Thoughts on Planting
By Bill Egan, Director of Church Planting
It seems like yesterday when this year's holiday season was quickly approaching, and now Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is just around the corner. My family spent many years living overseas as IMB missionaries. We often miss the simplicity of the holiday season abroad. The majority of our community were either Hindu or Muslim, so Christmas wasn’t a big festival. In fact, one of the only indicators that Christmas was being celebrated at all was in front of most Christian homes a single three-dimensional paper star was illuminated by a light bulb inside.
Similar to Christmas in America, people seem to be generally more inquisitive about the true meaning of Christmas during the holidays. They are more tolerant of our different beliefs and more often than not thoroughly enjoy hearing about the Christmas miracle…”God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The greatest gift giver ever! We’ve always looked forward to the Christmas season, and are eager to share the true meaning of Christmas with anyone that will listen wherever we reside.
As IMB missionaries, December marks an important time on our calendars. Not only because we are in the midst of the Christmas season, but because this is when our Southern Baptist churches sacrificially give to missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Our twelve years of sharing Christ abroad was only made possible through this amazing offering. Instead of needing to return to America each year to raise and maintain financial support; due to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering and the ongoing support of missions we had the ability to stay engaged in church planting for extended periods of time. The Father gave to save the lost, and we continue to give to missions to reflect our Father’s heart. On behalf of all our Southern Baptist missionaries serving around the world I want to say, Thank You, and Merry Christmas!