End of The Spear

In 2005 Steve Saint wrote a book about his father and four of his missionary friends who were killed fifty years ago when they tried to witness and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Waodani tribe deep in the heart of the jungles of Ecuador in South America. The movie "End of The Spear" was released on the weekend of Jan 8, 2006, fifty years after the tragic deaths of the five missionary men. The dvd is now available for families to watch together in the privacy of their homes.

Just 4 Kids Magazine has made this booklet to help families discuss the deeper meanings of the movie. We pray it will guide your family into deeper fellowship with God, and His Son Jesus Christ. Steve Saint's parents, Nate and Marj moved to Equador, near the Amazon River basin, when Marj was pregnant with Steve. They were Christian missionairies from the United States, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the native people who lived there.

Near Quito, the villiage where Steve was born, lived a tribe of the Waodani Indians. The fierceness of this tribe was legendary. They killed each other with their spears to the point the tribe was almost extinct. Steve was only five years old when his loving father, Nate Saint and four other missionary friends made contact with the Waodani Indians. Nate would fly his small yellow airplane over the jungles along the Amazon River searching for the Waodanis. Once he spotted where they lived he started dropping supplies down from the airplane in a small bucket. He was hoping that this would let the people know that he was a friend. One day the Waodanis put a bird in the basket as a gift for the missionaries. This bird became Steve's pet.

Steve loved his father. They enjoyed building things with their hands together. Once they built a little yellow model airplane that Nate was going to use to help communicate with the Waodanis. He told his son that the Waodanis were in a trap, a prison that they could not escape on their own. He wanted to help them know Jesus, and find peace that would change their heart and their murdering one another.

Mincayani grew up as a member of the Waodani tribe. It was a culture of hate and vengence. Murderous attacks had nearly wiped out the Waodani, and spearing to kill neighbors was their way of life. The men would attack another tribe and spear the men just to take their wives. When he was 2 years old his father was speared. When Mincayani was 6 years old, Moipa, the lead savage from a rival tribe intensified his raids on Mincayani's group. Then in 1945 when Mincayani was only 12 years old Moipa killed Dayumae's little sister Nemo. During that raid her father was speared in the knee so that he could no longer hunt to provide food for his family. His injured father asked him to take his half sister, Dayumae, away so that her step-mother would not kill her. Dayumae flead the violent forest and lived near the village where Steve's family lived. Her family did not see or hear from her, so they thought that the "foreigners" outside the jungle had killed and eaten her. While Dayumae lived among the missionaries she taught Steve's aunt Rachel the language of the Waodani. Rachel and the missionaries taught Dayumae the truth of the Bible and the love of Jesus Christ.

Steve was only 5 when his father Nate Saint and friends, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian started their Operation Auca. He knew that his father was leaving on a dangerous flight.

Before Steve’s father gets on the airplane to make contact with the Waodanis he tells his wife and young children goodbye. Then he asks is son: “Do you know how far away the sun is? Do you know that’s a fraction of how much your daddy loves you?” Steve looks straight into his dad’s eyes and asks, “Will you fir your guns in self-defense if the Waodani attack?” His father answers saying, “We can not kill the Waodani. We are ready for heaven, but they are not.”

Steve gives his dad a hug goodbye. When the plane takes off down the dirt road Steve runs as fast as he can behind. He knows that he may never see his dad again. At least not until they meet again in Heaven.

Nate and his friends land on the sandbar of the Curaray River near the home of the Waodani. They set up camp and wait in excitement for the people to come out to meet them. After watching the new arrivals from the bushes a few women and men decide to try to communicate to find out if they know where Dayumae is. They do not understand, but Nate takes them up in the air for a thrilling ride in the airplane. They showed friendship to each other. Nate and his friends brought a movie camera and took movies of their new friends.

When the group of Waodani went back to the jungle they encountered an angry Mincayani. They decided to tell lies about the new friends and said they found out they had killed Dayumae and tried to shoot them and everyone should spear the foreigners. The Waodanis killed all five men with their spears.

When the missionary wives no longer hear from their husbands from the airplane radio they become concerned that something terrible has happened to them. News of the missing missionaries and their mission spread across the world. Friends, neighbors, and people from all over joined the search party. Days later their bodies were found speared floating down the Curaray River.

Steve was devastated and overtaken with grief and pain. He was mad at the world and even threw rocks at his beloved dog thinking it might make him feel better. Despite their deep pain, the families decide not to give up on the Waodani. Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel, and Elliot*s widow, Elisabeth, head into the jungle to try and live among the Waodani. They bring Dayumae with them. The warriors reluctantly agree not to kill the women, and Dayumae tells the tribe about Waengongi, or God, who has sent his Son. That Son did not retaliate when his enemies speared him.

The good news of Jesus Christ, which the missionaries brought to the Waodani brought an end to spearing other humans to death. The movie shows how the love of God displayed by the missionaries brought an END OF THE SPEAR for the Waodani.