Gilbert Gleason grew up among the Navajo in Northern Arizona where his parents served as missionaries. After graduating from Biola University, he moved to Portland, Oregon to attend Western Seminary. Gilbert became close to Jim Elliot’s mother when he rented an apartment in her home. He has pastored Grace Bible Fellowship, the home church of generations of the Elliot family, for forty years and teaches in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Gilbert married into the Elliot family when he married Susan, Jim & Elisabeth’s niece. They live on the Elliot homestead and are thoroughly blessed with three married adult children and four grandchildren. Gilbert wrote Love So Amazing: The Missionary Biography of Bert and Colleen Elliot. Bert is Jim’s older brother who faithfully served in Peru for 65 years, and his life’s story demonstrates that Jim’s quote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose,” is as applicable to life long lived as it was the young martyr.
Valerie Elliot Shepard
Valerie is the beloved daughter and only child of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. She was born in Ecuador in 1955, and she and her Mother returned to the jungle for two peaceful years to live with the Waodani tribe who had taken the life of Jim Elliot, their father and husband. Back in the United States, Valerie eventually attended her parents alma mater, Wheaton College, where she graduated with a BA in English Lit, and soon after she married Walt Shepard. Valerie or Val (as those who know her well affectionately call her) has thrived as a pastor’s wife of over 44 years and busy mother raising 8 children (their 9th child in Heaven). Together she and Walt have planted churches across the globe, and she loves to share at every opportunity the testimony of God at work in and through her life. These days she and Walt marvel at the Lord’s blessings and spend much of their time thoroughly enjoying their grown children and 8 beautiful grandchildren.
Arlita spent her earliest years in the jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia with her missionary parents until WWII forced them back to the United States. Later her family sailed to Shanghai and lived there until the city fell under Communist rule. She watched her parents experience God’s peace in the midst of city arrest which made an impact on her heart to this day. Returning to America she received her education at Moody Bible Institute & Wheaton College. She married Joe Winston, a medical doctor and son of missionaries, and together with their children sailed to Hong Kong to set up a mission hospital. Now after 62 precious years of marriage the couple have 5 grown children, 28 grandchildren, & 23 great-grandchildren. Arlita has spent a lifetime teaching Bible studies & speaking at women’s retreats, a great blessing to her heart. She also counts it a joy to have been one of the dearest friends and confidants to Elisabeth Elliot throughout her entire adult life.
Curt Yeo was born and raised in the NYC metropolitan area. After 20 years of leadership in corporate America, the Lord led Curt to full-time vocational ministry and missions, taking him to Aceh Indonesia, Hong Kong, Durham NC, NYC, and Washington DC. Curt is currently the Executive Director of The Falls Church Anglican. Elisabeth’s life and ministry has been a blessing to him and his family for over two decades. In response to Elisabeth’s original request, Curt established and maintained the website, elisabethelliot.org, from 2002 until 2020 when The Elisabeth Elliot Foundation was formed. Curt and his wife Hilary now happily reside in the rolling hills of Virginia!
Kathy grew up in small-town Indiana, where she met and married her 6th grade crush, Dave Reeg. They were blessed with 3 children after moving to Louisiana where they would continue to reside for the next 30 years. As a stay at home mother, she led youth and ladies Bible studies, directed grief support programs, founded 2 nonprofit organizations, and chaired events to support Cancer research. God eventually led Kathy to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) where she was involved for over 17 years in leadership and teaching God’s Word which deeply impacted her Faith. Since moving to Little Rock, Arkansas in 2017, Kathy and Dave now have the privilege and opportunity to fully enjoy their 9 precious grandchildren as Kathy also pursues God’s call for The Elisabeth Elliot Foundation.