Who was Lottie Moon?
Lottie Moon - the namesake of the international missions offering - has become something of a legend to us. But in her time Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today's missionaries. She was a hard-working, deep-loving Southern Baptist who labored tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus.
Why was the "Lottie Moon Christmas Offering" named for this early China missionary? Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptists' first Christmas offering for international missions - enough to send three new missionaries to China.
Lottie 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. Lottie frequently wrote letters to the United States, detailing Chinese culture, missionary life and the great physical and spiritual needs of the Chinese people. Additionally, she challenged Southern Baptists to go to China or give so that others could go. By 1888, Southern Baptist women had organized and helped collect $3,315 to send workers needed in China. Lottie died aboard a ship in the Japanese harbor of Köbe on Dec. 24, 1912. She was 72 years old.
In 1918, Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) named the annual Christmas offering for international missions after the woman who had urged them to start it. Dec. 24, 2012, will mark 100 years since the death of Lottie Moon. The final day of Week of Prayer (Dec. 2-9) is dedicated to Lottie Moon, a portrait of obedience who influenced thousands to follow her, going just as boldly, obediently and sacrificially.
For several years now, my wife and I have set aside a percentage every month that we give to this missions offering. Will you pray and ask the Lord how much He would lead you to give to this offering so that His Name might be known amongst the nations? Like Lottie Moon, we cannot be silent.