Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Small World

If I had not been there that day to trigger that salute as an emissary of Christ, someone else's emissary would have triggered it later, possibly with quite different motives and results. Those who advocate that the world's remaining tribal groups should be left to themselves do not realize how naive their notion is! 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 still go in to take! The issue is not then, should anyone go in, because obviously someone will. The issue is rather, will the most sympathetic person get there first?
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 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.
Don Richardson, in Peace Child, written in 1975

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