Often we believe the lie that what we do doesn’t really make a difference. We would venture to say that the women’s lives we will examine this week didn’t feel they would make a difference in society. Their lives may have seemed mundane, but we all can name a woman who has made a real impact on us. It is easy to assume that living a meaningful and impactful life is for everyone else. It is time for each of us to figure out the things only we can do to be a legacy-leaving, intentional influencer with people whom God places in our path.
Legacy of Courage
Charlotte “Lottie” Moon was living a comfortable life running a school for girls when suddenly she heard God’s clear call to serve in China. So in 1873, Lottie, thirty-three years of age and single, stepped alone onto a steamship bound for China.
She had a simple strategy. She planned to leverage her experience in running schools into a strategy for evangelizing and educating women and girls. She knew that winning women was the key to reaching the children and thereby the next generation of Chinese.
Initially, the locals viewed her work with a mix of suspicion and open hostility. Eventually, however, her genuine love for the people and her servant’s heart won them over.
In the years that followed, Lottie traveled more than ten thousand square miles of inland China sharing the gospel. Where did she find the courage for this kind of life? In a letter to the mission board back home, she wrote, “As you wend your way from village to village, you feel it is no idle fancy that the Master walks beside you and you hear his voice saying gently, ‘Lo, I am with you always even unto the end.’”
Across nearly forty years of extraordinary ministry in China, Lottie Moon impacted countless people and changed innumerable eternal destinies. Yet the most significant and enduring part of her legacy began with a single letter, published in the Foreign Mission Journal, that challenged other women to rise to a greater level of energy and involvement in funding missionary work. She suggested an annual Christmas season of prayer and offerings for missions. The letter succeeded beyond her wildest hopes. Congregations all over the country took up Lotties’ challenge, giving birth to what became the yearly Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Today the fund that carries her name raises roughly $150 million each year for missionary activity around the world. To date, Lottie’s little letter of challenge has resulted in more than $1 billion in offerings in support of global evangelism.
Lottie Moon stood just barely above four feet tall, but this tiny woman made a gigantic impact in her generation, an impact that is still expanding today. She was a woman of legacy who conquered her sense of being alone by leaning on a God who says, “I am with you always.”