Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend
Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend  -     By: Simona Gorton
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Christian Focus / 2019 / Paperback
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Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend

Christian Focus / 2019 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW7102668


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Read the story of a life lived safely within the lines that God turned upside down. From social star of 1930’s Chicago to a Wycliffe missionary in South America and the USSR, Elaine Townsend’s life was far from boring. Meet the woman who became Cameron Townsend’s wife, and discover how a life can be filled with adventure, by simply saying ‘yes’ to God.

Through each stage of Elaine’s life her trust and dependence on her Savior shines as an example to believers everywhere, yet there are also weaknesses with which we can all identify. This account of her struggles and successes is filled with stories gathered from those who knew Elaine best, as well as insights into the mission work that renewed a generation’s passion for Bible translation.

Both encouraging and challenging, this thorough biography leads the reader to rightly recognize Elaine Townsend as one of the great Christian women of the 20th century – a demonstration of what God can do with a willing heart.

Product Information

Title: Better Than We Dreamed: The Story of Elaine Townsend
By: Simona Gorton
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Christian Focus
Publication Date: 2019
Dimensions: 8.47 X 5.40 (inches)
Weight: 13 ounces
ISBN: 1527102661
ISBN-13: 9781527102668
Series: Biography
Stock No: WW7102668

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Author Bio

Simona Gorton is a writer, photographer, traveller, wife, and an international operations manager for 9Marks.

Editorial Reviews

Elaine Townsend, wife of the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, lived an eventful and inspiring life in service to her Lord and ours. Simona Gorton’s biography captures her unique personality and her love for the Savior in a delightful way. While this book will be an encouragement for women, young and old alike, men would be wise to read it as well.


This is the wonderful story of a woman who, together with her husband, was determined to fulfil the will of God for her life. In one poignant episode, at a time in life when they should have been considering a well–deserved retirement, her husband Cameron senses the Lord leading them to the USSR at the height of the Cold War. Elaine’s response was “if that’s what God wants you to do, that’s what I want to do too”. A life of obedience to God that is a challenge to us all.


I highly recommend the story of Elaine Townsend’s life.  When one thinks of Wycliffe’s story, one immediately associates it with Cameron Townsend.  But as one reads ‘Better Than We Dreamed’, it is evident that without Elaine serving and sacrificing side by side with her husband, Wycliffe would not be what it is today.  Tens and tens of thousands will one day—on that Great Day, rise up and call her blessed.


To read this story of Elaine Townsend is to step into the stream of a life lived on the move. Elaine’s life determination and grit are evident throughout. … We count it a special privilege to have worked in with her in Kingdom building endeavors. We commend this book to the next generation to take hold of the promises of God as Elaine so plainly did.


Elaine Townsend, wife of the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, lived an eventful and inspiring life in service to her Lord and ours. Simona Gorton’s biography captures her unique personality and her love for the Savior in a delightful way. While this book will be an encouragement for women, young and old alike, men would be wise to read it as well.


This moving biography chronicles the life of one of the most impactful figures in modern missions and challenges readers to be like her: eager to see God’s Word spread, faithful in pursuing the work, and humble before the sovereign God who accomplished it.


Elaine Townsend certainly was a remarkable woman. Her exceptional gifts were evident early in life and those gifts were unreservedly committed to the glory of God for the whole of her life. This is important mission history, but it is far more than that. Every reader will be challenged to fresh steps of faith and commitment.


Open Simona Gorton’s debut biography at your own risk. You won’t put it down. Prepare to be caught up in a fascinating journey, inspired by sacrificial service, warmly encouraged by the zealous devotion of a loving helper, delightfully absorbed in the epic life of Elaine Townsend. Gorton’s comprehensive work will thrill you with the power of the Word of God, in the language of the people, to transform hearts and lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.


In Better Than We Dreamed, author Simona Gorton takes you on a global journey from Chicago in the Depression to Hitler’s Germany and the warring Middle East, then to the virgin jungles of South America and finally Russia during the Cold War. A gripping true story weaves together lively narrative with Elaine’s own thoughts and writings.

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