Jim Elliot is one of my favorite missionaries.
He was a missionary in Ecuador in the 1950s, attempting to bring the Gospel to the Waodani people. The Waodani were savages, and violent to those outside their tribe. You can read his journal HERE.
Elliot and his team, who included Nate Saint (you can watch his story in the film, End of the Spear), spent months trying to communicate with the Waodani. They had made some contact, and decided to set up camp in order to build a closer relationship. However, Jim and his 3 companions were killed by 10 Waodani warriors. Jim’s wife, Elizabeth, continued to minister to the Waodani. She encountered much success, as many were converted to the Gospel through the work Jim, his team, and eventually their wives would do.
Jim’s most famous quote is
He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.
But I ran across another, longer quote that is so perfect for modern-day followers of Jesus. It challenged me. I think it may challenge you, too.
“We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners” — coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!“
“Faith” and “safe” are incompatible. Be dangerous. Live courageously.
*image credit: Creation Swap user Jordan Chesbrough