Overcoming barriers to discover who Jesus really is

By March 4, 2024

USA (MNN) — In the face of present struggles and a history marked with trauma at the hands of others, Native Americans are what Billy Graham once called a “sleeping giant” in North America’s spiritual landscape.

Weston Francis with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries is a follower of Christ and a member of the Navajo tribe. He is part of seeing God bring the hope of the gospel to his people.

“These are statistics that humble me, and that also sober me to the reality of my people and the tribes of Native America. We have the highest rates of suicide, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse. Even now more that has been coming more to light is the missing and murdered indigenous women and the rates that they are two to three times that than the rest of the United States,” Francis says. 

(Image courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries)

On Eagles’ Wings is a program founded in 1992 to raise young Christian Native Americans. They are in year two of an expanded, gap-year program.

“On Eagles’ Wings is first and foremost to reach and save the lost. Now we are in a unique position to create disciples, and therefore send them — so, having the mindset of reach, teach, and then send,” Francis says.

The best way to reach a young person growing up in deep brokenness on a reservation is with another young person who has gone through the same thing but has a life-changing relationship with God through Jesus. Francis says a person’s relationship with God is “the difference maker.”

Francis knows the barriers that exist when it comes to Christianity because he had to overcome them.

“I grew up hearing a lot of the stories about Church history from older people, older Native Americans, about how the Europeans came over to the United States — how the Bible was used as a tool to enslave but also in a way to sanction mass genocide amongst Native American people.

“It took people convincing me and spending time with me to show me in Scripture, where Jesus is vastly distinguished from the people who use the Bible for their gain,” he continues.

Watch for further news about God’s powerful work among Native Americans, and join in praying for the ministry of the growing On Eagles’ Wings team.

“When we are praying for the young people we’re going to try to reach and minister to, we pray, ‘God, would you keep them alive till we get there?'” Francis says.

“A lot of these young people that we are ministering to grow up in – you know, (in) Native America, (where) you’re already born into an uphill battle.” 



Header photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries/On Eagles’ Wings. 

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