Elisabeth Elliot went to be with the Lord on Monday 15 June after suffering for 10 years with dementia.
She was born in Belgium to missionary parents. The family moved to the U.S. when she was just a few months old.
She met the man who was to be her husband at Wheaton College while they both studied Classical Greek. Already they both had in mind that they wanted to use their studies to help them translate the New Testament into new languages.
They went separately to Ecuador to work with the Quichua Indians and married there in 1953.
While working with the Quichua Indians Jim was preparing to reach the Huaoroni tribe. Known as the ‘Auca’ meaning savage, they had a fearsome reputation for violence and hostility to outsiders.
Elisabeth’s husband Jim was killed along with the other members of the team when they set up a missionary base near the Huaoroni tribes.
Elisabeth remained in Ecuador helping with the work of the mission and eventually met two Huaoronic women. One of these, a lady known as Dayuma, taught her the Huaoroni language. When Dayuma returned to her people this seemed to open a door of opportunity for Elisabeth and her associate Rachel Saint (sister of Nate Saint, one of Jim Elliot’s companions who was also killed) to move as missionaries to the Huaoroni tribe.
In October 1958 Elisabeth went with her three-year-old daughter and Rachel Saint to live with the Huaoroni tribe.
Elisabeth Elliot died on 15 June 2015, at the age of 88. Steve Saint, the son of Nate who was killed alongside Elliot’s first husband Jim, has posted on Facebook about ‘the loss of her mind to dementia’ and ‘her ten-year battle with the disease which robbed her of her greatest gift’.