North America (MNN) — Remember the Warrior Leadership Summit for Native American teens with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries (RHM) that we told you about? It started on June 27 and ended last week on July 3, and several of the young people committed their lives to Christ!
Now 50-60 of those young people are launching from the Warrior Leadership Summit to start Summer of Hope Outreach with the On Eagles’ Wings initiative. They’ll go to 11 other Native reservations to host music and sporting events, and start conversations about God.
Ron Hutchcraft of RHM says, “We’ll go in right on the basketball court in the center of the reservation on neutral ground where they feel safe and where they hang out all day and sometimes all night long! That’s where the events will be held and sports and music and a lot of tremendous activity.”
This is RHM’s 24th Summer of Hope within the ministry. The young people with the On Eagles’ Wings team range in age from 16 to 30-years old and represent 35 different Native American tribes.
On Eagles’ Wings is unique because it is outreach to Native young people by Native young people. And that is what makes it so unique and successful, says Hutchcraft.
“We’ve got the most powerful message in the world being delivered by the most effective messengers who could deliver it to some of the most broken people on our continent in some of the most unreached places on our continent.”
An outreach initiative on such a widespread scale like this is critical, because only four-percent of Native Americans know Jesus Christ as their Savior today.
Hutchcraft says, “As you look, you will see the On Eagles’ Wings warriors out having conversations all night long meeting the local young people. And as they share their stories and compare the similarities of their battles, even though they may come from places thousands of miles apart, the Jesus who changed their life becomes a Jesus who changes the life of that local young person.”
The Native American community deals with many of the same struggles the rest of society faces — addiction, depression, abuse, and suicide. But their struggles are often on a much larger scale due to the pain caused by the marginalization and oppression their Native communities have experienced through several generations.
The message of salvation and hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes a huge difference in the lives of these teens.
“On the final night, they will be given the opportunity to do something that is pretty much unheard of. Right there in the center of their community with everybody watching — in a place where Jesus is not necessarily what people choose, believe me — they will be given an opportunity to take a public stand to say, ‘I am giving my life to Christ right here, right now,’ and come to center court. And the one giving the invitation will be one of those Native young people. They do it all, they are the messengers.”
Over the past several years, Ron Hutchcraft Ministries has seen the Summer of Hope Outreach have a ripple effect as Native young adults accept Christ and go back to their reservations to reach their peers with the Gospel.
“As has happened in other summers, some of them will be called by God in the midst of serving Him this summer to begin to train and go back and be the Native Christian leaders for their people…. Youth ministry is almost non-existent on reservations, so we watch as youth ministries are born on reservations [and] ongoing reservation youth ministry from the team being there!”
However, Hutchcraft says there will be challenges. “We are going to reservations in some cases where the name of Jesus, they don’t even want to hear it. They will in some cases come and cover the ears of their children so they won’t even hear His name. So we are going to some hard and hostile places and the team will be going to some reservations where there is literally nowhere for them to hear the Gospel. There is no church, there are virtually no Christians, there might be one or two or a handful of Christians. It’s just all ground where the Gospel has just not gone. So it’s going to be pretty powerful but a pretty challenging set of battles this summer. So pray for breakthroughs on every one of these 11 reservations.”
To learn more about how you can pray for the On Eagles’ Wings team and the Summer of Hope Outreach, click here to sign up for RHM’s Pray for Native America Kit.
Hutchcraft explains, “That [kit] will help you understand and pray with an informed heart for the needs and the move of Christ in Native America…. We send reports out by email to those who want to sign up for them, and you can do that at the website and really travel with us in a sense as you’ll get frontline reports as it is happening.”
And for the Summer of Hope Outreach, Hutchcraft says the prayers of Christians everywhere lifting up the Native American communities to God are so eternally important. Pray for spiritual protection over those both on the team and for those attending Summer of Hope.
“The outcomes in the battles these warriors will fight this summer will be decided in the throne room of the Most High God, and these victories have to be pre-won by prayer warriors. The [team members] will be the frontline warriors, but they’ll be empowered by the prayer warriors behind them. I just hope and pray you might be one.”
In addition to praying, you can sponsor the On Eagles’ Wings team by donating to the Summer of Hope Outreach. It’s only made possible through your support.
“These young men and women are not like kids from our churches who can write a letter to the folks at church and say, ‘Will you sponsor me for this missions trip this summer?’ There’s nobody to sponsor them and in most cases there’s nobody to even write to.”
Hutchcraft emphasizes, “The empowerment of prayer and the empowerment of your gifts, this makes this a partnership and I believe God is honored by that as His people pull together, non-native and native…. And in that partnership, we may be on the edge of the greatest breakthrough in Native America.”