Fifty years ago this month in the jungles of Ecuador, five missionaries were killed by members of a tribe (Waodani; Huaorani; Auca) they were trying to reach with the message of Christ – a people once known for their savagery. The account of what happened was powerfully told in the book Through Gates of Splendor, written by Elisabeth Elliott, the wife of one of the martyred men, Jim Elliott.
A documentary entitled Beyond the Gates of Splendor was released last year. A movie entitled End of the Spear was designed as a companion to the preceding documentary and is scheduled to be released tomorrow. And in the words of Steve Saint, son of one of the martyred missionaries, “In honesty, seeing it, this is more of ‘A True Story’ than ‘Based on a True Story.'”
Whether you read more about the making of the End of the Spear, what life is like now for the tribe these men were trying to reach, or just more about the movie itself, this is a story with a power all its own. Indeed, “powerful” isn’t a strong enough word to describe the this story’s strenth, for it conveys the heart of the message of the good news of our Lord and Savior – the overcoming of evil with good.