October 2018

A stirring moment for me at a recent national church convention occurred when a young indigenous leader named Dallas shared about his trip to Panama. For him, as a Cree follower of Jesus, the mission trip became an opportunity to re-discover the richness of his own cultural heritage. In Panama, he encountered followers of Jesus from the Wounaan people group who were excited to discover they had a visitor from the north who shared their indigenous background. When they asked Dallas to share the songs and dances of his people, he realized that he didn’t know any songs or dances. In fact, he had believed that he needed to become white to follow Jesus. Today, Dallas is discovering the many ways that Jesus redeems culture and gives us gifts that we can then share with others.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we read this God-given promise: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” As I have prayed this prayer with others, I have to confess that I’ve often missed the significance of the last line. God’s heart is not just to forgive our sins, but also to heal the effects of those sins on our land. Our indigenous neighbors have a God-given focus on stewarding the land, which is sometimes hard for others to understand, and sometimes even frustrating! Our Wounaan churches in Panama live in the rainforest and believe the Creator gave them those forests to provide all that they need to live. They have experienced theft and violence from neighboring Latino farmers and loggers who encroach on their historic lands. The stories and the values related to the land are the same for indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.

I wonder how our Creator wants to use indigenous peoples who know him to be ambassadors of reconciliation and healing in our lands. As First Nations, they have authority and responsibilities which even our courts are beginning to recognize. Will the Church, which includes both indigenous and peoples from every tribe, language and nation, lead the way in living out the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14?

“Creator God, we humble ourselves before you. We cry out to you in confession of our sins against you and against each other. We ask for your forgiveness and pray for the healing of our lands, for your glory!”

Randy Friesen
General Director

Prayer Requests

  • - Please pray for our workers in Europe and Central Asia; we will be gathering for a time of renewal and prayer in late October. Pray that they would be refreshed by the Holy Spirit during this time of fellowship.
  • Pray for the Church Planters Summit coming up in early November; that these men and women would be encouraged and receive fresh vision as they lead congregations across Canada and the USA.
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LIVING FREE

Physical slavery is prevalent around the world; it takes many forms. Individuals and people groups are in bondage. Guest speaker, Randy Friesen has seen the amazing power of the Gospel to bring freedom to the oppressed. In our own lives, we can find ourselves enslaved – to sin and to fear. How can we be free? Knowing who we are in Christ is vital to our freedom.
January 2015 at Central Heights Church, Abbotsford, BC Play Button PLAY SERMON