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Through Gates of Splendor

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  21,608 ratings  ·  469 reviews
In 1956, five young men, including Elliot's husband, Jim, traveled into the jungles of Ecuador to establish communication with the fierce Huaorani Tribe, a people whose only previous response to the outside world has been to attack all strangers. The men's mission combined modern technology with innate ingenuity, sparked by a passionate determination to get the gospel to t ...more
Paperback, 40th Anniversary Edition, 304 pages
Published October 14th 1981 by Tyndale Momentum (first published 1957)
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4.40  · 
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 ·  21,608 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
This is probably one of the most famous missionary stories in the world.

Five men, sold out for God, entered the dangerous territory of the Auca tribe in Ecuador in the 1950's to try and reach them with the Gospel. They never returned. Their bodies were found a few days later on a beach. Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of Jim, collated their journals and filled in the gaps with first-hand knowledge.

What struck me most forcefully was the wholehearted commitment of every one of these men to give up eve
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I rate this book 5 stars for the story itself, the writing is actually more like 4 stars at best. This book has really made me think. I find myself in moments of silence returning back to the story and the messages one can draw away from it. The book was about 5 American missionaries who were murdered by the hands of those they were striving to teach and convert to Christianity. Some of the thoughts that came to mind when reading this book were, what makes a man so completely devoted to his fait ...more
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The powerful and "cut-to-the-heart" challenging account written by the widow of one of the 5 young missionaries who gave up their earthly lives with the death-defying intention of reaching the Auca Indians in Ecuador for the sake of their Sovereign God and His Gospel. I am profoundly impacted by their testimony, as I am by the events following this book: Elisabeth, widow of Jim Elliot, and Rachel Saint, the sister of another one of the her martyrs Nate, remained in Ecuador in their work amongst ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Wow. I don’t know what to say.
The story of theses 5 missionaries (and their wives) is incredible. All of them were completely and utterly devoted to Jesus, and the way they lived and died is proof of that.
I already knew the story pretty well, but reading it in Elizabeth Elliot’s words and the words of the others (through journal entries) gave it a more personal and weighty feeling. The five men were obedient to God’s calling on their lives and so attentive to God’s leading. It was amazing to s
Melanie Mead
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had read this book quite a few years ago, but we just finished reading it as a family (my husband and I and our 4 older children). I am left feeling moved and inspired to continue to serve and sacrifice Christ no matter what the cost. The devotion of these men to their Saviour, reflected so well in their own journal writings, was incredibly touching and inspiring. It was this story that God used in my life as a college student, to touch my heart and propel me into missions. What a joy to read ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This story impacted me as a child, and then Wycliffe did a musical based on the story that made me consider becoming a Bible translator for a while. I've read this at least five times, but not in 12 years.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not a tragic story.

I mean, it's sad. I felt so many feelings, especially towards the end, and a sense of shock and horror and just plain sadness.

But it's also so inspirational. How God used those missionaries to do more good than anyone could have ever dreamed? And I had no clue Elizabeth Elliot knew Corrie Ten Boom!

This is a story people should never forget, and it honestly inspires me to trust God no matter what!
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I gave this a 4 star rating not because the writing was amazing (it was dry/slow at times) but more because the faith and daily living of these men (and their wives) was truly amazing. They gave all and really lived out what the Bible speaks.
I had to read this last year in eighth grade. While reading the book I thought it was the worst thing in the world. It bored me to death, but probably most likely because I am young. It got to the point where I had to get it on audio book, and I don't like audio books, but we thought I might understand it better if I could both hear and see the words.

I still didn't finish the book. I often fell asleep in the middle of listening to it, and didn't exactly do my homework when I was supposed to read
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
True story of 5 male missionaries who were murdered by indigenous people in Ecquador in the fifties. The author is the wife of one of the murdered men. I have a vague recollection of hearing or reading or seeing a TV special about this incident and these people, so when I found this book in an RV park library, I snagged it. It's a good story that would have been better told by someone else. I read this on the heels of reading Annie Dillard's "The Living" and I found myself comparing the pioneers ...more
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My first time reading this entirely through. I think I'd read it all in bits and pieces previously. It's a classic, must-read for anyone wanting to stoke the flame of gospel missions in their heart. Five men in 1956 gave their lives willingly for the hope of bringing salvation to the feared (though deeply loved) Auca Indians in Ecuador. Written Elisabeth Elliot, newly widowed wife of Jim Elliot, the reader comes to know each missionary couple personally through their journals and recollections. ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elisabeth Eliot’s first memoir of her foray into the mission field recounts her husband’s and 4 fellow missionaries’ death at the hands of the native tribe they were trying to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Written in 1956, within a year of the event, Eliot gives the background of each young couple feeling called to missions, heading to the field, learning the language, and much more. One was wondering if he was even called by God to be there in the first place.

The missionary zeal assume
Allison Anderson Armstrong
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-life
Though the message is powerful, this book felt almost too cursory. Maybe she goes into more bibliographic detail in another book, but I wanted more to the story! I am amazed by the missionaries resolve, even amidst doubt, depression, and little results. I can't believe the peace the five wives experienced and the joy God gave them after the death of their husbands. Oh to be so grounded in spiritual truths that even the most debilitating tragedies can be met with such faith!
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been re-reading Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot along with my junior high English class, and TGOS is also the May selection for Julia’s Heroes of the Faith Book Club at Dark Glass Ponderings.

This book tells the story of five young missionaries who accomplished what every Christian aspires to—they lived and died for Christ. However, their brief time on earth and the way God took them home have left an indelible impact on generations of Christians.

In 1956 Nate Saint, Jim Elliot,
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Through Gates of Splendor" tells the bittersweet story of five missionaries. Five, who came together with the common mission of spreading the gospel. Five, who sacrificed everything they had on earth, in hopes of bringing someone new to God. The story is put down on paper by Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of one of those missionaries, who scoured the men's letters and journals after their death, to piece together the journey in its entirety.

Jim Elliot felt a stirring in his heart which led him to t
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction
Let me start by saying that I would have probably given this a 4 star if the writing had been better edited. It was a little hard to follow at times. Having said that this was fascinating. It is a very religious/Christian book and I knew that going in. The subject just really intrigued me. What would make someone give up their comfortable lives in the US to move to a very remote jungle in a foreign land where the language was virtually unknown to even those living in the country. I couldn't unde ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This is the story of 5 missionaries who were martyred in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956 by a group of native Indians called the Aucas. The story is written by Elisabeth Elliot, wife of one of the missionaries killed, Jim Elliot. I don't think I could ever have the level of faith these men did. In the Epilogue, Elisabeth notes that a few of the Indians who had killed these men converted to Christianity several years later. It was then that they discovered the men were killed out of fear that they ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent true story. 5 men risked, and finally gave, their lives to bring the message of God's salvation to a small group of primitively Ecuadorian Indians. Each man was gifted in a number of areas, but gave up their worldly talents to spread the Gospel. Subsequent to their deaths, their wives, and other Christian organizations continued to witness to these people. In several years, many became "God believers." As a result, hundreds of people over the years have become believers. The wives, alt ...more
Leandro Guimarães
Better than I expected. While I was indeed longing for a good, old-style missionary story, this was more realistic than most, quite matter-of-fact indeed, without showing the missionaries as heroes as some others do. And the 1996 epilogue II is a wonderful summing up and evaluation, echoing Job and glorifying God much more than I expected, transcending the mere results of the witness of the martyrs in the evangelisation work.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing account of the ministry of the five men that were killed by Auca indians in 1956. Inspiring and hard to put down. Although it is hard to understand why these men died, many people gave their lives to missionary work and were inspired by these men's testimonies.
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very inspiring story.
I was particularly encouraged by Roger who when through 'a dark night of the soul' and thought he was a failure of a missionary. Yet God used him to amazing effect, not just to reach the Auca Indians, but to inspire people across the whole world!
Ed Choy
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One powerful book that God used to influence my perspectives on dating and ministry. Read while in college. A true classic!
Rose Elliott
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible story of five men and their wives who were sold out to Christ.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robert, Josh
Recommended to Beth by: Christi
I think my aunt gave me this book when I was young. I shelved it, never read it, and now I can't find it. I think I had some vague idea that it was about a visitation to heaven or something. What a goober I am.

There is so much that impressed me about this book. It wasn't the bravery, so much, although certainly the actions of these missionaries were courageous. I think it was more the quiet confidence in being - no, belonging - to God, that led them to the Aucas. I truly believe they weren't dr
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
The fire and passion of these five men was evident from their introduction until they breathed their last and continues to blaze bright even today. It’s amazing how they cast “self” aside and gladly spent themselves to preach the beautiful name of Christ at any cost. That is love in its purest form – a love that loves first, even when unrequited. These men had the Lord’s heart beating inside them. They saw with His eyes, heard with His ears, reached out His hands and went with His feet. I was de ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint were working as missionaries in Ecuador in the early 1950's. Through a series of events, the five came together to make contact with the savage Auca Indians. They made contact in January 1956 and lost their lives as a result a couple days later.
Well written...keeps the story moving along. I often felt that I was right there in Ecuador with the group. Truly these five men were sold out completely for the Lord. Giving their li
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Splashed across the cover the cover of Life magazine in the 1950's was the story of the tragic deaths of 5 young missionaries at the hands of the very people they were trying to reach - the Auca Indians in South America. Years later, the wives of these young missionaries reached the very people who killed their husbands. 17 editions later, this classic work remains a story of love, forgiveness and hope.
Gerald Curtis
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting story of five missionaries and their wives who worked with various tribes in Ecuador, until they were all killed. It gave great insights, not only into what kind of people they were to volunteer to do that, but what it was like to meet and learn to get along with various primitive cultures. I never want to go into the jungles to meet primitives, even stone age people, but I quite enjoyed the vicarious experience.
Faith Spinks
A fascinating read about the 5 missionaries who in 1956 travelled into the Ecuadorian jungle to reach the Auca tribe. A tribe known for it's willingness to kill. Since the title includes in the description "The five missionary martyrs of Ecuador" the ending shouldn't take you by surprise.

I would have liked more of the 'since that time' details added in at the end. But a good read which really challenges our understanding of what it means to really trust God and obey no matter the cost.
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Elliot writes the story of how her husband and four other men put bringing the Good News of Jesus to a remote tribe as their top priority. She uses excerpts from the men's journals and includes some of her own experiences. The men are brutally killed by the very people they were trying most to love. It is a true story that reveals the character of people who put serving the Lord even above their own lives.
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From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials. ...more
“I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” 310 likes
“God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice. It is the same spirit that taunted, "If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross." There is unbelief, there is even rebellion, in the attitude that says, "God has no right to do this to five men unless...” 64 likes
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