I did a lot more digging and found the following excerpt. Pretty fascinating:
This weeks inspiring story covers one of the detailed events of Operation Auca, and the death of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian, and Ed McCully. It is the story told of in the book, Through the Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Jay blogged about the story, so, if you would, visit his blog, too!
Many years ago, Pete Flemings widow, now Mrs. Olive Fleming Liefield, visited the beach where Pete and his four compatriots were killed. She was working on a book called, Unfolding Destinies. Nate Saints sister Rachel, along with several Waodani, guided Olive and her husband Walt, through the jungle. Almost forty years after the spearing raid, Olive still had many unanswered questions about exactly what happened that fateful day.
Answering her questions, with Aunt Rachel translating, was Dawa, wife of one of the attackers who was present during the attack. Dawa, still a teenager at the time, hid in the dense cane bordering the far side of the river, opposite Palm Beach, afraid to actually watch or take a more aggressive role.
As Dawa recognized Olives interest in what had happened that memorable day a day that shocked and transfixed much of the world, both Christian and non she began to volunteer information that she thought might be of interest.
In the middle of her commentary she pointed to a place above the jungle canopy bordering the ridge just south of Palm Beach. That is where we heard the Cowodi (foreigners) singing, she stated matter-of-factly. As Aunt Rachel translated, Olive stopped her, What does she mean she heard foreigners singing above the trees?
Dawa said they were dressed in cloth like she saw a group of Cowodi do who sang in a church she visited with Rachel in the U. S.
Olive, Walt and Aunt Rachel wondered if it could possibly have been a choir of angels. What a wonderful and humbling tribute that would have been from a gracious God who had just had five sons killed, their spear riddled bodies dumped unceremoniously in the river by the beach where they had just two days before had an exciting and completely friendly first contact with two women and one man from the same village where their killers lived.
Olive told Steve Saint, son of Nate, what she had learned, and asked if he could find out more. Here is the rest of the story as Steve tells it:
One by one, each of the three men told me that they saw what appeared to be lights in the same place where Dawa had said she saw the heavenly choir. They were further away, which might explain that what they saw was different. But all of them said they heard singing. Nevertheless, they were somewhat tentative in their description.
Very recently when a project was initiated to make a feature film and a docudrama about the Auca Story, the script writers wanted to include the angels singing over the Palm Beach martyrs. As I reviewed the script I felt uncomfortable including any detailed reenactment of something that I was sure had taken place but which had only been vaguely described.
In January, 2002, I was asked to take the documentary film team to Ecuador to interview the Waodani who are the other half of the story. In the interviews with four of the five remaining Waodani survivors who took part in the Palm Beach attack in which my dad and his four friends were killed, I tried to elicit more definition to what I had been told previously, but without success.
The day after wrapping up the filmed interviews with the Waodani, the film group and I were joined by two friends of ours Kevin McAfee and Steven Curtis Chapman. They had flown out to join us to do filming for Stevens upcoming tour which will feature the Auca Story, as well as to film some footage for the documentary. Steven and I were sitting in the cooking house talking while Kimo, one of the warriors I had just interviewed, was trying to communicate with a member of the film team.
I was startled to hear music coming from the thatched long-house immediately behind us. Then I realized that Kevin was just checking out the sound equipment he had brought.
Suddenly Kimo turned towards the music and listened intently. After a minute he commented, Manami ihindabopa, (Just like I heard it).
I didnt understand what he was referring to until I put together the obvious fact he was referring to the music and remembered that I had recently asked him about what he had heard at Palm Beach.
Kimo resumed his sign language conversation. Suddenly he turned towards the music once again and very specifically affirmed, I have heard that before, long ago. That is what I heard, just like that, when your father died.
I explained to Steven Curtis Chapman what Kimo was saying, then called to Kevin to hold the music at that spot. It was clear that Kimo was referring especially to one motif in the music as being what he remembered.
I invited Kimo to enter the long-house with us. Unfortunately, Kevin could not tell us specifically where on the CD the music Kimo was referring to was located. Kevin started playing various pieces on the soundtrack. I couldnt remember enough of what it sounded like to identify it. As the fifth or sixth piece started to play, Steven Curtis Chapman commented, I think this might be it. Almost simultaneously Kimo declared, I saw lights like stars and that is what I heard. Then he added, When I heard that long ago, I didnt know what it was. I was afraid. Hearing it I knew we had done a bad thing there. Now, no longer living angry and hating, I see it well that you have returning brought this back to us. (They dont have a word for instrumental music that I know of). Then he got up and left the long-house.
Kevin pulled out the CD to find the title of the piece Kimo had identified. You wont believe this! Kevin exclaimed. Look, and he pointed at the CD; It is cut #8.
Jesus told us, Go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations. My father and his four friends joined the ranks of thousands of God followers who have given their lives to fulfill that commission.
The title of the soundtrack Kimo recognized as being what he heard after killing my dad and Jim, Pete, Roger and Ed a piece written by Ron Owen especially for the documentary film (being made to tell the story of Gods plan to reach a tribe of people off in the Amazon jungle who were insignificant in almost every way except that God loved them and wanted them to know they could become His children throughout the sacrifice of Iota Gods only child, a son.) is Every Tribe, Every Nation.
God has entrusted His very good carvings to us! But only the uninitiated or extremely unobservant are wont to believe that He doesnt still have His hand in seeing that His message reaches every tribe, every nation, every tongue and every people.
I have never questioned Gods right to use my fathers life. Dad turned his life over to God as a young boy. I have never asked for an apology from the men who killed him, and I have never received one. I never hated them or held anger against them so there was no forgiveness needed. I just accepted my dad was gone and with Jesus. It never occurred to me that I should forgive them for something which, though they meant for evil, God very clearly intended for good.
But as a father, I have agonized over what I have thought must have been going through Dads mind as he lay dying out in the middle of nowhere, betrayed by the very people he and his friends had so carefully and methodically befriended. His failure would leave Marjorie (my sweet mom) a widow. He would never teach his two little boys to fly. His little girl would never sit on Daddys lap to hear another original bedtime story. He would never again fly sick Indians to the new hospital he and Roger had been working so hard to complete. His passion for sharing the message that had set him free with people who had never heard was suddenly ended.
I have imagined all these years that this must have been the pain of Dads last conscious minutes of life. But now I believe that I was wrong. If Dawa, Kimo, Yowe, and Mincaye heard an angelic choir from the world beyond, I have no doubt that Jim, Ed, Pete, Roger and Dad were made even more aware of their presence. They didnt die alone. Now I do believe that God sent a reception committee to sing for them and to escort them into His presence.
As I listened to music, just written, which Kimo clearly asserted he had heard at Palm Beach, my heart swelled with a sense of well-being. God took what five men could not keep and exchanged it for something they cannot lose. Its our turn now to make the same deal and give our lives away!