You would be forgiven if you had never heard of Native American Indian, Squanto. I knew nothing about him until this week when I started to research his life and his role in history.
Squanto was a well-known member of the Pawtuxet people who were a band of the “Wampanoag” tribe. Born around 1580 he had a fascinatingly bizarre but significant life.
He was captured and kidnapped several times meaning he travelled (by accident) through Europe, Newfoundland and the northeast coast of the United States. An English explorer named Captain Weymouth kidnapped Squanto along with 4 other Indians in 1605. He returned to England with him, thinking that his patron would appreciate the opportunity to see natives from the region in person.
Squanto and his friends were apparently treated pretty well. More than this, they were schooled in English. They were all eventually returned to their homeland.
In 1614 Squanto was captured again by the English explorer, Thomas Hunt. He took 20 Indians in total and sold them off as slaves in Spain. Spanish friars, looking to spread the Christian faith, rescued Squanto from captivity and taught him the truths of Jesus. Squanto became a devout believer.
He then travelled from Spain to England again where he met and lived with John Slaney, a wealthy merchant. In 1619, Squanto finally made it back home only to discover that his tribe had nearly been wiped out by the spread of disease.
What is extraordinary is that during this time, the early Pilgrims were on their way to Plymouth. When they arrived, they were sick and dying from their difficult journey. Imagine their surprise when they were met off their boat by an Indian, with perfect English and a shared faith!
Squanto helped the Pilgrims during this difficult time. He taught them how to farm, introduced them to local tribes, and acted as an interpreter to enable trade between the local tribes and Pilgrims.
In 1621, Squanto was instrumental in negotiating a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the remaining Wampanoag by acting as an interpreter and a mediator.
God saw ahead to the needs of those pilgrims. He also saw HOW to meet those needs through the incredible life of Squanto who became an important figure for those who celebrate “Thanksgiving.”
If you are struggling to see where your answers will come from today, know that you have a God who sees ahead. He has already met your needs in Jesus. The promises over your life already have Heavenly sign off. Be encouraged. God is on it.