Thursday, August 9, 2007

Charlotte Moon

Why we honor the name of Charlotte Moon

Charlotte “Lottie” Moon was born in 1840 to a wealthy Virginia family. Her mother encouraged her education and although it was unusual for a woman of her time, Lottie learned eight languages and earned a Master of Arts. Lottie’s intelligence and sense of humor attracted the attention of a Harvard professor who asked her to marry him. But Lottie turned down marriage and spent her life as a missionary to the Chinese people.

Single women were not usually sent as missionaries, but Lottie believed there was no barrier too great for God. She found financial support from Baptist women in Virginia and she moved to China. She served through three wars. During the Boxer Rebellion, she disguised herself as a Chinese man and snuck behind enemy lines so she could minister to suffering people. Later, during the Chinese Revolution, she took on duties as a hospital administrator when she found a local hospital had been abandoned by fleeing doctors.

Lottie spent her life trying to make the glory of God known. She worked tirelessly, and she wrote letters home encouraging more Christians to take seriously the call of Jesus to demonstrate God’s love throughout the world.

After the Chinese Revolution, a famine struck China. Lottie continued to put the needs of others above her own. As she saw people starving, she gave away all she had to save them. She spent the last of her own money buying food for others; she gave until she had nothing left to give. As she slowly starved, her Christian friends grew worried about her deteriorating health. They tried to send her back to America to recover, but it was too late. On Christmas Eve of 1912, Charlotte Moon died; she weighed less than 60 pounds.

But, that ending is not sad or tragic because Lottie did not really lose anything. She lived looking toward eternity, and now she lives forever. She lived and died believing the words of her Savior who promised that God sees our actions, knows our hearts and rewards those who love him. Lottie lived the command of Jesus: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life” (John 6:27).

We chose the name of Charlotte Moon for our daughter because we pray our Charlotte will have the same wisdom, strength, determination and faith as her namesake. We pray her name will be her constant reminder of the singular focus that should drive the Christian life. And we pray her name will also serve us as a constant reminder of our role as her parents—to teach her to love God with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind and all her strength, and to love her neighbor as herself. Whether God calls her to live that love in a far-off land is his choice.

Bruce & Jennifer Sabin