“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7
Being the first outsider to pioneer deep in the jungle among the Sawi of what was then called Irian Jaya, Don Richardson has followed the path laid out by Jesus and the Apostles in ways that very few men ever have.
First he had to learn their language, then he gave them a written language and, finally, he translated the New Testament for them. Teaching cannibals and head hunters to read, write and connect to the Gospel is no small task. Living in such a primitive culture with a wife and children for 15 years is a huge sacrifice. You can read all about it in his book Peace Child.
His life puts our initial 6 month commitment into perspective. Compared to what he has done we have done so little. Sure, we left our home, our dog, our jobs and our lives behind. The fact is a hole like that in the middle of your life would be devastating if it weren’t so valuable. The fact is that it has been life changing.
Having people like Don Richardson, Peter Tsukahira, Gord Whyte, Dave Bryan, Jim and Judi Orred, Jim Yost, and Mark Virkler pour into you teachings about life, leadership, missions, deliverance, and spiritual development is a huge privilege. Getting the opportunity to invest in the homeless population here in Kona has been rewarding and eye opening.
I look at what we have learned and how God has worked in us and through us and I am deeply moved. I am grateful to Loren Cunningham and all of the amazing people that built this base and this ministry over the years. I am grateful to my wonderful inlaws Tim and Wanda Madden for putting their heart and soul into this school. And I am grateful to all of the generous people who have made this possible.
Now, as we have finished the lecture phase and prepare to leave on Monday for India and the Middle East, I realize that this is only the beginning. We are now moving toward taking what we’ve learned and applying it in the field.
The Sawi remain a Christian light in what is now Indonesia, a 90+% Muslim nation. At nearly 80 years old, Don is still writing, teaching, and applying what he learned. If he isn’t finished, then nobody is.
Please pray for us. Please pray for our kids. God is stirring us up toward a life-long commitment to the nations and we are excited to see how he is going to bring it about!