International (MNN) — The Southern Baptist International
Mission Board trustees are excited to report that the 2006 Lottie Moon
Christmas Offering is projected to exceed the goal of $150 million, which would
be a record.
The offering is named for Moon and her evangelistic
legacy. She served 39 years as a
missionary, beginning in 1873, mostly in China's
Shantung province. There she taught in a
girls' school and often made trips into China's interior to share the good
news with women and girls.
Moon frequently wrote letters to the United States detailing Chinese
culture, missionary life and the great physical and spiritual needs of the
Chinese people. By 1888, she had managed
to share her vision and passion for the people she was with, prompting Southern
Baptist women to organize and respond.
That year, the women helped collect $3,315 to send workers
needed in China. Today the offering known as the "Lottie Moon
Christmas Offering" continues to help send and support missionaries in their
Southern Baptist president Jerry Rankin urges the church
to embrace change globally because it's opening many doors for the Gospel. By the end of the decade, Rankin hopes to see 10,000
Southern Baptist churches involved in strategic partnerships overseas. Other
goals include expanding the missionary force from a little more than 5,000 to
8,000 and engaging unreached people groups.