Wednesday, January 25, 2006

End of the Spear

I've been fascinated by the story ever since I heard it told at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert a few years ago. It's the story of 5 men who became convicted back in the 50s that they needed to go to the most dangerous tribe in the world in South America (murder rate of 60%)! They wanted to share the gospel with these people.

At 1st, they thought they were making inroads, when suddenly the tribe turned against them. All 5 men were killed.

But that is just the beginning of the story. Their wives took their children and went to live among these people. One of them stayed her whole life. The rest -- over time -- returned to the States. When the woman who had stayed her whole life died, many returned for her funeral. One of them was a man, now in his 50s, who had been only a boy when they went to those people. His name is Steve Saint.

The tribe asked him to stay and work with them. Finally, he agreed. As he worked among them, he discovered who the man was who had actually killed his father so many years earller. Here's the incredible part: That man baptized Steve's kids, and is now "Grandad" to them. The tribe has been changed; they are now "God-followers."

The story is documented in a film called, "Through the Gates of Splendor." But there is a movie that is currently at the theaters that tells a secularized version of the story. It is called "End of the Spear." Beverly and I went and saw it. We enjoyed it. But it has pretty much been declawed of its power. Jesus is never mentioned as the reason the people were changed. Still, if you know the story behind the story -- it is a movie I would recommend.

The most famous of the men who were martyred is Jim Elliot. He is remembered because he wrote a journal that has been published. Perhaps his most quotable line is this: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."


Jeff said...

I've seen that many critics have given this movie a low rating but what little I do know of the story would seem to make it fascinating. The compassion and forgiveness, the love and hope that must have been what kept these people going is overwhelming.

Liz Moore said...

I just had a chance to read through several of your entries. They were very refreshing. I miss your Godly wisdom. Wish you weren't so far away! We hope to visit before the end of February.