Missionary Bios - Questions, Testimonies, & can we add m

Julie - Staff
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Missionary Bios - Questions, Testimonies, & can we add m

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Missionary Bios - Questions, Testimonies, & can we add more?

There are several areas on the message board where you might find helpful discussions on the topic of the missionary biographies in ECC:

ECC Archives
Missionary Bios - Questions, Testimonies, & can we add more? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3173
Missionary Bios - Can younger siblings handle them? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5077
Missionary Biographies - Handling delicate topics http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2042

Book Basket and Independent Reading Archive
Book Reviews & Extras - Missionary books http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=5561
ECC book discussion, ideas, favorites (adding more missionary biographies) http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2539

Ideas - Exploring Countries and Cultures
Many individual notes are on the Ideas board, such as links and missionary movie reviews to follow up on the biographies:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =161#p2037

Adding Jim Elliot? Impressions of Livingstone?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

BeyondTheSea wrote:I haven't read any of the Benge missionary books yet, but I see that there are a bunch of them besides the ones that come with ECC. Has anyone read the one on Jim Elliott? Is it worth adding to the Nate Saint story if we have extra time? I guess I'm curious why one was chosen over the other, and if it's worth getting both. I just ordered a used DVD of "Beyond The Gates of Splendor" to add to the South America unit as well, so I don't want to overdo the story either.

Also, I was reading some reviews on Amazon, and one person was really disappointed at how David Livingstone was portrayed as what the reviewer called a "dead beat dad." Did any of you have that impression from reading it?

Just curious!
I haven't read the one on David Livingstone yet, but I have read the Jim Elliott one. I thought it was fabulous! So far, I've loved ALL these missionary tales (I think I've read 6?).

As far as whether to add it or not, you'll probably know when you get there if it will be overkill. Too much of a good thing only makes my kids groan. :/ BUT, I don't think you'd regret having the book in your library just in case, or for reading at the end of the year as a revisit/review?

Just a thought. :)
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

We read Jim Elliot. It fit into the schedule pretty easily for us, & ds was excited to find out more. I personally thought Jim Elliot's didn't cover enough of his writings that I have seen so much of, nor of his childhood. We definitely thought Nate's was more exciting, but were glad to have read Jim's too.

I didn't feel the Livingstone one put down David, but of course there are tradeoffs in the mission field. Marie Hazell did add a note in the teacher's manual about how missionary families today do things differently than they did back then.

Have fun,
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

We added Eric Liddell to the study of China. It was very good.

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It was very common

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

It was very common in that time period for people who worked in other countries to send their families back to England. Many times the tropics were not considered "Healthy". This was not just true of missionaries but of military and other government workers as well. It was culturally fine at the time even if we think it is terrible now. He saw it as protecting his family no doubt.

I am sure we do things today that in 100 people will think are terrible. I think we can use this as an opportunity to teach our children about how values have changed and also things like how modern medicine has made our world safer.
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Unread post by BeyondTheSea »

Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, my knowledge of missionaries is pretty bleak, so it helps to have that background information. I was thinking of adding the Eric Lidell book too....it's been ages since I've seen Chariots of Fire--I wonder if it's appropriate for a 9-10 year old?

This is what really excites me about MFW...I know that I'M going to learn just as much as my daughter! :-) My daughter is still in PS this year, but we just started on the intro weeks of ECC this week after school. We're going to do it over the summer with no extra math/english/school-y stuff and just have fun with it, and then start CtG as full-time homeschooling sometime in the fall whenver we finish up ECC.
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They were soon engaged and loving it

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:56 pm
Keep in mind that there are down times between some of the stories, as in 2 weeks. You could always add a read aloud of your own at that time if you do want to get the missionary stories in. Just another thing to consider.

Honestly? I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the missionary stories when we began the first one. I worried that the kids might not either. Not because we didn't have an interest (we definitely do), but rather because they seemed detailed and perhaps too advanced for my young bunch.

But plenty of drama and occasional substitution of words or elimination of trivial facts seems to be enough for even my 4yo to listen (plus I read at lunch so they're a captive audience). They were soon engaged and loving it. I ask them what their favorite has been thus far and they say, "All of them." We're reading about George Muller right now and we're SO loving that one (as an adoptive family, we can all relate on some personal level). Dh is reading Jungle Pilot, another book about Nate Saint. My long winded point is,...we didn't see ourselves being so swept up in the missionary stories but that's exactly what happened.
Julie in MN
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Do you stick to the assigned read-alouds?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

NakiainNC wrote:Do you all do the recommended read alouds? We like to do read alouds, but I also like to read books to them that they will all enjoy. For example, right now I am reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. We are planning to read The Little House books this winter. Do you think we would be missing out by skipping the missionary books?

Just wondering if your families have enjoyed the missionary read-alouds. Thanks!!
I definitely think there is a learning curve with getting used to the missionary bios, especially for kids on the younger end. The first one, Cameron, is fairly tame as he founds a Bible translation service based on the needs he saw. There are events, like an earthquake and such, but his life is fairly low-key.

However, the missionary bios were life-changing for my ds. They changed his idea of who a hero is and what a heroic life might look like. We started reading more and more of them. I wouldn't give up that experience!

Meanwhile, he has read Mrs. P (independently) and Little House (with dad) and lots of other fun and great books. You don't have to choose one or the other!
NakiainNC wrote:Thanks Julie. I know we don't have to choose one or the other, but between her independent reading, reading aloud to me, me reading picture books and a chapter book, and then school work, it can get overwhelming, KWIM?
Hmm, let's wait and see what other moms of big families say. Meanwhile, I wonder if you could read them on weekends or at bedtime or while they're out on the swing - something that felt like a change of pace?

And remember that ECC calms way down once you get to Brazil. At that time, you're done with the big intro stuff, you're used to the routine, and I think there's a little more time provided to just sort-of "settle in" to a country and experience its culture. I think you'll feel the difference.

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Unread post by Lainie »

Read Alouds sooooo blessed our family and friends. I saw in the catalog before we even ordered ECC that Read Alouds are part of the curriculum. Although I've always done it with my kids, reading aloud for long periods of time is really hard on my physical body and of course my voice (which usually gets real hoarse or gives out).

But I had read some of the biographies before since we own quite a few and really liked them. Our girls have always loved them. So before we started school, I selected a book that I had read and very much enjoyed and knew our family would enjoy (Maria by Maria von Trapp) and we started having family read alouds before bed to get the kids used to doing it this way (it was usually done 1 on 1 or while they were eating).

Not only did our immediate family do this (hubby & 3 dc) but my parents would come over every night too. They loved it. We loved forward to it every night (and sometimes Sat or Sun afternoon).

Then school started and we began the first missionary bio. My voice was shot so dh offered to take over reading (yes!). This became sacred time for our family. In the evenings, right before bed time, we gather to read our current book. There is always excitement and speculation as to what will happen next. Sometimes we all whine and ask for "just one more chapter pleeeeaaassseeee."

But that's not all. Friends that would come over for dinner would stay for read aloud. Well they would get captivated by the story and would want to know what happened next. Pretty soon we were having regulars outside our family calling to find out what time story time was!

That time in the evening was the most precious part of our year last year and the missionary stories inspired my children, my parents, my friends as well as me and dh. Many doors of conversation were opened.

We read so quickly through them that we added many extra read alouds but I tell you, there was a huge difference. We always pray before we read and ask the Lord to bless and protect the time. But when we were reading the missionary stories or other stories that glorified God, we would go to bed feeling so...satisfied. We read other really good books. We would laugh or be caught up in the story. It was good. But there was something about hearing over and over again God's faithfulness to the people in those biographies.

I strongly encourage you to share them with your family wholeheartedly. Perhaps you reading it ahead of time would help generate excitement for the story and the people in them.

I apologize for the long post but I would hate for you to miss out on the riches in these stories.

p.s. I just remembered, dh would bring our current read aloud with us if we went out to dinner. If there was a wait for the table we would take the pager thingy, go sit in the van and read there!
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

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Unread post by cbollin »

We really have liked the read alouds from all years in MFW.

Usually for us -- my husband reads them in the evening to the children. It's a fun way for him to be involved in teaching and learning.

And there are even some mornings that he has been able to read the chapter out loud at breakfast time before heading upstairs to work. (His office is in our house these days.) It really is a blessing to the whole day when that happens.

There are parts of the Cam Townsend book that we adjust a tiny bit --- we don't get bogged down with all of those first and last names all the time with all of the people that were involved. Agreeing that writing style on Cam book isn't as fast paced as Nate Saint or the others --- but oh,,, please read this one. I was choking back the tears a few minutes ago reading about the mayor of the village who read the Spanish NT out loud and then translated it into Aztec. It was how the mayor's heart was changed. He read God's Word to his people who had no Bible in their own heart language. Maybe it was personal for us because we have several real life friends who have been Bible translators in many parts of the world.

My 7th grader loves this book so far. She barely remembers it from 5 years ago. Some of the things that are just so clearly God's hand in it all really have come to life for her. She loves to crochet right now during read alouds. She remembers some of the other bios better.

My 9 year old -- to help her a bit, we stop at the end of the chapter and review just the basics of the plot. To help her focus a bit for listening she'll play with play dough or her mermaid set, or even do some coloring sheets from other things in the curriculum. She did a coloring page from Trip Around the World last night while I was reading Cam Townsend book.

one little thing in the back of my mind --- you're not expected to read the book basket books out loud. I found it helpful to use some of them for "reading" time (let my 9 y.o practice reading out loud).

Hang in there --- those missionary biographies are worth it. I'm glad we're doing them again 5 years later.

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

I'm another one who loves the missionary stories! I wanted to add that I get in extra "reading" time with books on tape. We recently "read" through 5 of the Little House books in the car with books on tape from the library. Amost every trip for us is about 20 minutes so we could get a good chunk of the story in. We have sat & listened in the car once home to get that last chapter in too!
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Unread post by my3boys »

We are going to read most of them as family devotions in the evenings. They are scheduled 5 chapters a week with several weeks of no scheduled read-alouds. I'm also pretty sure that we will read more than 5 chapters a week, which will leave even more weeks of no scheduled RA. I have a list of other books that we will read in between.
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Unread post by mom2boys »

I would definitely give them a try. If you want to hook them on this type of read aloud maybe wait and start with Nate Saint as we found Cameron Townsend was a little slow moving. But I agree with the others that these bios have a great impact on parents and kids alike.

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Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

You might just want to read them more quickly so you have time to read some things not related to school as well.

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Unread post by Teresa in TX »

My 7th grade and 4th grade dc got a lot from the missionary bios. We enjoyed them thoroughly (well, except for David Livingstone but that is another post). I think it changed our thinking to learn about those missionaries. :)
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Unread post by dhudson »

Here's a vote for reading the read alouds recommended. We also have read all the Little House books, Narnia books, Piggle Wiggles, Mary Poppins etc and they are great but they haven't been life changing. The missionary stories have been life changing for us.

When we did ECC my youngest (7 yr old twins) were 4 so I bought the younger version of the YWAM books for them to listen to on CD. (The "Heroes for Young Readers" series at www.ywampublishing.com ) They learned about the same missionaries as their big brother but not to the same depth. However my little girl fell in love with Amy Carmicheal's story and still listens to it weekly. She is determined to be like Amy Carmicheal and become a nurse and go to India. This has remained constant for close to three years now - which if you knew her would surprise you as NOTHING stays constant with her. Due to this passion of hers we also adopted a Compassion child from India which has been a huge blessing. These stories helped give my children a passion for Mission work and this year we are going on our second family mission trip to Juarez, Mexico to work in orphanages and in the very
poor colonia's.

IMHO, the missionary bio's are one of the most important parts of ECC - it's why we study the world so that we can be a light to the world. Okay, I'll get off my soap box now - Thanks for allowing us to have an opinion!
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Unread post by NakiainNC »

Well I have to say that you all have convinced me! We will give it a try! Thanks so much!!
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Unread post by GoodCat »

Here's our experience...

When we started in ECC, I had only read "fun" books with my children. I had a good range of ages (6m - 10). I really thought that the biographies would be way over their heads and that they would get bored and not want to listen. I really stressed about it before school started, but I decided to just give it a try and do what was recommended.

I'm soooooo very glad I did!!! Not only did they listen, but many times they wanted me to read more. Read aloud time has become our favorite time. We are doing RtR this year and my kiddos have asked .."What read alouds are we reading this year!!" And just agreeing with everyone else that all the read alouds have been wonderful!!

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David Livingstone

Unread post by MercyMamma »

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:31 pm

I did want to comment that my own dad was a missionary kid who grew up in Pakistan. He learned to walk on the boat over there and came back in 8th grade because my Grandpa had gotten some form of Hepatitis for the third time and the missions organization had them come home then.

My dad grew up at boarding school, I remember him talking about it a little bit and how he would cry and cry. His older sister was there with him. I too have struggled to understand even that part of it, sending your child to boarding school for so much of their growing up years. Its what the missionaries there did at the time. The mothers would go up in the mountains with the kids and spend the summers there I guess. I believe that its affected my Dad in some ways and that it was really hard for him.

Its also kind of strange to think that he grew up in this foreign country and to hear him tell stories of the countryside and monkeys throwing rocks at them once and eating mangos and papyas... all things that he can't really show us, his own kids... just interesting how that all plays out. For him it must feel like some sort of a strange dream because he can't really go back and see the house he grew up in (like some of us can) etc. Anyway, random thoughts...
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Nate Saint

Unread post by southernshae »

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:07 pm

My dc really liked Cameron Townsend (more that I did!) I read the older kid (junior high) bios myself (loved them all).

It is interesting to me that it was mentioned about "protecting our children" earlier in the thread, and we all will do what we feel is best for our children before we read these, but I want to share that Nate Saint biography had an eternal impact upon my daughter. I'm certainly glad that we read it!

We had just finished the book and it was obvious that it was affecting dd as she talked about it lots, asked questions, etc. The next Sunday she marched forward during church and told the pastor "I want to be saved, and I want to be saved now." DH and I were somewhat shocked (joyously of course!).

The reality of the families serving those Auca Indians.....and how they could have defended themselves (won't say any more as to not spoil) had a huge impact. She realized, "Hey...I've known all about Christ since I was very little and I haven't even made that decision." I know the Lord used that biography to speak to her heart and call her to Him. So, of course that one was special!


Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:33 am

These biographies (we own a bunch of them) are just about my favorite books on the bookshelf! I could read & reread some of them (and have...) til the cows come home!

Like some of you, I have certainly been challenged by their commitment and equally appalled by their humanity, but it has served as a good reminder that missionaries are no different than any other people. They are human. I am really thankful that the writers of this series didn't gloss over the humanity of their subjects too much. So many times in my past, a missionary would come visit & we would hear all the wonderful, exciting things, hear of their needs, whether spiritual or financial, and that was the only snapshot we got into their lives. Reading about these missionaries' successes and their failures have been such faith-builders for me. Isn't it neat how God can use even our failures as encouragement for His Body?

My favorites so far definitely echo the ones previously mentioned ~ Gladys Aylward, George Mueller, Nate Saint, Jim Eliott, Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, ...

Thanks for a fun thread, Tammy! :)
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Unread post by Heather (WI) »

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:34 pm

I just wanted to add something that came to mind about the "imperfect choices" made by some of the missionaries. It made me think about David (from the Bible), and how he made a lot of mistakes and had some wrong choices, was not always the best father, etc.--and yet God called him a "man after (His) own heart".

Also, I don't agree with leaving your family behind, either--but Jesus did say that anyone who leaves their family for HIM will be rewarded:

Matthew 19:29:
29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.


Matthew 10:37-39
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
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Unread post by Eve »

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:46 pm

I think this is the very reason we are not to judge others! God calls some to do things we would never feel right about doing, but does that make it not right for everyone?

I will probably touch a "touchy subject" here, but I think that includes home schooling. Some are called by the Lord, some are not. Some are called to be involved in the public school system for other purposes and reasons we may not understand. ("Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight!")

David Livingston was called to bring the gospel to Africa, to the inner-most parts of Africa. God used him to open a new avenue. And it had to be someone willing to give up everything FOR HIM and HIS glory. If David would not have been willing to give up his family, would he have been willing to face all the trials he faced in the wilderness? That would have been a tough, tough journey that we can't even start to imagine.

I wouldn't have any doubts also but what his wife learned through the trials of being without her husband. There was certainly a purpose there as well.

And let us not forget that there is not a single person on this earth that is perfect. Just because we are called to follow God's will, doesn't mean that we are supernatural spiritual people that won't ever make a mistake!

I think the point about all these people is this: They walked with God. They talked with God. They followed God's will and were obedient to the best of their ability (that was given only by the grace of God to begin with.!) They BELIEVED God's purpose and plan. They followed it even when others said they couldn't or shouldn't. Oh, if I could be that close to the Spirit of the Lord!

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George Mueller

Unread post by donnagio »

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:41 pm

Hi- I am enjoying this discussion, and have had some similar responses to you all. I really learned from the books.

My son came up with an insight on his own, about George Mueller, that God had taken the very thing he had sinned in and "made him the opposite". It was after we read about how George had gone to the widow to be sure she truly wanted to give the money because it was so much... He had in his early life gotten himself into so much trouble, and sinned deceiving people about money. I had not consciously realized that aspect of the turnaround(: Pretty good. He then went in to prayer meeting, and prayed for our church's purchase of some land, and shared the story.

I am so thankful for him learning about God this way. As was said before, they begin to see who the real heroes are, and that they are real people, and that it is by the grace of God..

What courage, both men and women and children... what sacrifice, what intelligence, what love! What faith!

Looking forward to next year with mfw (:
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ECC Africa Alternate Missionary Story

Unread post by Kelly1730 »

BHelf wrote:I'm glad to know of other YWAM biographies from Africa as well that have been mentioned on this thread [ http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 328#p60059 }--not for my kids but for me!

LOL...I love reading these! :)
Me too! Although, my boys have been very influenced by these missionary stories. We are fortunate to be in a church that is mission minded and during our yearly missionary conference (right now ;) ) the boys have heard some of these stories. Being able to go over them more indepth has allowed them to add much to the discussion during the conference this year. They couldn't stop talking last week when the teacher taught on Amy Carmichael. The teachers have been most impressed. Sadly, not many Christian children hear these missionary stories anymore.
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