USA (MNN) — A social tragedy is unfolding before the eyes of the people of North America. Native Americans are facing incredible obstacles. According to Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, unemployment in First Nations communities hovers around 70%. The average life expectancy is 44 years old–30 years less than average. And, the suicide rate is astronomical.
That's why Ron Hutchcraft Ministries is reaching out to this community. The first step is their Warrior Leadership Summit, which is underway in the United States. Hutchcraft, speaking from the summit, says, "From 84 different Indian nations across North America we have gathered an historic gathering of Native American young people–our largest Warrior Leadership Summit."
It's historic because missionaries have been trying to reach Native Americas with the Gospel for 500 years, but only 5% have become believers. Hutchcraft says this could be a defining moment.
More than 800 young people are participating this week. "We realize that the potential to go back to scores of reservations as warriors for Christ could be a game changer in the 500-year battle for Native Americans and First Nations people in Canada where the Gospel just hasn't been able to take root."
Hutchcraft says colonialists and settlers weren't able to destroy Native Americans, but "now, somehow, this generation of young people is doing it to themselves. The drugs, the alcohol, and suicide and destructive living is out of control. And these kids know it."
When the Gospel was shared on the second night of the Summit, many came to Christ. But Huthcraft says the historic moment came Wednesday night when many of them stood to their feet to say, "I will be a rescuer for my people. I will live my life to rescue my people for Christ and then to stand and boldly say to Satan, 'Let my people go.'"
While there have been victories at the Summit, Satan has been fighting back. "There have been literally overt demonstrations of Satan's presence here. There are battles here over individual souls. The resistance is forming against what God is doing," says Hutchcraft. He's asking you to pray God's protection on the young people and leaders.
Hutchcraft says those attacks won't end with the Summit. That's why before these young people leave, they'll be working on a plan to stand strong –"a practical plan to go back and stand alone for Jesus Christ in one of the most toxic spiritual environments in North America. The potential here to rock Native America and to change a generation is beyond comprehension."
Hutchcraft explains, "We will give them a plan for the 24 hours after they get home that will connect what has happened in their heart to the realities back there and set them up to announce the person they are going to be to the person who would bring them down."
The Warrior Leadership Summit is the launch point for the Summer of Hope, On Eagles' Wings summer outreach events on 10 reservations. Pray that God uses these leaders to lead many Native Americans to Christ.