Many First Nations people, the indigenous people of Canada, harbor bitterness toward churches for running the residential schools. This system, which lasted until 1996, separated children from their parents, restricted the use of their native languages, and sometimes even forced them to undergo sterilization. The lingering effects of the residential school system can be seen in present struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, depression and high suicide rates.
Hundreds of years ago, diaspora movement led to the suffering of First Nations people; today, the Lord is also using diaspora movement to bring spiritual healing. To give one example, God led Pastor J from South Korea to British Columbia to share the good news. Because Pastor J is a Korean immigrant rather than a European-Canadian, many First Nations people are more willing to listen to his message.
The Lord has blessed Pastor J’s work so that the church which started with one First Nations family has multiplied tenfold. However, many thousands more First Nations people live in their area. Pastor J hopes to see more First Nation Christ-followers raised up to be spiritual leaders and for the gospel to go from band to band, reserve to reserve.
“The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives” (from Isaiah 61:1): Sovereign Lord, bring freedom to those First Nations people struggling with addictions, depression and thoughts of suicide. Bind up all those who are still suffering from past forced separation of families.
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2): Lord of the harvest, send out more workers among First Nations people. Equip more of our First Nations brothers and sisters to be influential disciple-makers.
Ask God how else to pray.
Learn the history of the indigenous peoples of your region. As appropriate, repent or extend forgiveness for the violence and injustice committed, both in the past and ongoing.