Jim Elliot

Photo of Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot was a missionary to the Quichua Indians and a martyr to the Auca Indians.  He Lived in Shandia, Ecuador and was part of a missionary outreach to the Quichua people.  Jim and his team endured many difficult and terrifying challenges.  After nearly one year of living in the Shandia mission station, everything was swept away in the flood of that year’s rainy season.  Everything! Jim’s house, the generator shack, the new house in construction, the school, and the, landing strip for the airplane. Jim, Pete, and the local Quichua Indians managed to save many of the supplies, such as most of the supplies for the new house, the radio, the generator, a thatched roof, and some Quicha language notes Jim and Pete were studying.

After the rainy season ended and the flooding stopped, Jim began searching for a new home in the jungles of Ecuador, while Pete began rebuilding the Shandia mission station. Ed McCully joined them and started to set up a mission in Arajuno, a Quichua village dangerously close to Auca territory.  After all of the rebuilding and construction was finished, Jim moved back to Shandia, Pete moved to Puyupungu ( the mission station Jim had built in along a river in Ecuador; the country this story takes place in), and Ed moved to Arajuno; all with their wives, of course.  Betty, Olive, and Marilou ( wives in order of husbands mention in previous sentence) all lived in Ecuador with their husbands.

Jim and his team  decided to reach out to the not-so-friendly Auca Indians that lived near Arajuno.  The Aucas were known for their unmerciful hate and agressiveness towards outsiders, and sometimes even to members of their own tribe! Nate Saint, and experienced pilot working for the mission outreach helped drop gifts from his airplane to the Aucas using a detachable bucket on the end of a rope.  After months of doing so, the team decided to attempt to meet the Aucas in person.  It took many weeks to plan the trip to Auca territory.  The team needed to plan for every possible danger, and learn as much Auca language as they could.  From the gift drops, the missionaries to be a fairly kind tribe, even sending gifts to the missionaries back up the bucket after receiving the gifts from the missionaries.

All the planning in the world could not have prepared the missionaries for what happened.  The first few days upon arrival at Palm Beach ( the name thee missionaries chose for their landing site beside the river) the missionaries had no visitors from the stone-age natives.  The next few days, the group had several visitors, one of which even took a ride in their plane!  The next day, as Jim and Pete where swimming across the river to meet two native Auca women.  The missionaries suddenly heard a bloodcurdling cry from behind them. as they turned, they witnessed Nate Saint, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian (another missionary that had agreed to come along) be speared through by Auca warriors, and then they themselves where speared in the water.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  – Jim Elliot                     photo by Amsterdam Asp


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