If you go to a Southern Baptist church, December equals the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It is an annual offering collected by believers around the world to support international missions.
Lottie Moon was a pistol. Born December 12, 1840, Lottie rebelled against Christianity until she was in college. In December 1858, she dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Lottie attended Albemarle Female Institute, the female counterpart to the University of Virginia. In 1861, she was one of the first women in the South to receive a master’s degree. She stayed close to home during the Civil War but eventually taught school in Kentucky, Georgia, and Virginia.
In 1873, Lottie set sail for China. She was 32 years old. She had turned down a marriage proposal and left her job, home and family to follow God’s lead. Her path wasn’t typical for an educated woman from a wealthy Southern family. God had gripped her with the Chinese peoples’ need for a Savior.
Some Accepted Her
For 39 years Lottie labored, chiefly in Tengchow and P’ingtu. People feared and rejected her, but she refused to leave. The aroma of fresh-baked cookies drew people to her house. She adopted traditional Chinese dress, and she learned China’s language and customs. Lottie didn’t just serve the people of China; she identified with them. Many eventually accepted her and some accepted her Savior.
Lottie frequently sent letters back home detailing Chinese culture, missionary life, and the physical and spiritual needs of the Chinese people. Additionally, she challenged Southern Baptists to go to China or give so that others could go.
I had occasion to read a few of her letters last year and she could have given us all lessons on forthrightness and persistence. Have you ever taken the Gospel to the ends of the earth? In honor of Lottie Moon, tell me a story of your short-term missionary trip at Lifting Her Voice, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.