On Christmas Eve, 1912, Lottie Moon passed from this world into her heavenly reward. As a missionary to China, she relentlessly and selflessly gave herself to God’s call on her life. Indeed, she died in part because she gave her rations to the starving children she felt so indebted to reach. Decades of loving the Chinese, teaching the gospel, and giving of herself for the people she loved culminated in the ultimate expression of sacrifice.
More than a century later, her life and influence still echo in the hearts of men and women responding to God’s call to overseas missions. Each Christmas, Southern Baptists turn their attention to her story for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. And while many Southern Baptists know of Lottie Moon, few may know the names of Martha Crawford, Edmonia Moon, and R.B. Headden. Yet, God used each one to help sound the call to China for Lottie.
- Martha Crawford had been working in China with a school that Lottie began to financially support shortly after she became a Christian.
- Lottie’s younger sister, Edmonia, had already gone to China as a missionary and corresponded with her pleadingly to come to China with her.
- Her pastor R.B. Headden preached a sermon one Sunday from John 4:35 on the fields ready to harvest. She would commit to go to China shortly afterward attributing this sermon as instrumental in God’s call upon her.
I’m grateful that the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering gives churches all across the Southern Baptist Convention the opportunity to again turn our gaze to missionary heroes like her and to give generously to support International Mission Board work all over the world. But it’s not just Lottie that we should reflect upon this time of year. We should also consider the important influence that R.B. Headden, Edmonia Moon, and Martha Crawford had upon her as well. Each one, in their unique way, has an eternal investment in the lingering influence of Lottie Moon more than 100 years later. They beckon us to see that it’s not only the missionaries who are important to God’s kingdom work, but the supporters and senders. They remind me that all can pray, most can give, and some can go.
For my church family at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, we will receive our Lottie Moon Christmas offering on Sunday, December 9. I’m praying for a generous offering that Sunday. But I’m also praying that God would raise up another generation of senders, supporters, and goers. The kingdom work beckons, “Pray! Give! Go!” Will you?
*If you or your church would like to give directly to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, you may do so here.