“The problem that looms largest to me as a missionary,” writes Elisabeth Elliott, “is that of communication. By this I do not mean only learning the language of the country. I mean as well exploring the mind of, in my case, the Indian. Truth is light, but it does not illuminate the whole of a man’s mind at once. All of us retain areas of darkness, but it seems startling to us only when another’s unlighted area is different from ours. The following incident reminded me again that the path toward the Perfect Day is lighted gradually, ‘shineth more and more.’ ”

It was a familiar trail that ran along the edge of the jungle river. Sunlight lay splintered on the smooth sand between the reeds, reflecting a fragrant dry warmth on our faces which was whisked away every now and then by the wind from the river. It was a wet fresh wind, reminding me that the river’s source lay high in the glaciers of the Andes. The foaming milky-gray water roared past us over the boulders toward the Amazon. A few parrots shrieked in the top of a great kapok tree and lizards shot suddenly off the trail and rattled into the reeds.

The Indians in front of me walked quickly, single-file, placing their strong bare feet surely and lightly one in front of the other. One of the young men wore blue jeans, with a label which said “Big Boy” sewn on the outside of the back pocket. He had a small carrying net, woven of palm fiber, slung across the top of his head and hanging down his back. It held some plantains and the few medical supplies I had brought. The second Indian in the file was built like the first-short, broad, very muscular, with tea-colored skin and stiff blue-black hair. He carried a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: