“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”Gal. 2:10
Current Prayer needs for the Organization:
#1) Develop a database of attorneys from all 50 states who might be willing to help families and caregivers who are dealing with ICWA.
#2) Funds necessary for Administration of this organization
#3) Development of a Youth Leadership Program
Why CAICW –
Experiencing the grief of watching family and friends in continual struggle, yet knowing the grace God has touched our own lives with, we have developed these statements:
Mission statement –
“The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare is committed to seek God’s guidance in defending the rights of the poor and needy, as instructed in Proverbs 31:8-9.”
(Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.“)
Vision Statement –
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent meto proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19″
‘Implementation of vision’ statement –
“Through prayer, we shall seek the Lord’s directionon every task in front of us. Prayer is our primary vehicle of implementation.Through the direction of prayer, we then fulfill our mission and purpose using tools of outreach ministry; sports, crafts, charity,music, writing, preaching, teaching, comforting, encouraging, loving and advocatingfor all with whom we come in contact with.”
From The Morris’s:
Through the years,we have watched siblings, in-laws, children, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and grandchildren suffer physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and neglect. Maybe this isn’t what happens to every family on every reservation, but it is what is happening to many people on ours. We have gazed at the body of a two-year old niece, beaten to death by her mother, cried for a nephew who had been found stabbed on the streets, identified the body of a sixteen-year old niece who had hanged herself, chased an inebriated man off of a ten-year old niece, and watched the county coroner bring a sister’s body down from the room in which she had drank herself to death. We opened our home to a number of nephews, nieces, and grandchildren, only to watch them return to destructive lifestyles a short time later.
After watching so many friends and relatives diephysically, spiritually, and emotionally through the years from alcoholism, violence, and suicide, we can no longer stand aside and do nothing. We want the cycle of self-destruction to stop. Our concern is for the overall spiritual, emotional, and physical health of all families and their children. The heartbreak going on is just the symptoms. What is the fuel for the self-destruction?
First, there is no life outside of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:15,“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, (Adam) and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
Romans 5:18-19,“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness (Jesus) was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
Romans 6:11-12,“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
Traditional culture (whether it be Tribal, Irish, Jewish, Japanese, or any other) and the dignity of all people is valued. Culture in itself is not the issue.
The main problem in Indian Country is the darkness that has been, and continues to be, nurtured through New Age Religion, traditional religion, and the hate and anger fostered by encouraging people to feel like life long victims. This is opposite of the attitudes and perceptions God wants us to carry andthe opposite of the fruit the Holy Spirit offers.
Second, the Indian Child Welfare Act is only one facet of the difficulties within the reservation system.
1)Leaders in both the federal government and tribal government are benefiting from the reservation system,and are not concerned with what is good for the average tribal member.The case ofJack Abramoffand his Congressional followers, for example. Staff forSenator Conrad Burns,(R-MT) had told us two years in a row that there is no way Senator Burns would get involved with any tribal legislation unless all 500+ tribes agreed with it. Senator Burns has now been found to be among the biggest receivers of Abramoff funds.
Some tribal governments, as well as officials within the BIA, have also become corrupt with unchecked power and money. Because of this corruption and unwillingness to let go of power and money, it is the reservation system itself that is ultimately keeping people in the bondage of poverty and oppression.
2)Federal Indian Policy views Native Americans as helpless wards.Families are raised believing it. Even while Tribal governments have made many financial and educational advances in the last twenty years, there remains something holding people back.
Another problem might be the culture of dependency that has grown within the reservation community in the last fifty years. A man has needs to feel strong and able, but as long as government is taking care of the man’s family through welfare, food stamps, fuel assistance, Medicaid, and HUD housing, the man loses that feeling of being needed and important to his family. One middle aged tribal member said, “I knew that if I went drinking and was gone awhile, my family would be okay. They had a HUD house and food stamps. If I had thought they wouldn’t be okay, I would have stayed.” Federal Indian Policy today doesn’t help families: it tears them down. Chief Joseph was right when he said, “we only ask a chance to live as other men”.
From the book, “Caring for the Flock,” David Larsen notes,
“Viktor Franklmake(s) a significant statement about the importance of a sense of purpose in life for survival,this coming from a survivor of Hitler’s death camps.”
TheState and federal governments are doing littleabout the situation. Time and again as legislation has been introduced to make minor changes in the circumstances, it has been rebuffed. One state legislator confided that they are afraid of lawsuits by the tribe and how much such a lawsuit could end up costing the state. But there is little State government can do anyway. Federal Indian Policy is inherently federal. However, Washington DC also avoids the issues. While we have been able to bend the ear of some Congressmen, others seem to approach Indian affairs tentatively,viewing tribal governments as victims in need of special care and tribal members as non-US citizens under the sovereignty of tribal government.They seem to refuse any other perspective. In addition, some Congressmen are currently receiving large campaign contributions from tribal casinos and other entities.
Many in the media, likewise, view tribal governments as victims and portray reservation life romantically.One reporter stated that unless he sees large numbers of tribal members take to the streets in protest, just as during the civil rights movement of the 60’s, he won’t believe there are any problems.As a result, the general public remains unaware and views tribal issues with a spirit of guilt. Hence, as long as the general public continues to feel to blame for the problems in Indian Country, Congress will not change Federal Indian Policy.
Through the years, many in the community, both tribal and non-tribal, leaders and non-leaders have approached us. Many approach us in private and tell us not to let their story go any further. They tell us that things are not right and ask us to continue speaking the truth. Tribal members tell us they wish they could speak out, but fear losing their tribal job or tribal lease. One tribal member said, “My sister works at the tribal complex and I don’t want her to lose her job, so please don’t use my name.” Another said, “They almost took away my home, so I don’t want you to tell my story…” A few non-tribal members have said, “A lot of my business is tribal, so I can’t afford to make the tribal government mad…”
Many of our tribal communities have been in a struggle for years. The truth, as much as we wish otherwise, is the struggle cannot disappearuntil what is wrong at the heart of the reservation system is resolved.It cannot disappear until people, high and low, begin to really care. It can’t disappear until circumstances that allow two contentious governments and two separate legal systems within the same boundaries are resolved. It cannot disappear until it is understood that every man needs to feel needed by his family.And it cannot disappear until God is invited into the hearts of men.
What can we do? –PRAY
“Is one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective.
“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced crops.
“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.”James 5:13-20 (NIV)
1.Prayfor the spiritual leaders, (Christian and non-Christian) and political leaders of all the reservations and reserves throughout North America. Pray for members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Congressional Native American Caucus, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the U.S. Secretary of Interior, and BIA officials, and others who are directly involved in Federal Indian Policy.
2.Assistin direct spiritual ministry, mime, music, communication, Bible study, devotions and prayer with tribal residents and Christian churches all over.
3.Helpothers in the Church learn through Scripture that they have a responsibility to be World Christians, and that there are people right near by that need help.
4.Prayfor organizations on both sides of the fence that are working to change Federal Indian Policy, including the NARF, NCAI, the Native Christian Coalition and Aboriginal Accountability Coalition in Canada, CERA, and AIM.
5.Listento families and children in their distress and pray for them.
6.Askothers, in the name of Jesus and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to please help.
7.Writeon the issues as God leads.
8.Respectfully approachour leaders in Government for help, advocating for the oppressed, defending the rights of the poor and needy.
Please Join us.
Prayer List ofUnited States Reservations
Prayer List ofCanadian Reserves
Prayer forNeedy Families
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”Ephesians 6: 19, 20 (NIV)
Please also pray for the protection of our organization and families, in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”Eph. 6:24, 24 (NIV)