USA (MNN) — A widespread misunderstanding that Jesus is “the white man’s God” means most Native Americans don’t know Jesus. Poverty and addiction create more barriers to Gospel hope.
A division of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, On Eagles’ Wings, equips Native believers to reach their people for Christ. More about that here. Each year during the “Summer of Hope” outreach, an OEW team shares the Gospel on reservations throughout the United States and Canada.
This year’s team was the smallest to date, with only 21 members. But it was “Gideon’s Army,” ministry founder Ron Hutchcraft says.
“This team traveled 4,000 miles and put on 16 major outreaches on seven different reservations. There were hundreds of conversations about Jesus.”
The 2021 team also marked a significant milestone – OEW’s 29th annual Summer of Hope outreach. “And this was arguably the hardest one we’ve ever done,” Hutchcraft adds.
The battle belongs to the Lord
Since 1992, Summer of Hope teams have visited over 100 U.S. reservations and Canadian reserves, reaching tens of thousands of Native young people with the Gospel.
“I won’t name reservations [we visited this summer] for a number of reasons. But I would call one of the places ‘the reservation of abandoned children.’ Parents let the kids run their own lives, and they were either drunk or drugging; there’s a lot of meth and drug dealing going on,” Hutchcraft says.
“That was one of the places I would call a battlefield.”
On one reservation, locals painted an ominous three-word memorial – “missing or murdered” – on a prominent wall.
“All around those words were names and dates of young men and women from that community who’ve either been trafficked [or] died violently,” Hutchcraft says.
“We were told they just keep adding names to the wall.”
On another reservation, OEW team members led outdoor outreach activities “in extreme heat, sometimes 107 degrees [Fahrenheit]. But they were warriors every step of the way. They did not quit,” Hutchcraft says.
Victory in Jesus
Their efforts bore fruit in the end; 345 Native young people gave their hearts to Jesus this summer. “We believe many more prayed when our speaker gave them a chance to pray quietly with him in their heart [following a Gospel presentation],” Hutchcraft says.
Only the Lord knows the true harvest from this year’s Summer of Hope outreach. Will you pray for those who took a public step of faith? Use the prompts listed alongside this article to guide your intercession.
“We have great partners on every reservation; they know exactly what to do to follow up. We’ve [also] given them a plan for follow-up events and a number of tools,” Hutchcraft says.
You can also help OEW empower and equip more Native young people to reach their communities for Christ. When you give, you help raise up leaders to make a difference for Jesus in Native America.
Through nightly outreach events, the Summer of Hope team engages young people in fun activities, shares personal “hope stories,” presents the Gospel, and leads Native young people to the Savior.
(Photo, caption courtesy of On Eagles’ Wings)