Abuse in many forms is a significant problem among the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Its harmful and destructive effects are seen and felt in every aspect of Aboriginal life; family, community, and culture. It is also felt in society at large. Victims of abuse are likely to turn to many destructive behaviors to deal with their pain. Consequently, substance abuse, family violence, gangs and suicide have reached epidemic proportions among our people.
Confronted with this reality, a few Native Christian leaders came together in 1992 to discuss what they could do to address the issues that were surfacing in people’s lives, in the church and in communities. As they shared their common burdens and stories and as they prayed and wept together for their people, they firmly concluded that ignoring the problem was no longer an option. They began to plan a conference to give lay people and the church the tools to help restore hope to the abused and the abuser. As a result, Rising Above Abuse Counselling Agency was founded. The name Rising Above was chosen because they believed that with God’s help First Nations people could rise above the hurt and pain to enjoy the fullness of life intended by God. The motto, “First Peoples helping First Peoples” conveyed the strong unanimous resolve that First Nations people need to take the lead in providing help to those who are suffering from the damaging effects of abuse and stopping the cycle of abuse that has destroyed so many of our people.
There has been great demand for Rising Above to have conferences and provide resources, both from those who have been abused and those who work to help the hurting. Although the problem is overwhelming at times, we thank God that many are reaching out for help and that He is using Rising Above to share the message of hope.
Rising Above does not receive funding from the government. We depend on God, God’s people and anyone who believes in what we are doing to train First Peoples and their churches to deal with the enormous problems of abuse. Would you also partner with us:
- in praying,
- in giving financially,
- in attending conferences.
We thank God and trust that God will bless you for your support of this ministry.