Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: Did You Know Jim Elliot Had a Brother?

on October 9, 2013

We’ve all heard the story of Jim Elliot, the missionary to the Auca Indians who was killed by those to whom he and his team were trying to give the Gospel. Elliot wrote the now-famous words in his journal,  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

ImageBut did you know that Jim Elliot had an older brother? His name was Bert. He and his wife ministered as missionaries in Peru for 62 years and planted over 150 churches. He died last year, at age 87, in Peru.

Most of us have heard the story of Jim multiple times. But I had never even heard of Bert until I read this article by Trevin Wax. In describing Jim, Bert himself said, “My brother Jim and I took different paths. He was a great meteor, streaking through the sky.” Randy Alcorn, after hearing Bert describe his brother as such, said,

Bert didn’t go on to describe himself, but I will. Unlike his brother Jim, the shooting star, Bert was a faint star that rose night after night, faithfully crossing the same path in the sky, to God’s glory.

Just reading these articles noted above, as well as this one, I was so challenged and encouraged. Wax concludes his article with these encouraging words:

In the kingdom of God, there is a great need for streaking meteors, but most of us won’t be that. We will instead be faint stars—husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. We will be accountants and teachers, business people, and students. We will go through life, day after day, doing very much the same thing tomorrow that we did today.

The important thing for us to remember is that we are needed. There is a great need for people willing to chase the little donkeys of life, not because it’s exciting but because they believe in the constant presence and purpose of God. There is a great need for people willing to stand in the midst of the boring, convinced that there is no such thing as ordinary when you follow an extraordinary God.

Rise and stand. Then tomorrow, do it again.


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