“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
On January 8th, 1956, in Shell Mera, Ecuador, a group of five missionaries – Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCulley, Roger Youderian and Pete Fleming lost their lives as they attempted to reach out to the Huaorani – a warrior people living in the rainforests of Ecuador and considered by missionaries to be an unreached people group in the spread of the Gospel. Also known as the Aucan people, they were approached by the missionaries and the missionaries were slaughtered.
The story of their mission was spread throughout the world, in part from a 10-page article in Life magazine. The death of the men encouraged funding for evangelism efforts throughout the world. Over the next 50+ years many individuals who have been called into Christian service have spoken about the influence these young missionaries have had on their lives. What some didn’t realize is that after their slaying, Jim Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth and Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel returned to the tribe as missionaries with the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Over time, many of the Huaorani people converted to Christianity, including some of the killers.
Books and films about their stories are located in the APU Libraries and include:
Elliot, Elisabeth. Through Gates of Splendor. NY: Harper, 1957.
Elliot, Elisabeth, ed. The Journals of Jim Elliot. Grand Rapids, MI: F.H. Revell Co., 1978.
Hitt, Russell T. Jungle Pilot: The Life and Witness of Nate Saint. NY: Harper, 1959.
End of the Spear DVD – relates the story of Nate Saint and the missionary work of his son, Steve Saint, who continues the work of his father.