Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Last night, for the second time I watched "Beyond the Gates of Splendor." The piece is a documentary that chronicles five young couples, including Jim Elliott and Nate Saint, who gave up the comforts of the United States for lives in the jungle of Ecuador. I'm sure many of you know the story of the men attempting peaceful contact with the often violent and savage Waodani, and shortly following, their tragic deaths at the hands of those they so desperately desired to help. The men could have defended themselves, but they refused to kill a Waodani who they knew was not ready for Heaven, and instead gave up their own lives because of their unwavering belief that they were. In few places have I ever seen such beauty, sacrifice and love. That same love is what drew several of the missionary wives to remain in Ecuador, and what called Elisabeth Elliot, and Rachel Saint (Nate's sister), back to the very people who had brutally killed their loved ones. In her book, "The Savage my Kinsman", Elisabeth Elliot said, "The fact that Jesus Christ died for all makes me interested in the salvation of all, but the fact that Jim loved and died for the Aucas [Waodani] intensifies my love for them." It would have been so easy, expected and understandable for her response to be anger and hatred, yet it was anything but. A beautiful story of healing follows for the family of the victims, the Waodani, and many others who have been touched by the unbelievable display of death to self and complete abandon to God.
posted by Christie