Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Peace Child

Dr. Don Richardson, author of Peace Child, speaking at the 2012 Global Ministries Conference.
In Don Richardson’s best-selling book, Peace Child, he tells of going, accompanied by his wife Carol and seventeen-month-old child, to the Sawi, a headhunting tribe in Netherlands’ New Guinea. There savagery was a way of life. The tribesmen considered headhunting, cannibalism, and treachery as virtues. As these savages heard the story of the Gospel, they considered Judas – not Jesus – the hero, and Don almost despaired of ever reaching them.

At last, the warfare and barbarism between the Sawi and their neighbour tribes grew into intense that the Richardsons decided to pack their bags and leave. But when the Sawi heard of it, they were deeply disturbed. They had come to love and trust the Richardsons. To prevent their leaving, the Sawi met in a special session and decided to make peace.

The next day as Don watched with mourning curiosity, the peace ritual began. Young children from the warring villages were to be exchanged, and as long as any of those children were alive, the peace would continue.
It was an anguishing ritual, for every mother feared her child would be taken. But after a period of emotional indecision, the chief himself grabbed his only son and rushed toward the enemy tribe, literally giving the tribe to his enemies. In return, he received a son from the other side. Peace descended across the mountains.

As Don pondered the significance of the ceremony, he realised there was a powerful Redemption Analogy. Shortly afterward, gathering the elders together, he told them how God the Heavenly Father sent Jesus to earth as His Peace Child to make peace between God and man*.

It was a lesson they understood and embraced at last.

*Don Richardson, Peace Child, (Regal Publishers, 1975) 
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