The faith commitments of three young women born between 1840 and 1867, each in December, eventually led to the transformation of thousands of lives in China, Africa, and India.
Lottie Moon (Born DECEMBER 12, 1840)
Lottie’s name became synonymous with foreign missions for an entire denomination.
The Southern belle, born on a Virginia plantation, gave up plenty to serve God. She didn’t submit her life to God until in college. Afterwards she served as a school teacher in Kentucky and Georgia. Hearing a sermon from John 4:35 about the fields being “white already to harvest” persuaded Lottie that God had called her to the mission field.
Lottie arrived in China in 1873. It was a far cry from the comforts of home. She befriended those around her by wearing Chinese clothing and baking cookies for all who visited her. She won converts. A few. Then many.
She suggested to the home missions board that an annual Christmastime offering be received for missionaries. They liked and implemented her idea. Her death in 1912 brought an end to almost 40 years of faithful service in China. Seven years later, the Southern Baptist Church renamed their special, missionary offering the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
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Mary Slessor (Born DECEMBER 2, 1848)
A famous missionary inspired Mary to go places other missionaries were reluctant to venture.
Mary began her life in Scotland. When she was a teenager, a statement missionary David Livingston made before he died caught her attention: “Carry out the work I have begun.” She applied for missionary service, prepared, and was sent to Nigeria.
She’d spent half-days working at a local mill since age 11. That helped prepare her for rigorous missionary service. Early on, Mary contracted malaria, which she survived. Mary was a fighter. She bravely traveled, against advice, to locations where human sacrifices and cannibalism were practiced. Mary went on to raise the social and spiritual level of dignity among the Nigerians she reached.
God granted Mary favor with both the Nigerians and he British Government, who were often at odds. Those she ministered to titled her “white ma.” Her homeland appointed her to be a magistrate. Like David Livingston, Mary left words of her own that challenge us, including, “I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward.”
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Amy Carmichael (Born DECEMBER 16, 1867)
An entire generation became indebted to Amy’s efforts to rescue their bodies and souls.
Amy first shared her faith among factory workers in Ireland. She held Bible studies for the female workers known as “shawlies.” It was so successful, a building had be built to accommodate them.
She arrived in India in 1895. Members of India’s lowest caste became Amy’s first converts. From 1901 on, she rescued girls from lives of temple prostitution. That number eventually surpassed 1,000 young individuals.
Amy’s prolific writing led to the publication of 40 books. Her accounts of the mission field, often taken from her journal, didn’t sugar-coat the work. Along with miraculous victories, Amy painted the harsh realities of daily missionary service. Her frankness opened the eyes of many who were too often spared the details.
Her death in 1951 marked the conclusion of 56 years of making a difference in India.
Click here for more details of Amy’s life.