On Good Friday, after our 12:00noon “Hour at the Cross” Service we are offering a simple meal of home-made soup and rolls. At 1:30pm we will be showing the film, “Beyond Gates of Splendor”. It chronicles the events leading up to and following Operation Auca, an attempt to contact the Huaorani tribe of Ecuador in which five American missionaries were killed.
The title of the film references Elisabeth Elliot’s 1957 bestseller, Through Gates of Splendor. First published in 1957, the book told the original story of the five martyred missionaries. A low budget documentary film was also produced with the same name in 1967. One year after Gates was published, the first successful peaceful contact with the Huaorani tribe was made. In the years that followed, many Huaos were converted to Christianity and changed their lifestyle. Therefore, Beyond the Gates recounts the unfolding story up unto the present day. The film also included new information that has since come out about the Palm Beach Massacre through communication with the Indians.
Beyond the Gates was very influential in the production of the drama film End of the Spear, which was released four years later. Many of the same events recounted by the Huaorani interviewees in Beyond the Gates were depicted dramatically in End of the Spear. The movie won the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival in 2002. It also won the Audience Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2004 for Best Documentary Feature.