By Brad Hutchcraft
“…and then someone invited me to this conference called WLS…”
I’ve heard it again and again as the young warriors of On Eagles’ Wings® share their Hope Stories on reservation basketball courts.
Shari (Navajo) the girl whose family pain was so great she “could not live without being high all the time.” Until Warrior Leadership Summit. Three years ago, she met Jesus there. She’s never been the same. Shari just graduated from Bible college, and now helps lead the youth ministry where she was invited to come to the conference that changed her life.
When Jarrod came to WLS, he was planning to go home and end his life. Instead, he found life! Now a Bible college grad, he has become an “on fire” rescuer of the lost.
For so many Native young people – for so many of the On Eagles’ Wings® warriors – it all began at Warrior Leadership Summit.
Warrior Leadership Summit is the beating heart of an historic movement of God in Native America! To it come broken young people from across the continent. From it go hundreds of young warriors, on fire for Jesus, ready to fight for the hearts and futures of their people.
The spiritual energy in the room at WLS is electric. As a Native young person trying to follow Jesus in a Native community, you feel very alone. Then, suddenly, here you are in this room full of young people from scores of Indian nations – passionately worshiping Jesus. You are not alone!
And this year, in five life-transforming days, God reached deeply into young Native hearts.
THE LOST WERE REBORN!
One out of five young people at WLS began their personal relationship with Jesus Christ! The moment the invitation was given to “come to the Cross” on Gospel night, they came! Without hesitation. Each one was counseled by a trained OEW™ warrior – many of whom came to Christ themselves on a night just like this!
PEOPLE WERE SET FREE!
“I saw chains being broken” – that’s how one of our OEW™ team members described the breakthroughs at WLS. The sexual sins, the addictions, the never-faced wounds of the past - repentance and healing were all over the place!
Even as we were wrapping up that last night, an Apache young woman told me about her plans after WLS. To go home and take her life. She came only to have “one last time with my cousin.” The rape, the lifetime abuse from her mom, had convinced her, “because of what I’ve been through!”’
LIVES WERE CHANGED!
Nothing said it more graphically than the long line of Native young people waiting to be baptized. This bold, public declaration is so important as they head back to people and places hostile to their commitment to Jesus. Their baptism shirts said it all:
“No turning back!”
WARRIORS WERE RAISED UP!
Some 71 Indian nations were represented at Warrior Leadership Summit this year! And now, an army of young people, motivated and equipped to be His holy warriors, deploy across the continent to fight for their people. And, a team of 48 broken-but-redeemed warriors left as this summer’s On Eagles’ Wings® team to bring Christ’s hope to ten hope-starved reservations.
What a celebration this WLS was – 25 years of God’s faithful work through Warrior Leadership Summit and On Eagles’ Wings®!
What started here is more than a moment. We believe it is a part of a movement of what God is doing in Native America. Thank you.
Yet for all the amazing things God has done in those years, we truly believe it’s prologue - for the even greater work He’s going to do!