David & Julie wrote:
We had the privilege of taking several ladies to the Zulu Baptist Women’s Rally, 5 hours west of the little village of Isilovo, where these ladies attend our new church start. Prior to the meeting, all attendees were told to bring their own bedding and personal items for the two-night stay. Leaving home I was a little worried about having enough space in the car for bags. I needn’t have been worried. Each lady had all their belongings for two nights and bedding packed into one little bag. It was all they had for you see, each of these ladies lives in a little one room house no bigger than 10 by 12 feet, with no running water, indoor toilets or electricity. During the weekend, when there was no food provided, I was able to minister to them by providing some nourishment, but I was put to shame by these beautiful ladies, who had almost nothing to their names, but yet were filled with complete and continuous inner joy, just because they had JESUS! What a testimony they were to me!
During this Christmas season, take time to remember those who are poor SPIRITUALLY and don’t have a hope in Jesus Christ. What will you do about them? They may be at your doorstep…they may be down the street…they may be across the state. The one place you probably won’t find them is in your church, which is normally the place we think of as a place of ministry. We all live and work right beside too many people who don’t know Jesus Christ – the Savior of the world. God is waiting for all of us to ask him what he wants from us this holiday season. His heart weeps for the lost, and ours should as well.
As God shines in you, BE the heart, BE the hands and BE the feet of Jesus this season.
You have an open invitation to give to help spread the good news around the world. The Lottie Moon Christmas offering helps fund those who are sent to the lost around the world. It helps families like ours stay “on” and “in” the harvest field. We can’t even express how desperately we depend on the faithful support of each of you, whether financially or through prayer.
Xhosa churches in South Africa have their yearly Christmas celebrations on either the last Sunday of November or the first Sunday of December.
During this time of celebrating when God sent His Son as our Savior, there is inevitably a big “to do” for the children. The Sunday School class (children are most often together in one class) will be adorably dressed up and will re-enact the beloved Christmas story. Afterwards, there is a special time of gift giving to the children and it is the highlight of the year. For the poorest of them, their wrapped Christmas gift will be the only one they will receive, be it a pencil box or a plastic toy car.
However, for missionaries, the Christmas story is not a once-a-year event. Our lives are poured out with the hopes that the stories and love of our Savior will reach one more, giving another person reason to celebrate all year long. As you ponder the meager Christmas gift given in an African church and then ponder the Gift that gives life abundantly, please pray about how you can give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The LMCO is the gift you give to God, which He returns to us, your missionaries, in the form of support. That is how we are able to live, teach, preach the Gospel all throughout the year.
New Year is celebrated several times by the various island cultures. One is called Cavadee, when many from the Tamil group try to obtain favor from the god Muruga (god of war). Through elaborate ceremonies the people engage in acts of devotion including carrying a Kavidi (burdens), piercing their bodies, and walking on shoes of nails or hot coals. All of this is done to gain the attention of their god.
In another festival, ~600,000 people walked from their homes up to a lake. Men, women and children, all dressed in white, from every nook and corner of the island, travel to the lake on foot, in a slow procession. On this journey of 20-30 miles, they carry on their shoulders, structures made of bamboo and decorated with paper streamers and tinkling bells. Upon reaching the lake they offer prayers to Shiva and then take some of the holy water home to use in celebrations and spiritual rituals, and to pour on the emblem of Shiva at the temple when they finish the long journey home.
As you can see, there is a great need for the Spirit of God to move in this place. We’re grateful for your efforts in prayer as these masses are our friends and neighbors who desperately need to know the true and living God.
Though there is so much spiritual darkness, we have seen God moving. Working with the young people, we have witnessed God raising up some men and women who love him and are committed to seeing God’s glory changing the lives of their generation.
Just before Christmas we were able to participate in a live performance with one goal, to proclaim the mighty love of God that came to us at Christmas so long ago. Over 500 people came to hear the message!
Christina from Team NoMad wrote:
What do you do when it doesn’t FEEL like Christmas, when the weather outside is frightfully – HOT! You listen to Christmas music! Jamming to Third Day Christmas Offerings, can put anyone in the decorating mood.
The kids pulled the decorations from the shed, dusted them off as Andy and I sat back and soaked up the joy they gave from putting up the tree. What a blessing!
What a blessing is the reason for the season! Pray that as we head into this time of celebration, we can share the true meaning and reason of Christmas to our neighbors and community.
So, what do you do when the tree is up and decorated, the Christmas candles displayed, the nativity set is put in a place of honor and advent calendars opened? . .
You . . .
watch . . .
”Merry . . .
Madagascar” . . .
Thinking of you all during this blessed season of our Lord’s birth!
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
December 4-11: WEEK OF PRAYER FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS & LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING
Lottie Moon’s plain tea cake recipe
As a way to earn the trust of the people and show her goodwill, Lottie Moon made tea cakes for the children in her village in China. Once the children ate the cookies, they would take Lottie to their homes where she would share the gospel with their mothers. The children began calling Lottie “the cookie lady” instead of “foreign devil.”
Plain Tea Cake (As made by Lottie Moon)
Three teacups of sugar
One teacup of butter
One teacup of sour milk
Four pints flour
Three eggs, well beaten
Half a teaspoon of soda
Flavor to taste, roll thin, bake in a quick oven.
2 cups flour
½ cup butter
1 heaping cup of sugar
1 well-beaten egg
1 tablespoon cream
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour and cream. Dust a board with flour. Roll thedough very thin. Cut cookies with a round cookie cutter. Place on a buttered or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for about 5 minutes.
From the Web site for Woman’s Missionary Union (www.wmu.com):
Please give to the 2011 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so missionaries can continue the “Great Commission” calling to go, teach & baptize in the uttermost parts of the world. Lottie Moon Offering Goal: $175 million
Week of Prayer : December 4-11, 2011
Click here for Daily Prayer Guides to learn about workers serving in Urban Centers around the world! Learn how God is working and how you and your small group can support through prayer.
If you want your offering to GO FAR – THIS IS THE OFFERING TO GIVE TO! Did you know every penny of your gift to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering reaches ~5000 missionaries serving around the globe?!?! When you give, we are able to have a place to live, transportation, a language tutor, educational resources for our children, doctor visits and medicine when we’re sick, training for personnel, translate & print literature in a new language and implement strategic plans to reach the unreached people groups still out there.
THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING TO GIVE A GIFT TO THE LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING!