Is there a story that has stuck with you from childhood? One that has profoundly influenced the perspective or even the trajectory of your life? Elisabeth Elliot’s story was that for me.
I remember devouring her book Through Gates of Splendor in junior high, followed by The Shadow of the Almighty, and her biography of Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die. The example of Elisabeth’s husband Jim and his four friends Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian—who were martyred in Ecuador after following Christ with “reckless abandon” to reach a tribe that had never heard the gospel—inflamed my young imagination with the necessity of putting all my eggs in Christ’s basket. Then Elisabeth’s courage to walk by faith back into that same jungle and extend love, forgiveness, and the gospel to her husband’s killers . . . that model of boundless hope stuck with me.
Through her writing, I discovered the adventure and high sacrifice of global missions, and my heart was pulled more and more toward that direction for my life’s work. Though the Lord has not (yet) led me to serve overseas, in serving with the Revive Our Hearts and True Woman blog teams, I have the privilege of bringing the Truth to women in other countries every day. I can say with confidence and gratitude that I would not be serving in full-time ministry without the influence of Elisabeth Elliot.
Even more than that . . . I may have never understood the gospel. Testimonies like that of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot showed me that following Christ meant much more than just floating along and going to church and never letting the gift of salvation impact my heart and daily life. Though I did live that way for years, the examples put before me as a child in Elisabeth’s books (and by many others) convinced me that discipleship must mean more: a cross and a passionate pursuit of the kingdom—and everlasting arms full of immense grace. Though it wasn’t until later, in my early twenties, that I truly understood Christ’s work that made such a life possible, Elisabeth Elliot’s writing planted a seed of that truth that later sprang up and bore fruit.
That’s my story, and if you have read any of Elisabeth Elliot’s books or listened to her speak, you likely have a story of your own about her influence in your life. But whether you are already introduced or meeting her for the first time, I’m excited to announce an opportunity to write a new chapter in that story.
Introducing . . . the True Woman Summer Book Club!
That’s right—our first-ever summer book club on the True Woman blog. In two weeks, we’ll begin walking through the newly published book Suffering Is Never for Nothing, taken from a series of Elisabeth’s messages. Each week, we’ll read one chapter and explore it together. It’s a short book, with only six chapters and a little more than 100 pages, but it has a wealth of deep truth and insight, forged through Elisabeth’s lifetime of following Jesus through suffering.
Preview the Book:
Meet the Author:
Elisabeth Elliot lived through Jim’s martyrdom and the loss of her second husband, Addison Leitch, to cancer. She spent her lifetime sitting at the feet of Jesus, writing about womanhood and suffering, and speaking to audiences around the world (and over the airwaves through her program Gateway to Joy) about suffering, sacrifice, womanhood, and the call of the gospel. She raised a daughter, Valerie, who now serves the Lord faithfully with her husband, continuing the legacy of all—in obedience for the sake of Christ. After a long battle with her health, Elisabeth entered the gates of splendor to meet her Savior on June 15, 2015, leaving behind her husband, Lars Gren. (You can listen to Revive Our Hearts’ tribute to her here.)
Now . . . Here’s Your Invitation!
Are you on board? Here are the details.
You—and your friends! Each week during the book club, you’ll get a post with some thoughts on the chapter and a group discussion guide, so you can facilitate your own in-person book club. This isn’t just an online event; we want to equip you to experience this book with the real-life women around you. Who could you invite? Your neighborhood book club? Your moms’ group? Coworkers or classmates? A younger or older woman (or two)? Some long-distance sisters? Be creative!
True Woman Summer Book Club, reading Elisabeth Elliot’s Suffering Is Never for Nothing. Bonus: you can get a copy this month for your gift of any amount to Revive Our Hearts! And if you need additional copies for your group, head over to our store to order them. You’ll want to do this soon—so your copy arrives before our book club starts in two weeks!
Where and When:
Every Tuesday, June 18 through July 23, here on the True Woman blog.
- Order your copy (or copies) of Suffering Is Never for Nothing.
- Invite some friends to join you.
- Sign up for our emails—so you won’t miss a post!
- Read through chapter one, and come back here on June 18 to join the conversation! (And get some fun surprises along the way . . . )
Are you excited? Tell us why in the comments below, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book! (And if you’re already familiar with Elisabeth Elliot, share your favorite quote from her or a memory about her, too!)