Richard Twiss believes, "In the world today, no other people group is so uniquely positioned for telling Creatorís story of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, as First Nations People are today." This is a unique time in the history of global christianity as the momentum of people leaving for other countries has begun to shift away from countries north of the equator to those of the south. At this same time the "indigenous wave" in world missions has emerged from tribal peoples around the world as a significant force in reorienting the biblical story from its European ethnocentric moorings to Godís story in Creation.
BIRTH OF THE VISION:
It was on Richard's first international trip in 1993 to Mongolia, that he became aware of the international recognition and fascination that exists for First Nations culture and history. On his second international trip in 1994 to Israel his awareness became a conviction. It was at that international conference in Jerusalem that he shared with prayer representatives from 146 countries about the challenges of native people in North America. As he walked into the conference room in his regalia, he was met with a prolonged standing ovation by the conferees. Afterward, several of these global leaders said they did know think there were "Red Indians" still living or certainly none that were Christians.
In 1995 he met with Maori leaders Monte and Lynda Ohia, from New Zealand, along with a few others in a hotel in Anaheim, California to brainstorm about the proposed Inaugural World Christian Gathering On Indigenous People, tentatively planned for New Zealand the following year. It was at that first ever WCGIP hosted by the Maori people in November of 1996 where more than 2000 Indigenous believers from 32 countries shared the gifts of their cultures in prayer and worship to Jesus that Richard knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had indeed given First Nations people a unique place in the hearts of the people of the world and opportunity to tell of our spiritual journeys in the spirit of Jesus.
GROWTH OF THE VISION:
Richard has now organized or participated on Native cultural outreach teams to China, South Africa, Hong Kong, Tibet, Switzerland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Peru, Philippines, Israel the 2002 Winter Olympics, and across America. He has also spoken to audiences in Korea, Venezuela, Rwanda, Mongolia, Canada and Mexico. He has seen thousands of people become followers of Jesus Christ through the story-telling of our team members worldwide. We receive invitations to numerous countries annually.
NEED FOR FINANCIAL PARTNERS:
We would love to connect with you, as well as organizations and foundations to partner with us in empowering First Nations people to share their cultural expressions of dance and music in telling the story of Godís love for humanity. Except for one European tour, every trip we have taken has been funded by each individual raising all his or her own expenses to participate on the trip. It also means they must take time off from their jobs and away from ministry at home (loss of income) in order to take part. Yet each team member has seen the reward as being worth the great personal sacrifice required.
These cultural trips have been nothing short of an often intense and demanding "labor of love." On our 2000 European tour, over the course of 19 days, our team gave 25 presentations, in thirteen cities, in three countries with some long drives in between, and we saw several hundred embrace Christ. On our 2003 Peru Team our team of eighteen did a marathon tour to eight cities and jungle towns across the country holding 43 meetings including five large stadium events.
Please contact our office if you would like to help us by providing information to follow-up on, introducing us to individuals to contact, or contributing financially yourself. Thank you.
MULTIPLE LASTING BENEFITS:
As our First Nations people in the U.S. and Canada see themselves being used to so powerfully, positively impact tribes and nations in the spirit of Jesus, it enlarges our view of ourselves as Native peoples. It dispels the sense of shame, and inferiority that often exists as the result of the paternalism and sense of cultural superiority from many missionary pastors and workers. They are a place of learning and strengthening the traditional tribal and biblical values of prayer, family, teamwork, respect, honesty, excellence, and many others. It says to our people on the reservations and urban centers that our cultural practices and identities are not a hindrance to our faith, but instead are an invaluable asset in bridging the gap with unbelievers in the cause of Christ.
It provides a redemptive opportunity to continue the traditions of our people as we train and raise up young people to make regalia, learn the songs and dances, as well as the stories of these things. Through these things the they learn the foundations for successful living in the world as the next generation of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives - leaders!
Please contact our office if you would like to partner with us in sending our teams to the nations.
History of events
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