Operation Auca: Four Years After Martyrdoms

A 1960 update on Elisabeth Elliot and her plan to bring the gospel to the Ecuadorian tribe.
Operation Auca: Four Years After Martyrdoms
1960This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

This interview originally appeared in the January 4, 1960, issue of Christianity Today. It was posted June 15, 2015, to commemorate the death of Elisabeth Elliot.

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Four years ago this week the world learned of the slaying of five young American missionary men at the hands of lance-bearing Auca Indians in the jungles of eastern Ecuador. The job of taking the gospel to this Stone Age tribe was subsequently assumed by the widow of one of the victims and the sister of another. Now the widow, Mrs. Elisabeth Elliot, is back in the United States for a time. She agreed to help bring Christianity Today readers up-to-date on Auca developments by granting an exclusive interview which gave rise to the following account.

At an ocean-side apartment in Ventnor, New Jersey, Mrs. Elliot is readying her third book. On a table lay typewriter, notes, and a tiny, German-made tape recorder which has weathered a year in Auca jungles.

Darting about is daughter Valerie, who will be five in February. Facial features of the golden-haired youngster are strikingly similar to the handsome figure whose picture is propped up on an end table. Valerie does not remember her father. She was only 10 months old when he died.

In her current role as both missionary and writer, Mrs. Elliot in a sense perpetuates the career pattern of her distinguished father, Dr. Philip E. Howard, president and editor of The Sunday School Times. She was born in 1926 in Brussels, where the Howard family worked for five years as missionaries under the Belgian Gospel Mission. Howard subsequently moved his family to Philadelphia where he took up the editorial work with the Times.

Mrs. Elliot traces her conversion to early childhood. She made her ...

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This article is from the January 4 1960 issue.
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