2008

Lottie Moon offering falls short of goal, totals $141 million for 2008
By Shawn Hendricks

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Despite financial hardships caused by the economic downturn, Southern Baptists gave $141 million to support the work of missionaries through the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. But the total, which fell nearly $30 million short of the $170 million goal, is not enough to fund many of those who are ready to go.
The final offering results follow a May 19-20 IMB trustee meeting in Denver, where trustees approved the suspension of new appointments to the International Service Corps and Masters programs. They also approved reducing the number of new appointments to the career, apprentice, associate and journeyman programs.
New appointments will continue on a more selective basis, involving the most strategic assignments.
“We will not be able to replace short-term personnel completing their assignments and will have to restrict the number of new personnel that can be appointed,” he added.
Just a year ago, the IMB celebrated the offering hitting a historic mark. Cumulative gifts to the offering, which was initiated by the Woman’s Missionary Union in 1888, topped $3 billion.
"We are grateful for the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists to missions,” said Wanda Lee, executive director-treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union.
“This year's giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering may be more sacrificial for some than ever before considering the level of unemployment and loss of income experienced by many in our churches. And yet, Christ's command to go into all the world compels us to give in support of our missionaries during these challenging times.
“I believe if we keep our hearts focused on the mandate of the Great Commission, God will be faithful in providing the people and financial resources needed to reach a world desperately in need of the hope found in Christ."
Though the number of Southern Baptists who want to go — and are qualified — keeps growing, there are not enough funds to support them.

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