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With scarcely enough food or money for his own family, George Müller (1805-1898) opened his heart and home. Sustained by God's provision, the Müller house "Breakfast Club" of thirty orphans grew to five large houses that ultimately over ten thousand children would call home. George Müller trusted God with a depth rarely seen. His faith and generosity set a standard for Christians of all generations.
When Lillian Trasher (1887-1961) founded Egypt's first orphanage, others thought that a lone American woman with no means of support would surely be killed or starve to death. But Lillian -- certain of God's guidance -- stood by her earlier promise to Him, "If ever I can do anything for You, just let me know -- and I'll do it." In the midst of poverty, war, and deadly epidemics, Lillian faced each day with a heart of trust, modeling the life she hoped her children would someday live in their own homes. During fifty tumultuous years, the Mother of the Nile cared for thousands of desperate children, with unwavering faith that God does indeed look after the orphans.
Born into a loving family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) pursued a life as a pastor, teacher, theologian—and spy. He spoke out about the trouble in Germany when Adolph Hitler came to power, urging the Christian church to rescue disparaged people groups and resist Hitler’s evil empire. Accused of being a troublemaker, Dietrich continued on fearlessly in the midst of wickedness. His work as a spy in the German resistance and participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler led to imprisonment and eventual execution. But the lesson of his life story remains: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
One of the famous Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Jacob DeShazer (1912-2008) knew this one-way mission was dangerous. Indeed, it led to his capture as a prisoner of war. Beaten, malnourished, and alone in his cell, Jacob was given a Bible -- and far away from home, this American soldier became a Christian.
During WWI, Cameron Townsend (1896-1982) was told, "You'll do more good selling Bibles in Central America than you would shooting Germans in France." Cameron began by translating the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. Then he started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Scripture into hundreds of languages, spreading God's Word to people everywhere.
Without formal education or a missionary organization to back her, Gladys (1902-1970) raised her own finances for the overland trip that would bring her to the country and people that God had etched so deeply on her heart... China! What follows is an amazing adventure of faith and determination. Gladys Aylward, a housemaid from England, dared to trust God in the face of dire and seemingly hopeless circumstances. Her life is one of the truly great missionary stories of our era.
William's amazing journey to India would prove to be just the beginning of a missionary quest filled with hardship and heartache as well as tremendous victories. Often referred to as "the father of modern missions," William Carey displayed a single-minded determination to set his face like a flint to the task of bringing the gospel to those lost in darkness. His life of service and sacrifice is a guidepost to Christians of all generations. (1761-1834).
It was totally dark. The lights in the city were turned off, and there were no street lamps, no neon signs, and no extra glow in shop windows. Klaus noticed that theirs was the only car on the road. How would they slip by the checkpoint? Klaus glanced at his wife Tina, whose eyes were shut in prayer. Suddenly he heard a thunderous crash, then saw a bright flash of light.
Klaus-Dieter John dreamed of becoming a medical missionary in the developing world. He would do whatever it took -- study in top universities and practice surgery in remote and dangerous places -- to reach his goal of providing health care for people who needed it most.
Dr. John's seemingly impossible vision of Diospi-Suyana, a world-class hospital for impoverished Peruvians deep in the Andes Mountains, was blessed by God to the end. Despite challenges in fund-raising, construction, moving his family from Germany, and countless roadblocks, Klaus's dream was finally realized, bringing hope in a land loved by God. (1960-)
A rip current overturned the whaleboat with eight Kanaka Christians aboard. Only three of the men could swim, and the others clung to the upturned boat. Sharks circled the three as they struggled to get to shore. The three survived, but the others could not be found. When Florence heard the news, she resolved to go on despite the dangers.
Once timid and unsure of her own salvation, New Zealander Florence Young rose to her calling and became a fearless and faithful witness for Jesus Christ. Eventually serving in the remote Solomon Islands and, for a season, in China during the deadly Boxer Rebellion, Florence began her service close to home.
This one women's mission to the Solomon Islanders, or Kanakas, working on her family's Australian plantation soon expanded to their home islands. There, as Florence and others helped Kanaka believers reach out to villages steeped in cannibalism and revenge killings, thousands of people were transformed by the love of God. (1856-1940)
This best-selling, missionary biography series - Christian Heroes: Then & Now - chronicles the exciting, challenging, and deeply touching true stories of ordinary men and women whose trust in God accomplished extraordinary exploits for His kingdom and glory.
With the heart of an explorer and the passion of an evangelist, David Livingstone mapped vast, unexplored areas of Africa, sharing the gospel with whomever he encountered. His stamina, perseverance, and dogged determination created the legacy of a trailblazing explorer with an undying hunger to make Christ known wherever his steps led him. David Livingstone's captivating adventures and tireless zeal continue to inspire countless men and women to bring the gospel message of God's love to those souls who have never heard. (1813-1873)
Suddenly, Corrie's (1892-1983) ordered life was lost in the insanity of war. With bravery and compassion, her family and countless other Dutch citizens risked everything to extend God's hand to those innocents marked for certain execution in a world gone mad. Corrie ten Boom's life of determination, faith, and forgiveness in the face of unimaginable brutality and hardship is a stunning testimony of the sustaining power of God.
When he became God's smuggler, Brother Andrew (1928-) was already familiar with risk. As a boy, the intrepid Andrew van der Bijl joined the Dutch Resistance against the Nazi occupation. As a young man, he fought eagerly in the Dutch East Indies -- until the horror of war turned the adventure seeker to a life of alcohol and desperation. Redeemed by God, the Dutchman became a daring messenger of hope, smuggling Scripture through closed borders and equipping persecuted Christians behind the Iron Curtain. Today Brother Andrew and the ministry of Open Doors continue to shine the light of Christ in the world's darkest places.
Flying soon captured Nate's (1923-1956) heart. His air-service ministry to isolated missionaries put him on a path of destiny that would ultimately end with a final airplane flight with four missionary friends to the "Palm Beach" landing strip in the jungles of Ecuador. The men's lives given that day not only opened a door to the gospel for the unreached "Aucas"; it has been said that possibly no single event of the twentieth century awakened more hearts to God's call to serve in missions.
"Unless God helps us, there is no hope," Captain Morris yelled over the roar of the storm. Hudson Taylor had to agree. Indeed the Dumfries might sink this very day and he would never live to see the shores of China, a land whose people he was certain God had called him to.Hudson survived his perilous maiden voyage to his beloved China. With his heart set in determined obedience to God, and trusting the provision of the One who had called him, Hudson overcame persecution and almost overwhelming personal losses to bring God's truth to the "ripe harvest fields" of China. Today, Hudson Taylor's story continues to challenge and inspire believers young and old to carry the anchoring gospel message, regardless of personal trial or hardships, to those who are adrift and without hope. (1832-1905).
Ida stamped her foot. Her friends were wrong. "I will not be a missionary to India like my parents!" she retorted. "Don't any of you say I will be, because I won't - never, ever, ever." Ida had never forgotten the faces of starving Indian children. She hated India - it was full of horrible situations she could do nothing about.
Ida Scudder was sure she would never follow in the footsteps of her medical missionary father. But when she witnessed Indian women dying because their religious beliefs didn't allow male doctors to treat them, Ida heard herself pray, "God, if You want me to, I will spend the rest of my life in India trying to help these women."
Serving for nearly sixty years, Dr. Ida Scudder lived out the truth and compassion found in Christ. She pioneered a first-rate medical school and hospital, brought life-saving health care to rural people, and left an inspiring legacy that still touches millions of people each year with healing and hope. (1870-1960)