12 - Through Gates of Splendor
In 1956, five missionaries, all men with
wives and children, were brutally murdered by a stone-age tribe of South
American natives whom they were attempting to make contact with. And if that
was the end of the story, this book certainly wouldn’t be on our list. However,
some of the surviving family members made the dangerous journey into the
jungles and chose to live with the very men who had killed their husbands and
fathers. In time, the tribe’s violent nature was overcome by the kindness and
forgiveness of the missionaries. This book, written by Elisabeth Elliot, the
wife of one of the slain men, chronicles that incredible story.
I had the privilege to work with Steve Saint,
the son of one of the murdered missionaries, for over two years. And I remember
the day he introduced me to Mincaye, the very Indian who thrust a spear into
his father’s heart. As I took a hold of the small man’s calloused hand, a grin
the size of the Grand Canyon spread across his warm face, and I thought to
myself, This man killed Steve’s father,
and here they are, laughing and joking with one another. I have never seen,
nor do I ever expect to see, such a vivid and beautiful picture of God’s grace.
That such a relationship exists is a testament to the reality of the gospel and
the power of true forgiveness.
~ Evan Derrick
Purchase "Through Gates of Splendor" here.