Celebrating Elisabeth Elliot's Life: A Pioneer and Prayer Warrior

A biography of an international missionary who lost her husband in the jungles of Ecuador and birthed an international ministry on the radio
Celebrating Elisabeth Elliot's Life: A Pioneer and Prayer Warrior

Elisabeth Elliot went home to be with her Savior Sunday, June 14, 2015. You can read CT's obituary on her life here. After her first husband was killed by the Auca Indians in 1956, Elisabeth famously went back to live among the Aucas in order to share the love of Christ. Join TCW in remembering and honoring this compelling woman of faith. —TCW Editors

Elisabeth Elliot never set out to be a radio personality. She set out to do the will of God—something we don't hear much about these days. We hear about being missional, relational, and relevant—all significant ingredients in fighting today's culture wars. However, Elisabeth believed in asking this foundational question: Is this God's will for me, right now, in this place? Even after tragically losing her husband, Jim Elliot, in a beachfront skirmish during a missionary outreach effort to the previously unreached Aucan people of Ecuador, she trusted God's faithfulness unfailingly over the years, and has used her story to minister to thousands—including me.

While a junior in college, I devoured Let Me Be a Woman, and then wrote her a letter to thank her for the book and to tell her I could not get enough of it. Within a week, she responded to me personally, and we continued our exchange for nine years when I became the announcer and producer for her radio program, Gateway to Joy.

Unapologetically, Elisabeth espoused such truths as: give to get, lose to find, and die to live. Setting her sights "on things above" (Colossians 3:1), Elisabeth ministered among three indigenous groups in Ecuador before helping listeners and readers find joy in the ordinary affairs of life—like cooking meals and cleaning toilets—on her globally syndicated radio program. She called it livingsacramentally, and her rock-solid principles shaped my life.

Marriage and Ministry in the Ecuadorian Jungle

Because her parents often opened up their home to guests, Elisabeth met missionaries and preachers from all over the world. Their lives and stories acquainted Elisabeth's heart with the idea of wanting God's will for her life.

As a student at Wheaton College, Elisabeth found herself falling in love with Jim Elliot, the life of the party and the soul of many prayer meetings held on campus. Jim was frequently credited with saying, "Wherever you are, be all there; live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." This is how he lived, and how he died.

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May 25

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