An amazing and truly inspiring story! A story we should never forget.
Elisabeth Elliot memorialized the story in her book Shadow of the Almighty. That title comes from Psalm 91:1: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
The title was not a slip — not any more than the death of the five missionaries was a slip. But the world saw it differently. Around the world, the death of these young men was called a tragic nightmare. Elisabeth believed the world was missing something. She wrote, “The world did not recognize the truth of the second clause in Jim Elliot’s credo: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’”
She called her book Shadow of the Almighty because she was utterly convinced that the refuge of the people of God is not a refuge from suffering and death, but a refuge from final and ultimate defeat. “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24) — because the Lord is God Almighty.
“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect.”
― Jim Elliot
“I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you Lord Jesus.”
― Jim Elliot
“The will of God is sweet tonight, altogether ‘good and acceptable and perfect.’ The considerate love of the Lord Jesus for us seems such a kind thing now. I know it has always been so, but somehow I didn’t see how wise it was when it didn’t seem kind… Remind me of this when I cannot regard His love as considerate some time.” Jim Elliot
Jim Elliot was born in Portland, Oregon to Fred and Clara Elliot, and became a Christian at a young age. He graduated from Wheaton College in 1949, with a degree in Greek. He arrived in Ecuador on February 21, 1952, with the purpose of evangelizing Ecuador’s Quechua Indians.
On October 8, 1953, he married fellow Wheaton alumnus and missionary Elisabeth Howard in Quito, Ecuador. Their only child, Valerie, was born February 27, 1955.
There they were approached several times by small groups of Huaorani Indians, and even gave an airplane ride to one curious Huaorani who they called “George” (his real name was Naenkiwi).
Encouraged by these friendly encounters, they began plans to visit the Huaorani, but their plans were preempted by the arrival of a larger group of Huaorani, who killed Elliot and his four companions on January 8, 1956. Elliot’s mutilated body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully.
The five missionaries had guns with them in their camp, but they did not use them to fight the Indians. When the Auca men came toward them with their spears, they did not shoot back with their guns. They knew that if they would shoot the Indians, they could probably save their own lives.
The Aucas always remembered those five strange white men who had been so kind to them and had not tried to kill them. And so a year later when more missionaries tried again to speak to the Aucas about Jesus, they were ready to listen.
Several of the men who had helped to kill Jim and his friends with their spears now became Christians. One of them gave his testimony at a meeting. He counted on his fingers and said, “I have killed twelve people with my spear! But I did that when my heart was black. Now Jesus’ blood has washed my heart clean, so I don’t live like that anymore.” God’s love had changed his life!