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Book Review


Through Gates of Splendor - by Elliot, Elisabeth

Harper & Brothers, 1957. 208 pp.
Reviewed by Lai Swillum, wife of TMS Student Brian Swillum

ďAs we weigh the future and seek the will of God, does it seem right that we should hazard our lives for just a few savages? As we ask ourselves this question, we realize that it is not the call of the needy thousands, rather it is the simple intimation of the prophetic Word that there shall be some from every tribe in His presence in the last day, and in our hearts we feel that it is pleasing to Him that we should interest ourselves in making an opening into the Auca prison for Christ.Ē Nate Saint wrote this in his journal about 19 days before he and four other men were martyred as they sought to bring the light of the glorious gospel of Christ to the Auca tribe in the jungles of Ecuador.

Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Nate Saint began ďOperation AucaĒ by flying over the tribe with a bucket of gifts suspended from Nate Saintís plane by a rope. After some time of giving gifts, the men decided to make face to face contact with the Auca. The men set up a campsite on a beach in the tribal region hoping that the Aucas would come to them. Some did come and, soon after, spears flew, and the men were in the presence of their Savior. Word of the menís death quickly spread throughout the world.

Many young people gave their lives to missions because of their testimony. Although God may not be calling all of us to foreign missions or to martyrdom for Him, the message of this book applies to all believers: God is in control of everything. Love Christ above all. The wives of those devoted men proved these truths as they trusted God with their own lives and those of their husbands. In the midst of deep sadness the women could rejoice because they counted Him faithful.

Elisabeth Elliotís account of the days following the menís death shows how Godís words upheld and guided the women just as He had promised. As we begin a new year, reading or re-reading the story of the ďEcuadorian FiveĒ will help believers evaluate their own commitment to obey Godís call at all costs. The book will challenge you to ask questions such as: How willing are my hands and heart to do what God asks of me? Do I believe Godís promises are true for me as they were for those who have gone before? What would God have me do to help bring the Gospel to those who have not heard? May we remember the example of those who have gone before and be encouraged to follow their example of faithful obedience.




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