Did you know that according to the most recent Canadian national census from 2016, it was realized that there are over 1.6 million Indigenous people across our nation? This number is comprises of more than one million First Nations, almost 600,000 Métis, and over 65,000 Inuit. There are also well over 600 recognized governments (or bands), each with beautifully distinctive cultures, language, arts, musical expressions and many more attributes.
In August 2020, under the leadership of Dan Collado, the PAOC's Indigenous Peoples Coordinator, the first PAOC Indigenous prayer gathering was held. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on gathering, an in-person event could not take place. So, plans were altered to make this an online, virtual event of prayer, worship and reflection. Thankfully, God is not hindered by any kind of restrictions, as from coast to coast His Spirit moved. Dan shared that it was quite an undertaking to produce this inaugural national prayer time that went live via Facebook. There were 30 contributors who leaned into last year's event, along with many hours spent in technology support in order to bring that 90-minute prayer time to fruition.
Prayer is a powerful weapon that we as Christians have access to and we must not take it for granted. Jesus directs us, "Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). In these unique and challenging days God IS at work across Canada and He desires that we come together and "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6, NIV). With this thought in mind, the Mission Canada Indigenous Guiding Group (IGG) of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada desires to continue raising the Indigenous awareness across our Fellowship.
We welcome you to join with us on Monday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. EDT as together we once again pray for and celebrate our Indigenous communities across Canada. As we prepare our hearts and minds for this upcoming prayer gathering, may these words from Kenny Blacksmith, a former Deputy Grand Chief from Mistissini, QC, who powerfully prayed last year, continue to challenge us. "Lord, cause us to increase in love and overflow in love for all people. We pray for the Indigenous believers, that God would give them strength, guidance, unity and influence in these uncertain times. We pray that the Church would follow the lead of Indigenous people toward greater reconciliation. We pray for new Indigenous churches and ministries to start, so that the saving gospel of Jesus would be fully embraced. We pray healing from the effects of mistreatments and unfairness from injustice."
Dan Collado recounts that it has been humbling and encouraging to hear how people's hearts and lives were touched and he is believing for God to do even greater things through this year's event. God, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.