by Sheri Schofield
The Sawi people living in the jungles of Irian Jaya (Now Papua, New Guinea) had lost all knowledge of God’s truth. They thought evil was good and good was evil. Their heroes were those who were able to betray others to their death. In celebration the tribe would eat their victims and use their skulls as pillows.
Into this darkness came Don and Carol Richardson, missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus. They brought medical aid and modern tools to the Sawi. But no matter how they tried to communicate the truth of Jesus, the Sawi saw Judas Iscariot as the hero because he had betrayed Jesus. Don and Carol were deeply discouraged.
The tribe with whom Don and Carol lived fell into war with a neighboring tribe. Arrows and spears flew through the air as the tribes advanced and retreated in battle for months. The missionaries were in grave danger. Don told the tribe that they would leave unless the two tribes stopped fighting.
Not willing to lose the benefits brought by the missionaries, the tribe sued for peace with their enemies and an agreement was reached. To seal the agreement, an infant from one tribe was taken from his mother and passed down a line of all the warriors. Each warrior laid his hands on the child. At the end of the line, a woman from the opposing tribe received the infant as her own. Only now could there be peace. The infant was called “The Peace Child”. The greatest offense possible would be if someone were to kill the Peace Child.
Light broke! Don excitedly told the Sawi, “JESUS was the PEACE CHILD!” Don had their attention now. He explained how humanity had killed God’s Peace Child. The news struck the hearts of the Sawi people, and they came to Jesus in large numbers. It transformed them. Fifty years later, they no longer practice murder and cannibalism, for they have chosen to follow Jesus.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. . . .” 2 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT
Sound familiar? Our nation is rapidly turning its back on God. Many in our society scoff at those who follow Christ. There is now a generation of children who, for the most part, do not even know who Jesus is. We in America are facing increasing violence as a direct result.
We need the resurrected Peace Child! Like the Sawi, we need to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only then can we have peace. It was to buy us peace that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary. His life was the payment to God the Father for our sins. He freely offers forgiveness as a gift. When we accept it, we begin a relationship with God with no fear of condemnation. He looks at us and sees the righteousness of his Son Jesus, the Peace Child. When we belong to his Son, God holds us close to his heart. Forever.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, for He Himself is our peace. . .” Ephesians 2:13-14a
(The story of Don and Carol Richardson’s work among the Sawi can be found in Don’s book, The Peace Child. The documentary about this story can be viewed on YouTube.)
About the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.
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Join the conversation: Have you experienced the peace of God?