Across the United States, there are 325 Native American reservations. Nine lie within South Dakota.
And this weekend, Will Graham is holding evangelistic events with two communities of Native Americans on the state’s southern border.
“No matter where I go in the world, people seem to be searching for the same things. They want hope and purpose, peace and security. They want to know that their life matters,” said Graham. “I believe that all of these elusive elements can be found in Jesus, and I’m looking forward to sharing that message with Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations.”
Native Peoples Tour
July 23: Rosebud Reservation
July 24: Pine Ridge Reservation
The two-day Native Peoples Tour won’t be Will Graham’s first time sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Native American communities. In the past year, he’s preached at youth basketball camps, weekend outreaches, and a conference for Native Christian leaders—all held on or near reservations in South Dakota.
And God’s Word did not return void. Many Native Americans have committed to Christ through those Gospel-centered efforts.
But just as the longing for Christ is universal among all people groups, so is the key to a long-lasting relationship with the Savior: fellowship with His church.
“Jesus Christ is the answer not so much as a pronouncement [of faith], but through mentorship, counseling and discipleship,” explained pastor and Native leader Ed Parsells.
Faith-based outreaches are common on reservations like Rosebud and Pine Ridge. But the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has been faithful to work alongside Native American believers at every step of this evangelistic outreach. Volunteers from 29 churches have prayed and prepared for this weekend’s events for months, and those congregations will connect with every person who responds to the Gospel message this weekend.
“There has to be a long-term view of simply walking with people,” said one such volunteer, Matt Hadden. He’s the student team leader for the Pine Ridge Reservation. “You’re not going to see the change overnight here. … God is the only one that can produce genuine, active faith in the hearts of those who come forward.”
To help kickstart those long-term relationships with the community, the two-day Native Peoples Tour will include a unique feature: Funfest. Right after an afternoon event for children called KidzFest, a free meal will be served to all. Following that time of fun and conversation, Will Graham will present the Gospel alongside hip-hop artist KB and worship leader Joshua Chavez.
“[My grandfather] believed the original Americans could become the evangelists that would help win America for Christ,” Will Graham said. “I have a burden on my heart to continue that mission of reaching our Native American brothers and sisters with the hope of Jesus, and I believe we’re going to see my grandfather’s words come true in my lifetime.”
Please ask God to use these Gospel presentations to draw Native Americans to a saving, long-lasting relationship with Him.