He Is No Fool ...
Daily Word - Oct.10.2018 - Pastor Sheliah
➖“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliott ➖
Phillip James Elliott’s (1927-1956) heart was set on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and so at 25, he began his life’s journey to take this message to the peoples of Ecuador. The quote from Elliott, succinctly communicates his life!
Elliott and five fellow missionaries were brutally murdered in 1956 by the very people they had come to serve. Jim was only 28-years-old at the time of his death and many said, "What a waste of these young lives!"
Yet, in his heart, Jim Elliott had already settled that issue. Even as a student at Wheaton College, on Sundays he would often ride the train into Chicago and talk to people in the train station about Christ. He once wrote of such a day, "I cannot recall leading more than one or two into the kingdom. Surely this is not the manifestation of the power of the Resurrection. I feel as Rachel, 'Give me children, or else I die!'" (Genesis.30:1)
In 1952, Jim traveled to Ecuador with Pete Fleming, another young missionary. Jim's long-time friend Elisabeth Howard also moved to the near-by village of Quito later that year. Jim and Elisabeth were married in October, 1953, and had a daughter in 1955.
It was his desire to be able to reach the Waodoni tribe who lived deep in the jungles. They were known to be a violent and murderous tribe and had never had any contact with the outside world. Jim wanted to bring the gospel there so he started a plan which was called "Operation Auca."
Besides Jim and his family, the mission team consisted of five more young families. They were challenged to learn the unwritten language, but soon one of the Waodoni women left the tribe and came to live with them, thus helping them learn to communicate with those they wanted to reach.
Jim, along with Pete, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and their pilot Nate Saint began to search by plane in hopes of finding a way to contact the Waodoni. They would fly around the camp shouting friendship words in the Auca language through a loud speaker and dropping down gifts in a basket. They discovered a sandbar in the middle of the Curaray River that worked as a landing strip for the plane and it was there that they met the Waodonis face-to-face. They were elated to be able to finally be able to attempt to share the love of Christ with this people group.
On January 8, 1956, from their make-shift base on the sandbar, the men radioed their wives saying that they were going to go into the village and would radio them again later.
“Operation Auca” was under way. Soon a group Aucas showed up at the sandbar and they radioed: "Guys, the Aucas are coming!"
The last radio contact was Jim calling Elisabeth saying, "We'll call you back in three hours."
Later Jim Elliot's body was found downstream with three others. Their bodies had been brutally pierced with spears and hacked by machetes.
In 1956, this story shook - not only the Christian world - but the nations, as reports of these deaths spread internationally in newspapers and by television!
After Jim's death, Elisabeth, their daughter and another young missionary, Rachel, moved so as to work with the Auca Indians.
The love of Christ was clearly shown through their forgiveness and allowed them to have amazing success with the once murderous people. Jim's life was not a waste! In fact, because of his death, salvation - Life - came to many Aucas and encouragement and inspiration to thousands of believers worldwide.
In 1963, I was only about 15-years-old when I read "Through Gates of Splendor" (published 1957) - Elisabeth Elliott's account of her husband, Jim, and his companions. My heart was pierced by the dedication of these men and women of faith, and Jim's quote: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose," was stamped in my heart, and has often guided my life-choices.
There have been many films and books of these brave missionaries, and most recently (2006) a major motion picture, "The End of the Spear" (now available on NetFlix) was produced and acclaimed world-wide.
Jim Elliott's journal entry for October 28, 1949, expresses his belief that work dedicated to Jesus was more important than his life.
"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it"n(Luke.9:24).
Now, that IS an OUTRAGEOUS WAY TO LIVE! ~ Shelia Hart Artt
Note: I first wrote this article on April 24, 2013 – for the daily blogs “Living the Outrageous Life”, but today – June 15, 2015 – I’m publishing this on my website – in honor of the passing of Jim’s wife, Elisabeth.
Elisabeth Elliott impacted my life – as a teenager – with her book “Through Gates of Splendor” about her husband Jim and the other men who lost their lives while sharing the Gospel with the Auca Indians (In Ecuador) … This account set me on a life-time pursuit of the Missionary Adventures – to read and to do! Thx for the contribution you made in my life! You will be missed, Elisabeth Elliott!