When I was a child, I dreamed of far away places pioneered by missionaries. I imagined what it would be like to traverse a wild jungle in search of people who had never heard the gospel. As a young child, I imagined what it would be like to sacrifice all and to leave familiarity so that others might hear the truth. These thoughts did not come about from nothing. No. I read many many missionary biographies!
To be honest, I could not tell you right now all the details of those books that I read when I was younger. But I can tell you that they had a major impact on me at that point in my life.
Just recently I came across a book with notes in it from when I was 11 years old. One of the questions asked was, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” My answer was: a missionary. I was inspired! I recognized at that time what a great honor it is to give your life in service to the Lord.
Fast forward to current day. Here we are, on our way to the mission field. God had been preparing my heart from an early age for this very thing. In no way do I expect it to be exactly like what I read in those missionary biographies. Wow! The world has changed so much. Let’s just say, I’m thankful we don’t have to sail on a ship for a few months to reach our destination. Remembering that will keep me from complaining about the seemingly long plane flight to Asia. 😉
Lately I’ve been reading a few missionary biographies, stories of missionaries who were once in the same area where we are headed. To say the least, it was INSPIRING! And incredible to read of all that God has done through these servants of His. As I was reading, I remembered about my childhood and how these kinds of books affected me.
Here are some benefits of reading missionary biographies:
- You have a better understanding of what missionaries go through.
- You understand better how to pray for missionaries and for the people they reach.
- You gain a new appreciation for what you have.
- You get inspired in your spiritual walk as you read of the relationship these people had with the Lord.
- You understand how real Spiritual warfare is.
- You learn just how real these people were: their difficulties, their faults, and how they lived every day life.
The fact is, God wants to use even more people than are going to the mission field. I wonder if more families read missionary biographies if more children would grow up having a different understanding of missions and if, in turn, more would be willing to go. There is so much to be gleaned from the lives of these people who were normal people, but were willing to do what seemed impossible because they trusted the God of the impossible.
Alyssa, along with her husband Benjamin and her two children, are preparing to go to Northern Thailand as missionaries. Other than cuddling up with her toddlers and their favorite books, Alyssa enjoys music (playing and listening), baking, reading, and sharing what God is doing in her life. Read Alyssa’s salvation testimony here and read more about Alyssa’s every day life in Thailand here.