God’s Fools


“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  ~Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and half a dozen additional team members shared the vision of bringing God’s love to one of he most violent people groups in the world, a tribe known by other natives as the Aucas, “savages.” Leaving the female members at the mission station, the five young men landed their plane by a river in the Ecuadorian jungle. They soon made friendly contact with the Aucas, but shortly thereafter were speared to death and left floating in the river.

The story made headlines worldwide. Following the initial wave of sympathy, however, articles began to appear denouncing the doomed mission and the “foolishness” of the idealistic young missionaries.

End of story? Not quite.

Despite everything, Jim’s widow Elizabeth and Nate’s sister Rachel pressed on. They eventually managed to re-contact the Aucas (Huaoranis). Astonished at their courage, and curious as to how these young women could possibly forgive them, the Huaoranis invited the two women and their children to come and live among them. Elizabeth and Rachel’s compassion soon began to burn a hole in the Huaoranis’ fear-and-vengeance-driven beliefs. “How can we have this peace you have?” they were asked.

Most of the Huaoranis–including those who’d murdered the five young missionaries–adopted their strange, peaceful faith. At first a dozen, then hundreds, and eventually thousands of lives were transformed–not only among the Huaoranis, but also among the people they reached, as well.

A few years later, Nate Saint’s son Steve was baptized — by two of the men who had murdered his father — in the very river where his father died. Why? Because God’s love is sharper than any spear. And all because of a decision to give what cannot be kept to gain what cannot be lost.

God, make me such a fool.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to God’s Fools

  1. What an incredible testimony of all the lives transformed by our Savior, Jesus Christ. God knows each of our stories, and we must never give up hope of redemption and transformation of anyone. We serve a mighty and powerful God that can use anyone, anywhere, at anytime to accomplish His will on earth. Be ready and obedient! ☺🌈🙏

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Very inspiring. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atimetoshare.me says:

    What a beautiful ending to such a tragic story. The way we live our lives as Christians can be such a testimony to the love of Christ Apparently these women were amazing witnesses of that love.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Preciousone says:

    Me too Lord 🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cindy Dawson says:

    That’s amazing! I never knew this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so powerful, what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve always loved that story. Have you seen the movie? I love the double meaning in the title: “The End of the Spear.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. smzang says:

    Reading this makes me realize how small I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. revruss1220 says:

    Wow. Takes “fool for Christ” to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. IanC555 says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh…or cry. I think inside, I’m doing both…and it’s uncomfortable to be honest. Please…let me share something…And I WILL be brief as I am able for what I feel in this moment reading what you wrote.

    Years ago, I came by a woman that espoused a Catholic bases mysticism. She was/is Devout in her way; bold and brassy – very sure of her self. By and by as I took courage from her words, she said something that struck me DEEPLY. Of me, if it goes DEEP, it hangs out for a LONG TIME of pondering, trying out…vetting.

    She spoke of judgment I think…self judgment actually…I think. She said, “Only God knows the soul because the soul is fairly hidden from us. YOU don’t even know your own soul NEVER MIND the soul of another. Only God knows that.” [Paraphrase and repeated in spirit of the message]

    We make choices. We know those outcomes. Of those…only those, if we feel we have been wrong or been wronged, There is an age old prayer.

    “Our Father who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. They will Be Done, On Earth as it is in heave. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us (and if we trespass ourselves and betray ourselves…the first part of this prayer addresses that). Let us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one

    For Thine is the Kingdom, The Power and The Glory forever and ever. Amen.”

    Be comforted…Ask in Jesus Christ’s name. It is that simple.

    Be well and in Good spirit!

    In Christ’s name.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nancy Ruegg says:

    The legacy of those five young martyrs lives on in the countless people impacted by the books and articles written about the missionaries, Steve Saint’s film about them, and the hundreds (thousands?) of young men and women inspired to be missionaries themselves, after their example. What looked to be utter failure has actually resulted in great success–for sixty-plus years, and counting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bill Sweeney says:

    Great post, Mitch. Great movie, I bought the DVD, which I rarely do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for reminding us of them. I read his biography several years back (so inspirational) as are the two films.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wish there were more stories in headlines like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happened so very long ago though…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a powerful story. It gave me chills

    Liked by 1 person

  17. schoen55 says:

    Incredible story of God’s strength, and fearless faith. Give the glory to God indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. mmyselfni3 says:

    Hmm, thought provoking. I believe I have leaned towards the direction of that was just foolish. Now, I’m reminded not to judge and look at stories like this from a different perspective. Most importantly, God’s point of view.❤️🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      They actually prepared for several years before making initial contact with the Aucas, air-dropped gifts/supplies for them, etc. So it wasn’t as seat-of-the-pants as it may sound. But there’s always the unexpected–one of the Aucas lied to the others about what these strangers were up to.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. It is really interesting how even the bad stuff has a purpose to good. We may what to accept what happens as progress. Great piece of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ann Coleman says:

    Sometimes we have to be patient to see the true results of our efforts. It’s very sad that those young men died, but obviously, they did not die in vain. God can, and does, bring good things out of bad….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    I love that story. It does remind me over and over that Jesus is at work, not just a flowery feel good religion. He changes people. Sign me up for “Fool School.”

    In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

  22. Next to the Word of God, “Through Gates of Splendor” has made an indelible mark on my own life. I still get “holy bumps” when I remember their courage and sold-out love for God and for the unreached in darkness. Philippians 3.8-11… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

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