Jim Elliot was married to Elizabeth and served in Quechua, South America. Jim went from Quechua as a missionary to reach Huaorani tribe, he was speared to death along with four others in January 1956. Their daughter, Valerie was just ten months old. (born February 27, 1955) Elizabeth continued to serve in Quechua, were two Huaorani women also lived. Dayuma taught Elizabeth Huao language. She also created contacts and opened door for Elizabeth to Huaorani tribe. Elizabeth with three-year-old daughter Valerie and colleague Rachael Saint boldly went to serve among Huaorani tribe in October 1958. Those who killed her husband accepted her and gave her name Gikari, meaning ‘woodpecker’. This is Christian courage of going like sheep among wolves. How do we respond when we face challenges, struggles and opposition?
1) Escape: Some people quickly try to escape from the situation. Like David our body and soul long to fly away like dove. (Psalm 55:6) Escapism is not an option for Christians. “Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”” (Luke 9:62)
2) Endure: There are others who endure suffering or challenges with stoic silence. Resigning to ‘fate’ or accepting as ‘karma,’ is turning ‘indifferent’ to all happenings around them. Christians instead face suffering with ‘Spirit of Glory,’ not stoic silence. (I Peter 4:14)
3) Embrace: Prophet Agabus said that Paul would be arrested and had to suffer if he goes to Jerusalem. Friends persuaded Paul not to go. “Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping, and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13) Paul joyfully embraced danger, risk and even death for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ.
Do I have faith and courage to embrace sufferings for Christ?