Thank you for giving generously in 2013. With gratitude for God’s blessings to First Baptist, we have surpassed our 2013 budget goal of $2,438,299 and received $2,608,019. This figure represents a 12% increase in giving this year. Praise the Lord.
Your generosity changed so many lives, but I want to tell you the story of one person in particular. When I visited Mission San Luis in February, I met a docent dressed in period costume. He looked just like a Franciscan missionary as I imagined him. When the children were practicing for the Nehemiah musical, Penny Folsom took them to visit the Mission as well. She met the same guy, and formed a friendship. She invited him to audition for the Christmas musical, and he played the part of Artaban. In the musical, Artaban gives everything he has– all of his treasures– to the poor and the lowly along his journey to find Jesus. In doing so, he discovers that “whatever you do for the least of these brothers of mine you have done for me.”
Artaban’s example is a journey that all of us have discovered together. In 2013, you have given abundantly to the work of Christ here at First Baptist. Our journey from Mission San Luis to the musical The Other Wise Man is just one example of how God has multiplied these gifts. They touched the lives of children, internationals, homeless, Sabal Palm students, and even the actor who played Artaban. You have provided resources for staff, facilities, and so much more. Thank you for sharing and giving.
Our budget goal for 2014 is $2,695,872. I know you will be just as faithful, and God will continue to provide for our church family. Jesus said to the faithful servants in Matthew 25: “Well done, good and faithful servants. You have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Share in the joy of God’s blessings this year.