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All That You Can't Leave Behind: A Rookie Missionary's Life in Africa [Kindle Edition]

Ryan J. Murphy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

Do all missionaries live in grass huts, wear pocket protectors, have 13 children, and stutter?

My, my, my. It is good you picked up this book.

Through personal stories, cultural insights, and perspectives on the mission movement in Africa, Ryan Murphy shares what the missionary life looks like in the 21st century.

All That You Can?t Leave Behind offers an entertaining bridge into the unknown lands of missions work and challenges you to make a difference in your world for God?s glory.

Editorial Reviews


"In an age where the Great Commission has become more talk than walk, Ryan Murphy has given us a gift. In fresh prose, Murphy has put flesh on the bones of Christ's commission. Come learn.  Love. Be inspired."

--Harry Kraus, M.D., medical missionary and best-selling author of Breathing Grace: What You Need More Than Your Next Breath

"If you visualize a young Southern California couple with everything going for them--house, education, job, reputation, looks, humor, athleticism--you are thinking of the Murphys.  To see them move out as career missionaries has been a huge encouragement to me personally and to all who have watched their journey."

--Brad Buser, missions pastor and New Tribes Mission church planter

"Enjoy this fun and slightly mischievous story of a very 'ordinary' young American couple who felt God call them to leave paying jobs, amazing friends, and a beautiful home in the United States and to become missionaries caring for

About the Author

In 2005, Ryan Murphy, along with wife Heather and infant son Micah, left his comfortable home and successful career in San Diego to teach the children of missionaries in rural Kenya. After graduating with a B.A. in Literature from Point Loma Nazarene University, he planned to pay off his school debt in ten years and then leave for the mission field. Through an incredible turn of events, the debt was paid off in four years, and Heather and he raised all of the financial support needed to volunteer in Kenya. Appointed to work at a boarding school called Rift Valley Academy by Africa Inland Mission, he and his wife teach, mentor, care for, and live with the children of African missionaries nine months of the year. Although he ministers mainly to the students, living among Africans has provided him unique insights into faith and friendship which only cross-cultural missionaries can experience. He taught English at a public school for five years in the US and is devoted to the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Besides writing and teaching, Ryan enjoys playing guitar, wrestling with his two sons, and watching Penn State football. His first year as a missionary is recounted in this, his first book, ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND.

Product Details

  • File Size: 354 KB
  • Print Length: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Father's Press; 1st edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0016O7V6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cross Cultural Encouragement March 17, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband and I have been volunteering an American missionary school last two months. It has been an interesting adjustment to the culture. We have gone through all sorts of emotions, but the most disturbing emotions have been ones of discouragement and questioning God's hand in bringing us here. Living here has been tough. Praise God that Ryan Murphy's book "ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND" was given to us to read. Not only is it a delightful and entertaining book, but God used the book to show us that our feelings were not unusual. We could relate to Heather and Ryan's first year missionary life and laughed as we realized how similar our experiences were. I am encouraged to know that my emotions are to be expected and that they are not signs that I shouldn't be here, but rather part of the process of entering missionary life. I have been able to see through the Murphys' experiences that we too will survive and grow to love this place.

This book helps one take a deep breath and realize that these feelings are okay. To realize that the struggle will not last forever but that it is part of God's plan is liberating. Praise God for this encouragement! I think anyone who is considering a cross cultural experience should read this book. It is an easy read and will help those coming to the field to understand the "fitting into the new culture" process. I think it is a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book! December 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a fantstic book. I bought it for my wife for Christmas. After lunch on Christmas day we picked it up just to browse and hardly put it down until we were done. This guy is truly talented and has done a great job of illustrating the struggles that a missionary lives through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First year on the missionary field December 11, 2007
We have worked with the author and his family for the last 2 1/2 years at RVA. Ryan has done an excellent job at communicating the ups and downs to what we shared as our first year on the mission field. He includes meaningful stories, accurate information, and great thoughts on what it means to be a missionary. This is a great book for missionaries as well as supporters and friends. It helps you see what it is like to live and work in a different culture, the challenges and the joys. It is an easy read. Good job Ryan! Thanks for sharing this story with us so we can share it with others!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God's perfect timing February 26, 2008
God's timing is always perfect. I started reading this book and within a day or two I was faced with tons of bad news all at once. My niece has a brain tumor. My other niece has mono and her situation is pretty serious. My wife has to have sinus surgery in America, while I am here in Indonesia alone doing my small part in fulfilling God's calling on our lives. All of this right after moving to a new town and stepping out of our comfort zone all over again.
As I read this book I realized that I'm not the only one going through this. Ryan and Heather also dealt with the same issues as I am. They were also dealing with issues from the same perspective that I am, and seeing how God brought them through it really is helping me. I was so into this book that I actually cried when I read about Colin's death.

Thank you Ryan for writing this book!!! Maybe you wrote it just for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and challenging read April 28, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ryan's first book, "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is extremely accessible to readers on any level. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his family's adventure to Africa and their first year in serving God as missionaries, teaching the students of RVA. Ryan's journal entries are raw and the content is extremely valuable to anyone considering becoming a cross-cultural missionary. Some of my favorite journal entries were the ones where Ryan clearly identifies the major cultural differences between Western life and the sacrificial lifestyle that missionaries enter in to. Ryan's heart for the poor is evident and the light of Christ shines through the testimonies in this book. to God be the glory. Read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missionary Life Abroad, the Real Story March 4, 2008
Set in Kenya during the Murphy family's first years as teachers of missionary children, Ryan Murphy tells the real story of a faith-driven life abroad. Away from the comforts of home, friends and family, he recounts not only the daily challenges and frustrations, but also the heart-warming victories inherent in doing the Lord's work afar. Murphy's tales of daily life evoke humor, compassion and wonder and take the reader on a unique voyage to a rich and colorful land where adventure and uncertainty lurk around every corner. This is a real page-turner, sincerely told in everyday language. It is a delightful read for anyone interested in a unique memoir and a must for anyone contemplating the missionary life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Want the Book to End May 10, 2011
By Deb C
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My husband and I will be leaving next month to work in Mozambique as full-time missionaries. Ryan's book was an encouragement to me as I read his day to day accounts of his new life in Kenya with his family. I highly recommend it to those preparing for the mission field or those who just want a glimpse into a missionary's life. I didn't want the book to end. I was excited to see he has another book "Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall: Living and Lasting in Missions" which I just downloaded on my Kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and free of sentimentality September 27, 2008
Murphy's book has given honest and straightforward insight into the missionary experience. It doesn't try to sell or market his choice to go. It has nonetheless helped my wife and I process through our decision to serve in Africa. It is written in journal form, so don't expect a sweeping narrative with elaborate character and setting. A helpful description of a young missionary's personal journey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I enjoyed the honesty, as a missionary I can totally relate!!! It is a good book and an easy read.
Published 9 months ago by L
2.0 out of 5 stars ... very excited to read this book but than really disappointed by the...
I was very excited to read this book but than really disappointed by the time I finished it ! The author talks a lot about all what he had to leave behind (hamburger, soccer,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Elisa Baggett
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story of foreign mission work
I have granddaughter serving an intern ship with AMG at an orphan edge /school in Upendo Uganda.
she had sp
Published 14 months ago by morrison shingler
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Very inspirational and insightful book for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Christian missions or anyone considering supporting those in the mission field.
Published 15 months ago by John R. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally honest
I was really surprised at how similar Haiti (where my family serves) and Kenya are! I love that the author is so honest about their transition. Read more
Published 17 months ago by So
3.0 out of 5 stars decent story, fair writing
A generally well-written book in journal form. Describes the life and thoughts of Murphy. Generally an average or typical first-person autobiographical piece. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Julia
4.0 out of 5 stars Sent my teen to Kenya
I sent my 16 year old to Kijabe Kenya for 9 weeks this year. Very helpful reading to prepare. Even though set in Kijabe and a bit dated, this book is relevant to all missionaries... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Brian Dantzig
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting story
This is certainly an interesting story about life in Africa as a Missionary. it sounded like he and his wife were ready to leave.
Published 20 months ago by thomas condon
5.0 out of 5 stars See what life in a third world country is really like
I can relate to so much about this book, because I have been there, not only physically been to Kenya, but emotionally and spiritually been to a place where I knew I was called but... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Chris L.K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly where I'm at!
As a first time missionary with young kids in the South Pacific I completely related with this book. I laughed, I wanted to cry. Read more
Published on February 2, 2013 by MB
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Ryan J. Murphy loves a good story. After moving to Africa in 2005 with his wife and baby son, this typical American man found plenty of good ones to tell. His first book--All That You Can't Leave Behind: A Rookie Missionary's Life in Africa--chronicles the sometimes humorous and sometimes traumatic experiences of dealing with culture shock in a third world country. When his young family stayed in equatorial Kenya for the long haul, readers enjoyed more stories in the ironically titled Winter Spring Summer Fall: Living and Lasting in Missions. But stories come in all shapes and sizes. Even in a brown prolate spheroid. Murphy's third book (Ring The Bell: The Twenty-two Greatest Penn State Football Victories of Our Lives) tells stories of his hometown heroes through the past four decades. His wife and he still work as teachers in rural Africa with their three children.

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