Lifetime of Service Award – Don Richardson

On June 7th, Missio Nexus presented Don Richardson with the Lifetime of Service award. We rejoice with him  in a life well lived in service to the Great Commission. This special presentation of the Lifetime of Service award took place in Orlando, Florida. Below is the recording of the memorable ceremony.

The Richardson family has created a website,, which contains video footage, photographs and information about Don’s life and ministry.

Canadian-born Don Richardson spent his youth in three provinces of Canada: Prince Edward Island, Ontario and British Columbia.  He began his walk with the Lord at a Youth for Christ rally in 1952.  Both he and his late wife, Carol Joy [Soderstrom], graduated from Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada, and completed training at Wycliffe Bible Translators’ Summer Institute of Linguistics.

In 1962, under sponsorship of the former Regions Beyond Missionary Union (now called World Team), Don and Carol embarked on a missionary career in what is now Papua, Indonesia (formerly Dutch New Guinea).  They served for 15 years among the Sawi, a Stone Age tribe of cannibal-headhunters who valued treachery as an ideal.  Don designed an alphabet suited to their language, authored 19 primers, taught the tribesmen to read in their native tongue and translated the New Testament into Sawi.  More than half of the Sawi came to Christ, engendering a major cultural shift as the Gospel replaced warring, cannibalism and headhunting with peace and good will.

Since 1977 Don has served as Minister-at-Large for World Team.  In this role he speaks at dozens of churches and conferences per year and has spoken in all 50 U.S. states and in 36 countries.  In addition, Don is a frequent instructor in the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course and on various college and seminary campuses. He is an ordained pastor and holds an honorary doctorate of literature from Biola University.

Don is a best-selling author.  His 1st book, Peace Child, tells the dramatic story of how he and his family were able to communicate the Gospel to the Sawi.  Lords of the Earth documents the trials of their colleagues among the Yali, a mountain tribe in the same province.  Eternity in Their Hearts, Don’s 3rd book, presents case histories of the way God prepares cultures to receive the Gospel.  Don’s 4th book, Secrets of the Koran, enables readers to know the Koran better than many Muslims.  Unhidden, Don’s 5th book, presents a comprehensive “theory of everything”—a unified field of truth covering areas such as theology, anthropology, cosmology, subatomic physics, church history, missions, and more.  Don’s 6th book, Heaven Wins, addresses numerous topics such as an ‘age of accountability,’ important issues in church history, and the cosmos-wide extent of God’s ultimate plan of redemption.  Don’s 7th and newest book, A Man From Another World, is a science-fiction-type novel with an apocalyptic twist. His books, as well as DVDs he has produced, are available for purchase at meetings at which he speaks and through online merchants. 

In recent years Richardson has painted captivating scenes of tribal life in New Guinea, the large dinosaur-shaped island on which he lived and worked.

Several of his original paintings are available for purchase, as well as poster prints of all 12 scenes.  These will soon also be available online.

Don is the father of 4 adult children and has 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  Seventeen months after the passing of his late wife, Don wed Carol Joyce Abraham in 2005, who now serves with him in ministry—speaking to women’s groups, teaching, mentoring, and offering hospitality.

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