Modern Missionary Martyr

If you don’t know the story of Jim Elliot, he was a romantic Christ follower who developed a dream to reach out to the unreached with the Gospel. In her book Through Gates of Splendour, his wife Elizabeth recorded his martyrdom at the hands of the Auca Indians he finally visited. Their story is also depicted in the recent movie, The End of the Spear. Basically, there was a vision, to reach this primitive tribe off the coast of Ecuador. A team assembled, provisions used to coax the natives, and finally the team landed on their beach, only to be “gunned” down with arrows.

So I was sitting in the dentist chair, awaiting yet another crown, when I decided 45 min is too long without reading material so I grabbed a mag from the waiting room. The mag was Outsider, and one article struck me from first glance. I’m leaving out names simply for my own laziness, but it was one guy from Thailand who developed a dream and a plan to do the same sort of mission, to an island tribe off the coast who was totally untouched by modern society.

So his plan culminated in paying off local fisherman to drop him on the beach where the tribe frequented. There he would present useful goods to try to coax conversation. I’m assuming he had studied the language. Well, striking to me, same fate…murdered upon setting foot on the island!

They say history has a way of repeating itself. Well in Scripture, typology is the thing – lots of imagery or symbols pointing to the Christ, the Messiah. This is not the same thing as history repeating itself, nor was the man from Thailand a modern day Jim Elliot. All I’m saying is I read Through Gates of Splendour while on a mission trip IN Ecuador, and when I saw this article I nearly fell out of my chair.


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E H Williams

singer/songwriter with a growing resolve to blog :)

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