Never the Same

Once headhunters, now the people of God



Published on 

April 9, 2014


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Check out this video, Never the Same: Fifty years after the events of "Peace Child," Steve Richardson joins his father, Don, and two brothers to visit the Sawi village where they grew up.


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Last updated on 

May 1, 2024

Celebrating 50 years since Peace Child

The Sawi were headhunters and cannibals when a young couple named Don and Carol Richardson arrived in their village. They carried their seven-month-old boy, Steve—and a message that would change the tribe forever. The year was 1962, and Steve—and later, three more children—spent their youth among the Sawi. They learned the language and embraced the culture in ways that would shape the rest of their lives. The best-selling book Peace Child and a feature film of the same name immortalized the story and inspired a new generation to take the gospel to the remaining isolated tribes of the earth.

Fifty years later, Steve joins his father, Don, and two brothers, Shannon and Paul, to visit the Sawi village where they grew up. What is the state of the church they planted among the Sawi? Are the friends they played with still alive? Will anyone remember the mark their family left on the tribe? Journey with Steve as he travels to the swamps of Papua, Indonesia, to introduce you to the Sawi, and explore the impact of the gospel among a previously unreached people group.

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  • 00:00 — Introducing the “Peace Child” story
  • 02:00 — Preparing for the trip
  • 03:36 — Landing in Kamur
  • 05:25 — How things have changed for the Sawi
  • 06:30 — Reuniting with old friends
  • 08:30 — Eating grubs
  • 09:43 — A jungle baptism
  • 10:15 — The “Peace Child” legacy
  • 11:18 — “The gospel came here”
  • 12:23 — A new generation

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<p class="rich-text-callout"><strong>See Also: </strong><a href="#"><em>Discerning Your Calling: How Do You Know If God Is Leading You to Serve Cross Culturally?</em></a></p>

Take the next step

Check out Treachery on the Twisted River, an adaptation of the 1974 book Peace Child, or read an excerpt.

Read about Don’s life and impact in Remembering Don Richardson.

Visit the website Peace Child Legacy, which was created by the Richardson family.

Going Deeper

Check out these other related resources