Pray with Us: Native Americans and First Nations

We invite you to pray with us as Harvesters opens the way among Native American and First Nation tribes in the USA and Canada. You will find some prayer points below.


Where it all Began

Native leaders. Indian Falls Creek Conference 2022. Harvesters Ministries

As Harvesters is already training pastors in nearly 70 countries and in over 50 languages, we examined how our programme could be brought to North America. We asked God, “Where are you working?” and He led us to Native people groups.

There are about 570 registered Native American tribes with a population of 5.5 million in the USA, and about 1.7 million First Nations in Canada. Across both countries it is estimated that they are less than 5% reached with the Gospel.

But the Lord is kindling some flames and we are prayerfully following His lead.


Opportunities to Follow

In August we had the amazing opportunity to spend time at the 75th Indian Falls Creek Conference in Oklahoma. A gathering of around 2,100 Native American Christians. The five days were filled by celebrating rich and deep traditions such as making Fry Bread and listening to Pawnee songs and Kiowa prayers.

Many pastors and leaders expressed great interest in Harvesters’ training. Presently, in Oklahoma alone there are about 350 Native American churches and only about a third have pastors – many of whom are bi-vocational and have not had the opportunity for any formal training. Also, some older pastors sadly passed away due to Covid.

Furthermore, several feel overlooked and isolated. One Native American associate pastor, Geoffrey Cote, explained to us that since coming into ministry he has noticed many mission organisations leave the USA to reach the unreached. Meanwhile, there is a rich population of Native tribes right on their doorstep. “It seems like we are forgotten,” he said, “And the conclusion is we’re not forgotten. God remembers us.”

Pastor Gary Hawkins, the Executive Director of Fellowship of Native American Christians, sees that Harvesters’ training can provide many benefits. “To see new, healthy church plants,” he explained, “We need effective evangelism, discipleship and leadership development that is contextually relevant while remaining doctrinally sound.”


Challenges to Overcome

Native American instruments

A number of leaders explained that presenting Jesus to their communities can be difficult. Some Natives dislike Christianity because of a fraught history between the tribes and European Christian groups. Past missionaries’ attempts to alter or remove aspects of Natives’ heritage and culture has left many unable to reconcile with Christianity.

Pastor Gary told us, “A lot of people believe that to become Christian, you’re selling out your people, you’re losing your identity. It used to be that when the Native would go to church they’d wonder, ‘How will the church accept me?’ Today the question is, ‘How will my people, how would my tribe, how would my family accept me for being a Christian?’ Those are some big issues for our Native people.”

There has been suffering, but in many cases that suffering has brought about a hunger for God. You see strong churches, small but strong, with passionate missionary endeavours to their own people.

The embers are already burning, and we are excited to see God fan a flame among the Native tribes!


Prayer Points for You and Your Church

Native People. Indian Falls Creek Conference 2022. Harvesters Ministries

  • Join us in our prayer to find 12 key connections from Native people groups by 2024. Please pray that we hear The Lord well, know where He is at work and join Him with courageous faith!
  • Pray for opportunities to present Harvesters among the Native communities, and for a three-day Harvesters’ Kick Off conference scheduled for Spring 2023.
  • Let’s pray for Christ’s peace and reconciliation to be established so these communities can come to know Jesus. Pray that the one true Gospel will be adopted and not diluted with other religious beliefs.
  • Pray that the next great revival for North America will come through this seed that we plant among Native peoples. That God would use Harvesters as a catalyst for another great awakening in North America.

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. Psalm 86:9

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