As mentioned earlier we have not had much interaction with Traditional Native Americans on the Reservation. The following are the strongholds we have seen with the Christian Native Americans we have been ministering to on a regular basis.
Generational Sin of Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, Physical Abuse
The end result is Low Self Esteem, ‘Not Good Enough’, Performance Orientation.
There appears to be several people who have spiritual giftings and hunger but the above limits them. (None of this is much different for Christians in general.)
It is so sad to see that gambling has grabbed hold of not just many Traditional Natives but Natives who would call themselves Christ Followers. There is one main issue that seems to be prevalent. There is a mindset from some that as long as they have some kind of spiritual gifting it should not matter how they are living. Character seems to not matter. I know that is the case among many in Christianity but it seems to be a stronger mindset here. Especially when it comes to the sin/addiction of gambling. There are many who are caught up in gambling addiction, that clearly could be great vessels for the Kingdom but they are poor witnesses for Christ, poor Ambassadors for Christ thus limited in being used in the ministry of reconciliation.
Some of what we are seeing is there are those caught up in gambling that are not burdened by it, they seem to have accepted it even if it has cost them much in finances, relationships, credibility, etc. Needless to say, thus far we have not met anyone that has benefited from gambling, just the opposite.
We have attempted to try and make some headway in reaching these individuals but strong barriers, even when they acknowledge that it is sin and that it is damaging to their testimony.
It has become clear to Carmi and I that we would need more time to than we have to minister to the Traditional Natives and to those who have strong bondages that do not want to let them go, or do not believe they can let them go. It is clear we would need to get into their lives more, build trust more. We knew this all along, but based upon past experience we thought we would have more favor than we obviously do in this realm. It is clear the spirit of gambling has a strong stronghold in this region.