TITLE: A Symphony of Miracles Chapter 19 Something More 3/15/14
By Richard McCaw
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In 1955, “something more” stirred four American missionaries, who had been working with the Quechas, Jivaros, and other Indians in South America. They felt strongly led to preach to a tribe that for generations had been isolated from the outside world.
In late September, 1955, flying over dense rain-forests of Ecuador’s interior, Nate Saint, from “Missionary Aviation Fellowship,” and Ed McCully, from “Christian Missions in Many Lands,” found an Auca Indian settlement. Their only language resource was an Auca young woman, Dayuma, whose family had been murdered and.was then living with Nate's sister Rachel, and spoke both Huao and Quechua. From her they learned enough to begin their mission.
Every Thursday they flew over the village dropping gifts attempting to establish friendly relations. On Thursday 6th. October, after three months of contact, they brought in a former paratrooper from the last stages of World War 11. Soon they found a nearby beach for a landing strip. Having heard that Aucas never attacked anyone with a gun, they decided to carry guns, and to enter the village on Tuesday, 3rd. January, 1956.
So, they landed on Tuesday and camped, then flew over the village inviting the Aucas to visit them. On Friday, a man, a woman, and a teen-aged girl visited them and remained for several hours and seemed quite friendly. But suddenly they left. On Saturday, no one visited them. When the plane flew over the village, the Aucas seemed scared at first, but when presents were dropped, they seemed friendly again. On Sunday afternoon, about 3 pm, 8th January 1956, all five missionaries were speared to death at their camp.
However, the mission to reach the Auca tribe did not come to an abrupt end. Within three weeks, Johnny Keenan, another pilot of the Ecuador Mission, continued the flights over the Auca village. More than twenty fliers from the United States promptly applied to take Nate's place. More than 1000 college students volunteered for foreign missions. In Ecuador, attendance at mission stations, schools and church services reached record levels, and conversions skyrocketed.
One Jivaro Indian immediately carried the Christian message to another Jivaro tribe that had been at war with his own tribe for years. His mission reconciled the two tribes.
In the following months the Indians believed the good news that Christ had come from heaven to die in order to reconcile men to God and to each other. They had seen the love of God demonstrated practically in the lives of the missionaries.
We may ask how could such tragedy transform the lives of so many people? Every event is part of an intricate pattern that displays the glory and might of an infinite and all-wise Creator. God had used the intricate patterns of language and of tragedy in believers’ lives to communicate His deep love for the Aucas.
Today, we have stripped the gospel of its dynamic power to deliver souls from the kingdom of darkness and translate them into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. We must constantly remember the example of Paul, the apostle, who demonstrated by his life the challenge of Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
When Jesus faced death, He never drew back. He set the example for every serious child of God, when He taught His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” And He made it even clearer when He told them, “Whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” 1
Following the pattern of Jesus’ mission, while Paul was staying for many days in the home of Philip, the evangelist, “a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” Paul and everyone present heard those frightening words.
Luke reported, “Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.” But Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
The pattern has been set. The gospel charts a definite course: death precedes resurrection; the dying of our selfish motives will result in the saving of precious souls. That was the challenge that the five missionaries faced. Like the apostle Paul, they too were willing to die for the Lord Jesus. God still uses that pattern. Whenever we, as the Body of Christ follow the divine pattern of preaching the same gospel, the way Jesus and the early church did, the gates of Hell cannot prevail.
As later missionaries pursued ministry to the Aucas, they would not only support the findings of linguistic experts that every language has clearly distinct and recognizable patterns, but that God has a pattern for reaching the lost: only death to self can deliver the perishing.
Those patterns of love were clearly demonstrated in the lives of the five missionaries in whom the love of God was shed abroad by the Holy Spirit
1. The missionaries patiently reached out to the
2. They met with them and sought to lead them to
3. They sacrificed their lives
4. Their wives forgave the Aucas
5. Their wives healed the emotional wounds after
6. Their wives gave words of assurance after the
7. Their wives retold their husbands’ sacrifice
and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
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