American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'Christianity, disruptive in nature, has
nonetheless integrating powers for the individual in the culture, though both he and it may expect revolution.'
Jim Elliot was born in Portland, Oregon to Fred and Clara Elliot, and became a Christian at a young age.
He graduated from Wheaton College in 1949, with a degree in Greek. He arrived in Ecuador on February
21, 1952, with the purpose of evangelizing Ecuador's Quechua Indians.
On October 8, 1953, he married fellow Wheaton alumnus and missionary Elisabeth Howard in Quito,
Ecuador. Their only child, Valerie, was born February 27, 1955.
There they were approached several times by small groups of Huaorani Indians, and even gave an airplane ride to one curious Huaorani who they called "George" (his real name was Naenkiwi).
Encouraged by these friendly encounters, they began plans to visit the Huaorani, but their plans were preempted by the arrival of a larger group of Huaorani, who killed Elliot and his four companions on January 8, 1956. Elliot's mutilated body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully.
The five missionaries had guns with them in their camp, but they did not use them to fight the Indians. When the Auca men came toward them with their spears, they did not shoot back with their guns. They knew that if they would shoot the Indians, they could probably save their own lives.
The Aucas always remembered those five strange white men who had been so kind to them and had not tried to kill them. And so a year later when more missionaries tried again to speak to the Aucas about Jesus, they were ready to listen.
Several of the men who had helped to kill Jim and his friends with their spears now became Christians. One of them gave his testimony at a meeting. He counted on his fingers and said, "I have killed twelve people with my spear! But I did that when my heart was black. Now Jesus' blood has washed my heart clean, so I don't live like that anymore." God's love had changed his life!