Five missionaries went into the land of the savage Aucas. Their offer of friendship was rejected, and the Aucas killed the missionaries. Elisabeth Elliot, wife of one of the martyrs, her daughter, and Rachel Saint would not give up and eventually lived among and brought the Gospel to the Aucas.
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One of the most gripping missionary sagas of our time. Five missionaries went into the land of the savage Aucas. Their offer of friendship was rejected, and the Aucas killed the missionaries. Elisabeth Elliot, wife of one of the martyrs, her daughter and Rachel Saint would not give up and eventually lived among and brought the Gospel to the Aucas. Through Gates of Splendor is an effective demonstration of God’s grace at work during an unforgettable moment in modern missions history.
[Caution: This DVD contains original film footage of Auca natives shot by Nate Saint which includes some brief nudity.]
Languages: English, Spanish
Viewing Format: Fullscreen
Elisabeth “Betty” Elliot, widow of Jim Elliot, one of the five missionaries killed in an Ecuadorian jungle by what were then called the Aucas, told her story in two books. In 1967 she narrated this film based on her books and highlighted by extensive movie footage. The fact that she herself lived the ordeal, combined with scenes showing the smiling, fun-loving missionaries (some of the footage was shot just before their murders), stimulates strong emotions in the viewer. This well produced film might be almost 40 years old, but it still deserves to be seen and discussed. Although some of the footage and photographs (the party that went in to bury the bodies fished out of the river a camera that contained the last images of the men and the three Aucas who had first visited them) are used in the recent documentary Beyond Gates of Splendor and also in the interview with Steve Saint on the Jim Elliot Story DVD, much of it is unique to this film. And what a strange, and inspiring, even amusing, sight many of the scenes are, in which the little blond Valerie Elliot plays with the bronze-skinned Auca children.
Betty’s narration goes into the background of Jim and how they met in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, married and went to live in their jungle station, connected with the other four missionary families and the outside world by radio and the yellow plane piloted by Nate Saint. We see the Auca village in the footage taken by the men and share their enthusiasm for taking the gospel to those reputed to be the most aggressive killers in the Amazon basin. We learn too that this was not a rash decision rushed into with no preparation. The men communicated with the Aucas by dropping gifts to them, and then exchanging gifts through an ingenious system of lowering a basket while Nate flew the plane in a tight circle that enabled the basket to be dropped straight down with little motion to either side. Most of all, we learn how transfiguring the faith and love of the gospel can be, with Betty and her daughter and Rachel Saint, sister of the slain Nate Saint, forgiving the Aucas (now called the Waodani) and moving into their village and sharing their lives.
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