Ihave visited the prayer closet of Rees Howells and labored in prayer with im. My heart was wrenched in two as I interceded for entire cities
and nations. I saw Rees’ faith and my
heart was encouraged.
I have journeyed with Jim Elliot to
the jungles of Ecuador. I was there that
fateful day when his life was taken by
Auca warriors. I wept with his wife and
rejoiced when, some years later, the first
Auca Indian accepted the Lord. I witnessed what the Lord did through that
people and my faith was strengthened.
I have sat freezing to death in a prison
cell next to Esther Ahn Kim. I watched
fellow Christians be tortured and felt
the whip on my own back. I sang hymns
for hours in that black dungeon and
experienced the wonders of new freedom
when Esther was released six years later.
I watched God’s faithfulness and my soul
No, I haven’t gone back in time, nor
have I actually set foot in the Howells’
home, the jungles of Ecuador, or the
Japanese prison cell. But I have experienced the same pain, joy, and peace these
three once felt—all through the pages of
Over the years, Christian biographies
have dramatically shaped my walk with
the Lord. The stories of these men and
women have been my examples and their
lives my tutors. As I read of the lives of
Gladys Aylward, Elizabeth Elliot, Amy
Carmichael and so many others, I find
my faith strengthened and new hope
floods my heart. I see the struggles they
went through and the way God showed
Himself faithful in each and every life.
Because of their testimonies, I know He
will prove His faithfulness in my own
Through these biographies, I have
caught a vision for a life that is higher
and nobler than any I have seen in the
culture around me. Wherever I turn in
this world I see mediocrity and apathy.
I sometimes forget what joy there is in
sacrificing my everything for the King of
Kings. These lives have guided my heart
and given me encouragement.
Rees Howells, for instance, has chal-
Why I Read
lenged me to far greater depths of sur-
render than I even knew possible. Eliza-
beth Elliot has taught me to forgive my
by Allison Nagel
I spend hours poring over
Christian biographies; not
merely because they are good
stories, but because they
change my life.