Monday, December 18, 2006

Mission Mondays

Lottie Moon
1840- 1912
Baptist missionary to China

"We westerners can make things but we cannot make God. God is the creator, and believing him means having him in your heart."
This is the main teaching that stuck in the minds of many Chinese, when Lottie dedicated her life to serving Christ in China. Lottie was born on December 14, 1840, in a small town in Virginia. Her family was very wealthy, and her mom was a dedicated Christian, but Lottie did not show any interest in the things of God. After her father died, Lottie decided to go to Hollins College, where she was an excellent student. One night, some of her friends invited her to a mission conference at their church. Lottie was quite reluctant to go, but decided to for her friends' sake. That night, Lottie met God, and asked him into her heart.

Lottie had become very interested in missions, and decided that she wanted to devote herself as a fulltime missionary to China. Two years, on September 1, 1873, after she graduated from college, Lottie left for China. She started her work in the city in Ton chow, which is in Northern China. It was very hard to get acquainted with the people, because of the language and culture differences, she even started baking cookies for the kids, but the kids were told that the cookies had some kind of disease. Finally, they started eating them and Lottie became known as the "cookie lady". Lottie would write almost everyday to the United States telling them about the many adventures in her life then, and asking them for help and prayers. Her letters were published in the mission's papers, and many ladies became interested in foreign missions through that.

Lottie decided she would rather work in a rural area because the people in those areas were much more friendlier than the people in the cities. She visited little villages around Ton chow. The Baptist Mission back in the United States decided to send a couple ladies to help Lottie, which was good news, because it meant that Lottie could go on furlough. When everything was ready to her to go on furlough, two men walked up to her and told her about their town, Pintow, and urged her to go and teach heir people about eternal life. Lottie immediately gave up her furlough and went to Pintow. She worked very hard traveling from village to village, telling people about Christ, and Christianity spreading rapidly throughout those areas praised her efforts. She did continue to write the Baptist Mission, but in that time there were many crises and China was under famine and epidemics. At that same time, the mission was under a financial crisis and there was no money to help Lottie. Lottie decided to stop eating because she felt there was not enough food to go around. She soon became ill, and was sent back to the United States, but the boat stopped Kobe harbor in Japan, where she died on December 24, 1912.

Lottie was honored by many missions all around the United States, and the Southern Baptist have an offering called the "Lottie Moon Christmas Offering", which is an offering used solely for foreign missions.

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