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Looking for some great books about cross cultural missions?

Here are six different stories about bringing the gospel to an unreached people group.  Although each one of these books features different missionaries and stories about cross cultural missions, you will see the common theme of God’s faithfulness in the midst of suffering.  In spite of the fact that these men and women were normal, everyday people, God used them as vessels by which he brought the love and hope of the gospel to others worldwide.  Prepare to be both challenged and inspired by their faith and His ability.


Author: Bruce Olson

I read the entire book in about two days. Both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring, Bruce Olson relentlessly pursues a South American people group with the message of hope that can only be found in Christ.

It meant capture, disease, terror, loneliness, and torture. But what he discovered by trial and error has revolutionized the world of missions.

A Chance to Die







Author: Elisabeth Elliot

In, A Chance to Die, Elisabeth Elliot follows the life and mission work of one of her self-declared heroes of the faith, Amy Carmichael. This picture of a woman who was selfless, committed, and full of compassion for the vulnerable will both challenge and encourage you.

“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.

In the Presence of my Enemies

Author: Gracia Burnham

If you’ve never heard Gracia Burnham speak, then you are missing out. For those of you interested in cross cultural missions, In the Presence of My Enemies belongs on your bookshelf.

Kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden, American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham endured a year on the run in the Philippine jungle facing starvation, exhaustion, coldhearted brutality, and unremitting terror. This is a firsthand account of the faith and enduring love of an ordinary couple facing extraordinary darkness, told in gritty detail by the least likely survivor.

Peace Child

Author: Don Richardson

How do you leverage story and culture in presenting the message of Christ? Don Richardson utilizes a redemptive analogy already organically found to be in this New Guinea people group’s society as he presented the gospel to them. The Sawi people were forever changed because His story can speak through any culture!

In 1962, Don and Carol Richardson risked their lives to share the gospel with the Sawi people of New Guinea. Here is their unforgettable story of living among these headhunters and cannibals who valued treachery through fattening victims with friendship before the slaughter. God gave Don and Carol the key to the Sawi hearts via a redemptive analogy from their own mythology. The “peace child” became the secret to unlocking a value system that existed through generations over centuries, possibly millenniums, of time. This analogy became a stepping-stone by which the gospel came into the Sawi culture and started both a spiritual and social revolution from within.

Through Gates of Splendor

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

One of the most missions stories of 20th century, Through Gates of Splendor challenged my perspective on following Jesus. If you haven’t heard the story yet, now is the time to pick up the book. You won’t regret it.

Through Gates of Splendor is the true story of five young missionaries who were savagely killed while trying to establish communication with the Auca Indians of Ecuador. The story is told through the eyes of Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of one of the young men who was killed.

God Planted 5 Seeds

Author: Jean Dye Johnson

The title is pulled right out of the book of John, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24) Five men pay the ultimate price as they seek to take God’s Word to the ends of the earth.

Five men traveled deep into the Bolivian jungle to bring the gospel of grace to the Ayore people. This is the story of how their martyrdom blazed the trail for future missionaries to win the Ayores to Christ.

Learn From Those Who Have Gone Before You

Whether you want to be a missionary, or you simply want to better support a missionary you know, these books will give you some insight into the hardships many missionaries face and help prepare you to play your part in cross cultural missions.

What books did we miss?

Let us know in the comments below.