USA (MNN) — Sometimes, you save the best for last. This seems to be the case for Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.
Their annual outreach to Native American youth, "Summer of Hope," has tried reaching Deepcreek Reservation for years. Finally, as Summer of Hope 2013 nears its end, God opened doors for the On Eagles' Wings (OEW) team to share Christ on Deepcreek Reservation.
Evil is common at Deepcreek; there's a high rate of murder, suicide, and addictions. A tribal police officer feels every kind of evil has increased by ten times in the past couple of years. Along with alcohol-fueled crime, death, prostitution, and human trafficking, "black tar heroin" is suddenly everywhere.
Named for its sticky, dark appearance, black tar heroin is often used as a cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers. It's usually produced in Mexico, and according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), traffickers often smuggle drugs through reservations located along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Usually, the drugs are destined for sale in other states, with arrests reported in cities as far north as Seattle, Washington, and as far east as Charlotte, North Carolina. Demand and usage is growing among U.S. youth, a fact highlighted by the mid-July death of Glee actor Cory Monteith.
In 2000, around 2,000 people died from heroin overdoses each year according to the Centers for Disease Control. By 2008, the drug claimed at least 3,000 lives in 36 states.
But at Deepcreek, chains of addiction and death are breaking.
The OEW team had been on the reservation for less than 24 hours when a local radio station called for an interview. As word spread, more and more people showed up; but the spiritual darkness grew, too.
On the second night of OEW's outreach, a young man killed himself. Some of his friends came to the outreach dressed in black, "too hurting to come close," said an OEW update. Outreach staff took an opportunity to approach them instead, and shared the hope and love of Christ.
After hearing about the powerful impact this team was having at Deepcreek, the tribal council invited some OEW team members to their meeting. After sharing their heart for their Native American peers and their hope in Jesus, the council thanked them with warm applause.
"We're a broken people…none of our religion, none of our tradition has been able to fix us. We have the worst statistics in the country when it comes to drugs and death and suicide," a presenter stated that evening.
"I can't fix you, but I can tell you the Man who can: Jesus. He's not the 'white man's god.' If He came here tonight, He'd look like one of us. And He loves you so much that He died for you!"
Young people streamed forward to declare they wanted to begin a relationship with Jesus. Even a councilman accepted Christ!
As the 2013 "Summer of Hope" wraps up, pray for strength for the team members. Pray that doors will open for the Gospel on more reservations.