My thoughts about the book The Unlikely Missionary

Have you ever seen a book title and subtitle and wished for a moment that that book was written about you, that it depicted your life in one single line?

The Unlikely Missionary
That’s what I felt when I first saw the title of this book: “The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter” by Dan King (from

I had this strong feeling that I wanted to be that person that changed from being a “pew-warmer” to becoming a “poverty-fighter”.

As some of you know, I’ve recently quit my job and I am now finding my new path in life (career-wise speaking). And it seems that it will have something to do with helping people, fighting poverty and/or missions. Maybe that’s why that book title spoke so deeply to me. So I prayed about it, of course, and as soon as the book was released I bought it.

The book is about Dan King’s own experience, as the title suggests, from being an observer to becoming a life changer. He tells us how he first connected to Five Talents (a christian organization that works with microfinance to help poor communities) through a blog post, and how that contact became an opportunity to travel to Africa to teach business classes to the clients of Five Talents in Kenya and Uganda.

He tells us about his contact with two different cultures, the experiences he had with the classes that he and the team taught and the people he met.

These are the aspects that I highlight about this book:

  1. It is NOT that typical “everything is a disaster, the statistics are depressing and there’s almost no hope” kind of book. Dan transmits a message of hope and that a regular person like him or me or you can change lives of people.
  2. Dan is honest about his fears and insecurities, so he comes out as a regular guy, not a superhero. That makes it easier for us to identify with him.
  3. At the end of each chapter, he suggests actions that the reader can take in order to start getting involved and making a difference. He called them “praxis”. You won’t resist. They are simple and anyone can do them. For example, he suggests researching on certain topics then sharing with friends, or writing about them.

I wrote this post about famine after reading one of his first suggestions (and it was just in time for the Blog Action Day 2011), and I’ve got other exciting things on my to-do list.

Personally, this book invited me to try harder and make a difference in people’s lives. Dan showed that it is not as difficult as it may seem. If you really want it, you can make a difference. You don’t have to travel to Africa or become a missionary in order to do that.

At a certain point, when he is reviewing everything that he experienced in that trip, he asked himself “What if my greatest impact on a trip like this went beyond the work that I did while I was there?”

I can say this, Dan: Yes, it certainly did. You touched a life here, in Brazil, miles away from your home. And I’m sure it doesn’t stop there. God is still using you through that trip, and I am sure there will be much more fruits from it than you can imagine and than you will ever know.


  1. Thank you for this awesome review Cris! I’m glad that you liked the book, and I think you are right on with the three things that you’ve highlighted about the book. But honestly, for me the best part is your comment about how I was able to touch a life all the way in Brazil. And you are right that it’s not stopping there… I also just read a review from a blogger in New Zealand! It’s incredible to me that this book is reaching so far!

    Anyway… thank you again! I appreciate you and what you’ve shared about the book!

    • Dan, thank you for reading this review and leaving a comment, it’s an honor for me.
      I don’t have any doubts that your book is changing lots of lives everywhere.
      It is a seed that God is using to open people’s lives and make them eager to make a difference in the world.
      Thank you for facing the challenge that God gave you and sharing it with us.

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