Fifty years after five American missionaries were murdered in Ecuador, their story is being told in a major motion picture. For one local family that story is personal.
Dave and Rosie Schuurman of Lauderdale spent six years as missionaries in Ecuador. During that time they became friends with many of the major players in this story.
"This is a story of love, of what happens when God comes into a heart and changes people from killing to loving," said Dave and Rosie Schuurman of World Radio Missionaries.
"End of the Spear" is the story of the Waodani people. The families of the slain American missionaries came to live with the Waodani. Within two years, the tribe changed from one of war and killing to one of peace. The surviving Waodani warriors made the final decision to take their story to the world.
"When they heard about the killings in Columbine and the other school shootings, they said we have to get our story out so they can know that killing is not the way to do this," said the Schurrmans.
The Schuurmans took more than a memory of their time in Ecuador. That's where they met and later adopted their now 14-year-old daughter.
The couple says that people who see the movie, no matter what their convictions, will feel very close to that place.
"End of The Spear" opens in limited release, including here in Meridian, on Friday.