Reading through the World Race

If there is one thing I could recommend to all future World Race squads, it would be for each person to bring a paperback book. My squad (H-squad July 2012) has about a total of ten books, which are very well-read and have been passed along time and time again throughout these past eleven months. While kindle books are lighter (which is definitely key on the Race), I’m a firm believer that there is nothing like a paperback book in your hands, which can be written on and doesn’t need to be charged.

The reality is that if you’re a reader, you will probably read a lot on the World Race – there is plenty of downtime and travel days between countries to get lost in a book. Reading can really help you to understand the historical context within which your ministry takes place and is an incredible way to supplement the experiences you are having.

So here are some books that I recommend reading, with a few movies thrown in, separated by country. Feel free to add comments below of your favorite books that you read on the Race!


Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline by Seth Barnes. A classic World Race book about the innate desire for each of us to go on a “kingdom journey”

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett.  A great read about poverty and community-development

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff. A funny but challenging book giving personal examples of how we can be catalysts for Christ’s love

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide  by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This book has real-life stories about the issues facing women all around the world. One of my squad’s favorite books.

Not For Sale by David Batstone. This book skillfully combines statistics and stories about the reality of slavery happening in many of the countries that the World Race travels to

One Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are – by Ann Voskamp. A great book for the Race, where you definitely have to learn how to be thankful with what you have!

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls – A Christian-based documentary about the sexual slavery exploitation that is happening around the world. Produced by Exodus Cry, a branch of the International House of Prayer.

Culture of Honor by Danny Silk. A great book to help understand how we can prefer and honor others


The Little Princes by Conor Grennan – A gripping account of a young man reuniting boys with their families in rural Nepalese villages


First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung. A young girl describes her experiences during the Cambodian genocide – really well done.

Killing Fields, Living Fields by Dan Cormack. The story of the Cambodian church in the midst of the Khmer Rouge genocide. A thick book, but very interesting to see how God worked good in the midst of tumultuous times.


The Girl in the Picture by Denise Chong. The story of a young woman who was burned by napalm during the Vietnam war.


Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger. A biography of a young woman who moved to China by faith and saw many drug addicts and gang leaders set free.

The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun  by Brother Yun. An autobiography of a young man who grew up in a rural village and was called to preach the gospel in China, becoming one of the leaders of the House Church movement.


The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. These books take place in Islamic countries, which will better help you understand the Malaysian culture, a largely Islamic nation.


Mother Teresa: In My Own Words by Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa offered so much hope and love to the children and adults in the slums in India – this book has quotes, stories, and prayers.


Six Bullets – A movie about a young American girl who was trafficked in Moldova.


Hotel Rwanda – A moving film about a family in the midst of the Rwandan genocide

Blood Diamond – A great movie about a man who mines diamonds in the midst of the Sierra Leone Civil War. Helps you to see the corruption that exists within the worldwide political and business systems.

The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. The story of a young Malawian boy and his dream to bring electricity to his village

–Add a comment below of other books you would recommend to read on the World Race-


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