Thank you for those who pray for growth and restoration every Tuesday and Thursday night for our women's and men's small groups in Browning, MT. It’s amazing how our Creator is responding.
My People hosted an Inenimowin Circle in Browning in May of 2014 to help people on their personal healing journey through abuse - but also to train people to lead circles in their communities. Humbled Hearts Women's Ministry in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation emerged from that Inenimowin Circle.
Humbled Hearts began as one group in 2014, grew to three groups by 2016, meets every Tuesday night and have served about forty women in the community at one point or another on their journey. During one of the meetings, the women depicted their stories through drawings. Above you can see one friend's powerful depiction of her journey as she found safety to share it with us - and now you. Obviously we can’t change the circumstances, but the power behind Inenimowin and Humbled Hearts is that we walk through it together.
We bear one another's burdens, offering hope through our Creator’s and our love.
“…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…” Titus 3:5
So often that’s what our ministries look and feel like: finding the dots on the pages of peoples lives, or the communities they live in, that indicate our Creator is at work— that there is something stirring. Then, with the skills we have been blessed with, including a deep compassion, we walk with them, joining one dot to the next. And, as the sketch on the front page makes clear, a picture of life emerges showing the active presence of God where only small dots once seemed in evidence.
Inenimowin and Humbled Hearts in Montana have done a tremendous job doing exactly that; helping people create whole pictures. Nestooaak and our other workshops have assisted in the development of meaningful new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, connecting the points of life in ways that have created new and hope-filled visions for the future. iEmergence has worked alongside community members in the Philippines, Canada, the USA and elsewhere, to bring restoration of identity, renewal of hope and the reclamation of vision for peoples trampled under the foot of apathy and disregard. And, NAIITS continues to work with its partners to create the next generations of leadership through traditional and non-traditional educational programs.
New journeys have begun— journeys that will bear much fruit for the nations and their peoples!
Roel Arthur Ali III, known fondly as "Bob", is a young man with an incredible desire to lead his people. He is the second son of one of the most respected elders of the Ata tribe in southern Philippines. Although he was born in a village in the mountains of Paquibato, he grew up in the city of Davao. When we first met Bob, he was a shy kid but a very respectful one. During conversations, he would only sit behind his father and listen intently, and would speak only if he was asked to. More often, you would see Bob playing traditional musical instruments such as the bangkakaw and kuglung. Music was more his safe space.
“Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.” Neh 2:17,18
Early 2016, seeing his potential as a young leader of the tribe, we invited Bob to work with us in our journey of developing Panuluanan, a traditional place for learning culture, among his own people. In our visits to the community, he began to share how he is slowly finding purpose in his journey with his people. Bob explains: "It is different when you are helping your own tribe. There is great joy."
It was this time that people around him began to see a change in him. We began to call him "Bob the Builder” because he was helping build this space of learning. The title started in jest but it eventually became his identity in the tribe, especially among the younger generations. He now helps organize meetings and conversations with elders and community leaders, and shares his thoughts so openly. Aside from this, Bob has also found delight in another craft other than music. It is amazing to see his eagerness to learn to visually document their journey behind the camera so others may also come to appreciate their culture.
From being a timid young man, Bob has grown to be an emerging leader of the community and an inspiration to other Ata youth. Younger ones now look up to him and are encouraged to learn, engage and appreciate their unique identity as God’s gift to their tribe.
1)Feeling guilty can and does happen, but going on to take responsibility is what makes it real; 2) Each person needs to take responsibility individually, asking “What does that look like for me?” 3) Repentance is contritely turning from sin to God; a decision to take responsibility. 4) Confession is transformation; 5) In a true apology, we enter into conversation with the wounded person, or people. 6) In Restorative Justice, you’ve got to tell the truth.
~Tim & Vivien Stime