Today is Wednesday. It's no Friday but it's not Monday, either.
To honor the fact that we are in the middle of week, I will tell you five facts of life, about me or someone else, faith, world and existence in general.
And what I want from you, my readers?
I want to know about you!
Leave me your facts, so I can enjoy reading them!
They can also be about you, your life or anything you find fascinating in this world or in the world beyond.
|Me with Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's godson. Behind us there are the pictures of the five missionaries that were killed by Waoranies.|
Today’s post is about someone very influencial into my coming to Ecuador.
I must admit I have not read Jim Elliot’s story.
But my parents have.
My mother read it when she was a teenager and she felt she was called to serve in Ecuador with Kichwas.
It took many years but one day she was able to come and do just that.
|Original school house for Jim Elliot School in Shandia, Talag, with my dad on the steps.|
I took my friend to visit Jim and Elisabeth Elliot’s house in Shandia, Talag, on Sunday. The house is the school they build and founded for Kichwa indigenous people here in Amazon. It is a museum now but it’s not actually open because the community hasn’t had enough money to get it fully restored. But the Jim Elliot School (named after Jim Elliot) is part of our program and the headmaster, who is also Jim and Elisabeth’s godson and knew them personally, was kind enough to open it for us and show us around. He told us that his parents actually took Jim Elliot into the community and taught him to be a Kichwa. His father taught Jim to fish, hunt and speak Kichwa. He was very proud to say that Jim could speak Kichwa just as well they can and he had no accent at all.
|Special Education classroom at the Jim Elliot School.|
1. 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 Huaorani people of Ecuador. While at Camp Wycliffe, Elliot practiced the skills necessary for writing down a language for the first time by working with a former missionary to the Quechua people (called Kichwas in Ecuador). The missionary told him of the Huaorani – also called the "Auca", the Kichwa word for "savage" – a group of Ecuadorian indigenous people considered violent and dangerous to outsiders.
Elliot was born in Portland, Oregon, to Fred and Clara Elliot. In 1945, Jim Elliot entered Wheaton College, a private Christian college in Illinois. While at Wheaton College, 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.
|A house in Shandia, Talag.|
2. Elisabeth Elliot (née Howard; born December 21, 1926) is a Christian author and speaker. She was born in Belgium, and her family included her missionary parents, four brothers and one sister. Elisabeth's brothers Thomas Howard and David Howard are also authors. The family moved to Pennsylvania when she was a few months old. She has lived in Franconia, New Hampshire; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Moorestown, New Jersey. She studied Classical Greek at Wheaton College, believing that it was the best tool to help her with the calling of ultimately translating the New Testament into an unknown language. It was here that she met Jim Elliot. Prior to their marriage, Elisabeth took a post-graduate year of specialized studies at Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada, where a campus prayer chapel is named in her honor.
|A view inside the house.|
3. Jim Elliot and Elisabeth Howard went individually to Ecuador to work with the Kichwa Indians; they married in 1953 in the city of Quito, Ecuador. Elliot and Fleming (other missionary) arrived in Ecuador on February 21, 1952, with the purpose of evangelizing Ecuador's Kichwa Indians. They first stayed in Quito, and then moved to the jungle. They took up residence at the Shandia mission station in the Ecuadorian Amazon region. 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 Huaorani.
|Jim Elliot School's first grade students perform a traditional song in Kichwa.|
4. Shandia (pronounced SHAN-dya) is a town located in the rainforest of eastern Ecuador. It is inhabited mostly by Indigenous Peoples of the Kichwa Nationality. It was used as a mission station by missionaries Jim Elliot and Pete Fleming from 1952 to 1954. Fleming later married and moved to a different station, but the Elliots stayed there until Jim's death in 1956. Jim's wife, Elisabeth Elliot, continued to work among the Huaorani for 2 more years.
Now it is visited by local missions groups sponsored by the organization Youth World. The teams minister to the village and are currently helping to build a site that will later train pastors. A small jungle get away can also be found in the village. It is run by the villagers and is used mainly by the occasional hiker who wishes to explore the surrounding jungle.
|A special education student from Shandia sings while three regular students dance.|
5. Elliot and four other missionaries – Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint – made contact from their airplane with the Huaorani 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 Huaorani and even gave an airplane ride to one curious Huaorani whom they called "George" (his real name was Naenkiwi). Encouraged by these friendly encounters, they began plans to visit the Huaorani, 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 Huaorani 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.
|Kichwa women from Shandia.|
6. Jim and Elisabeth Elliot’s daughter, Valerie (born 1955), was 10 months old when her father was killed. Elisabeth continued her work with the Kichwas for two more years. Two Waorani women living among the Kichwas, including one named Dayuma, taught the Wao language to Mrs. Elliot and fellow missionary Rachel Saint. When Dayuma returned to the Waorani, she created an opening for contact by the missionaries. In October 1958, Mrs. Elliot went to live with the Waoranies with her three-year-old daughter Valerie and Rachel Saint. The Auca/Waorani gave Elisabeth the tribal name Gikari, Wao for "Woodpecker." She later returned to the Kichwas and worked with them until 1963, when she and Valerie returned to the US (Franconia, New Hampshire).
7. Life magazine published a ten-page article on Elliot's and his friends' mission and deaths. After her husband's death, Elisabeth Elliot and other missionaries began working among the Huaorani, where they continued evangelistic work. She later published two books, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot and Through Gates of Splendor, which describe the life and death of her husband. In 1991, the Jim Elliot Christian School was created in Denver, Colorado. In 1997, the Jim Elliot Christian High School was founded in Lodi, California.
In 2002, a documentary based on the story was released, entitled Beyond the Gates of Splendor. In 2003, a musical based on the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, entitled Love Above All, was staged at the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore by Mount Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church. This musical was staged a second time in 2007 at the NUS University Cultural Centre. In 2006, a theatrical movie was released, entitled End of the Spear, based on the story of the pilot, Nate Saint, and the return trip of Saint's son attempting to reach the natives of Ecuador.
I found most of these facts from Wikipedia and in the book about Jim Elliot's life.
You can find a Wikipedia article about Jim Elliot.
There is also an article about Shandia.