I am an Odawa/Lakotah Elder. I am minister, writer, storyteller, Native artisan, singer, guitar and flute player, and a presenter regarding the issues of historical trauma that continue to plague our Native populations. At one time I was considered one of a very few who worked as a counselor and consultant in the field of historical trauma residuals. I was privileged to meet Terry and his lovely wife, Darlene, a couple of years ago and we have remained in contact since. I was aware at the time that Terry was writing a book and even heard exerpts from it when we met. Now, to have the finished work I consider it a great advance in presenting what the issues are. It is a promotion in the effort to address history from a Native’s perspectives. This book will be an addition to any library and will help every human being better understand what Native people experienced and how we perceive American history. “Sign Language: A Look at the Historic and Prophetic Landscape of America” is one of the finest pieces I have read. It is prophetic in the sense of the book’s arrival at this time in our history.
Author of Dancing My Dream
Terry Wildman writes of a justice long-denied, not only for Native peoples who have suffered the loss of lands, livelihood, and life as the American empire spread across the continent, but also for those who struggle for life and liberty to this very day. Like the prophets of Israel, he seeks to correct our eyesight—to set before us God’s vision and God’s truth and to expose things that we, the American church, would rather not see about ourselves.
Like the biblical prophets, he shoulders a burden that he bears out of love for God, the people of God, and the nation. Terry knows what God’s ancient messengers knew, that right remembering is essential for right believing and right living. He not only sees the past well, he knows how to read the present and direct us into God’s future.
L. Daniel Hawk
Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew
Ashland Theological Seminary, Ohio
Author of Joshua in 3-D: A Commentary on Biblical Conquest and Manifest Destiny
Terry Wildman is both loving and courageous in calling the church to “remove the log from our own eye” when it comes to America’s history with its indigenous peoples. Who is more our neighbor we are called to love than those on whose land we all live and worship? With whom should we “first be reconciled” if not these peoples who have been so gravely mistreated on these shores? Who more should we become like in “all things” than those who cultures first gave meanings and ways of living to this place we now all share? Without bitterness or rancor, but with honesty and spiritual insight, Terry takes American Christians to places we all absolutely need to go.
(The Rev.) Russell Yee, Ph.D.
Author of Worship on the Way (Judson Press)
My friends, Terry and Darlene Wildman, introduce readers to the mostly untold and shameful legacy of American national genocidal history against the first inhabitants of the land. They provide a major key to understanding this genocide by identifying the interconnectedness between Christian theology and imperial ideology. Together they issue a call to action to Christians to respond to this enduring injustice with the heart and lifestyle of restoration and redemption by helping create a new and better future. Not one born of guilt and shame, but mercy, repentance, forgiveness and love – notable signs of those who claim to follow Jesus. I hope you can hear the call!
Dr. Richard Twiss, D.Mis., Sicangu Lakota
Author of One Church, Many Tribes (Regal Books)
President, Wiconi International
“In Sign Language Terry Wildman has written a powerfully truthful yet deeply compassionate treatise that shares a Biblical perspective to help us deal with a deep Historical wound in the United States–that of the Church’s relationship our own Native American People (and with Indigenous people around the world). Sadly the Church has often been silent and looked the other way in the face of gross injustice and even genocide. Even more tragic it has at times collaborated with the Government and other institutions in denying Native Americans love, value, dignity and justice while their peoples were being decimated, dislocated and deprived of the most basic of human rights. Terry is not attempting to “bash” the Church but is offering up a deep cry of Creator Father God’s heart for reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and restoration. Terry gives us word pictures that deeply impact our hearts, language we can use to enter into a deep dialog with one another; and simple practical strategies to cross the divide of fear, hate and hurt and begin the healing process. If we listen and act will begin to lay the foundation of Revival & Reformation we so desperately need, are praying for and Jesus died for.”
Ronald A. Archer
North American Coordinator, International Reconciliation Coalition
“Thank you Terry for the prophetic challenge you have set before us in Sign Language. It deeply challenges me (and I trust others) regarding what my forefathers, the Puritans and Scotch-Irish, laid into the United States of America’s foundations—a theology that could justify the removal of land and culture from the Native American peoples. May it indeed “bring understanding and insight into the history of this land so that we can see the present more clearly, and participate with God in those things that further his love and Kingdom.” (Pg. 76, para. 1)” “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” Revelation. 2:29
Harry Smith, Northern Ireland
Author of Heal Not Lightly, Dignity Restored (www.dignityrestored.org)
“I thank the Creator for the many blessings Terry and I have shared over the past few years. This book reflects the power of positive prayer and the presence of the Creator seen through many eyes. God bless you for your Mission and your Spiritual Message in Grandfather’s name. AHO!”
Chief Brian Buchanan, Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana
“Sign Language carries thoughts that have needed to be expressed to the Body of Christ for many years. Within its pages Terry has boldly painted a picture of truth that exists between the Native American Indian and the organized Church. I challenge you not to tuck it away on your shelf after the first chapter, but to read it with an open heart. I pray Creator will use Sign Language to bring down the ‘Feather Curtain.'”
Mike Peters, Michigan
Ogimaw, 4 Fires Ministries
“Terry Wildman has written a highly informative and well-balanced book addressing the injustices inflicted on the Native American people. In this book you will read stories, personal testimony, historical documents and Scriptures that shed light on the desperate need for hope, healing and restoration for the Native Americans. Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of American history and God’s prospective on revival and restoration for this great land should read this book.”
Shannon Vinsonhaler, author of Divine Times
Senior Pastor, Dove Assembly of God, Panama City, Florida
“Terry Wildman has been on a journey. Not only a journey of physical mobility as a musician, but also of pursuit of knowledge and revelation. Many folks across North America have come to appreciate Terry and his wife Darlene as RainSong, the talented award-winning singer-songwriters. But, Terry is more than that. He is a man of depth, compassion, and the pursuit of God’s will for our days. He earnestly desires to learn from the past and to impart that knowledge into the present. As a Native American voice, my friend Terry has an affinity and appreciation for the mistreatment of the First Nations peoples of the Americas over hundreds of years. Sign Language is a compilation of Terry’s journey to date. I recommend Terry and his book to you, knowing that some of what he has to say will be new information, and in some cases quite provocative. May this prophetic book open minds and hearts on behalf of the Almighty.”
Thomas P. Dooley, Ph.D.
Author of Praying Faith and Hope When Everything Seems Hopeless
Entrepreneur-Scientist, and President of PathClearer Inc.