How many of you have heard of Elisabeth Elliot? You may know her best as the wife of the famous martyr missionary, Jim Elliot. She has always been one of my personal “role models” and “heros”. Let me tell you a little bit about her and then what her ministry has meant to me.
Elisabeth Elliot was born in Belguim in 1926. Her parents were missionaries there, but soon moved back to Pennsylvania not long after she was born. She attended Wheaton College and a Bible Institute before beginning her missionary life in Ecuador. In Ecuador, Elisabeth married Jim Elliot and soon after they began their ministry to the Auca Indians. After Jim was killed, Elisabeth continued to reach out to the Auca Indians and many of them eventually accepted Christ. Elisabeth and her daughter, Valerie, lived with the Indians for many years, teaching them about God’s love. They eventually moved back to the US and Elisabeth currently resides in Massachusetts.
My dad was the first one to introduce me to Elisabeth Elliot, her writings and her incredible story. He had always admired Jim Elliot and had read his journals. At first, I was not very interested in Elisabeth or her writings. However, as I have read more and more about her as well as many of her writings, I have come to admire her very much. She stands out to me as a very humble, loving and yet unbending Christian. In all her writings that I have read, she never once introduced new ideas or modern thoughts into her writing, but has always held true to the promises and simple teaching of God’s Word and old-fashioned values. She has become a real role model to me of how to persevere in the faith even in difficult times.
I would encourage you, young maiden, to read some of Elisabeth’s wonderful writings. Some of my favorites to get you started are: Let Me Be A Woman, Passion and Purity, Discipline: The Glad Surrender, and Keep a Quiet Heart.
Mrs. Elliot has also written her autobiography about her time in Ecuador in her book, Through Gates of Splendor. May they bring you as much wisdom and encouragement as they did to me!
In closing, here is one of the verses that Mrs Elliot claims is a favorite of hers.
If you feed the hungry from your own plenty and satisfy the needs of the wretched, then your light will rise like the dawn out of the darkness and your dusk be like noonday. The Lord will be your guide continually and will satisfy your needs in the shimmering heat; he will give you strength of limb; you will be like a watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:10-11