September may seem a strange time to reflect on the old year and look ahead to the new. Yet, for us “Baptists” who march to a different drummer with our denominational calendar, now is the time to celebrate the faithfulness of God and of His people during the past year.
In that regard, I have wonderful news to report for the cause of worldwide missions! For the first time in four years, Cooperative Program giving from Kentucky Baptist Convention churches to support Great Commission work increased over the year before. Since the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the receipts each year have represented a decrease over the prior year. But as we close the books on the 2011-2012 fiscal year, we celebrate a 1% increase over last year’s giving.
Knowing that this victory represents a significant sacrifice on the part of KBC churches, let me express my gratitude to the pastors and church members who are committed to getting the gospel not just to their Jerusalem but also to their Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Through the Cooperative Program, Kentucky Baptists are planting churches, educating Bible college and seminary students, relieving the suffering of tornado victims, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, revitalizing churches, training leaders, caring for orphans, doctoring the sick, counseling addicts, sharing the gospel at summer camp, on university campuses, in stable barns, shelters, prisons, and in many other settings all across Kentucky, North America, and in 180 countries of the world.
There were other exciting discoveries as we closed the books on this past fiscal year. Most notably, Kentucky Baptists gave their highest amount ever to the cause of evangelizing North America through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering of the North American Mission Board. Gifts totaled $2,234,942.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, funding the Great Commission overseas, totaled $5,040,378. That represents an $110,000 increase over last year.
The Eliza Broadus State Missions Offering totaled $1,151,067. That offering was also higher than the previous year by $80,000.
The Eliza Broadus Offering provides vital support for church planting and evangelism and mission work in Kentucky. The lives of unborn children are being saved by crisis pregnancy centers funded by EBO. Inmates are hearing the gospel, trusting Christ, and being baptized by local churches thru ministries funded by EBO. Women in the “adult entertainment industry” are being shown a pathway to freedom and salvation by ministries funded by EBO. These are just a few of the ways Kentucky Baptists are obeying the Great Commission and Great Commandment through the Eliza Broadus Offering.
Will you join my family and be a part of what God is doing thru these ministries by giving thru the EBO this year?