On January 8, 1956, Nate Saint and some other missionaries flew to an area near an Auca village and landed at strip of sand that they had named Palm Beach. This was Nate’s final flight for he and four other missionaries on the plane that day were martyred when tribesmen attacked with spears a few days later.
Although this was Nate’s last flight – it wasn’t the end of his work. What he and the other martyred missionaries had done for the Kingdom of God convicted many to listen to God’s call to mission. And the work of evangelism continued to the Aucas too. Many in that village came to accept Christ including several of the men who had thrown their spears on that terrible day.
I was introduced to the missionary Nate Saint at an early age through a series of comic books based on books about Christian Leaders. I read the story of Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries in the abbreviated version of “Through the Gates of Splendor” by Elisabeth Elliot, wife of Jim Elliot. From that moment on, I was eager to find out as much about the men who gave their lives in the jungles of Ecuador. “Nate Saint: Operation Auca” is written for ages 7-9, just the age I was when I was introduced to the gripping story of the 5 missionaries and their families. It is well written, in a conversational manner that will keep the young readers interested from the start. Nancy Drummond uses an engaging conversational writing style to tell the story of Nate Saint. From the very beginning, she weaves the presence of God throughout Nate’s life, even down to his interest in planes as a young child. The reader sees how God used all of Nate’s experiences to shape him and prepare him for service and work in the jungle. Young readers, will delight in the retelling of Nate’s flying an airplane at the age of 13. Throughout the book, Drummond weaves the story of God’s sovereignty in Nate’s life, and his willingness to sacrifice for others. This book will encourage young readers to think BIG, as they see how God used Nate, an ordinary boy who loved airplanes to change the lives of the Aucas by showing them the love of Christ.
I highly recommend this book as well as others in the Torchbearer Series from Christian Focus Publications