We watched the quasi-documentary film "The End of the Spear" this weekend. It is film about a group of Christian missionaries that take their families into Ecuador to find a primitive group called the Waodani. In the film, we are introduced to one of the families. We see a closeness between a father 'Nate' and son 'Steve'. We meet Steve, age five years, who says goodbye to his dad Nate (one of the missionaries), as he is about to fly his Piper Cruiser plane with four other missionaries into the jungles of Ecuador. They want to make contact with the most dangerous tribe known to man, the Waodani (whoa-DONNY) also known as “Auca,” or naked savage. After several months of exchanging gifts with the natives, the five men were speared multiple times and hacked to death with machetes. One of the men in the tribe that fateful day was Mincaye (min-KY-yee). Two years late, Steve went into the jungle with his mother and his Aunt who worked to continue the missionary task their husbands set out to do. Steve met his father's killer, though at the time did not know who or which member of the tribe was responsible for Nate's death. Years later, Steve learned that Mincaye actually delivered the final spear that ultimately killed his father. That Waodani tribe did experience a transformation through Christan missionary intervention. Because of that, Steve and Mincaye consider themselves family and harbor no resentment. Steve says that even though he has never forgotten the pain and heartache of losing his dad he can’t imagine not loving Mincaye, a man who has adopted him as his own. This film should have a profound effect in anyone who watches it. It is about the giving of one's life not the taking of life. It is about redemption, it is about bringing people out of darkness and into the light, and freedom from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul explains the true source of all freedom: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" 2 Cor 3:17. I can imagine that there are people out there that think bringing the 'light' as I called it to primitive people is nonsense, it is imposing our culture on theirs so that we can benefit. That is both true and not true. It is true because we as Christians do benefit when we convert non-believers and not true because it is not the benefiting that is ours. It is theirs. Every man, no matter how civilized or primitive wants to be free. Free from worry, free from strife, free from danger,hunger, and free from sin!
If you want true freedom, draw closer to God and He will transform you into a Holy son or daughter. Holiness is not a list of rules. Holiness is to be completely possessed by the Spirit of God and to have the freedom to wake up every morning and to step out into the world knowing that you can do anything you want to because you have a transformed mind that is completely in line with the will of the Creator of the Universe. ~ Peter Goodgame
The truth of that the cycle of violence those people lived and were locked into for generations was pointless and in fact determintal to the survival of their culture. The missionaries wanted to liberate them from that to end that violent culture and give them life more abundantly. That was the message of Jesus Christ. This was the message that the missionaries brought to Mincaye and his group in Ecuador.
I think all too often we as civilized people look back with a nostalgia at these primitive cultures... living wild and of their own know-how. We think that they are free and tend to put them on a pedestal as a noble race of men. Yet, many primitive groups (including native Americans) were incredibly violent and enslaved to that. The Aztec and Mayans, were ripping the hearts out of people sacrificed on an ongoing basis. The Spanish who were hardly noble themselves did end that and took away that culture of death. Missionaries can be flawed and not always have altruistic motives; however, God's word of freedom gives all people a chance to live more abundantly and without violence, this was story "End of the Spear".