Thea Rønning: Young Woman on a Mission
Torbjørg (Thea) Nilsdatter Rønning (1865-1898), was born on a farm outside the town of Bø in Telemark, Norway. Thea and her two brothers, Nils Nilson and Halvor Nilson, immigrated to America in the 1880s. All three distinguished themselves in God's service. Nils and Halvor were well known in their new land. But not their sister. Thea Rønning had a burning desire to minister to Chinese women whose lives by all accounts were filled with oppression and cruelty. This is a story of how she learned of the needs in China, the establishment of the mission society that sent her, and the Ladies Aids from whom she had to garner interest and support. The women in the Midwestern Norwegian-American churches supported her and the entire mission with their gatherings, their dinners, bazaars, surprise parties, and fishponds, at a time when a few nickels could make the difference between life and death in China. Their work to bring the gospel to women in China through women like Thea shows that the lady missionary's vocation was a worthy profession, one she and her other women colleagues, married and unmarried, filled with passion and unrelenting zeal to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation to the Chinese women.
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