Everyday Promises – 267

Jesus the Peace Child

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1 NIV

In 1962, Don Richardson and his family went as missionaries to the isolated Sawi people of Papua. They were head-hunters and cannibals but desperately wanted the western advantages a missionary would bring to their tribe. The missionaries, while learning the language and customs, treated illness, helped with work and lived out the love of God. One day Don called the villagers together and told them the story of Jesus. To his dismay they counted Judas the hero, instead of Jesus, for the Sawi valued treachery above all other qualities. They often pretended to befriend other tribesmen, only to turn later and kill them. As Don became known throughout the area, other tribal groups moved closer to the Sawi people. Tribal wars broke out all around Don and his family. Discouraged, he decided to leave. The Sawi people tried to persuade Don to stay. However, he said he could not, while they were killing each other. It was then that some of the elders recalled a way that was used centuries before to stop a war. The son from one tribe, was given to their enemies, to be raised and valued. None of the Sawi wanted to give away one of their sons. Eventually, an old man who had only one son, came forward and offered him as the peace child. This ceremony took place, and the Sawi gave the child to their enemies. Peace came to the area. Don stayed and was able to make a powerful parallel to the Gospel story. He shared how although we were enemies with God, he had offered his one and only son as the Peace Child. Many Sawis were saved and found peace with God. The Peace Child is still available for all who believe.

photo courtesy the Denne Family                      Info from the book Peace Child by Don Richardson.

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