Monthly Archives: August2018

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(Oklahoma City) – Members of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC), along with Cheyenne Prayer Woman, Henrietta Mann, will hold a prayer ceremony for immigrant children on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at the Casa Padre facility in Brownsville, Texas. The facility, a former Walmart, houses only boys and it is the largest shelter in the U.S. for minors caught crossing the border illegally.

The Rev. David Wilson, OIMC conference superintendent, says Native people understand too well what is taking place along the borders.  “History is repeating itself,” said Wilson. “We are still dealing with historic trauma in our Native communities from the U.S. government practice of separating children from their families.  We know the end results of these practices and this must stop.”

The trip was inspired by Mann who wanted to do something for the children and remind people of the power of prayer.

“Imagine the heartbreak, fear, and disbelief of the parents as they were deported without their children,” said Mann. “I never expected to live long enough to see the ‘great white father’ institute such an ill-conceived and hard-hearted immigration directive.”

OIMC is part of The United Methodist Church which has taken a stand against the current immigration practices.  Many churches within the denomination are offering safe sanctuary to shelter and protect immigrants in danger of separation from their families or being returned to the countries they have fled.

Statistics show the largest group of indigenous children are coming from Guatemala. “They are Mayans and fleeing extreme violence and poverty as well as targeted discrimination against Native people,” said Gabrielle Tayac, Piscataway historian.  She says many immigrants are also coming from El Salvador and Honduras, countries with the highest murder rates in the world which often target women and girls.

“Sadly, the families coming to the United States are being victimized twice,” said Wilson.  “We invite persons to come and join the ceremony and stand in solidarity with these families.”

The sunrise ceremony will include prayers, burning of cedar, and songs that speak of the Creator God’s presence in the lives of the children. For more information about the service contact the Rev. David Wilson at dwilson@oimc.org.