Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A performance of "Bridge of Blood"

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

As a part of our church's Foreign Food Festival, I was asked to participate in
a performance of the story of missionary Jim Elliot and his 5 co-laborers in their ministry
to the Auca Indians of Ecuador.

We spent weeks rehearsing and preparing this dramatic reenactment of the lives and ultimate death
of these 5 men passionate about reaching these primitive people with the story of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Performing in any kind of drama is exhilarating!
But especially when you are passionate about the subject matter.

The very first missionary story I was ever exposed to was the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot.
I had to read the book Through Gates of Splendor for an English assignment.
It changed my life.
It wasn't until many years later, as a single, college graduate, that I had the privilege of hearing Elisabeth Elliot speak.
I had already read so many of her books that tell of the gift of suffering and of waiting for God's best in relation to finding a husband.
She had lived through both of those seasons and had so much wisdom to share about it.

She was my "hero of the faith" as some would say.
But she passed away only a few months ago.
I couldn't say "no" to playing the part of Elisabeth Elliot in this profoundly moving story.

"These men had come to the jungles of Ecuador to share the message of Christ's love,
and the people they had come to serve killed them.
The world called it a purposeless nightmare of tragedy, 
but a lost and dying world could never understand Jim's creed: 
'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.' "

"...much of the script that you will hear tonight is taken from the actual letters
and diaries of the slain men and their wives.  And who better to tell this story
than Elisabeth Elliot."

"Being quite an extrovert, as well as a successful athlete, Jim was well known among the students. 
But Jim never dropped his testimony to win popularity.
Christ and Biblical principles always came first."

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done in America, but a life of baby-sitting a bunch of spoiled delinquents for some big church isn't the kind of work that I want to do.  God hasn't callded me to that........
Our young men are going into professional fields because they don't feel 'called' to the mission field.
We don't need a call, we need a kick in the pants."

"I have one desire now - to live for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.
Maybe He'll send me someplace where the name of Jesus Christ is unknown.  Jim, I'm taking the Lord at His word, and trusting Him to prove His word."
~ Ed McCully

Such an incredible moment for this Mom as Ashlyn performed her part so beautifully!

"When a friend gives you a wonderful gift, you usually try to find a way to give a gift in return. 
So, I've decided to give God my life to direct as He pleases."

"Sometimes I imagine that a roaring fire is burning up a great house.  And when all the walls, floors, and roofs are gone, only a few precious stones will remain.  I guess my life is like that.
Someday I'll see Jesus face-to-face and all my good works and so-called virtues will burn up just like that house, and all that will be left are the souls that God brought to Himself through me."

"I've always believed that if the Lord wanted a guy in full-time service on the mission field, 
He would make him unbearably miserable in the pursuit of any other end.......The Lord has given me no desire to preach, but I'd like someday to be able to tell somebody who has never heard.  Please pray that I'll be kept from useless sidetracks."
~Nate Saint

"....Two rules:  Don't run ahead of God's timetable, and no group pressure. 
 Do we all agree on this basis?
It's settled.
  Tomorrow we officially begin 'Operation Auca' with the first gift drop. 
 God alone knows where this project will end."

"Jim, Pete, Ed, Roger, and Nate left that meeting eager to begin 'Operation Aucu.'
Nate had devised a special maneuver for delivering goods to the ground from his plane.
By flying in a fairly tight circle and letting out a great length of cord, Nate could cause the end of the cord to be comparatively still near or on the ground, the end of an inverted cone.  He could lower a bucket holding a gift or tie something to the cord.  
The delivery was tricky and painstaking, but the first contact with the Auca was made through these gift drops."

"As we sensed the time for the trip to be approaching, and all-out effort was made to obtain bits of the Auca language.  A runaway Auca woman named Dayuma lived on a nearby ranchero.  
Jim decided to visit her and try to obtain some Auca phrases...."

"But Pete!!  If anything ever happened to you, I'd....."

"You'd keep on serving the Lord, and He'd keep on sustaining you.  Olive, I know there is danger, but we have come so far and God has led us every step of the way."

"God has given Nate and me more happiness in seven years than most couples have in a lifetime."

"But, Marj, how can you bear the thought of that happiness ending?"

"I guess I don't allow the devil to trick me into worrying about it.  Keep busy with the work of the Lord, and stay close to Him in prayer.
Olive, that's the only way you'll be able to come through this thing."

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for though art with me...."

"The other widows and I have received countless messages from all over the world, telling of young men and women who have made decisions for Christ because of what happened to our husbands.
God's perfect plan was fulfilled and His name glorified."

"Today there is a strong church among the Aucas, and some of the men who killed our husbands are now preaching the saving grace of Christ, looking forward to the day they can thank our husbands in glory!  It is our prayer tonight, that the same God who ruled the hearts and lives of these five missionaries is also ruling your heart.
Will you let God have His way with you?"

Cast of Bridge of Blood 2015

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