Inspiring People: Nate Saint

“Inspiring People” is a new series I”m starting that tells the stories of real people who have inspired me, and I hope their stories inspire you too!  I’ve decided to start with Nate Saint.

Nate Saint was born in 1923.  He grew up in a Christian home and from an early age knew that he wanted to serve the Lord in his work.  Nate took his first flight in an airplane at the age of seven and became fascinated with flying.  During World War II, Nate signed up for the US Army, hoping to become a commercial pilot but was not allowed to fly due to a leg infection that was bothering him.  While he was in the army, Nate noticed the need for missionary pilots.  He decided to join MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) with his wife Marjorie.  They helped open a MAF base in Shell Mera, Ecuador.  Nate’s mission was to show the love of God to the Aucas (a tribe in Ecuador who attacked and killed most outsiders they came in contact with).  He and his MAF team first tried flying over the Auca village dropping gifts to be friendly, but after awhile they knew it was time to talk with the Aucas.  Nate and his teammates Jim, Ed, Peter, and Roger flew a plane to a place near the Auca village and set up camp.  A few tentative Aucas showed up and seemed to be friendly, but they soon left.  Nate and his team were excited to be finally making contact with the Aucas, but, only a few days later, the missionaries were attacked.  All five missionaries were killed.  After Nate died, his family continued to be evangelists and encourage the Aucas.  Many in the village became Christians, including some of those who had attacked the missionaries.

I find this story inspiring because Nate, Jim, Ed, Peter, and Roger did not give up.  They gave their lives serving the Lord.  They may have been discouraged or frustrated, but they kept going and spread the Word of God where others were afraid to.  They did not live to see the outcome of their work, but Nate’s sister Rachel did.  She continued to be a missionary to the Aucas and saw many come to Christ.  Nate’s love for the Lord and devotion to Him motivates me to glorify God in everything I do, even the little things.  Nate had the courage to fly to Ecuador because God was with him.  He trusted that God would use him to make an impact on others.  Nate not only made an impact on the Auca tribe, but his story still encourages us today.

How is this story inspiring to you?  What can you come away with?  Comment below on what other people have inspired you.

Note: If you want to learn more about Nate Saint, I recommend this book:  Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer by Janet and Geoff Benge.


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