This was the first time the All Nations Convocation Jerusalem (ANCJ), which started in 1994 by Ps Tom Hess, has had an Indigenous Track. The tracks are seminars held in the Congress Hall at the same time the main session is being held. Other tracks are the International Council of Elders, Five-Fold Ministry, Business Leaders Summit, Government Leaders, City Transformation, 24/7 Leaders Seminar, Joshua Generation (youth), Aliyah, Jewish and Arab Reconciliation, and Gideon’s Army Carrying the Word from Jerusalem (resources). The speakers were the inaugural leaders of the Indigenous Track, Ps Norman and Barbara Miller from Australia, Martha Johnston, an intercessor from Alaska and Ps Eric Efore from Papua New Guinea. Fr Les Baird, Anglican priest of a large Aboriginal community called Yarrabah, near Cairns, Australia opened in prayer. Praise and worship was led by Tom Miller, Ps Norman Miller and the Tabernacle of David team from Cairns. Ps Peter and Maria Walker led the song “The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit” and the prayer points raised by the speakers were prayed through by Ps Aiden Pensio of Darnley Is in the Torres Strait, Shirley Miller and Ps Peter Walker of Sydney.
I read Acts 17:26 and said we need to respect Indigenous custodians. At our conferences, we acknowledge the traditional owners and usually invite them to do a “welcome to country”. We also need to respect Indigenous people as apostolic mothers and fathers in the land and the Jewish people as our spiritual mothers and fathers. In our prayers for the city we live in, we ask the Indigenous people, who have the authority to speak for the land, to stand in the gap in repentance (Ezek 22:30) for sins on the land and to extend forgiveness where they’ve been hurt. Brian Pickering of the Australian Prayer Network teaches that it’s like the people in the community are in a bank vault and the church has one key to get them out but can’t because there is a government key as well and 2 keys are needed. I believe that there are 3 keys – the Indigenous key also. At Norman’s birthplace of Atherton, when we did spiritual warfare, we had 3 levels of authority operating – the Christian Mayor, a key pastor in the city, and an Aboriginal from the local tribe who was also a pastor. In 1995, Norman and I went to a reconciliation meeting in Brisbane, Australia and the Anglican priest (Jim Nightingale) in this Uniting Church prophesied over us that we did not need to do a ministry of reconciliation but we were living a ministry of reconciliation. He also told us that if we wanted to continue our ministry of reconciliation between black and white more effectively, then to work on the original cause of the division that has created a platform spiritually for other divisions in the world – Jewish-Gentile reconciliation. We agreed with this and asked God for a heavenly download of love for the Jewish people and Israel which He gave us instantly. We made the shift in our ministry and have interwoven these ministries of reconciliation since – Indigenous-non-Indigenous reconciliation and Jew-Gentile reconciliation. About a year later, the Lord spoke to us that we were watchmen over the nation in the area of reconciliation. One of the keys to spiritual authority is taking spiritual responsibility through prayer and repentance. Also, our ministry is very much a Jeremiah 1:10 ministry of tearing down and uprooting foundations that are not of God and building and planting foundations that are of God. This ministry was prophesied over us in 1996 at the First World Conference of Indigenous Christians in New Zealand. We have seen it develop, partly through prayer initiatives and partly through our Psalm 24:7 national conferences we’ve been holding yearly since July 2003. Indigenous people have a responsibility to bring healing of the people and healing of the land (the theme of our 2005 conference at Uluru, a major Indigenous gate in Australia). Ezek 22:1-4, 11-12 shows us that the 4 major areas of healing needed are from the sins of:
- Broken covenants/promises and
- Sexual immorality
Reconciliation re the sins of colonization has been an issue with us being involved in British-Australian reconciliation 1997-1999 with intercessors from Britain. The Bethany Gate All Pacific Prayer Assembly which we co-hosted with JHOPFAN and APPA in Cairns Australia in May 2006 was an opportunity to bring repentance between Dutch intercessors and Aborigines re the loss of life on both sides at the point of first contact of Europeans with Aborigines exactly 400 years ago (Cape Keer Weer, Aurukun) and with Spanish intercessors for the kidnapping of Torres Strait Islanders exactly 400 years ago when these islands received their European name. I spoke briefly about our role as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in appropriating the blessings (Gen 12:3) from our blessing of Israel re the 800 light horsemen who freed Beer Sheva from the Turks and Germans on 31 October 1917 opening the way for centuries of Islamic rule of Jerusalem to end and repenting for the cursing we’ve brought on our nation for taking fewer Jewish refugees than we could have at the 1938 Evian conference leaving them at the mercy of the Holocaust. The Australian Government of the time said it did not have a racial problem and was not desirous of importing one. We apologized to the Israel Consulate in Sydney, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Sydney Jewish Museum and WIZO on 31 October 2002 and to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum Israel representatives in January 2004. God gave me a prophetic word on Australia Day 1996 that the Indigenous people of Australia were going to rise up in the spirit of Joseph to rulership in the land and that they would send missionaries overseas (Gen 50:20). It is wonderful to later discover that we are in the Bethany Gate and that Joseph is associated with this gateway. I made a proclamation over Indigenous people of the 12 gateways that they would rise up to rulership in the spirit of Joseph.
Ps 48:12-13. Norman said that Australian Aborigines often talk about “walkabout” because of their nomadic heritage and people today still “go walkabout” so it was interesting for him to find this verse where it says “walk about Zion”. It has been wonderful to walk about the places Jesus and His disciples walked. It has been great to bring a team of 33 to Israel, 14 of them being Indigenous, 12 Aboriginal and 2 Torres Strait Islanders. Some Australians were already here bringing our team to about 40. It is historic to have this many Indigenous people in the land at the ANCJ conference!! The impartation of a love for Israel and the Jewish people will bring them to a new level in their walk with the Lord. At Reconciliation 1997 conference, we repented to the British at Coventry Cathedral for resentment to them because of their colonization of Australia. The following year, British intercessors came to Australia hosted by the Australian Prayer Network (APN) to say sorry for the sins of colonization and we hosted them for a week in Cairns at the International Conference on Reconciliation and Peace. In 1999, the APN held a conference at Uluru to pray for Australia and then led a team of Australians to Britain to say “we forgive you” and we were part of that team with a handful of Indigenous Australians taking part. In 1996, we ministered at the First World Conference of Indigenous Christians in New Zealand and in 1998 we spoke at an Indigenous conference on Reconciliation called Sacred Assembly at Sagkeeng Reservation, Manitoba, Canada. In 2000, we were invited by Ps John Chimbambo to speak at 3 Intercessors for Zimbabwe conferences in Zimbabwe and were able to bring reconciliation between black farm workers and whites. In 2000-2001, we prayed strategically with a group of intercessors from various denominations over our city of Cairns and dealt with foundations, gates and the city wall as the Lord led us. Some of the foundations we dealt with were – Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations, freemasonry and Chinese settlement/Buddhism. The Lord also gave us national prayer assignments including dealing with the rainbow serpent which had been placed over Sydney Harbour Bridge in fireworks on New Years Eve 2000 and dealing with the rainbow serpent at its home in Uluru in 2005. Since 2003, the Lord has been leading us to do national Ps 24:7 conferences around 24 July each year:
- Redigging the Wells and Transformation, Cairns 2003 (bringing together Aboriginal communities who had experienced revival with the city transformation movement)
- Opening the Gates and Ushering in the King of Glory, Parliament House, Canberra 2004 (very similar to a Bethany Gate conference)
- Healing the Land, Healing the People, Uluru 2005 (healing tribal divisions and keynoting Indigenous speakers)
- SHIP: Shaping History into Place, Sydney Opera House, 2006 (following up on British-Australian Reconciliation tour and the theme of Sons of Zion v Sons of Greece)
Two extra conferences the Lord led us to host were the Tabernacle of David and Global Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem conferences (we are the Australian leaders) in Cairns and the Gold Coast Sept-Oct 2005 and the Bethany Gate All Pacific Prayer Assembly (APPA) in Cairns in May 2006 with 3,000 delegates from 30 nations at which Ps Tom Hess and Ps Michael Maeliau and others spoke. This was timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Ferdinand de Quiros declaring from Vanuatu that Australia and the lands to the South Pole were the Southlands of the Holy Spirit and the 400th anniversary of white contact with the Australian mainland (Dutch) and the Torres Strait (Spanish).
We were blessed that Barbara was able to co-write a book with Ps Michael Maeliau of the Solomon Islands, Ps Milo Siilata of NZ and Janet Maki of the Cook Islands this year called Uluru, the Heart of the Nation, so titled because Michael believed that what happened at Uluru was central to what God wanted to do at the Bethany Gate APPA in 2006. The themes for the years the Lord have been giving me have been:
- Jesus sets free in 2003
- Jesus Standing at the Door in 2004
- Alive, Revive and Thrive in 2005
- Sounds of Shofars, Didjeridoos and Clapsticks in 2006 and
- Open Heaven in 2007
Martha said that they were preparing for Aliyah of the Jewish people of Alaska to Israel by raising money and awareness. A considerable amount of money had been raised and much prayer had gone into this breakthrough.
Eric said that there a number of people in PNG who are Torah observers and that he had done a lot of teaching in this area. He had been coming to Israel every year for a number of years. There was much preparation occurring for the All Pacific Prayer Assembly which PNG would host next August. Ruth Kendino of Papua New Guinea who has worked for JHOPFAN for a number of years was honored by Ps Norman for her contribution to the Bethany Gate nations.
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