Jon Auten, Kentucky WMU Missions Consultant for Royal Ambassadors, shared this great story about a Louisville GA leader who took an unexpected stand for missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Enjoy!
Christmas is fast approaching and missions leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention are demonstrating their support for international missions through their efforts to meet the 2011 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Goal of $175 million. Few, if any, however, have gone to the lengths that Vicky Simpson, GA leader from Poplar Level Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, did on Tuesday, November 8.
It was Election Day and Vicky and her husband Roger had gone to the polls to place their votes. When they returned home, they found an unknown vehicle parked and running in their driveway. Roger pulled up behind it and went through the garage and into the house to investigate while Vicky remained outside by the car.
Roger quickly learned that their house had been broken into. What he didn’t realize was that the thief was still in the house when they arrived home. Hearing the activation of the garage door, the sneaky burglar decided to slip out by way of the sliding glass door that he had broken and return to his car by walking around the other end of the house. As he went, he took along the large plastic bucket of change that the GA’s and RA’s of Poplar Level had been collecting for Lottie Moon since May.
Vicky spotted the crook as he came around the house and into the front yard. As he casually walked across the lawn, she noticed the bucket of change. She immediately recognized it as “our bucket of money” and thought, “He can’t take that. That’s for Lottie Moon!”
“Put the money down!” she shouted at the thief.
“No,” he responded, as he proceeded to open the door to the car.
“Put that money down!” Vicky replied, louder than the first time.
Roger, hearing his wife shouting, rushed outside just in time to see that the robber had given way before Vicky’s determination, placed the money on the ground, and made his get-away driving through the couple’s front yard.
The story, which could have had a terrible ending, has a happy one instead. Not only was the Lottie Moon Offering rescued, but the burglar was apprehended after Roger reported the incident and the car’s license plate number to the police. Several other possessions, which had already been placed in the thief’s car, were returned to the Simpson’s as well.
Later that day, Vicky and her husband decided to go on and process the money through a coin counting machine where they discovered that the bucket held over 200 dollars in change. She would later tell a friend, “I am not a brave person, but the GA’s and RA’s had worked so hard to raise the money. I couldn’t let it be taken away.”