What you Don't know about the IMB (An Insiders Perspective)
For Southern Baptists, this is a season of Giving, namely "Lottie Moon Season." During these festive months, our churches take up an offering (named after an amazing missionary to China) to support the 3500 Southern Baptists who are currently serving overseas as missionaries and send more workers to the harvest fields in 2021. But there is another side to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This is the story that you haven't heard.
If you are a member of an SBC church, you have heard the inspiring stories about how your offerings go to support missionaries as they plant churches, evangelize the lost, and disciple new believers. You will watch videos and hear inspiring speeches about the worthiness of your investment in God's kingdom. You will undoubtedly see videos of 4x4 trucks going to remote locations as the missionaries thank you for your support.
I know because I have been featured in the videos, and I have given the speeches myself. This year since I am overseas, I will send video recordings to churches and do live zoom calls throughout December and January. But in this post, I wanted to give you a different perspective. I think you deserve to see a more personal reason why I think the IMB is the most amazing sending agency on the planet and how your offerings do SO MUCH MORE than you can imagine.
In 2018, Susan and I felt like God was directing our family down a new and frankly scary path. For those of you who don't know me personally, I am married to Susan, and I have three awesome biological children (Victory, Memphis & Ember). But in 2018, we felt God telling us that our family wasn't yet complete. We are too old to have any more biological children. So, we began looking into adoption. We found a baby home that we trusted and started asking the standard questions.
Missionaries are not wealthy, so we knew that finances would be one of our biggest obstacles. We were right, and the news was not encouraging. Adoption is crazy expensive!
For a missionary family, the idea of adopting seemed almost too much for our tight budget. BUT I had heard some rumors that the IMB supports their missionary families who are looking to adopt. It almost sounded too good to be true, but I looked into it. I was blown away to find out that they would reimburse a significant portion of our legal fees and other official costs. Obviously, the IMB did not pay for our adoption, but they made the financial burden manageable for us.
We have so much to thank Southern Baptists for. Our monthly salary, the car that we drive, the house we live in, schooling for our children, and medical care. But today, I want to thank Southern Baptists and the IMB for making it possible for us to bring our son Daniel into our home.
Daniel is from Uganda (the same country where we serve). He is five years old now. He has the most amazing smile; it will light up the room. This year Daniel is spending his third Christmas with us, and I'm certain it will be full of joy. His early years were tragic, but thanks to your generosity, his future is bright! He loves to play with his siblings and watch Ben 10. He is into Transformers and is learning to love Legos from his older brother, Memphis.
In school, he loves math and science. He can already tell you all of the planets (I'm trying to get him to add Pluto because I still haven't given up on that.) When he hears one of his grandparent's voices on the phone, he runs to tell his siblings and gathers everyone to talk to them. When we watch TV at night, he comes to ask if he can sit in my "yaps" (aka lap).
Our family is complete. And I want thank Southern Baptists and the IMB for going above and beyond to make that happen!
Our job as missionaries is to proclaim the kingdom of God to the nations. We usually do that in villages, refugee camps, and in the marketplace. But sometimes you can bring the nations into your home, into your family. There is no greater privilege.
If you would like to support the IMB and all that they do around the world, you can follow this link to give to kingdom work in its many different forms.