Book Review: Bruchko

Bruchko by Bruce OlsonThis autobiography, written by Bruce Olson, was originally published in 1973 under the title For This Cross I’ll Kill You. This is story of a Christian missionary who interacts with a stone age tribe in the jungles of Columbia.
The first half of the book was a little frustrating as the reader follows Olson on the directionless wonderings of his early “missionary” years throughout South America. The reader must dispense a little grace to the author until he reaches the midway point of this tome.
Olson then tells of tales that take him into the jungle and into the thatched homes of the Motilone Indians.  Olson must learn a language, culture and people that few had encountered.  After nearly being killed by the very people he was called to serve, he settles into a routine where he strives to learn and not disrupt the culture of the Motilones.  
It is exciting to see how Olson attempts to contextualize God’s Word.  God had created these stone age people and their culture. It was Olson’s job to figure out how to tell the story of Christ, and ultimately write the Bible, in a way they could comprehend. Ultimately Olson looses a fiancé, a best friend, and a lifetime of Western comfort to live in the jungle and change the lives of the Motilone for eternity.
Olson does a fine job showing how God guides him through the complicated interactions with this new culture.  Clearly no man could have directed the life saving and eternity minded changes within the Motilone culture.