Steve and Ginny Saint
|Born||January 30, 1951
College of Financial Planning
|Children||Shaun Felipe Saint
Jaime Nate Saint
Jesse Abram Saint
Stephenie Rachel Saint
Marj Saint Van Der Puy
Stephen Farris Saint (born January 30, 1951) is an Ecuadorian-born business entrepreneur, pilot, and author. He is known for being the son of Nate Saint, a famous missionary pilot, as well as for his own work among indigenous tribes.
Saint was born in Quito, Ecuador at a mission hospital. He was the second of Nate and Marj Saint's three children. He has an older sister, Kathy, and a younger brother, Philip. The family lived in Shell Mera, Ecuador where his father was a missionary pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship. In 1956, his father and four other missionaries were killed by Waodani Indians during Operation Auca, in an effort to make peaceful contact with them.
After the death of Saint's father, the family moved to Quito where Saint attended school. It was during this time that his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliot successfully made peaceful contact with the Waodani and were living with them in the jungle. At 10 years of age, Saint first went to live with the Waodani, staying with them during the summers. He learned about living in the jungle, and also developed relationships with many members of the tribe. In June 1965, "Babae", as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father's killers who had since converted to Christianity.
After graduating from high school in Quito, Steve Saint moved to the United States to attend Wheaton College where in 1973 he received a B.A. in economics. Soon after graduation, he returned to Ecuador and worked for a time as a tour guide. It was there that he met and married his wife Ginny who was from Minnesota and visiting Ecuador on a short-term mission team. Shortly after the birth of their first child, the Saints returned to the United States and lived in Minnesota where Saint began a successful career as a businessman. They later moved to Ocala, Florida.
In 1994, Rachel Saint died in Ecuador after spending 36 years with the Woadani. Saint immediately traveled to Ecuador to bury her. It was then that the Woadani tribe who had known Saint as a child asked him to move his family down to live with them. After thinking the decision over with his family, he accepted the tribe's invitation, moving to the jungle in 1995. Saint worked with the Woadani to improve their living conditions by building a community center and develop a desperately needed economy.
Saint left Ecuador in 1996, feeling that his continued presence in the tribe would hinder their progression towards self-dependency. He has, however, made several subsequent trips, and continued to work with the tribe. On one such trip, he was helping a group of Waodani Indians put together their own airplane in Shell. A group of Quechua Indians approached him and asked why they could not build an airplane for their tribe. Saint replied that they could, and this was when Saint discovered the need for a global effort aimed at teaching practical skills to indigenous people. Shortly later he founded the Indigenous Peoples Technology and Education Center, Inc. (I-TEC) whose projects include an airworthy flying car, the Maverick. As of 2010[update] Saint is seeking backing for commercial production.
Saint appeared in and narrated the 2004 documentary film Beyond the Gates of Splendor. In 2005 he published his memoirs, a book titled End of the Spear. In 2006 there was a major film adaptation of the book, and Saint was heavily involved in the production process. He was also the stunt pilot who flew the replica of his father's PA-14 in the film.
He has also authored other books including Walking His Trail.
Saint has been especially close to Mincaye, one of the Huaorani tribesmen who killed his father. He and Mincaye have made several appearances together in television interviews and at Christian concerts throughout the world. Steve now often visits churches to talk about his life.
The Saints have four children: Shaun, Jaime, Jesse, and Stephenie. Shaun is a medical doctor, and Jesse works for I-TEC. Stephenie briefly attended the University of Florida, but died in the summer of 2000 of a sudden cerebral hemorrhage.
Today, Steve and Ginny live in Ocala, Florida, and continue to make regular trips to Ecuador.