End of the Spear

End of the Spear picEnd of the Spear isn’t a masterpiece on a par with The Mission, but in spite of its low budget and naive manner, it is a very moving story of the power of love to conquer fear, hatred, and violence.

It’s based on the true story of the missionaries who made first contact with the Waodani people of Ecuador, at a time in which they were so involved in revenge killings they were in danger of annihilating themselves off the map. Soon after their initial contact, all five of the missionary men were slaughtered by the Waodani. Yet two years later (in the movie it looks like a few weeks later), Dayumae, a Waodani girl who had lived with the missionaries’ families, returns to the tribe, and brings with her some of the wives of the men who were killed.

Dayumae presents the Gospel in the most simple and profound words:

Oenagongi had a Son: Even though he was speared, he did not spear back.

I love this gospel! I would like so much to hear it proclaimed in America! (In fact, Mincayani, the leader of this Waodani band, eventually came to America with Steven Saint (the son of the missionary he killed) telling how their tribe renounced violence. Are we listening?

I found the “path of the spear” timeline on the official site to be almost as good as the movie itself (and more informative). (Note also the link to Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a documentary of this story which has received better reviews from critics.) Another excellent stop is the Wikipedia article on the Huarani/Waodani people.