Jim Elliot : biography
Philip James "Jim" Elliot (October 8, 1927 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Waodani people of Ecuador.
In 1945, Jim Elliot entered Wheaton College, a private Christian college in Illinois. Believing in the value of physical conditioning and discipline, he joined the wrestling team during his first year. The following year, he refused a staff position within the college that would have given him a free year of tuition but also a significant time commitment and what he considered foolish responsibilities. He was not even fully convinced of the value of his studies, considering subjects such as philosophy, politics and anthropology to be distractions to one attempting to follow God. After a semester of relatively low grades, he wrote to his parents that he was unapologetic, deeming study of the Bible more important.Elliot (1989), 37–43
Elliot's interest in missions solidified during his years at Wheaton. He soon followed the pattern of other "faith missions" by not seeking to be sponsored by a denomination.Tucker (1983), 336 A member of the campus organization Student Foreign Missions Fellowship with his roommate David Howard, Elliot spoke to an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group on the role of the Holy Spirit in missions. During summer 1947, after his second year of college, he and his friend Ron Harris did missions work in Mexico. He stayed there for six weeks, working with and learning from a local missionary family.Elliot (1989), 43–46 At the end of the following year, he attended the International Student Missionary Convention, sponsored by InterVarsity. There he met a missionary to Brazil, and this encounter led him to more firmly believe that his missionary calling was to tribal work in Central America.Elliot (1988), 87–88
At the beginning of Elliot's third year at Wheaton, he decided to pursue a major in Greek, believing that it would both help him in his personal study of the Bible and make it easier to translate the Scriptures into the language of a people unreached by missionaries. Although he believed that romantic relationships often distracted people from pursuing God's will, Elliot became interested in one of his classmates, Elisabeth Howard, who was also his roommate's sister. He took advantage of opportunities to get to know her and her family better. They agreed that they were attracted to each other, but not being convinced of God's leading, they did not immediately pursue a relationship.Elliot (1989), 47–51, 56–57, 88–89
- Beyond Gates of Splendor (2004 feature film)
- Torchlighters: The Jim Elliot Story (2005 animation)
- End of the Spear (2006 feature film)
- Steve Saint: The Jungle Missionary (2007 documentary)
Elliot and Fleming arrived in Ecuador on February 21, 1952, with the purpose of evangelizing Ecuador's Quechua Indians. They first stayed in Quito, and then moved to the jungle. They took up residence at the Shandia mission station. On October 8, 1953, he married fellow Wheaton alumna and missionary Elisabeth Howard. The wedding was a simple civil ceremony held in Quito. Ed and Marilou McCully were the witnesses. The couple then took a brief honeymoon to Panama and Costa Rica, then returned to Ecuador. Their only child, Valerie, was born February 27, 1955. While working with Quechua Indians, Elliot began preparing to reach the Waodani.
Elliot and four other missionaries – Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint – made contact from their airplane with the Waodani using a loudspeaker and a basket to pass down gifts. After several months, the men decided to build a base a short distance from the Indian village, along the Curaray River. There they were approached one time by a small group of Waodani and even gave an airplane ride to one curious Waodani whom they called "George" (his real name was Naenkiwi). Encouraged by these friendly encounters, they began plans to visit the Waodani, without knowing that Naenkiwi had lied to the others about the missionaries' intentions. Their plans were preempted by the arrival of a larger group of about 10 Waodani warriors, who killed Elliot and his four companions on January 8, 1956. Elliot's body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.
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