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.
I want to emphasize, though, that this book is more than the masterpiece story of Don Richardson's experiences as a missionary. It is also a book that really convicts its readers to think about what their own roles should be in influencing the moral compass of people who have no social rules and no agreements about how to live together in groups - people with no Ten Commandments and no Magna Carta. There was a point at which I put this book down for a minute because tears were rolling down my face. I felt such an inward "call" to become more involved in sharing both the message of love and salvation and the principles of organized group behavior with the forgotten people of this earth, even if it meant sacrificing the comforts I am so used to. My brother-in-law read it years ago, and as a result, he started sharing the Christian gospel with prisoners in his hometown every Saturday morning. He still does that today.
Buy it and share it with your friends. It will change you inwardly and motivate you to inspire others.