This post contains affiliate links. Previously, the girls and I had read Nate Saint’s story, Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer, so Rachel Saint’s story seemed like a natural next choice. Rachel Saint: A Star in the Jungle by Janet & Geoff Benge tells the story of Nate’s big sister, Rachel. When she was only 18, Rachel had a dream where she saw naked people in a jungle urging her to come work with them and teach them God’s Word. For the next 20 plus years, she waited for the right time to work with the people she knew were waiting for her.
About Rachel Saint: A Star in the Jungle
Rachel Saint grew up in a religious family with many brothers. She was especially close to her younger brother, Nate. When she was a teen, she spent time with an elderly woman and who took her to Europe when she was 18. Then, the woman asked Rachel to be her surrogate daughter, keep her company, and inherit all of her money when she died. Rachel declined because she knew missionary work was her calling. Ironically, it was on this trip that she dreamt of the tribal people she knew she was one day destined to live among.
Despite her certainty about her career path, she spent years working with addicts. She didn’t actually become a missionary until her early 30s. And it wasn’t until after her brother’s murder that she, at the age of 35, finally started working with the people she had dreamt about. They also happened to be the same tribe that killed her brother and several other missionaries.
My Thoughts on the Book
I find it amazing how Rachel could imagine working with a native people when she was only 18, but she didn’t get her chance until nearly 20 years later. She waited patiently, confident that she would work with the Waorani, even after five Waorani murdered her brother and four other men. While she waited, she met a Waorani woman, Dayuma, who taught her the Waorani language.
The authors mentioned that Rachel and Dayuma came to the United States and appeared on an episode of This Is Your Life. My children and I had fun watching that specific episode of This Is Your Life on YouTube.
Rachel ended up spending the majority of her life with the Waorani, changing a violent people who had been resistant to outsiders for as long as anyone can remember. Indeed, Rachel and Nate worked together; Nate paved the way for his sister through his murder.
I give Rachel Saint: A Star in the Jungle 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.