On this day in 1873, the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention appoints Lottie Moon as a missionary to China.

As a popular, rich southern Belle, Lottie (her full name was Charlotte Diggs) enjoyed life.  She always had a large group of friends ready to have a party or go for a stroll on the town.  To her, life was about having fun and one day, living in the nicest home money could buy.  The Bible?  That was just a book of fairy tales.  The churches were filled with cranky old men who fought all the time.  So Lottie ignored the Bible truths she had heard as a young girl and followed the gilded path of the world.

On her 18th birthday, Lottie joined a group of her friends as they attended a special service at the local Baptist church.  In her mind, this night would provide a fun time to hang out with friends and maybe even a laugh or two at the sermon.  But God had other plans.  That night, as she tried to sleep, new emotions began to pull on the strings of her heart: fear and doubt.  What if the preacher was right?  What is she was lost without Christ?  What if this life she was living was empty?  Lottie wasn’t able to sleep at all the night and, the next morning, she went to the prayer breakfast and asked the women there how to be saved.  That day, the rebellious prankster became a child of God.  A friend of Lottie’s said: “She had always wielded an influence because of her intellectual power. Now her great talent was directed into another channel. She immediately took a stand as a Christian.”  Soon, she became a spiritual leader on the college and students and professors alike were coming to her seeking spiritual advice.  The first step had been taken in forming one of God’s mighty missionary heroes.

Lottie’s father was a man before his time and, before his death, had set aside a large sum of money for his daughters to be educated.  He dreamed big for his daughters and they didn’t let him down.  His oldest went on to become one of the first female doctors in the South.  But his youngest daughter, Eddie, shocked the family when, at the age of 21, announced that she had applied to go to China as a missionary, and had been accepted.  Once on the field, Eddie began to send glowing reports to her sister about the wonderful work being done.  Lottie’s heart began to yearn to join her sister.  But she felt so unqualified.  But one Sunday, while listening to a sermon on missions, Lottie’s heart was stirred.  She wrote, “Our Lord does not call on women to preach, or to pray in public, but no less does He say to them than to men, ‘Go, work in my vineyard.”  Immediately, she applied to the Foreign Mission Board and they gladly accepted her.

Lottie would go on to be one of the most influential missionaries of the Southern Baptist convention.  Her influence over other young women helped her to live out the dream of thousands rising up and taking the gospel to China. “I would I had a thousand lives that I might give them to … China!”



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