If you have ever listened to, or read, The Pineapple Story by Otto Koning, you will want to read Peace Child. Don Richardson was among the first white people to settle in among the cannibalistic people of the untamed territories of New Guinea. (The area marked by an arrow in the photo below.)
He and his wife felt a deep sense of longing for the people of that region to know Jesus. They both felt the call to go before they were married. They went in faith and lived among these heathen people while raising a family.
Don's wife Carol is a woman to be admired. She stood by her husband in very primitive conditions, never whining for an easier life. She gave birth to four sons while on the mission field.
The culture was so strange and different that Don was hard pressed to find a way to present Jesus to the people. After learning their language he told them the story of Jesus coming to His people the Jews. They listened very disinterestedly until he came to the part where Judas betrayed Christ to His enemies.
Now they listened intently. This was something they liked! The very core of their existence was about deceit, treachery and betrayal. Those who practiced great skill in deceit were admired. Don was horrified. He concluded that this people group was totally unreachable.
There was no way to have peace between people who could never trust one another. He told the people he would need to leave. The white man was a great prize to them because he brought them goods from the outside world. They didn't want him to leave.
After a long meeting they told him that their tribes would make peace the next morning. It seemed like it was a heavy thing they were about to do. Don stood on his porch to watch what would take place. He observed parents trying to give a child to the other tribe. The parents could hardly make themselves do it. Finally a young man with only one son was able to run away with him before the wife and mother knew what was happening.
He presented the child to the other tribe as a "peace child". The other tribe returned the favor and so each tribe had a peace child living among them. This ensured that no one from either tribe could kill each other as long as the peace child lived.
Don finally found a way to present Jesus as the "Peace Child" from the Heavenly Father. Read the book to find the many parallels he could make between their practices and the truth of the gospel. God has a way of preparing people to receive His gift of love. We must take the time to search out what that way is.
How do you present Jesus to those you meet?
Do you believe that Jesus is the answer to all the world's problems?
The thing that impressed me the most in this book was the way that Jesus was right there to come in and give peace to the hardest of hearts as soon as he would believe the truth.