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Thea Rønning

Young Woman on a Mission

Gracia Grindal

Torbjørg (Thea) Nilsdatter Rønning (1865-1898), was born on a farm to parents who owned their farm, just outside the town of Bø in Telemark, Norway. To understand what she and her brothers did to further the gospel in America and then China, is to marvel at how God fulfills his purposes with the simplest of means and people. Torbjørg (Thea) Nilsdatter Rønning 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 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. Their work is still bearing fruit today as millions of Chinese people they had come to care so deeply for are still becoming Christians.

Gracia Grindal joined the Luther Seminary faculty as associate professor of pastoral theology and ministry, communications in 1984. She was named professor of rhetoric in 1992. She came to the seminary from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where she was a member of the English department faculty from 1968 to 1984.

Grindal earned an undergraduate degree from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from the University of Arkansas in 1969. In 1983 she earned a master's degree from Luther Seminary.

Thea RønningThea Rønning

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ISBN: 978-1-932688-79-5
230 Pages
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfectbound
Publisher: Lutheran University Press
Quantity in Basket: None

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