Native American Christians bring hope to their people

By December 27, 2023

USA (MNN) — An oft-overlooked mission field is gaining recognition in the United States.

“God is making a move amongst Native America, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” says Wes Francis, a member of the Navajo tribe.

Francis works for On Eagles’ Wings, a division of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries. He’s part of a small but growing team bringing the hope of Jesus to Native communities across the U.S. and Canada.

“A lot of people out there don’t know much about Native America, or, you know, it’s just a community they drive through,” Francis says.

“The Church, for a long time, has been blinded to Native America. In the same way, Native America has been blind to Jesus.”

One 2020 poll found that Native American evangelical Christians – believers who actively share their faith – comprise less than one percent of the total U.S. religious population. Although six in ten Native American Christians who responded to the survey identified as Protestant believers, only 28 percent were evangelical.

In other words, very few Native Americans have a relationship with Christ, and those who do are not actively sharing their faith with the broader community. However, Francis’s experience with the Lord and the promises of Scripture motivates him to action.

(Photo courtesy of On Eagles Wings/Ron Hutchcraft Ministries)

“When I go onto some of these reservations, and I share my story, one thing that pains me the most is my story is not rare,” Francis says.

“When it comes to Native America, there are young people all across the United States who know what it’s like to grow up with no father, or [who] grew up with a father who doesn’t know how to be one,” he continues.

“There’s something so beautiful about [how] God’s Word communicates that He’s the perfect father and no one is exempt [or] too far from His love. It means everyone in this world, every tribe, and every nation.”

Spreading hope

Every summer, the On Eagles Wings team shares the hope of Christ with their peers. More about that here. The team’s arrival is a shock at first. Usually, a charter bus signifies a new flood of tourists.

“Normally, they would see other (white) people get off the bus. Instead, they see people that look just like them,” Francis says.

“They’re surprised, and it gives them hope. We grew up in communities just like them.”

As Wes and his teammates share their hope stories, Native communities listen. “We can communicate, ‘Hey, we’re just like you, [and] we found hope and change in a man named Jesus.’ You get an opportunity to peel blinders away from eyes and [dismiss] lies that have been told to us for years” about how Jesus is ‘the white man’s God,’ Francis says.

“This Jesus, man, He’s for everyone. He’s also for Native America.”

Your help makes this work possible. Along with giving, consider praying for the On Eagles Wings team.

“Not only do we do outreach in communities, we also do ‘in-reach’ (discipleship),” Francis says.

“A lot of team members have things they are currently growing in and dealing with. Pray for them as well.”




Header and story images courtesy of On Eagles Wings / Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.

Help us get the word out: