"The most depressing, most dangerous place to live."

That's how a national magazine described High Creek, our first reservation in this Summer of Hope.

For most of us, a community with 80% unemployment, with two-thirds of the people living beneath the poverty level, is unimaginable. For the embattled Native Americans of High Creek, it has been a breeding ground for heartless meth gangs and unspeakable violence. The kind the local emergency room sees day-after-day. Violence one nurse described as "unbelievably brutal." It's a place where too many are dying too young. Where girls disappear into trafficking all too often.

"This has been a room of miracles this week!" Brad Hutchcraft, director of On Eagles' Wings, was so encouraged by the impact of this annual Native youth discipleship conference.

The theme this past week has been "Live free," and Native American young people were set free in so many ways.

This week, hundreds of Native people have gathered together for this one-of-a-kind youth discipleship conference called "Warrior Leadership Summit."

Young people arrived from all across North America, representing numerous U.S. states and dozens of Native American tribes. And this year, Canadian "First Nations" young people have the largest representation ever at a WLS.

Years ago, one of the ladies who cooked for the team summarized what she witnessed in three never-forgotten words...

Chasing God's Glory!

Again this summer, that's exactly what we were doing for five supernatural weeks. And the work God began continues - as we get reports back from the follow-up events put on by our local reservation partners.

It's just like God. To save the most broken, most heart-wrenching reservation for last. When our full team is together. When every warrior is supremely battle-tested and battle-taught. And when, because we are at end of our strength, we will have to totally depend on His.

West End Reservation. Our final battle of this unforgettable Summer of Hope. The one where I heard more warriors talk about their heart being broken than any other.

"I looked in their eyes...and I felt their brokenness."

Those were Cindy's (Navajo) words as she surveyed the crowd just before she shared her Hope Story. Which turned out to be one of the most powerful God-moments of this amazing Summer of Hope. More on that later.

I truly believe that our small team of 13 had the opportunity to be like Jesus to these two isolated reserves in Canada. This was answered prayer for our local host who had reached out to us about seven years ago, asking what it would take to bring the On Eagles' Wings team there. But like always, God's timing is perfect.

She's a nurse at the Cedar Canyon Reservation Health Service. She told me the E.R. had been one tragic emergency after another. "Drug overdoses, stabbings, shootings, suicide. We've had elevensuicides since January. It's nonstop."

Another reservation in crisis. This year God seems to have led On Eagles' Wings to one place after another where a Summer of Hope may be the only hope for many.

"If you don't see me here anymore, it's because I was shot." - 11-year-old to a youth leader in the Ironwood Native community

Sadly, that's life in Ironwood. A violent urban "rez" where there is a constant bombardment of drug overdoses, gang activity, violence and death. It's not an exaggeration to call it a war zone.

We knew it was going to be hard at Ivy Park. This is a reservation where there have been 75 drug overdoses and at least 15 overdose-related deaths just since 2016. With only a few thousand people living there, this has been devastating. One of the young ladies who came to the event said at least ten of her friends had overdosed in just the past couple of months.

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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