I just received a message from friends on the mission field with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In their message, they included some statistics about the current state of missions around the globe. Here is what they said:

Fast Facts
Global population ………………………………………………………………… 7.0 billion people
Population of unreached people groups with limited
or no access to the Gospel …………………………………………………… 3.9 billion people
Number of Southern Baptist missionaries currently
serving overseas with IMB ………………………………………………….. 4,854 missionaries*
(* Plus their approx. 4,000 children)
Number of countries in which they are working …………………….. 134 countries
Number of people groups currently being engaged
by IMB missionaries ……………………………………………………………. 874 people groups
Number of people groups currently being engaged
that do not have Scripture in their language
(“Bible-less people groups”) ………………………………………………… 204 people groups

I want to point out two items from this list and then encourage you to give sacrificially to support the International Mission Board.

First, notice number of people groups that the IMB is currently engaging: 874! I wish that number were higher, but we need to praise the Lord for what he is doing among those 874 different people groups. But second, notice that among those 874 people groups, 204 of them have not scripture in their language! That means that almost one in four people groups being engaged by the IMB has no scripture available to them.

If I might add to Paul’s argument in Romans 10, “How will they hear the gospel, unless someone preach it to them; how will they preach unless they be sent; and how will they preach unless there is a scripture to preach!

There is an urgent need to provide scripture to those 204 people groups currently being engaged by missionaries. There is also a great need to provide both missionaries and scripture to hundreds upon hundreds of other people groups that have not been engaged and which have no scripture.

This Christmas you have an opportunity to help support the work of the thousands of IMB missionaries through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, an annual offering taken on behalf of the IMB. 100% of the funds raised through the offering go to support overseas operations. Your offering will make a tremendous difference in the world. If you are not part of a church that takes an offering for the IMB, please go the IMB website for information about how you can help support their work.

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