I actually finished this book on the plane ride to St. Louis for the wedding of Steve & Marilyn Jones.
I had heard a lot about this book and was glad to finally get the chance to read it. Written 36 years ago Peace Child documents the reaching of the Sawi tribe of what was then Dutch New Guinea, and is now the West New Guinea province of Indonesia. The Sawi culture was so foreign that the Gospel message seemed at first to have no common ground.
Treachery was revered in their culture. When they first heard the story of Christ they saw Judas as the hero. Donald Richardson continued to work with the Sawi until through God’s providence he saw what he terms a ‘redemptive analogy’ in their culture. The peace child was a Sawi custom where a father would give his son away to the tribe they were at war with as a proof of absolute sincerity in a desire for peace. As long as the accepted peace child lived there would be no war between the them. When the Sawi saw Christ as God’s perfect peace child it transformed their view of the gospel story, and their culture.
This was an excellent book, but not for the squeamish. The Sawi were head hunters and cannibles and a lot of their practices were stomach turning. I would recommend this book to anyone who is excited about frontier missions, or is thinking about missions. Don Richardson is an awesome missionary who is finishing well. He seems unwilling to retire.