Endorsements for the First Nations Version Project
Terry and Darlene have represented what is authentic and current as they move and minister. We who are Natives and have experienced their ministry have never been the same. They are authentic and fresh every time one chooses to go where they are featured. They are both Storytellers and I capitalize Storytellers because those who are identified with this title are to be honored. I am a tribal elder of Lakota and Odawa descent and am considered a Storyteller myself. I have never been disappointed by Terry and Darlene’s stories. They are those stories that reach deep into the heart of man. These two people have dedicated their lives to our people and it is my honor to endorse them and this project.
Elder Warren Petoskey
I have the privilege of knowing Terry Wildman as a trusted friend who demonstrates integrity and love. In view of his heritage, devotion, and study, he is well suited to lead the First Nations Version project, an ambitious goal for an unmet need. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other translation of this type of a major portion of the Bible, uniquely presented from a First Nations (Indigenous Peoples) perspective. It will not only speak in a highly relevant manner to Native Americans, but will also help those of other races to have a cross-cultural glimpse into how the Spirit of the Creator tends to speak to those of First Nations lineages.
Dr. Tom Dooley
Author & Founder of Path Clearer
“God’s Words were falling on my ears like rain, delicious, barren land soaking rain. I could see children hearing and understanding God’s heart for the very first time. I think many in the indigenous world will know God through the First Nation’s Version Project. I encourage everyone to promote it within their sphere of influence.”
International School of Reconciliation
I first met Terry and Darlene Wildman on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona in 2001. I’ve had the privilege of working with them since and seeing their music and spoken word grow nationally and internationally. I count the Wildman’s among my dearest friends and highly recommend their ministry and their request for support as they endeavor to paraphrase the New Testament into a language that communicates the heart of Creator God to the heart of Native and Indigenous Peoples in a language that resonates with their spirits and culture.
Ronald Anthony Archer
North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition
We have known and partnered with RainSong for many years. Terry and Darlene are graced with the ability to take the timeless Gospel of Christ and express it within the paradigm of various First Nations cultures in music and in narrative. Terry has the foundation of Biblical scholarship and the insight and understanding of Indian culture to bring Scripture alive in a fresh and winsome way. He has been telling the story with fruitfulness for a long time. I am glad to see that he is now doing a paraphrase of Creator’s story that is both Biblically grounded and culturally relevant.
Dr. Ron Allen
Heartland Church, Indiana
I cannot describe how excited I am about this project! It was an incredible personal blessing to meet Terry and Darlene in Ireland a few years ago. Their ministry and its unique emphases had a great impact on my life. I have long-prayed for a more culturally impacting and relevant work among First Nations peoples. It has been a blessing to see and hear what they have been doing, through their art of music, dance, storytelling, and now this project.
Their unique retelling of the scriptures in a native way has always fascinated and thrilled me deep inside, although I am far removed from those cultures and nations. I expect that great things will surely come from this project. As one who has been involved in a ministry focus of reaching out to the oral learner, through story4all for several years now, I cannot overemphasize the importance of this project. I heartily welcome and endorse it! May God use it mightily as His Story is told in the manner of First Nations peoples!
Northern Ireland, UK
Back in September of 2012 I had the opportunity to see Terry Wildman minister in a church. I had been intrigued by the host church’s advertisement concerning the Wildman’s ministry. What caught my eye was the word “storytelling.”
I don’t come from a Native background, but I have been involved in ministry to Native people for fourteen years. Over the last couple years, the Lord has begun to show me that a more culturally relevant approach to ministering to Native people is necessary. And so I went to see the Wildman’s concert specifically for the purpose of observing the “storytelling” aspect.
What I saw was not only both biblically sound and culturally relevant, it also gave me fresh insight into the Word of God. Through Terry’s ministry I’ve come to understand that much of the Word of God is storytelling! In fact, the more I study the gospels, the more I see Jesus telling stories to connect with His listeners and speak God’s Word into their lives.
For the past several months I have been using a “storytelling” method of preaching. My congregation is nearly 90% Navajo (I am one of only a few white Europeans in my church). The impact was immediate. For the first time in 14 years I’m watching our people really connect with the Word of God! Several older Navajo women have come up to me and told me how they appreciate the new preaching method. “We can really understand you now!”
Terry’s work on the First Nations Version of the Bible has been a real inspiration for me to modify how I preach and it is bearing real fruit with our Native congregation. Praise God!
Pastor Joel Toppen
Gallup, New Mexico