rebelling against low expectations

Who are your favorite missionaries, and why?


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    • Hey Trent, I posted that question…
      Sorry, I should have clarified. It can be any missionary. I have a passion for missions and I wanted to see what missionaries people look up too and why? What makes them a good missionary?
      Sorry about that…

  • Katie Davis is my favorite missionary of all time. Mainly because I can relate to her and her calling (I’m feeling called to Uganda, too!), but also because she has such a heart for the people and her God. She saw what God was calling her to do and said “Yes Lord, send me!!!” I really look up to and admire her. Check out her book Kisses From Katie! Its amazing.
    Great question, @priscillabower:disqus

  • I don’t have a singe favorite missionary, but my favorite group of missionaries is the people who go to the often overlooked country of the United States of America. In our increasingly unchristian society there are astounding numbers of people who have no idea of the gospel or have a distorted view of it. A big thank-you for missionaries to America!

  • Adoniram and Ann Judson. They were willing to give up absolutely EVERYTHING for Christ. Adoniram met Ann not long after he felt God’s call on his life to go to Burma as a missionary. In those days, going that far away to be a missionary often meant you would never come back. Also, the political situation in Burma (now Myanmar) was not conducive to foreigners. So when Adoniram proposed to Ann, he honestly told her and she still said yes. On the voyage to Burma they lost their first child. Ann and other children would die in Burma. Adoniram was imprisoned in the feared “Death Prison” and had it not been for Ann’s quick thinking his translation work would have been lost. Adoniram ended up having poor health for the rest of his life as a result of that imprisonment, but because of his work the Burmese have the Bible in their own language. I could probably think of other great missionaries but this is the one that comes to mind first. 🙂

  • I’d probably have to say Corrie Ten Boom and her sister are my favorites. Even though they weren’t sent by their church or some kind of organization to work, they were sent by God directly to go and shine in the concentration camp. Even after Corrie’s sister died, God gave Corrie the strength to keep on going, to keep on talking about Jesus. Even after she was freed she kept on following Jesus and created a rehabilitation ministry for concentration camp survivors and traveled all over the world, sharing her story. The Ten Boom sisters show me that no matter what you’re going through in life, God will always be there.

    “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
    “This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
    ~Corrie Ten Boom

    • Yes, I read Corrie Ten Boom’s book and it was compelling. They were very brave in the camp. And a fun fact: my old Sunday school teacher actually met her before she died.

      • I once met a lady named Diet Eman who was a friend of Corrie ten Boom and actually worked with her. Have you heard of her? This lady is like 90 years old. She just happened to end up in the bookstore where my mom works, just looking around with a friend. And somehow we ended up finding out who she was!

  • A.W.Milne – “A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved good-bye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home. A. W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing full well that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life, because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty-five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone:
    When he came there was no light. When he left there was no darkness. ” (excerpt from All In by Mark Batterson)

  • Brother Andrew is really cool. I read his book and he smuggled Bible behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. He didn’t even really grow up a Christian, but God used him in a big way.

  • My favorite is definitely Bruce Olson. He was a 19-year old kid who felt drawn by God to go to a murderous tribe Indians of South America. None of the mission boards would accept him, so he dropped out of college and bought a one-way ticket to Venezuela with only a few dollars, no missionary assistance, or Spanish-speaking skills. Bruce’s first encounter with the Motilone wasn’t what he
    had expected. After getting shot in the leg with an arrow and threatened to be executed by the chief, he was taken prisoner in the Motilone camp. Bruce got his nickname “Bruchko” from the tribe since the Motilone couldn’t pronounce his name. After nearly dying multiple time, he befriended them, learned their language, and taught them about Jesus. About 70% of the once-violent tribe are now Christians. Bruce wrote a book called “Bruchko” if you want to read more of his amazing story.

    • I loved Bruchko! Twas’ a fantastic book. Glad I am not the only one who has read it. I also like Peace Child (don’t remember the authors name). 😉

      • Bruchko’s awesome! My dad started to read Peace Child to us, and then we got to some violent scene and my mom decided it probably wasn’t a good book for the whole family. I guess I’ll have to read it on my own now! Have you read God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew? That’s another good one.

        • Peace Child does have some pretty violent and gruesome parts in it. It is definitely not a book for all ages, but if you think you can handle it than I would highly recommend it. I have read God’s Smuggler! It is another one of my favorites. 🙂

          • Yeah, I’m sure it’s an awesome story! God’s Smuggler is great. Right after I finished that book for the first time, I was ready to buy a plane ticket to some far away country myself! 😛

  • Has anyone here read Through Gates of Splendor? I don’t have time to get into much detail, but, basically, in Ecuador in 1956, five young men gave their lives in an attempt to reach the natives there with the Gospel. Although they didn’t live to see it, the work they began resulted in the salvation of many of those people. It’s a truly powerful, moving, and inspiring story, and I highly recommend reading the book if you get the chance.

    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
    -Jim Elliot

  • Dean Kershner. Probably unknown to all of you, but yet a modern-day missionary. He works with Gospelink (, and comes to speak at our church sometimes. In fact, a team from our church just came back from a mission trip that he led in Malawi. Anyway, I really admire and respect him.

    • Very interesting…Dean Kershner was at my church once too! I’ve only met him once, but he seems like a really neat guy who is passionate about missions.

  • David Livingstone- not only was he a missionary, he was also an explorer. He was sent by the British government to find the source of the Nile River. Although he didn’t find it, he discovered Victoria Falls in 1857. He was found dead while in a kneeling position praying. While his body was buried at Westminster Abbey in England, the natives buried his heart in Africa, because of his love for the people living there.
    Amy Carmichael- when she was a little girl, she prayed that God would give her blue eyes because she didn’t like them brown. She later grew up and became a missionary to India. She had to wear a disguise so she could minister, and her brown eyes made it more convincing. She cared for hundreds of girls and boys over the course of her lifetime.

    • Did you know how David Livingstone died? Every evening he would kneel to pray and as he got sicker and sicker he kept it up even though it was difficult for him. Then one day one of the people travelling with him came into his tent/room and they found him still there on his knees. He died in prayer. (after that they took his heart and buried it under a boabab tree and smuggled his body to Zanzibar so that he could be sent home to his family. It was a huge risk because if they’d been caught they would have been killed for witchcraft but that’s how much they loved him.) Just an interesting bit of info for you 🙂

      • I didn’t know that. I just knew he died in prayer and the people buried his heart but sent his body back to England. I did a paper on Victoria Falls and its discoverer, and I still didn’t know that!

        • If you ever get the chance, visit the Livingstone memorial centre just outside of Glasgow. It’s well wroth the trip 🙂

          • Is that in England? If it is, I regret to inform you that I live in the United States. I love museums!

          • It’s in Scotland. I know most you guys are in the states but if you’re ever over it’s well worth visiting Glasgow for Livingstone and Dundee if you are interested in Mary Slessor (there’s some big anniversary coming up about her I think).

  • One of my favorite missionaries is Susan Hoover in Indonesia. When she preached at my summer camp and told us her story. When she was a kid, she was so shy she found it hard to talk to even her parents. All throughout her young life she struggled with self-hatred, And now she is reaching a generally Muslim country and telling them about Jesus! She is one of the most outgoing missionary I know (and I know a few) and her fearlessness is contagious! If you want to find out more, just Google Susan Joy Hoover and read about all her amazing experiences!!!!!!!

  • While many have already mentioned my favorite missionaries (Livingston, Carmichael, Brother Andrew, Corrie Ten Boom), one has not been mentioned; namely Bob Fu.

    If anyone keeps tabs with Voice of the Martyrs (, Bob Fu was and continues to be a wonderful missionary for the Lord. His book, ‘God’s Double Agent’ is a real eye-opener about Christianity in China. Others among my favorite missionaries are Bonhoeffer, Whitfield, Elliot, and many others.

  • My favorite missionary -although I’m not sure any of you have ever thought of him as such- would be the apostle Paul. If you think about it, that’s really what he was. There were a lot of missionaries in Bible times. Paul, as well as Jesus’ disciples, are the main characters in the stories that inspire me the most. The disciples, who would rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer shame for his name; Paul who would find contentment no matter what situation he was in. All of them were so dedicated to Christ, to winning souls over to him. There are so many great missionaries of centuries past, then there are those more modern missionaries. All of them bless me and inspire me to be a warrior for Christ, but those would have to be the ones that have had the greatest impact on my life. Especially Paul, because he was living proof that God can use the most vile of sinners and transform their lives, then use them to accomplish incredible things for His kingdom. No matter who we are, where we are or what we’ve done, God can -and will- use us.

  • Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
    George Mueller’s life has encouraged me to persevere with learning, skills and work because even though we may not know straight away what God has planned for us, He can use every good thing we have learnt for His glory in serving and reaching people, wherever and whenever that is.
    Other people who have motivated and blessed me are Don Richardson – author of Peace Child, an incredible account of faith, restoration and grace in West New Guinea amongst cannibalism and spiritualism;
    Paul White, the “Jungle Doctor “;
    Elizabeth Elliot.
    Plus countless people whose stories I have read but can’t remember their names right now. I can also “ditto” those already mentioned.
    It’s great reading everyone’s responses, and learning about some who I now want to find out more about! 🙂

  • the apostle Paul
    Corrie ten Boom
    Amy Carmichael
    John Paton
    Gladys Aylward
    Jim Elliot plus the other 4 guys and their wives
    Brother Andrew
    George Mueller
    Perpetua and Felicity
    Don Richardson
    I’m sure I could name more, but I’ll stop here. 🙂

  • Favorite missionary? Hudson Taylor is one of my all-time favorite missionaries. Why? He had a love for God and love for the people he was trying to reach, and he went out in faith–depending on God–in order that many the Chinese might be saved. And there are today, by the way, (and I know it’s not all just thanks to one man) more born-again believers in China than anywhere else in the world (from what I hear) which is pretty amazing.

  • Hmmm…

    Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom
    Hudson Taylor
    Brother Andrew
    Brother K. P.

    I recently read a book on Hudson Taylor, and I really admire him now. Mostly, what stands out for me, is how he trusted God to provide his every need. He never asked for money, and God always gave him more than enough, usually at the last moment.
    I think this is really biblical, and I am feeling called to live this way. Isn’t that how the early church operated? I admire Brother Andrew and Brother K. P. (no, they weren’t actually brothers to each other) for the same reasons.

    “And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics” Luke 9:3

  • Well, here’s one of my favorites:

    For school this year I read a book about an Indian (a man from India) named Sundar Singh. He was born into a Sikh (an Indian religion) family and hated Christianity during his early years. He converted to Christianity after seeing a vision of Jesus Christ just before when he planned on committing suicide. He then was forced to leave his family who hated him for converting to Christianity. He decided that he needed to spread the good news of his new religion, but he disliked the way that the English would try to force their own western style of the Christian religion on the Indians, and he believed that the Indians should practice Christianity in a way that reflected their own culture. Sundar thought that it would be a good idea to travel and preach as a sadhu, which was an Indian holy man, who was easily recognizable by their orange robes. Most sadhus were Buddhist, but Sundar was a Christian sadhu. Wherever he traveled, he was respected as a sadhu, but was usually rejected when the people of whatever town he was in discovered that he was a Christian. Anyway, to make a looooong story short, Sundar always felt called over the Himalaya Mountains into Tibet, and he eventually gave in to the call, and trekked through the frigid mountain passes on his bare feet and and preached to the Tibetans. He overcame torture and a life sentence, plus being robbed and threatened, being chased by a wild yak (very dangerous) and almost drowning in a freezing mountain river. He also went on public preaching tours all over India, several European countries, and even America and Australia. He was renowned as a great teacher and his fame passed ahead of him everywhere he went. During his tours, he missed going to Tibet, and one time, after returning home to India, he left on a trip over the Himalayas into Tibet, but was never seen again. He died following he calling, but no one knows how, because no one traveled with him as he journeyed over the mountains. I encourage you to look up his story somewhere.

  • Bro. Sam Davis is a missionary to Mexico. He has a 50,000 bounty on his head by the Mexican government and drug-dealers. Hence, he lives a life of complete and absolute faith on God. In one instance, he was working on his car. God told him to go town..NOW. He went. While he was there he got a call from his neighbor asking if he was okay…because his house was surrounded by black SUV’s with tinted windows and they were there to kill him and burn his house. But he knows God’s not done with him and he has no fear of the Mexican government/drug gangs that want to kill him. He’s made a huge impact on my life! God tells him, he obeys. Pretty awesome if you ask me. 🙂

  • All missionaries are awesome. Being able to devote their entire lives to God’s work with no control at all? That’s some trust in God. So I respect all missionaries, and there are definitely some really amazing stories out there about what some missionaries have done. My favorite missionaries though, are actually my parents.
    We don’t live out in some exotic place, we don’t have to undergo physical hardship, imprisonment and torture like some, but in a way, that’s harder for my parents then to be over seas. Missionaries can have feelings of uselessness when in the states, it plagues almost every single one that is based in the states at one time or another, cause they want to go and serve the Lord in great ways! And living in the states, working something close to a normal job isn’t what they imagined when they signed up, they want to go to Africa and bring people to the Lord out in the wilderness. God’s plan isn’t that for my parents though. My mom raises us kids, homeschooling until high school, then sending us to the local high school so that we can learn of the world ourselves while still under the influence of my parent’s leadership. And my dad works online, taking care of the Ethnologue, making sure it doesn’t mess up for any one of the millions that visit the site to learn about the world’s languages in attempts to accomplish the mission of getting all languages a bible started by 2025. While not as exotic or dangerous, these jobs are both as important, and my parents understand that, however much they want to go back into the world like when they first started missions work in Afghanistan.
    That’s why I respect my parents most. They’ve raised me and my siblings, followed God’s lead, and done what He want’s them to do, even though that currently means a desk job in the states instead of translations in Malaysia.

  • Corrie ten Boom has been mentioned before by several of you. I found a beautiful poem by her today:

    “My life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me.
    I cannot choose the colors
    He weaveth steadily.

    Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
    And I in foolish pride
    Forget He sees the upper
    And I the underside.

    Not ’til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Will God unroll the canvas
    And reveal the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needful
    In the weaver’s skillful hand
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned

    He knows, He loves, He cares;
    Nothing this truth can dim.
    He gives the very best to those
    Who leave the choice to Him.”

    -“Life is but a Weaving” by Corrie ten Boom

    • I really do like that poem! I loved reading Corrie Ten Boom’s book!
      The Hiding Place. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recomend it. It is a biography about Corrie Ten Boom, and what she did during World War 2. It is really good!

  • Um…let’s see if I can pick just one…no.
    Stanley Dale (read Lords of the Earth; also read the author’s autobiography, Peace Child) — maybe my favorite. He was a little Aussie kid with a neglecting father and daydreaming mother who, upon reading “If” by Rudyard Kipling (my favorite poem), became tough physically (served as a commando in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in WWII) and spiritually tough…when turned down by every missionary board, he went without one because he had the One he needed. He eventually went to a religiously fanatical tribe in PNG, trusted everything to God by not caring for what anyone thought, and being shot to death with his missionary co-worker by the tribe after making a handful of converts. Like the Jim Elliot et al. crew in Ecuador, Dale’s death (and his friend’s) helped bring the entire tribe to Christ. Also, I met his oldest son, Wesley Dale, in Timika, PNG. The fact that Stan Dale’s son (I don’t know about his other children) was still in PNG after his father’s death after all those years (Wesley was really old for a missionary) testifies to the power of Christ: nothing can turn away His ambassadors.
    Bruchko (aka Bruce Olsen, read Bruchko, formerly For This Cross I’ll Kill You) — Bruchko began as the son of a Methodist family who were Methodist, not Christian. He knew biblical Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and also Sanskrit, but once he truly knew God, he chaffed at the fake religiosity of his church. At the age of nineteen (ish), he flew to Venezuela or Cambodia (not sure which) knowing no Spanish at all. Like Dale, all of the missionary boards wanted him to go back, get a missionary education, and come back later; he just walking into the jungle, almost died a bunch of times, and is still there to this day. He is now an expert on the local tribes, defending their land rights, and managed one of the hardest things for missionaries to do: give the locals the Gospel without the culture of the missionary. Read the book; you won’t regret it.
    George Muller–this guy got some two million pounds (the uninflated hundred-year-ago version) over his life by praying, not asking people. He had built six mansion-orphanages by his death and brought countless British orphans to Christ. I read the Christian Heroes Then & Now book on him; it was good, but I need to find a more in-depth one.
    David Wilkerson (read The Cross and the Switchblade)–Wilkerson was a Pennsylvanian pastor who felt he should go to NYC in 1958. He eventually became the Muller of NYC, bringing numerous gangs to Christ (not like let’s-hang-out-and-be-a-gang, but like they-killed-our-friend-so-let’s-kill-them kind of gang). He dealt with the worst teenage gangs imaginable, all without a backing organization–only with Christ. He died in 2011.
    Nate Saint et al. (there’s a book or two about this one; also read anything Elizebeth Elliot)–I say “Nate Saint et al.” instead of “Jim Elliot et al.” to highlight the fact that there were five guys then, but it seems everyone only remember Jim because of his wife’s writings (which, to be fair, are amazing). Also, I want to be a missionary pilot, and Nate was the pilot of the group and flew a really cool cloth yellow Piper Cruiser. The full list was Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian. They died bringing the Gospel to the Aucas, a very, very violent Ecuadorian tribe, and their deaths paved the way for their wives to convert the tribe.
    It’s a bit long…sorry. However, I must add one more group: all of the unknown-to-the-world-but-written-in-the-book-of-the-Lamb missionaries, not only the ones who left their country, but everyone who followed Christ and it cost them something (which is redundant; if following Christ doesn’t cost anything, then are you really following Christ?). Not every Christian has a book, nor has braved stone-tipped arrows, but every Christian has earned his crown. I can’t wait for the day that we’ll celebrate all of them!
    P.S. Thanks for reading to this point. It’s a word or two.

rebelling against low expectations

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