San Carlos Prayer Journey
On the 20th of this month, I had the opportunity to attend a Prayer Journey on the San Carlos Apache Reservation just east of Globe, AZ. At the time I wasn’t sure what a “Prayer Journey” actually was, but I was just coming off a period of fasting & prayer for the health needs of family members I felt that I was meant to attend.
My husband and I have lived here in AZ for more than sixteen years and I knew that there was a Reservation here but I had no idea that there are actually 22 Reservations within the state! San Carlos is the 3rd largest, it has a little over 2,800 square miles and has a population of approximately 14.000. Ok, those are all the stats I am going to share with you.
On the way up, Veronica told me about the organization that LifePoint works with; ARM – Arizona Reservation Ministries. Dale and Diana Lawrence are the missionaries that lead the organization. Before leaving home I began praying for the journey. I asked that God would use me as He saw fit. We arrived on the ARM property and I met Diana and she shared that she was feeling pretty good now as she had been having problems with her back. I asked if she had had anyone pray and lay hands on her and she said with a big smile that that is exactly what had happened. As soon as that had happened, she had great relief from the pain that had inhibited her from getting around. That was a great start to the experience! She gave a brief description of their property and how God had moved in the purchase of their property. Diana also pointed out many different areas on the property and the plans for said areas.
We got on the road heading for the reservation and she gave us some instructions while laying out her plan for the morning. We would be driving around the western perimeter and then through specific neighborhoods of the reservation. We would make 5 stops for prayer and any additional stops as she was led. The drive onto the reservation was emotionally overwhelming for me and even right now as I type. They have a large Casino but the people living on the reservation get no money from it. All the money that is coming in, is still being used to pay off the build of the Casino. My heart ached and my stomach turned as we drove past homes that were little more than shacks. Inside I was angry! Our government has allowed this 3rd world style living right here on our own soil. They tell them it is their property, “sovereign land”, but they cannot own any of it. If a business wanted to come in, they couldn’t own the land that they wanted to build on as it is all government-owned. At any time the government can come in and take back land from them.
The area at large appears desolate and barren. There are two gangs on the reservation and they burn out homes, something to do with their territory. I counted at least six homes. Diana gave us so much information that I couldn’t keep up with my notes, thank God Veronica was taking notes shorthand! The needs are so great!!! I remember asking Diana, who is doing something about this??? I was wondering what Mayor, Governor, or Legislative representative was speaking up and out for these people in Washington. She replied, no one. We were told that as a group, the Apache don’t speak up for themselves. I quickly came to the realization that they needed God! Diana explained that she believed that a Revival was coming to the Reservation. I thought it is long overdue!
The needs on the Reservation are great! That really is an understatement!! We prayed for individuals, families, the Native Organization, the Churches that are present on the Reservation, health concerns, teen suicide (11 times higher than the national average), the Housing Authority, the plans for a Nursing Home to be built, the elderly, the children, Emergency Services, the Hospital and the care it gives and the list went on and on. I asked Diana if they had done any Fasting and Praying for some of these needs but they have not to date. This may be a way to make some changes. I am looking forward to returning to the reservation but until that time I will be praying and doing what I can to help inform others of the situation there – the plight of the Native American. I believe there is a need for God’s people to Fast & Pray for our brothers and sisters living on the reservations, to pray that the Holy Spirit would move among them and that people would come to know Jesus, in great numbers! And, that this would happen not only here in AZ but across the country as there are 326 Indian Reservations in the US.
(Barbara and her husband attend Rock Point Church, and Barbara participates in MomsLIFE pm at LifePoint.)
For more information about joining a prayer journey, please contact Missions@lifepointaz.com