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USA A Forgotten People By April McDaniel What comes to mind when you hear the words American Indian? Do you think of wild savages who hunted buffalo, lived in tepees, and terrorized weary travelers? Do you think of poor Indians who were treated so unfairly by our government? Perhaps you might think they have casinos, they receive millions in government handouts, and they are well off. According to Indian Affairs, there are approximately 326 Indian reservations in the United States. About 22 percent of our country’s 5.2 million American Indians live on tribal lands (2010 US Census). Living conditions on the reservations have been cited as “comparable to Third World” (May 5, 2004, Gallup Independent). The overall percentage of American Indians living below the federal poverty line is 28.2 percent (2008, American Indians Census Facts). Many households are overcrowded and earn only social security, disability, or veteran’s income. While most Americans take running water, telephones, and electricity for granted, many reservation families live without these amenities. The one thing that is more alarming than the poor living conditions of many native people is the lack of missions effort to reach them with the Gospel. That leads to my story. My name is April McDaniel and I am a full-blooded Navajo Indian. I was raised on the Navajo Reservation where my dad has been pastoring for the past 27 years. At the age of five, I accepted Christ’s gift of eternal life. As a child I knew I wanted to serve the Lord when I was older, but in order for that to happen, I knew I needed to get out of public school where Navajo tradition was taught. The Navajo teachings in the public school and peer pressure were the main reasons I began to ask the Lord to allow me to attend a Christian school. One year later the Lord answered my prayers and I began attending Bible Baptist Shepherd in Standing Rock, New Mexico. During my sophomore year of high school, I surrendered to be a missionary and learned of Bible college. After high school graduation I attended West Coast Baptist College where I met John. During visits home the Lord began showing me the need for laborers on the Navajo Indian Reservation. John and I were married on the Navajo Reservation in July 2008, and it was then that the Lord put a burden upon his heart. In 2011 we moved to Mesa, Arizona, and began attending East Mesa Baptist Church where we became interns under the leadership of Pastor F. M. Hughes. The Lord used three events to get our attention and focus toward Him. My only brother died in a motorcycle accident in December 2011, my dad survived a heart attack in February 2012, and our second son, Aaron, lived for just 20 minutes in April 2012. In August 2012 we surrendered to be missionaries to the Navajo Indians. We are currently on deputation and are excited that we have the opportunity to serve the Lord. Please pray for us as we continue to raise our support, and please consider partnering with us. W 8 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2016