To be called by God to a foreign country as a missionary of the Gospel is a privilege and an awesome undertaking. But to be called as a missionary to a culture that is virtually untouched by the modern world, has no written language, and is based on violence and treachery as a lifestyle is almost unimaginable. This is exactly the kind of people that Don and Carol Richardson, with their eight-month old son, went to live among for the purpose of bringing them Christ. Peace Child describes the Richardsons' introduction to and ministry among the Sawi people of New Guinea. After reading Richardsons account of his experience among the tribal people in Irian Jaya, I can only say that surely God takes great care and consideration when He hand-picks His servants to carry out such an overwhelming task.
Don Richardson explains that as a fairly new believer at age twenty, he felt a strong urgency deep inside from the Lord to serve Him as a missionary; the only question for him was, Where? One day in 1955, as a student at Prairie Bible Institute in Canada, he heard this from a representative of Regions Beyond Missionary Union:
"[You will find yourself in] the midst of entire tribes that have never known any kind of governmental control, where people are a law unto themselves and where savagery is a way of life. You must learn to make yourself and your message understood in the medium of languages never before learned by any outsiderYou will encounter customs and beliefs which will baffle you, but which must be understood if you are to succeedYou must prepare to endure loneliness, weariness and frustration with fortitude. Most of all, you must be prepared, in the strength of the Lord to do battle with the prince of darkness, whois not about to give them up without a fight!"
Little did Don know at the time that this would describe his later ministry on the Indonesian island of New Guinea. For the next seven years, Don and Carol studied and prepared until the time would come that they would be assigned their field of service. He writes,
After years of preparing and waiting, just to hear the name of the people we would devote our lives to was exciting! The Sawi! I turned the name over in my mind. I could almost taste its savor on the tip of my tongue.
And so with this excitement they traveled to the place where they would make their home and raise three children for the next 15 years. (Wow, I thought, would I have been up to that challenge and sign up with the enthusiasm that Don and his wife did?)
Before their arrival, the Richardsons were warned that the Sawi were a society of cannibalistic headhunters, and that the many local tribes were at enmity and often at war with one another.
To read more about the Richardsons' experience with the Sawi people and how they were able to communicate the Gospel to them, visit my blog: www.ImAllBooked.com.
Great book...hard to put down. I read this with my 13 yr old son.
Great story, surprisingly well done for a 'missionary written' book.
Talk about living on the edge, Don Richardson, his newlywed wife Carol and seven-month old son Stephen step from the 20th century into a stone-age cannibalistic cultural with gruesome and horrific practices.
This book reads like the true adventure it is, starting with the narration of life, death, betrayal, parties where the honored guests become the special of the day. Enter this family of three into the midst of suspicious cannibals bringing three rival factions together each vying jealously for the knifes, steel axes, matches, machetes, mirrors and medicine, you get a powder keg with small to large explosions daily.
Imagine living in a grass hut with your wife and baby huddled inside while fierce warriors and arrows fly throughout the sky. Imagine facing an entire clan beating and burning a man that the sorceress has declared to be a soul-less zombie and praying him back to life, only by a miracle of God. These and other adventures show what it's really like to walk by faith, trusting only God to protect you, and doing His will to win people to Christ.
There are many hair-prickling turns in this story, leaving you at the edge of your seat, wondering if it'll all end in disaster. But the glory of the Lord is that He had left Himself a witness in the strange custom of the "Peace Child" that Richardson was able to use to point to the Perfect Peace Child, the Son of God, Prince of Peace, to bring the Sawi tribe to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Truly awe inspiring. I am now reading the sequel "Lords of the Earth".
This book tells the story of how a missionary family was able to reach members of several canabilistic tribes hidden deep in the jungle and how Christ's love helped them to overcome centuries of hatred, grief, and bitterness. The story is inspiring and gripping. It's pretty bloody in places, so I wouldn't recommend this for young children. My daughter's eighth grade class read it for their required summer reading assignment. The book changed our view of how other people live and deepened our understanding of the act of forgiveness.
i have read this book MANY years ago , back home in germany . it must have just come out ... it is a facinating story of how a canibalistic tribe was touched and changed . it is an amazing "coincidence " how G-d sometimes makes available in a peoples history ,ledgends and customs , little "hook-ups " through which to shine His light into their darkness . love , love , LOVE this book . did i tell you , that i really LOVE this book ???
ROM THE PUBLISHER
Headhunting cannibals who used their victims' skulls as pillows, the Sawi people of New Guinea seemed to still be living in the Stone Age. It was to these people that Don and Carol Richardson went in 1962, risking their lives to share the gospel and tell of the true Peace Child.