5 Missionary Stories to Kindle Your Heart for the World

To help with a bit of a “maternity leave” here on the blog, my dear friend Jordan is back with another great post! You probably will recognize her from her posts like A Peek Inside My Diaper Bag or Once A Month Meal Planning. It’s fun to have Jordan back on the blog today – this time, sharing about some touching missionary stories that will kindle your heart for the world.

** I’m including affiliate links in this post, mostly so that you can easily find these inspiring stories on Amazon! **

5 Missionary Stories to Kindle Your Heart for the World

Now that the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing, I start to crave a good book to cozy up with, and I know I’m not alone! Lately, I’ve been into reading missionary biographies. These books inspire me to marvel at what God has done and kindle my heart for the world. I’ve learned about different cultures and have been challenged to reach out to those around me. I hope one of these books moves you in the same way they have moved me!

1 // George Müller: Delighted in God (Roger Steer)

My husband was assigned this biography for a seminary class, and it was so good that we ended up just reading it out loud to each other on long car drives. This is the incredible story of the man who reformed the British orphan care system, completely dependent on God in prayer. You’ll be amazed at the unconventional ways God provided for George and what came to be the thousands of children in his care (one personal favorite included a convenient case of insomnia overtaking the town baker). Convicting. Heart-warming. All the best things rolled into one.

2 // God Spoke Tibetan (Allan Maberly)

This little book was included in my brother’s high school homeschooling curriculum, and I was curious enough to pick it up when I visited their home last fall. I devoured it! It tells the story of how the Bible was pain-stakingly translated into the complicated Tibetan language in what must have been the most difficult possible time to be translating in the region. This book helped me to see what a precious thing it is to have the Bible translated into your heart language. 

3 // Through Gates of Splendor (Elisabeth Elliot)

Ah, “the classic.” I love the story of how God moved even in tragedy through the Elliots, Saints, McCullys, Flemings, and Youderians to save one of the most murderous tribes in South America. This is definitely a book you both laugh and cry through, and Elisabeth and the other women are worthy role models for all of us. I think if I could compel you all to buy just one of these books, this would be the one I would choose. In case I wasn’t clear earlier: have a box of tissues ready.

4 // Too Small to Ignore (Wess Stafford)

Written by the President Emeritus of Compassion International, this book relates the story of Wes’s growing up years in Western Africa and how he came to have a heart to reach and care for children around the world. If you sponsor children through Compassion, or are considering it, you’ll want to read his book for sure. And if you aren’t considering sponsoring children… get ready to. 😉

5 // Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma (John Piper)

This title has a particular, though funny, spot in my heart. See, when my now-husband and I started making googly eyes at each other, he asked our little Bible study group if anyone was interested in reading these missionary biographies with him. I was working almost full time and in full time school when he asked this, and yet, because I wanted something to talk with him about, I said that I would! So, I would finish my heavy course load’s worth of assignments late at night, and then crack open one of these biographies. This is one of several short (very short) missionary biographies available through Desiring God. The neat thing is that they can all be downloaded for free at desiringgod.org (I like free, don’t you?).

Honorable Mention (Children’s Book): Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle (Shelia Miller)

I discovered this gem when my box of preschool homeschooling supplies arrived in the mail. This wonderful short story tells about God’s power in answering prayer in His time, in His way, for His purposes. At the end of the first section, you’ll never see what’s coming! This is a perfect story to read out loud with any child who is beginning to be able to sit through longer stories, but it is enjoyable all the way up through adulthood. The same publisher offers several children’s titles I haven’t read (yet!), which I’m sure are wonderful: The Gods Must Be Angry, New Toes for Tia, and Stories from Africa.