Dying for Christ

On January 8, 1956, five men, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youdarian, were killed in Ecuador by Auca Indians. The five were missionaries who were trying to preach the gospel to the Aucas. It would seem that this incident would end any attempt to evangelize the Aucas but in fact it had the opposite effect. The incident was widely reported in the news media and the publicity stimulated many Christians to step up efforts to reach the Aucas with the gospel. Other Christians carried out the work the slain missionaries had begun and as a result many Aucas, including some who had taken part in the murders, became Christians.

On November 16 a man named John Allen Chau landed by himself on North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal with the intention of sharing the gospel with the inhabitants and was killed by them. The island is the home of one of the few peoples on the earth who have never heard the gospel. To most this seems like just a tragic loss of life but it has had one good result. As a result of the publicity many Christians now know that these people exist and are praying for their conversion. Perhaps Chau’s death has done more to further the evangelization of these people than he could have accomplished if he had lived.

God often works in ways that seem foolish to men. The gospel begins with Jesus dying to atone for our sins. This apparent defeat was turned into victory when he rose from the dead three days later. We can experience forgiveness of our sins because he was willing to die for us. Because five men were willing to die in Ecuador many Aucas are now Christian. Perhaps the time will come when many Sentinelese will be Christians because of one man who was willing to die on their island.


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We live under God's economy, but we really do not understand it. Sufficient that we trust Him to know what is best in the life of each one of His saints and simply walk in obedience to where and how He leads us. Great is the reward in Heaven that awaits those of us who chose to do so.

Lord, may I be such a one. :pray