In 1952 Dutch New Guinea, two young missionaries trekked into the uncharted Bird's Head area of this Indonesian island. In doing so, they lost their lives.
The story of these two men isn't as well known as the widely reported story of Jim Elliot's party of five missionaries killed in South American four years later. Because of the involvement of a Life magazine photographer, the latter story came to the nation's attention in a big way.
But now, more than fifty years later, the pioneering efforts of the earlier missionaries, Walter Erikson and Edward Tritt, have borne surprising fruit in the very same way that the Elliot party's did.
I wrote an article about these two missionaries to what today is called West Papua. It was a supremely satisfying story to research. I interviewed people directly involved with the story and had first-hand access to letters, diaries, newsletters, photos and trial documents. This allowed me to re-create the incident in greater detail than is possible for many early martyrdom stories.
You can find the story of Erikson and Tritt here in the magazine TEAM Horizons. Scroll down to Legacy: Erikson and Tritt and click on View. Then open the document as a PDF file.
Often, when tragedies occur in our lives, we have no idea why we have been called on to suffer. It is the privilege of the families and co-workers of these two men to be witness to the rewarding ending to this story more than 50 years later. I hope you enjoy reading it.