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Lords of the Earth

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,485 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Engulfed in the darkness of Irian Jaya's Snow Mountains live the Yali – naked cannibals who call themselves "lords of the earth." Yet in terror and bondage they serve women-hating, child-despising gods. Lords of the Earth is the story of Dale, his wife, his companions, and thousand of Yali tribesmen – all swept together in a maelstrom of agony and blood that climaxes in a ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1977 by Baker
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  2,485 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The people there struck him as furtive, haunted. Their eyes lacked expression, like little holes leading to nothingness.....what was it that was lost beyond these ranges and possibly waiting for him? Perhaps hundreds of thousands of them. In hundreds of unexplored valleys. Warring and struggling to survive. Disease wracked and demon haunted."

Another really great book that I found hard to put down.

Lords of the Earth is by the author of Peace Child and is written in a similar style but it re
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So yesterday I was going through my random stacks of books and bookshelves trying to find a book to blog about and I decided this one would spark some interest. I was given this book to me about a month ago by my history teacher. One of the reasons I find this book interesting is that not only does it talk about the lives of natives, called the Yali, of an island in Indonesia; but it talks about the missionary work of my history teacher's father (my history teacher was also born in Indonesia). Y ...more
I thought I wouldn't enjoy this one as much as Peace Child: An Unforgettable Story of Primitive Jungle Treachery in the 20th Century, but I was surprised when I actually liked it better. The beginning was much like Peace Child, making it at first a little difficult to get into, but after a the first part I was hooked. A few times I felt there were details that had been missed, although as a whole it didn't effect the story.

Everyone has different definitions of heroes. Of course, generically a h
Ryan Middlebrook
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: christians, lovers of missionary stories
Lords of the Earth is a gripping account of Christian missionaries, Stanley Dale and Bruno de Leeuw, and their first contact with the Yali tribes-people of the high mountains of Irian Jaya (Dutch New Guinea). The Yali were a hard-edged warrior dominated society that eked out a primitive existence in the steep walled valleys that protected them from civilization. These occasional cannibals had their world and cosmology utter shaken by the appearance of the two RBMU (Regions Beyond Missionary Unio ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, missions
Mission trips have a tendency to be romanticized; going abroad somewhere new, leaving all your daily humdrum tasks behind, and embarking on an adventure are false appeals to some who think about the mission field. Many people, of course, are aware that mission means lying down your own comfort and life to glorify and bring honor to God, all by sharing the gospel with people who have yet heard it in hopes that they too would come to know Christ. Don Richardson wrote this biography to tell the sto ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
What glorious stories our Author tells!

I read (and loved) a couple other Don Richardson books decades ago, but missed this one. I'm glad I finally found it. Stan Dale probably wouldn't make it past the review boards of most mission sending agencies these days, and there'd be good reason for their skepticism, but he was God's man for the Yali people.

Before he encountered Christ, Dale's life was profoundly shaped by Kipling's poem "If." The poem was quoted in the book, and I've just reread it, an
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lords of The Earth is a true story that tells the captivating story about the daring missionaries, Stan Dale and Bruno deLeeuw, as they trekked into the mysterious Snowy Mountains to reach the Yali people and share the gospel to them.Along the way, they faced opposition from the kembu priests, trials in building an airstrip, and faced countless near death experiences. However, through it all, their faith in God never wavered nor did their vision for this lost valley was ever forgotten. I really ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Christians interested in missions
Shelves: memoir
Wow, what an eye-opener. The first-hand accounts in this book show you how dark and oppressive life is without the truth of the Gospel and how wonderful that transforming truth is! The Yali tribes are trapped in a merciless, violent culture with no way of escape. Stan Dale is a rough, tough missionary who is willing to trek into the heart of the jungle to share the truth of the gospel with these isolated cannibals. Just as his courage will inspire you, the effect of his sacrifice will remind you ...more
Natalie Weber
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Somewhat of a sequel to Peace Child, Mr. Richardson again captures the reader with his vivid retelling of the missionary work among the Yali tribal people of Irian Jaya. The story this time centers on the work of missionary Stan Dale. It is at different times heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping, and awe-inspiring. Books like this do a great deal to help broaden my perspective and understanding of God’s work throughout the whole world.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you liked "End of the Spear" you'll love this book. God is so big, and he uses the most awful tragedies to open the heart one tribal man, and open the door to revivial. This book is not for the faint-of-heart! ...more
Jeff Short
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: missions, biography
A great blessing. This book is a little more intense than Peace Child. The blood of martyrs was the price of admission to the Seng valley. It is sobering to think on these events taking place a little more than forty years ago. We did this as a family read-aloud and I highly recommend it.
Andrew Talley
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
God can move mountains to reach the lost of this world if His people will only go forth.
John Martindale
A truly amazing story
Paul Gunderson
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome. I have never read a book like this one before. It was very inspiring to read how God works through the people in this book.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that explains the martyrdom of Crissie's dad, Phil Masters. We know that some parts are not totally accurate, but it's still a story worth reading. ...more
Nicole Morgan
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic and riveting missionary account of how the gospel spread in one of the remotest tribes in Irian Jaya. I've been so blessed by this book in many ways and definitely recommend! ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
That moment when I realise I'm not that brave and I haven't made much of a difference.
So humbled.

Don Richardson is an incredibly gifted story teller. In this book he honours the stories of Yali - "the lord's of the earth" as well as Stanley Dale and many brave & daring missionaries.

"Rallying tattered shreds of his spirit, Stan fought off unconsciousness and forced himself to walk. Holding his hands, his Yali friends guided him."
Tim Baumgartner
Stanley Dale grew up as a short, timid, skinny boy growing up. He struggled with with lots of insecurities. God used a poem he read in school to give him confidence ['If' by Rudyard Kipling]. Surely Kipling must have used Christ as model for his ideal man (91-92)!

As he came to Christ, he wanted to share the Gospel with those who had never heard. An opportunity came up to reach the Yabi tribe in what is now known as Papua New Guinea [formerly ‘Dutch New Guinea’ or ‘Irian Jaya.’]. Previously, the
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excerpt:

"Look,Stan!" Bruno pointed at the slopes below Yabi's ridgetop position. Armed Yali men were streaming down.
"Here's more coming from this side," Stan added, pointing to an equally well-armed host of Kobak men descending from the southeast.
"And here come the Balinga men led by Suwi," offered a Dani in his own tongue.
"Our peace move better work, Bruno," Stan said calmly, "or there's going to be one terrible battle fought right where we're standing."

"Lords of the Earth" is Don Richardson
Dottie Parish
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson, published in 1977, is a spellbinding account of missionary Stan Dale and Bruno deLeeuw (and others) who entered the remote world of the Yali cannibals of Irian Jaya Indonesia to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Yali called themselves “men of power….lords of the earth.” As the introduction states: “Yali males bowed to no one and needed nothing.”

Stan, fearless in the face of incredible danger – boldly entered the remote Heluk Valley and lived among the Ya
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
I owned this book for a year and kept pushing it aside simply because I wanted to be in the right mindset to read it and also because most of the missionary books I have read have had larger text and were smaller, so the idea of a book about missionaries that was nearing 400 pages kept me away.

Now that I did read it, which I read it in four days because I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next, I am sad I didn't read it earlier!

I love how Don Richardson paints us perfect pictures of
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Right on the heels of Peace Child, I picked up this book. While Lords of the Earth is a great story, it's not as fascinating or compelling as its predecessor. I suspect this has to do with Don Richardson writing the story second- and third-hand, rather than from first-hand experience as in Peace Child.

The missionary this time around, Stan Dale, is a far different character than Don Richardson. Stan is, in a word, bold. It gets him in trouble sometimes, but it's obvious that God sent him to work
Rachel B
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book gave me an increased burden to pray for people groups still unreached with the gospel, and to seek out opportunities to fund missions in those places.

It took a couple of chapters before I really got into the book, but I really liked that Richardson shared the historical account from the Yali perspective first, then added in the missionary perspective. I think understanding the beliefs and customs of the Yali really helped me to see why future events happened the way they did.

My only co
Margaret Roberts
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
In the late 50's-early 60's, a man of vision: Stanley Dale dares to venture into Papua New Guinea, to share the Gospel with the cannibal tribes of the Jungle. A people so remote and immersed in their religion, one small error can mean death. Stan, bold and strong in Christ dares to challenge them. It may mean his death, yet he presses on despite threats and persecution, with a love for those who hate him and a desire for them to be transformed by the love of Christ.
"That is why I say these miss
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith-bio, memoir
There are good books, then there are books that change you, books that you will never forget. Lords of the Earth is one of those books. I've read other biographies of missionaries and missions work, but none have had quite the impact on me that Don Richardson's account of mission work among the Yali tribe of Papua New Guinea has had. At first, I struggled with the methods used by Stan Dale, the rather head-strong missionary who first ventured into this area. When the account tells of the martyrd ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
First off, I'd give the actual story 5 stars. It's a great story. I'm not a huge fan of Don Richardson's writing style though, so the book as a whole gets 4 stars. In the beginning of the book, the writing came across like a freshman essay, and I almost quit reading more than once just because it seemed so cheesy. I'm glad I didn't stop. I think Richardson's writing actually improves by the end of the book. I know he's not a professional author, so that might actually be the case. Or maybe I jus ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifts
I have been challenged at a deep level to give everything for the sake of the Gospel. Reading of the cost of reaching the Yali people for Christ, I realized that the cost I have to pay to share the Gospel where I live is pathetic. But how will I ever be ready to lay down all for the Gospel if I cannot lay down little right now?

This is a book for mature readers. Richardson spares no details of what Yali life was like before the Gospel, and some graphic descriptions are the result. This gives a cl
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-and-up
The first 80 pages tell the story of the culture, literally using events and dialogues to show the bleak life that the Yali lived. Then it switches over to Stanley Dale and his background leading him to these people. We learn a bit about other missionaries, but Dale is the focus. There are some spots with some explanations about missions philosophy, etc. I really wish the book had spent more time covering the time when the initial conversions were happening. Still a very good and inspiring book.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, so I finished Peace Child and promptly picked up Lords of the Earth. Again, a little girl is killed in the first chapter or so because she walked on some sacred ground that women weren't supposed to be on. And how was she to know?? Anyhow, this group of savages were a bit harder to convert than the ones in Peace Child. I didn't always agree with how Stanley Dale went about things, either. And the natives obviously didn't. ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jut in case you're wanting a comparison, I didn't find this book as good as 'Peace Child' by Don Richardson.
The main missionary was however, Australian, so it does have some redeeming qualities. :)
The note at the end made me the saddest. After the Yali had been a totally isolated tribe for so long, the introduction of missionary white men brought the introduction of tourist white men as well. Nobody likes to be put on display for everybody else to look at.
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DON RICHARDSON, author of Secrets of the Koran, Lords of the Earth and Eternity in Their Hearts, has been studying the Muslim world for more than 30 years.

He and his wife, Carol, spent 15 years among the Sawi, a Stone Age tribe of Irian Jaya. Don designed an alphabet suited to the Sawi language, authored 19 primers, taught the tribesmen to read in their native tongue and translated the entire New

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