The task before them was great because the Sawi language did not exist in any written form. They would have to learn the language by living with the people and slowly accumulate a vocabulary while at the same time giving the language a written form. This was difficult, discouraging and time consuming work but necessary before they could even begin to translate Scripture into the Sawi language for evangelism.
Their task was complicated by the constant tribal wars that kept the young missionary family in a continual state of danger. Not only was their task complicated by danger, but even after Don had reached a level of proficiency in the tribal language, so that he was able to present the story of the betrayal and crucifiction of Jesus, he was confroted with a seemingly insurmountable problem involving their perverted system of moral values. A world view that made Judas Iscariot the hero of the crucifiction story.
The amazing story of how God enabled Don to overcome this problem and give the gospel to them in a culturally relevant way is chronicled in his book intitled "PEACE CHILD". I would encourage anyone who has never read it to buy it TODAY and read it.
He has authored several other books among which are "LORDS OF THE EARTH" and "ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS". These books have for many years helped to fuel my passion for missions.
Eternity alone will reveal how many missionaries have been compelled to go to the unreached, difficult places and people groups because of Don's example and writings. To me, Don Richardson is a gospel hero. As a young man reading his books, I never would have dreamed that one day I would have the opportunity to meet him. However, in God's goodness and providence, not only will I be privileged to meet Him as an instructor here at the CPCP, but he is scheduled to share a meal with Jan and me in our home.
By way of concluding my ramblings, I'd like to ask my readers a question: Is it worth it to sacrificially give to missions? Before you answer, watch this recent video of now 77 year old Don Richardson and his sons returning to visit the Sawi tribe 50 years after Don first brought the good news to this once sin-darkened area.
Never the Same from Pioneers-USA on Vimeo.
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