Whole Communities Touched by Fire of the Holy Spirit: Native American Tribes Experience Christian Revival
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In some respects, the plight of Native Americans hasn't changed. They face troubling circumstances with issues ranging from substance abuse to a massive COVID-19 impact, to an alarming number of missing and murdered women.
"There's a lot of broken areas, broken communities, and our communities are rampant with drugs," Crow Tribe member Donna Stands-Over-Bull told CBN News.
God is Moving
Yet, in the midst of the suffering, Stands-Over-Bull and her husband Russell say God is on the move.
"We can feel and sense the rumblings of revival, and when I say revival I mean people's hearts turning back to God," she shared.
"We've been having healing revivals over the online church. God's been healing people through social media. People are giving their hearts to the Lord," explained Russell Stands-Over-Bull.
The senior pastors of Arrow Creek TV e-church said God called them to start the online fellowship in 2018.
"We couldn't even comprehend what that would look like, but God put it on our hearts, and we began to establish Arrow Creek TV," Russell told CBN News. "And Millennials started coming to the church, and I'm so proud of my congregation. We've got the best. We've got five continents represented."
"We probably represent the biggest church in the Indian community throughout the U.S.," he continued.
Deep Revival Roots
Russell said the Pentecostal roots of revival run deep in his family and the Crow Nation. His mother, Sharon Stands-Over-Bull, is also a pastor and Crow elder. She recalled how in 1906, her grandmother attended the Azusa Street Revival in California.
"While they were there, they were privileged to receive the Holy Spirit, and they came back to the Crow Reservation, proclaiming that God is Lord over the Crow Reservation," Sharon told CBN News.
"Whole communities were touched by the fire of the Holy Spirit, and the Crows eventually became known throughout Indian Country as the center for Pentecost," explained Russell. "This was the capital for Pentecost, and still is considered that by many neighboring tribes."
'Jesus Christ is Lord'
Leaders of the Crow Tribe have even put up a sign which boldly proclaims that "Jesus Christ is Lord on the Crow Nation". It also has a Scripture that reads, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." --
In addition, the southeast Montana tribe passed a 2013 legislative resolution "to honor God for his great blessings upon the Crow Tribe and to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord of the Crow Indian Reservation." They also fly the flag of Israel next to the sign.
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"The Scripture says that as we stand with Israel, we are a blessed nation, so we held that," Sharon Stands-Over-Bull said. "And so today, there are ministries throughout the reservation, and people have been saved and healed and shouting the victory."
"So I'm just so glad that in my lifetime, I got to be a part of it, and it's still ongoing," she added.
'Please Save Me'
On Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, Windy Cross Guns shared how God delivered her of meth addiction.
"I had a little granddaughter born. One day my house got busted. It was surrounded by cops, and I stood by, and I watched," she said. "I didn't care about anything except for the drugs in my hands."
"And just once, I turned around and looked and remembered that little baby was in there, and that was the beginning of me thinking of my future, my family, my community, and what I wanted to do," she continued.
"And basically, I just looked to the sky and asked God to help me – if He was real, please save me," Windy shared.
Cross Guns said she, too, and her family is experiencing a revival.
"Them and friends and fellow addicts in this community have seen my recovery, and they believe what I believe in now. I mean they saw it," she explained. "My whole family converted; they're now Pentecostal Christians, too."
Patrick Matt, Jr., is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. A preacher's kid, he calls himself a product of a 20th century Pentecostal Christian movement.
"If I can shine as a light to my people, to say God is doing something with me. God is changing me. God is doing mighty things in my life, in my family's life, He can do it for you!" he exclaimed. "Then, amen! Amen and amen."
Russell Stands-Over-Bull said the goal now is teaching his church to "sustain revival" through fasting and prayer.
"So when we host the Presence of God, Heaven comes down, and there's no sickness in Heaven. There's no poverty in Heaven. There's no lack in Heaven," he explained. "So when we invite the kingdom of God, that's how we sustain revival, and that's our quest is to keep this revival fire going."
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