29 Summers of Hope. This one was different...

"Muscle memory." You've seen it as you've watched Olympic athletes...when you drive...type on your computer...play a musical instrument. It's "a movement repeated over time that creates long-term muscle memory, eventually allowing it to be performed with little or no conscious effort."

"They're really hard there."

That's what I kept hearing about the Cloud Lake Reservation. That's probably more of a reason to go there.

Even though our venue was surrounded by Indian housing which the team had canvassed earlier - and where our sound system can't be ignored - we started the night with just us. Finally, one girl hesitantly checked it out. Missy (Lakota), whose self-harm scars are now evidence of her new Hope, quickly went to welcome her. Neither girl realized the destiny in that meeting.

"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" they asked about Jesus.

"Can anything good come out of Bluffton?" those who live on or near the Antelope Valley Reservation have been asking for years.

Tribal people call Bluffton "the most dangerous place" on their reservation. Locals in the area say "it's a place I never go."

They were big and tough - and scared. Local Native believers said they were scared...of some of their centuries-old beliefs.

There's a lot of fear of dark forces that makes it very difficult for Rocky Creek young people to choose Jesus. Even the big guys.

But these guys listened to Darren, a big guy himself - and his story of being disowned by his family for choosing Jesus. And of a family transformed because of one son who brought Jesus into their lives. His challenge to those guys, as he has mentioned many other places: "It's time to come home to Jesus."

When the President sent Federal law enforcement assistance to four of the highest crime reservations, Arrowhead was one of them.

When a Senate committee was investigating the "suicide epidemic" on reservations, they asked Arrowhead young people to testify. Because there had been so many there.

And this was God's choice to be the fourth community for Hope to be brought to this summer!

Driving into the reservation town of Antelope Valley brought tears to my eyes. Because of what God did here 27 years ago.

This is where God broke my heart for Native American young people. It's where He called me to devote a chunk of the rest of my life to reaching and discipling them.

"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.

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

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(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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