Saturday, January 8, 2011

55 years ago today

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
- Jim Elliot

(A post borrowed from one year ago.)

At four-thirty sharp Marj Saint eagerly switched on the radio receiver in Shell Mera. This was the moment when the big news would come. Had the men been invited to follow the Aucas to their houses? What further developments would Nate be able to report?

She looked at her watch again. No sound from Palm Beach. She and Olive hunched close to the radio. The atmosphere was not giving any interference. Perhaps Nate's watch had run a little slow.

In Arajuno, Marilou and Barbara had their radio on, too. Silence. They waited a few minutes, then called Shell Mera.

"Aranjuno calling Shell Mera. Arajuno standing by for Shell Mera. Any word from Palm Beach, Marj? Over."

"Shell Mera standing by. No, no word as yet. We'll be standing by."

Not a crackle broke the silence. *

This scene unfolded fifty-five years ago today in the jungles of Ecuador. Five men, spurred by a passion to share the good news of Jesus Christ, ventured deep into the Ecuadorian jungle in an effort to reach an isolated tribe known to attack all strangers: the Aucas.

At an agreed-upon time, their five young wives sat by their radios, waiting for a message that never came* ... for all five men had been savagely speared to death.

Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of one of the murdered martyrs, Jim Elliot, wrote the story of unconditional love and complete obedience to God in Through Gates of Splendor. It became the best-selling and most powerful missionary story of the 20th century.

It is a book that moved me like no other, and I often encourage young women to read Elliot's writings. She is an incredible woman of God, wife, mother, and author.

If you've never picked up Through Gates of Splendor, do it. The sequel, Savage My Kinsman is equally riveting: the story of Elisabeth's journey back to minister to the Aucas, along with her three-year-old daughter Valerie. Valerie Elliot Shepard, now a pastor's wife, mother and grandmother, speaks around the country. My daughter heard her speak last year at her college.

 Elisabeth Elliot today (from

* from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot.

1 comment:


Thank you for this reminder. Tens of thousands of lives have been impacted for eternity because of the marytrdom of the five.

Last year a new book was released with some transcribed spoken messages given by Jim Elliot.

"JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You" was edited by myself.

May God bless your ministry and give you much eternal fruit.