A woman in the US state of North Carolina invited her two church pastors to her house to talk about something weighing heavily on her heart: the Annual Sacrifice Offering. She described how the Seventh-day Adventist Church had established the offering in a last-ditch effort to avoid calling missionaries home because of a lack of funds in 1922. She spoke about how people gave then and how the offering still supports missionaries today.
The pastors took her appeal to heart. One even preached a nine-part series on sacrifice ahead of the annual offering, which is collected in most parts of the world on the second Sabbath of November. As a result, the Annual Sacrifice Offering at the 700-member Hendersonville Seventh-day Adventist Church soared from $1,400 the previous year to $24,119 that year in 2016. The growth was only the beginning. During the COVID-19 pandemic when the world church again faced a budget crunch, members gave an astonishing $37,545 to the 2021 Annual Sacrifice Offering.
“We were happily surprised,” said pastor David Wright (pictured). “Praise the Lord!”
He credited God’s grace for members’ sacrificial giving. “It is true this will bring much-needed light into dark areas of the 10/40 Window,” he said. “But consider the blessing that is ours as a church family. I have to believe the blessing is greater to us because Jesus Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Adventist Mission director Gary Krause agreed, noting that Adventist Church cofounder Ellen White called such a blessing the “reflex influence.” She said church members’ generosity toward foreign fields promoted success in their home field. For example, when some church leaders questioned the wisdom of sending funds abroad in 1900, White declared, “The prosperity of the home work depends largely . . . upon the reflex influence of the . . . work done in countries afar off” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 27). The Adventist Church’s top statistician, David Trim, has statistically verified White’s assertion.
A sacrificial spirit has permeated the church since its origins, world church leader Ted N. C. Wilson said. “We are told that God’s Advent movement was started in sacrifice and it will end in sacrifice,” he said. “What a privilege for each of us to sacrificially share what God has given to us.”
Thank you for considering a generous donation to the 2023 Annual Sacrifice Offering. For online information, visit bit.ly/annual-sacrifice-offering. See also Global Mission (gm.adventistmission.org); the 1922 Annual Sacrifice Offering (bit.ly/1922-offering); and Ellen White’s “reflex influence” (bit.ly/EGW-reflex).