USA (MNN) — Native American believers face some of the most challenging spiritual battlegrounds in the country. Ron Hutchcraft, the founder of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, says an upcoming conference prepares them for war.
“One leader put it this way: ‘our kids came here as campers and left here as warriors.’ Well, that’s good because it’s Warrior Leadership Summit.”
Warrior Leadership Summit, beginning July 1, is an annual five-day event for Native young people between 15 and 30 years old. Learn more here. “The conference changes lives on several levels,” Hutchcraft says.
“Some are rescued and come to Christ. Some are strengthened to go back and live for Christ as models of hope on their reservation. Some feel a sense of calling to minister and serve Christ, beginning with the (summer) experience on the On Eagle’s Wings team.”
When the Warrior Leadership Summit ends, Summer of Hope begins. More about that here. Native believers share their hope stories on reservations throughout the U.S.
Learn how to sponsor a young warrior here. You might change a life like Allan’s.
Allan’s hope story
Like many Native youths who meet the On Eagle’s Wings team at the Warrior Leadership Summit, Allan* survived things no young person should have to face.
“Allan, when he came to Warrior Leadership Summit, already had his suicide plan ready. His life of abuse by the people he should have been able to trust had been awful. But he came, thank the Lord, and I remember the night he found Christ,” Hutchcraft says.
One night during Warrior Leadership Summit, Allan heard the Gospel message and stepped forward in response. He spoke with Hutchcraft one-on-one after the presentation ended.
“He wrote me not too long ago, and he said, ‘I remember that night you talked to me in the counseling room. You gave me a big hug, and you said, ‘Jesus loves you,’” Hutchcraft says.
“He said, ‘I never heard people say they love me growing up. And you telling me that changed my life.’”
In subsequent years, Allan traveled with the On Eagle’s Wings team to countless reservations during the Summer of Hope. “He’ll stand on reservation basketball courts and tell his story of hopelessness and then hope in Jesus. He was, maybe, the quietest guy on the team. But everybody is listening [when he talks]; it’s like you could hear a pin drop on that court,” Hutchcraft says.
Today, Allan stands ready to apply his summer experiences to lifelong service in God’s Kingdom. Pray for God’s blessing as Allan begins ministry among his people.
“It’s been our privilege to scholarship him to go to a Bible school because he has felt a sense of calling on his life, and he just graduated a few weeks ago,” Hutchcraft says.
“He was given two awards, one for his Christian character and one for his Christian leadership.”
Header image courtesy of On Eagle’s Wings.