LOSTNESS. 281 million in North America – staggering – true.
What can YOU or me, one person, do? A lot. You and I make a difference when we each PRAY & GIVE. UNITED, we are each called to be one, one who shares the good news of Jesus Christ in a lost and hurting neighborhood, city, state, country, or continent. You are needed to bring light to the darkness of our nation and Canada!
Recently I was asked why I give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) for North American Missions. I give, and I encourage us all to give, to the AAEO because there are an estimated 281 million lost people in North America; and that number grows every day. Many of you may not even know who Annie Armstrong was or why this offering is named for her. She was just one person, but her passion for the lost, for those who were not part of the mainstream members of church or society in her day, was what moved her to action. Annie was from a prominent, wealthy family; in her own church, where she personally came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ at age of 19.
Annie ministered to the children and mothers in her own local church. Annie had a passionate heart to serve those who lived in poverty and addiction, especially the impoverished who lived in rural areas; as well she reached out to those who were on the fringes of society in her day and provided resources to minister and share the love of Christ to the sick, to women, Chinese immigrants, American Indians, African Americans as well as her Jewish neighbors in Baltimore.
Did you know? Annie Armstrong’s connection to NAMB (The North American Mission Board) began in 1880 when she served as the first president of the Woman’s Baptist Home Mission Society of Maryland, whose purpose was involved in supporting the then Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention efforts. This newly formed organization’s first local focus was to establish an Indian School for the children and minister to the Chinese immigrants working in Maryland; they also provided support for ministry in Cuba and New Orleans.
In 1888, Annie Armstrong led in the beginning of the Woman’s Missionary Union to promote prayer and giving to missionaries. She was an amazing and tireless missions supporter. She mobilized women in her day to reach beyond the bounds of race by organizing missions for all and encouraging Southern Baptists of her day.
Did you know? In a time without today’s multitude of technology resources, that one year Annie personally wrote 18,000 letters by hand to encourage financial support for missions efforts!
Did you know? In 1895, Annie led the newly formed WMU to contribute $5,000 to the Home Mission Board of the SBC to help in reducing a $25,000 debt that helped prevent the withdrawal of missionaries on the North American mission field!
Did you know? That this action established the WMU Week of Self-Denial as a time for praying and giving to “home missions,” which has continued ever since. This offering and week of prayer for North American missionaries were renamed in 1934 the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions.
Annie Armstrong…one woman…one person…who helped make a world of difference in the lives of countless people, even today!
LOSTNESS. 281 million in North America – staggering – true. What can YOU or me, one person, do?
I, me – Eva Ramirez De La Rosa – was once lost without Christ, searching in the darkness. So were you. I was someone’s ONE, the one who heard the message of hope and the answer to meaning for my life, and at the age of 19, responded to that message…so were You. My life has never been the same. I cannot believe the joy, the adventure, the richness of KNOWING the ONE who gave it all for ME! I cannot believe the change of trajectory of my life, the new road my life and my family have taken. We have a new heritage to pass on for generations to come. Both my children serve in ministry, all my grandchildren call him Savior, and now great-grandchildren are learning about HIM! I was the ONE for someone who told me about the ONE who gave it all for ME!
Who is your ONE?
This Easter, join me in being UNITED: CALLED TO BE ONE to Pray, Give and Go; so many can hear the ONLY message of HOPE for today’s LOSTNESS – JESUS!
Share with your church the resources available at CSBC 2023 Annie Armstrong Offering (jotform.com). There is still time to pray and give for this year’s focus AAEO missionaries and more than 2,400 NAMB missionaries and their families.
Eva currently leads out as the CA WMU Executive Director. She has a BS in Behavioral Science from CBU and a Master of Counseling Ministry. Eva is married to Gil De La Rosa (DOM, Gold Coast Baptist Association), and together they have two adult children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Missions is her passion and in her current role, she is able to assist churches in the development and growth of the mission's discipleship for all ages.
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