Today marks the 142nd anniversary of Lottie Moon's landing in China to take the gospel to that nation and to those millions of people.
She's been a hero to many for her willingness to leave relative comfort, social position, and a loving family behind in the United States to go to a life of discomfort and perpetual struggle.
She was fiercely orthodox, even forgoing her marriage to Crawford Toy over his abandonment of the veracity of Scripture. Lottie Moon was a woman of conviction who lived much of her life so that others might find new life in Christ.
Her faithful letter writing to raise funds for all Baptist missionaries led to her becoming the namesake of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual Christmas Offering. Because of her faithfulness, her name has become a rallying point for Southern Baptist Missions.
Lottie Moon's story is one that is compelling and should increase our faith in God's providence and renew our desire to go to tell of him to the nations.
Consider praying a prayer of thanksgiving for faithful saints like Lottie Moon.
Facts about Lottie Moon
1. She was born on December 12, 1840 into a wealthy plantation owning family in Virginia.
2. As an adult she was only about 4'3" tall. This is about the height of an average American 8 or 9 year old girl.
3. Lottie Moon was one of the earliest pioneers in women's education as a graduate of Albemarle Female Institute at Charlottesville in Virginia. She was academically gifted, particularly in languages, which would help her master Chinese. She earned an M.A. in Classics in 1861.
4. She was converted from a vehement opponent to Christianity to a faithful Christian in 1859 under the teaching of John Albert Broadus, in Charlottesville.
5. On July 7, 1873, the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention appointed Lottie Moon as a missionary to China. She actually followed her sister, Edmonia, who had been appointed as a missionary before her.
6. She helped institute the contemporary missions policy of allowing furloughs for missionaries. Moon spent 14 years on the field before returning to the United States for a break. Prior to that innovation, missionaries who left their home country were presumed to be leaving forever.
7. Lottie Moon was a vocal advocate for ending the practice of foot binding in Chinese culture. She helped to turn the tide on that barbaric practice.
8. Her letter writing was a means of encouraging missionaries to leave home for the sake of the gospel during her day. They have continued to inspire missionaries to be faithful to God's calling to the present.
9. On December 24, 1912, Lottie Moon died on a ship off the coast of China. She weighed only 50 pounds and died of starvation because she was foregoing food to try to save her Chinese friends and neighbors during a famine.
10. In 1918, the Women's Missionary Union (WMU) named their annual Christmas offering after Lottie Moon, the woman who had strongly encouraged them to start the practice.
Christian History feature article on Lottie Moon.
A helpful book, edited by my friend, Keith Harper: