Warrior follows through gates of splendor
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 4/29/20, 07:14 pm
Mincaye, one of the Waodani warriors who attacked and killed Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and three other American missionaries in 1956, died on Tuesday in his home village in Ecuador. He was between 88 and 91 years old. Mincaye converted to Christianity and became known for preaching to other tribes in the region. Jim Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth, memorialized the story in her book Through Gates of Splendor, which later became a movie.
What did Mincaye do later in life? The families of the slain missionaries made peaceful contact with the tribe in 1958. After becoming a Christian, Mincaye toured the world telling the story of how the missionaries changed him and his tribe. Nate Saint’s son Steve considered Mincaye his adopted father. “I have known Mincaye since I was a little boy when he took me under his wing and had his sons teach me to blowgun hunt,” Steve Saint wrote. “He was one of my dearest friends in the world. Yes, he killed my father, but he loved me and my family.”
Mincaye’s wife Ompodae, 13 children, about 50 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren survive him.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Clint Rainey’s report on the lasting impression the five missionaries had on the Waodani tribe.
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