I have to confess that I once bought his diaries, called 'The Life of Brainerd' and gave up not very long into it because it was so depressing! But upon reading the short book that John Piper wrote on him I found that apparently his whole family was prone to getting very depressed so it was something he had to deal with his whole life.
This is what has made his biography so helpful to so many people I think. They saw that he was a normal human being, struggling with depression and illness, yet he persevered through it and reached many people for Christ.
John Piper says this:
Brainerd’s life is one long agonizing strain to “redeem the time” and “not grow weary in well doing” and “abound in the work of the Lord.” And what makes his life so powerful is that he pressed on in this passion under the immense struggles and hardships that he did.
You may not have a mentor to help you, disciple you and inspire you. But missionary biographies can be just that. For many years it was missionaries of the past that taught me how to live for God, and inspired me to surrender to Him.
Anyway please do check out this link and download this short e-book. Also there are links on that page to three more missionary biographies that are free to download.
Part of Recommended Resources on Fridays