Jim Elliot’s Lesser-known Brother, Bert

On his blog, Randy Alcorn writes:

In 1949, when Bert and Colleen were students at Multnomah Bible College, they were invited to Peru by a missionary. They became missionaries to Peru years before Jim went to Ecuador.

When we discussed their ministry, Bert smiled and said, “I can’t wait to get back from furlough.” At that time, they were in their eighties and in their sixtieth year as missionaries, still joyfully reaching people for Christ. Until that weekend I didn’t know anything about them. They may have served Christ faithfully under the radar of the church at large, but not under God’s.

Bert said something to me that day I met him that I’ll never forget: “Jim and I both served Christ, but differently. Jim was a great meteor, streaking through the sky.”

Bert didn’t go on to describe himself, but I will. Unlike his brother Jim, the shooting star, Bert was a faint star that rose night after night, faithfully crossing the same path in the sky, to God’s glory.

In missions work, suffering sometimes results in a short life culminating in martyrdom, sometimes in a long life of daily dying to self and living for Christ. I believe Jim Elliot’s reward is considerable, but it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that Bert and Colleen’s will be greater still.


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