Remembering Lottie Moon: It Cannot End at Kobe

Lottie Moon died 100 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1912, in the harbor of Kobe, Japan.

At the time Lottie was ill, malnourished from giving away her food, and absolutely worn out from her nearly 40 years of service in China.  She was en route home to America, but on this night, she was heading home, not to America, but to her heavenly home. 

There are several plays about Lottie Moon that are available on the IMB web site. One is entitled “It Cannot End at Kobe” and depicts the parallelism between the life of Lottie Moon and the present-day. The play impresses upon viewers that even as Lottie Moon could not give up when the odds seemed insurmountable, we cannot give up when challenged with the command to engage in Christian ministering and witnessing.

The following responsive reading is based on the closing narration of “It Cannot End at Kobe.”

Leader 1:       She died at Kobe, Lord,
All:                 But that took just a moment.
Leader 1:       She died at Kobe, Father,
All:                 And rested in that harbor.
Leader 1:       She died at Kobe, Lord,
All:                 But that’s not so important,
                        For she did not stay there long.

Leader 2:       She lived in China, Lord,
All:                 And that living took a lifetime.
Leader 2:       She lived in love, O Lord,
All:                 And that love gave life in dead spots.
Leader 2:       She lived with rigid purpose
All:                 And that fruit outlives a heartbeat.

Leader 3:       It cannot end at Kobe, Father,
All:                 There’s death that needs revival.
Leader 3:       It cannot end at Kobe, Lord,
All:                 Or death becomes the winner.
Leader 3:       It cannot end at Kobe, Lord,
All:                 Or love was borne in vain.

All:                 It cannot end at Kobe, Father,
                        But it will, Lord, if I let it.

Find dramas and skits about Lottie Moon at:

EBO at Work Reaching Internationals

As Southern Baptists, our annual December missions focus is on international missions. It is exciting to know that the Eliza Broadus Offering also has an impact on international missions right here in Kentucky!  Let me share a few examples.

Baptist Campus Ministries across Kentucky work with international students on our college and university campuses. Through weekly Bible studies, English classes, and many other events, we are doing international missions here. Engage, our international student conference held each November, is one way that we use the Eliza Broadus Offering to do international missions here in Kentucky.  Students from around the world who have come to Kentucky to attend college are often among the brightest and best students from their countries.  They will return to work in business, government, health care and many other fields.  How important it is that we share the gospel with them while they are in our midst.  Who knows how far the gospel shared here will travel around the world!

EBO helps us plant churches to reach the internationals who have come to live in Kentucky.  We have churches that worship in many different languages and reach out to people of diverse cultures and ethnic groups.  The exciting part is not only when internationals come to faith in Christ, but also as they share Jesus with people in their home countries.

EBO provides funds for the Hispanic Bible Institute which trains Hispanic pastors and church leaders. It is so important for effective language ministry to have trained leaders. Every EBO dollar invested in Hispanic leadership develop is multiplied as these trained leaders share the gospel.

EBO is part of a ministry called Friendship International with ministries in Louisville, Lexington, and Paducah.  Started by WMU, these ministries meet weekly for Bible study, choir, crafts, English lessons, sewing, and other classes of interest. Often the participants are wives who feel isolated while their husbands are at work. Through Friendship International, they meet other internationals and Americans who welcome them here.

EBO provides funds for migrant ministries to reach seasonal workers. Several of our Baptist associations are engaged in outreach to migrant workers who are in Kentucky only for a short period of time. It is vital for us to witness and show compassion during the brief stay of these workers.

So while EBO is a state missions offering, it has an international impact.  The Eliza Broadus Offering year is September 1 to August 31 and contributions are received all year long. Thank you for your generosity which helps us to reach the world in Kentucky.        

Personal Wholeness Conference

From time to time churches and associations let us know about events they are hosting with the request that we help publicize the opportunity.  Lone Oak First Baptist Church is hosting a conference on Saturday, Januuary 5, 2013 that is focused on personal wholess.  In a letter explaining the reason for this conference, Traci Lawrence writes:

The Church is the body of Christ, and the Church (that’s us) is called to be the salt and light to a lost world. Unfortunately today many churches, like our bodies, are not in very good shape. Some parts of the body of Christ are not very healthy, peaceful, loving or productive.

As believers we have a high calling of going into the world preaching and teaching the gospel. We are to stand up for the weak, defend the helpless and feed the hungry.  The body of Christ can’t effectively do this is the body is sick, poor, weak, broken, depressed and frightened. “It starts here” Conference is being offered to equip the saints for the building up of the body of Christ.  Eph. 4:12….So that we can more effectively reach the world for Christ.

Featured speakers include:
– Dr. Evelyn Jones, Owner & operator of Wellsprings Institute
– Dr. Dan Summerlin, Senior Pastor of Lone Oak First Baptist
– Jeremy White, CPA and 6 time publisher
– Stacy Thomas, Mid-Continent Instructor & Chamber of Commerce Leadership
– Traci Lawrence, Life Coach & Founds of The Lighthouse – A Healing Place
– Eric Grogan, FCA Area Representative and 7-time Iron Man Triathalon finisher

Tickets are $10 and include lunch.  For more information:

All proceeds from this event will go to help victims of human trafficking.

Prayer Letter from Malawi

This past summer, a WMU team from Kentucky spent a week in Malawi as the faculty for a week of training for seminary wives.  Our missionary hosts, Mary and Jeff Polglase, sent the following prayer letter and said that I could share it with you.  As we observe this week of prayer for international missions, pray for these missionaries and the work in Malawi.

This is the time of year, in Southern Baptist churches, when the Lottie Moon Christmas offering is taken.  It is named after a young woman who was a missionary in China in the late 1800s.  She gave her life as a missionary.  Every penny given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is used to help support almost 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries serving overseas.  Last year, more than 2.2 million people got to hear the Gospel from missionaries like us and our national partners.   Please prayerfully consider giving to this offering so that missionaries can continue going and serving the Lord all over the world.  I know that times are tough, but whatever you can give, will be used as effectively as possible.  **

Prayer Requests:

LITERACY:  Please pray for Mary as she focuses on different characters in the Christmas story.    Please pray that as the students hear these stories during this month, God would give them discernment and a longing to know Him more deeply.

PREACHING:   Jeff is often given the opportunity to preach.   Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide Jeff as he studies and prepares to share God’s Word.  Pray that God would give understanding to those who hear so that they would be strengthened in their faith.

SEMINARY:  From December 10-14, wives of seminary students will be coming from all over Malawi to attend a week long course designed just for them.  Pray for safety as they travel.  Pray for good health for the week. Pray that the women will leave at the end of the week encouraged and blessed by what they have heard and the fellowship they have experienced.

In these prayer letters I try to share about Malawian Baptists and today I want to introduce someone I have recently gotten to know through teaching literacy.  This man, Jehoshaphat, is one of the leaders of the little church where our class meets.  He is full of energy and enthusiasm.  He is focused on helping his church grow and also starting other churches in villages where there are none.  When I was recently sick, he rode his bike about 10 miles one way to see me and get the literacy materials that I use so the class could go on.  He comes to every class, even though he can read, but comes to encourage the people from his village.  I love telling Bible stories with him in attendance because he sits there saying the words with me.  He is one of those super encouraging people.  Please pray for Jehoshophat and his family to continue being strong witnesses in their village.  Surrounded by those who live in darkness, who are bound by fear because of cultural beliefs, pray that his household would “shine as lights in the world.”  Finally, pray that God would pour out His wisdom on Jehoshophat as he leads his church and as he cares for his family.  I know he would be thrilled to know that people in a country far away are holding him up in prayer. 

Thank you again for praying for these things and your wonderful support.  It is our prayer that each one of you will have a joyous Christmas season.   May each of us be full of joy and gratitude for Jesus, the Son of God!  “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

God Bless,
Mary & Jeff Polglase
IMB Missionaries in Malawi
Box 1001
Lilongwe, Malawi

**  More information about our support:  Here is the amount that is needed to support one family, like us, on the mission field for a year:  $49,800 a year (average)   $4,150 a month  $958 a week   $136 a day  (Reported May 2012. Support includes housing, salary, children’s education, medical expenses, retirement and more.) Thank you!

For more information concerning the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering:


Obedient – There and Here

Obedient.  What does that word mean to you? What verse comes to mind?  For me the verse is Philippians 2:8, which tells us that Jesus “became obedient to death, even death on a cross!”

The Season of Prayer for International Missions draws upon this word, lifting out the word be and calling us to “Be His Hands, His Heart, His Voice.”

As we focus on praying for missions around the world and giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, I am reminded that international missions is both there and here.  Usually we say “here and there” but I have reversed the order of this familiar phrase on purpose.  International missions is first of all there – other places around the world where missionaries are obedient to follow God’s calling. We support them as they go there – wherever “there” is in the world – as we pray and give.  The 2012 “Obedient” prayer guide is a great place to start!

Another great resource is the missionary prayer calendar found in Missions Mosaic. The abbreviations in the prayer calendar remind us that our missionaries now focus on people groups wherever they may be found. The reality of this struck me a few years ago when I received a Christmas card from a Kentucky friend who married a Japanese man and told about taking their children to visit Japanese cousins in Brazil. People groups are about the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the people, not their geographic location.

International missions is also here.  From high school and college students who have come to this country to attend school, to families who have come here for employment and/or to make this country their new home, international missions is here.

A few weeks ago, I attended a picnic for first year international students at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Also invited were three high school students who are international exchange students. I talked at length with the sponsor of two of the girls. She told me that God had spoken to her about the need to reach out to internationals. She said, “I could spend the money it takes to host these students and go on a two-week mission trip overseas, but for the same money, I get them for nine months.”

Students who have stayed with this family were not Christians when they arrived, but in the course of being with the family, attending youth activities at the church, and meeting Christian students, they have all come to faith in Christ.  Many continue to stay in touch and the ministry of this family touches the world.  They were obedient to God’s call to international missions here.

Likewise Baptist Campus Ministries across Kentucky work with international students on our college and university campuses. Through weekly Bible studies, English classes, and many other events, we are doing international missions here. Engage, our international student conference held each November, is one way that we use the Eliza Broadus Offering to do international missions here in Kentucky.

Obedient. A word that carries so much meaning. May it be said of us: “They were obedient to God’s call – there and here.”