June Newsletter, 2015 Rick McPherson
In a recent YouTube video I talked about the Pow wows in our city, state and country. For Native Americans, the Pow wow is a very special event. Wikipedia describes them like this:
“A pow wow (also powwow, pow-wow or pau wau) is a gathering of some of North America’s Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwau, meaning “spiritual leader”. A similar gathering by Californian Native Peoples usually in the fall is called a Big Time. A modern pow wow is a specific type of event for Native American/First Nations people to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor their cultures. Pow wows may be private or public. There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded. Pow wows vary in length from a one-day event, to major pow wows called for a special occasion which can be up one week long.”
Over the past several years we have participated in one of the largest pow wows in the country, Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Montana. Our friend and pastor of the local church, Ken Pretty-On-Top, has hosted us and together we have delivered truckloads of groceries, boots and household supplies to thousands of Native Americans. To capture the beauty of this pow wow, do a Google search for “Crow Fair” and you will see the regalia, parades, rodeo and tipi city that make it the largest Native American gathering. It is very encouraging to hear the reports from Pastor Ken and know that men, women and children are accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior at the church in Crow Agency.
Another pow wow that we support is in Turner, Oregon and is presented by Wiconi International. This pow wow also includes a camp-meeting and is the result of the ministry of Richard Twiss. Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest and California attend this week-end event for all the traditional Native activities plus worship, praise music and the preaching of God’s Word.
And in our own back-yard, we provide a prayer tent, Bibles, literature and bottled water for the pow wow at Delta Park in north Portland. Last year we saw hundreds of Native Americans stop by for shade, a cold bottle of water, encouraging words and prayer for specific needs. It is a beautiful example of cross-cultural ministry set in the trees and green grass at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.
Allow me to finish this newsletter with two specific requests. They are vital for our ministry. First, please pray for us. Include us in your prayer journal, Sunday church bulletin or small group. Second, help us financially. I don’t need to remind you that these ministries all cost money, but I will. When you send a financial gift it enables us to keep on telling the story of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Thank you for praying and giving.
If you’ve never attended a pow wow before, make you plans to do so. Hopefully we’ll bump into each other.