I’d like to thank Christian Focus Publications for giving me a copy of Robert Moffat: Africa’s Brave Heart by Irene Howat in return for my honest review.
Robert Moffat (1795-1893) was a missionary to Africa during the 19th century–a time when missionaries didn’t generally live long in the tropical climate amongst violent tribes. Yet Moffat served the Lord ministering to tribes in South Africa for over 50 years.
Irene Howat’s Robert Moffat: Africa’s Brave Heart (Christian Focus Publications, 2014) is a wonderful story of the life of Robert Moffat and his wife Mary, written for 8-14 year olds. He certainly was brave, facing dangers and challenges that would dissuade most people right away.
Robert’s story is inspiring. Reaching the people he was to serve required marching through the desert and wilderness for months, only to hear terrible tales of the murderous chieftain he was being sent to minister to. Robert Moffat persevered, even in the face of promised certain death. His impact was astounding, as he learned the local language, shared the gospel, translated the Scriptures, and discipled the local people. The murderous chieftain? He became a loyal follower of Christ.
Throughout his time in Africa, Robert dealt repeatedly with murderous and thieving tribes and fought to stay alive in a harsh and dry environment. The Lord provided for and protected the Moffat family, although they did suffer the loss of three children. Robert Moffat had ten children and adopted others (at least two) from the local tribal people. His eldest daughter Mary became the wife of David Livingstone, who was headed for missions in China until God sovereignly intervened through Moffat. Another son also stayed in Africa as a missionary. Robert Moffat returned home to England reluctantly for his final 13 years of life, raising support for missions in the country he loved.
I love Christian Focus’ Trail Blazers series (and their Torch Bearers series on Christian martyrs). Currently, the Trail Blazers series has 39 books! That’s enough to keep your middle grade child reading great, God-honoring, character-growing material for a long time. I find that reading Christian biographies with my children helps us all grow in character, in perspective, and in our understanding of God’s hand in history.
Robert Moffat: Africa’s Brave Heart would coordinate well with studies involving:
- South Africa
- David Livingstone
- The 19th Century
- Courage, faith, and/or obedience
You can find Robert Moffat: Africa’s Brave Heart and the other biographies in the Trailblazers biography series for 8-12 year olds at:
Other Christian Focus Trail Blazer & Torchbearer books reviewed on Thinking Kids:
- Augustine: The Truth Seeker
- Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines
- Fanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s Song
- Nate Saint: Operation Auca
- John Knox: The Sharpened Sword
- Michael Faraday: Spiritual Dynamo
- Mary of Orange: At the Mercy of Kings
- John Stott: The Humble Leader
- Titanic The Ship of Dreams: John Harper
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