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In December 2011, the Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions made the decision to keep missionaries stateside due to the financial shortfall. For missionaries to return to their fields of ministry required a significant increase in monthly giving as well as a record-breaking World Missions Offering (WMO). A goal was set to enlist 650 churches to participate in the WMO, based on previous years’ average of approximately $1,000 per church. “A $650,000 offering was what we were thinking, but He had exceeding abundantly more in mind for us,” explained Mark McPeak, director of advancement for the Mission.
“In January, in the midst of this crisis, someone asked me how I saw the process of getting missionaries back to their fields unfolding,” stated General Director Clint Morgan. “I shared my faith dream: January through March we would begin to see a gradual increase in monthly giving providing us with a ray of hope; April would bring a knock-out WMO; May through July would stabilize us as we prepared for the National Association; and my hope was that we might be able to announce that missionaries would be free to return home at the convention in Memphis in July.”
Clint continued, “Then the money poured in and we blew by the $650,000 goal in the first 60 days. People began to get excited and, by the National Association, after announcing our total of more than $830,000, people began to ask if we thought we could hit the $1,000,000 mark. From that point on, the excitement continued to build as people called the office and asked, ‘Have we hit a million yet?’”
On Monday, October 15, while at the Oklahoma state meeting, Morgan received a report that the WMO total had reached $999,131.00. When Brad Ransom, Missions Director for Oklahoma, was informed of this he committed to challenge the Oklahoma Mission Board to close the gap and reach this historic total. The Oklahoma Mission Board committed to $1,000. Another $1,000 from a local church was given. God has done exceeding abundantly above all that we asked or thought and the 2012 World Missions Offering has topped $1,000,000!
“We give the Lord all the glory, honor, and praise,” Morgan stressed, “and want to express our heart-felt gratitude to all our Free Will Baptist people who were obedient to give faithfully and sacrificially!”