Guest post by Reba Sigler (senior youth workers at Kanata Baptist Church and team leader for CE-SN)
Three churches: Mount Hamilton, Mississauga Chinese and Harmony Road went on a journey the first weekend of May. As we journeyed physically to the Six Nations reserve, we also journeyed culturally visiting the Woodland Cultural Centre to see the history of the Six Nations community and the Mohawk Chapel to view their story through lovely stained glass. Part of this journey included insights from Joe Elkerton and Amanda Issacs about what the Native culture values and the struggles they face yesterday and today. They opened the eyes of our team to the beauty of Native culture and tradition, a tradition that honours women as life givers and whose ceremonies are sacrificial in order to purify themselves for they believe in one God who is pure and holy, who created the world and everything in it.
Man who is evil cannot enter the presence of God; a mediator is required. Native culture respects nature and does not worship it but worships the creator through it. Nature is sinless; a tree cannot lie or steal for it is a tree. As I listened to the stories I wondered at the sovereignty of God. Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” God has revealed himself through who and what He has created, throughout the world. God writes His existence into nature and into our hearts. Our God truly is faithful. He will not leave us to wander the world without a knowledge of Him. The Western world has done a lot of damage to the Aboriginal people and we the church, as Nehemiah did, must accept and repent for this generational sin. There is more to bind us together than to break us apart.
May each of us be intentional at building relationships with the Native community, to see us as one people, created on purpose and loved by Yahweh.