Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Lottie Moon Christmas Tea
On Saturday I had the privilege of being the guest speaker for the Lottie Moon Christmas Tea at Moreland First Baptist Church. We enjoyed a delicious buffet-style tea together -- which despite my pre-speech nervousness, I managed to consume with no problem! My friend Sheila, whose family I've known for years, was in charge of the tea, and I was surprised to learn her military husband made the White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Scones and an unbelievably gorgeous fondant cake with a teacup on top! (Guess who forgot to take her camera?) After the event, Shelia handed me a gift and insisted I open it right then, and it was this beautiful teacup and saucer with Psalm 27:1 on it. During my talk on "The Gift of Teatime," I had just mentioned how my favorite pieces all have roses on them, so obviously this was a real hit. I don't normally receive - or expect! - gifts on the few occasions when I do some public speaking, so I was truly delighted to receive such a thoughtful gift. Some of the ladies at the tea were Red Hatters who came all dressed up in holiday hats and finery, and they were just an incredibly warm and welcoming bunch of ladies. I truly enjoyed meeting them!
And I also enjoyed learning a bit more about Lottie Moon, whom I first got to know when I was a little girl. I grew up hearing about this devout young woman, born to privilege in Virginia in 1840, who grew up to become a missionary to the people of China. At my church and many others, funds are collected at this time of year for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, which supports international missions.
During my research for the event, I found plenty of references to Lottie Moon drinking tea, which is no surprise considering that she was ministering in China. But one of my favorite stories was of how she began making teacakes in order to befriend the children, who instead of calling her that "foreign devil" soon began referring to her as "the cookie lady." Isn't it interesting how food and a cup of tea help us build bridges across our different cultures? I haven't had time to try Lottie Moon's teacake recipe yet (she measures her ingredients in teacups!), but if you'd like to try it, it's here.