It’s no secret that the Church has historically had a difficult relationship with Indigenous communities. Every day we’re learning more and more about what families have gone through, and still go through now. Repairing a relationship takes time. Earning trust takes time. It also takes love. And forgiveness.
A lot like our relationship with God.
It took His love and forgiveness for us to be spiritually healed and have a relationship with Him. And it’s this that we share with people around the world, even here at home in Canada.
As we create relationships with potential partners, we do so with love, understanding, and a willingness to listen and learn about the history of the land.
This is what happened at an event in Brampton, Ontario, where we were able to introduce ShareWord Global to organizations that work with the Indigenous communities. Enzo and Michelle, two staff members at ShareWord Global, represented the ministry at the event. And it was there they discovered something wonderful.
The event attendees looked at the Scripture resources, contextualized for an Indigenous audience, and they expressed how happy they were to see kids and adults who looked like them. They recognized themselves as they flipped through the pages of the magazine.
Enzo and Michelle also spoke with other ministries who do outreach in Indigenous communities and reservations in the Manitoulin Island region.
Some ministries even came from as far as Illinois, in the United States. One of the attendees shared one of the outreach initiatives they do. They started by sharing 50 Christmas hampers with families in the community. Then they were asked to give a hamper to each of the 171 families in the community.
And they did.
In each of the hampers, they included a copy of the Indigenous Spark and Hope magazines. Enzo and Michelle were surprised to learn how many people at the event knew of the Scripture resources but had not dealt with ShareWord Global before. But it was obvious the impact the ministry had on this community, and they were encouraged to learn how well received the resources were. And how readily the gospel was being shared in these communities.
Because they were being approached with love.
It’s exactly how ministry work will continue to be done in Indigenous communities. Since outreach in this area is so unique, we need to be open to adapting to their individual needs to partner with them. The groundwork is in place for incredible things to happen in Canada. God has put dedicated believers in positions to share the gospel with these communities, and from what’s been seen even just at one event, there’s so much more that He has planned.