I am a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman. Years ago, he had a concert in Anaheim and I loved it. His music has always spoken to both my mind and my heart. But that night he also introduced his audience to a peculiar little man. His name was Mincaye.
I was deeply impacted by Mincaye’s testimony and hated that my god-daughter wasn’t able to hear about his life story. So the next day, I grabbed her and a few friends and drove over to Phoenix, the next stop on Chapman’s tour. And I was blessed all over again.
Mincaye passed away a few days ago, but his story ought to be repeated over and over again. He is one of those living proofs that God’s love and grace can change the heart of any man or woman.
You see, Mincaye was a former warrior from the Huaoranni tribe in Ecuador, the very same tribe that is highlighted in the incredible missionary book, Beyond the Gates of Splendor and the movie, The End of the Spear.
That book recounts the efforts of five missionaries (including Jim Elliot) who gave their lives trying to reach Mincaye’s tribe with the gospel. One day, the natives raided their camp. Mincaye participated in the attack and personally speared to death Nate Saint and Ed McCully.
But through the efforts of Elizabeth Elliot (Jim’s wife) and Rachel Saint (Nate’s older sister), Mincaye came to Christ and was a transformed man. He once remarked, “We acted badly, badly until they brought in God’s carving (the Bible). Then seeing His carving and following His good trail, now we live happily and in peace.”
He became an elder in his village’s church and a dear friend to the Saint family. Steve’s children called Mincaye, “grandfather.” “Following God’s good trail,’ Mincaye went home to be with His lord and the Saint family released these thoughts:
“This sweet, silly, always smiling, always teasing, constantly giggling, grandfather to many walked to the end of his trail today into the arms of his Savior. What an impact he had on this world. God wrote an amazing story of love and forgiveness through his life. He was a willing vessel. I am forever thankful God intertwined our stories. Mincaye, you are loved by so many and I can’t imagine how big your smile must be now.”
Maybe this week you ought to get a copy of Beyond the Gates of Splendor and relish the truth that God’s Word changes lives! His grace is powerful!