A look at who Lottie Moon was
Lottie Moon, the namesake of Southern Baptists’ international missions offering, has become a legend. But in her time, Moon was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today’s missionaries, laboring tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus.
Born Charlotte Digges Moon on Dec. 12, 1840, in Albemarle County, Virginia, Moon rebelled against Christianity until she was in college. In 1858, she dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Church Charlottesville, Virginia.
Moon 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.
Edmonia Moon, Lottie’s sister, was appointed as a missionary to Tengchow, China, in 1872. The following year, Lottie was appointed and joined Edmonia there. She served 39 years as a missionary, mostly in China’s Shantung province. She taught in a girls’ school and often made trips into China’s interior to share the good news with women and girls.
Moon was passionate about people knowing Christ, and she didn’t hesitate to speak her mind.
She set sail for China at 32 years old, having 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.
For 39 years Moon labored, chiefly in Tengchow and P’ingtu. People feared and rejected her, but she refused to leave. She adopted traditional Chinese dress, and she learned China’s language and customs. She didn’t just serve the people of China; she identified with them. Many eventually accepted her. And some accepted her Savior.
Moon wrote letters home detailing China’s hunger for truth and the struggle of so few missionaries taking the gospel to the 472 million Chinese people in her day. She shared the urgent need for more workers and for Southern Baptists to support them through prayer and giving.
Laying the foundation
She once wrote home to the Foreign Mission Board, “Please say to the [new] missionaries they are coming to a life of hardship, responsibility and constant self-denial.”
Disease, turmoil and lack of co-workers threatened to undo Moon’s work. But she gave herself completely to God, helping lay the foundation of what would become the modern Chinese church, one of the fastest-growing Christian movements in the world.
Moon died at 72 — ill and in declining health after decades ministering to her beloved Chinese people. But her legacy lives on. Today, when gifts aren’t growing as quickly as the number of workers God is calling to the field, her call for sacrificial giving rings with more urgency than ever.
In 1918, Woman’s Missionary Union named the annual Christmas offering for international missions after the woman who had urged them to start it. Today, 100% of all gifts given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering go directly to international missionaries.
Learn more about the 2022 Week of Prayer for International Missions on page 14, and visit lottiemoon.org for more information. Find Lottie Moon models, books, coin banks and other resources at wmustore.com/lottiemoon. (Adapted from imb.org/about/lottie-moon)
Letters to the Editor
Thank you for the article by Michael Foust in the Oct. 27 issue of The Alabama Baptist that suggests an alternate option to the Hallmark Channel, which is no longer family (or Christian) friendly. Sadly, it is almost impossible to find Christian family-themed entertainment on television.
Thank you again for making this information available to your readers.
Dorothy L. Lusk
Stranded car leads to salvation
My car broke down on the way home [on Oct. 12] coming from burying my Dad. (A starter problem left us stranded.)
We had to have it towed on my birthday of all days.
Little did I know what a gift God was giving me in this situation.
The driver loaded the car, and I rode in the tow truck. But there was more than a vehicle being towed. Along the way, I got to be a part of watching God tow a man’s life right into His offer of receiving Him as his Lord and Savior.
Yes, after talking with the driver and sharing how not only do our vehicles sometimes break down, but we can break down on life’s journey and need help as well, he gave his life to Christ.
What a story he had. What a story he has now. What a story God has for all of us.
Having my car towed on my birthday was not a present I wanted, but to know my physical birthday is now his spiritual birthday is one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive. Wow!
Whatever the cost of my car repair will be, it will be nothing compared to the price Jesus paid to save our soul — His blood, His Life.
My dad’s physical life just ended, but this man’s life just began. Thanks to my sweet wife, Tina, who waited patiently and supportively while God was birthing this man into the family that lasts forever.
Pastor Vince Lee
Vertical Point Church
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
–1 Peter 1:3
“I often ask the server before a restaurant meal how I can pray for them when we have a blessing,” said Jay Gordon, adult and small groups minister at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham. “And I often ask people, ‘What’s your spiritual background?’ This question is nonthreatening and has opened doors for me.”
“One of our goals is to get involved with the local people and share our faith in their daily lives,” said Sarah, an IMB missionary in Northern Africa, who reaches out to locals through goat farming.
“It felt good because when I think of all the Lord has done for me, (most) importantly dying for me, I have to live for Him,” said Wilbert Terry, a 99-year-old World War II veteran, who was recently baptized at Northshore Church in Slidell, Louisiana. “To God be the glory. I’d love to see everyone come to Christ.”
“We want to smell like God — to be the aroma of Christ to everyone,” said Josh Oakes, IMB missionary in Central Asia.
“We’re Christians, and we try to equip people to live a Christian life so people will notice. A big thing of ours is 1 Peter 3:15 — to be ready to give an answer for the hope inside you when someone asks,” said Steve Chambers, church planter at Calvary Baptist Church in Dothan.
“If you will open your heart and open your doors, you’re going to be a part of reaching the nations, and that’s what the Scripture is all about.” said Michael Barrett, associational mission strategist for Piedmont Baptist Association in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I will share the gospel with anyone,” said Wilton Quattlebaum, associate pastor for Hillcrest Baptist Church in Altha, Florida, who reaches out to hikers along the Florida National Scenic Trail. “I don’t mind sitting down with someone who’s a secular humanist or agnostic or atheist. When they realize you care, you can have respectful discourse with them, and they will open up about what they believe and why.”
“I’m finding churches in every context that God is able to grow.” Jeff Farmer, associate director of the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Seminary
From the Twitterverse
Soldier. Athlete. Farmer. The Christian life is one of focus, discipline, determination and stamina. It’s also one of affection since what we love drives what we do. Ask the Spirit to grant otherworldly affection for Christ that drives you to missional focus and fruitfulness!
Been a tough season. Need these words.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow/ Because He lives, all fear is gone;/ Because I know He holds the future,/ And life is worth the living,/ Just because He lives!
There’s a danger in ministry of one day realizing that you were overwhelmingly busy but have not grown deeper in the things of God.
Jesus didn’t spend time and eat with sinners because He wanted to appear tolerant, affirming and inclusive. He spent time with them to show them a different way of living.
The work of Jesus is not about affirmation but transformation!
The gospel will advance through our preaching and teaching. Christ will be exalted through our worship. Lives will be impacted through our children’s and student ministries. Praise the Lord! May some be saved today!
For those of you who are Christians and who feel disappointed or despairing of the election results, it is a blessing to be reminded that our security does not rest in men or governments, which are finite and will eventually crumble, but in God alone who is ever sustaining.
The work we do for Christ will never be enough for us, only Christ will ever be enough for us.
I always have two great supporters I could not do without. One (God) who is not seen, and the other (wife) is always holding onto me.