From the Pastor’s Desk
“He is no fool that gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” That is one of my favorite quotes of all time, and they are the written words of former missionary Jim Elliot.
Elliot was born in Portland in 1927, and heard about the Huaorani group of Ecuadorian indigenous people. Jim felt called to go minister to that group although they were considered violent and dangerous to outsiders. He and four other missionaries used a helicopter to try and communicate with the Huaorani and to pass them gifts down in a basket. After several months, they started physical interactions with the tribe, but all five missionaries were killed by the people soon after. The missionary work continued to the tribe, with one of those carrying it on being Jim’s wife, Elisabeth. Many of the tribe ended up being brought to Christ through their efforts.
The death of Jim Elliot brings the truth of his words to the forefront. He could have fought for so many earthly things, the biggest of which was his life. However, he chose instead to fight for Christ and for sharing Him with others – even those in another country who were incredibly dangerous. He would have died eventually – one’s earthly life cannot be kept forever. However, he chose submission to Christ, beginning to minister to the Huaorani people despite the danger. The inspiration which he provided to so many, led them to follow God’s direction in their lives and from God’s perspective, was definitely worth that sacrifice.
What are you fighting for right now that you will only lose in the end? What is God calling you to do that is greater, with eternal value?
Gale was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. For most of his young
life, he was shuffled from one foster home to another. He doesn’t remember any birthday celebrations, holidays, or special occasions. What he does remember is growing hunger, beatings, and never feeling loved or cared for. All of his foster situations were bad ones. He has one positive memory from the age of nine, when his grandmother took him to church.
Gale lost track of his grandmother and his siblings, as the State kept them all apart and continually moved him around.
At the age of seventeen, Gale was emancipated: sent to live on his own, with no skills or knowledge of how to get a job. He turned to drugs and alcohol and eventually ended up in jail. He later meandered from one job to another for several years.
In October of 2018, when many were massacred at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Gale felt a message to go to church. The closest one to him was Newport Christian, so that is where he went. He was warmly greeted by Jay, Larry, and Joel. He had a conversation with Reed. It was the first time that he’d been inside of a church since he was nine years old. He didn’t
know WHY he was there; he simply knew that he was supposed to be at church. Gale felt like he was in the right place! He was receiving trust, faith, and hope, which led him to Jesus Christ.
His whole life began to turn around. For the first time, he and his ex-wife were talking. She began to see the changes that God was making in Gale, which led her to getting baptized at our church as well. Instead of being focused on himself, Gale now wants to help others. His favorite question is, “What can I do to help?” Gale’s advice to his nine-year-old self is: speak up so that everyone hears you; say what you think; don’t let anyone hurt you. Gale is very thankful for the Lord in his life.