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Monday Motivator - Serving Globally - Jim Elliott
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Monday Motivator - Serving Globally - Jim Elliott

October 7th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Weekly submissions from Chi Alpha’s Mike O

If you looked around the middle part of the 20th century for an All-American young man, you may have run into Jim Elliott. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, in 1927, Jim was handsome, hard working, clean cut, and in many ways pretty ordinary. He got good grades, wrestled in college, fell in love with an attractive young lady, and probably could have had the “American dream” life, career, and family. But Jim Elliott was not ordinary.

He accepted Christ at age six, and grew up in a loving, stable, Christian home. Jim developed a faith in God that daily affected his life. He attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, in 1945, and entered school with one desire: to know Jesus Christ and serve Him with everything he had. This meant that Jim would probably pursue a life of service and witness (and sacrifice) overseas.

He met Elisabeth Howard at Wheaton and hesitated to pursue a life together until the Lord showed him the direction for his life. He wanted to make sure he knew whether God wanted him to marry or to remain single. After graduation, a two year “waiting period,” much prayer, and missiological research, Jim knew where God was leading him: to go to Ecuador and translate the Scriptures for the unreached Indian tribes who had never heard about Jesus in South America.

In 1952, Jim sailed for Ecuador. In 1953, Elisabeth joined him and they got married. God was also bringing together a unique and special team of missionaries to assist Jim - Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderson, pilot Nate Saint, and their wives - for a dangerous assignment: to reach the fierce, stone age Auca Indian tribe with the message of Jesus.

They spent several months making flights over the jungle areas to try and win their friendship by dropping gifts, and calling out words of greeting in the Auca language. They knew the sight of their small, yellow airplane was startling to the Indians, and finally felt the time was right to initiate face to face contact with the Aucas. How else would they tell them the good news about Jesus? But within days of their first personal contact with the Aucas, the five men were killed by the Indians and left for dead in the river.

On January 8, 1956, Jim and his friends literally poured out their lives to spread the Gospel. The tragic story soon appeared in newspapers around the world. Some called it a waste of young lives, and a foolish attempt to make friends with a savage tribe of Indians. But hundreds of young people around the world, inspired by their courage and dedication, volunteered to take their place as missionaries. Eventually, Rachel Saint (Nate’s wife), and Elisabeth Elliott lived among the very Aucas who murdered the men. These women learned the Auca language, and translated the Bible for them. Their story was captured in a book written by Elisabeth entitled, “Through The Gates of Splendor.” A movie also came out a few years ago called, “The End of The Spear.”

Jim, Ed, Pete, Roger, and Nate were brutally murdered by savage, stone age killers. Were their lives wasted? Jim Elliott would say no. He knew that sometimes God calls his people to “fall to the ground and die,” like seeds, so that good fruit will come forth for everlasting life.

How does your faith in Christ inform your view of the world? How is your academic work contributing to the advancement of the gospel of Christ on campus now? How do you anticipate your career path advancing the gospel in the marketplace after graduation? How can you and some of your friends collaborate to influence a people group for Christ? Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship believes every student should pray-give$-and go for the global missions movement. How is God calling you to serve globally?

Love is a verb,
Mike O

Tags: Blog · Monday Motivators

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