Title: Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains
Author: Janet & Geoff Benge
Series: Christian Heroes: Then & Now
Major Themes: India, Sundar Singh, Tibet
Synopsis: After his miraculous conversion to Christianity at a young age, Sadhu Sundar Singh devoted his life to spreading the gospel in any way he could.
We have read quite a number of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now books aloud together, and everyone is always glad when we start a new one. These biographies are not quite written like a novel, but are certainly not dry and boring like some biographies. Sundar Singh was our most recent book from this series, known in our house as “the brown biographies.” We greatly enjoyed it, and found ourselves challenged by the life of the Indian sadhu, or holy man.
Sundar Singh was born in northern India to Sikh parents, but when he was still very young Jesus appeared to him. His life was never the same again. Though his family disowned him and treated him very badly, and even tried to poison him, he would not turn his back on his newfound faith. At the age of 16, he became a holy man, known in India as a sadhu. Soon, he began his life’s work of traveling through Tibet preaching about Jesus.
In Tibet, Sundar faced many dangers from the lamas, the priests of the Tibetan religion. He also faced many physical dangers as well, from snow, mountains, and wild yaks. You’ve probably heard the famous story of how he was traveling on foot, barefoot, through the Himalaya mountains, and saw a man laying in the snow. What should he do? Go on and save his life, or stop and try to help the man, probably dooming both of them to freezing?
We were surprised by how short Sundar’s life was; he disappeared when he was only 39 years old. We were challenged by his devotion to Jesus and sharing the message of salvation with the world, especially with the people of India and Tibet. Read this book if you want to get a glimpse at a life sold out to God.
WARNING: In chapter 3, Sundar thinks about and plans suicide. In chapters 7 and 9 there are details of horrific ways the Tibetans executed people they didn’t like.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults