NEWS & UPDATES
The 6th World Gathering on Indigenous Peoples, Philippines, 2006
It was an awesome gathering! We are overwhelmed by the many good things that God did in the week-long event. It will take us weeks to recover from them. God is good. Thank you very much to all of you who have given support through prayers, finances and time. The amount of support we had was tremendous! We have over 200 people who volunteered for the gathering- men, women, young people who served the participants all throughout the week. That truly is inspiring. Our support from churches and different Christian organizations all over the country is just fascinating. The gathering is far from success without them.
About 460 delegates came with representatives from 22 countries from different continents of the world. Indigenous People from many lands joined the more than 100 delegates from various Indigenous Tribes of the Philippines . Thanks for coming! It was a week of celebration using dance and music in worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. The workshops were an eye-opener to many of those who attended. The gathering affirmed the indigenous peoples’ significant role in the Body of Christ. We are indeed excited for the impact the gathering will create in the nations. Monte Ohia, WCGIP’s Founding Chairman said “It has lit a fire of revival for the nations”.
There are many more things we would like to share to you in the coming days. For now, we would just like to be grateful to all of you who have made the WCGIP-Philippines a great success! See you in Israel for the 7th WCGIP in 2008!
Please log on to the 6th WCGIP website for pictures and more updates about the Gathering. If you are having trouble with the labeling of the DVDs you bought, we apologize for the mix up. We are doing back work on this to correct it.
All For His Glory,
Original Promo Video Produced by TMFI
The 6th World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People (WCGIP) held last September 11-17 was a resounding success! Glory to God.
The presence of God is so strong during the gathering. There was enormous freedom to worship God! We witness how indigenous dances & instruments were used to worship the Lord! One participant described his experience as "drinking, bathing and flowing along the river of God 's glory!"
The peace of God is overwhelming. I have lots of concerns during the gathering from food, accommodation, transportation, finances – logistics of the conference I was constantly on the run attending to different needs. It was really God who strengthens me throughout the event. Thank God for prayer partners who stand with me throughout the week it was my means to survive & experience victory.
Three weeks have passed and I am still savoring my glorious experience in WCGIP. You may read inspiring stories about the gathering and interesting pictures to see in the website: www.wcgip.org.
One highlight of the gathering is the experience of Monte Ohia, a Maori from New Zealand and the WCGIP Chief organizer. He shared with us; WCGIP is 22nd on his list of things to do. No wonder since the gathering in Sweden last August 2005 we only received 6 emails from him! While sharing this he was sited on a chair and acted like falling sideways on the chair to show to us his situation. Most of the Keepers of the Vision of WCGIP felt that the gathering in Israel on 2008 will be the last. But they were charge up revived and vision renewed during the gathering.
In fact they are coming back to Davao for the "WCGIP Keepers of the Vision Summit" on January 15-17, 2007 . The vision for WCGIP-Youth was also birthed!. Also after several attempt (Australia & Hawaii), every one of the keepers of the vision agreed to finally set up WCGIP - Headquarter and they have chosen Davao City ! Hallelujah! (They saw that the gathering has a structure but as indigenous people did not felt being choked by the structure.) It's an honor and a privilege to be chosen as the host country and host city of WCGIP . I thought we are merely hosting an event... but God has other plans beyond my imagination.
One of the things that God affirmed during the Gathering was the gift of servant hood of the Filipinos. You may have been aware that Filipinos are known all over the world as domestic helpers. I often asked, why would God allow it to happen, we are gifted & skilled people besides most of our overseas contract workers finished a degree in college/university?? Why would they end up as domestic helpers, nannies and nowadays care givers? I heard about wonderful testimonies how God used our OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) in proclaiming His gospel but it remains an unsettled issue for me. God transformed my heart during the gathering, I was affirmed and finally I understood that we are uniquely gifted by God not as "slaves of other nations" but "servants of God to the nations". It is not something I should be ashamed but something I should be proud of . . . Delegates, appreciate the hospitality and the kindness we accorded as we served them.
I covet your prayer for the WCGIP Leaders Summit this January. Please pray for availability of everyone on the proposed date. Also pray for wisdom and discernment as they plan for the direction of WCGIP for the coming years. Please pray for us (Beng, Pio, Sonia, Lilet, Sherelle) as we coordinate this activiy. I would love to hear your stories on how God is working in your life. Please feel free to also share any prayers concerns I could bring to God’s throne.
SISTER BENG J. BICALDO
The First World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People, New Zealand, 1996
The Second World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People, North Dakota, 1998
October 24, 25, 1997, a group of 22 indigenous leaders from Canada, U.S.A., and New Zealand, met in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A., where the decision was made to host the Second World Christian Gathering On Indigenous People, September 6-13, 1998, in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA. Over 2000 people from 32 countries attended last year's inaugural event, hosted by the Maori people in New Zealand. The First Nations peoples of North America are next year's hosts. Plans are underway to host an event to be attended by 10,000 people from 50 countries. Lord willing, the Aborigine people of Australia will host the Gathering in 2000 and the Saami People of Norway in 2002.
The site of the September gathering, Rapid City, is in the Black Hills - Paha Sapa - the sacred homeland to several Northern Plains tribes, but the Dakota/Sioux people in particular. Black Elk called it the center of the universe for the Lakota people. I am told it is the geographic center of the continental U.S. It was also considered as a site for the United Nations. It has become a key New Age center of activity.
Sixty miles south of Rapid City is Wounded Knee, the site of the last battle (massacre) between the U.S. Army and native people. Mt Rushmore is in the center of the Paha Sapa, as is the new Crazy Horse Monument. John Dawson, as well as many local pastors, see Rapid City as a gateway city in the land.
Because of the redemptive dynamic regarding native cultures, there will be a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare and heated opposition to the vision. The redeeming of native cultures for the glory of God and building up of the Body of Christ among the nations of the earth has been held in check by the enemy for centuries. We see an emerging among native Christians occurring all over the earth. The fact that the first Nations of North America are hosting the gathering is significant.
A growing number of leaders around the country believe that this event has the potential to break the authority of some significant strongholds in the land as it relates to native people and God's redemptive purposes for the nations.
The Gathering is supported as by national and international leaders in the Body of Christ, including Dr. Luis Bush, International Director of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, Mission America, Dr. C. Peter Wagner of Global Harvest Ministries, John Dawson of the International Reconciliation Coalition, as well as many key national indigenous leaders from around the world. Our North American planning committee is comprised of 45 native leaders from the U.S. and Canada, representing a wide variety of denominational, tribal and church traditions.
Monte Ohio, Founder of WCGIP, Speaking in South Dakota
The Gathering is ...
A celebration of the unity and diversity we share in common under Jesus Christ.
An opportunity for indigenous people to bring an offering of praise and worship to the Lord in culturally redeemed ways.
An opportunity for indigenous people from throughout the world to grow in their faith and in methods of evangelism.
A time to collectively explore cultural and linguistic formats to bridge the gaps between Jesus Christ and their people.
A time of reconciliation for indigenous people back to God, to the image in which God has created them and to their cultural identity in Christ.
A time for indigenous Christians, on behalf of their people, to humble themselves, to pray, seek God's face, and turn from their wicked ways, in order that God will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their lands.
For more information, contact:
Terry LeBlanc, Mi'kmaq Nation
Manager, Aboriginal Programs, World Vision Canada 204-826-2689 (Canada)
The Fifth World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People, Kiruna, Sweden, 2005
"The groanings of creation are the issues of the indigenous peoples," says Terry LeBlanc, a Mi'kmaq Indian from Canada. Terry is one of the vision keepers of WCGIP. He explained that spirituality from the natives perspective "is the interconnectedness between the spiritual and the natural.There are no separation."
It was beautiful to see this oneness in the week-long gathering attended by indigenous peoples (first nations people, aboriginals, etc) from 30 countries of the world. The beating of drums made of animal skins, the heartfelt worship, the dances, the colorful regalla and the togetherness draw a clear picture of the relationship between the physical and the spiritual. All creation worshipping the Creator.
The meeting was held inside a huge "lav vu," several teppees lashed together with ropes, canvas and birch poles pointing to the heavens. It rained most of the week. The tent despite its flimsy looks withstood the elements and kept us warm in this region refuted as one of the coldest in the world.
The Sammi or the Lapplanders hosted the event. Hakan Enokkson (Sweden )and Arild Maso (Norway) took the lead. The delegates were welcomed at a huge Lutheran Church in Kiruna, a city known for having the world's biggest ore mines. About 500 people welcomed the delegates who later marched the streets in their native regallas. People in their cars look suprised seeing the strange looking visitors bearing drums, flags and banners breaking the deafening silence in their land.
Something in the spiritual realm broke that week. Highlighting the event is when leaders of the conference went up a huge mountain to stand witness to the repentance made by Sammi pastors in behalf of their people. Many years ago, Sammi fathers made human sacrifices of their sons in the mountain. " We have become unproductive in many ways because of that sin," confessed Hakan, a pastor and a reindeer herder himself. "We are losing our lands. Our reindeer business has gone bad." The bloodshed seemed to have caused the spiritual gloom in the land. "Depression is very high in the region," a social worker revealed. She said that suicide is rampant in the winter season where people are greatly disturb by the months of darkness.
The conference ignited a light in the Arctic region where "revival from the North" has been prophesied repeatedly. We believe so. The indigenous peoples, like Israel is key to the spiritual awakening of the world. They are a people who does not separate the spiritual from the natural. The church has yet to recognize them as an integral part in the Body.
We are excited for September 11-17, 2006 when we will host the 6th World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People in Davao City, Philippines We are expecting a delegation from at least 60 nations of the globe. Please pray to be there.
PIO G. ARCE
Chairman WCGIP Philippines, 2006
The Seventh World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People, Isreal, 2008
Worship, tours, and cultural presentations were the primary components of the gathering, which was mainly held outdoors. One day included a “floating meeting,” where three boats moored together on the Sea of Galilee. While floating on this lake, many groups presented, including the Beardys, who told Cree stories and sang several Anglican hymns in Cree.
During informal conversations, Mr. Beardy said he heard much about the common struggles of Indigenous peoples, including marginalization, and bans on expressing their culture. He was also interested in communities’ resource challenges, and he noted the contrast between Israel, which has little water, and his area of Manitoba, where it is abundant.
Other highlights for the couple were visiting a tomb like the one Jesus was buried in, and taking a bus trip to Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity.
These locations stirred up deep emotions for the participants. “Everywhere I go I would break down,” said Mrs. Beardy. “Just to know that my Lord and Saviour walked the same ground where I walked.”
Mrs. Beardy also had two visions while in Israel: during the floating meeting, she saw a glimpse of Jesus in the crowd, and while at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, she saw a dove flutter down above those who were praying. She also noted that the trip was part of her healing journey, and she used her residential schools refund to pay for the cost.
Indigenous gathering in Israel inspires Cree Anglicans
by Ali Symons
“I guess it’s a homecoming, you might call it,” said the Ven. Larry Beardy of the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People, held Sept. 9 to 18 in Israel. Mr. Beardy and his wife Elizabeth, Cree Anglicans from Tataskweyak, Man., joined over 400 other participants in touring the Holy Land and celebrating Christianity amongst Indigenous peoples.
The gathering kicked off with a colourful celebration in Jaffa, the port city where according to scriptures, God told the apostle Peter to evangelize people other than Jews. Indigenous peoples from Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Finland, and other places attended in traditional dress. They welcomed the arrival of an Aboriginal canoe, which had been flown in from British Columbia so participants could paddle it to shore.
“It’s prophetic that after 2000 years, the gospel has reached us and we came back to that place,” said Mr. Beardy, an archdeacon in the Diocese of Keewatin.
The gathering, the seventh of its kind, was designed to encourage Indigenous peoples in their Christian faith, and affirm that “there is no inherent contradiction between faithfully following Jesus and also upholding one’s own indigenous heritage,” said a website statement.
The Eighth World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People, New Zealand, 2011
Report from the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous Peoples
Report from Mark Charles, Resource Development Specialist for Indigenous Worship, on the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous Peoples.
By: Mark Charles
Ya'at'eeh. This week I have the privilege of attending the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous Peoples. This conference is held every 2-3 years in the land of the indigenous tribe or group that is hosting the gathering. This year we are in New Zealand as the guests of the Maori people. On Sunday, the first day of the conference, we gathered on a Marae, a traditional political and communal gathering and meeting place, and were officially welcomed by the king of the Maori. Our entire conference had a respectful procession into the outdoor court where the king was seated. After we were all in place, some of the Maori women greeted us with a song and then one of the Maori elders stood up and gave a speech welcoming us and honoring God, as well as the Maori elders, families and generations that had come before. Then another song was sung. Next, one of our leaders stood up and gave a speech thanking the Maori for receiving us and bringing greetings from our peoples and our lands. That speech was also followed by one of the songs of the tribes represented in our conference. Then another Maori leader stood up and gave another speech followed by another song. This volley of speeches and songs continued for a couple of hours and eventually concluded with our group laying out a gift for the king and his people. After our gift was accepted we lined up and were personally greeted and welcomed by the king and other Maori leaders and elders and then were ushered into a large hall and served a wonderful meal.
At each of the previous gatherings that I have attended, the WCGIP has followed a similar protocol with the leaders and elders of those lands (Hawaii, Sweden and Israel). This year I not only had the opportunity to observe and be welcomed through this process, but I also had the privilege to participate and give one of the speeches to the Maori king and his people.
This event did not include a time of worship and it all took place even before we had registered for the conference and had properly greeted each other. But the more I experience and reflect on this type of protocol, the more I understand how this is a part and even some of the foundation of our worship.
This protocol is a very clear reminder to me of who I am in these foreign lands: A guest. And having that mentality with the people of the lands where I have come to worship, is a wonderful reminder of who I am before our creator: His creation.