Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Happenings -- The hopes of 5 murdered missionaries fulfilled through the "Power of His Love"

One of Bear's biggest struggles in the faith has concerned the murder of Jim Elliott and the four other missionaries to the Auca Indians ... even though she knew that years after they were murdered by the tribe, the Aucas did come to belief in the Lord. And even though she also knew that Elliot's wife and the sister of another of the missionaries chose to go in and live with the tribe that had murdered their loved ones.

However, she didn't really understand how completely the Auca tribesmen's hearts had been changed, until she stumbled onto some video segments concerning it all, last night.

It had always sounded somewhat like a "too good to be true" type of story to her, with some hype thrown into the mix, to try and give meaning to what looked to be the waste of young men's lives ...

... until last night, she actually viewed the video of one of the missionary's murderers trying to explain to an American audience why they need to get to know "the King".

... until last night, she saw an interview with one of the missionary's sons talking about how his father's murderer had become a much beloved Godfather to him and grandfather to his children, and had also helped to raise him as his own son.

So Bear picked five of the best "The Rest of the Story" video clips that summarize things the fastest, and lined them up together into a type of quilt that she found to be incredibly moving, and which finally gave her a deep sense of light and resolution concerning the whole issue. Plus, encouraged her general faith and trust in the Lord and His Plans, in the midst of death and disappointments.

And these clips relay an incredible story of redemption -- which would be totally unbelievable, if not heard from the actual people who participated in it.

For anyone who might not know the basic story of the five missionaries and the Aucas...

Back in 1956, the missionaries (Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Peter Fleming), who had wives and very young kids, chose to risk their lives by reaching out to a primitive tribe in Eucador, that was unusually violent. The tribe killed anyone who tried to come near them, basically, including American oil workers trying to work in the jungle near them.

The tribe was in danger of soon being destroyed because of their attacks on countries with higher technology than their own. And these five men felt burdened to try and approach them peacefully, and share the Gospel with them, before it was "too late". So, for some months, they had been trying to learn the language and establish contact through the use of a plane, with a bucket on a rope. The plane never landed -- too dangerous. They exchanged gifts and communicated with tribe members using the bucket to lift messages and gifts back and forth.

Eventually, the five decided it was time to actually land the plane nearby and try to make face to face contact, gradually. They landed and set up camp on the beach of a river, and were very excited when a couple tribe members came out to the beach one day, and talked with them (as much as they could, through the language barrier).

However, on another day, a group of men and women from the tribe came and killed the five missionaries on the beach -- despite the fact that the missionaries refused to use their guns to defend themselves. The tribes-people systematically slaughtered them with spears, and their plane was vandalized.

The story of the widows and their children appeared in Life Magazine, and the story is well known to most Christians -- a story of courage and willingness to sacrifice their very lives to tell the world of Christ's love. A story of martyrdom.

Despite the deaths of their loved ones, Elisabeth Elliot (Jim Elliot's wife) and Rachel Saint (the sister of Nate Saint), felt burdened to continue to pray for the tribe. A year or two later (Bear forgets the exact time period), some women from the tribe came out of the jungle to a local village where Elisabeth Elliot had set up a base. Eventually, she was asked to live with the tribe, through that contact. Despite the risk, she took her very young daughter and went in to live with the tribe. And Rachel Saint went too, at some point. Eventually Rachel's son, Steve Saint, around 9 years old, also came to live with his father's murderers.

Over the years that they lived with the Aucas they translated the Bible into their language for them.

Eventually, the tribe came to believe in Jesus as their Lord and their God. And that belief came partially through wanting to know why the five missionaries had just stood there while attacked, refusing to use their weapons to defend themselves, and through wanting to know why the women were willing to bring their young children and come live with the tribe afterwards.

It's one thing to read the story, as summarized here. It's quite another to see the clips of the real people involved (although some of the pictures are shots from a movie about the events -- those super polished hollywood clips are easy to tell apart from the photos and "rougher" clips and interviews with the real people).

So, since this moved Bear so deeply this week, Bear decided the following thirty minutes worth of clips edited together into one "Rest of the Story" video session is well worth sharing today.

There are a couple of places in the first clip where the video goes black for about 20 or 30 seconds, (one right at the beginning, and one towards the middle), but be patient, it's worth the wait until the images come back again.

(NOTE: People receiving this by Feeds or by Facebook will need to drop by the Den to see it).

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