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Peace Child [Paperback]

Don Richardson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 15 1990
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.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Kolade
For years, I have been fascinated with the question of how undiscovered, isolated groups of people would held accountable for their decision to accept or reject God. How could uncivilized people understand how God's message related to their lives? After reading this book, I found my answer! I realized that through what Don Richardson calls "redemptive analogies," God makes a way for ALL people to understand his loving message. Just as he ably used analogies that were particularly meaningful to the Jews and Greeks in the Bible, God is able to use analogies that are meaningful to cannibals and other isolated groups. Peace Child is Don Richardson's account of how he discovered the analogy that God had specially designed to make a cannibalistic tribe in New Guinea understand his love... and then of how he risked his life trying to share that analogy with those people.

This book chronicles one man's purposeful encounter with a group of people who had never come in contact with Godly principles. Perhaps because I'm a wife and mother of two, Richardson's decision to include his wife and two toddlers in his quest to share righteousness really made me understand his degree of commitment to God.
Richardson's powerful text outlines a sacrifice of earthly comforts for spiritual reasons and shows God's protection of the lives of people who actively seek to serve His purposes. While written by a very educated scholar, the text is very easy to follow. The careful reader will also notice that Richardson used a combination of both white collar and physical talents to convert members of the cannibalistic tribe. (To live and teach the cannibals, he was required to work not only as a carpenter and foreman, but also as a linguist and dictionary author.) That was a real revelation for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In Search of the key to unlock the Hidden Hearts June 8 2003
Cannibalism among the Sawi Tribes of Irian Jaya, (formerly Netherlands New Guinea), was not necessarily survival, but the way of life, in which they used humans as prizes to demonstrate their arrogance, pride and strength. Civilized or uncivilized, there is one common ground in all people, all nations, which is the struggle for peace throughout the centuries. Yet the Sawi people were difficult, perhaps so stubborn, there are no other words in the English language to describe them other than accepting their primitiveness engrained by subliminal psyche. However, the husband and wife missionary team, Don and Carol Richardson without a doubt, understood this challenge. The Apostle Paul who brought the gospel to Europe, his account with the Greek Stoic and Epicurean philosophers in the Aeropagus in Mars Hill, Athens, applied "cross-cultural" approach in lieu of criticizing their pagan beliefs (the common mistake of the west) bearing the inscription of their "unknown" god (Acts 17, New Testament). The Apostle finding a parallel thereby used it as opportunity to present the gospel message to these Greek philosophers. The question among the Sawis that challenged them was likened to a hidden key? However, they too discovered a parallel like that of the Apostle, which provided them with the right approach and the right attitude. Through patience and perseverance, somewhere in the thick of the woods they unlocked its secret code, that breakthrough, in which they discovered within the hearts of the people. Trusting in a "temporary" child that never brought forth peace among the Sawi villages, not only the people discovered that peace was possible, they also discovered the "everlasting, eternal" child that brought them not temporary peace, but everlasting peace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping true story, spellbinding page-turner March 12 2003
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 cannabilistic 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".
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Enfleshment of Redemption Analogy Nov. 2 2001
A very engrossing book, and a quick, light read- I finished it in basically one day. I loved how Richardson made his characters- real people- come to life in his description of the Sawi before the coming of Europeans and Canadians. Telling the first third of the book in second person Sawi-perspective is an effective literary device that allows us to really understand such a foreign culture from en emic (insider) perspective. The contrast of the two cultures is also engaging- I found myself often laughing as the Don and the Sawi tried to understand each other.
I would have liked some way to track the different characters of the story, as there are so many they often get confusing. And it would have been nice to hear more of the mission work of Don's wife, Carol, as she was doing a lot, but you hear little of her story, or the story of the Sawi women from their perspective- something that would naturally need to happen from Carol's engagement with the Sawi. But it was exciting to hear these redemption analogies enfleshed, and to see ways that God's words can be brought to a people from within their own understanding, just as He came to the Hebrews, Hellenistic society, and the barbarian European tribes of my ancestors. I finished wanting the stories of Sawi life to continue.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and good
I was happy to receive my copy of Peace Child within the assessed time. The packaging was good and it got here fast. Way to to go, Way to get. lol
Published 23 months ago by SirReadAlot
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Difference Christ Makes!
If it hasn't already attained the status, this book is bound to become a lasting classic which will teach generations of Christians to come of the power of the gospel of Jesus... Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2011 by Eternal Decree
1.0 out of 5 stars BUT, is it for teenagers???
My view is quite different then the rest of yours. My daughter is REQUIRED to read this book for her Private High school english class. Read more
Published on May 3 2007 by mcajjmat
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful
This adventerous account can keep anyone's attention, and gives you a new perspective on the dynamic ways you can share the Lord with people in a way they will understand. Read more
Published on July 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Richardson's personal experiences with the Sawi tribe in former Dutch New Guinea was moving, inspiring, and fascinating. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2002 by J. Willett
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Story From a Real Life Missionary
This is the story of indigenous indian tribes of the Irian Jaya jungle, who lived in their primitive and simple ways... Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2001 by Julianne
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
This is an amazing story that will grip you from beginning to end. It is well written as well as lifechanging. A must read for future missionaries of anthropologists. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2001 by Jared Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace Child: Required reading for Christians
In this book, the author discovers startling customs in an extremely savage tribe. Understanding the customs was not only the key for successful evangelization of the tribe, but... Read more
Published on May 26 2001 by Robert E. Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Story of Gospel in Cultural Setting
I heard Richardson interviewed about this book years ago, and was so fascinated I went right out, bought and read it. How many times since then have I used this story. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2001 by rodboomboom
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