Lessons from Nate Saint on the 55th anniversary of his death

January 8th is the 55th anniversary of the killing of five American missionaries near Quita, Ecuador by the Auca Indians. The most famous of those missionaries is Jim Elliot. A summary of their story (Operation Auca) can be found at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/marchweb-only/110-52.0.html.

Nate Saint, the team’s pilot, was also one of those martyred. A few weeks before his death, Nate Saint wrote this Christmas Letter to his friends and family:

Nate Saint’s Christmas Letter (December 18, 1955)

“As we weigh the future and seek the will of God, does it seem right that we should hazard our lives for just a few savages? As we ask ourselves this question, we realize that it is not the call of the needy thousands, rather it is the simple intimation of the prophetic Word that there shall be some from every tribe in His presence in the last day and in our hearts we feel that it is pleasing to Him that we should interest ourselves in making an opening into the Auca prison for Christ.

As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of darkness. Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility.

Would that we could comprehend the lot of these stone-age people who live in mortal fear of ambush on the jungle trail . . . those to whom the bark of a gun means sudden, mysterious death . . . those who think all men in all the world are killers like themselves. If God would grant us the vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ. May God help us to judge ourselves by the eternities that separate the Aucas from a comprehension of Christmas and Him, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor so that we might, through His poverty, be made rich.”

My thoughts:
1. I want to be a Nate Saint.
2. I want MTR filled with Nate Saint’s.
3. That in comparison to our unwavering passion for displaying God’s greatness to the world through an authentic response to the gospel in urban education, the “word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; and our lives would suddenly be too short; and we would despise time-robbing distractions”… What a privilege and honor to serve in this way for our 20 seconds on earth.

Please pray that God might choose to reveal Himself as good and powerful and faithful to His promises to those in need by raising up a generation to positively impact student achievement in Memphis schools.