Sovereignty,Suffering and The Work of Missions by Steve Saint – son of missionary martyr Nate Saint who died in Ecuador with Jim Elliott (Desiring God)

Steve Saint, whose father Nate Saint was killed in 1956 in the jungles of Ecuador along with Jim Elliott, preaches about suffering at the 2006 Desiring God conference. The movie The End of the Spear depicts the ministry of his father.

Nathanael „Nate” Saint (August 30, 1923 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelicalChristian missionary pilot to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as Operation Auca.

In September 1955, Nate was joined by his teammates, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian. Saint finally found a Huaorani (also known as Aucas) settlement while searching by air. In order to reach the tribe, Saint and the team lowered gifts to the Huaorani in a bucket tied to the plane. The Huaorani were widely feared by other Ecuadoreans, because they combined a desire to be left alone with a willingness to use force. They attacked and killed any intruders without provocation. Nevertheless, the tribe was excited on receiving the gifts, gave some gifts back. Finally, the missionaries decided to attempt to meet the people on the ground, and on January 3, 1956, they set up camp four miles from the Auca settlement, using the beach as a landing strip. Their initial contact with the Huaorani started out encouraging; however, on Sunday, January 8, 1956 the entire team was killed on the beach (known as „Palm Beach”) when armed Huaorani met, and speared them.

After the death of Saint’s father, the family moved to Quito where Saint attended school. It was during this time that his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliotsuccessfully made peaceful contact with the Waodani and were living with them in the jungle. At 10 years of age, Saint first went to live with the Waodani, staying with them during the summers. He learned about living in the jungle, and also developed relationships with many members of the tribe. In June 1965, „Babae”, as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father’s killers who had since converted to Christianity.

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