Connections: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

Today I want to connect you with a person whom I have come to know largely through my wife, Jeannie’s, experience:  Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (as she liked to be called).  Lettie and her husband were pioneer missionaries in Japan and China, founders of The Oriental Missionary Society (today named One Mission Society).  They served there from 1901-1917.  When Charles’ health failed, they returned to the United States, where Lettie cared for Charles until he died in 1925.  She lived until 1960, dying on Easter Sunday at the age of 90.

In addition to the legacy of her life itself was the collection of devotional materials (her writings and those of others) which she preserved in her journals and published in a series of volumes.  The best-known is Streams in the Desert, which has sold millions of copies and ranks as major devotional classic.  It is still easily available.  But I would urge you to get her other volumes as well (probably through used-book sources):  Streams in the Desert–2, Springs in the Valley, Traveling Toward Sunrise, and Words of Comfort and Cheer.

The value of these materials lies in the richness of the writings which Mrs. Cowman preserved in her journals.  Obviously, some are dated, but when you encounter the collection as-a-whole you sense the “timeless” quality of them.  You will be blessed if you connect with these treasures from Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Connections: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

  1. Leslie Foos says:

    Thanks, Steve for posting this. When I read Jeannie’s post, I was interested in the person who wrote the quote & was very impressed with what I found. I am going to check out her books…the “Streams in the Desert” series–as you suggested. Thanks again!

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