Thursday, June 21, 2012

Faith in the Midst of Pain

Many of you are probably familiar with the names Jim Elliott and Nate Saint, two of the five missionaries who were killed in Ecuador in the 1950's.

Or you may be more familiar with Nate Saint's son, Steve Saint, who has produced several movies about their story and the years since then, among them End of the Spear. (If you aren't, I highly recommend them!)

Steve Saint has spent many years in Ecuador among the Waodani people, the group who murdered his father and the other four missionaries, and a number of them are now believers. Saint has also developed a company/ministry called I-TEC (Indigenous People's Technology Education Center. According to their website,
At I-TEC, our focus is on enabling indigenous churches to overcome the technological and educational hurdles that stand in the way of their independence. Missionaries have long understood the value of technology, and they have employed every available tool to preach the gospel — from the machete to dental equipment to airplanes. But advanced technology is often impractical for use by a native church, where even the lack of electricity may be a concern. We aim to bridge that technology gap by equipping the indigenous church with technology suitable to their needs — technology that they can use and maintain with minimal outside support.

I had never heard of Steve Saint's company until a few days ago, and my purpose is not to endorse or garner support for this company, only to comment on the commitment that this man and his family has had for missions and for indigenous, difficult-to-reach peoples and to give background for his current situation.

Last week, Steve Saint was testing a piece of equipment when a safety strap malfunctioned and the item hit him in the head, causing whiplash and severely injuring him. He's had minimal movement of his arms and legs. Through it all, he has continued to demonstrate incredible faith. In fact, a statement Friday said that "Steve has asked that we not pray for God to take his pain away, but rather that God will continue to write this difficult chapter His way."

Monday, he filmed this statement from his hospital bed. It is so touching and inspiring to see his unswerving commitment even while acknowledging the extreme pain and difficulty he is experiencing. He has a long road ahead.

On Tuesday they operated to relieve some pressure on his spinal cord. An update yesterday from the family said,
Steve came through his surgery very well. One of the biggest things for him is that he does not require his neck brace. He was able to stand up on his feet for about a minute this morning, with help. This is just the start of the long road ahead, but we know that he is a fighter and hard worker. By the beginning of next week, he should be moved into an in-patient rehab facility to begin intensive physical therapy. Please continue to pray for Steve and Ginny, as well as the rest of our family and care-givers as we continue this journey together to see how God will use this for our good and His Glory.

What a testimony. Please pray for this man and his family as they walk this road.

Updates are available on his Facebook page


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Deb said...

I'm reading "Through the Gates of Splendor" by Elisabeth Elliot right now~ I'll be praying for Steve!

Joyce said...

So inspiring! I have always been a huge admirer of Elisabeth Elliot...I will be praying for Steve!