They’re everywhere, but you might have written them off as kids books. I’m talking about the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series from YWAM publishing. There are 44 books thus far. What many people find so great about these books is that they are short and very readable. The books say they are for ages 10-100! So if you’re getting back into reading (or never did much of it before), they are a great way to ease into say, the Winter Reading Challenge. They’re also good to read with your children during your reading times. You can inspire them by reading a Christian biography and spend time reading together – a win-win!
It’s so challenging to distill an entire life into a couple hundred pages, but I love the way the author creates a thematic narrative thread to present the life of a Christian hero in one cohesive story. While it might leave out details, these books are a great starting point to learning about missionaries and other Christian workers, many of whom I had never heard of.
My favorite I’ve read so far is the one about George Muller. It starts with a bang (literally), and you meet young George Muller and his money-loving ways. In fact, he’s a “with friends like him…” kind of guy who only cares about himself. So it is all the more powerful a testament to the power of the gospel when you see how God transforms him into a man who gives his life to care for orphans, solely dependent upon God to provide for every single need, and in such a radical way.
I’ve taken an extremely informal poll of some people (this is *not* the way to collect or present data!), and here are their top 10 biographies:
- George Muller
- Gladys Aylward
- Sundar Singh
- Isobel Kuhn
- Amy Carmichael
- Lottie Moon
- Adoniram Judson
- D.L. Moody
- Hudson Taylor
- Ida Scudder
We’ll be getting a whole shipment of many of the biographies, so be sure to stop by the Book Fair to pick up one or two or seven. 🙂
Which ones are your favorites?
love love love George Muller, Gladys Aylward and Amy Carmichael!
My first one was Gladys Aylward, I had expected the book to be too childish since I had read her biography “The Little Woman” and I heard this was written for teens but it was actually pretty exciting (chapters ended with cliffhangers like “And she had no idea what would happen next!”) Thanks for recommending George Muller, @virginiachae! I am on a roll now for these biographies. Have Amy Carmichael in my bag!
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They are all great reads. But my top 5 would be:
1. Gladys Aylward
2. George Mueller
3. Sundar Singh
4. Jonathan Goforth
5. CT Studd
Common Theme across all of these biographies is how they were devoted to Word & Prayer. And they all responded to God’s calling. Some of the stories are incredible and all of them are inspiring.
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Jonathan Goforth’s life really challenged me as he never gave up, but kept putting himself in situations where he had to trust God. From enduring the bullying of classmates, to enduring the persecution as a missionary in China during the Boxer Rebellion, he kept trusting in God and loving people, sharing the gospel as much as he can. One thing that struck me was his confidence in the Bible. After he became a Christian, he was mocked by non-Christian teachers and students, but instead of being shaken, he decided that what he had to do is to look for answers to their questions in the Bible. So he did, and through his studies, was able to engage in spiritual conversations with those who mocked him, and even led some of them to Christ! How amazing!
Ida Scudder’s life was pretty amazing, as she joined over half of her extended family in India, serving as a medical missionary there. Even though she desired worldly comforts in her early years, God’s word convicted her, and she devoted her life to serving the Indian women and children, establishing the first women’s medical university, and traveling to many villages to provide medical care and share the gospel.
After reading the biography on Loren Cunningham, I found that we have him to thank for being able to read these YWAM biographies, since he was the one who started YWAM! He was someone who, after receiving a vision from God to send waves of young people into the mission field, tirelessly worked to make that possible. Starting with leading youth in mission trips, he encouraged young people to go experience the mission field, and trained up many to share the gospel around the world.
Even though you put these comments in the wrong place, I shall count them as officially logged!