USA (MNN) — Thousands of young people in the United States
will be heading to the sandy beaches of Florida as Spring Break 2007 gets
underway. That is attracting a contingency of Christian young people who plan
to share their faith. However, one such
group won't be heading to the beaches.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries will be heading to Florida to
reach out to native American young people.
Ron Hutchcraft says, "There is a team of young native Americans, we
call them On Engles' Wings, who are going to reach young native Americans on
the reservations in the midst of what we know to be perhaps the greatest
desperation among a youth population you can find almost anywhere in the
According to Hutchcraft this has been the most difficult
unreached people group. "There (are) 500 years of mission work among the first
people of this continent. The estimate is that after 500 years of effort only
five percent of native people know Christ. It is one of the great tragedies of
the Great Commission right on our own door steep."
The suicide rate is four times higher than that of other
young people. But, that's only a part of it, says Hutchcraft. "We're
talking about the highest rates of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gang violence,
suicide on the continent."
Hutchcraft says the team of about 30 young people are a
diverse group. "The represent about 25 different native nations across
this continent from as far away as the Bering Sea in Alaska, Eskimo young
people, First Nations young people from Canada, Native Americans from all over
this country. (It's) amazing to see what happens when they go."
They hold sporting events, play Christian contemporary
music, testify about their salvation from drugs and other abuses. "These
young people will be talking one on one leading their peers to Jesus Christ.
And, we have seen what has never happened in 500 years happen through these
Many Native Americans believe Jesus is the white man's
God because it came to them through a white man. However, that changes when Native Americans
proclaim the message. "They can get up and say, 'Jesus came from a tribe
— he was a tribal man, from the tribe of Judah, raised in a village from brown
skinned people. Jesus lived in land that was taken by others. He knew what it
was to be poor. He knew what it was to die a violent death. It sounds like the
On Eagles' Wings will be in three reservations over Spring
Break. Hutchcraft says they'll be doing even more events this summer. He says prayer is essential and that's why
they're offering a, "Pray for Native Youth Kit. And, it will give you a lot
of background on how to understand what's going on with Native young people and
how to pray for them."