Encouraging Faith & Respecting Culture

oh children of maintou huron carol lutheran indian ministries

In a Huron village, on the shores of Lake Ontario, a young girl hears her mother sing:

"Aloki ekwatatennonten shekwachiendaen
Iontonk ontatiande ndio sen tsatonnharonnion
Ouarie onnawakueton ndio sen tsatonnharonnion
Iesous ahatonnia!"

 

"Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Wrapped His beauty 'round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high:
Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In Excelsis Gloria."

Huron parents teach their children about the ancient people who built a nativity of fir trees to protect Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus, as well as the wise chiefs and the animals of the forest.

It is a beautiful thing to see our Native cultures express and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in their own colorful and majestic ways.

This was not always the case. For centuries, the Christian church forced new Native Christians to worship God in a way that was foreign to them. They sought to destroy the Native culture, not allowing them to pray in their own languages or dance to the songs of their ancestors. But times are changing.

For many Native Americans, maintaining both their cultural and the history of their people is at the forefront. Without this focus, the "old ways" are in grave danger of becoming nothing more than a memory, soon to be forgotten.

The mission of Lutheran Indian Ministries is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our Native brothers and sisters so that they might know Him as their Savior and follow Him as their King and to do so with a respect of the culture and history of the people. It is an interesting and exciting road God has put us on, and we are so blessed that you walk alongside us on this journey.

Your love of the Lord, your passion for Native Americans, and your support of Lutheran Indian Ministries enables our staff to tell the story of Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection to Native peoples in Alaska, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, and Hawaii.

 Because you support our work…

 A Navajo boy, whose family still herds sheep on their land in New Mexico, will celebrate the birth of Jesus as a shepherd visiting the manger. And at Makah Lutheran Church in Neah Bay, Washington, a young girl will hear the Christmas story, complete with choirs of angels singing traditional Lutheran hymns accompanied by the traditional Makah drum.

 Because of you, a homeless woman in Blackwater, Arizona, will greet be greeted Christmas morning with the good news of His birth, the love of her Father, and hope for her future. Because of you, college students at Haskell Indian Nations University, who are unable to return home for the holidays, will join in the family celebration at the LIGHT House with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

 In all the places you help us reach, Native men, women, and children will come together to hear the most important message:

“Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In Excelsis Gloria.”

Our calling is to share that message with more and more Native people every day. And because of you, we do!

 As 2018 winds to a close, we thank you for your generosity, for your gifts, and for your prayers.

 To continue this important work, we need your help more than ever before. That’s why I am asking you to put Lutheran Indian Ministries at the top of your Christmas list of causes you support.

 Your generous gift to LIM today will not only ensure we are able to continue to proclaim that Jesus is born, King of kings and Lord of lords, but it will also enable us to expand the footprint of our ministry to the new places that God is calling us to.

 We are so blessed by your partnership and fellowship with our ministry. I pray that you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas and a very blessed New Year.

 In Excelsis Gloria,

 Tim Young Eagle (Pawnee), Executive Director

 

P.S. the last verse of our Christmas carol ends with these words:

Oh, Children of the forest free, Oh, sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of heaven and earth is born today for you.
Come, kneel before the radiant boy, who brings you beauty, peace, and joy.

Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In Excelsis Gloria.”

Your gift today affirms that Jesus was born for all, including our Native American brothers and sisters.  Thank you!

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