Summer initiatives bring the Gospel to native youth

By May 29, 2008

USA (MNN) — This summer, a three-prong effort kicks off again to reach the native youth of North America. 

Ron Hutchcraft and On Eagle's Wings ministries have been reaching into the desperate situation facing native youth for the past 16 years.

In just the past four years, Ron Hutchcraft has seen about 5,000 youth accept Christ publicly. "I've looked through the history of Indian missions on this continent, and I can find
no record of any harvest like that, so God is really moving through native young people."

With that kind of response, they may begin to slowly chip away at the current status of
Christianity among tribal groups. "Five-hundred years of mission work among the
first people of this continent. Five percent know Christ. That's unacceptable, and the body of Christ needs to be mobilized to finally turn that around in this generation," he said. 

The effort will kick off with a Warrior Leadership Summit. Hundreds of youth from over 60
nations across North America will gather for the event. Secondly, two teams of native youth will travel to about a dozen tribes to share their testimonies, or Hope Stories, with the young people. Each of the teams is made up of about 35 youth, and each represents about 25 nations. 

Those teams have been invited to each of the tribes that they will visit. "One letter simply says, ‘Our kids are dying. Can you please come?' And it's true, with out of control suicide rates and sexual abuse and violence and drug abuse and alcohol abuse and meth gangs targeting native young people as a prime market for their products," said
Hutchcraft. 

Hutchcraft teams will be visiting at least one tribe that has no Christian witness. Mysterious deaths of tribal members who have come to Christ have been reported. In another tribe, the leadership has stopped all activity until the violence that is taking over their
people can be stopped. With just 13,000 people in that tribe, there are 13 crack gangs.

The third and final outreach will be at the Indigenous Games. "We have been given the wonderful and amazing opportunity to do some programs right there for the games. There, probably 400 nations will be represented," Hutchcraft said. 

Prayer kits are available free online. Hutchcraft says, "This is a suicide mission if we go into it without God's people praying for us." Another way Christians can help is by sponsoring the youth in the traveling On Eagle's Wings Teams. "Through that partnership, they could do what we as non-native people could never do, but they can do it because there's some things that they can't do–that is to make it happen financially."

Hutchcraft said his main prayer is "that God will just keep them alive until we can get there.  Hope is on the way."

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