Elisabeth Elliot (Learning From Her)

Elisabeth Howard Elliot Gren (1926-2015) was a Christian missionary, author, and speaker known to many of you. Her parents were missionaries and she grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, PA. She spent eleven years as a missionary in Ecuador, working with three Indian tribes.  In 1956 her first husband, Jim Elliot, and four other missionaries were killed by the Auca (Waorani) Indians. This event expanded worldwide interest in missions and put Elisabeth into a public role.  She published Through Gates of Splendor (1957) and Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (1958) which describe Jim’s life and death.

Elisabeth’s second husband, Addison Leitch, died in 1973, and she married Lars Gren in 1977. Her radio program “Gateway to Joy” opened like this: You are loved with God’s everlasting love–that’s what the Bible says – And underneath are Christ’s everlasting arms.

Elisabeth wrote 28 books and through these and her teaching, she was a spiritual mother to countless people. She continues to bless many through writings and recordings, including some of the men I serve in prison ministry.

J. I. Packer wrote of her book, Keep a Quiet Heart: “Tough minded, kind-hearted, common-sensical, no-nonsense simplicities about love and loss, pain and peace, faith and family are Elisabeth Elliot’s speciality. Her depth-charges on these themes are worth their weight in gold. Here is a book choc-a-bloc with wisdom in the raw. Read it slowly, praying as you go.”

I refer to Elisabeth often in teaching and counseling and most of my posts below make reference to her life, teaching, and example. Some others are included here because they fit with topics she covered.

Portrait of Elisabeth Elliot by Margaret Ashmore

Portrait by Margaret Ashmore