Perhaps it is no surprise that a young missionary kid to China would grow up to surrender to God calling her and her husband to the missions field. Maybe it only made sense that Rosalie Hall Hunt would become a passionate scholar of missions pioneers like Lottie Moon, Ann Hasseltine Judson and Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend.
What astonished Hunt, however — Hunt who loves speaking, Baptist history and researching, but “certainly not” writing — was that the Lord led her to do just what she never envisioned for herself: to write the stories of these incredible women.
Hunt and her husband, Bob, served in eight countries across Asia (including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Myanmar) for 30 years.
After returning from the missions field and settling in Alabama, she served as president of the Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union, and five years as the national recording secretary for WMU.
And to date, she has authored nine books, including one detailing her experience as a missionary kid.
Other book titles include “Bless God and Take Courage: The Judson History and Legacy,” “We’ve a Story to Tell: 125 Years of WMU,” and her most recent work, “Lottie Moon and the Silent Bell.”
On how her writing journey began, Hunt shared, “Our church in Guntersville, Alabama, set up a missions fund in 1996, at the time that we retired, so that we could travel when we were invited overseas to speak or teach, and people have continued to invest in that fund for nearly 30 years. One of the first places we were asked to go was to teach for a month at a seminary in Myanmar. And I fell in love all over again with the Judsons. For a month, I got to follow the footsteps where the Judsons had lived — fascinating!
“When I came back, I told our son and daughter that I was going to call a Baptist historian and ask her to write this book on the Judsons.
“They said, ‘Mother, you write it!’ I said, ‘I talk. I don’t write.’ But I got to thinking about that.
“I got hold of a first edition of the 1829 biography of Ann Judson, and I began reading. I wanted to see where they lived, what they did, and it was fascinating. That was the beginning of six years of research. I was able to go back to Myanmar six more times because of our church and do more on-the-spot research there, too.”
Upon hearing she planned to publish her book, a couple at Hunt’s church bought 2,000 copies and inspired the idea for all the profit to go toward missions.
Since then, Hunt has written eight more books, and over $300,000 has gone toward missions. When people purchase Hunt’s books, they are giving to missions.
As for “Lottie Moon and the Silent Bell,” Hunt described how the book originated: “I started with a book that was just a collection of mission stories, like heroes from WMU and on the field, Ann and Adoniram Judson, Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon.
“But when I got to the Lottie chapter, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do two chapters.’ And then it grew to three chapters. The editor said, ‘You’re not going to want to hear this, but you need to stop all the others for right now and just write a book about Lottie,’” Hunt laughed.
Lottie’s teenage prank
“The title came from a prank Lottie pulled as a young teenager, but I’m not going to tell you what she did to the bell. You just have to read the book and see,” Hunt said with a twinkle in her eye, spoken like a true author.
For those who pick up “Lottie Moon and the Silent Bell,” who read about a journey which began with Lottie’s reluctance to missions and ended with her heart poured out for the name of Jesus to save the lost and dying Chinese, Hunt said, “I just hope they see the humanness, the courage and the faith of that little woman.
“I think the greatest sacrifice of all for her was loneliness. She was so lonely, but she became Chinese. Those were her people,” Hunt explained.
“I stop every day and think how the same source of strength that she had is the source that we have. We have the same Lord she did. We have the same calling, wherever it might be, as she did.”
If you are interested in purchasing “Lottie Moon and the Silent Bell” or other works by Rosalie Hall Hunt, her online bookstore can be accessed at Books — Rosalie Hall Hunt.