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On January 8, 1956 Jim Elliot, along with four other missionaries was killed while trying to bring this Good News of Christ to the Waodoni people of the Auca Indians in Ecuador. In his journal published in a book titled SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY, Jim wrote these words:

“One doesn’t learn to speak a language in a couple of months. It will be plugging for a good while yet. Seems that I’ll never get through ‘preparing’ for the mission field. But I’ve been comforted this week thinking of our Lord’s thirty silent years of readying Himself at home with His family and bending over a carpenter’s bench. Were those days any less of a fragrance to God than His later work before the eyes of the people? I think not. A well-made piece of furniture and a healed blind man represented the same thing to the Father – a job well done; mission accomplished. So with us here. Nothing great, but what is that to Him with whom there is no great or small?”

As Jim was speaking of this tribe of Auca’s he wrote this: “More and more that tribe is brought before me as a possible field of labor for my life. They are utterly untouched, and so far they are inaccessible. It would take a miracle to open the way to them, and we are praying for that miracle. They may be only a few hundred in number, but they are a part of the whole creation, and we have orders for such.” Jim Elliot’s own life would serve to be the miracle God would use.


Was Jim and the other missionaries lives and the hundreds of thousands that still give their lives each year for the cause of Christ wasted? I think not. Jim’s own words sum up what should become the mantra of every Christ follower today: His journal entry for October 28, 1949, contains his now famous quotation, expressing his belief that missions work was more important than his life.


He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.


From Steve Gallimore’s Sermon “God’s Gift of Purpose”

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