Noel Piper’s new book, Faithful Women, contains the stories of five remarkable Christian women: a pastor’s wife, three “traditional” missionaries, and a young woman imprisoned and tortured for her faith by a hostile government who went on after her release to serve the Lord into her nineties.
Three of these women were familiar to me, two were not. Piper and her husband teamed up to write the foreword and additional notes in a 2003 edition of a book about Sarah Edwards, which I have read, and from which much of Piper’s content on Edwards is taken. Although I have never read a complete biography of Gladys Aylward, I have heard Elisabeth Elliot talk about her (and imitate her accent!), and some of Piper’s material is gleaned from Elliot as well. Lillias Trotter’s biography by Miriam Rockness was a major source for Piper’s chapter on the missionary, and a full review of that book can be found on this website. Glancing at the endnotes for the chapters covering Esther Ahn Kim and Helen Roseveare, it appears that the source material is fairly limited.
I have always loved Christian biographies, especially missionary biographies, and this was no exception. Noel Piper has a fluid style and a gift for helping the reader visualize the people and places she is writing about. I especially enjoyed her comments at the end of each chapter explaining why each particular woman was special to her, as well as the personal notes about family members or friends on the mission field and involved in pastoral ministry. These tie-ins added to the sense that these brief biographies were no mere academic exercise, but familiar friends, and an exhortation to more committed, faithful service to Christ in whatever field of service He has placed us. – Pam Glass, Christian Book Previews.com
These are the stories of five ordinary women—Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare—who trusted in their extraordinary God as he led them to do great things for his kingdom. Noël Piper holds up their lives and deeds as examples of what it means to be truly faithful. Learning about these women will challenge readers to make a difference for Christ in their families, in the church, and throughout the world.