Today is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is #BalanceForBetter. The idea behind the theme is a gender-balance world is a better world.
The first person I thought of for my blog post today was Lottie Moon. She was blazing trails for gender-balance before it was cool. She wasn’t even doing it for the sake of the greater good, but rather for the calling God had placed on her life.
I began to read articles and books about Lottie Moon about a year ago. I was taking Church History and chose to research someone that I felt I probably knew all about. Boy, was I wrong!
Lottie Moon has to be one of the most recognized names in Southern Baptist churches today. Every year there is a big push to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that supports the International Mission Board.
I knew she was a missionary to China, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. So let’s play Did you know?
- Did you know that her given name was Charlotte?
- Did you know that she and I share the same birthday? It’s kismet, don’t you think?
- Did you know that her mother went against her father by becoming a Baptist?
- Did you know that Lottie Moon rebelled against Christianity in her teen years?
- Did you know she was one of the first women in the South to receive a Master’s degree?
- Did you know she taught school in Kentucky, Georgia, and Virginia?
- Did you know that she turned down a marriage proposal to become a missionary in China?
- Did you know the female missionaries in the 1800’s were not allowed to share the gospel?
- Did you know that women missionaries were only allowed to teach children?
- Did you know that when the war began to rage and all other missionaries left China, Lottie stayed?
- Did you know that she sent letters home asking for permission to share the gospel?
- Did you know that when the other missionaries left, she continued to teach the children AND run the local church they had planted?
- Did you know that she wrote letters home urging the Baptist women to get organized like the Methodist women in order to send more missionaries around the world?
- Did you know that she served for 40 years with only 2 brief furloughs?
- Did you know that she gave her rations to starving women and children during the famine causing her to waste away to a mere 50 pounds?
- Did you know they finally talked her into returning to America and she only made it to Japan before succumbing to the full body shut down from starvation on Christmas Eve at the age of 72?
- Did you know the Lottie Moon offering has been the largest source of support for IMB with over 3 billion dollars raised since 1888?
- Did you know that her letters have been published in a book titled Send the Light?
Lottie Moon had a servant’s heart, but also a touch of rebel in there. She overcame many obstacles in order to share the gospel message. Her story is one of perseverance and determination that can encourage and inspire women to pursue their calling with reckless abandon much like Lottie Moon.
She’s just one of my heroes of the faith and she is a perfect International Women’s Day icon.
Much Love peeps!
** Photo found on WMU page