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.
Addtionally, Ryan J. Murphy has covered high school and college sports for over two decades, but Ring The Bell is his first sports book. He has previously written two books about living in Africa (All That You Can’t Leave Behind: A Rookie Missionary’s Life in Africa and Winter Spring Summer Fall: Living and Lasting in Missions), where he still lives with his wife and three children.
RYAN’S BLOG LINK
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: A Rookie Missionary’s Life In Africa.
Perhaps this book was born while I was sucking on a plastic straw in a San Diego McDonald’s. As I sat there and told my missions pastor about the hundred and one dreams of a twenty-five year old newlywed, the burly blond in his late 40’s listened intently with a smile on his face.
“I want to write,” I said. Dream one hundred and two.
He paused for a second, searching for the most polite way to say, “What could you possibly write about?”
I didn’t know. But as the conversation wore on, Brad Buser pushed me past dreaming about living to a place where my life would make a difference for the kingdom of God. Instead of merely being “interested” in missions, I decided then and there to give my life to God for full-time missions. And in doing so, I found something worth writing about. Thanks Brad and may you encourage many more to follow our Savior wherever He leads. And to all of the other pastors—Kenny, Eloy, Von, Rick, Ray, Jeff, Rick, Anne, Andy—thank you for helping us obey our calling.
I’d like to thank my wonderful wife Heather for being my partner in this life and my helper with this book. The seminal material of All That You Can’t Leave Behind came from my blog Strangers in Kenya, which I began at the urging of Ian Fraser. Thanks Ian. I’ve had a slew of great editors along the way as well—my mom Cindy, my sister Emily, Kristy Faber, and Suzanne Geba. Mike Gaudaur did an awesome job with the cover photos and design. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
Thanks to Mike Smitley and Father’s Press for caring more about the things of God than dollars and sales. I’ll always be indebted to you for giving me a shot at sharing my story.
Of course, the biggest thanks of all go to my Lord and Savior. Thanks for redeeming this mess of a man and giving him more than he could have ever dreamed of.
Ryan J. Murphy