Ever since Pastor Miguel returned from his missions trip to Ecuador last week, he has been beaming! Tonight we found out why. He shared a story with us at church tonight that is too good not to share. I promise you by the end you will see why.
When the director of our mission board, Doug Hodges, scheduled a trip to Ecuador to do research for a new missions team, he could have never imagined what would follow. He could have never imagined what God was about to do through this trip.
As he planned the trip, he called long time member of Daystar and Dominican National pastor, Miguel Mercedes, to assist him on the trip. Miguel and his wife were excited to go and be part of helping a new team get started in this beautiful yet needy country. In preparation for his trip, Miguel read and study about the country and its people. Obviously, part of that research lead him to review the lives of Jim Elliot and Nate Saint. I will not set the entire story of Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, because most of you know the story, but if you have never heard their amazing and touching story, then you need to read the books written about them, watch the movies, or at least “Google it”
Part of Doug and Miguel’s trip included a little time at the house of Nate Saint to look around and learn more about this man and the people he gave his life to reach. As they learned more about the man and the Huaorani (or Auca) people, they found that Nate Saint’s sister, Rachael Saint continued to live there and minister to the Huaorani people. They found out that she had met and befriended a Huaoranian woman named Dayuma who became the first convert of the Huaorani tribe. Dayuma then went on to help Rachael Saint unlock the language of the Huaorani people and went on to reach many in her village for Christ. The more they learned and saw, the more they wanted to take a trip to “Palm Beach,” the very place were Elliot, Saint, and 3 other missionaries lost their lives at the hands of the Huaorani tribe. They decided that they did wanted to make the journey to the beach, but it could only be reached by boat, so they would need a guide to go with them.
As they set off for the beach, they began talking to the young guide that was with them, his name was William. They asked William if he was a Christian, to which he replied, “no.” As they continued the conversation, he told them that the reason he was not a Christian was not due to a lack of knowledge of the gospel story, but it was rather due to a fear of what his friends might say or do to him. Once they arrived at the beach, Doug and William went for a little walk and then sat down and continued talking. A minute later, Doug called Miguel over, and said, “William is ready to receive Christ, would you guide him?” Well obviously Pastor Miguel was thrilled, and led the young man to Christ right there on the same beach that Saint and Elliott had been killed some 60 years ago.
Now, if the story ended there, it would be wonderful in and of itself, and we would rejoice with that angels that another sinner has come to repentance, but the story does not stop there. When they returned to the Saint house, William asked them if they wanted to see where Rachel Saint was buried. They obviously said that they would, so he took them over to the place where Rachel Saint, the women who reached the very people that killed her brother was laid to rest. William then told them to look next to Rachael Saint’s grave because there was another unmarked grave. He went on to explain that it is grave of the lady who helped Rachel unlock the language and reach the Huaorani tribe. He told them, “It is the grave of my grandmother, Dayuma.” That’s right, Doug and Pastor Miguel had the privilege to lead the grandson of the precious first convert of the the Huaorani people to the Lord.
Isn’t it amazing how God works through people? What a story of sacrifice and redemption. Sixty years after Nate Saint gave his life, and years after his sisters work with Dayuma, the Lord sent a couple of Daystar Baptist Missionaries to reach the grandson of this dear sweet saint.
I just want to leave you with a quote from Jim Elliot, that you have probably heard before, but let it really sink in this time.