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Published on 05 February, 2008

New missionaries appointed in U.S.

USA (MNN) — International Mission Board trustees appointed 36 missionaries to communicate the Gospel during their Jan. 28-30 meeting in Gainesville, Florida. But the need for more workers is great.

Gordon Fort, IMB vice president for overseas operations, says there are 600 remaining unengaged, unreached people groups –each with populations of more than 100,000 –that have no access to the Gospel. To engage these people groups, which represent about 1 billion people around the world, personnel need to be placed among them to implement aggressive church-planting strategies, says Fort.

To place more missionaries on the field, Southern Baptists need to give even more than they have given in the past to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, IMB treasurer and vice president for finance David Steverson tells trustees.

More money is also needed because the decreased value of the dollar overseas has caused financial difficulties.

"We are grateful that we have the field parity supplement account to help our missionaries battle the effects of a weak dollar," Steverson said. "We are grateful for the tremendous 2006 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that enabled us to appropriate $5.2 million to send 200 new missionaries."

Because of the declining value of the dollar around the world, board officials have projected that Southern Baptists needed to give $165 million — meeting the goal for the 2007 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering — just to sustain budgeted ministries supported by 2006's record $150 million offering.

A final report on the 2007 Lottie Moon Christmas offering total will be released after the May 31 close-out date for offering receipts.

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