We are surrounded by inequity in our world today. Nowhere is that inequity more on display than in how indigenous peoples are treated by governments and industry. The global Church and the Christian mission enterprise is responding in love and must act against these injustices. Explore the layers of indigenous life.
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We are surrounded by inequity in or world today. Nowhere is that inequity more on display than in how indigenous peoples are treated by governments and industry. The global Church and the Christian mission enterprise is responding in love and must act against these injustices. Explore the layers of indigenous life.
Engaging through Prayer
Dear God, help my heart to ache for indigenous peoples globally who have suffered so much from hundreds of years of injustice. So many times I reduce these fellow men and women to abstract ideas or generalizations. Help me to see them as people who have families, dreams and traditions. Give me understanding of what they have suffered as well as what they have accomplished. Also give me an understanding of how you are working among the indigenous peoples of the world. With that understanding, now give me direction on how I should respond. Amen
Do you know much about the indigenous peoples or first nations in your own country? Start there. Find out who lived on the land you now call home and what has become of them in this new global economy. Then as you learn about them and how to honor, serve and partner with these peoples, consider how you can take what you have learned and expand that globally. How can you bless indigenous peoples around the world through your every day decisions? Remember that your consumer, business and ministry decisions can be part of bringing justice and value to peoples who have long been pushed aside.
Engaging the Church
Is your Church addressing injustice towards indigenous peoples through your work in global mission? How many missionaries do you support who work among First Nation people groups? Do your projects benefit them through your short term teams and partnerships? If not, what could you do to help those in your church consider how your mission focus might include support of indigenous peoples? No matter what your focus (national, topical, relational), it is likely that you can support the needs of the church among indigenous peoples within your mission focus.
As you work around the world, do the issues facing indigenous peoples get on your radar? How would these people’s view your work in their countries? Do they see you as a part of the problem or as a force for understanding and justice? Consider your consumption and prioritization of resources. Are you skipping over indigenous peoples when your ministry could be blessing them and providing a powerful witness of God’s love? Are you encouraging local churches to think about the First Nations among them?
- 1 Map produced by Russell Barsh in cooperation with First Peoples Worldwide. http://www.firstpeoples.org/who-are-indigenous-peoples/the-challenges-we-face
- 2 The Indigenous World 2016, page 270.
- 3 The Indigenous World 2016, page 32.
- 4 The Indigenous World 2016, The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), 2016, Copenhagen, page 11.
- 5 The Indigenous World 2016, page 12.
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