Running on Broken Legs: My Journey to Joy


About The Book

Take undersized five-year-old farm girl Elinor, give her the polio that not only cripples her but also nearly kills her, then give her an impossible dream. In her childhood and again as a college student she rebels against the plan. Finally, she embraces the dream, and it leads Elinor to one of the most primitive, rugged places on earth and to a life that brawny international explorers would envy. 

For nearly eighteen years Elinor deals with murdering tribal people, a devastating earthquake and the relief efforts that follow, joys, triumphs, depression, peace, life-threatening illnesses, recovery, and friendship with the Kimyal tribal people, whom she comes to deeply respect and love. The Kimyal people give her the name Bad Legs, which to them reflects how her weak body shows them God’s love. Finally, the late effects of Elinor’s original polio force her to leave the place and people that her heart has embraced. She must find a way to say goodbye. 

In typical Kimyal fashion, Elinor tells a story to picture a profound truth: our weaknesses can be the conduit of strength beyond our own.

About The Author

Elinor Young

Elinor Young grew up on a small farm north of Spokane, Washington. After graduating from Prairie Bible Institute, Whitworth University, and Wycliffe Bible Translator’s Summer Institute of Linguistics program, she worked a for almost eighteen years among the Kimyal people in Irian Jaya (now called Papua), Indonesia. Today she lives in Chattaroy, Washington. She mentors future and current missionaries, edits the Great Commission Kids publication, blogs, and speaks on behalf of spreading the knowledge of God around the world.

Elinor Young

Rave Reviews for... Running on Broken Legs: My Journey to Joy


Elinor Young is a girl with grit and a great God. Her book will keep your attention all the way through as she describes what it was like to live in a stone-age people group in Irian Jaya in order to tell them of the love of God. I’ve known and admired Elinor for many year and even more now, after reading her fascinating book.

- Enid Sanford


When I got Elinor’s book “Running On Broken Legs” I could hardly put it down. I was deeply blessed by her inspiring and easy to read stories. Such personal, moving and Spirit anointed stories of her life of missionary service, proving that when God calls us, He gives us His grace and strength to follow His will! I have known Elinor for many years and I highly recommend her Story to anyone wanting to be overwhelmingly blessed. Thank you God for this remarkable woman!

- David Abuhl


Running on broken legs is definitely a 5 star read. I couldn’t put the book down. Elinor is such an inspiring story teller. Being disabled with polio as a young child she fascinates you with her perseverance and quick thinking on how to survive and thrive. She takes you to a remote people in Ivian Jaya Indonesia who were steeped in barbaric traditions and ignorance. However you learn to love and admire them as Elinor brings much needed medical and spiritual education their way. The story weaves in and out of nail biting experiences to soul searching, calm and beautiful sights. This is a great read for anyone with a sense of adventure and a love for the reality of human nature.

- Linda Smiley

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