Biographies

Here are some of my favourite books of all time, Christian biographies that have challenged and inspired me in my own walk. Each one is like an old friend; may they become as dear to you as they are to me. In no particular order.
   
Corrie Ten Boom
In her autobiography, The Hiding Place, Corrie gives the thrilling account of her family's involvement in the "underground" resistance movement in Holland during the Nazi regime. Their own house became a headquarters and hiding place for Jewish nationals, saving them from extinction camps. Eventually caught and convicted, she tells of her own journey of faith amidst the horrors of Ravensbruck concentration camp. A powerful, gripping story of one life given wholly over to God.

Darlene Deibler Rose
A missionary to Paupa New Guinea during the Japanese occupation of World War 2, Darlene and her husband first faced nearly insurmoutable odds in bringing the good news of salvation to unreached inland people groups, and later brought light and hope to both their fellow prisoners and captors in the English concentration camps. Darlene's autiographical story, Evidence Not Seen, is both heart wrenching and inspiring in her honest account of her sufferings and abiding faith.

Brother Andrew
As a boy he dreamed of being a spy undercover behind enemy lines. As a man he found himself undercover for God. Brother Andrew was his name and for decades his life story, recounted in God's Smuggler, has awed and inspired millions. The bestseller tells of the young Dutch factory worker's incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders--and the miraculous ways in which God provided for him every step of the way.

Gladys Aylward
The Little Woman
Simply an English parlourmaid, Gladys responded to the call of the Lord to take the gospel to China, only no one would send her! Turned down by the mission board for want of education, she saved up enough to go by train through Siberia to the inland of China, with no shortage of exciting adventures along the way, including being arrested as a spy! Follow Gladys as she treks alone into the mountains of China, runs an evangelistic mule inn, becomes the official "foot-inspector", and leads hundreds of children to safety during the Japanese invasion.


Bruce Olsen
Bruchko
A passionate young man of 19 years, Bruce left family and country in the early sixties to live among the Motilone indians of South America, bringing the gospel to a people so fierce, no one had been able to previously make contact with them. He was a believer in incarnational ministry, becoming like those you are reaching out to in culture, language, and customs, like Jesus Himself did. Unbacked by any church or missionary organization, Bruce's immense success among these unreached peoples can only be attributed to the power and guidance of God. A fascinating read.

Lillias Trotter
A Passion for the Impossible
You may not have heard of Lilias Trotter, but you know the hymn she inspired, Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus. After you read A Passion for the Impossible, you'll never hear that song without remembering Lilias and what she did. She left her life of privilege in England and her promising art career to settle in hostile Algeria. Dismissed because she was a woman, the Algerian men accused her of being a British spy. But for the sake of the gospel, she never quit, no matter how many obstacles were in her path. You'll marvel as you read about this woman's passion for the impossible, her brilliantly gifted life, and the miraculous ways the Lord used her to pierce the shadows of that Islamic landscape.

Anne Judson
My Heart in His Hands
In October 1810 a twenty-year-old girl in the quiet New England town of Bradford wrote the following words in her journal: "If nothing in providence appears to prevent, I must spend my days in a heathen land. I am a creature of God, and he has an undoubted right to do with me, as seems good in his sight... He has my heart in his hands, and when I am called to face danger, to pass through scenes of terror and distress, he can inspire me with fortitude, and enable me to trust in him. Jesus is faithful; his promises are precious. Were it not for these considerations, I should sink down with despair." Ann Hasseltine had received a proposal of marriage from Adoniram Judson, who was shortly to leave for Asia as one of America's first overseas missionaries. And thus commenced one of the greatest dramas of church history - a saga of love, courage, suffering and perseverance.In this biography Ann is allowed to speak for herself. Sharon James has skilfully woven together extracts from her Memoir and other first-hand accounts with linking narrative in a way that brings Ann's story alive for today and is a powerful testimony to the love, grace and faithfulness of God.

Amy Carmichael
A Chance to Die is a vibrant portrayal of Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary and writer who spent fifty-three years in south India without furlough. There she became known as "Amma," or "mother," as she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a refuge for underprivileged children.  Amy's life of obedience and courage stands as a model for all who claim the name of Christ. She was a woman with desires and dreams, faults and fears, who gave her life unconditionally to serve her Master. Bringing Amma to life through inspiring photos and compelling biographical narrative, Elisabeth Elliot urges readers to examine the depths of their own commitment to Christ.


Mimosa
Mimosa
The inspirational and dramatic story of a Hindu child who heard of God's love for her, and trusted in Him through years of persecution and adversity. With no Christian community, abusive family, and extreme poverty, Mimosa clung to her simple faith in the God who loved her enough to die for her.




Jackie Pullinger
Chasing the Dragon

Inside of Hong Kong was the infamous Walled City. Strangers were not welcome there. Police hesitated to enter. It was a haven of filth, crime and sin.
Prostitution, pornography and drug addiction flourished. Jackie Pullinger had grown up believing that if she put her trust in God, He would lead her. When she was 20 years old, God called her to the Walled City. She obeyed. And as she spoke of Jesus Christ, brutal hoods were converted, prostitutes retired from their trade and heroin junkies found new power that freed them from the bondage of drug addiction. Hundreds discovered new life in Christ. Chasing the Dragon tells the whole amazing story exactly as it happened. Equally amazing has been the reach of this ministry, now detailed in this updated and revised edition. From Hong Kong to the Philippines, Thailand and beyond, the ministry that started with Jackie and her friends taking people in to live and care for them has continued and developed to form the present St. Stephen’s Society. Readers will be inspired by this tale of trust and loving as Jesus would.

Jim and Elizabeth Elliot
Shadow of the Almighty is one of the great missionary stories of modern times. It is the life and testament of Jim Elliot, as told by Elliot’s widow, author and evangelist Elisabeth Elliot Gren. This is the true account of Elliot's martyrdom, along with four fellow missionaries, at the hands of Ecuador’s Huaorani Indians. About this important and enlightening book, Eugenia Price writes, “It proves that Jesus Christ will bring bright creativity out of any shadow which might fall across any life and any love.” A story that has inspired Christian readers for more than half a century, it poignantly recounts a tragic event that was presented from Huaorani perspective in the 2006 feature motion picture, End of the Spear.

John and Anna Olesh
Hidden Rainbow
A true story about a forbidden New Testament that shattered the calm of a Yugoslavian village. John and Anna Olesh, raised in a solid Catholic community, face severe censure when John leaves his family for a time to make money in America. Even more hardship-and persecution-stands in their way when they befriend an evangelical missionary, accept a New Testament, and come to know God. But through all their trials, they learned that when God moves, nothing can stand in His way.


Liu Zhenying
The Heavenly Man
You've read the headlines and seen the news: government crackdowns on Chinese house churches, mass arrests, human rights violations. . . . But is it true? This intensely dramatic autobiography answers that question with the account of how God took a young half-starved boy and enabled him to stand strong for Jesus, braving horrific opposition and impossible odds.
For more than thirty years, Liu Zhenying, also known as Brother Yun, has been committed to bringing the gospel of Christ to all of China. Hunted, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and separated from his wife and children, Brother Yun shares his story of incredible pain and suffering--and of powerful miracles and great joy. Featuring eyewitness accounts of prison escapes and healings, his words focus on the character and beauty of Jesus and challenge any reports that religious persecution is not still a daily reality for millions. Includes photos and reflections from his wife, Deling. A life-changing true story of faith on the frontlines!

Frank and Marie Drown
Mission to the Headhunters
Missionaries to Equador at the same time as Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Frank and Marie Drown were called to another tribe of the same jungle, the feared headhunters!  A personal friend to Roger Youderian, one of the slain missionaries in Auca territory, Frank was there when they pulled the men's bodies out of the river. He and his wife faithfully served God amongst the jungle peoples for forty years, bringing light and life to them through the gospel. Frank and Marie used the means of radio broadcasting to penetrate the darkness of the Equadorian jungles, and today they continue to serve the Lord through gospel radio amongst the First Nations bands of central interior Canada. Frank and Marie are an inspiration, and if you get a chance ever to hear them speak, you will be blessed, challenged, and delighted by their memorable stories, insight, and unmatchable wit.

Charles Chiniquy
50 Years in the "Church" of Rome  is the riveting testimony of a Catholic Priest who converted to Christianity. As a child, Charles Chiniquy memorized scriptures at his mother's knee and developed a deep love for God. Becoming a priest, he wanted desperately to place full trust in his church, but was hit by waves of doubt as his church claimed adherence to the Gospel, yet violated it at every turn. His jealous superiors falsely accused him, but Abraham Lincoln, a young lawyer from Illinois, defended him and saved his reputation. Chiniquy proves that it was the Jesuits who later killed Lincoln, and explains why.

Daniel Massieh
Traitor
Daniel Massieh became a believer in Jesus Christ in 1979 while still living in Egypt. In Traitor, Daniel Massieh chronicles God s amazing grace in his life and tells how God led him from a devout Muslim family, with many ties to Egypt s Muslim culture, to the foot of the Cross. Because of his faith, Daniel was persecuted, labeled a traitor to Islam, and imprisoned under unbelievably harsh conditions. Traitor will inspire you to love Muslims and will give you a deeper understanding of what Muslims believe and how to effectively share Christ with them. Though written with Compassion, Traitor answers some critical concern issues: Does Muhammad have the credentials of a true prophet? and What is Islam s heaven like? A must read for all who want to be vessels of mercy in our present world.

Ahn Ei Sook
If I perish
Ahn Ei Sook stood alone among thousands of kneeling people- in bold defiance of the tyrannical command to bow to the pagan Japanese shrines.  For this she was condemned to a living death in the filth and degradation of a Japanese prison. Although she was imprisoned and tormented for many years, her determination and fortitude never diminished. In spite of the brutality, oppression, and ruthlessness of her captors, Miss Ahn remained true to Christ and won many of her fellow prisoners and guards to Him by her example. A remarkable true story of the savage persecution of Christians in Korea during World War II.



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