USA (MNN) — For 500 years missionaries have been trying to reach Native Americans with the Gospel. To date, their efforts have been spotty at best. Now, Native Americans are reaching their own with the Gospel, and in a little over a month they'll be meeting for training.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries' On Eagles Wings will be holding what they call their "Warrior Leadership Summit Conference." Ron Hutchcraft says, "It is just for Native American young people. And all of our teaching is geared to the specific issues of trying to know and live for Christ in the toxic environment from which many of these young people come."
Hutchcraft explains the toxic environment. "[There's] a 40-percent dropout rate among Native American young people from school. [They have] the highest rates of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual abuse and suicide on the continent. Obviously there is a desperate need, and yet this is an area where there's been almost no such thing as youth ministry."
The Warrior Leadership Summit will begin June 28th, says Hutchcraft. He says this summit is important in seeing Native young people turn to Christ. "This summer we expect about 700 to 800 representing 65-70 nations. And out of that Warrior Leadership Summit they will be able to go back to their tribes — equipped and challenged and trained to be warriors for their people."
This summit is the launching point of the On Eagles Wings' "Summer of Hope" ministry teams. Between July and August a team will go to Canada; another will go to the United States sharing Christ's message of hope in Native American villages. "They invite young people to come to sports events, contemporary Christian Music events, to food, and they run all the events and give the Gospel."
The purpose is to develop one-on-one opportunities to talk about their lives and about how God has transformed them.
While this summit isn't for everyone, Hutchcraft says he needs all believers to pray. The ministry is making that easier. "We will equip them with a 'Pray for Native Young People' kit."