rebelling against low expectations

The 57th Anniversary of Jim Elliot’s Martyrdom


Fifty-seven years ago today, on January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot and his four friends were killed by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. If you’ve never read Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot — read it this year. You won’t regret it.

Also, check out the following article about why Jim Elliot’s influence has lasted so long. This is an important argument for developing as a writer. God can use anyone — and Jim Elliot’s undivided heart for the Lord was far more important than his way with words — but God loves to use people who can “testify” well.

Today Jim Elliot Was Killed (1956)

The Scriptorium • January 8, 2009 • Fred Sanders

Jim Elliot knew what he was about, and knew how to explain it. That’s what sets him apart as a martyr: He testified so well. Remember that the greek word martyr originally meant “somebody who testifies.”

Jim Elliot and his widow Elisabeth were unusually articulate. They had words on the tips of their tongues and were able to give a compelling account of why they were doing what they were doing.

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • Wonderful article, thanks for posting! That is one of my favorite quote, I have it posted on the wall, in front of my desk.

  • Really good reminder! I just watched End of the Spear for the first time 2 weeks ago, and it was a great rebuke to my spiritual life. Personally, I have really started to feel a burden for the persecuted christians. As I have studied martyrdom, I have almost become overcome with a burden to share the persecution, but then I realize we must accept martyrdom is a great privilege if it is inevitable, but it is not to be sought. Jesus said, “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next” (Matthew 10:23). We must be always trying to spread the gospel until God chooses to take us home to glory.

  • What an incredible, courageous man. His life and his family’s choice to forgive are truly inspirational.

  • I love to remember the story of Jim Elliot, and its even more awesome when you live in Ecuador. A man that helped in the search team to find the men goes to a church near my house.

  • What a beautiful quote! If only we could grasp its full meaning and live it our in our own lives, what a difference would be seen in our generation today.

  • Wow. Most times I read about maryrs, I get hit right between the eyes of how much people all around the world, are doing form Godl and how little I seem to be doing. Praise God, that Jim Elliot’s testemony still lives on to this day.


By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →