I wrote this brief explanation for our church as to why Lottie Moon is important to international missions. I share it here for your encouragement.
As I said, yesterday, this week I will be sending out an email each day to focus our attention on international missions. I plan to share more during the Welcome & Announcements this Sunday. We will be taking up a special offering on Sunday to go directly to support international missions. It is named after an astounding woman, Lottie Moon. If you’d like to find out more about this initiative, you can click here.
The primary reason the Southern Baptist Convention began was to pool resources of churches together in order to send out missionaries. Sure, there are many other integrated reasons for why these particular churches at this particular time and in this particular region banded together. In divining all the motives, the beauty of what was created can be lost. The sheer fact that brothers and sisters joined together to financially support the work of brothers and sisters who felt called to lay down their lives overseas in an effort to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is a fact to celebrate. In a culture where competition and division has defined so many churches, we would do well to imitate the love and devotion and work that has defined our denomination.
It is a shame that so many accoutrements have been appended to what it means to be a Baptist. One of the primary and beautiful truths is that we are about declaring the saving work of Jesus everywhere.
Each year we are reminded of this call for all of us to hold the rope for those that go. We provide support to those who forsake family and comforts and lay down their lives—some quite literally—for the sake of our King.
Charlotte Diggs “Lottie” Moon was born in a very respectable family in December 1840. In the midst of the Civil War, Lottie’s heart was stirred by a sermon that pleaded with the hearers: “Lift up your eyes and look upon the fields, for they are white already unto harvest.” Her response: “I have long known God wanted me in China. I am now ready to go.”
She laid down her creaturely comforts, she boarded a ship and headed to live and die in China. Her motivating force was love. She write,
This love is what compelled Lottie to not only go to the Pingtu people, but to verily become one of them. A severe famine struck the Pingtu so that 500 of the Pingtu Christians were on the verge of starvation, thousands more consigned to death without ever hearing the name of Jesus. And so Lottie emptied her account in hopes that her fish and loaf would be sufficient to stave the hunger. But the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) was in serious debt and could not help Lottie financially. So she too starved with the ones she loved as she shared with any that had need of food. And on Christmas Eve of 1912, she withered away from starvation and sickness.
This is why we take up a special offering. As a family of churches, we have committed to reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus. Money is merely an expression of a commitment. It’s the physical representation of where our hearts truly are.
Here’s an inspiring video about a Small Church with Big Dreams.
Our heart’s desire as Redeemer is to go where Christ is not named. As we continue to grow and explore such opportunities, we pray we will be able to go to unreached people. May we take heart in the life and death and love and hope that was Lottie Moon’s. May God use our church to send and support many men and women to lay down their lives for the sake of Christ.