In honor of Native American Heritage month LU alumnus and tribal chief testifies to how Christ worked in his life

Everyone has those moments in life when they encounter a crossroads, forcing them to make a decision that will change the trajectory of their life. Chief Reynard Faber and his son Trevor both reflected on this idea after sharing their own experiences at a Native American Heritage Month event.  

Indian fried rice, elderberry tea and other tribal delicacies are just some of the unique components of the Jicarilla Apache Nation’s culture. At a special testimony in the School of Business Towns Auditorium, Faber and his son Trevor shared their life stories about this culture in an interview. 

Office of Equity and Inclusion’s Asst. Director of Strategic Projects and Alliances Walter Virgil interviewed Faber and Trevor about their tribal background. 

At the age of two, Reynard was pronounced dead for 15 minutes after a life-threatening situation. His grandfather, who entered the room after the accident, prayed over him and he woke up. However, this event led to more complications for Reynard due to his tribe’s superstitious nature. 

“I was shunned because of that,” Reynard said, explaining the repercussions of his near-death experience. 

 Reynard described his childhood and the challenges he faced. He grew up in a harsh environment that the average person does not encounter. He was taken from his family by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and placed into a Native American boarding school when he was 6 years old. 

“I remember the kids all huddled in the middle,” Reynard said. “The workers would come in and hit us with yard sticks to get us to go back into the hot shower. This was a part of my life every night from ages 6 (through)10.”

Reynard came to Christ after he experienced immense trauma, which resulted in an alcohol addiction for two years. He encountered a crossroads after a woman tried to convince him to discontinue this bad habit. From this transformative experience, he received prayer from the woman and began to read the Bible.

After coming to Liberty University in 1985, Reynard recalled the immense support of former President Jerry Falwell Sr. Through their connection, he was influenced by Falwell’s example which then transformed his testimony. 

“Dr. Falwell was so gracious to me,” Reynard said. “He never gave up on me.”

 Inspired by Dr. Falwell, news networks around the world used Reynard’s  testimony, In light of Reynard’s publicity, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, recruited him to work for his organization. 

During his time at Samaritan’s Purse, Reynard helped over 200,000 Native Americans, primarily through the Operation Christmas Child ministry. However, Reynard’s reach is not limited to serving others. Reynard and his son Trevor preserved the language of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

Motivated by his time at Liberty, Reynard came back with the goal of sharing his powerful story and setting a positive example for the university’s community. 

Barnhart, Solem, and Davis are feature reporters for the Liberty Champion

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