Billy Graham Center Archives

To Carry the Light Farther:
A Story of Faith, Sacrifice and
Cultural Conflict in the Jungles of Ecuador

What do you have about the five missionaries killed by the so-called Auca Indians in Ecuador in 1956?

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On January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian were killed by the Wuaorani Indians (referred to at the time as the Auca Indians). This incident received wide press coverage and was a major influence among American Evangelicals.

Information about these five is found in over twenty-five Archives collections, which include recollections of them and their influence, as well as documents which tell the dramatic story of their deaths. If you would like to read brief descriptions of these collections, click here.

Jim Elliot is the only one of the five martyrs whose papers (Collection 277) are gathered in the Archives. Click here to see what documents make up those papers, including his journals which span the period from his years as a student at Wheaton College to just eight days prior to his death. The collection has been microfilmed and can be ordered through inter-library loan by your public, college, or church library. If you would like to read a short biographical sketch about Elliot, click here. Or to read an extract from his journal, click here. Or to listen to audio recordings of Jim Elliot preaching, click here.

In 1966, two of the Wuaorani men who had particpated in the murder and then became Christians, Gikita Komi and Yaeti Kimo, traveled to Berlin Germany with missionary Rachel Saint to participate in the World Congress on Evangelism.
Click here to listen to a recording and read a transcript of their press conference on November 4.
Click here to listen to a recording of their presentation to the congress on November 4.

Several other valuable sources of published information are the 1956 Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and microfilm of major newspapers from early 1956. One particularly important article appeared in the January 30, 1956 issue of Life magazine, with photos by Cornell Capa. Elisabeth Elliot's books about the events in Ecuador, most notably Through Gates of Splendor, may be available from your local or school library, bookstore or through inter-library loan. The article, "Did They Have to Die?" by Nate Saint's son Steve in the September 16, 1996 issue of Christianity Today contains his thoughts on the meaning of the deaths of the five missionaries.

Please be aware that the purpose of this page is to provide information on some of the most relevant Archives holdings relating to this often-asked question. Because of staff and time limitations, the BGC archivists can spend no more than a half-hour helping an individual researcher; we have to focus our efforts on gathering the material and making it available. In order to find all the materials in the Archives on this particular topic, you will need to personally go through the guides to the various Archives collections available at this Web site and in the Archives Reading Room in the Billy Graham Center building in Wheaton, Illinois. If your request will take longer than the half hour we can provide, you will either need to come to the Archives yourself to do the necessary research in our collections, arrange for someone to come and do the research for you, or pay to use the Archives' research services.

You can also do further independent searching of the online database to explore what the Archives has on a wide variety of subjects. You will find only a very small sampling of the Archives actual documents on this Web site. Most of our Web pages only describe what is at the Archives in Wheaton. In most cases you must visit the Archives to use our collections, unless a collection (or portion of it) is available through inter-library loan or as a short-term loan for a fee. You may also find it helpful to visit Wheaton College's online catalog to its libraries and archives (including the Billy Graham Center Archives).

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Last Revised: 11/2/06
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2006