Missionary Elisabeth Elliot: "Under the Shadow of the Almighty"

This is an excellent Christian speech. In this speech, Mrs Eliot seems to be speaking to a group of women in an information speech, or even a commissioning ceremony of ladies considering or entering into missionary work. It is a spellbinding talk, given from the lips of a gracious woman who has definitely been through it.

This synopsis below was on the Youtube page under the video. The video isn’t a video, it is audio only. Learn more about the life and ministry of Elisabeth Elliot.


Elisabeth Elliot (née Howard; born December 21, 1926) is a Christian author and speaker. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca (now known as Huaorani) of eastern Ecuador. She later spent two years as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband. Returning to the United States after many years in South America, she became widely known as the author of over twenty books and as a speaker in constant demand. Elliot toured the country, sharing her knowledge and experience, well into her seventies.

In the early 1950s, a group of missionary men and their wives went tot he dense Amazon in search of an unreached people group to witness to and minister to, the Aucas (now known as the Huaroani). They were known as the most vicious tribe in all the Amazon. Their generational cycle of revenge killings via spear had brought the tribe to the brink of extinction. Killing by spear was a way of life, and at the beginning of the speech you will hear Mrs Elliot remark upon the fact that the oldest man in the tribe was in his early 40s. Most of the younger men had been killed by the violent cycle of spearing.

After several months of contact by air in a promising start, in 1956 the five missionaries landed on the beach of a narrow clearing in the jungle to make personal contact on the ground. They were speared to death and the plane was trashed. The killing was actually over a misunderstanding, as was shown in the movie End of the Spear and in subsequent interviews with the Indians.

The deaths of the five missionaries resulted eventually in a great kingdom work. It sparked a renewed interest missionary work and a flood of new missionaries became trained and sent out into not just the Amazon jungle but all over the world. The result for the Auca tribe was that eventually they did become Christian, many of them.

But what of the immediate consequences for the five wives, now widows, and their children, now fatherless? How did they cope, emotionally and spiritually? Here Mrs Elliot relates Psalm 91 and her intimate understanding of the words contained in it. Please take a listen.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:8)


Further Reading/Viewing:

Movie accounts of the Auca incident:

End of the Spear: synopsis from Internet Movie Database, reviews, comments, etc.

Here is a documentary on the group of men who were killed, called

Beyond the Gates of Splendor,

which includes interviews with the mens’ sisters and wives who are still alive, and the Indians still living in Ecuador

Life Magazine’s 10-page article & photos about the incident named ‘Operation Auca’, published in 1956,

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