Considering the fact that my next student teaching placement is still in the works, I am looking to snatch every opportunity I can to relax and enjoy this time of "vacation". Last night, while pondering whether or not I would go to sleep or stay awake a little while longer [it was one in the morning], I happened to glance over the books on my book shelves and was immediately drawn to one in particular. I've had this book for well over six years; however, I've never made it past the preface. The book, well written and respected by many, has always been on my list of desired books to read. Why haven't I started? The story is one that, for awhile, I did not want to hear. Yet, I still own the book. I heard about it, made the purchase, and then proceeded to tuck it safely away between some Jane Austen and Donald Miller [a likely pair, I like to think]. So, rather than pulling my pillow close and resting my eyes at one in the morning, I chose to embrace this story that, for so long, I had neglected.
The story chronicles the life and love of Elisabeth Elliot who has a story to tell that I am relatively certain I need to hear.
Below is a quick chronology of a particular albeit significant segment of her life:
1947: Jim and Elisabeth are students at Wheaton College. He visits her home in New Jersey at Christmas.
1948: Jim confesses his love for Elisabeth before she graduates. They have no correspondence between them that summer. In the fall, he decides to begin to write to her when she moves to Canada.
1949: Jim graduates and goes home to Portland. Elisabeth is still in Canada and later visits Jim's home.
1950: Jim is home, working, studying, and preparing for missionary work. Elisabeth is in Florida. They spend two days together in Wheaton when her brother is married.
1951: Jim and Elisabeth meet again when Jim comes east to speak in missionary meetings in New York and New Jersey.
1952: February, Jim sails for Ecuador. April, Elisabeth sails for Ecuador. They spend several months in Quito, living with Ecuadorian families to learn Spanish by immersion. In August, Jim moves to Shandia in the Eastern jungle to work with Quichua Indians. In September, Elisabeth moves to San Miguel in the Western jungle to work with Colorado Indians.
1953: January, Jim and Elisabeth meet in Quito. Jim asks Elisabeth to marry him. The engagement is announced. In June, Elisabeth moves to Del Rios in the Eastern jungle to begin studying Quichua, fulfilling the condition of his proposal, "I won't marry you till you learn it." They are married in October.
1955: Jim and Elisabeth have a daughter, Valerie.
1956: January, Jim dies by Acua spears.