Jungle Breezes

Author: Dara Stoltzfus


What would you do if you felt a calling to go to a far-off war-torn country to spread the word of God? Would you follow that calling or would you do the “wise” thing and stay home where it is safe? Elam Stoltzfus, born and raised Amish in Lancaster County Pennsylvania was a man who felt a tug on his heart to go tell the world about Jesus and he did just that. He set off in 1972 with his pregnant wife, Barbara and their three children and went to Guatemala, Central America, which was in the midst of a brutal civil war. They lived on a houseboat and off the land for the first eight years while planting churches and building a medical clinic. Over the course of 19 years Elam and his family of six children had adventures of every sort and served God joyfully with their whole hearts. Then, in August 1990 the guerrillas showed up at their front door and their ministry was burned to the ground. Elam’s younger son, Virgil, was taken captive that night and out into the jungle with written orders to execute him. Had Elam been wrong to risk his family or does following God’s call bring limitless rewards? 

Literally thousands of lives were saved because of Elam’s ministry in Guatemala and the spiritual legacy he left behind is immeasurable. 

This is a story that will inspire any Christian that they, too, can change the world they live and have an exciting life with God.