Hard places. Relentless rescuers. Battlefield breakthroughs. Countless God-sightings. "Never the same" warriors.
That's just a fraction of what we saw God do in answer to your prayers this summer! Together, we can praise our invincible Jesus for a victorious summer - on reservations, and in the hearts of the warriors. Here's a summary of the amazing work of God through His warriors - and some heart reflections and holy moments behind the story.
As we headed into this summer, we knew we were heading into some of the most challenging battlefields in all of Indian country. Because of centuries-old wounds, blamed on Christianity. Because of fierce determination to keep Jesus out. Against that backdrop, here's what God did through His young warriors...
- 48 "walking miracle" Warriors, representing 25 tribes
- Traveled over 5,000 miles
- To bring Christ's Hope to ten reservations
- Hosted ten youth ministry roundtables with follow-up partners
- Canvassed ten reservations
- Hosted 27 rescue events in 29 days
- And battled for lives on reservations where there's no Gospel...and on reservations where a commitment to Jesus is very rare...
- God used them to help 420 Native young people begin a personal relationship with Jesus!
Lives changed...eternities changed...communities changed...
- And 48 Warriors changed forever by experiencing God's power and seeing God's glory!
The breakthroughs on the reservations are amazing. Equally significant, is what the warriors became in this month of "time lapse" discipleship. Perhaps one mother summed it up after hearing her daughter and another warrior share at church upon their return:
"Two girls left here. Two women came back."
Reflections from the Heart
One of our volunteer cooks said, "These young people wrap themselves around your heart." I responded, "They are what we all need to be like. What the Church should be like." This is what I saw in these 48 deeply broken but powerfully redeemed young warriors.
The power of redeemed brokenness
They were willing to be transparent about their sin and the sins against them - so people would see in their Hope Story the reality and power of their living Savior. We have much to learn from them.
The power of inadequacy
It's captured in the moment when the team member who had just given a Gospel invitation with a huge response came to our vehicle. And just wept. Speechless. Until he finally blurted, "Why me? Why would God use me?" I said, "That's why. Because you're amazed He would use you." Over and over, I saw how God is His most powerful when we feel the least adequate. We have much to learn from them.
The power of pushing past your fear
So many times, warriors came to our vehicle and said, "I'm scared." They had ventured far from their comfort zone, because they were that desperate that people not be lost. They were afraid. But they went in for the rescue anyway. What an example for us!
The power of a mighty Savior
Half the seats on our bus would be empty if it weren't for Jesus. Because, by their own testimony, they would not be alive today except for Him. They can dare to be bold because they know firsthand what a powerful Savior Jesus is.
The power of a broken heart
The tears - oh, the tears. Even our big, "don't show weakness" guys. Tears for someone who was without Jesus. I've seen lots of programs to reach lost people. I haven't seen many tears.
I've come away from this summer deeply moved and greatly challenged by these "more than conquerors" young people. Please. Never stop praying for them!