Bruchko-Two Great Missionary Stories

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I have a heart for South America ever since I visited there (on three different occasions) in the early '90's. One of the books that I read as a teen was Bruchko, a story about a 19 year old, Bruce Olson, from Minnesota who travels to Venezuela all on his own and against his parents' wishes to become a missionary to a stone age tribe (the Motilones-the Spanish name for the tribe. The tribe calls themselves the BarĂ­) in the heart of the jungle on the Colombian/Venezuelan border. His story is so inspiring because he uses their culture to lead them to Christ. For example, the Motilones have the belief that God would come from a banana stalk. When Bruchko (Bruce) realized that the stalk of a banana tree looks like the pages of a book when it is cut open, he showed the tribe a Bible and explained that God truly does come to them through a banana stalk (in the form of the Bible). I recently reread Bruchko and thoroughly enjoyed it the second time around. Tim then read the book to the boys and they were fascinated about the stories of the jungle, how the Motilones lived, and how Bruchko told them about Christ.

Yesterday, I just received in the mail the second book by Bruce Olson, Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle. Although I haven't finished reading it (I am on chapter seven), I am enthralled once again with the story. The second book catches everyone up-to-date on what Bruchko has been doing in the jungle since the last book was written. Once again there are stories of the cultural differences and how the Motilones view the outside world (some of these anecdotes are quite humorous!), and tales of Bruchko's adventures. We are planning on reading this book to the boys too. I can't recommend these two books enough...they will change the way you look at missionaries, native people, and our awesome God! Because of their content (violence towards Bruchko and the tribe), I wouldn't recommend this as a read aloud to your younger children. I would think 8 years and up would be a good age. However, you may want to pre-read the books. Here is Bruce Olson's website.

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