He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. — Jim Elliot
Missionary Jim Elliot took the words of Luke 9:24-25 to heart. At 28 years old, he was martyred in the Ecuadorian jungle by the Waodani, a people group he had prayed for faithfully for six years.
That was more than 65 years ago, but Jim’s legacy lives on. Many more believers (including his young widow!) followed in Jim’s footsteps. They taught the Waodani God’s Word in their language, and that forever changed the course of history. Many in this once-violent tribe now profess Christ as their Savior. Like us, they continue to learn what it means to live for an eternal kingdom beyond the confines of this life.
Read on to learn more about how translators of God’s Word, and those who receive it, are willing to sacrifice earthly treasures—acceptance, power, and even life itself—for the greater treasure of God’s promises.
A Bible Translator Becomes a Living Sacrifice
Prosper’s family in the west African nation of Benin expected him to become a Voodoo priest like his uncle. However, that all changed when his cousin gave him a copy of God’s Word. He renounced idol worship and is now a Bible translator!
A King Gives Up His Crown for Christ
Prosper recently shared a story about a king in a neighboring village. As soon as this king learned that the Idaasha New Testament was dedicated (April 2020), he hired people to teach him how to read his native language. Then he set to work, reading God’s Word in secret.
After a short time, the king called his dignitaries to his palace and began to tell them about Jesus. He told them that he could no longer be their king because he had decided to follow the King of Kings. It was normally his duty to perform sacrifices to their idols, ancestors, and spirits on behalf of their people, but this was no longer an option for him. Essentially, he was giving up his kingship to follow Jesus.
The dignitaries concluded that if this King of Kings could have such an impact on their Idaasha king, they would all forsake their idols and follow the one true God. All 60 of these men and their families decided to follow Jesus that day! The New Testament in his own Idaasha language transformed the king’s heart and impacted the entire community.