When Bonnie Gates Windle was a teenager in the 1950s in Pickens County, a “small lady with white hair” would visit her church and tell spellbinding stories about her years as a Southern Baptist missionary in China.
The speaker was Addie Cox, a fellow Alabamian who served as a teacher and evangelist in China during the first half of the 20th century, including during World War II and amid the occupation of China by Japanese military forces.
Cox’s visits to Spring Hill Baptist Church “lit a fire in my heart” for missions, said Windle, who herself has taken 15 missions trips to Brazil and served in missions support in many other ways.
Because of the influence the diminutive “Miss Addie” had on Windle’s life (and not just from a distance — Cox was a friend of Windle’s grandmother), Windle has written a book about the missionary’s life in “Addie Goes to China.”
Cox set out to write her book with younger readers in mind, but it ended up with more content than she originally planned (including nearly 50 photos) and she feels the book will appeal to a wider audience.
For author and former international missionary Rosalie Hall Hunt, reading “Addie Goes to China” was like “taking a walk on memory lane.”
“I knew Addie Cox when I was a little girl growing up in China and thought she was a tiny dynamo,” said Hunt. “I’m thrilled to see Addie’s story shared so that those who love missions can learn of the ministry and courage of a tiny little woman who braved the unknown for the sake of sharing the good news.”
Thrath C. Curry, a friend of Cox who helped compile stories about Cox’s life and missionary work, said Cox’s adventures in China were “so dramatic that they remind us of the Apostle Paul.” Windle “has done us a great service” by getting Cox’s story into a book, Curry said.
Windle recently lost her husband after 61 years of marriage. She remains active in missions through Pickens Baptist Association, including doing missions work at the federal prison for women in Aliceville.
Windle hopes “Addie’s memory and her devotion to Jesus will be kept alive in the generations to come” and God will use her book to call out other people to missions work.
“Addie Goes to China” is available from major online booksellers. Windle is available to speak to groups and offers signed copies of her book. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. (South Carolina Baptist Courier)
Other books on missionary work
Many more books are available detailing the stories of missionary heroes, including those by Alabama’s own Rosalie Hunt. Her books include:
- “Out of Exile: Fannie Heck & the Rest of the Story”
- “The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries”
- “Her Way: The Remarkable Story of Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend.”
She also wrote a book about the history of Woman’s Missionary Union — “We’ve A Story to Tell (125 Years of WMU) Woman’s Missionary Union.”
Other books about Christian missionaries in the United States and abroad include:
- “Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China” by Janet Benge and Geoff Benge
- “J. Hudson Taylor: The Classic Auto-biography” by J. Hudson Taylor
- “Through Gates of Splendor” by Elisabeth Elliot
- “Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon” by Ray Rhodes Jr.
- “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew
- “Complete Surrender: A Biography of Eric Liddell” by Julian Wilson
- “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom
- “A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael” by Elisabeth Elliot
- “In the Presence of My Enemies” by Gracia Burnham (TAB)
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