by Elisabeth Elliot
- Paperback: 273 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
- Date Published: 1981
Point: By faith men and women set aside all that this earth may offer them of success, happiness, ease, and safety and look to a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Path: Elisabeth Elliot retells the story of the five families who gave up what they could never keep, in exchange for what they couldn’t lose. She details the preparation, planning, and mission of Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Jim Elliot to reach the Auca Indians in Ecuador, South America.
Sources: Based on her heavily involved role as wife, mother and fellow worker, Elliot gives the reader an inside look into the thoughts, motives, and fears of a missionary.
Agreement: This story has had a tremendous impact on the evangelical world over the past fifty years. God used the lives of these servants to encourage men and women to reevaluate their goals and lifestyles. It challenges the reader to set aside the alluring lie of ease and comfort which the world tells us we deserve, and press toward the goal.
I believe stories like these do exactly what the author of Hebrews stresses in Hebrews 12:1 – they push us to run our race, laying aside every weight and sin, and looking forward to Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
Disagreement: Although it is highly challenging, this story strays close to becoming a hagiography (idealizing its subject). These men were dedicated and showed true commitment to Christ. But they were sinners as all men are.
This is understandable given the relatively recent time of writing after the event (I believe only several years according to the ending of the first edition). They wanted to caste the men in the best possible light, and there was much for which one could laud them.
With that said, I was very appreciative of Elliot’s inclusion of the doubts of Roger in chapter 12, The Savages Respond. I believe in those several pages the reader gets a real look into the doubts and fears which often plague the missionary’s life.
Personal App: What level of dedication do I display in my life day by day?
Favorite Quote: Quoting Barbara Youderian, “I want to be free from self-pity. It is a tool of Satan to rot away a life. I am sure that this is the perfect will of God” (236).
Stars: 3.5 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.
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