Elisabeth Elliot’s Lost Manuscript

While searching through old files, radio producers at Back to the Bible discovered an unpublished work written by the late missionary pioneer.

When people pass on, their loved ones or legacy holders sometimes sift through old papers and discover a stash of love letters or a forgotten stock certificate. Once in a while, that good fortune is a gift to the public.

Last year, Kathy Reeg, the president of the Elisabeth Elliot Foundation, reached out to Back to the Bible, the producers of Elliot’s long-running radio show, Gateway to Joy, in search of some information about Elliot’s past work.

In the process of looking for that other project, the team made an extraordinary discovery: A long-buried computer file contained an unpublished devotional by Elliot called Heart of God: 31 Days to Discover God’s Love for You. The book is scheduled for release this September by DaySpring.

“We ran across it strictly by accident,” said Reeg. “But nothing is accidental. Everything is providential.”

She knew there were a few unpublished materials in the archives, but the discovery of Heart of God was a complete surprise. A staffer at Back to the Bible told her how sorry they were they hadn’t found it earlier.

“No,” Reeg replied. “This is all God’s timing.”

The story of the manuscript’s discovery is also the story of a relationship between Reeg and Elliot.

“I got to know Elisabeth through her writing and later her daily Gateway to Joy broadcast, just as so many others have,” said Reeg. “I’d heard her speak in person at a seminar and had even exchanged letters with her after her book The Shaping of a Christian Family released.”

After Elliot was diagnosed with dementia in 2001, Reeg began corresponding with Elliot’s husband, Lars Gren, first as she was …

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