1927 - 1956

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." (an entry in Jim Elliot's journal)

Jim Elliot, a modern martyr, gained international recognition when he died with four others at the hands of Auca Indians. His story and memoirs have become a source of missionary inspiration through the writing and speaking of his wife, Elisabeth.

Born of Scottish ancestry in Portland, Oregon to a farmer-evangelist family, Jim became a Christian at the tender age of six after a church meeting one night. Faith afterwards became an integral part of his everyday life.

After high school he enrolled in Wheaton College in 1945, five years junior to Billy Graham. He first met his future wife there, much like Mr. Graham did Ruth Bell. Those were formative years for Jim, not just academically but also spiritually. He was most inspired by the writings and life story of Amy Carmichael, with whom he felt a kindred spirit.

Graduating from Wheaton, he quickly discovered a vocation in the missionary life. The field he chose was the unexplored frontiers of Ecuador in Latin America. Not content with bringing the Gospel to the civilized people of the country, he and his four companions flew their MAF Piper plane over the lands of the savage Auca tribe. Their first landing meant a tragic massacre, but out of that seemingly senseless tragedy comes a powerful testimony of the call of God on one man's life.

He was survived by his wife and his daughter Valerie who was only a baby at the time. Elisabeth Elliot went on to write such moving chronicles of her husband's life as "Shadow of the Almighty" and "Strange Ashes." These have inspired and challenged numerous people along the years for a closer walk in service to the LORD.

Scott Wesley Brown, a musicianary (musician missionary) who wrote this after reading "Shadow of the Almighty" (Elisabeth Elliot) and "Lords of the Earth" (Don Richardson). May we be challenged to higher levels of devotion to our God.


I've lost track of all the Sundays
The offering plates gone by
And as I gave my hard earned dollars
I felt free to keep my life
I talk about commitment
And the need to count the cost
But the words of a martyr show me
I don't really know His cross

For he is no fool
Who gives what he cannot keep
To gain what he cannot lose
Yes, he is no fool
Who lays his own life down
I must make this the path I choose

Obedience and servanthood
Are traits I've rarely shown
And the fellowship of His sufferings
Is a joy I've barely known
There are riches in surrendering
That can't be gained for free
God will share all heaven's wonders
But the price He asks is me.

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus."