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It makes you look really smart, even if you're not. Feet deserve a go-to like that. Like Hey Dude shoes.
Light, comfy, good to go to. I know pet grooming. But for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything on this show. And we love your stories.
Send them to OurAmericanStories.com for some of our favorites. Today, you're going to hear from Maria Eldon. Maria is the zoological manager of birds at St. Louis Zoo. She'll be speaking on behalf of Enrique, a 30-year-old penguin with arthritis who just so happens to wear shoes. Enrique is a southern rockhopper penguin and he is an elderly bird. He's about 30 years old. Penguins tend to live about 15 years old. Penguins that live in zoos live a very cushy life. He's just a gentle bird. He is really easygoing. That's unlike rockhoppers a little bit.
Rockhoppers are very vivacious, very in your face. But Enrique kind of has a softer side to him. He is quite the handsome little bird. He's got a girlfriend. And apparently as we found out this morning, another female liked what she saw.
So this morning he had two girlfriends. Enrique came to St. Louis Zoo in 2016 and he prior to that had lived at Omaha Zoo. Zoos talk to each other a lot. And before any zoo receives any animal, there is a lot of communication. What does the animal like?
What does it not like? Behaviors that are good and maybe some that are not so good. And the veterinarians also receive a lot of information about the medical history. He had signs of arthritis already at that point and so there was no surprise. We didn't just open a box of penguins and see that one wasn't feeling well.
We knew what we were getting and we were prepared and that's super important. With arthritis, you notice that they're slowing down a little bit. Maybe not coming up for food just as fast.
Maybe wait for some of the more spry neighbors to run up to the food first. And our keepers are really well versed in not only general bird behavior but we hone in on the individuals too. So when one is feeling off a little bit, we know right away. Enrique is an active swimmer and that's great but we couldn't have any topical creams that alleviate some of the arthritic pain.
They will kind of rinse away. So thinking outside the box can help us. I think animal people are a special group of people where very few things surprise us because we have to think outside of the box so often. With humans, an arm is an arm and a leg is a leg.
But with animals, there's so much variation. Our veterinary team, who are really great at coming up with all sorts of ideas, found a company that makes little shoes for working dogs and dogs that just need additional help after injuries. So our vets were able to connect with that company. We were able to trace Enrique's feet and get measurements and the amazing people who can sew very well made the shoes for him. The first time we put them on, he kind of looked at his feet and looked at us and then took off running. What the shoes do is just to protect his feet and give a little bit of extra padding for him. The original pair that was sent, we found that he just needed a little bit more cushion and it needed to give a little bit more grip. With rockhopper penguins, their feet are very important. They grip the rock as they're climbing up, but because we just put shoes on him, he couldn't quite grip. So we ended up receiving a second pair of shoes. Now this pair of shoes was hot pink on the bottom as opposed to the first set of shoes, which was all black, but no one cared. A few just kind of looked. Some kind of tried to come over and check it out, but he would just tell them no. He is very vocal and he bites. So once everyone figured out, he's not going to let you mess with his shoes. He was good. He was golden. It has become such a routine for him that he really doesn't mind and it makes little difference to his mate.
So we do put them on at about 10 o'clock in the morning and take them off at about 3. His mate Paris, she just sees them go up and he comes back and she's like, okay, this is great. Sometimes you'll see him with his wing over her, which is very cute. It is nice that he does get some time to just be a penguin.
We really take his behavior into account. We do know that it does provide him with some comfort just based on the way that he stands. We keep track on a weekly basis to make sure, is he eating? Is he getting around? And what we have seen is that he does swim with the boots on too, and that's an important factor for penguins.
Penguins should swim. And he does still swim. He is still social with his mate.
They preen each other all the time. And as long as he is doing those things and having a good appetite, we know that he is comfortable. Since we have tried this out, our veterinarians have been in contact with a few other zoos who asked us how it went and they considered it for some of their penguins.
So the shoes are spreading. There are a few other penguins that are getting some relief too. The opportunities to enrich the lives of our animals are endless, and it really takes a lot of innovation and collaboration to continue to provide the best care for these animals.
It is great that the story is getting out about Enrique and his shoes, but it is also such a minor thing for us. You know, we made him comfortable and that was our job. There are so many other things that we do for our animals that maybe are just not quite as visible, but also have a big impact. And I just hope that the story helps the guests that visit St. Louis Zoo see the dedication that we put into the care for all of our animals. And beautiful production work by Madison on the piece, and a special thanks to Maria Elden, who is the zoological manager of birds at the St. Louis Zoo, and it is a world-class zoo. I spent many summers in my life in St. Louis, and that was always one of my favorite days, and I don't know many kids or adults who don't love just visiting a zoo.
If you get to St. Louis, by all means, visit this terrific zoo. What a thing that Maria just said. We made him comfortable. That's our job.
Indeed, it is crafting a special pair of shoes for a 30-year-old arthritic penguin named Enrique. That story here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of $17.76 is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters. Go to OurAmericanStories.com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.
That's OurAmericanStories.com. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.
It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop, but for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot, and I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So, if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So, the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that all free clear mega packs, they have your back.
Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. Do Americans take to the road in search of adventure or to just get from point A to point B? But for Robert Froelich, a listener from Wisconsin, his trip from his home state to Kentucky while volunteering for the Appalachian Service Project was a bit more complicated than that.
Here's Robert with the story of his bad road trip. It was about 9.30 at night when my wife looked out the window as I backed into the driveway. She was shaking her head when I walked in the front door. I told her, you go to bed. I need to sit and pray for a while.
Without a word, she went off to bed. My friend Jack and I had many adventures together, mostly because the word impossible was not in his vocabulary. We served in the Appalachian Service Project work missions for a few years and helped them out in other ways from time to time. This time, the project needed new trucks to haul materials from their central warehouses to the various work centers throughout the Appalachian region. Jack and I and a couple of representatives from the project went to a truck auction in Chicago to buy four used trucks that would suit the need and fit their very limited budget. We found just what we were looking for in four used U-haul trucks.
Two of them were driven immediately to Johnson City, Tennessee, while we took the remaining two back to Racine, Wisconsin. The plan was to remove the cargo boxes and then drive the two bare frame trucks back south where they would be fitted with flatbeds for hauling lumber and building the supplies. Jack had it all figured out. His driver would drive one truck, Jack would drive the other, and I would follow in a chase car to bring us all back home again, about an 1,100-mile round trip.
That was the plan. God chuckled. First, Jack's driver quit. On to Plan B. It consisted of Jack and me each driving a truck with one of us towing a car for the return trip.
God giggled. Then, Jack had a work obligation that could not wait. That left me. We had gone from a three-man task to two guys to one lone ranger.
Three, two, one, you're it. L.A. laughs were heard in heaven. We conjured up Plan C. It called for me to drive both trucks to Corbin, Kentucky, and leave them at the truck stop. People from Appalachia's service project would come out the next day and take the trucks from there.
Then, from the bus station in Corbin, I could catch a ride back to Racine. Jack obtained a saddle from somewhere. It's a thing that allows you to piggyback one truck onto another. One afternoon, Jack and I removed the truck boxes, installed the saddle, hoisted one truck atop the other with a forklift, and cobbled together some wiring for brake lights on a towed vehicle. I remember Jack drove the rig in circles over rough ground to test the entire truck.
Jack drove the rig in circles over rough ground to test the integrity of the saddle. So it was that I came home that night driving a rig that looked perilously unstable and told my wife I would be leaving at 4 a.m. the next morning. Then I prayed, Lord, these are your trucks, intended to serve poor people in Appalachia. Please help me get them there safely, in Jesus' name.
Amen. Leaving at 4 a.m. would get me through Chicago before the morning rush, to arrive in Corbin while it was still daylight, and to get there before the next bus departed at about 7 p.m. These Ford trucks were about 20 years old, and they were made for city driving.
Equipped with a V8 engine and a four-speed manual transmission, the trucks were stripped down basic vehicles, noisy and underpowered. Pulling out of my driveway, I headed west of the interstate, then took I-94 south toward Chicago. There were five or six toll stations going around Chicago. After paying the first toll, I pulled off to the side of the road, grabbed the big crescent wrench and gave each and every nut on the saddle a good tightening twist. After that, I felt better. By now, however, the sun was up, and every time I looked in the rearview mirror, all I could see was the big letters D-R-O-F. The backwards Ford name was tilting gently from side to side.
It was unnerving. Why was that truck tailgating? Oh yeah, that's my other truck.
But other than the roaring of the engine, the spooky mirror image and the heat, it was a nice trip. I did pull into an open weigh station, unsure if it was necessary, but they waved me through. I drove into a truck stop for fuel, but couldn't use the big rig pumps and had to settle for gassing up with the cars and the RVs. Later that afternoon, the Corbin exit came into view and I pulled off the interstate and rolled into the truck stop. I found a parking spot way in the back, grabbed my bag, locked up the truck. At the desk inside, I handed the keys to the clerk and told her about the pickup the next day. Then I asked, could you tell me how to get to the Greyhound bus station? Since I had plenty of time, I planned to walk there. She looked at me and said, oh, the bus station is at the next exit off the interstate.
And it was not in walking distance. Don't you worry, honey, she said, I'll get you a ride. And she picked up the mic and announced to one and all, I got a trucker here who needs a ride south. She called me a trucker.
I felt like I'd just been promoted. Up walked an amiable guy who said he was headed south and we walked out to his tanker truck and boarded. We traded small talk about the relative merits of conventional cab versus cab over engine. And in no time flat, we got off at the Corbin exit number two and he drove me right up to the bus station, which was actually a gas station with a little window on the side of the building labeled Greyhound, which was closed. The guy at the gas station assured me that the window would be open later and that the bus was due about 7 p.m. Across the road was a small diner. I ambled over and ordered the fried chicken. The bus came on time. Hot, sweaty, and now queasy, I found an aisle seat next to, what else, a very large woman.
Neither of us had any desire to experience the other, which worked fine as long as we could maintain the appropriate tilt. But when sleep took over, well... Anyway, this bus was not on the express route. We visited towns with bus stations even smaller than the one we just left.
Every last tiny town between Corbin, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois. I began to loathe the sound of air brakes. It meant another stop. Around the crack of dawn, we pulled into Chicago, where I had to change buses to get home. During the wait, I tried to wash up and change in the restroom, so I'd look and smell a little better.
It was a wasted effort. And two hours later, it pulled up in front of the Racine bus station. I called my wife and asked her to pick me up. She arrived shortly, and I got into the car. She never said a word.
I don't think she was impressed with our plan, or with me. And you've been listening to Robert Froehlich, and he's a listener from Wisconsin. And if you have stories of your own, particularly road trip stories, we're looking for some of those too, especially bad road trip stories. They are particularly endearing after you're finished with them, and a year or two have passed. Send them to OurAmericanStories.com, or any other stories you have. Fun, sad, tragic, positive. Anything you've got at all, send them to OurAmericanStories.com. Your stories are some of our favorites.
Robert Froehlich's 3-2-1 You're It is road trip story, here on Our American Stories. Music Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.
It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCMedicareHealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. Music I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop, but for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot, and I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner, and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So, if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try All-Free Clear Mega Packs. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes, and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs. Which, my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So, the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that All-Free Clear Mega Packs, they have your back.
Purchase All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. And we continue here on Our American Stories, and we love to tell stories about every facet of American life. And periodically, those are faith stories, because we know that faith animates so many Americans in their walk and in their day-to-day lives. Elizabeth Elliot has been described as one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century. Let's get right into the story.
Here's Greg Henglaar. Through Gates of Splendor is a 1957 best-selling book written by Elizabeth Elliot. Upon release, the book was so popular that it competed with John F. Kennedy's profiles and courage in terms of sales. Through Gates of Splendor tells the story of Operation Alka, an attempt by five American missionaries, Jim Elliot, the author's husband, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Pilot Nate Saint, and Roger Udarian, a participant at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, to reach the Alka tribe of eastern Ecuador.
All five men were killed by the tribe. In 1967, a documentary film, also titled Through Gates of Splendor, was narrated by Elizabeth Elliot herself. Thanks to the folks at Vision Video, we are about to hear this story. Here's Elizabeth Elliot. The Republic of Ecuador, 3,000 air miles due south of New York City, is one of our friendly South American neighbor nations.
Quito, its capital city, is just below the equator, 9,000 feet up in the Andes. This is where the story began. At one time or another, all of us jungle missionaries stayed with Nate and Marge Saint in their rustic and thoroughly functional house. Marge managed to find time to take care of her three children and supply the jungle missionaries with everything from fresh beef and fruits to screens and nails. Whenever Nate took off with supplies, it was Marge who bought, stored, packed, weighed, and even helped Nate load them into the plane. She kept his ground log, knew his position in the air, and stood by at all times with shortwave radio. The friendly Quechua, with whom Jim, Pete, and Ed worked, all knew Nate's little yellow plane and weren't afraid of it. They even begged for rides.
Even some of the well-known tribe of head-shrinkers, called jiberos, had heard the words of the Lord Jesus from Marge and others, and some had come to believe. Nate was very ingenious. He invented a sort of pod on the wing struts, which would release a parachute with supplies. When Jim and I were just married, we opened a new station at a place called Puyo Pungu.
For five months, we had no airstrip, and Nate dropped some of our supplies to us by parachute. When the airstrip at Puyo Pungu finally passed Nate's testing procedure and he made his first landing with us, we were as excited as the Indians. It gave us hopes of opening more stations, of getting around more often to visit the Indians. There was one group of Indians no one had ever visited and come out alive. They were the Aucas, feared even by neighboring Indian tribes. One day when Nate had flown into Arahuno, where Ed Mary Lou lived, they decided to make another search. Everyone knew they were there, somewhere in the jungle. Aucas had killed a Quechua Indian near Ed's station only a few months before. The five fellows had talked and prayed a lot about reaching these people, but it seemed a very remote possibility until that day in September 1955. Ed and Nate were just about to turn around and fly for home when they saw the house. They didn't see any people, but there was no question about it.
It was an Aucas house. Long before this, Nate had devised an air-to-ground exchange by means of a bucket suspended on a long cord from the plane. He even dropped a telephone so we could talk back and forth with the plane. As the plane circled slowly in the air, the bucket dropped to the vortex of the cone.
Don't ask how he figured it out. Aviation experts are still trying. This, the boys decided, was just what they would use to try and contact the Aucas. Years before, when the shell plane had dropped gifts, the Aucas thought they had fallen from the stomach of the plane because it had been wounded or frightened by the lances they had thrown.
So it was important that the Indians see that the new visitors had the power to give or withhold the gift right up to the moment of delivery. For 18 weeks, they made regular flights over the village, dropping gifts freefall with streamers attached so the Indians could find them easily. When the boys began to make bucket drops, the Aucas even built a platform so they could get up nearer the plane. You can imagine the excitement when one day the Indians sent back a roasted monkey in the bucket. Subsequent flights brought feathers, combs, even a live parrot. Encouraged that the Aucas had accepted the gifts and returned offerings of their own, the men searched constantly for some clearing where the plane might land and they could carry out their mission of meeting the Aucas face to face. Each trip the men planned and prayed, and each trip contributed something to their meager store of knowledge as to the habits and attitude of these primitive people. Finally the day came when they believed God's time had come for them to go and meet the Aucas. Nate had explored the Kuraray River and discovered a patch of beach on which he could land.
They called it Palm Beach. Back at Shalmera, Marge had regular contact with the party on the beach, taking down the messages in a code we had devised because we wanted to keep the operation quiet until the men had made the first successful contact. While so far they had seen no Aucas, they believed they were in the area, were probably watching their every move as the missionary party made camp on the beach.
A shaft with ribbons was stuck in the ground so the Aucas would identify the men as those who had dropped gifts from the air. Jim had prefabricated a tree house with his electric saw and chandelier. Nate had flown it in piece by piece, and they worked all day getting it up so that they would have a defensible position in case of sudden attack. While Jim and the fellows were on the beach, I was at home in Shandia, listening every chance I got to the radio messages between Palm Beach and Marge.
Marge was indispensable. Whenever Nate was away, she knew where he was every hour. She knew how much gas he had on board. She'd run outside, take a look at the sky, and let him know just what kind of weather he could expect for landing.
Without radio, the flying program would have been impossible. On Friday, January 6, 1956, after three days of waiting on the beach, three Aucas appeared. The fellows called the young man George. Of course, neither party understood the other, except for a few words that Jim had learned from an Auca girl who had left her tribe. George seemed completely at ease, loved our insect repellent, and even asked by signs for a ride in the airplane.
The younger girl, promptly nicknamed Delilah, was fascinated with the texture of the plane, rubbing her body against the fabric and imitating with her hands, when she wasn't scratching, the plane's movement. Then, late in the afternoon, they left. The men waited for them to return. On Sunday at noon, Nate radioed Marge. Looks like they'll be here for the afternoon service. Pray for us. This is the day. We'll contact you at 4.30.
But at 4.30, there was only silence. And when we come back, we continue with this remarkable story, and you're listening to Elizabeth Elliott herself. We love it when we can find material pulled from archives and hear directly from voices that are from the past.
Elizabeth Elliott's story continues here on Our American Stories. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year, and UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.
It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop, but for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot, and I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. That can be overwhelming for anyone. So, if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try All-Free Clear Mega Packs. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All-Free Clear Mega Packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So, the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that All-Free Clear Mega Packs, they have your back.
Purchase All-Free Clear Mega Packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. And we return to Our American Stories and to Elizabeth Elliott. And again, we're going to go back to her storytelling and hear her concluding words from our last segment. On Sunday at noon, Nate radioed Marge. Looks like they'll be here for the afternoon service. Pray for us. This is the day.
We'll contact you at 4.30. But at 4.30, there was only silence. That is until the January 30, 1956 issue of Life Magazine hit the newsstands. The magazine cost 20 cents. Life Magazine circulated to 8.5 million American homes every week. But on page 10 of this issue, there's a stark black and white photo of five young women sitting around a kitchen table.
It takes up almost the entire width of the oversized two-page spread. There are half-eaten sandwiches on the plates in front of them and toddlers are wiggling in their laps and on their shoulders. They're listening to a man with his back to the camera. The man is telling them about the search party that found the dead bodies of their five husbands. The Alka had speared them, all of them, to death. The man has just told them that they are now widows. The headline reads, Go ye and preach the gospel.
Five do and die. Within days, the story of their sacrifice had circulated around the world. People were amazed. In an era of peace and prosperity, that Christians were still willing to pursue something bigger than money or the American dream. The story of sacrifice and surrender for the sake of reaching a remote tribe with the gospel was compelling even to those who questioned or mocked the faith of the missionaries. And they weren't done. Most notably, Elizabeth Elliot and Nate Saint's sister, Rachel Saint.
Here again is Elizabeth Elliot. I went back to Shandia, where Jim and I had lived, and continued to work with the Quechua's. People all over the world began to pray for the Alka's. I prayed too, but it seemed a faithless prayer at times. I asked God to open a door somehow, but I had no idea what to suggest. I asked him to send somebody in there, somebody who could tell them what the five men had wanted to tell them. That the God who made them actually cared about them, and that he was worth trusting. I told the Lord I was willing to go if he wanted me to, but that seemed absurd too. If five men had been killed, who would ever succeed? I knew that God could do it if he wanted to, and that was the reason for prayer.
Prayer is not a vain thing. In November 1958, two Alka women came out of their tribe right into a Quechua village. I met them, and they came back to Shandia to live with me. Dayuma, the Alka girl who had given Jim some help on the language, had been with Rachel Saint, Nate's sister, for several years now. And Rachel had some valuable language data, which she shared with me. I used this as a basis, and began to study with Mintaka and Mankamo, the two who were with me. One day when the three got together, Dayuma, Mintaka, and Mankamo, they said, we're going home. So they went, and Rachel and I waited for them. When they returned, they invited the three of us, including my little girl Valerie, to go and live there. We had prayed for this. Others were praying for it too. We knew that this was God's doing. We went.
It took us three days by foot over jungle trails and streams, by canoe down the Kurarai and up the Anyangu rivers, and then by foot again to the Tiwano. Here, we came face to face with Alkas. The first one we saw was Delilah, Dayuma's younger sister, the very one who had been friendly to the five men on the Kurarai beach two days before they died. I had to keep reminding myself that these, these very people, were the ones who had killed the men. They were called one of the most savage tribes in the world. What made them savage? They were human beings. They laughed and played.
They bathed. They showed no hostility to us, and yet I learned they had their own strict ideas about right and wrong, even if they were different from ours. They believed it was wrong to kill people, except under certain conditions. Some of them said they thought the five men were cannibals.
All outsiders were cannibals, in fact. And so, of course, if they were coming to eat the Alkas, the obvious thing to do, the noble and right thing to do, was to kill them. But now, Mintaka and Mankamo and Dayuma had succeeded in convincing them that there were outsiders who were quite all right, that these foreigners would come and live in the village and tell them stories about a man named Jesus. He was a good man. They should listen to these stories and learn to talk to Jesus, to pray. So, just as Mankamo had promised me months before, her people said, yes, let them come.
We won't need to kill anymore. And so, I took up life with the Alkas. We decided that the best we could do was simply to live as much like them as we could, to share what they ate and the things they did. They were kind to Valerie and me. They gave Rachel a place to sleep in one of their shelters. They turned over a whole house, they called it a house, to Valerie and me. When the roof began to leak, they mended it for me. None of the houses was any more than a roof.
There were no walls, no floors, no doors, and no privacy. The problem of communication was a constant one. I couldn't put together more than a sentence or two, and those were very short ones. Rachel and I never ceased trying to analyze and classify the language data, trying to reproduce it verbally, with the proper intonations and nasalizations and all the other things which make a foreign language, and especially an unwritten language, difficult. Just try pronouncing a W with your tongue flat in the front of your mouth. They do it in a word like mimic, and both the vowels are nasalized besides.
Valerie had no trouble. She did better with a three-year-old's memory and mimicking ability than I did with all my language files, tape recorder, and systems of mnemonics. She showed them picture books and taught them how to hold a crayon and draw.
This was the best kind of language study, the attempt to understand and to be understood. The Aucas rarely counted above three, but Dayuma explained that one day in seven was God's day, and on that day she was going to talk about Him. Everyone was told to come and sit down and be quiet.
She told them simple stories from the Old Testament or stories of Jesus from the New. Dayuma told them that Jesus says we must not kill, so right away some of the men stopped making spears. There were occasions when they needed to spear a wild pig, so with careful explanation to us about what they were for, they made new ones. These men received us as their own relatives.
They were the same ones who killed Jim and Nate and Rog and Pete and Ed. They had their reasons. God had His for allowing it to happen, when five men had asked Him to guide them and had trusted Him for this guidance and protection.
They had sung before they left home that last morning the hymn to the tune of Finlandian. We rest on Thee, our shield and our defender. We go not forth alone against the foe, strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender.
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go. They succeeded, not in converting the Alcas, not even in speaking to them of the name of Jesus, which the Alcas had never heard. The Indians could not have imagined the real reason for these white men being on that beach. They simply took them as a threat to their own way of life and speared them. But the men succeeded. They did the thing they had set out to do. They had obeyed God. They had taken literally His words. The world passeth away, and the lust thereof. But He that doeth the will of God abideth forever. And great job catching that and snagging it.
That's Greg Hengler catching that piece. And you were listening to Elizabeth Elliot. And what a faith story indeed in the end. So much of a faith walk, if you've had one or taking one or thinking about taking one, has to do merely with obedience and doing what your God commands you to do. And sometimes those are hard things. Terrific storytelling indeed about faith. Elizabeth Elliot's story here on Our American Stories.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-16 09:36:07 / 2023-02-16 09:52:19 / 16