Missionaries are those who take the gospel overseas to areas where little to no people have heard the gospel. To be a missionary is a wonderful way to serve God beyond our daily comfort levels. I have always been interested in international missions, so I find learning about missionaries is always very fascinating. Here are nine missionaries you should know.
1. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
The first missionary you should know about is Hudson Taylor. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China. He is known for his remarkable respect for Chinese culture as he did something radical through his missionary service that had not been done before.
Instead of dressing like a normal British person in China, he dressed in the clothes of the people. Taylor received terrible feedback and ridicule because of his decision to dress like the Chinese, but it was actually beneficial to his ministry.
By dressing the same as the Chinese, he was able to fit in more with their culture and be more accepted by the Chinese.
Hudson Taylor had a very successful ministry to the people of China, and he spent more than 50 years with them, sharing the gospel. In addition to sharing the gospel, Taylor also worked as a medical missionary doctor and a Bible translator while in China.
2. David Livingstone (1813-1873)
A second missionary you should know about is David Livingstone. David Livingstone was a geographer and missionary to Africa.
Livingstone was accepted by the London Missionary Society in 1838 and chose to continue with his theological training and medical studies before deciding where he would serve full time.
He was persuaded to go to Africa after hearing a speech by his future father-in-law, Robert Moffat. Livingstone arrived in Cape Town in 1841, in which he served under Robert Moffat to the Tswana people.
Shortly after, David married Robert Moffat’s daughter, Mary. Livingstone sent his family back to live in Scotland, but he carried on with his mission of taking the gospel to the people of Africa.
He died in Chitambo’s village in Zambia on May 1, 1873, and his body was brought back to Britain to be buried at Westminster Abbey (Ibid.).
3. Lilias Trotter (1853-1928)
A third missionary you should know about is Lilias Trotter. Lilias Trotter was a missionary to Algeria. She left the comforts of upper-class British society to share the gospel to the lost of Algeria.
It was a very dangerous mission to undertake as a woman, but she took the risk to share the message of Christ with the people of Algeria. Trotter is well known for her artwork as she was a skilled painter.
In everything Trotter did, she had the eternal Kingdom of Christ at the first and foremost of her mind. Trotter made great strides in missions as she served in Algeria and utilized many missiological methods that had not been developed yet.
Lilias Trotter was confined to her bed for the final years of her life due to an illness but still devoted herself to praying, writing devotions, and doing artwork as a service to the Lord. She passed away in Algeria and was buried in Algiers.
4. Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)
A fourth missionary you should know about is Amy Carmichael. Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary, who served in India. Carmichael opened up an orphanage and started her own ministry in India.
Throughout her time in India, she poured her life, energy, and love into the children and women of India. She helped save many young girls from temple prostitution.
Carmichael served in India for 55 years without a furlough, which showed her passion and dedication to sharing the gospel with the people of India.
After suffering from a fall, Carmichael was confined to her bed for the last two decades of her life. Even though she was bedridden, she still dedicated herself to writing and helping the people of Dohnavur. She died in 1951 and was buried in Dohnavur.
5. Ida Scudder (1870-1960)
A fifth missionary you should know about is Ida Scudder. Ida Scudder was a medical missionary to India. Both her parents and grandparents were medical missionaries, but she promised herself that she would never become a medical missionary to India.
Scudder changed her mind about medical missionary work after witnessing three women die in childbirth because she could not help them. After this tragic event, Scudder dedicated her life to serving in India.
She helped the women of India get well from leprosy, the bubonic plague, and cholera. Scudder also fundraised in order to help Indian women receive proper training and education to also work in the medical field. Scudder lived a full life in service to the Lord and died at her home in India in the year of 1960.
6. Gladys Aylward (1902 –1970)
A sixth missionary you should know about is Gladys Aylward. Gladys Aylward was a missionary to China. The life of Gladys Aylward is filled with adventures, tasks, and unexpected friendships.
During Aylward’s time in China, she helped the Mandarin (the leader of China) and even put an end to foot-binding in China.
Aylward also adopted many children, such as “Nine-pence” and “Less,” and kept them protected under her care. She helped the local prisons become more helpful to the prisoners, such as giving them things to do, fresh water, and food.
This helped cut down on murders within the prisons. Most of all, Aylward dedicated her life to helping the people of China. Moreover, Aylward helped the children escape from Japanese bombs and brought them safely to their safe haven. She died in Taiwan at the age of 67.
7. Eric Liddell (1902-1945)
A seventh missionary you should know about is Eric Liddell. Eric Liddell was born as a missionary kid in North China as his parents were missionaries for the London Missionary Society.
Most people know Eric Liddell for his running career, but not many people know him for his missionary work. Liddell returned to China as a missionary in 1925 to serve among the Chinese people.
British natives were warned to go home by the Chinese government because of the impending Japanese invasion. Liddell’s wife and family returned home to Canada, but he stayed and continued to work in a hospital with his brother.
In 1943, Liddell was placed into a Japanese prison camp where he continued to preach and teach the gospel. Within a few years, Liddell died of an inoperable brain tumor in 1945. Throughout Liddell’s short life, he dedicated it to serving and teaching others about the Lord.
8. Nate Saint (1923-1956)
An eighth missionary you should know about is Nate Saint. Nate Saint was a Missionary Aviation Fellowship Pilot, who helped reach contact with the Waodani of Ecuador.
Despite thinking they had made friendly contact with the Waodani, Nate Saint and the other missionaries with him were speared to death as was his plane.
Known as “Operation Auca,” Nate Saint along with Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian were speared by the Waodani despite they were only trying to reach them with Christ.
Even though the Waodani had killed her husband, Elisabeth Elliot stayed and lived among the Waodani as did Nate Saint’s wife and his sister, Rachel Saint. Nate Saint lived a short life, but through his death and the death of his companions, the Waodani were reached with the gospel.
9. Katie David Majors (1989-Present)
A ninth missionary you should know about is Katie Davis Majors. Not many people know about Katie David Majors, but she is a present-day missionary, serving in Jinja, Uganda.
During her time serving in Uganda, she has written many books about her missionary work in Uganda including Kisses From Katie.
The ministry she started is called “Amazima” and it is focused on sharing the gospel and providing education, health, and wellness to the people of Jinja.
Through Majors’ present-day ministry, it attests to the truth that there are missionaries who are taking the gospel beyond our shores.
For further reading:
What Is the Biblical View of Mission Work?
5 Reasons You Should Go on a Mission Trip
What Did Jesus Mean to 'Go and Make Disciples’?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/artplus
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.