"...To Gain What He Cannot Lose"


(Taken from an article in Wikipedia on the best-selling book "Through Gates of Splendour")

"Through Gates of Splendor is a 1957 best selling book written by Elisabeth Elliot. The book tells the story of Operation Auca, an attempt of five American missionaries - Jim Elliot (the author's husband), Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian - to reach the Huaorani tribe of eastern Ecuador. All five of the men were killed by the tribe. The book is Elliot's first book, and arguably her most well known work.

The title of the book is derived from the fourth stanza of the hymn "We Rest on Thee". This hymn was famously sung by the missionaries before the men left for Waodaoni territory in September 1955. The lines read:

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender.
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

Elliot wrote the book while still a missionary in Ecuador. She wrote the book at the request and cooperation from the families of the five men. She was given copies of letters and other writings which were extensively quoted from in the book. Interesting to note, is that the original edition of the book was first published in 1957, or one year before the first peaceful contact with the Huaorani was made. In subsequent publications of the book, epilogues have been added to tell about what has happened to the Huaorani tribe since Operation Auca, and what has happened to the missionaries' families."

Try to get a copy of this stirring account of selfless missions effort. The sad martyrdom of the five was the topic of conversation with many, wondering at the reason for such cost of life for souls.

It is interesting to add that the son of the martyred aviator Nate Saint was involved in the production of a follow-up feature film entitled "End of the Spear". We are told of progress in the Christian faith in the affected jungle region, and of the remarkable encounter of the son, Steve Saint, with the man who killed his father. Eventually good friends and brothers in Christ.

"With God all things are possible."

"A man is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose." (Jim Elliot)

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