Thousands of Native Americans heard the Christmas story and gospel message presented in a culturally relevant way through eight “Native Nativity” Christmas outreach events sponsored by Wesleyan Native Ministries and Native-led Wesleyan churches in South Dakota.
These events, organized by Rev. Larry & Dale Salway, co-pastors of He Sapa New Life Wesleyan Church in Rapid City, SD, were held in both urban and reservation communities (some located in the poorest counties in America), including Rapid City, Mission, Martin, Pierre, White River, Cherry Creek and Eagle Butte in South Dakota, and Crow Agency, Montana.
The centerpiece of the Native Nativity program was a series of film clips from the movie Miracle in the Wilderness (starring Kris Kristofferson).
It’s a western Christmas story about a kidnapped frontier family which shares the story of Christ’s birth with an angry Blackfoot chief and his tribe.
Interspersed between the film clips were Christmas carols sung in both English and Lakota and children re-enacting the birth of Christ, Lakota-style. Then the gospel was presented very clearly in a culturally relevant way, and a brief invitation was given.
More than 150 responded by taking new steps of faith in Christ. They were given New Believers Bibles, and everyone else received a Native adaptation of the Gospel of John.
After the Christmas program, everyone enjoyed a traditional Lakota meal of buffalo stew, frybread and wojape (a berry pudding).
Following the meal, all of the elders were honored and given blankets, then each child received a wrapped gift.
We’re grateful for hundreds of individuals and churches that donated time, money and Christmas gifts to help make these events a success.
Your support is having an unprecedented impact, as more Native people are responding to the gospel than ever before!
But, many more laborers are needed to help bring in the harvest and also disciple new Native believers.
Would you please join us in praying that God will raise up more Native men and women as pastors and leaders who will reach their people for Christ in culturally relevant ways?
And would you prayerfully consider a generous gift to help resource what God is doing? Your gift of $25, $50, $100 or more will help equip and empower Native men and women to take the lead in reaching their people for Christ, all across North America.