As I write this, the kids picked out a DVD to watch about the group of missionaries who gave their lives 50 years ago in South America. Our Nate was named after the pilot, Nate Saint. If you’ve never heard the story, there’s now a movie about it called End of the Spear.
We chose to name our firstborn after the pilot in the story for several reasons. First of all, it seems everyone knows about Jim & Elisabeth Elliot. But there were five guys killed there. Keith has his pilot’s licence & has always been interested in planes, so there’s yet another reason we were drawn to him. He also seemed more fun-loving yet serious about God. He seemed to have more of a “funny bone” than the others. He enjoyed life. His sister, Rachel, was the one who went back & lived the rest of her long life with the killers, discipling them.
We met his son, Stephen Saint, in Chicago when our Nate was one year old. How exciting!! We got pictures taken, autographs, etc. It was a small group there on a Sunday night. This was years before the film came out. Stephen was touring with the Aucas to churches in the States. If you get to see the animated version of the story, The Jim Elliot Story, watch the extras! They have hours of really great stuff. Stephen tells about bringing the Auca guys to the States & that whole story, their reactions to grocery stores, etc. They also have an interview with Nate’s widow, Marjorie, a few months before she went on to meet him in glory. It is really good!
Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song, “God Is God” about it, too (see VodPod on the right).
In the video, the older Aucas you see toward the end were the guys we met eight years ago. When you see one of them getting swung around by his shirt tails, that’s Nate’s grandson, Jessie. Those same men who killed the five are now church leaders in the tribe. They are my brothers in the Lord. God used the missionary mens’ death to show them how much He loves them. “God turned into good what you meant for evil.” (Genesis 50:20)
Our prayer for our Nate is that he would have the same enthusiasm for life, desire to share his faith, & willingness to go & do whatever God asks of him with a heart full of joy. We wrote a song for him, too when he was little. I’ll wait & share that on his birthday.