Like Hudson Taylor (Number 3 on the list), reading about the life, and death of Jim Elliot, 40 years before my time on earth began, had a big impact on me.
There was a time when I too thought I would die on the mission field at a young age - that changed when I met Rachel, and now I'm not as young as I was then and also know God has got other things for me. But my heart is still the same - God is God. To live is Christ, to die is gain!
Many will remember the words - "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". Life. Jim knew this and lived it.
He would have prayed for the Auca Indians salvation - at what ever cost - and he would have meant it. His death, tragic as it was, opened up the road to salvation for many in that savage tribe, so that years later, the children of those five men murdered on the beach in the jungle could actually baptize the same people responsible for the massacre.
He was only a young man when he was killed. He left a wife and daughter. But God works all things for good for those that love him. Might there have been another way? Maybe, we don't really know. And what would Jim had said. Asked if by not dying they could still have seen a little impact made for the gospel I think he would have come back and said - "Let it be as it was. I want them all reached for the Kingdom!"
What also happened all around the world is more prayer was given for mission, more finance given and more people went. Because five men were killed.
I look forward to seeing Jim Elliot in heaven. I look forward to thanking him for the example he set. I look forward to seeing the reward he is given, the crowns and treasures for living a life that didn't shy away from anything, even death.
He is an example to us all. Our cosy, comfortable lives, our creature comforts. Our material possessions and holidays and wanting more and more, bigger and better.
In the depths of an Ecuadorian jungle, on a sandy river bank, this man bleed to death. He'd left everything to reach these lost people. He only had love and friendship to share with them. And yet they killed him. But his death made the Indians ask questions, to seek a better way of living. Ultimately it led them to the good news of the free gospel of the salvation and forgiveness of sins that Jesus made available for us. And this brings me nicely to my number 1......
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