In the early 1950's a group of young American missionaries and their families gradually gathered in the jungles of Ecuador to teach the savage tribes (Quichuas, the Jivaros, the Atshuaras) Christianity, and to help them with some of the 20th century's basic life-saving medicines. Among these three tribes, savage, hostile, one addicted to head-shrinking, they were successful enough to make them want to tackle the supreme challenge of the area--the completely unapproachable Auca Indians, dread even to their far-away neighbors, tribes of Indians who would flee at the report that the Aucas were on the move. This book tells of the five men, imbued with the pioneering missionary spirit of the first century who went into the jungles with twentieth century tools and methods to bring the word of God to the superstitious, fear-inhibited tribes, tracing their early lives and educations in the United States, their studies of the languages and peoples in Ecuador, their work among the first three tribes, and finally complete details of their efforts to establish a friendly working base among the Aucas. The five died, victims of natives who characteristically pretended to be friendly, and when the enemy was off guard, speared him. Mrs. Elliot, widow of one of the missionaries, has written a vivid account, reiterating at every chapter the faith of the group in God, and in the importance of the work they were jointly doing. Far from being embittered by the experience, the widows pray for the Aucas. ""We look forward to the day when these savages will join us in Christian praise."" A book of interest to anthropologists, missionaries, and to all laymen who are curious about the motivations of those who go to far-off savage tribes to work unceasingly under extreme conditions of climate, terrain, and hostility of the natives.