“Steve Saint was only 5 when his father, Nate, a Christian missionary working in Ecuador, was killed by a group of Waodani tribesmen, who speared him and his four colleagues as the Americans prepared to bring the message of Jesus to the inhabitants of the remote Amazon jungle, whose endless cycle of revenge killings had brought them to the brink of extinction. It was 50 years ago this month, but despite his youth, he remembers it vividly.”
So begins Michael O’Sullivan’s story on Saint, and the saga of forgiveness that inspired the movie End of the Spear.
“I had no way of knowing,” Saint says during a phone interview with O’Sullivan, “that the feeling, the yearning I had for my dad — that bond that was yanked out of my heart — that those same feelings I had for my dad I would one day have for the man who’s half asleep here on the other bed in my hotel room: Mincaye, who is the man who killed my father.”
I have to admit that I can’t comprehend forgiveness for a loss of such depth. If I am honest with myself, I must admit that I am not even sure that I admire it. No doubt this indicates unflattering things about my character, but I ask you, could you do what the Saints have done?