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The End of the Spear - Christian Missions

January, 7th, 2008

I watched End of the Spear this weekend with my girls. This was my 4th time to watch the movie. What a great story - if you have not seen this film, you should rent it, or buy it, and watch it.

Back in 1977 I became aware of MAF, Mission Aviation Fellowship, and began to support that ministry financially. In early 1978 I read the book Through Gates of Splendor, the story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and 3 other young men who reached out to the primitive Waodani Ecuadorian tribe with the gospel and were killed on the beach of the Amazon river. While reading this book I seemed to hear the Spirit speaking to me. I decided to go on the mission field. In April, just after my freshman year of basketball ended, I resigned my basketball scholarship and dropped out of school - I was heading to South America with Youth With A Mission for the 1978 World Cup soccer match in Argentina.

While in Argentina Phillip Saint, Nate’s younger brother, ministered to our group several times in the small Christian retreat center, Valle del Lago. I remember being struck by the spirit of this man and his strong desire for humility. During one particular meeting he shared with our DTS/SOE school the story of his brother and the Waodani Indians. Using a florescent chalk drawing board, he drew a picture of Nate’s plane sitting on the river basin. I remember it being a powerful moment.

Later during my time there a friend and I needed to travel to Montevideo, Uruguay to renew our Visas. Carl Lackenbauer and I set out for Uruguay with only enough money to get both of us there - we knew we did not have the necessary money, but we were too embarrassed to ask anyone for help - we prayed that God would take care of us. It was a powerful trip. We watched the Lord take care of our needs, sometimes quite miraculously and also through some of our YWAM friends along the way. On our way back to the retreat center we spent a night in Phillip Saint’s house - I remember to this day laying on my bed that night thinking how fortunate I was to know this man and have the privilege of sleeping in his home. Amazing.

When I watch this movie the flood of emotions come over me from 30 years ago. There are several powerful moments in the movie, but perhaps my favorite is when the gospel is first shared with the Indians, something like this:
“Wagongi [God] had a son. People speared him, but he refused to spear them back.”

Watch this movie with your children if they are more than 12 years old.


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