Heroines of the faith: Elisabeth Elliot

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian,But the fact that I am a christian does make me a different kind of woman.” Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth’s parents were missionaries in Belgium, which is where she was born, but they returned to the States when she was just a few months old, and she was brought up near Philadelphia.

Elisabeth went to Wheaton College where she studied classical Greek in the knowledge that this would help her translate the Bible into the languages of unreached people groups. She met her first husband, Jim, while she was there. Following college she went to Ecuador to work with the  Quichua Indians. A year later, Jim also came to work with the  Quichua. Jim and Elisabeth were married in Quito in 1953.

Jim had always had a heart for unreached people groups. The Aucus, a fierce tribe who killed everyone who came into contact with them, were  not too far away. Jim and four others determined to reach them and so made a trip into their territory in 1956. They made friendly contact with three of the tribe members but then all of them were speared to death. As Jim said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Left alone with a 10 month old daughter, Elisabeth Elliot continued work with the Quichua tribe. Then God led her to two Auca women who were living amongst the Quichua, whom she invited to live with her. They stayed for a whole year, and taught her and fellow missionary, Rachel Saint, the Huao language spoken by the Aucas. One of the two Auca ladies was the key to Elisabeth being able to live and work with the Aucas, the people who had killed her husband. She spent two years with them with her three-year-old daughter, Valerie, and Rachel. She then returned to her work with the Quichuas, finally going back to the States in 1963.

Since then she has led a very productive life, speaking and writing. She became an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was one of the stylistic consultants for the New International Version of the Bible. She also remarried, and now works with her current husband. She is one of the most influential Christian women of our day.

Photo credit:www.elisabethelliot.org

Information for this post came from here and here.

6 thoughts on “Heroines of the faith: Elisabeth Elliot”

  1. So glad you included Elisabeth Elliot in your “Heroines of the Faith” series. Having grown up in Ecuador myself, she has long been one of my personal heroes. Over the past decades her writings and talks have been greatly used by the Lord to shape who I am today, and what I believe about Scripture, God, faith, and ministry. I recently discovered a treasure chest of free downloadable talks by EE at http://www.discipleshiplibrary.com/search.php?a=1&e=1&m=0&p=0&n=0&s=topic1&t=TOPIC%20A&ss=Elliot&st=speaker_exact&ssf=Elisabeth

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    1. That’s a great resource you’ve shared, Guy. Thank you. I love the writings of some of these old saints–AW Tozer, Andrew Murray, DL Moody, RA Torrey, Watchman Nee. We have so much to learn from them.

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  2. Elisabeth Elliot has been an incredible inspiration for me. Her book The Path Through Loneliness helped me see the reality of God’s love in a horrendous dark time in my life.

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    1. So often we ignore the saints of times gone past, but we have an incredible amount to learn from them. I was brought up on the old missionary books. They are invaluable.

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  3. What a great quote by Elisabth Elliot – both truth and reminder. Thanks for posting!
    Kristina, Blogger
    themoreyouseegod.blogspot.com

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