Meet Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot was born in Brussels, Belgium to a pair of missionaries, Philip and Katherine Howard. However, Elisabeth’s time abroad didn’t last long; her family moved back to the Philadelphia area when she was five months old because her father had accepted a job as the editor of a small newspaper.

As Elisabeth grew up, missionaries were regularly visiting the Howard household, having a profound impact on Elisabeth's choice to attend Wheaton College, in order to study classical Greek so that she could work in the missions field as a Bible translator. It was there that Elisabeth met Jim Elliot, who would become her first husband after the two had served independently as mission workers in Ecuador. Tragically, Jim was brutally murdered by the Aucan Indians—the very tribe Jim was trying to save. Instead of returning to the States, Elisabeth continued to commit her life to Christ and lived with the very tribe that had speared her husband to death for two years.

Elisabeth and her daughter, Valerie, moved back to Massachusetts in 1963. She later married a professor named Addison Leitch, who died of cancer in 1973. In 1974, Elisabeth accepted a position as an Adjunct Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She taught off-and-on for a few years, until she took the Writer in Residence at Gordon College. In 1977, she married again. This time to a man by the name of Lars Gren.

Elisabeth is the author of nearly twenty books, including Shadow of the Almighty and Passion and Purity, which both tell the story of Jim and Elisabeth’s lives. Elisabeth toured the nation for the majority of her life, telling all that she had learned in her widely experienced life. She also hosted a daily radio show, Gateway to Joy for thirteen years, until 2001. Now, she and her husband, Lars, live in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Last updated July 2008.

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