Monday, August 27, 2012
New Book By Jim & Elisabeth Elliot’s Only Child Inspires Next Generation to Trust God during Adversity
Author Valerie Shepard Elliot Takes Advice from Her Mother Elisabeth Elliot to Pen a Children’s Book about Her Unique Childhood in the Ecuadorian Jungle, Titled ‘Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot’
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
SOUTHPORT, NC (ANS) -- Valerie Elliot Shepard was 10 months old when a primitive tribe of Ecuadorian Indians made a martyr of her 29-year-old father and his four Wheaton College classmates. But that didn’t stop Valerie and her mother from moving to live with those same savage Auca Indians to complete the Elliot family’s evangelical mission: to eclipse the tribe’s savagery with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
Told through the wide, curious eyes of a child, Valerie’s new children’s book, Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, begins two years after her father’s murder when Valerie and her mother followed the Quichua and Auca Indians to the place she would call home from ages 3 to 8. The book will release on October 8, 2012, the 85th anniversary of Jim Elliot’s birth.
Now all grown up and the mother of eight grown children herself, Valerie invites a new generation to peer behind the veil of her unbelievable childhood experiences and look into the jungle surroundings where she walked, climbed, and fluttered around as “Pilipinto” — meaning “butterfly” — the Indians’ nickname for her.
While more than a half-century old, many refreshing new messages surface from the book’s real-life accounts of simple living, faithfulness in adversity, and true heroism. Valerie chronicles in colorful detail how the Indians, their language, and even the dangerous jungle elements created a delightful playground for learning to trust God’s hand and to respect the simplest of His gifts—something Valerie instilled in her own children and is determined to pass on to the next generation.
“There is an awful discontentment among young people,” said Shepard, who recalls having only a book to read when she wasn’t outside playing in the jungle. “I do look at the youth culture and just feel only the Lord can bring about a heart contented with simple pleasures and gifts from the Lord.”
“Because my parents prayed and hoped to bring Indians to the Lord, when my father was killed my mother had no plan or immediate thought she should leave Ecuador,” Shepard remarked. “Human fears would flood her mind, but verses from Scripture gave her peace and assurance we would be taken care of. Mother continued to work with the Indians and continued to pray for them. And the more that she prayed for them, the greater her love grew for these people in need of a Savior.”
For information on Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, visit Vision Forum’s online bookstore at: www.visionforum.com/browse/product/pilipintos-happiness-jungle-childhood-valerie-elliot/.
Media interested in a review copy of Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot and/or an interview with Valerie Elliot Shepard should contact Gregg Wooding of I Am PR, 214-605-0733/ Gregg@iampronline.com.
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This review is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.