“For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
he is no fool published week of march 7, 2021
Early in 1952, missionary Jim Elliot sailed for Ecuador. God had given him a great burden for the Auca Indian tribe. This group was composed of a lot of violent and murderous Indians. These people had never had any contact with the outside world. It was with strong desire and determination that Jim and his wife wanted to bring the gospel to these people so he started a plan called Operation Auca. Jim and Elizabeth, along with a team of five other missionary couples, prayed and planned for what they longed to be their life work.
The men discovered the first Auca huts with the help of a missionary jungle pilot named Nate Saint. They devised a plan that started with using an airplane to contact them. They would fly around the Indian camp shouting words of friendship in the Auca language through a loud speaker and dropping gifts. After several months of consistent fly-overs, they decided to make a base on the Curray River. They set up shelter and eventually made contact with some members of the Tribe.
On the last morning of their lives, the men radioed their wives saying they were going to go into the village and would later contact their wives, specifically in about three hours. Little did anyone know; those would be the final words he ever spoke to his wife in this life. Elliot’s body was found later downstream, having been brutally pierced with spears and hacked by machetes.
Probably, many people thought it was a tragic waste of life when Jim Elliot and the other four missionary men died trying to contact the unreached Aucas. However, Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.”
After Jim’s death, his wife Elisabeth, their daughter and another of the missionaries’ sister moved to work with the Auca Indians. The love of Christ shown through their forgiveness and blessed them to have amazing success with the once-murderous Indians. Jim’s life was not a waste. In fact, God used his death to bring life through salvation to many Aucas.
“Heavenly Father, help me to choose the eternal today. Give me the grace to let go of what can be lost in order to grasp what cannot be lost. My desire is to bring honor and glory to your Name today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”