“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God ,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
In this post, I am going to share with you a true story of a missionary who went to New Guinea to share the gospel with a tribe called the Sawi…
At the age of 20, Don Richardson and his wife, Carol, felt called to share the gospel with the Sawi people of New Guinea. After 6 years of much training, they boarded a plane and began the long journey to the place they would soon call home. The Sawi people were frightened when they first saw the missionaries, but after seeing all the many wonderful things they had to trade, they were happy to welcome them into their village. Little did they know how much Don, Carol, and the message they brought would change their world.
After many weeks of living with the Sawi and becoming accustomed to their ways, Don began to tell them about Jesus. At first, the Sawi were interested in what Don had to say, but they soon became bored. After many weeks of trying to talk to an uninterested crowd, Don began to lose hope. He had noticed that instead of admiring Jesus, the Sawi people admired sin and deceit. How was he supposed to share the gospel of good news with people who admired bad things instead of good? To make matters worse, the Sawi tribe began to war with other tribes. Don tried to persuade them to make peace, but the Sawi did not want peace. After many weeks of trying in vain to stop the fighting, Don came to the sad conclusion that if the fighting didn’t stop, they would have to leave. After telling this to the Sawi men, he went back to his hut. A few hours later, the Sawi men came to his door and told him that in the morning, they would make peace with the other tribes. Don did not know how they were going to do this, but was very eager to find out.
The next morning, he watched in excitement, as the two tribes came together to restore peace. This was the moment he had been waiting for. But then, he saw a Sawi man give his only son to the other tribe. Then, the other tribe did the same thing. He asked a man beside him what the men were doing with their sons. The man replied that their sons were being offered up as peace children. He went on to explain that the only way they could know if the other tribe would truly keep peace with them was by giving a peace child. The two tribes would have peace with each other as long as these two peace children lived. Don asked if there was any other way to make peace, but the man affirmed that there was no other way. Suddenly an idea began to form in Don’s mind.
The next day, Don met with the men of the tribe just as he always did. But, he began his talk by explaining to them that when they were giving up their very own children, he had been thinking to himself, “Oh, if they could only make peace without the painful giving of a son!” But the Sawi men kept saying, “There is no other way.” “You were right!” He said with excitement. He explained that their ancestors were not the only ones who found that peace required a peace child. But that just as their people would give up their own children as a peace child to the other tribe, God gave us His only Son, Jesus, as a Peace Child. And that unlike their peace child who would one day grow up and die, this Peace Child given by God lasts forever. All this time they had been giving up their own sons when the one ultimate Peace Child had already been given. He went on to explain that when we accept the ultimate Peace Child (Jesus) into our hearts, his perfect peace lives in us forever.
After hearing and understanding who Jesus really is, they began to admire Him and his love instead of evil. Through the understanding of Jesus as their Peace Child, nearly a whole tribe of Sawi came to know Christ as their personal saviour.