Jul 10, 2007


This book is not your everyday missionary biography. It’s not a story about a missionary who worked in Europe connecting with some exciting culture. That is good and it can still be hard and trying, but there is something awesome about reading the story of one person who did all God told them to do, even if it meant giving up their life.

I am around missionaries a lot through my family and church so I get to hear a lot of powerful stories. And, of course, I love missionary biographies. Some of them were really powerful. Stories of the lives of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Cameron Townsend, and William Carey made me think twice about my life and how selfish I could be. But none of them affected me the same as reading Bruchko, the story of Bruce Olson, a guy who at 19, without funding or any experience went into the jungles of Columbia to share the Gospel with a stone age tribe known as the Motilones.

Bruce Olson was just another kid from Minnesota who probably wouldn't go anywhere big in life. He wore glasses, wasn't very athletic or strong, and he wasn't even that smart. His parents were Lutherans, he wasn't a Christian, though he thought he was. Then he began to go to a friends church were he learned about the true God. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and began to live his life for him. From the outset he faced difficulty. His parents didn't agree with him about his new found religion. His Dad would even lock him out of the house at nights when he came home late from church. He had been going to his new church for quite some time when one day during a week when his church had missionaries come and share their stories he felt God telling him to go to Columbia.

So, with no promises of support, no training, and only God's leading in his life, Bruce gets on a plane and flies to Columbia. His adventures in the jungles and cities of this country are frightening and powerful. Many times different people tried to kill him. He has almost died of a number of different diseases. His best friend is shot by outlaws, and his fiancee dies in a car wreck. Yet, amazingly, he trusts God.

What follows is an amazing display of Bruce’s faith in God and God’s power through Bruce. I won’t get into everything that happens because I want you to read it and gain something from it. Trust me when I say that it will make you stop and think about the way you are living your life. After reading this book I looked at my life and realized how selfish I really was and how much I needed God to change me. So be warned, it will affect you.

Bruchko is a story set in the jungles of South America, and consequently, there are many things that might frighten or disgust younger readers. Also, Mr. Olson is not the best writer, and his book is not exactly great reading in the purely physical sense, but the content is still very much worth it. For those 13 and up who read it, read all of it. Skip nothing. It is an awesome book that should be read and put on everyone’s reading list.

Bruce Olson's life wasn't and isn't easy. Nobody ever said it would be. But he chose to follow were God led him, and because of that hundreds if not thousands of people will stand with us in heaven. Right next to one more guy who did everything God told him to and persevered.

Ted Bradley


Anonymous said...

This is one of my Favorite books! did you know that there's a sequel to it? ( well, it does some of the same stories and is more serious, but still, it's really good!)

Ted said...

no Rosamund, I haven't read the sequel. I've heard it's pretty good so I probably will soon.


Anonymous said...

you can borrow it if you want... i'll bring it Sunday (if you're there, and if you want!!)

Kirsten Gruber said...

This was such a good book! I had to read it for literature class a few years back, and since then I have read it several times over... It is very inspirational!

In His Service,
Kirsten A. Gruber

Brenna said...

I've read that book. Totally amazing! It inspired me to become a missionary.