Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ten Books

“You are the same today you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read."
~ Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

I am a book lover.
I will not deny that I love everything about them ~ the smell, the feel, the cover, the pages, the words.
But more than that, I love the fact that the best books are also my teachers.
They open my mind to new ideas, new avenues of thought, new approaches to old problems.
If they are good books, they introduce me to the living thoughts of brilliant men and women of both today and long ago.
At times, they can teach me the things I must know, but haven't known who or what to ask.
They are there....just waiting for me to use the wealth they contain.

Today I share with you ten books that I believe every missionary {or lover of missions} should read.
Two quick caveats: 
I am no expert. I simply share what the Lord has used in my life.
These authors are human and therefore fallible. While I only share things that have blessed me, if you choose to read any of these books, I encourage you to "eat the meat and spit out the bones!"

1.  Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. Howard Taylor ~ This is the first book I ever read about missions, and one I still go back to regularly. Such profound truth put in a simple way ~ easy reading for even those who don't really like to read.
2.  By Searching by Isobel Kuhn ~ One of my favorites by my favorite missionary author. From the moment I read her first book, I felt like I could relate to Isobel. She was a human being with plenty of failures, but a big God. This is her story of moving from doubt to truth.
3.  Have We No Rights? by Mabel Williamson ~ If you pay no attention to any other book on this list, I beg you to go get this one {it's free for Kindle!}. Somehow an old copy of this book made its way into my luggage ten years ago. It was my first teacher of what a missionary must learn to make it on the field. I reread this book every.single.year.
4.  In the Arena by Isobel Kuhn ~ Of all the books that Kuhn wrote, this one is my favorite. She shares her struggles and triumphs as she learns to follow Christ no matter the cost.
5. Green Leaf In Drought by Isobel Kuhn ~ While this book was written by Isobel Kuhn, she is only the narrator. A moving story of one family's time of "drought" and their reliance on Christ alone for sustaining. When the days are long and dark and I cannot understand why, this book is a beautiful source of encouragement.
6.  If by Amy Carmichael ~ A small book with minimal words, but huge impact. This is a "meaty" book with much to chew on. 
7.  God's Missionary by Amy Carmichael ~ This book was controversial when written, and will probably seem controversial today. Food for thought as to why we do what we do as missionaries.
8.  Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally by David Hesselgrave ~ This book is long and deep, more of a textbook than a reading book, but the practical insight is well worth the effort. Excellent to read when beginning ministry {with a highlighter!}, but a wonderful reference to go back to as needed.
9.  When Charity Destroys Dignity by Glenn Schwartz ~ Another controversial book; by no means perfect; provides some good answers, but not all; an excellent catalyst. Schwartz delves into the past decades of modern missions and asks some difficult questions about what happens on the mission field and why.
10. Third Culture Kids by Pollock and Reken ~ A must-read for every missionary mama. Offers priceless insight into our childrens' minds as we raise them outside our home culture.

And an extra for the African missionaries....
11. African Friends and Money Matters by David Maranz ~ This book should be required reading for every African missionary. In fact, it should be read before coming to the field and then reread at least once a year for the first term! Unravels one of the more difficult cultural differences between those with a Western worldview and those with a Tribal worldview.

That's my top ten list {though I'll admit, I had to knock off a few to get the number to ten!}
What books would you add to this list?

Tomorrow ~ Ten Thoughts For The Rookies {Those on Deputation & First-Termers}


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this great list, Patty! I admit that I have not heard of most of these books before, and look forward to hunting some of them down and "getting lost" in them...Always want to be growing and learning...
    Thank You! And Congrats on completing 10 years on the field! What a testimony of faithfulness! :)
    Heather Gansemer

  2. I agree with you! :) I too love books...they are so wonderful!

  3. Bookmarking this page for future reference! #3 especially sounds like a must read even for us non-missionaries. :)

  4. Ohhh! Gonna get some of these. Two of my favorites are "Climbing" by Rosalind(spelling?) Goforth...this book is currently still packed after the recent move, but what a great book! The Lord sent it to me at a very low time:). My second all-time favour it is " To the golden Shore" ...about Adoniram Judson.