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Helliwell’s March 2024 Missions Update

tânisi Mike,
(tânisi is nêhiyawêwin and means “hello, how are you?”; it also clearly identifies me as being Plains Cree, and I assert this fact very clearly whenever I use this greeting.  So, it isn’t just a word…it is an invitation into my identity, and an expression of who I am.) 

Since joining Rising Above in 2021, Vivian and I have sought to carry the mission and vision of Rising Above into Regina’s North Central’s Indigenous community; that is to be “First People helping First People, Bringing God’s healing to our land.”  While the primary emphasis of our ministry has been on incarnational Discipleship, the ensuing years have also yielded much learnings about how our community might be best served doing that.

Thus the Regina Discipleship Project (RDP) has now hosted three Indigenous Christian Discussions on the second Saturdays of January, February, and March of 2024. Cory Illingworth recorded and anonymously compiled some of the comments as participants shared their feelings about the intersection of their Indigenous heritage, and their Christian experience. There will be a further 3 Indigenous Christian Discussion groups in April, May and June. Before April’s group, we have begun inviting selected participants to provide guidance on how RDP is to move forward beyond June.

Tangent to this, the North Central Survey has now been completed and time has come to compile the data and analyze the results.  The results of both of these reports, the Discussion report and the Survey report will be shared with the Guidance council, to provide them with some useful information to guide their deliberations.

As mentioned in my last update, I have also finalized and released a report on the importance of Homeland Acknowledgements.  In the past 2 years, it has become apparent that homeland acknowledgement and reclaiming language also have a role to play in being First People helping First People, bringing God’s healing to our land.

So that is the larger view – the bird’s eye view so to speak. Here are some focal points:

Vivian needs prayer for a van as her ministry is severely hampered by having to rely on others to get around.  In the past two weeks, she has provided contributions of soup and Bannock to two funerals, is helping a woman make preparations for her wedding at the end of March, outreach to poor and homeless with warm clothing, blankets and other necessities as well as continuing to help our daughter, Keesha in her recovery.  Please pray that the Lord provides a suitable vehicle.

I am continuing to engage and teach incarnational discipleship on two fronts: through the Journey Through the Bible Discipleship group and providing guidance to two pairings of disciples.  Being available and helping at funerals has always been an important aspect of our ministry. Also helping out where I can at Gentle Road Church of Christ.

As always, prayer support continues to be the most important aspect of our ministry and we are grateful for your remembrance of us in your prayers.

Praying for Big Things!

Nick Helliwell