MINISTRY TO INDIAN MINISTRIES IN THE WEST

By , October 16, 2006

This year Operation Compassion has sent fifteen semi truckloads of food, school supplies and other life sustaining products to ministries working with Native Americans in the western United States. One of the priorities for Operation Compassion has been the Native Americans. This was solidified with the opening of the First American Distribution Center in Gallup, NM.

Since 2002 and the opening of the Distribution Center, Operation Compassion has consistently sent semi trucks loaded with all kinds of supplies unique to the development and survival of Native Americans. Operation Compassion has also expanded its ministry by using the Gallup Distribution Center as a staging area for of locations in the North Central and northern Rocky Mountain regions.

Operation Compassion is serving twenty-six tribes or more appropriately, Native American Nations throughout the western United States. Some of the locations are so rural that the only way to reach them is by horse back or mule pack. Some tribes are so far removed from civilization as we know it that the only way to supply them is through helicopter drops, once a year in September or October, before winter weather prohibits it.

It is hard to imagine anyone in the United States that has not seen a white man but for several of these remote encampments that is just the case. To the average American, their living conditions appear to be unthinkable. However, for these Native Americans this is their way of life. For centuries their tribes have lived in the remote canyons and mountain ravines. Automobiles, electricity, in-door plumbing, cell phones and computers are not in their vocabulary. Most of them never leave their canyon homes. They live and die within a few miles of where they were born.

The goal of Operation Compassion does not want to disrupt their lifestyle. However, we want to reach them with the Gospel and assist those ministries that are doing just that. Men like Ron Countryman who has spent more than thirty years living among Native Americans; Michael Hartwell that leads the way in distribution at the First American Distribution Center; James and Johnny Hughes, a father and son team, ministering to Native Americans in the southwest. These are only a few of the many others that have given their entire ministries for Native Americans.

Operation Compassion is committed to continue and expand it ministry to Native Americans living in the western United States by continuing to send semi trucks loaded with food and supplies to the ministries that are on the frontlines of ministry. Resourcing these ministries is a key function for them and for Operation Compassion. Networking and partnering in these endeavors will enable ministries to expand without duplicating at the same time providing more assistance, support and aid where it is needed most.

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