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10 Women Who Changed the World: Inspiring Female Missionaries Who Fulfilled the Great Commission | Book Review

Updated: Jul 1

book cover 10 women who changed the world by daniel akin

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Who’s the last person you've met who really inspired you?

Someone who opened your eyes to a new perspective, gave you a fresh lens to view life and faith, who challenged you to persevere and follow Christ with your whole heart.

I invite you to come meet a few women.

In 10 Women Who Changed the World, Daniel Akin introduces us to these women, some who may be familiar, like Ann Judson, Betsey Stockton and Lillias Trotter, and to others who might be lesser known, such as Eleanor Chestnut, Yvette Aarons and Bertha Smith.

What makes these women inspirational?

To me, it’s their passion for the gospel, courage to go to the nations with its message and perseverance through suffering with unwavering assurance in their Saviour.

Let me tell you more about them.

10 Women Who Changed the World | Book Review


My Take: Along the Path of Obedience

quote from 10 women who changed the world by daniel akin


Purpose of the Book

The author writes this collection of missionary biographies to inspire and invigorate us to bring the gospel message to the unreached.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Sarah Hall Boardman Judson (and how she embodies Psalm 138)

CHAPTER 2 Eleanor Chesnut (and how she embodies John 13:34–35)

CHAPTER 3 Ann Hasseltine Judson (and how she embodies Psalm 142)

CHAPTER 4 Harriet Newell (and how she embodies Psalm 116)

CHAPTER 5 Darlene Deibler Rose (and how she embodies Psalm 27)

CHAPTER 6 Betsey Stockton (and how she embodies 1 Corinthians 7:17–24)

CHAPTER 7 Bertha Smith (and how she embodies Galatians 2:20)

CHAPTER 8 Charlotte Atlee White Rowe (and how she embodies 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23)

CHAPTER 9 Yvette Aarons (how she embodies Proverbs 3:5-8)

CHAPTER 10 Lilias Trotter (and how she embodies 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)


In these biographies, he ties the experiences of these women’s lives with a passage of scripture and how each exemplifies it. I don’t remember reading any biographies set up that way before and found it a very enriching way to consider their lives. These women faced heart wrenching adversity in their pursuit of bringing the gospel to the nations, their calling firm and steadfast in Christ.

quote from 10 women who changed the world by daniel akin

My Take

Along the Path of Obedience

When our plane landed on African soil for the first time, there was a thrill in my heart. In our early twenties, God’s call was clear to bring the gospel to the nations and that led us to the unreached along the east coast of Tanzania. 

I distinctly remember telling a friend how excited I was to learn true dependance on Christ.

That was my blessed youthfulness speaking.

But it would be true.

There’s something about living overseas that’s unpredictable, insecure, uncomfortable and uncertain. The guarantee of daily gifts in the form of opportunities to seek and trust God, in illness, in language, in treating patients, in evangelism and in wisdom as we prayed for others.

As culture shock set in, then pregnancy, moments of discouragement popped by. I’d question our calling, but resolutely remember all the ways God had provided for and led us along this journey. 

God’s faithfulness is unquestionable in all of it.

Along the path of obedience there would be ups and downs, but then and now we’re reminded in Psalm 1 this is the blessed life, confident in the promises of God’s Word. Though we may waver, he never does.

In reading the stories of these women I’m extremely humbled at their pursuit of bringing Christ to the nations in spite of resistance, discrimination and suffering—so much suffering. Their lives exemplify the unexpected delight of a vibrant bloom sprouting in a barren wasteland. We see beauty in their praise and adoration of Christ through ongoing hardship, and, for some, in the sacrifice of their own lives.

I’m reminded of the words of Paul, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all” (Phil. 3:8). In light of these extraordinary women, I sometimes question whether I’m doing “enough” but instead of throwing on a backpack of shame, John Piper’s words are this, “Make obedience a big deal; make the whole aim of your life to obey the moral will of God. . . . You can have fulfillment in Christ whatever your job is.”

This is the gift these women give us. A spurring on of wholehearted obedience to Christ, trusting he has placed us exactly where we are, for exactly this moment, for the express purpose of bringing glory to his name and for the good of others.

May you be encouraged in your work and your calling, to follow Christ with a heart devoted to making his name great.

quote from 10 women who changed the world by daniel akin

My Recommendation

If you’re facing challenges in your calling and purpose, these women will demonstrate how to persevere without becoming disheartened.

If you need a little courage to follow Christ in obedience, whether a small step forward or a leap of faith, the lives of these women embody strength given by their confidence in the Saviour.

So, if you enjoy short biographies I’d heartily encourage you to pick this up. You will come away inspired and, hopefully, with a greater desire to support your missionaries and serve the Lord boldly.

quote from 10 women who changd the world by daniel akin

Quick Stats

# of Pages: 208

Level of Difficulty: Easy

My Rating: 5 stars

More Like This

Scriptures About Suffering for Christ

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Pet. 5:10).
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18).
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (Jam.1:2-4).
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12)

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*A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and for the opportunity to post an honest review.


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