USA (MNN) — Which U.S. group do you think has the highest suicide average?
The inner cities? Suburbs?
Actually, Native American youth top the charts with a suicide rate four times greater than the national average, indicating their longing for something more in this life.
Though Christians have witnessed to this population for hundreds of years, they have been largely neglected.
"In 500 years of Native missions, only five percent on the reservations claim to know Christ," said Brad Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.
Since 1991, Hutchcraft's On Eagles Wings ministries have reached out to reservations across the U.S., Canada and even globally, traveling only to reservations where they have been invited, for maximum impact.
Specifically reaching out to the youth of these reservations, the On Eagles Wings team, made up of 40-60 youth, will visit about 10 different reservations and reserves this summer in both the U.S. and Canada. empowering them to do work for the Kingdom and share their stories of hope. The annual Warrior Leadership Summit will also be held this year, which is expected to cater to over 700 Native young people from 60-70 different tribes.
After the summits, it is the youth's turn for ministry through the Summer of Hope, starting in July.
"This is unprecedented in Native missions' history because what is working is Native young people reaching other Native young people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Hutchcraft said.
"This generation of young people is up for grabs spiritually," Hutchcraft said. Torn between tribal traditions and American culture, they struggle with finding their place in the world.
"That's where a team like On Eagles Wings comes in, bringing hope where there's been none," he said.
Though most of this team is self-contained, RHM and On Eagles Wings can still use your help. Tangibly, you can contact them and visit one of the reservations this summer to help with meals.
However, Hutchcraft said the most important thing is prayer.
"We're praying that some of God's people open their hearts to these people who are part of a triple tragedy: they're the most desperate, the most unreached, and really the most invisible," said Brad Hutchcraft. "We know that the battles are won through the prayers of the people who are supporting us."
For specific needs, RHM has assembled a "Pray for Native Youth" kit, as well as a 2010 prayer calendar. Click here to get yours.