A blog about the faith, hope and adventures of Amy, Kim, Tristan and Lesley as they journey together as the Anchored Warriors Team!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ambrose Visits Eden Valley

From February 17 to 21 a group of students from Ambrose University College partnered with Anchored Warriors and had the opportunity to spend a few days at Eden Valley. It was a great experience! There was no better way to spend our reading week.

There were four students who went, Carisse, Tara, Rafael, and myself: Kayla. At first we did not know what to expect, but as the week went on we learned more and more that we were the ones being served, not doing the serving. I was privileged to learn so much about native culture. We got a tour of the reserve on our first day there, which helped us get a feel for the area. Every night we got to go to the hockey games at the arena, which they were so much fun! It was great way to connect with people there while watching a good game of hockey. We had the opportunity to work in the school for a day; everyone was very welcoming. My favourite part was playing tag at recess. We got to clean the church in Eden Valley and recognize it as a sanctuary.

God defied my expectations and blessed us in numerous ways over the course of the week. There were many lessons to be learned this trip: lessons on sacrificial love, on true joy, and on resting in God. God brought rest to my weary soul as I learned how to be dependent on others for guidance. He did more than we could have asked for or imagined. The relationships that were built are what matter, and I pray that they will remain.

We got to meet and talk with Joel and Amanda Sewell, who have been involved in Eden Valley for almost five years. Their wisdom and hospitality was very much appreciated. High RiverAlliance Church was also gracious enough to let us stay the week in their building. This trip would not have happened without them. Thank you to Anchored Warriors and every at Eden Valley for supporting us and allowing us to learn and grow. It was an amazing experience! I hope to have more like it in the future.

Written by Kayla. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

FAQ and Ways to Join with the Anchored Warriors!

1. How many different tribes/bands are there in Alberta? 

In Alberta there are:
45 First Nations in three treaty areas
140 reserves
Approximately 812,771 hectares of reserve land

The province is home to 13% of Canada's total Registered Indian status population from which the most commonly spoken First Nations' languages in the province are Blackfoot, Cree, Chipewyan, Dene, Sarcee and Stoney (Nakoda Sioux).

2. Why is Aboriginal youth ministry so important?

The Canadian census says that 50% of the Aboriginal population is under the age of 25.
Also of these youth aged 15 and up 20% are currently attending school and 20% will not finish high school. (
2006 Profile of Aboriginal Children, Youth and Adults 15 years and up)
Along with these statistics the suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth, and the suicide rates among Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average. (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/promotion/suicide/index-eng.php)

Although these statistics sound discouraging there is A LOT of hope among Aboriginal youth. They are one of the most resilient people groups in the world having survived genocide and adverse effects of both residential schools and colonization. Native Youth Conference has seen an increase in numbers over the last 5 years going from approximately 75-100 youth attendees to over 350 for the last 2 years. This says that there is a thirst among Aboriginal youth to not only know God but do better for themselves and their communities. Of the youth that attend NYC the majority do not come from a church background but have had many different spiritual influences in their lives. Anchored Warriors seeks to build relationships and build into these youth so that they can change their communities from the inside out with the HOPE that they find in true relationship with Christ as an Aboriginal person.

3. What do Aboriginal people value most?

- Family: If there is a culture that would do ANYTHING for their family it is Native people. They will always stand behind their families and they strive to always put family first.

- Community: Family extends beyond blood for Aboriginal people. They believe in the need for community to raise their children and families in the right way. When you are accepted as a community member you are going to be taken care of.

- Laughter: Aboriginal people love to enjoy each others company and they love to laugh. Humor is a huge part of family and community for Aboriginal people. It is also a way to deal with some of their day to day life struggles.

- Hospitality: Aboriginal people are some of the most hospitable people you will meet. They will share and help others through thick and thin and strive to take care of one another.

- Spirituality: Aboriginal people understand that this life is not the only life. They understand that everything is connected to the Creator and that we are all deeply spiritual beings and that this earth is a spiritual place. They value and understand this part of life in a very deep and real way. Everything they do and believe is tied to their understanding of the spiritual world and the Creator.

4. How can I help?

a. One of the biggest ways that you can help is to pray for the Aboriginal communities that surround you. 

Here are a few ideas of ways to pray, but also research the communities that are near to you. Every community has their own struggles and strengths, ask God to reveal ways in which you can be praying and working alongside people in those communities.

-  You can pray for the youth and that they would have the courage and resources available to them to achieve their dreams.

- You can pray for Aboriginal people to come into your life that you can be friends with and build relationship with.

- You can pray for unity and strength for Aboriginal people and their communities, and also for unity and strength between all of us as believers.

b. Another way you can help is to decide to make Anchored Warriors a ministry that you will support as a Church family. 

This can look very different for each faith community, so pray for God to show you how that could look for your own Church family.

c. You can also encourage a better understanding of Aboriginal culture in your Church or faith community.

There is still a lot of racism and ignorance about Aboriginal culture and people. There is a portrait of Native people put forth by the media and by many people as outsiders to this culture. We need to be actively learning and seeking to know the truth about Aboriginal culture so that we can love one another the way that Christ calls us to- without fear.

d. One of the most important things you can do is build relationships for the right reasons with Aboriginal people.

Loving and genuine friendships with other people are one of the most important parts of sharing the gospel with anyone. If we want to spread Gods love it is necessity for it to be done in the context of genuine relationship especially with a people group who value community, family, hospitality and laughter. Pray for God to bring genuine relationship to you, seek to be open and honest in that relationship and try to understand the culture that they come from without needing to fix anything.

1 John 4:7-12
7Dear friends let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

For more information or to have a conversation about any of this please contact us at nativeyc@gmail.com