A few years ago, I was privileged to speak to the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College just outside of Calgary. The Canadian Rockies provided a breathtaking backdrop for this ministry, but it was the reality of spiritual lostness that eventually consumed my thoughts. In the midst of one of the world’s most beautiful scenes was brokenness that only sin can bring. And yet, God had placed this theological school of faculty and students right there to advance the spiritual restoration that can only come through the Gospel. To me, this was a tremendous demonstration of God’s gracious favor and power.
One night, I ate dinner with one of the professors and his family at their home in Cochrane. As we talked about the Lord’s work in the area, he related how we were in a “Lottie House” and how we had driven over in a “Lottie Car.” At first, I look puzzled (a rather natural look for me), but then I recognized that he was speaking about resources that had been bought through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO). The professor then proceeded to tell me how the house had been purchased before the real estate boom with Lottie Moon funds and had been used for housing his family. Why? Because this professor and others are actually IMB missionaries that have been there for some time. They live modestly and efficiently, but they have a significant impact on their area and the world. Even as I surveyed the diversity of the Chapel audience, I knew that these missionaries/professors were touching the nations. And I had a part! We had a part! Through our faithful contributions to the LMCO, we have helped advance the Gospel in Calgary and beyond.
You see, our gifts to the LMCO help real people (missionaries) with real needs so that they can make a real difference. We are helping that Canadian seminary professor; Kyle, Kate, and Craig in South Asia; Mike, Marcie, Will, and Caroline in Central Asia; Chris and Shannon in Germany; James in Southeast Asia; Maggie in the Middle East; Jonathan and Bethany in Portugal; and many, many more! We are providing for their practical needs like housing and transportation while also paying for ministry and training materials. The result? Real lives are changed as the power of the Gospel sweeps over them, and brokenness is replaced with restoration.
This past Sunday, you once again exemplified generosity and faithfulness to the Gospel. On Sunday alone, we collected over $80,000 in our March for Missions, which means to date we have given approximately $86,000 to support our international missionaries through the LMCO. I am praying that we continue to advance toward our $150,000 goal as we demonstrate our commitment to the Christmas mission in the coming weeks. He has provided us with such resources so that we can undergird His mission. How we should praise Him for that! See you Sunday as we do just that!