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Anchor for the Soul

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I come from a family with a long history of military service. My father was a WWI veteran with the U.S. Army (17th Cavalry) under Commander Lieutenant Patton. My brothers were in WWII and the Korean War respectively. My Uncle James Maloney was a WWII Navajo Code Talker with the U.S. Marines.

The Blessed Life

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My name is Merritt Youngdeer. I’m a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina. My grandparents, like many tribal members from all across our country, attended Carlisle Indian Boarding School.

Which Road Are You On?

Life wasn’t easy for me. There were temptations and troubles in my home. There were tears and sorrows in my heart, and my pride was very hurt by my failures. But I tried to keep faith in the Indian religion of my fathers.

Freedom From Addiction!

Before Christ, my life was a mess, and I grew up a screw up. My life went against all society’s standards of normality. I grew up off-reserve in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I had a decent family and attended a religious school. I excelled academically and athletically as an urban Indian. But growing up as a marginalized, stigmatized Indian caused me to experience great shame and unnecessary oppression.

In Our Darkest Hour

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It was the winter of 1979, and my wife Kathy and I were rejoicing in the birth of our first-born son. We named him Nathaniel Ara Ross. I was working in a factory on night shift to make ends meet. At night when I came home, I would check on Nathaniel. Those precious days were filled with joy and wonder.

My New Life in Christ as a San Carlos Apache

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In San Carlos, Arizona, where I was born and raised, many of the Apache have a certain place where they go every Sunday to worship. They call this “holy ground.” There the people sing until noon, and then they eat together. Afterwards they pray and instruct the people, young and old, much as it is done in Sunday schools and churches.