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Few stories have impacted me like the story of the martyrdom of five young men who were seeking to take the gospel to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. These five – Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian – were in their twenties and early thirties – and left behind wives and children.

One year after their death, their wives released a powerful prayer that was published in Christianity Today, (January 7, 1957).

Their prayer began…

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the privilege He gave us in beings the wives of men who were chosen to be slain for His sake. None of us is worthy. It is all of His grace, but we know that the Lamb is worthy, a thousand times, the lives of our husbands and of us. He chose to glorify Himself in their death—may He now glorify Himself in our lives.

Obviously, their thoughts and concerns dealt with their children…

Not only do we ask that Christ be glorified in the Aucas and in us, but also in our children. Most of them will have no recollection of their fine fathers. But our Lord gave His word, ‘All they children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of they children.’ We ask for His wisdom in training them, for His Spirit in us, that they may be as obedient as their fathers.

The stunning part of their prayer dealt, not only with the salvation of their children, but the future hope of the men who killed their husbands…

How wonderful it would be if He should prepare one or more of them to go to the Aucas! We would give them to Him for his use, asking that they come to know Him as Savior and Lord at an early age. Far be it from us to withhold from the Lord the lives of these little ones, children of the men who did not withhold their own lives. May they sing from true hearts,

Faith of our Fathers, Holy faith
We would be true to Thee till death.

To read more about this, click here.

Interestingly, that prayer was answered. Elisabeth Ellliot returned to live among the Aucas, along with her little daughter, Valerie. Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel, also went to live among the Aucas. Nate Saint’s son, Steve, returned the Aucas and helped them transition and survive.

The story is brilliantly told by Steven Curtis Chapman in his DVD, Steven Curtis Chapman Live.

The Aucas are now known as the Wuaorani (“The People”)


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