The Heartbeat of Richard Twiss


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Please pray for Richard Twiss, Co-Founder and President of Wiconi International. Wiconi (“we-cho-nee”) means “Life” in the Lakota/Sioux language. Richard had a heart attack on Wednesday. Pray for his heartbeat, which beats for Wiconi—life. An update on Wiconi International’s Facebook page last night read: “Richard is on full life support for his heart and lungs. Right now the doctors are neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the situation, but they agree it is a serious situation. They are going to keep him sedated for a couple of days, at which time [they] will be able to determine the extent of any damage.”

Richard is loved by countless people for his love for life, the ways of Jesus, and justice for Native peoples. His heart breaks for the damage done to Native peoples in our country and longs for a hope-filled future for them. Here is the heartbeat or aim of Wiconi International, the work Richard co-founded:

“Our aim is to provide education, encouragement and offer practical support to Native American families and communities in creating a preferred future. Historically, Native people have been underrepresented and underserved in mainstream America. Economic, cultural and social barriers continually limit access to viable resources, thus hindering many healthy community change efforts. Wiconi’s primary mission is to empower and serve Native people to experience a desired quality of life and a hope-filled future through authentic relationships and culturally supportive programs. We seek to live and walk among all people in a good way, as we follow the ways of Jesus—affirming, respecting and embracing the God-given cultural realities of Native American and Indigenous people, not rejecting or demonizing these sacred cultural ways.”

Richard has touched my heart and life over the years. As a result of his own love of God’s distinctive handiwork in native cultures, I have come to love Jesus’ ways more. Richard has helped to teach me that Jesus is by no means homogeneous or generic. He speaks life into every culture through the Spirit—reversing the curse at Babel by bearing witness through diverse tongues at Pentecost. May God grant Richard life and may our own lives beat for life for Native peoples. Perhaps you will find what I have found—that one’s heart comes alive, as God destroys our idolatrous towers of cultural imperialism reaching to the heavens and builds his kingdom on the cornerstone, Jesus, with the bricks and mortar and living stones of many tribes and tongues.

About Paul Louis Metzger

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins and Professor at Multnomah Biblical Seminary/Multnomah University. He is the author of numerous works, including "Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths" and "Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church." These volumes and his others can be found wherever fine books are sold.

Find me on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

  • Dan Fredericks

    I was in DC, as well… in the 24-hour intercessory prayer room, which undergirds the National Prayer Breakfast… We kept up prayer for Richard Twiss. We continue to pray for him.

    • Paul Louis Metzger

      Thank you, Dan.

  • Paul Louis Metzger

    This is the latest update from Wiconi International’s Facebook page:

    RICHARD TWISS UPDATE (6:45PM PST): Up until now the doctors have been keeping Richard’s body at a low temperature in order to preserve his neurological capacity. They have begun warming his body and we will see over the next 24 hours how his body and brain respond; whether Richard’s body will continue to fight or let go, will let us know the next steps. Keep praying throughout the night and we will update you more in the morning.

  • Art

    God’s peace and healing to brother Richard.

  • Tom & Vicki Bee

    We are praying for you brother. Our GOD is still in the miracle business. TOM & VICKI

  • Tom & Vicki Bee

    We are praying for you brother. GOD is still in the miracle business. TOM & VICKI BEE

  • Paul Louis Metzger

    I just received news that Richard Twiss passed away. Please keep his family and loved ones in your prayers. I am very grateful for his life and love for his Lord and others. He will be dearly missed. May we learn from his vibrant example: he walked in the footsteps of Jesus and stood with his people.

    Here is the news of his passing, which is posted at Wiconi International’s Facebook page:

    The Passing of Richard Leo Twiss, Taoyate Obnajin “He Stands with his People”

    As of Saturday, February 9, 2013 Richard Leo Twiss, Lakota, co-founder and President of Wiconi International, passed into the eternal kingdom of the Creator as he took up the journey of life on the other side, to be with the Lord whom he loved and served so diligently on this side of life.
    Richard walked the good road with Jesus from 1974, and continues his walk now on the other side of life.

    In the final hours of Richard’s journey on this side, he was surrounded by his wife Katherine, his four sons, Andrew, Phillip, Ian and Daniel, along with close friends who sang, prayed, laughed and reminisced together about his impact in life among them, and within the wider kingdom of his Creator.

    A fuller description of the impact and ministry of our brother, Richard Twiss, will be posted at a later date.

  • PresbyFriend

    So sorry to hear of his passing. Peace and love to his family and loved ones.

  • Tom & Vicki Bee

    We are praying for peace and comfort for the Twiss family at the loss of their beloved husband and father. From our heart to yours TOM & VICKI

  • Terry&Bonnie Higdon

    Our prayers for the Twiss family. We have lost a great warrior for all people.

  • Cliff Chappell

    We pray for God’s peace and confort upon the Twiss Family as we all grieve his passing and celebrate his life.

  • leah

    I have been blessed to see and hear Richard speak several times. He was, and remains a gift to native peoples in many lands. He blessed us with the heart and truth of our Creator and the love of Jesus, bringing restoration and understanding where religions had brought death. God made no mistakes in the giftings He placed in the nations of indigenous peoples that He established in each land. Though the enemy of our souls has tried to destroy and silence the gift of our peoples to His Kingdom, God raised up Richard for such a time as this. The message that He has given and the restoration He has sent is not silenced because He has called His Warrior Son home. Strength and purpose will be renewed and established in the hearts of His peoples. The mantle that was given to Richard is passed on to One who has been trained up to walk in his footsteps and to continue to carry the heart of our Creator to the nations, and to restore to them the voice and destiny called forth in them by the Creator from before they were brought forth from their mothers’ womb. The Gifts of God are irrevocable and are still recorded in the DNA of His children, waiting to be raised up again in Honor to the Worship of and Service to the One Creator of Heavens and earth. Their Voice and Calling has not been silenced, even though the lands have been stained by their bloods as the enemy sought to destroy the Gift placed within each group. God has not forgotten the People. The Voice of Intercession, Worship and Spiritual Warfare has not been brought to destruction just because the People have been trodden under foot. He has breathed the Breath of Life in you. You are His Sons and Daughters. You were created and established with a Purpose that none but you can accomplish in the healing and restoration of your Lands and People. Your Voice has not been silenced. Richards Voice, even though it has gone on before, has not been silenced. That which is of God is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Wiconi spoke/speaks with one Voice, regardless of the vessel it comes forth from. That Voice is Truth, the Voice of the Creator, and even though Richard has gone before, the Voice remains and will not be diminished. Still, I know the missing brings great pain even as your hearts are filled with love and all the good and joy that was part of your journey with Richard in his walk on earth. As Holy Spirit moves within you, I pray that He will comfort you and keep you with all the love of the Father. Although Richard is gone from his body and is with the Creator, all that he was and is remains with you in your heart and cannot be separated or taken from you. You will find him around you in all the visions and places he walked and was part of. Even though he is apart from you, this moment in time; it is as he were on a journey and there is no great distance between you and he. Even though you may not touch his physical body, all that he was remains around you, and in your hearts. He is not gone from you, but in a different place. My husband went before me to be with our Lord in September. As he is gone from his body, he is present with the Lord. As I raise my hands in worship and touch the face of God, there is only this veil that separates us, and I know in the spirit that he is just beyond the veil, and in the Lords’ time, I will join him there. Even in all the changes that surround me like a whirlwind, God keeps me, and love remains. I will hold the ministry and the family in prayer. God surround you, a shield about you to protect you from and drive away the wolves that may gather. Be your hiding place and constant shelter as you are gathered close to His heart. Go before you in all that you do. Be your strength and deliverer. Surround you. Surround you. Surround you. Establish you as a place of habitation where His heart can dwell. Call forth a double portion where the Mantle rests. Go out before you in delivering power and restoration, establishing Salvation among the Nations and the People. God Bless You. I know your relationship with the Lord is strong. There will still be times before you that will try your soul. As God has been, He will be. Every step of the way, He will keep you. Every breath you breathe, He will give you. Every tear that falls, He will hold you. He is forever with you. May mercy and blessing reign upon and flow within you. Blessings, Leah

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