Hannah Hurnard was born in England in 1905 to wealthy Quaker parents. She had a severe stutter and because of this struggled in her youth. She also struggled with her faith, uncertain of her belief in Christian teachings.
In 1924 she found herself able to surrender her life more fully to the God she sought to serve. In 1932 she went as an independent missionary to Haifa, Israel, where she worked in a clinic and Bible distribution. She had a connection to Israel that lasted over 50 years.