August 25, 2010

Thank God for the Bert Elliots of the world.

Ran across this gem on Christianity Today's site. Here's to faint stars that rise night after night to the glory of God.

In January 2006, author Randy Alcorn had the opportunity to join with Jim Elliot's family for a dinner that marked the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Jim and four other missionaries in Ecuador. Randy writes:

There we met Jim's older brother, Bert, and his wife Colleen. In 1949, years before Jim went to Ecuador, they became missionaries to Peru. When we discussed their ministry, Bert smiled and said, "I can't wait to get back from furlough." Now in their eighties, they are in their sixtieth year as missionaries, joyfully reaching people for Christ. Until that weekend I didn't know anything about them. Bert and Colleen may enter eternity under the radar of the church at large, but not under God's ….

Bert said something to me that day that I'll never forget: "Jim and I both served Christ, but differently. Jim was a great meteor, streaking through the sky." Bert didn't go on to describe himself, but I will. Unlike his brother Jim, Bert is a faint star that rises night after night, faithfully crossing the same path in the sky to God's glory. I believe Jim Elliot's reward is considerable, but it wouldn't surprise me to discover that Bert and Colleen's will be greater still.

Randy Alcorn, If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil (Multnomah, 2009), p. 421

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