When Jay and Elizabeth Terrill decided to forego Christmas gifts to each other and instead give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, it sparked an idea for their daughter Mollie and her cousin Lexi Cole: a Christmas craft fair to benefit the International Mission Board.
With the recent IMB financial/personnel cuts in mind, the 11-year-olds enlisted the help of their church — Gentilly Baptist Church in New Orleans — and set a goal of $1,000 for the Dec. 5 event. With donated crafts, baked goods, garden plants and other items, the fair netted $1,067.
“I was so excited,” said Pam Cole, grandmother of the two girls. “For them to have other people on their hearts at this time of the year was what was so special to me. They wanted to give and help the missionaries stay on the field.”
Staged less than a month after the girls approached pastor Ken Taylor with the idea, the craft fair drew nearly 80 in attendance, said Dennis Cole, associate pastor and the girls’ grandfather. Taylor and Cole are both professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Pre-teen girls at the church made ornaments and crocheted bracelets. Children age 4 to 10 contributed crafts such as jingle bell necklaces and nativity scenes made from tongue depressors.
One item sold at the craft fair was an acrylic painting by Hannah Scarbro, a college art major, NOBTS student and daughter of former IMB missionaries in the Philippines.
The event was publicized on social media and in the local newspaper. The girls put up flyers at the nearby NOBTS campus.
Mollie said she and her cousin thought of the idea in part because a longtime friend, Sandra*, now serving with the IMB, recently had returned to her home church.
“One of our missionaries who used to go to our church told us how it is important to give money to the missionaries,” Mollie said.
“When people stop giving, then less people get to know the Good News,” Lexi added.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press