Faithful Heroes: Marie Monsen, a life of devotion

Marie Monsen was born in 1878 in Sandviken, Norway.

Marie Monsen

She committed as a young woman to going to China and arrived for a 30-year mission there on September 1, 1901. Her first years there are said to be disastrous. She received a concussion after falling and being unconscious shortly after her arrival, this would lead to years of debilitating headaches and trouble learning the language. She also had bouts of malaria and chronic dysentery in which the doctors gave her little chance of survival. However in time she was healed, learned the culture, and participated in “dramatic prayer and healing sessions”.

She worked exclusively with the China Mission Association from 1901 to 1932.

“Marie went from city to city in China asking a simple question: “Have you been born again?” She would ask seekers and pastors and missionaries—no one was off limits. The Spirit would work through her piercing question and melt cold hearts, revealing hidden sin and calling people to surrender everything to Jesus.”

Marie Monsen quote

She had a strong devotional life. One source said, She had an uncanny sense that the Lord was directing her, speaking clearly in words that seemed almost audible. She sensed that God intended to move powerfully in China, and she prayed fervently for 20 years until it began – a revival that is still continuing and is being called “the biggest revival in history”.

She was very inspirational in the Shantung revival of the early 1930s.

She is said to be fearless and have considerable courage. On times she even said no to prospective baptism candidates, if she felt their hearts were not where they should be.

“She was fearless, traveling hundreds of miles through bandit-infested territory to share

Marie Monsen

the gospel. Once, the ship she was on was captured by pirates. She was no respecter of persons: she would tell church leaders to their face that they were hypocrites! A present-day house church leader writes: “She didn’t speak smooth words to impress the people. Instead, she brought fire from the altar of God.” She took the emphasis off the human wisdom so prized by Chinese, and showed each person they were individually responsible before God for their own inner spiritual life. For this she was greatly loved, and church leaders saw her as ‘mother in Christ’.”

Marie Monsen

She is widely acknowledged as one of the matriarchs of the Chinese House church movement and worked with other prominent missionaries, such as Asbjorn Aavik.

She is said to have been soft spoken, but outspoken and her strong Pentecostal beliefs and leanings often resulted in much backlash and strong responses from others.

Mary Crawford, a Southern Baptist missionary serving in China during the revival, said of Marie: “Miss. M. herself is one of the quietest speakers I ever heard, but anyone with any discernment at all could see and feel that she was depending upon the promises of God in a remarkable way.”

In 1932, she returned home to care for her sick parents.

Marie Monsen

She joined the free evangelical congregation in Bergen, Norway in 1935.

She remained active in ministry until her retirement in 1962.

She wrote A Present Help and The Awakening: Revival in China.

Marie Monsen died in 1962.

A monument was completed to her in 2001. This was prepared under the direction of a Chinese Christian, Liu Zhenying {also known as Brother Yun}. She is prominent in the introduction of his life story The Heavenly Man.


Marie Monsen was described as fearless and trusting of God #faithfulheroes #heroesofthefaith Share on X

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