Heroes of the Faith–Bryan and Libby


I recently wrote a post about the need to expand our criteria when lifting up ministers and pastors as heroes of the faith. The norm these days is to admire people who are articulate. We want to follow people who speak well. We respect those who write well. Words are important, but I hope we can make a shift and begin to emulate people who radically live out the way of Jesus—at times with their words but mostly through their daily surrender to Christ.

So, in that vein, I thought I might write a few posts featuring people who are my heroes in the faith. They would most likely balk at being referenced in this way, but their lives inspire me to follow Jesus. These people are not influencing people by speaking in front of huge crowds (though they do speak and write words of grace). They are doing their best to follow Jesus, wherever he might lead, and inviting others to join. I would like to follow them as they follow Christ.

The first “heroes of the faith” I want to mention are Bryan and Libby Harrison. I was in graduate school with Bryan and met Libby through her uncle Larry. I have always been impressed with these two. Libby grew up in Kenya on the mission field, so she is a kindred spirit with Ann. She exudes grace and warmth. Bryan is wise and has a heart of compassion like few I know. They make a great couple. Since the moment I met Bryan, I knew where his heart was. He has had a passion for serving a specific people in North Africa for years. He knew his life was going to be wrapped up with the lives of these people long before he moved there. I have always been impressed with the love he has for the people there.

Bryan and Libby moved to the mission field about three years ago, close to the time we moved to Phayao. Ann and I would always joke, during those times we began to feel sorry for ourselves during the first year, that we need to read their blog and be reminded of what real missionaries are like. They have experienced and endured things that would have made me tap out after a week. I don’t have the time to tell you all the stories of their experiences living in their new home, but the grace and humility with which they settled into their community is incredible.

They are now in a time of transition due to the unrest in their area. They were forced from their home in tragic fashion and are now back in the States. (I encourage you to read on their blog here about what happened.) Last I heard they are still waiting to find out if it is possible to head back “home.” I can only imagine how difficult this time is for them.

I am not doing justice to their story and the way in which they serve the people of North Africa. But, I write all this to say this particular point. What fascinates me about Bryan and Libby is the genuine humility in which they radically go about following the way of Jesus. We saw them briefly while we were on furlough, and I approached them feeling like they were rock stars. However, they carry themselves in a way that portrays a feeling of “we are just following Jesus like everyone else.” I wanted to hear all the stories of their adventures, but they just view those stories as life. I wanted to ask them question after question, but all they wanted was to hear from us. They are that kind of people.

Thus, I hesitate posting this entry because they spend their lives pointing away from themselves and pointing toward others and Christ. They would never ask for recognition. They are just following Christ. But that is exactly why they should be lifted up. Because we can follow them as they follow Christ.



  1. Well said, my brother. There are many of us ‘older siblings’ that stand in awe of what many of their ‘younger siblings’ are doing in the Kingdom.

  2. Thank you for such a well stated picture of Bryan and Elizabeth. We are so thankful for them and for God’s grace towards them and Annabelle in providing for their needs. Their lives honor God and their parents and grandparents and make us very grateful!

    • oops, that was from Aunt Pris

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  3. There are also a lot of us who are spiritual siblings of Bryan and Libby, and Reese, your thoughts are very accurate. Thank you for making an excellent point, too.

    B Loveless

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