Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Be sure to stop by Renee Ann's blog for GIVEAWAY of END OF THE SPEAR DVD.  This movie is outstanding...see my review here

Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and Ed McCully initiated Operation Auca in autumn 1955.  Five men sharing one common goal: to share the Gospel with the Waodani Indians in Ecuador.

In Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot, one of the widows, chronicles the saga of the five men by collecting their documents and journals.

The result is an impacting firsthand account of a saga that changed missions forever.

I loved this read from start to finish.  It is definitely a five-star read and one I will pick up again and again.  I not only enjoyed this book, but enjoyed two recent films and have enjoyed listening to sermons by Steve Saint and Mincaye (more on that later).

One of my favorite quotes is when Nate Saint says, "The old life of chasing things that are of a temporal sort seemed absolutely insane." (56)

I was inspired by how these men gave everything they had for the cause of Christ. Not only did they give it all up to the point of sacrificing their human lives forthe cause, but the sacrifices of their wives and children leaves me breathless.

The photos included in this book were black and white but captured raw emotion and realness...the amazement at going to the Island for the first time...the surprise of the Waodani women at having their pictures taken...the shock of the widows who were just told for the first time their husbands had been killed. 

The simple form of this story is drama-free...it doesn't glamourize as we are so accustomed to seeing in news stories and TV today.  It is told in the simple words of five men who love the Lord and are excited to be used by Him.

I am anxious to read more about Elisabeth Elliot's journey with the Waodani as she continues to minister after her young husband was speared to death.  The Savage My Kinsmen is her continuing saga among the Waodani.

Shadow of the Almighty is the saga of Jim Elliot which I am giving away to one lucky commentor.

Some discussion questions to spark thought....

Feel free to participate even if you haven't read the book.

1) What was your general opinion of the book, if you read it?  Do you like reading journals?

2) Of the five men, was there one whose story particularly resonated with you?  What special characteristics did each man bring to the team?

3) Knowing God's will was of primary concern to each of the missionaries.  In what ways did the missionaries discover God's will?  When you are unsure of a decision how do you find God shows his will to you?  Is it easy or hard for you to trust in His will?

4) Another theme in this book is rejoicing through suffering.  The widows are quick to embrace God's will. Barbara Youderian says, "The Lord has closed our hearts to grief and hysteria and filled it with his perfect peace."  (236)  What did you think of the widows?  Is there a time in your life where you have embraced suffering and found God's joy or have you seen this in the life of someone you know?

5) "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" is a famous quote by Jim Elliot.  What does this statement mean to you?

6) Has this book affected your thinking on missions, suffering, or following God's call and seeking his direction?

The most exciting thing about this story is that God has continued to work behind the scenes through it all. 

As shared in the movie The Grandfathers, Steve Saint and Mincaye (one of the men who killed his father) now travel the country sharing about God's love and forgiveness. 

Here is the start of a six part video of a Chapel service given at Liberty University.  It is well-worth watching in its entirety.  I think for our "Americanized" culture sometimes its neat to hear the Gospel shared in a fresh way which Mincaye certainly does here.


I would like to bless a commenter with The Grandfathers DVD and another commenter with Jim Elliot's hardcover biography, Shadow of the Almighty. 

Simply share your thoughts on one of the given questions and include your email in the question.

For extra points:
1) Become a follower (+1)
2) If you read the book (+2 entries)
3) Tweet about this giveaway (+1)

On May 6th I will draw names.

Oh and be sure to share in the comments if you have any ideas for our June read!


Love this post! I joined in on the book club, and I'm also hosting a giveaway related to Through Gates of Splendor. Anyone interested can find the info here: http://reneeannsmith.com/

I'll be back to comment later! Blessings, Julia!

I didn't read the book, but I love that Jim Elliot quote. I wrote it in my Bible when I was a teenager.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose....it makes following Christ seem like a no brainer doesn't it?

I would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!

Joy G Lee G@ aol. com

Renee Ann,

I'm so sorry. As you could probably see by the puzzling beginning (be sure to stop by...) I had fully intended to link to your blog and thought I had. Fixed now.

Hope you're having a great time on your field trip! Thanks again for joint hosting this with me.


That quote sure is convicting to me personally. Kind of helps you keep things in perspective. Thanks for stopping by and I'm entering you in the giveaway.

I've just heard about this book club. I haven't read anything by Elisabeth Elliot. Nor have I seen the Movie End of the Spear. Please include me in your giveaway. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

I am beyond late to this discussion and I am so very sorry, my friend! This book was so incredible and I thank you for introducing me to it and inspiring me to read it with this great bookclub! This is essentially my review :)

The fire and passion of these five men was evident from their introduction until they breathed their last. It’s amazing how they cast “self” aside and gladly spent themselves to preach the beautiful name of Christ at any cost. That is love in its purest form – a love that loves first, even when unrequited. These men had the Lord’s heart beating inside them. They saw with His eyes, heard with His ears, reached out His hands and went with His feet. I was deeply convicted by the passionate zeal, gentle patience and unconditional love for the lost these men and their families had. I believe this was mentioned in the book, but it bears repeating, they were a people who could not be content while others remained in darkness. I want that kind of heart, that oneness with Jesus, because it was only HIM that gave them the strength and grace they needed to accomplish what He set before them. When the call went out for someone to send, each rose up and cried, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” Each man brought something different to their field but each had a servants heart and an unquenchable fire burning inside to be busy about their Father’s business.

To me, Jim Elliot’s quote is like a beautiful commentary to Matthew 6:19-20; 10:39; 16:25 and Luke 9:24. Let go of the temporary that you may gain the eternal. Store your treasure in heaven not on earth. Die that you may live. Truthfully there were many quote-worthy gems throughout the book, many supplied by Jim. “Through Gates of Splendor” was a powerful read and you cannot help but walk away from it with a sense of urgency to reach the lost and a bit of the fire these five and their families possessed. They knew men could not live by bread alone, so they lived out God’s Word for them. They knew what their cross was and picked it up daily, following their Saviour down the deadly, dangerous jungle trails, shining the Light into the darkness. They were flesh and blood made mighty heroes of the faith through the Spirit of God, and their incredible testimonies continue to bless and inspire us today to give what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.



No worries about being late :) I have no right to talk about that besides ;)

I love what you said here. My friend, I'm so anxious to see what the Lord is doing and will continue to do with your writing gift. I'm sure he has already blessed your church through it as he has some of us here.

And I LOVE that you tied it back to Scripture. Matthew 10:34-39 is one our pastor discussed in church last week and very convicting. I definitely have a LOT to learn on sacrifice...wouldn't it have been wonderful to have visited with these men and women. Would have learned so much.

Thanks so much for reading along with Renee Ann and I.

Great Giveaway opp! thanks! i'd luv to participate ~
regarding "When you are unsure of a decision how do you find God shows his will to you? Is it easy or hard for you to trust in His will?"
i believe God has a voice, God speaks, and God's sheep know His voice so to find God's will i must still my heart and mind , spend time together then hear what directions are forthcoming. As we're told in Isaiah, we WILL hear a voice behind us saying, this is the way to go... with that confidence gained through intimacy of relationship i walk in trust - and pray for help for any unbelief! :))

infuse at live dot ca
sorry - forgot that :))

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


Contributor at The Writer's Alley:


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