I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

End of the Spear

I went to see End of the Spear this past weekend with a group of friends. If you've listened to Christian radio, then you know the basis for the story—in 1956, five American missionaries named Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming were killed in Ecuador by the Auca (or sometimes called Waodani) Indian Tribe—the same people group they were trying to reach with the gospel.

The missionaries refused to shoot their aggressors, even though they had guns, because they wanted the Aucas to hear about the saving power of Christ. While I don't think the decision they made to not defend themselves is the only biblically allowable one in such a circumstance, it's hard to miss the heart of their decision. As courageous as these missionaries were, their families were every bit as courageous. They chose to attempt to make peace with the same tribe who killed their loved ones and in the end the gospel conquered the entire tribe.

Elisabeth Elliot, Jim's wife, wrote a book called Through Gates of Splendor that chronicled the story and it has been inspiring people for nearly fifty years. Now the story is on the big screen and it is incredibly powerful. Watching the five men die for people they didn't know, with the hope that those same people would embrace Christ is indescribable and moving beyond words. And watching their families press on in spite of their loss shows us what real love and sacrifice looks like.

After I got home from the movie, I flipped through the photos in Through the Gates of Splendor and the movie production team did a fantastic job of capturing the scenery, but much more importantly, the movie reminds us of the sacrifices that five men made so long ago. They would have never dreamed that fifty years later, people would be sitting in theatres all across America watching their story. But if they had known, they probably wouldn't have wanted to be the center of attention. Instead, they would have wanted us to realize the simple, yet profound truth that Jim Elliot wrote in his diary: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."


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