One of the most remarkable Christian women of our time, Elisabeth Elliot (born 21st December 1926) passed away to glory this morning (June 15, 2015). She has spent her life influencing people all over the world for Jesus Christ. An author, speaker and teacher, Elisabeth used her life experiences as a mother, widow, and missionary to bring many men and women into reconciliation and relationship with God. I was introduced to her teachings through an audio cd a friend gave to me when I first gave my life to Jesus and was going through tough times. She spoke of her experiences of life and ‘singleness’ seasons with Jesus in ways that really inspired me and drew me into a closer relationship with God! Elizabeth Elliott is a beautiful lady with a remarkable story…..
If you have ever seen the movie End of the Spear one of our favourite films, you will recognise this moving true story of a group of missionaries who entered a tribal area of a rainforest in Ecuador. After a friendly encounter with three of the tribe members, they were speared to death. Elisabeth’s husband Jim Elliott was one of those men.
Elizabeth had met Jim on mission in Ecuador, reaching Quichua Indians together for Christ and were married in 1953. They continued to minister together and had a daughter Valerie, who was only 10 years old when Jim was killed trying to reach the Auca tribe. This left Elizabeth a young widow with their 10 year old daughter alone. But Elizabeth courageously continued working with the Quichua Indians and met two Auca women who she took in to live with her for one year, before going out to meet the very tribe who had slaughtered her husband. This is a remarkable testimony of forgiveness and the love of God being demonstrated in a very powerful way!
In 1969, Elisabeth married Addison Leitch, a professor of theology in Massachusetts but he died in 1973. After his death she took in two lodgers to live with her family and they ended up marrying her two daughters who now faithfully minister together as a family.
Elisabeth is a gem in the Kingdom of God who has spent a life well lived! She has not only passed through fire and deep waters, but came out the other end with more love and wisdom to pour out into the lives of others. She is the author of several books, which include dealing with suffering, loneliness, purity and family. She is best known for her books about her life on the mission field in Ecuador with her husband Jim Elliott and also wrote a biography on one of my favourite missionaries, Amy Carmichael, who was a missionary to Indian children and also led a remarkable life!
When I see the testimonies of these women I’m inspired and encouraged to live my life well! These are people who will be remembered in years to come not only as courageous pioneers, but also for their character and determination! To love God with all your heart and live a simple life of sharing His love and sacrifice with others, I cannot imagine doing anything else more worthy! In my minds eye I can see Elizabeth Elliott walking into that throne room and her Saviour, King and friend saying to her ‘well done good and faithful servant’
I’ll leave you with my favourite photo and quote of Lady Elliott…
The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances