Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

January 13, 2022

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

January 13, 2022
The picture above should be familiar, it’s an early photo of Charlotte Diggs Moon—AKA: Lottie Moon—whose missionary labors in China have inspired The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Half of your gifts to OUR International Missions Offering go to this legendary fund.

In a recent article, Skye Jethani shares some history about Lottie that many are not familiar with:
“Lottie…was born to a wealthy Virginia family in 1840. Through a series of revival meetings, Lottie experienced a spiritual awakening as a young woman and was determined to carry the gospel overseas as a missionary. In 1873, she finally traveled to China but her calling to preach the gospel was not affirmed by the Southern Baptist mission board. In their view, an evangelist was not an appropriate vocation for a woman, and especially not an unmarried woman like Lottie. She was assigned to teach at an all-girls school instead.

Lottie Moon, who was said to be barely more than four feet tall, chaffed against the policy and refused to be silent. ‘What women want who come to China is free opportunity to do the largest possible work,’ she said. Writing to the SBC mission board, Lottie argued, ‘Simple justice demands that women should have equal rights with men in mission meetings and in the conduct of their work.’ In 1893 she wrote: ‘What women have a right to demand is perfect equality.’

After 12 years, Lottie finally escaped the classroom and ventured into Pingdu, China, as an evangelist and preached to both women and men. It took years, but she established a church there with more than a thousand converts.

Back in America, stories of her work and her advocacy for more missionaries and funding became legendary. Tragically, late in her career, China was shaken by war and famine. Lottie used her own money and food to sustain those in her community. Disgusted with the self-indulgence of American Christians, Moon called for a special time of giving the week before Christmas to help the mission in China.

Since 1888, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has raised over $1.5 billion and represents half of the SBC’s mission budget each year. Sacrificing her own health, however, had lasting effects on Lottie both physically and mentally. She had bouts of severe depression and died from malnutrition on Christmas Eve, 1912.”

I’ve known about Lottie Moon all my life. A fellow seminary student who lived across the hall from us in Louisville helped write one of her most popular biographies. But I did NOT know of the struggle this missionary legend faced as she answered God’s call to missions.

Lottie is one in a long line of women who answered God’s call--including Biblical heroes of the faith like Deborah, Aquilla, Pheobe, Junia, and Philip’s four prophesying daughters. In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he commended the “Lotties” in that church, “Because of my chains, most of the brothers AND SISTERS have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel.”

These examples remind us that as Paul puts it in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As you give to help us reach our goal of $22,500, remember ALL of us are commissioned as God’s ambassadors! All of us are His missionaries.

Keep the SON in your eyes!
Pastor Mark
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