USA (MNN) — By now, most people in the United States have settled into a fall routine. The kids are back in school; everyone’s back in the office following summer vacations and travel.
Meanwhile, God is doing something out-of-the-ordinary in Native communities. “I call it the Summer of Hope like no other,” Ron Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says.
“It was not the summer that we had planned. Thankfully, God said to us, ‘I’ve got a different thing I want to do.’”
Each year, On Eagles’ Wings – a division of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries – takes a team of Native American believers on a four-week, multistate outreach called “Summer of Hope.” More about that here. Typically, the team travels to six or seven reservations throughout the U.S.
Invited in by local partners, Native believers talk to their peers about the hope they’ve found in Jesus. This summer, a positive COVID test erased half of the travel plan.
“We said, ‘Well, Lord, what are You doing?’ What it allowed us to do was to have the deepest discipling time we’ve ever been able to have with the team. We had an incredible life-building time,” Hutchcraft says.
Believers needed the prep time to endure hostilities at the few reservations they got to visit.
“I noticed a significant change this summer. Local reservation leaders have talked of how hearts have grown hard toward the Gospel, and there’s a reason for that,” Hutchcraft says.
“Historic atrocities were committed against indigenous children in boarding schools, and much of that was carried out in the name of Christianity. That has understandably fueled more animosity and anger, making Christians and even Christ [to be] perceived as the enemy.”
Read Summer of Hope 2022 updates and reports here. Pray local Christians will have wisdom and perseverance as they follow up and disciple each new believer.
“I think I could summarize it by saying it was a month of incredible God sightings, extremely challenging battles, and some amazing breakthroughs,” Hutchcraft says.
The header and story images depict scenes from Summer of Hope 2022. (Photos courtesy of On Eagles’ Wings/Ron Hutchcraft Ministries)