Tuesday, December 9, 2014

who is Lottie Moon?

(this isn’t an official post from the IMB – just my research and thoughts)

Charlotte Digges ‘Lottie’ Moon (December 12, 1840 – December 24, 1912) was a missionary to China thru the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (later named the International Mission Board).
She is the namesake of the Southern Baptist international missions offering – the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’. 

Lottie was born in Virginia and raised by parents who were staunch Baptists.  Her road to becoming a missionary included a higher education with Master degrees.  She spoke numerous languages including Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, and was fluent in reading Hebrew.  She later became quite fluent in Chinese. 

By 1872, the Southern Baptist Convention had relaxed its policy against sending single women into the mission field.  Lottie, who was called to become a missionary, was officially appointed to China at the age of 33.  Like today’s missionaries, she was a hard-working Southern Baptist, follower of Jesus Christ, who worked tirelessly so her people group could come to know the Lord.  She spent nearly forty years (1873–1912) living and working in China.

Throughout her career, she wrote many letters urging Southern Baptists to become more involved and to support missions.  In 1888, one of her letters led to the first Christmas offering for international missions, enough to send thee additional missionaries to China.

That led to the annual ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’.  As of 2013, the offering celebrated its 125th year, and at that time, over 3.5 billion had been given.  The current approximate numbers are: 46,000 Southern Baptist churches, 4,800 international missionaries, in 130 foreign countries. 

Every cent of the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ supports overseas missionaries.  It’s important to understand that the number of foreign missionaries is dependant on the amount of this offering.  There have been missionaries called to serve God overseas that have had to wait until funds were available to send and support them.  That’s just how important the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ is.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

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