Drew* and Alexandra* currently serve overseas with the International Mission Board in South Asia, along with their baby girl, Aria*. After meeting while previously serving as Journeymen in South Asia, Drew and Alexandra got married and began preparing to return. They’re passionate about training national believers and the church at large. Additionally, they’re incredibly grateful for the impact of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and enjoy sharing how it has personally affected them and their work.
Seven years ago, we spent our very first Thanksgiving together. We weren’t dating at the time… In fact, we weren’t even really friends, since we had met each other only a few weeks prior. A group of us gathered at a friend’s home and instead of carving a turkey together, we indulged in buffalo meat. Turkeys are hard to come by in South Asia, and ham is essentially impossible to get a hold of here, so buffalo it was. Celebrating holidays overseas requires a bit of flexibility and creativity, but at the end of the day, turkey or buffalo—both are gifts from the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
One of the gifts from above we are most thankful for is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The LMCO is an offering taken up annually in December by Southern Baptists to support overseas workers like ourselves. Of the proceeds, 100% goes directly to support the many cross-cultural workers around the world, of which we are just one! Some of you may be exasperated with hearing about the LMCO, but in all sincerity, our life in South Asia as we know it would be virtually impossible without it. Over our few years on the field, we’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of some of the ways the LMCO personally impacts our lives.
Before coming to South Asia and for the two weeks after arriving, we spent several weeks in training where we learned everything from how to stay healthy overseas, effective ministry tools being used across the globe, how to stay spiritually healthy, and a number of other topics. Both of these trainings are provided with LMCO funds.
During the training mentioned above, we received a number of immunizations (rabies, typhoid, etc) which allow us to stay healthy while living here.
Language learning and resources
Jesus Christ died for all, and all deserve a chance to hear this good news in their heart language! This is why we are passionate about learning how to communicate in the local language. For now, we spend several hours a day in language study, and the funds for this come from the LMCO.
Travel and visas
In order for us to get here, we obviously had to buy plane tickets and have valid visas. Not only this, but our visa requires we leave the country every so often, and this travel is also covered with LMCO funds.
Local travel and vehicle maintenance
We are so thankful we have been provided with a vehicle to help us get around much more easily. This vehicle was purchased many years ago with LMCO dollars, and its maintenance also comes from this pool. Not only this, but whenever we gas up or take local transportation (bus, auto rickshaw, etc), we access LMCO funds.
The city we live in has one of the worst pollution problems in the world! LMCO funds provided us with air purifiers for our home, so that our respiratory systems stay healthy and we may live long lives of service to our King.
We have a cozy home in a hoppin’ neighborhood. Our monthly rent is paid for with LMCO dollars. This allows us to host neighbors/guests and gives us a safe place to sleep at night.
Though we are both typically pretty healthy, living overseas means we inevitably get sick sometimes. It’s just part of the territory. In the spring, A had to get an MRI done in order to ensure a tumor was not regrowing. When our tiny human was on the way, doctor visits began to take up more of our time than previously. Thanks to the LMCO funds, we were able to pay for our medical needs— ranging from amoeba elimination to baby delivery!
Because we usually have between 20-30 people in attendance at a training, we use a white board and markers to ensure everyone can see. Not only this, but we like to equip trainees with one printed copy of our training material (which fits on one page), so that they can then be able to teach others. All of our training materials and the concluding meal are provided through LMCO funds.
Speaking of training materials, we like to have printed copies of our training material available in both the national and state languages. The cost of translating and revising the material into these languages is also given through LMCO funds.
Clearly, the LMCO impact on us cannot be overstated! Everything from our work to our personal lives (which enables us to better engage in the work) is affected by the LMCO. From the bottom of our hearts we thank God for each of you who has given and will give of your hard earned pennies to see His glory cover the earth in the same way the waters cover the seas (Hab. 2:14). As we pursue this vision together, may the Father of lights continue to fill your life with every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:17).
*Name change for security purposes.
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Resources
To learn more about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and keep up with the Week of Prayer, visit here.
To hear a biographical sermon on the life of Lottie Moon, we’d recommend Danny Akin’s sermon “The Power of a Consecrated Life Lived Out in the Ministry of Lottie Moon” from Romans 12:1.
To read a revised version of Akin’s sermon manuscript in book form, take a look at chapter four of his book Ten Who Changed the World (B&H, 2012). This is a great collection of published biographical sermons on ten influential evangelical missionaries.
To learn more about the life and legacy of Lottie Moon, visit here.
Photo courtesy of IMB.