One of the first books I read as a missionary was the diary of Jim Elliot – missionary to Ecuador who was martyred by the people he went to tell about Jesus.
The diary of Jim Elliot details his thoughts and dreams, his hopes and prayers, as he went to Wheaton college, went as a missionary to Ecuador, met and married his wife, Elisabeth, and then embarked on a journey to share the Gospel with the unreached Auca indians – an endeavor which ended in both tragedy and glory: tragedy because Jim and his missionary companions were murdered, but glory because after their deaths, the wives of the slain men continued to reach out to the Auca’s, forgave them for what they had done, and ultimately did lead them to Christ.
The reason Jim Elliot’s diary was available for me to read was because of the work of his wife: Elisabeth Elliot, who made it available to the world. Additionally, Elisabeth Elliot wrote two books about their missionary work in Ecuador – one titled Through Gates of Splendor, which has been called one of the most influential books of the Twentieth Century.
Elisabeth Elliot went on to write many other books and became a prominent advocate for world missions.
Yesterday she entered through those Gates of Splendor herself at the age of 88 and was reunited with Jim in the presence of the God she loved and served her whole life.
Here’s more about Elisabeth Elliot from Christianity Today. Oh that God would give us more people like her! Oh that God would give us the kind of hearts for Him that she and Jim had.
Jim Elliot’s famous quote – brought to the world through the work and advocacy of Elisabeth Elliot:
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
Here’s a photo of that quote in Jim Elliot’s own handwriting:
Jim Elliot’s diary