USA (MNN) — For 20 years, Ron Hutchcraft Ministries has been going into native America reservations and sharing the Gospel. Despite 400 years of ministry to these people, the ministry of On Eagle's Wings is still desperately needed. With one week left, the team needs prayer.
52 native youth from 32 tribes are taking the Gospel to nine reservations this summer, says Ron Hutchcraft. "We are having perhaps one of the most amazing and the most hard-fought battles for young native lives that we've ever had. The suicide rate [among Native youth] is eight times higher than the rest of the kids in America. So we are in a life or death battle every night." Only 5% of Native Americans in the U.S. know Christ, says Hutchcraft, even after 500 years of Christian ministry.
The team is just completing their 8th reservation of ministry and are on their way to their 9th. "These young men and women have led well over 600 native American young people to Christ in the last couple of weeks."
This is great news, especially in light of wide-spread suicide. Hutchcraft tells us about a pastor who's working in one community. "He's been here seven years. It's a community of about 1,000 people. He's done 150 funerals–most of them young people. If this were happening anywhere else in America, this would be front-page headlines and a national crisis to deal with."
According to Hutchcraft, the problem is numbing as he tells us the story of a teen boy. "He has buried 14 of his friends who killed themselves. Who in the world knows 14 people–14 friends–who have killed themselves? If you live here, you do."
Drugs, alcoholism, and sexual abuse are rampant in this unnamed reservation. As one On Eagles' Wings youth leader told her story of sexual abuse, the response from one little girl was frightening. "She was 12 years old and she said, 'What's sexual abuse?' Our team member explained it to her, and [the little girl] said, 'Oh, that's what they do to me.' Wonderfully, last night, she gave her life to Christ."
That reservation ended this week with a dedication prayer by more than 200 tribal youth that this particular reservation would be a circle of life, not death.
While ministry at the 8th reservation has ended, there's one more stop, says Hutchcraft. "We are headed now to the biggest challenge — one of the most daunting spiritual environments On Eagles' Wings has ever been to — and I so want God's people to pray."
It's an area were serious crime is off the charts. It's a place where the Obama administration sent in more police officers, but serious crime actually increased.
Hutchcraft asks believers to pray "that God would break the stronghold wide open. He saved the world in three days from Good Friday to Easter. We are going in there for three days to bring the Gospel of Christ, we hope, and give it an audience that it has never had in the history of these people. [Pray] that hard hearts would be open. This will have to be won in heaven before we get there."
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