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Fredsbarnet (1974)

av Don Richardson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,6571910,437 (4.18)9
In 1962, Don and Carol Richardson risked their lives to share the gospel with the Sawi people of New Guinea. Here is their unforgettable story of living among these headhunters and cannibals. The Sawi valued treachery through fattening victims with friendship before the slaughter. God gave Don and Carol the key to the Sawi hearts via a redemptive analogy from their own mythology. The 'peace child' became the secret to unlocking a value system that existed through generations over centuries, possibly millenniums, of time. This analogy became a stepping-stone by which the gospel came into the Sawi culture and started both a spiritual and social revolution from within. With an epilogue updating how the gospel impacted the Sawi, this missionary classic will inspire a new generation of listeners to hear this unforgettable story and the lessons it teaches about communicating with Christ in a meaningful way to all those on Earth, near and far.… (mer)
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In this classic Christian read, Don Richardson chronicles his pioneering missionary work among the Sawi people of Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya).

I love that he begins his stories with the perspective of the Sawi people, and only after the reader has gotten to know them and their culture does he introduce himself and Western influences. I really feel this helps the reader to understand the significance of the differences between cultures.

This book is somewhat graphic, and I wouldn't recommend it for young readers. I love the premise so much though, that I would most certainly consider adapting the text myself if I had young children of my own. I think the story would resonate with them greatly, and help them to comprehend the Bible more completely, as it did for even me!

Richardson is big on "redemptive analogies", which he states are "God's keys to man's cultures" (p.287), and I found the many examples he gave in the book absolutely fascinating. It was so encouraging to read how God had prepared various peoples for His Word and Truth by using their own pagan traditions and legends.

This particular book focuses on the idea of a "peace child" - a child given to an enemy tribe to prove that the giver's tribe can be trusted to keep their end of a peace agreement (instead of tricking the enemy tribe and resorting to headhunting and cannibalism).

I loved Richardson's description of a Christmas day after many Sawi became Christians:

"Then Isai, now a literate Sawi preacher, rose to his feet and read a verse of Scripture that I had translated for the occasion: 'For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given...' The words sank in, and were welcomed with a perception and insight perhaps rare among western Christians. I looked around at the rapt faces of believers who were intent, not with admiration of baubles, ribbon and tinsel - for such could have no meaning to the Sawi - but with adoration of the Peace Child who had been born, not only in Bethlehem, but within their own hearts as well." (p.271) ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
Borrowed ( )
  beckykb6 | Apr 13, 2022 |
The beginning starts with a betrayal of Sawi tribal people called "to fatten with friendship for the slaughter." The tribes are cannibals and that's just what becomes of the man that was betrayed.
A dangerous environment for anyone, especially western missionaries.
The first part of the book is slow and was hard for me to get through, but well worth it in the end. The foundation of how the Sawi people live and think is necessary to acknowledge how far they come in their growth and knowledge.
Don Richardson brings his wife and young son to live among these people and teach them about Jesus. But first he must learn their language and their traditions as well as their trust. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
I read this for book club. I would be very interested in a more objective rendition of the same events. I thought the writing was too biased to provide a clear picture. I would not read it again, nor would I pick up another book by this author. ( )
  SMBrick | Feb 25, 2018 |
I received this recommendation via this blog post of top 10 missionary biographies which is definitely worth reading!

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/10174784-my-top-ten-missionary-biogr...

This was one of the best missionary biographies that I have read. It was also the most gruesome. The author paints a vivid picture of missionary work among the cannibalistic, headhunting Sawi tribe in Netherlands New Guinea (now West Papua, Indonesia.)

An urgent request for workers was made;

"You may be called upon to make the first advance into the midst of entire tribes that have never known any type of government control, where people are a law unto themselves and where savagery is a way of life....you will encounter customs and beliefs that will baffle you but which must be understood if you are to succeed. You will try to treat loathsome tropical diseases and run the risk of being blamed for the death of the patient if you fail. You must prepare to endure loneliness, weariness and frustration with fortitude. Most of all, you must be prepared, in the strength of the Lord, to do battle with the prince of darkness, who, having held these many tribes captive these many thousands of years, is not about to give them up without a fight!"

The author answered the call taking his family to live and work in primitive conditions with this basic premise in mind

"The world just isn't big enough anymore for anyone to be left alone. It is a foregone conclusion that even if missionaries do not go in to give, lumbermen, crocodile hunters, prospectors or farmers will go in to take ....as the one who got there first to live among the Sawi, it was my aim to combine faithfulness to God and the Scriptures with respect for the Sawi and their culture. The crucial question was; would the Sawi culture and the Scriptures prove so opposite in their basic premises as to render this two way loyalty impossible? I intended to find out.

He faced various unexpected challenges

"I knew if I upbraided Mavu for nearly killing two men, he would just shrug his shoulders as if to say, "So what?" So instead I said cryptically "You have made my wife's hands bloody." The remark took him by surprise. He glanced quickly at Carol's hands and a sudden realization of the inappropriateness of the scene he had helped to create seemed to startle him. Mavu winced, fearing he had unwittingly committed some dark impropriety of cosmic consequence.

"Do dead men say konahari?" I asked quietly. After an embarrassed silence, someone said "No, dead men never say konahari." "And if Warahai's soul had been cut up and eaten by a demon, would he be looking around at us as you now observe?" "We listened to a lie." said Mahaen solemnly. "We nearly buried a living man" said Boro, staring at the wall."

"At first I sat there confused. Then the realization broke through. They were acclaiming Judas as the hero of the story! Yes, Judas, the one whom I had portrayed as the satanically motivated enemy of truth and goodness....i saw now that the Sari were not only cruel, but honored cruelty. Their highest pleasure depended upon the misery and despair of others.......treachery was idealized as a virtue, a goal of life....Judas was a super-Sawi! And Christ the object of Judas' treachery meant nothing to the men in the manhouse."

This is a unique book. The author relays events from the perspective of the Sawi (and also some of their animals at times!) The missionaries desperately needed to find an analogy from the Sawi culture that they could use to share the Gospel. But, how to overcome these seemingly impossible cultural dilemmas handed down from generation to generation....could the "Peace Child" be the answer?

I would recommend this book to adult readers. There is no bad language or sexual content but the violence/cannibalism is shocking and may disturb some readers.








( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
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To the host of men, women and children who have shared their earthly substance that the Sawi might hear--we gratefully dedicate these pages.
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In 1962, Don and Carol Richardson risked their lives to share the gospel with the Sawi people of New Guinea. Here is their unforgettable story of living among these headhunters and cannibals. The Sawi valued treachery through fattening victims with friendship before the slaughter. God gave Don and Carol the key to the Sawi hearts via a redemptive analogy from their own mythology. The 'peace child' became the secret to unlocking a value system that existed through generations over centuries, possibly millenniums, of time. This analogy became a stepping-stone by which the gospel came into the Sawi culture and started both a spiritual and social revolution from within. With an epilogue updating how the gospel impacted the Sawi, this missionary classic will inspire a new generation of listeners to hear this unforgettable story and the lessons it teaches about communicating with Christ in a meaningful way to all those on Earth, near and far.

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