I've read this one over and over. It's a very candid story of a young missionary who ventured into dangerous, unreached areas, and saw miracles happen. Makes you think about our life and how it compares to other parts of the world and also the sacrifices made to take christianity tp unreached peoples.
This is the story of a Bruce Olson, a 19 year old American youth who went, on his own (i.e., with close to zero support from anyone), as a missionary to the Motilone, one of the most feared and least understood Indian tribes in South America. He nearly died several times but in the end seems to have converted the greater part of the tribe to Christianity. He did several things that were quite unusual. Two accomplishments that stick in my mind were: 1) he and the Indians composed original hymns in their peculiar musical language, which is reported to sound eerie and dissonant -- almost demonic -- to Western ears; and 2) he went to great extremes to use dynamic equivalence in translating the Bible into their language. For example, he completely reversed the metaphor used by Christ in Matt. 7:24-27; because in that tribe's culture, only a fool would build his house on a rock, and the obvious wise place to build a house is on *sand.* Architectural references were also modified, as in their culture the box-like rectangular architecture familiar to us is considered ugly; "virtuous" architecture is all round. And so on.
Bruce Olsen talks about how Jesus transformed his life as a teenager and the tug God gave him to become a missionary despite how crazy/fanatical everyone thought he was (including his own family). Though he didn't have any training, he already taught himself Greek, Hebrew, and Latin so he could understand old Biblical texts on a higher level and set off at the age of 19 to Venezuela, SA (where he learned Spanish). One tribe continually became of interest to him called the Molitone tribe who were known for being brutal, never having contact with any other people at all (without killing them). He threw himself into the jungle, first learning about the Yukon tribe (learning their language as well) who agreed to bring him as far as he could to the Molitones. After some time he was able to learn their language and lived among them as a brother. It took 5 years before he had been able to share his passion of Christ them them. What wonders God had done after the years of patience he had. Instead of doing what most missionaries had done (by trying to Americanize a culture), Bruce Olsen, called "Bruchko" by the Molitone Indians, allowed God to use their culture to bring Christ to their tribe (and let Him transform their lives). It was such an amazing story to read about, and very sad and heartbreaking at times. I really loved it!!!!