As a child, I remember being mesmerized by visiting missionaries at church, listening to their tales of adventure for the Lord and loving every minute of it. I have never forgotten those people, their stories and their obedience to the Lord’s call to serve.
Having the opportunity to develop friendships with some fascinating modern missionaries in recent years, I wanted to know more about how the Word spread around the world since the time of Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples heard the Lord’s command and acted on it, beginning the spread of Christianity around the world. We are familiar with the words that Jesus spoke to the disciples, known as the Great Commission:
Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
With these words, the disciples obeyed His instruction and began spreading His Word around the globe, a process that is still going on today. It was this study of early missionary heroes that helped us begin to gain an understanding of how the Word was spread, and just how much has been so willingly sacrificed to answer His call.
The discovery of a book published in 1922, The Book of Missionary Heroes, made me realize that so much of our Christian missionary heritage has gotten lost over the years, and deserves to be studied and remembered by today’s families. This collection of stories has been rewritten for 4th - 8th graders and includes tales of wonderful missionary heroes such as Paul, St. Francis of Assisi, John Williams, David Livingstone, Mary Slessor and many others, ranging in time from the first century A.D. to 1901 A.D. We must never forget those heroes who have carried the torch ahead of us, spending their lives to help spread the Word.
I recommend reading this collection of stories as a family. If possible, go together to hear missionaries speak when they come to town. Learn about their struggles as well as their triumphs. You will hear some amazing adventures from these modern day missionary heroes, and learn about God’s presence in all situations. Support missionaries in any way that you can, particularly and most importantly, with your prayers.
It is my prayer that you enjoy these stories of some of the early missionary heroes. The history of missions work that spans almost 2,000 years helps us to see how much has been done, and just how much is left to do.
In this series of story collections, Amanda has rediscovered and rewritten stories of heroes throughout history for today's students. Unlike her unit studies, these stories simply tell the captivating tales of history's heroes in story format.
Take a peek inside this 166-page collection.