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Missionary Stories for Kids

Updated on September 21, 2014

My favorite missionary books for children

Children who enjoy reading missionary stories are likely to grow up to be involved in missions in some way - whether they go out themselves as missionaries, or stay home and support financially and by praying.

I read missionary stories as a child and now I read them to my children as I want to pass on to them my passion for missions. In the past few decades there have been a number of excellent and very readable missionary biographies published for kids from pre-school age and up. Our church library possesses most of them and so our family has been able to read and enjoy many great Missionary Stories for Kids.

I have also included links to online stories on a number of mission agencies' websites.

So, browse this list and make your selection from some of the best missionary stories for kids. Enjoy!

Photo by Jason van der Merwe, used with permission

Missionary Stories for Preschoolers and Early Elementary Students - Little Lights Series

These beautiful picture books will capture the imaginations of 4-8 year olds and give them an early introduction to some famous missionaries. The kids at our church love taking these out this series library. Each one is 32 pages and has color illustrations to help hold the attention of little ones. First and second graders will be able to read these to themselves.

If you click through the link below you will be able to see all the others in the series (the Squidoo platform this page is on does not allow me to link to all the available options). At present there are also ones on Luther, Calvin, Helen Roseveare, Hudson Taylor and some others.

Amy Carmichael: Can brown eyes be made blue? (Little Lights)
Amy Carmichael: Can brown eyes be made blue? (Little Lights)

In this book we discover why Amy Carmichael, who spent her life in India as a missionary, needed to be born with brown eyes and not the blue eyes she longed for.

 

Jim Elliot said:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose

More Missionary Biographies for Preschoolers and Early Elementary Students - Heroes for Young Readers Series

This series from YWAM is also perfect for the 4-8 year old gang. They are well-written with pictures on every page to keep the attention of young children.

Click through to see the rest of the series which includes books on Jim Elliot, William Carey, Betty Greene and others.

Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World (Heroes for Young Readers)
Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World (Heroes for Young Readers)

The exciting story of how Brother Andrew found ways to take the Bible into communist countries - told in language young children can understand.

 

Collections of Short Missionary Biographies for Kids - Lightkeepers series

This excellent series is aimed at 9-12 year olds. Each book consists of short biographies of a number of missionaries or other famous Christians who left their mark on the world. They are easy to read and my daughter loved them. They would be ideal to read to a Sunday school class, or as bed time stories.

Ten Boys Who Changed the World (Lightkeepers)
Ten Boys Who Changed the World (Lightkeepers)

Read how George Muller went from being a thief when he was younger to someone who learned to depend on God for the money he needed to run the orphanages he started. And read about Brother Andrew who grew up in Holland during World War 2 and went on to be a Bible smuggler. And read about a number of other boys who grew up to work for God in various different places during a variety of different things.

 

Missionary Biographies for Elementary and Middle School Students - Christian Heroes: Then and Now series

Don't be fooled by the bland covers of these books - they are absolute page-turners. My personal favorite is the Gladys Aylward one which has many heart-stopping moments in it. Read it aloud to your kids - or let 5th grade and up read it themselves. Even my husband enjoys these! Our kids have insisted he read a number of them as they don't want him to miss out.

Click through to see the others on Eric Liddell, Hudson Taylor etc

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)

Gladys Aylward is deemed unsuitable for Bible School because she is not smart enough, but undeterred she works as a housekeeper to earn a one-way ticket to China. From the start of her journey from England, her story reads like an adventure novel. I don't want to tell any part of it so that you can enjoy it yourself. I so admire what this lady did - and this book is an excellent introduction to her work that the whole family will enjoy.

 

Biographies by Louise Vernon - The Beggar's Bible

Louise Vernon writes engaging historical fiction - and many of her stories focus around missionaries. These are great to read aloud with your kids. Other titles introduce children to Menno Simons, John Wesley and Martin Luther.

The Beggars' Bible
The Beggars' Bible

This is the story of John Wycliffe. Because of his work translating the Bible into English, even the poor were able to have their own copy of the Word of God.

 

Missionary Stories on DVD - Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith

This animated series is intended for children age 8-12. The stories are about 30 minutes in length and each focus on a different 'hero', many of who were also missionaries.

Torchlighters 14 DVD Full Set
Torchlighters 14 DVD Full Set

This is the full set, but you can get the individual titles for about $10 each. The DVDs contain stories about people like William Booth, Samuel Morris and Amy Carmichael.

 

Fictional stories centered on famous missionaries - Trailblazer Series

Each book in this series is a different fictional story - but the backdrop for the story is the true story of some missionary. The stories are written to appeal to upper elementary / early middle schoolers.

Our local public library has many of this series available for check out. In addition to the one shown here, the series also has books that feature David Livingstone, Eric Liddell and other well-known missionaries.

Online Animated Missionary Stories for Kids

Here is the story of Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner who went to China as a missionary. If you and your kids enjoy this one, you can find more videos on Vimeo by the AsiaLink HistoryMaker that tell the stories of Perpetua and JIm Elliot and others.

Any favorite missionary stories for kids that I missed?

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    • MerylV profile image
      Author

      Meryl van der Merwe 2 years ago from USA

      Yes, also one called the "Little Woman". Those are both adult accounts of her life. I think I read "The Small Woman" as a teen.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Wasn't there a biography of Gladys Aylward called "The Small Woman"? I think I remember reading this some years ago.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 4 years ago from Australia

      I loved reading missionary stories with my children and also other great Christian biographies. I think that reading these sort of books holds far more value than reading many of the other popular books for children.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Lottie Moon was a missionary in China. Her story is pretty amazing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      By 'accident' I found this website and I am so glad that I did. Have always been interested in the Auca 5 down through the years and, in fact, my oldest son is named after Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, plus Apostle James and Prophet Nathan of the Old Testament. Perhaps on that day, it was a 'Welcome home men', and the abject lonliness of their permanent absence down here for 50+ years has sometimes been hard to experience, but surely there were many people that went on to be missionaries because of that fateful day and time. Heaven will reveal how many have come to know Him because of The Five.

    • click2CYtoday profile image

      click2CYtoday 4 years ago

      Great lens with wonderful recommendations! I can't say which is my favorite, but ! have always really admired Jim Elliot. In fact, Voice of the Martyrs is currently running a parachute project to drop Bibles, etc into Columbia like Elliot and his team did and it is a great way for kids to get involved hands on in missions. You can check it out on their website. God Bless!

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Great lens....I think I may send my granddaughter "It's a Jungle Out

      There"

    • donaldwilson profile image

      Don Wilson 5 years ago from Yakima, WA

      As a child, I was always fascinated by the stories told by the missionaries whom our church had been supporting when they would return home on furlough from their mission work. As an adult, I was able to take opportunities to go on several short term mission trips to other countries outside of my own.

      Thank you for putting up this lens in support of teaching our kids about missions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cool lens. Lots of great books and resources here!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm delighted to find this Lens, thank you for sharing this great information!

      I did not know New Tribes Mission had a page for kids!

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 6 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Bruchko made a big impact on me when I was in my early teens. My son loves the Trailblazer series. I'll point him toward some of the other series and books that you mention here.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      The LIghtkeepers series is great! Love this Lens :)

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      What a great way to teach children to love mission work - through stories! Very inspiring lens! Hey, your Tweets were one of the ones I followed from Twitter when I found Squidoo. I have just finished my first Lens and now have great ideas to add thanks to you. Sundae ;-)

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I love this lens and I am going to recommend to my daughter to get some of these books for my granddaughter. She will love them. I am a missionary myself, and this subject of course touches home.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens. I have always liked Lottie Moon and Hudson Taylor. We named our second son Hudson after him. I also did mission work in Mexico with the IMB. Very good job with the lens!!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great lens. I remember as a child being enthralled by these stories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Many years ago I was privileged to read missionary stories to a junior church group. I read most of the books you've listed, a few others, plus films. What a blessing it was to see the children's interest in mission work grow and some eventually were involved in short term overseas ministries. Thank you for a lovely, inspiring and well done lens! Thanks for stopping by mine as well. Faved, fanned & rolled! :-)