A few years ago, national WMU held a Christmas Open House for our families, local churches, and anyone in the Birmingham area to come and enjoy. We sipped apple cider, saw a beautiful display of dozens of nativities from around the world, and enjoyed craft activities for the kids. It was a beautiful evening in a beautiful place.
And then Landon, my then 8-year-old son, declared, “Look, Mom! I’m taller than Lottie Moon!” He saw the Lottie Moon cutout in the photo booth area and realized that yes, at 8 years old, he was taller than Lottie Moon. This launched us into a great discussion about Lottie’s work, yet another explanation of the job I do, national WMU’s role in our denomination, and eventually the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. While I answered his questions, he came up with even more. (Kids are great at this!)
Two of my favorite questions from that night:
- Why does WMU tell people about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but they don’t get any money from it?
- Do you have Lottie’s cookie recipe?
To explain WMU’s role in the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, I asked him to think about WMU as cheerleaders. WMU makes sure everyone is ready, tells everyone about what is happening in the game, and encourages our players. We translated that to what you and I understand about missions discipleship: learning about missions, praying for missions, and supporting missions.
But in reality, WMU is more than just a cheerleader. WMU helps every believer know how he or she can personally answer the Great Commission. Once you’ve heard about others being called to share God with people across the street and around the world, it’s hard not to understand all believers are called to share the gospel. And WMU tells mission stories so people will give money to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so we can keep sending missionaries all over the world.
“So really, WMU is kinda like a big brother or big sister?” Landon asked.
“How so?” I’ll admit, I was intrigued by this idea and needed a better explanation from him.
“Well, WMU tells everyone the good things about missions and gets people to make sure they are friends with them. WMU looks out for them. You know?” he explained.
Four years later, Landon knows more about WMU’s work and about the work that is funded by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but I still like his 8-year-old explanation.
I’m proud that Landon had so many questions that night. And I’m proud that he realizes today that he has a responsibility as a 12-year-old experiencing his second year of middle school, even in the middle of a strange pandemic. All believers, just like Lottie Moon, are called to share God’s love with the world regardless of where we find ourselves.
Heather Keller is a consultant and editor at national WMU. She says that if she could interview anyone from any time period, Lottie Moon would be at the top of her list.