About Jim Elliot
Lord make my way prosperous, not that I achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.
Jim Elliot (1927-1956) was a passionate evangelist, devoted husband and father, and martyred Christian missionary. His life and legacy are an exemplary testament to the world of the absolute worthiness of Christ, and the costly call of the Christian to follow Jesus. The defining pursuit of his life was to intimately know God, to tell others of Him, and to obey His every call.
Elliot was inspired from an early age by the examples of Christian missionaries, David Brainerd, William Carey and Amy Carmichael. Resolved to commit his life to evangelism and international mission work, Elliot attended Wheaton College to study linguistics. It was there he would meet Elisabeth Howard, the woman who would become his wife. In equal devotion to God, their courtship and eventual marriage would exemplify a matchless love story of hard-won purity and lived-out truths of the Bible.
Partners in ministry following the call of the Lord, Jim and Elisabeth traveled into the Ecuadorian jungle. On January 8, 1956, while attempting to make contact with the people of the Auca/Waodani tribe, Jim and four other missionaries were speared to death; slain by those they came to minister to. Elliot’s most famous words were written in a journal on October 28, 1949. They represent the great paradigm of the Christian faith and the hope of the Gospel:
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
His life’s work and legacy would continue as Elisabeth later moved into the Auca/Waodani village with their young daughter to live among those who had killed him.
Jim Elliot’s own writing of personal reflections on faith, work, and love can be found in The Journals of Jim Elliot. His wife chronicled his life and testament in Shadow of the Almighty, and immortalized the stories of the five missionaries martyred in Through Gates of Splendor. Most recently, the story of the couple in their own words can be found in Devotedly: the Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, which was published by their daughter.
His faith has since inspired generations. He is survived by his daughter Valerie Elliot Shepard and eight grandchildren.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 16: 25