Friday, November 28, 2014

Missionary Elisabeth Elliot: "Under the Shadow of the Almighty"

This is no doubt one of the best Christian speeches I've ever heard. In this speech, Mrs Eliot seems to be speaking to a group of women in an information speech, or even a commissioning ceremony of ladies considering or entering into missionary work. It is a spellbinding talk, given from the lips of a gracious woman who has definitely been through it.

This synopsis was on the Youtube page under the video. The video isn't a video, it is audio only.
Elisabeth Elliot (née Howard; born December 21, 1926) is a Christian author and speaker. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca (now known as Huaorani) of eastern Ecuador. She later spent two years as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband. Returning to the United States after many years in South America, she became widely known as the author of over twenty books and as a speaker in constant demand. Elliot toured the country, sharing her knowledge and experience, well into her seventies.
In the early 1950s, a group of missionary men and their wives went tot he dense Amazon in search of an unreached people group to witness to and minister to, the Aucas (now known as the Huaroani). They were known as the most vicious tribe in all the Amazon. Their generational cycle of revenge killings via spear had brought the tribe to the brink of extinction. Killing by spear was a way of life, and at the beginning of the speech you will hear Mrs Elliot remark upon the fact that the oldest man in the tribe was in his early 40s. Most of the younger men had been killed by the violent cycle of spearing.

After several months of contact by air in a promising start, in 1956 the five missionaries landed on the beach of a narrow clearing in the jungle to make personal contact on the ground. They were speared to death and the plane was trashed. The killing was actually over a misunderstanding, as was shown in the movie End of the Spear and in subsequent interviews with the Indians.

The deaths of the five missionaries resulted eventually in a great kingdom work. It sparked a renewed interest missionary work and a flood of new missionaries became trained and sent out into not just the Amazon jungle but all over the world. The result for the Auca tribe was that eventually they did become Christian, many of them.

But what of the immediate consequences for the five wives, now widows, and their children, now fatherless? How did they cope, emotionally and spiritually? Here Mrs Elliot relates Psalm 91 and her intimate understanding of the words contained in it. Please take a listen.

I HIGHLY recommend it. I am sure you will be glad you listened.



"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!" (1 Chronicles 16:8)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading/Viewing:

Movie accounts of the Auca incident:

End of the Spear: synopsis from Internet Movie Database, reviews, comments, etc.

End of the Spear: the full movie on Youtube

Here is a documentary on the group of men who were killed, called Beyond the Gates of Splendor, which includes interviews with the mens' sisters and wives who are still alive, and the Indians still living in Ecuador

Life Magazine's 10-page article & photos about the incident named 'Operation Auca', published in 1956,




15 comments :

  1. Another revered missionary was Gladys Aylward. The Chinese called her "Virtuous One", and she was buried in Taiwan when she died in 1970. Ingrid Bergman played Gladys in the movie The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. But Gladys was upset about how much the movie did not accurately portray her struggles. The movie is still worth watching, and is supposed to be based on a book written about her. It is worthwhile reading about her on Wikipedia.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Karen! I appreciate that. I hadn't known about Gladys Aylward.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just finished listening to the video. What a blessing! Certainly don't hear this kind of Christianity talked about today. Definitely makes "cultural Christianity" look completely goofy. I absolutely love to hear and read about the sacrifices and dedication of missionaries of the past. Some of my favorite books are about Corrie Ten Boom, John G. Paton, George Muller, Hudson Taylor, and David Brainerd. Please post more missionaries stories. They bring a tremendous amount of hope to those of us who realize that Christianity is soon going to be costing us tremendously in the United States. Thank you for this post about this wonderful lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for listening! I will post more missionary stories. I can't hardly read or listen to a story about their works and not cry. Thy are tremendously encouraging. Thanks for the prompt

      Delete
  4. Such a powerful word. Thank you for sharing this. LORD bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. After I recommended that piece Elisabeth Elliot wrote about the death of her beloved dog, I searched her name on your site for fear of something I didn't know about her theology that might have shown up in your research. I can't tell you how relieved I am that there isn't anything. I read her book Discipline: The Glad Surrender as a new believer and wanted with all my heart to live a completely sold-out life for the Lord Jesus. As I read other authors I learned to appreciate the depth of her commitment to a holy and sacrificial life. Thanks for this timely reminder...the audio was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a strange "coincidence" happened this week...I read this article about Elisabeth Elliot and the comments, the first of which mentioned Gladys Aylward, just a week ago. I had never heard of her before. Then this week I received a copy of The Inn of the Sixth Happiness in the mail from some dear friends in Maine. Unfortunately our VCR has eaten the last few tapes we've tried in it, but I found the entire movie on YouTube and just watched it. I can easily see how it was secularized by Hollywood but it was still good, and so interesting that my friends would send the movie at this time. :) You might enjoy watching it during your break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love those coincidences ;) Thanks so much for the movie suggestion. I will certainly watch. I was searching in vain last night for a good movie.

      Delete
    2. You are not going to believe this....another coincidence! I was just sending an email to my friends in Maine who sent the Gladys Aylward VCR tape to let them know I watched the movie, and after I sent the message I went to Amazon to look for the book because they said it was much better than the movie (of course). While there I saw several books about Gladys, one of which was from the Christian Heroes Then & Now series, and it triggered something in my fading memory bank....I have picked up several of those books for my homeschooled son to read and I went to the shelf to look and lo and behold, I have their book on Gladys Aylward! How do you like that?! :)

      It's embarrassing to have books I don't even remember having...and I didn't even remember poor Gladys's name! But I will definitely be reading this book...if it's good I'll let you know, and then maybe I'll read the others we have in the series. Maybe I should make that a new year's resolution. :)

      Delete
    3. Funny!!!! But the memory...I've started making a list on the outside of the fridge to remind me of what is inside the fridge. No more "Oh, I forgot I made the casserole last week".

      I ordered the Aylward autobiography "The Small Woman" today. Should be here in two days. Let me know about your book. I'll look up the Heroes series, thanks for mentioning it

      Delete
  7. Did you get a copy of The Small Woman written by Gladys herself or the one by Alan Burgess? It's strange that they would be named the same. The book by Gladys is much cheaper than the one by Burgess, which apparently is out of print, and the reviews for her version are better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOps, I didn't know so I scurried over to my account at Amazon to see, and phew, I'd bought the one by Gladys herself. I hadn't known there were two with the same title. I received an email that the shipment is delayed to to weather, and I understand. I wouldn't want the drivers to be in any danger. It is somewhere between Illinois and Georgia, somewhere in the ice. I'll wait

      Delete
    2. Yes! I read it over Christmas vacation and then passed it to a sister to enjoy. It is a short book and an easy read. For all that though, the contents are amazing and convicting. What the Lord did through that woman!!! He used her in an incredible way. A glorious story.

      Delete