Missionaries do more influential work than just being overseas. The traveling that missionaries do during home assignment can be just as effective in their ministry as being on the field.
The freshmen at Grace Bible College take a Theology course with a focus on evangelism. As part of the course work, they are required to read a missionary biography.
The impact that the reading has on the students is astronomical. I personally remember reading the book “On Call” by David Thompson and having it be a major influence on my decision to explore missions.
In the book “On Call,” David Thompson talks about what he had to go through in order to become a missionary and how he had to allow God to completely take over his life. Thompson went to college with little money saved up but a passion for medicine. He felt God pushing him to pursue a degree in medicine so he could be a medical missionary. Despite having very little money and not enough hours in the day to pay off the debts of college, Thompson has faith in God’s provision and ends up getting his college completely paid for through scholarships and work study. In Thompson’s book, he talks about the struggles and impactful events he went through growing up to be able to fully trust God in everything.
This book changed not only how I look at missions but how I look at my relationship with God. Missions challenges you in a way you will never know until you immerse yourself in an unknown culture and are forced to rely on God.
I’m not the only one who has been positively impacted by this assignment. I had the chance to talk to a few students at Grace who read a different missionary biography and were challenged and encouraged by it.
One student I talked to told me about his experience reading “Shadow of the Almighty” by Elisabeth Elliot. “The story made me feel like mission work was something God wanted me to do. I never thought mission work would be easy but this book pointed out how difficult and challenging it is. It also showed me how rewarding it can be! I know God has something big in store for me and this book just encouraged me to pursue that.”
If you are looking for a book to read this summer or even in your spare time, check out one of these books.
A few missionary biographies to consider reading:
“On Call” by David Thompson
“Shadow of the Almighty” by Elisabeth Elliot
“The New Lottie Moon Story” by Catherine B. Allen