Dressed as missionary Lottie Moon, Karmin Lytle — student ministry assistant at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham — passes out Moon’s tea-cake cookies and shares her story during children’s worship on a recent Sunday. Photo courtesy of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church/TABMeg Brown didn’t grow up Southern Baptist, but when she decided to study at a Southern Baptist seminary, she was amazed to learn about their cooperation.
“How churches work together, how churches send together — it’s beautiful,” she said.
And now for Brown, it’s “really fun” to explain that cooperation to others, whether the person is 7 years old or 19.
She got to share with both recently.
Brown, associate minister to children at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, said her team spent the fall semester introducing children to the story of missionary Lottie Moon and the sacrifices she made to take the gospel to China.
“We wanted our kids to get a cool picture of who she was,” Brown said of Moon, the namesake of Southern Baptists’ Christmas offering for international missions.
Connecting the past to the present
As part of that effort, Karmin Lytle, Dawson’s student ministry assistant, dressed as Moon to share about her life and distribute her well-known tea cake cookies.
The children also had video calls with missionaries sent out by Dawson who now are serving on the field.
“That way, our kids got to learn about Miss Lexie (an IMB Journeyman from Dawson) as well as Miss Lottie, and make that connection from the past to the present,” Brown said. “It was great to see them understand the longevity of churches like ours supporting missionaries like this, and what that can do.”
The children also received foldable boxes printed with a QR code to use as banks for their gifts to the offering. The QR code took them to a website to learn more about Moon and even find a recipe for her cookies.
“Kids were extremely proud to have their own bank and to take part in praying for folks all over the world,” Brown said. “We had moms and dads asking to take home extras.”
It all helped the children understand they could be part of the fabric of God’s mission right where they are, she added. “A 4-year-old or 9-year-old or 12-year-old really can serve in the same spirit Lottie Moon served within their own community. They’re not just spectators. They can participate.”
For Brown, it’s been great on this side of seminary to see God weave together ordinary things that add up to a community of people excited about God’s work overseas. She was encouraged recently at her church’s deacon ordination as men shared stories of time they’ve spent on mission.
Shocked and encouraged by ‘The Insanity of God’
On another recent night, Brown got together with a group from the women’s basketball team at Samford University to watch, “The Insanity of God,” a movie about people in other parts of the world who are persecuted for their faith in Christ.
“I was truly shocked and encouraged by the stories we saw,” Brown said. “This led to a wonderful discussion on the global Church, how the Southern Baptist Convention practically takes part in this and our piece in God’s bigger plan.
“To see these college-aged women so stirred up and moved by the goodness of the gospel and the commitment of other believers was wonderful.”
Brown said she doesn’t think Dawson is doing anything other churches aren’t doing, but that all the ordinary moments together made her grateful for what Southern Baptists faithfully do together.
David Eldridge, Dawson’s senior pastor, said his congregation wants to be faithful in its part of the mission.
“At Dawson, we give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® as a way to be found faithful as God’s people in sharing the gospel of Jesus around the world,” he said. “Lottie Moon was a missions pioneer who selflessly gave her life to share the gospel, and giving to the offering named after her is one way for our church members to join God in His mission to seek and to save the lost.”
Your continued giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program sustains the work of missionaries serving around the world and provides the resources for more people to answer the call to join God’s work to reach the nations.
Grace Thornton is the special assignments editor for The Alabama Baptist.
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.
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