Dancing and drumming alongside my 17-year-old son, Ian, in Switzerland and France brought a great swell of joy and pride to my heart. Listening to him tell the history of the grass dance and explain its redemptive meaning as a follower of Jesus and then watching him perform the dance as a young Lakota warrior was a dream come true.
When our team, dressed in full regalia, danced before capacity crowds in public schools, churches and auditoriums in Switzerland, people were immediately captured in their hearts by our cultural expressions. We shared our testimonies, told the redemptive meanings of our dances and then clearly presented the gospel. The Spirit of God moved powerfully as people gave their lives to Jesus, prayed for a deeper walk and experienced healing.
After Bryan Brightcloud shared his testimony at our outreach in Geneva, Switzerland, a man in his 40s told him this story: “When I was a young boy, I cut out a picture of Geronimo from a book at the library. I would pray with that picture and ask God to show me the right way.
“God told me that some day a person from Geronimo’s people would come and show me the right way.” After listening to his story, Bryan, who is, as Geronimo was, Chiricahua, asked the man if he was ready to accept Jesus as the ‘right way.’ He said yes.
We heard many other amazing testimonies of how people came to faith in Jesus as a result of our ministry. Believers were effusive in their praise of our team’s ability to powerfully communicate the truths of Scripture through the grace and beauty of Native culture.
It is an undeniable fact that First Nations people are beloved around the world. I am convinced that, as the West becomes increasingly postmodern in its worldviews and global ethnic, religious and ideological chasms widen, no other people group is as uniquely positioned for world evangelism. God has given us immense favor among the nations for His glory and honor.
In June of 2001 three of us First Nations believers shared the life of Jesus in Tibet and Hong Kong. We had amazing opportunities to share our faith in Jesus through the vehicle of music and dance. We even drummed and sang in a Buddhist monastery, lifting up the name of Jesus as Lord of lords. In June of 2003 we will return with a larger team for citywide outreaches in Hong Kong.
Our team also has been invited to Munich, Germany, the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia, and back to Switzerland. In January we are traveling to Lima, Peru, to begin arrangements for stadium events in the capital and outreach trips to tribal groups.
In July 2002 we led a team to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to take the gospel across the Atlantic to those who first brought it to us. I believe this trip has prophetic significance and will help bring reconciliation, healing, and renewal in these nations and across Europe. My vision is to lead our team back across the Atlantic with a heart of humility and gratitude–a spirit opposite of the motives of many white settlers who came to this country centuries ago.
However, this opportunity is not for First Nations believers only. It is for the entire body of Christ in North America. I urge you to become a partner with us and get involved.
Here’s what I believe is needed for us to fulfill our prophetic destiny: (1) Strategic intercessory prayer teams; (2) International contacts and partnerships; (3) North American churches, organizations and sponsors to partner with us; (4) Financial supporters to help provide needed training and logistical support; and (5) The inclusion of First Nations speakers at mission conferences in North America.
This opportunity for the gospel is incredible. The potential is enormous. Our First Nations leaders and ministry teams are poised and ready to go to the nations.
Will you help? I urge you to identify Native ministries that have a vision to be a blessing to the nations and become a part of this emerging “indigenous wave” in global missions.
The late Richard Twiss was Rosebud Lakota/Sioux and the president of Wiconi International. He is a popular speaker and the author of One Church, Many Tribes (Regal). If you are interested in learning more about supporting the global mission of First Nations people, visit www.wiconi.com.