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Teens, friends walk throughout reservation, spreading word of Christ

Members and friends of the Northern Lights Freedom and Life Church near Richwood are carrying a cross throughout the White Earth Reservation, hoping to show people, especially teens, about the positive life they can live through Jesus. They started their mission in Callaway and plan to walk throughout the reservation this fall after getting permission from each town and the tribe. PIPPI MAYFIELD/DL NEWSPAPERS

Though several people made comments about the heat on Saturday, the response of “Jesus didn’t complain” quieted the complaints quickly.

Saturday afternoon, youth and adults walked through the towns of Callaway and Richwood carrying a cross. They plan to walk throughout the White Earth Reservation this fall.

“It’s obviously not every day we go through a town with a cross,” Olivia Thompson said.

The teens, and their adult leaders, are hoping to draw attention to themselves and their message by doing just that – carrying a cross throughout town.

“Drugs, alcohol and suicide, those are the bad ways. There are way, way better things in life,” Thompson described as the purpose of the walk.

Thompson is the teen who came up with the idea to carry the cross throughout the reservation.

“We each have a path in life,” she said. Many people on the reservation are choosing a path of alcohol, drugs, suicide or other violence, and she said she’s seen that path but wants everyone to know the path of God is better.

“The Lord is obviously the way,” she said. “I just want the reservation better. It’s so beautiful and amazing. God has a plan for everyone.”

“I want to see (the reservation) different rather than what’s going on,” added friend and fellow walker Jasmine Bunker.

Thompson said she was out on a walk one hot day this summer and began to wonder how far Jesus walked when he carried his own cross. That led to the thought of carrying the cross throughout the reservation, trying to show people of the way of God.

She took her idea to her Bible study leaders and they thought it was great.

“Our Bible study teachers want to see the young come together and work together for Him,” Bunker said.

Most the people associated with the walk hail from Northern Lights Freedom and Life Church near Richwood but their message is loud and clear to anyone: God is better than anything.

Thompson would especially like to reach teens on the reservation, showing them that drugs and alcohol are not the right path to a positive life. She wants to help “set this generation on the right path. I want others to get addicted to Jesus.”

Seeing his youth get involved in such a project, Pastor Bob St. Clair has gone to city councils and asked for permission to walk the streets of the cities with the kids and the cross. So far he’s gotten a positive response.

“Let’s change (the reservation) back,” he said, “The tribe is trying. We better work with them, as a community especially and as a country.”

As they prepared to walk the streets of Callaway, the teens were happy to have the opportunity.

“I’m just excited for it. We get to spread Jesus to everyone,” Bunker said.

“And he’s powerful, amazing and wonderful,” Thompson said.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.