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How God's Forgiveness Transformed Tribal Enemies


About the Authors

In 1959 Marie and I were encouraged to write our story.  The publishers of "Through Gates of Splendor" by Elisabeth Elliot said, "We want an account of regular missionary life.  You know what it is like to live as missionaries among a savage tribe of uncivilized Indians.  The books about the recent deaths of five missionaries by the spears of Waodani (Auca) Indians are in great demand.  We are sure that a book about your lives among a similar tribe would be well received also."  Thus our book, "Mission to the Headhunters" by Frank and Marie Drown, was first published in 1961.

At that time we had been in Ecuador only 15 years.  It seemed to us that our life commitment to establish Christian churches among the revenge-killing tribes of the Shuar and Atshuar Indians had just begun.  Although there were a few small churches among the Shuar with believers who refused to carry on the traditional enmities, there were no Christian churches among the Atshuar.  We keep trusting God to use us and our fellow missionaries to do whatever it cost to bring the revenge warfare to en end before these tribes would be further decimated.

Now, after forty years, we are offering the true story of how God replaced the long, sad history of suspicion, hatred, and killing with forgiveness and peaceful living in the jungle.  To those who found forgiveness of sin and new life through faith in Christ's death and resurrection, God also gave assurance of being with Him forever.

Our story includes glimpses into the individual lives of many of our Indian friends.  All are true accounts as seen through our eyes and understanding.  In order to avoid confusion caused by two persons having the same name or to protect the privacy of others, we have changed some of their real names.

The Indian people have taught us much about God's abundant grace.  If we were in our twenties we would go again to live among them.  There is still much Bible teaching and church leadership training to do in this new millennium generation.  May our book inspire many to commit their lives to obey Christ's command to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28: 19, 20).

Frank and Marie Drown
April 2001



We dedicate this book to our fellow missionaries who served with us during the 37 years we spent in Ecuador, South America, some of whom have moved to other fields or died and some who steadfastly continue serving the Shuar and the Atshuar jungle Indians.

With Avant Ministries, Ernest and Jean Johnson, Michael and Ella Ficke, *Dorothy Walker, Keith and Doris Austin, Ralph and Marian Stuck, Roger and Barbara Youderian, John Stuck and Ed and Joyce (Stuck) Grable, William and Gladis Gibson, *James and Norma Hedlund, Don and Maxine Caswell, Eldon and Phyllis Yoder, Nettie Buhler, Arlowe and Emma Becker, Billy Ogg and Irene (Ogg) Wiens, Steve Ditzler, Stanley and Irene Derksen, *Robert and *Janice Stuck, *Dwain and *Louis Holmes, *James and *Debby Shoberg.  Ecuadorian Fellow-workers, Marco and Maruja Diaz.

With Mission Aviation Fellowship, Nate Saint and Marjorie (Saint) Van deer Puy, Johnny and Ruth Keenan, Herbert and Olivia Lowrance, Dave and Carol Osterhus, and success MAF missionary personnel.

With Wycliff Bible Translators, *Dr. Glen and Jean Turner

With Missionary Tech Team, Ken and Irene Edgar

These all have served closely with us and have made major contributions toward establishing the Church of Jesus Christ among the Shuar and Atshuar.  We love and highly esteem them.  Our heartfelt prayers are with those still sharing their lives with these Indians.

Frank and Marie Drown
April 2001

* Those serving the Shuar and Astshuar at the book's writing

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