Sunday Snippet: Bruchko, a Book Review.

This is one of my all time favorite missionary books.


It is the autobiography of Bruce Olsen who was a missionary to the Molitone Indians in the Amazon Jungle. When he was 19 years old he left the comfort of his home and went to South America to find a way to reach these people. Through trial after trial he finally reaches them and manages to share the gospel with them. He has many close calls with death and his life is constantly under threat. He never takes the easy way out. He is totally committed to his calling.

One thing I liked about this book was that it wasn’t a missionary story from centuries years ago. It is recent history and just a couple of years short of current! Most brilliant missionary books are from an era of missionaries in years gone by. Timing doesn’t make a book less valid, it was just nice to read something current! The story is fast paced and gripping, un-put-downable. It was truly inspiring to read a book about a man who was called to serve, in the here and now, that didn’t give up or take a single easy option.

I read this book for book club and was so excited about it that I wanted everyone to read it – my boys looked a bit doubtful about reading an “adult” book. Anyway then it arrived in the Grade 4 books from Sonlight and there was no looking back. There is so much truth in the saying that a good book can be read by any age and if it isn’t suitable for a ten year old boy then it probably isn’t that suitable!

Anyway, I read this with my older two boys they were riveted and I could see that the idea of being a missionary in a dark and remote place became a reality for them. It definitely planted the idea deeper into their minds as an opportunity to serve.

For me the challenge lay in exactly that, it is all very well to teach your children to serve the Lord but what if they are called to a deep dark dangerous place. I know you can be killed crossing the street at home. But if my kids grow up with this on their hearts then for myself, I think I will have quite a battle within my heart. Definitely, something I need to think about as my older guys probably have less time left at home than they have already spent here. Waaahhh, what a thought!!!

Anyway, seek this book out and give it a read – I really enjoyed it. Just seeing a young man rise over and above the challenge he was presented with… really amazing!

9 Replies to “Sunday Snippet: Bruchko, a Book Review.”

  1. This is one of my favourite books! I first read it while on a mission trip with Teen Missions International and had to get it for my own library. :0)

  2. Yes, I know what you mean about teaching your kids to love and serve God but ‘what if it takes them somewhere dangerous?’ My eldest daughter has had a passion for India for a few years now. India!?! Not exactly the world’s safest haven! But she’s just turned 14, and the years are ticking away….. So it’s kind of a battle for us parents isn’t it? Yes I want this, no I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t…. I guess that’s where our trust in God has to kick in even though it’s scarey.
    Have a great day!
    PS: I’ve got Bruchko in the cupboard but haven’t read it yet – must get it out now. My daughter’s hero has been Amy Carmichael.

  3. Hi E, So glad I blogged it! This book really stopped me in my tracks and challenged me! It was more than a read!

  4. Hi L, When I was at Varsity, I was friends with a girl who was passionate about India as well and she studied at Bible College and spent years learning one or three of the thousands of languages… She went there a couple of times and ate a lot of bananas because they were familiar to her! She loved it and loved the people but fell in love with a guy who was working in a church in the Middle East, they ended up marrying and she has now lived there and served for years. I never really felt for her folks – that would be the youthful heart speaking – but now I realize how gracious they were and what it must have cost them!

  5. Bruchko is one of my favorite missionary books, too! My DH and I read it a couple decades ago in college, and we were just talking about Olson a couple days ago. Amy Carmichael, mentioned above, is another favorite hero. And have you ever heard of Lil Dickson and the book about her, Angel at Her Shoulder, by Kenneth Wilson? Riveting story of Dickson’s pioneer work in Formosa (now Taiwan)–a great story to show how a woman can serve powerfully even when, like Bruchko, she doesn’t really have the "proper permission."

  6. Hi SK, Nice to hear from you again! How can I not have heard of Lil Dickinson – I am definitely going to seek her story out. Thanks for the tip and have a great week!

  7. I can’t wait to get to this one. I think it’s a reader, isn’t it? I am planning to read it aloud with my kids anyway. We can never get enough read alouds!
    I am sure not one to be able to tell my kids to stay near by — seeing as I have settled thousand away from my homeland — but, it’s still hard to think about. At the moment my daughter says that she wants to be a missionary here in Japan… we’ll see!

  8. Hi Sue… beware the apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree!!! Bruchko is indeed a reader but we read it aloud – too good to waste! I hope you enjoy it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *