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Powerful model of evangelism is essence of successful Summer of Hope

Posted: 15 October, 2007

OEW Team USA (17).jpg
USA (MNN) ― "One God-night after another" is how Ron Hutchcraft summarized their Summer of Hope. 

Two On Eagle's Wings teams from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries went out after the Warrior Leadership Summit: one in the U.S. and another to northern Canada. These Native American youth are bringing the Gospel to other Native American young people who are in a culture that faces startling suicide rates and drug addiction.    

In one of the Canadian tribes visited by OEW, missionaries had been chased out at gun-point in years past. However, Ron Hutchcraft said, "They had the great pleasure of leading 60 young people to Christ. That's three times the total number that ever attend church there."

In the U.S. tribe, children at one point were dragging other children out of the presentations because they been taught for so long that Jesus is the enemy. But success came there as well. "We were told by a veteran native pastor in that area that 'this team has had a greater impact in three nights than we've been able to make in 30 years.""

After an OEW presentation which took place on a reservation basketball court, one young lady was aware of the spiritual struggle taking place as the Gospel was presented: "I knew the powers of darkness and the powers of righteousness were all there on that basketball court."

Today, there is "a regional network of youth ministries being born. So the miracle that began in Summer of Hope is continuing, and we believe it could change a generation and perhaps make this generation the 'Jesus generation' among their people."

Hutchcraft said they watched storms coming into the reservation, and after prayer, watched them move right around the basketball courts they presented on. "A few minutes later, many native young people would trade their hopelessness" for the hope of Jesus Christ.

This fall, 32 of the 56 native young people who were summer OEW team members are either training for Christian ministry or already working in a Christian ministry. This is hope rising in a culture that has very few Christian leaders. 

The model of youth leading youth to Christ presents a basic truth about evangelism, according to Hutchcraft. "Teachers will listen to teachers. Soccer players will listen to soccer players. And the people who are in the best position, the most powerful position, to help other people go to heaven are everyday Christians. And God is using these young people in Native America to reach maybe the hardest of the hard-to-reach on this continent."

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When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

* 21% were called as a result of a missions education service in their local church
* 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
* 19% were called because of their own family's missions vision and conversations
* 10% heard God's call through reading missionary books

-- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor