Americans spent $18.2 billion on a recent Valentine’s Day, showing affection for the special ones in their lives.
This year, those at empty tomb®, inc., invite people to draw the circle broader.
How broad? People are invited to send a Valentine to God through Mission Match®.
Christians see Jesus Christ as God’s Valentine to the world: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, New International Version).
So it only seems fitting to send a Valentine back to God. But how?
Sylvia Ronsvalle, empty tomb Executive Vice President, points out that a good place to start is with Jesus’ statement that the most important idea is to love God and neighbor (Mark 12:29-31). Those neighbors include little children, according to Jesus (Matthew 19:13-14).
So helping little children would seem to be a good way to express our love to God this Valentine’s Day.
This idea is important because many little children are not making it to age five. An empty tomb analysis found that each day around the world, 3,000 children under the age of five are dying from simple causes. That’s why it seems that helping these children is a practical, visible way to express love for God and neighbor.
empty tomb, inc., research shows these children are caught in what empty tomb terms the “Promise Gap”: The difference between the goal set by world leaders to reduce global under-age-5 child deaths, and the actual rate of death among these little children. And empty tomb’s research also shows that church people have the resources to close this Promise Gap.
empty tomb’s Mission Match program invites donors to give $50 a year to Mission Match. The donations from many people are pooled. Churches then are offered these funds as Matching Contributions. Churches match 85% of each donation. That means a donation of $50 a year can result in $85 worth of assistance for the little children of the world.
The churches that apply for the matching contributions combine their own money with the Mission Match money to carry out a project in Jesus’ name in one of 40 countries. These countries are behind the curve in meeting the target to reduce the number of children under five who are dying within their borders. The projects are designed to address one of the 14 causes of death among these children.
So don’t forget that Thursday, February 14, 2019, is Valentine’s Day. Be sure to show your love for the special people in your life. And while you are at it, remember to show your love to God, too, by helping, in Jesus’ name, the little children of the world.
More information about Mission Match, including how to donate your $50 for 2019, is at missionmatch.org.
A discussion of the Promise Gap, and details about the 40 countries and the 14 causes of death is available at missionmatch.org, and also in: The State of Church Giving through 2016: What Would Denominational Leaders Do with $368 Billion More a Year? (28th edition: Champaign, IL: empty tomb, inc., 2018), available through Wipf and Stock Customer Service by phone at 541-344-1528 or [email protected], and at Amazon.com.
The Valentine’s expenditure figure is from a National Retail Federation statistic for 2017.
(Source: Christian Newswire)