by Nathan Shaw

During a recent conference God showed me a bottle of tears. I inquired, “God, what is this bottle of tears?” I heard Him whisper, “The tears of the Māori women.” Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. In 1840 a treaty was signed between Māori and Europeans. At the conference I had spoken briefly about the significance of this treaty for New Zealand as a nation. The Treaty of Waitangi became the foundation for a relationship of mutual respect and honour. Unfortunately the treaty was disregarded in significant ways. After the conference I continued to seek God about the bottle of tears. It was only then that I remembered a Māori lady who had spoken to me during the conference. She approached me simply to express her thanks for my message. During our brief conversation she mentioned the Treaty of Waitangi. With tears in her eyes she said, “It was a covenant.” I could sense her deep pain. That at least partially answered the question about the bottle of tears—they were tears of pain because of a broken covenant. But God had more to show me. Many of the tears in the bottle were shed long before 1840.

One of the unique features of Māori is their strong sense of connection with their tribe. This is a good thing. It is about identity—knowing who we are and where we come from. Unfortunately this sense of tribal identity led to intense inter-tribal warfare. Often tribes were decimated and enslaved in the warfare. A weakness is usually a strength pushed too far. Before and during the time when Christian missionaries first came to New Zealand the warfare between Māori tribes was fierce. Between 1830-1850 Māori embraced Christianity in an astonishing way. The transformation was radical. It spread from village to village—for the most part Māori preaching to Māori. Māori encountered their Creator in the context of Māori culture. In a short period of time the majority of Māori entered into covenant with God and with a new group of people who came to their land.

Before Europeans ever came to New Zealand, and before Māori embraced Christianity, Māori women shed innumerable tears as their sons and daughters were killed and enslaved through inter-tribal warfare. Women, the nurturers of life from the womb, grieved because destinies were destroyed before their eyes. These tears were noticed by God and collected in a bottle. The God of life collects tears (see Psalm 56:8). He cares about the lives and the destinies that He has created. The pain of the Māori women moved the heart of God. God visited Māori and began to heal their wounds. Satan worked overtime to blind Europeans to the magnitude of that which God was doing. Christianity was mixed with a European world-view, way of life and thinking. God’s intention was always to encounter Māori within the context of their own culture. For the most part Māori abandoned inter-tribal warfare, but many were drawn into warfare with Europeans because of the confiscation of their lands. The tears of the Māori women continued to come up before God. Satan greatly fears the unity of Māori and European.

Women are unique. There are some things they feel very deeply. It’s not that men don’t feel things deeply, they do. It’s just that in some areas women are more acutely sensitive. Adam named the first woman, Eve. “And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Women are uniquely connected with life. They carry the living seed in their womb for nine months. The life of the mother and the life of the unborn child are intricately woven together. But more than just a child, she carries a destiny. Each child is conceived to fulfill his or her unique destiny in the earth. That destiny is almost always connected in some way with their ethnic race. Each person has a unique destiny. Likewise, each ethnic race has a unique destiny. Satan hates the destinies of the human race—both individual and ethnic (see Genesis 3:15). To destroy our unique destinies Satan turns us against each other. The hostilities happen not only between different races, but also within races (Galatians 5:15). It’s important to remember that there have been wars between various European nations for centuries and of course numerous civil wars within those nations.

God has an agenda. The wounds between Māori and Māori will be healed. The wounds between Māori and European will be healed. The tears of the Māori women are precious to God. These tears were shed because life, destiny and identity were lost and destroyed. The story has not ended. The tears will give birth to the very things that were taken—life, destiny and identity. A new sound will be heard in Aotearoa, New Zealand—a prophetic sound that will also stir and awaken indigenous people from other nations. Sons and daughters of courage will arise—both Māori and European. Their voices will penetrate the cloud of confusion and misunderstanding that has blinded people’s minds. They will walk in humility and tenderness, but will uncompromisingly represent the heart of God for New Zealand and the nations. The Father has issued a decree from heaven, “Enough!” It is time. What the enemy has meant for evil, God is turning for good. The river of tears will be turned into a flood of unprecedented glory.



Nathan Shaw helps bring individuals and churches into dynamic encounters with God's indescribable love. Nathan's passion is to equip churches so that they can move in the Spirit, access heavenly realms, encounter God's heart and release His Kingdom on the earth. Over the last twenty years he has been instrumental in ushering in significant moves of the Spirit in over ten different nations. Many have experienced life changing prophetic encounters and dramatic visitations from God. Nathan is the author of two books: Passion and Fire and Unto the Least of These and he is the senior pastor at Fire and Destiny Centre, Dunedin and Celebration Church, Mosgiel
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