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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Missions to Heart
Bruchko is a fascinating story of a young man's struggles, Bruce Olsen, to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to civilizations that were previously unreachable within the South American continent. To me, a missionary, this book brings life to all the things that must be considered on and off the mission field. As an avid reader, the story of one man's determination to...
Published on April 15, 2002 by Bill Reese

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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy story.
The entire book reminded me of a young anti-establishment kid writing a novel.
I considered it a waste of money and not for the serious reader.
Published 20 months ago by Nancy Carpenter


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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Missions to Heart, April 15, 2002
By 
Bill Reese (Norcross, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
Bruchko is a fascinating story of a young man's struggles, Bruce Olsen, to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to civilizations that were previously unreachable within the South American continent. To me, a missionary, this book brings life to all the things that must be considered on and off the mission field. As an avid reader, the story of one man's determination to spread the gospel, as well as the trials and tribulations he faced, kept me riveted. I have heard and read stories like this most of my life, but could not believe some of the hard facts and daily adversity that Bruce Olsen had to face.
I appreciated the day-by-day encounters of Bruchko, as he was called, with the tribal people of South America. The literary work by Bruce Olsen opened my eyes to the things of this world that one person can and does face daily when focused on getting the Palabra de Dios, Word of God, to other civilizations. The story tells of a man who was turned away by mission organizations because of his young age and inexperience. I recommend this book for anyone seeking a great story as well as those people considering going to the mission field for active work.
Despite the book ending on the last page, I know the story of his mission did not end there and look forward to hearing more about it in the future. Even after reading it twice, I look forward to the next time I pick up the book to peruse the pages. I cannot help but think about what the world would be like if more people would follow the leading of God and use Bruchko's zeal and desire as an example to bring the gospel to the world.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read outside the Bible, November 16, 1999
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This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
This is a riveting story of a young man who was so passionate about winning lost tribes for Jesus Christ that he plunges himself into the work and immerses himself into the culture. You have to pinch yourself to remember that this is a true story. It's so outstanding and so unbelievable that one man endured so much for Christ. I kept thinking of the words of God in Acts 9: "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof that we mustn't underestimate the power of the gospel, November 11, 2001
By 
"cdwitmer" (Tachikawa, Tokyo Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
It has been I while since I read "Bruchko," and my copy of the book is now out on loan, so I might have a few details wrong in what follows (but I am mostly confident in my memory). This is the story of a Bruce Olson, a 19 year old American youth who went, on his own (i.e., with close to zero support from anyone), as a missionary to the Motilone, one of the most feared and least understood Indian tribes in South America. He nearly died several times but in the end seems to have converted the greater part of the tribe to Christianity. He did several things that were quite unusual. Two that stick in my mind were: 1) he and the Indians composed original hymns in their peculiar musical language, which is reported to sound eerie and dissonant -- almost demonic -- to Western ears; and 2) he went to great extremes to use dynamic equivalence in translating the Bible into their language. For example, he completely reversed the metaphor used by Christ in Matt. 7:24-27; in that tribe's culture, only a fool would build his house on a rock, and the obvious wise place to build a house is on *sand.* Architectural references were also modified, as in their culture the box-like rectangular architecture familiar to us is considered ugly; "virtuous" architecture is all round. And so on.
As an aside, I'll bet that over time a new translation of the Motilone Bible will come to be needed, one that is more "direct and literal" in its approach and resorting less to "dynamic equivalence." I think they will eventually "outgrow" the one they have. The same may happen with their music; European music certainly evolved after contact with Christianity and there is still plenty more room for change. I think that over time the Motilone culture will be greatly transformed by the gospel, and in some ways it will inevitably come to resemble that of Christian Europe, but there could very well be many other ways in which it persistently retains many features quite different from the Western culture we generally associate with Christianity. Nothing wrong with that! -- in the Godhead the One and the Many are equally ultimate, and there is no reason to expect that human cultures should all become monotonous cookie cutter duplicates of each other as they turn to Christ.
Here are a few more interesting particulars that stick with me after reading the book. First, there was another tribe of Indians, speaking an entirely unrelated language, with which the Motilone were perpetually at war. Both tribes would take every opportunity to inflict pain and suffering on the other. Well, after the Motilone became Christian, some of them insisted on sharing the gospel with their traditional enemies, with which they previously had had no contact except to give or receive violence. Olson knew the languages of both tribes (as he had lived among the other tribe as well), and he knew that they would never be able to communicate, so sharing the gospel would not be possible. Accordingly, he tried to discourage the would-be evangelists from going, fearing they would only get hurt or killed. Well, they went anyway, and the other tribe also converted to Christianity! A miraculous repeat of the power of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2? Who can say? Another interesting thing was that while Olson was away one time, the Indians cured a deadly ailment using totally inappropriate medicine from Olson's supplies. When he came back, the Indians explained that they knew it was praying to God that was the essential part of the cure, and thus they didn't see any problem in using the "wrong" medicine. Before becoming Christians, the Motilone were so fierce that no Westerner had been able to approach them -- several white men had been killed upon making contact -- so no outsider would believe Olson was actually living among the Motilone. Finally some government and oil mining company officials went with Olson to these "primitive" Indians and found that in the short time since their conversion to Christianity, they had established schools, agriculture and a hospital more sophisticated than those used by the white men around them. Eventually it became standard practice for the the white people to go to the Indians for health care.
Finally, without wishing to knock missionary organizations, I find it interesting that a maverick who "bucked the missionary system" so completely should have achieved results where nobody else could. The pastor of my church is also a totally independent missionary to Japan, and has also enjoyed unusually great success in this country. He attributes part of his success to the fact that he hasn't been constrained by some of the peculiar handicaps common to missionary organizations. Another important factor is simply staying on for the long haul. If anyone reading this is contemplating missions, I hope you will think about this. Some people will definitely work best within a missionary organization, while others will definitely be able to do more without one. Part of your success will depend on knowing which type of person you are and allowing yourself to be led into a situation where your talents can be put to best use. One thing is for certain: humanly speaking, you will always achieve more if you have a lifelong, or at least "career-long," commitment to your mission station than if you just rotate in and out every few years. Why so many missionaries only stick around for a couple of years has always puzzled me to no end. And living in a missionary "ghetto" is another no-no. If you're going to go, go all the way.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruchko is da bomb!, November 11, 1998
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This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
As I read the book, I kept on checking the back flap to see if this guy is for real. Bruchko is real, as is the awesome power and love of Jesus Christ. Bruce Olsen's life reminds me how God uses his weakest people to do his mightiest works. People like me! Other missionary biographies I would suggest are "Peacechild" by D.Richardson, "Through the Gates of Splendor" by E.Eliot, "Living Faith" by H.Rosavere, and "God's Joyful Runner" by R.Ramsey (the true story of Eric Liddell, the Olympic hero portrayed in Chariots of Fire who later served as a missionary in China).
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE STARS-Quite possibly the best book I have ever read!!!, July 10, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
If you are looking for a book which will captivate you from cover to cover, look no further. Bruchko is the true-life story of Bruce Olson and his life among the Motilone tribe of South America. You will experience God at work in the life of a young man who sets out armed with nothing more than his faith and a clear sense of calling. You will walk with Bruce from mountaintop elation to the the valley of the shadow of death. You will watch a young man leave behind everything familiar to search for and find his life's call. Order this book today, you will not be disappointed. . . and while you're at it, might as well order one for a friend
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most unbelievable part is it's true, July 29, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
I whole heartedly agree with the other reviews. As the one person said- WARNING ONCE YOU START READING THIS YOU WON'T STOP! It was absolutely the best adventure story I have read in a long, long time. . . . and it is true! You will learn how God called author Bruce Olson to fulfill the Great Commission and when God leads Bruce's path there are great rewards and when he tried to implement his own plan (against God's clear direction) there is trouble. This is a story of the most amazing miracle that happened over a 20 year period. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND PURCHASE THIS BOOK AND READ IT - YOU WILL BE BLESSED!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Lesson in Learning to Trust and Serve God, September 16, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
I couldn't put this book down; finished it in one night. The most amazing part is that it's TRUE! The man who this story is about is still alive and still an example to the rest of us of what a true, servant of God can accomplish when he takes his own wishes out of the picture and follows the voice of our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. My faith is stronger having read this book, perhaps yours will be too. God bless you as you seek the God of the Universe who Bruce Olson serves; three in one, God the Father, Jesus Christ the son and the Holy Spirit the Comforter.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For This Croll I'll Kill You - Bruchko, February 24, 2006
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
I first read this book when it was first released as For This Cross I'll Kill You. It is one of the finest missionary autobiographies I have ever read and it profoundly affected my faith. I have read the new release and recommend it often to people. It is easy to read, exciting to read, and leaves you with a deeper respect for the ways of God.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruchko: The story of a broken man serving an awesome God, February 28, 1999
By A Customer
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This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
Bruce Olson, after one year of college, decides to go to South America to do missionary work. With an unexpectedly long stay, and adventure after scary adventure, he gets more than what he set out for. He becomes a man. He becomes a broken, humble man. He surrenders his life and his fate over to the God of heaven and earth, and offers the rest of his life in service, transforming a backwards, stone-age tribe into a influential force, changing even the government that rules them. This shows an excellant example of the concept of the indiginous church and how Christianity can transform a savage culture into the most culturally, morally, and spiritually sofisticated. This book lends encouragement to those who are discouraged, hope to those who are hurting, and testimony to those who are skeptics.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aside from the Bible, this is my favorite book!!!, July 23, 2002
This review is from: Bruchko (Paperback)
Aside from the Bible, my favorite book is "Bruchko". It's by Bruce Olsen. It's so awesome. It really had an impact on my life. It just showed me so much about Jesus. It's a biography about the life of a young man who was a missionary to some South American Indians. He left when he was 19. It's so powerful! This guy had a radical heart for Jesus and it's so sobering to read about his selflessness and love for Jesus...I've read it like 15 times. It will blow you away, and bless you! I read it for the first time when I just got saved and here I am 5 years later, at the age or 19, planning to move to Brazil (South America) in January! God is awesome. If you're a new Christian, or you've been saved for years or not a Christian at all, this is perfect for you to read!
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Bruchko
Bruchko by Bruce Olson (Paperback - June 1977)
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