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Published on February 6th, 2015 | by Discussion Questions

Who are your favorite missionaries, and why?





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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • Does this include past ones or only ones currently living?

    • 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…

      • :)

      • No worries! It’s a nobile question.

        For me, my favorite missionaries are those who are not afraid to share the gospel. I really feel bad for the ones who socialize for 2 years before even considering the gospel. They’re missing so much of God’s blessings.

        God bless you!
        – Trent

  • 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 really like Katie Davis too! Her book is one of my all time favorites!

    • Katie Davis…I believe we passed through the town she works in last year when we went to Uganda. It would have been cool to have met her. And also, if you’re really serious about going to Uganda, my family leads in mission teams there every summer for two weeks. Maybe you can come with us some year. =)

  • Sam S.

    Ken & Jinner Rudolph are missionaries to Europe, specifically Germany. Ken Rudolph is also one of the speakers for the senior high at Lake Ann Camp in Michigan. God uses him in huge ways. I think you all would love to listen to him. His stories are hilarious and true! If you go to his website (http://kenrudolphministries.com/) there is a link to listen to a few of his sermons. I love his “David and His Mighty Men” message.

    Another missionary family I appreciate is that of Andrew & Leah Postema. They are a part of ABWE’s team in Romania. ABWE is raising funds to purchase land for a ministry center, so they don’t have to rent land to do camp. They have raised about $160,000 so far, but they still need $50,000 to purchase the land. But our God is bigger, and I’m praying that He will provide for this need. God still does great things!

  • 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!

    • cara d

      And thanks for sending folks here to the UK too!

  • Grace

    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. :)

    • Haylie

      Adoniram and Ann Judson have always been some of my favorite missionaries. Good summery too!
      God bless,
      Haylie

    • I have “My Heart in His Hands” that tells their story. Need to read it! Missionary stories are so inspiring. :)

  • It’s too hard to pick one favorite… but George Mueller, Gladys Aylward, and Martin Luther are some of mine. :)

  • 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

    • Martial Artist

      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.

      • Really?! That’s awesome! I would’ve loved to have met her.

      • Amanda

        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)

  • Martial Artist

    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.

    • Gabrielle S.

      “God’s Smuggler” is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s so cool to see how God works.

    • That was an amazing book! :) I haven’t thought about it in ages, so I’m glad you mentioned it!

    • Brother Andrew is awesome!

    • Joyful joyful

      My favorite book!

    • Amy W

      I love his book too. I could read it over and over again. There is so much faith recorded in God’s Smuggler!

  • Gabrielle S.

    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 have “Bruchko” on my shelf…need to pull it out and read it after finishing “The Thunder: A Novel on John Knox” By Douglas Bond.

    • 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

    • I have read that! It is such an amazing story!

      • =) Have you seen the movie?

        • No. What movie do you mean? I might have to check that out… :)

          • It’s called End of the Spear. Definitely worth watching. Great question, by the way! :)

          • Ok, cool. I thought that was the one you meant but not sure if there was another one. I will have to watch that!

    • Gabrielle S.

      I think I’ve seen that movie before! I barely remember it, though, I saw it before the time I was actually interested in that sort of stuff. XD I’ll have to check out the book.

      • Cool! I can understand, that’s happened to me before. :) It’s a good movie, though–it made me cry. 😮

        • Gabrielle S.

          Yeah, I remember it being sad. :( I’d totally forgotten about that story until you mentioned it, but now I want to see it again!

          • I’m glad I reminded you! :)

    • Sam S.

      I’m reading the long book: “Shadow of the Almighty”. It’s the full story of Jim’s life. I think I read that Mrs. Elliot took a break from writing it so she could write “Through Gates of Splendor”.

      • Awesome! I’ve been wanting to read that for a while; how is it?

        • Sam S.

          I got it recommended to me twice around October so I started reading it then. It’s about 275 pages I think, and I’ve got about 100 to go. The book I have is pretty old and is hard to read because of the print. It’s a really great book, but it’s a little long and hard to read because the print and a hard word every now and then. But I’ve been challenged by it a lot. He reminds me of myself a lot, so I can learn from his mistakes and do some of the things he did right. I’d say he meets and exceeds the rebelutionary standard! So, in short, it’s a great book–but it’s not so short, so it’s a really good book. Haha.

          • Lol :) Well, I’m a fast reader (which is another way of saying I practically devour books, haha) so that won’t be a problem at all for me. I’m glad to hear you like it so much! I really like biographies of Christians, because they show you that even though these people made mistakes (just like us!), they still went on to do great and hard things for the Lord.

          • Amy W

            Jim Elliot was definitely a rebelutionary!

    • Riley H.

      My thoughts exactly :). Jim Elliot is definitely my favorite missionary.

      • Awesome! Yeah, I thought that other people might have him in mind as well.

    • Another quote by Jim Elliot that is perhaps my favorite quote ever:

      “I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you Lord Jesus.”

      This one was awesome too:
      God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him” ― Jim Elliot

      • Those are awesome quotes! I’m looking forward to meeting him in heaven one day. :)

      • Joyful joyful

        I like those! should add them to my quote book…

  • Guest

    I have read that book! It is great!

  • defyingdepravity

    Dean Kershner. Probably unknown to all of you, but yet a modern-day missionary. He works with Gospelink (gospelink.wordpress.com), 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.

    • Elizabeth M.

      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.

  • alana

    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.

    • cara d

      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 :)

      • alana

        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!

        • cara d

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

          • alana

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

          • cara d

            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).

    • I just finished reading a book on David Livingstone. Perfect timing!

  • Zoe Wall

    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!!!!!!!

  • Caleb Norman

    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 (persecution.com), 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.

    • Gabrielle S.

      Amen!!!

  • Bonnie Siems

    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! :-)

  • Ruthie C

    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. :)

    • I love the apostle Paul and Corrie ten Boom too, yet in some respects, I think Betsy was more of a hero than her.

      • Joyful joyful

        It took me quite a while after reading The Hiding Place before I realized that, but I agree
        But both of their lives are inspiring

        • Yes! They are very inspiring people and I highly recommend The Hiding Place to anyone who hasn’t already read it.

          • Joyful joyful

            I do to!
            Bookworms take note :)
            also “God’s Smuggler”, by/about Brother Andrew

          • Ruthie C

            That’s one of my favorite missionary books! (then again, I have like 50 favorite books…)

  • At the moment, my favorite missionary is Mary Slessor for her courage, bravery, and love for Africa.

    I read a very convicting, powerful post based on her life on Leslie Ludy’s blog:
    http://setapartgirl.com/leslie-ludy/blog/01-1-15/cultivating-true-courage

  • Louis Gervais

    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.

    • I love Hudson Taylor. He is an inspiring role model when it comes to mission work & the Christian life.

    • Ruthie C

      I’m writing a research paper on Hudson Taylor right now! He was pretty awesome.

  • Joyful joyful

    Hmmm…

    Paul
    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

  • Skitterson

    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.

  • Isaiah Rodriguez

    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. :)

    • Ruthie C

      Wow!! God is amazing.

      • Isaiah Rodriguez

        Yes He is! It’s one thing to read about people that have government groups trying to kill them, but it’s another thing to listen to them telling you that face to face! Life changing.

  • Jediah

    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

    • Emma

      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!

  • Elizabeth Marie

    My favorite missionary of all time is… JESUS!
    I don’t think I have to explain why… Lol 😉

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