Friday, February 22, 2013

Yes You Can -- Don Richardson's Peace Child

from film, Peace Child
Don and Carol Richardson and their seven-month-old son Steven left their home in Canada and moved to the jungles on Papua New Guinea to live among the Sawi tribe in 1962. The Sawi, cannibals, considered killing and treachery to be virtues.  It was the Richardsons' earnest desire to share the love of God with these people, but it seemed an impossible task. They asked the Lord to make a way for them to help the people grasp it.

When another tribe attacked the Sawi, the killing went on for weeks. Finally Don told the people that they would leave if the fighting didn't stop, but the Sawi wanted them to stay.

They stopped fighting, and then performed a ritual that was a part of their culture, the offering of a peace child. A child from one tribe was given to the other tribe, sealing the cease-fire. When Don witnessed this, he realized that God had given him a way to teach the Sawi  love. He told them about the ultimate Peace Child, Jesus, given by God to purchase our salvation. From that day on, the Sawi and their tribal neighbors began to turn to the Lord.

The story of the Richardson's years among the Sawi is told in the book, Peace Child. It is a powerful story of love, grace, and redemption, as is the movie by the same title.

I'd like you to hear the story in Don Richardson's own words. The two-part interview below was filmed in 2009. It is a total of 12 minutes. I really hope you will take the time to watch the interview and hear how God brought salvation and peace to the Sawi. The final video, Never the Same, records the 50th Anniversary trip that Don, now 77, and his three sons took to Papua New Guinea last summer. The video is beautifully done and nothing short of thrilling to see the reunion of the Richardsons and their Sawi friends.

Usually my "Yes You Can" features are about people I know who have followed through on an idea that they think could make a difference. I share their stories to encourage us to act on the dreams that we have that could impact others.

I do not know Don Richardson or anyone in his family, but I share his story to spur us on to do what the Lord puts on our hearts. When Don and Carol left for Papua New Guinea they had no idea that the people there were waiting for a Tuan (a white person) to come to their tribe; they didn't know if the people would welcome them or kill them; they didn't know how to find a way to help the people understand God's love. But they didn't have to know those things. God simply asked them to be obedient.

And that's all He asks of us. Is the Lord putting something on your heart that He wants you to do? Does it seem too big, too unknown, too costly? Is it beyond you? If He is calling you, He will also equip you.  By His strength you can do it. Yes you can!

Never the Same from Pioneers-USA on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Camila Hammond said...

amazing. thank you for posting this. what a faithful family and the impact of their commitment is amazing, even years later