BOOK REVIEW – Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God

Accessible and informative

In her book, Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, Noël Piper beautifully describes how five women faithfully served God and followed the calling He placed on their lives.

The five stories she highlighted were those of:

  • Sarah Edwards, devoted wife of theologian Jonathan Edwards,
  • Lilias Trotter, pioneering missionary to the Arab world,
  • Gladys Aylward, courageous missionary to China,
  • Esther Ahn Kim, faithful follower imprisoned for her faith, and
  • Helen Roseveare, dedicated missionary to Congo.

Each of these women lived incredibly different lives, but Piper highlights to us the one thing that brings them together – ‘they had an extraordinary God who enabled them to do extraordinary things’.

‘May we see God more clearly in our own lives because of what we see in the lives of Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare.’

Passing on the baton of faithfulness

Piper’s introduction to this book explains how these women, though they mainly didn’t know each other, passed the baton of faithfulness and service of God onto one another. And now Helen Roseveare, who passed away only a few years ago, is passing the baton onto us.

Each of these stories inspired Piper to think about God’s calling on her life. In her re-telling of Lilias Trotter’s story, who is one of our founding members, Piper asked herself these questions:

  • Who ought to be involved in ministry, perhaps even missions?
  • What are true hindrances to following a call to some sort of ministry?
  • What are the required qualifications for following God’s call?
  • What preparation does it take?

Could you prayerfully ask these questions of yourself too and see where it takes you?

The cost of the call

While some of the details of each of these stories were sometimes unclear, Piper clearly shows us the cost of following God’s call on their lives. God never promised us that following Him would be easy, in fact He says that it will have great earthly cost.

In Lilias Trotter’s life we can see that she gave herself completely to the work the Lord had called her to, at the expense of becoming a world-renowned artist. To earthly eyes it seemed preposterous that she would give up a life of fame to proclaim the gospel in Algeria. But God blessed her for her faithful service to Him.

In some ways her journey was similar to many who have heard the call – the soft, yet persistent whispers they’ve heard just as Lilias heard ‘North Africa’ each time she prayed.


Are you hearing God’s call to mission through soft and gentle whispers? Contact Dan to start your journey to mission in the Arab world. 

If you’d like to purchase Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, you can get a discounted copy here.

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