April 2016

Gathering in Netherlands Draws 1100 Students

By IET Communications

In January 2016, about 1100 university students attended a Navigator conference near Zelhem, in the Netherlands. Titled “BulletProof,” the conference was designed to help students think about and experience the call, promise, beauty and cost of living in complete surrender to Jesus for the advance of His kingdom. 

Joost van Heusden, an event leader, said it was deeply moving to see several hundred students surrender their lives and future plans to the Lord. During times of worship and prayer, many had a personal encounter with God that brought freedom, restoration and new perspective, he added.

Please pray that God would continue to empower a new generation of young Navigators in the Netherlands.    

Spiritual Prep for Coming Storms

By Alan Ch'ng

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Advanced technology and professional meteorologists can save many lives by predicting hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Having information ahead of time enables us to prepare—to evacuate, to run to storm shelters, to stock up on food and water, to put gasoline in generators, or to board up the windows of our homes.

But do we follow God’s counsel to prepare for the inevitable storms of life? Believers and unbelievers alike go through these storms. The difference is that believers have Jesus in the boat with them! In fact, how we respond to the adverse circumstances in life is a huge witness to the reality of Jesus in our lives.

In recent months, several of our close friends in the Asia-Pacific region of the Navigator Worldwide Partnership have been facing extreme hardship. A friend who worked with us in a campus ministry discovered he has lymphoma. Two others, in their early 40s, recently learned that they have advanced stage cancer and are undergoing treatment. In the past few years we have lost friends to cancer. In a few cases, the surviving spouse was left to care for very young children alone.

I have seen each of my friends weather these storms with tremendous faith and hope. That is not to say that they experience no fear, or that they completely transcend the suffering. They don’t. But despite the hardship, they demonstrate a peace that passes understanding, a hope for the future, and a solid stance in knowing that nothing can separate them from the love of God (Romans 8).

I have asked myself this question: How is it that these men and women have been able to face these challenges with such hope and peace? What have they done to prepare?

A few years ago, a close friend and coworker called to tell me that his wife had been admitted to the hospital and was also found to have cancer. As time passed, I had to ask him what sustained them through a time like this. What had made their faith grow stronger than before? What enabled them to see the eternal, and to gain the peace that comes from knowing that God is in control?

His answer was profound. He said that for many years they chose to live in a close relationship with Jesus, and to stay committed to the spiritual disciplines of being with God in His Word and in times of prayer. They prepared for the storms of life by being anchored in relationship with Jesus.

Paul, writing in Ephesians 1:18-20, calls us to know Jesus deeply. "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead . . ."

And, the writer of Hebrews advises us to follow the model of Jesus as we go through hardships. "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Jesus, in Matthew 7:24-25 said, "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

Preparation for life’s storms, as you can see, is about developing strong foundations in Jesus—our rock. Building that relationship is possible because Jesus, on the cross, opened the possibility for us to anchor our lives in Him. Now it is up to us to respond to Him by entering that relationship fully.   

Alan Ch’ng is an International Vice President. Before joining the International Executive Team, Alan led our Asia-Pacific Region for more than six years. Alan and his wife, Connie, moved to Colorado Springs in April 2013. They have three grown sons.

Contagious Faith

By Eddie Broussard

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Wherever Navigators live and work, we hope to see an increasing number of disciples and laborers growing to maturity and bearing fruit. The New Testament tells us that healthy and fruitful disciples are people of faith.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:8, Paul helps us see that faith is a quality that must be nurtured in a person’s life if he or she is to mature and bear lasting fruit.

"The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere."

This powerful faith is evident among Navigators around the world. In just one example, a family of Navigator disciples in a war-torn part of the Middle East demonstrated faith by trusting God to provide food. With the economy in shambles, and the infrastructure in a collapsed state, the family’s food, water and electricity were scarce. Lacking food or money, the father of the family, a physician, asked God to provide the next meal. Someone needing medical attention soon knocked at the door. The father cared for the patient, but declined payment for his services. The grateful patient insisted on paying him, and it turned out to be exactly enough to buy food for his family that evening.

You can imagine how that answer to prayer inspired his wife and children and others in the community. It sure inspires me!

Paul gives us insight into the nature of faith and its role in the advance of the Gospel when he says, "your faith in God has become known everywhere." Faith, by its nature, expresses itself in actions and attitudes that shape our behavior and form a message from our lives to the world. Faith is visible! 

And it was faith—seen in the attitudes, actions, responses and lifestyle of the Thessalonians—that became known all over first century Greece and the surrounding region. The visible faith of the Thessalonians was the leading edge of the Gospel as it spread around Macedonia and Achaia.

We also see the importance of faith in the spiritual growth of believers in 1 Thessalonians 3. In that chapter, Paul writes about faith five times. And he says that he sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to strengthen and encourage their faith (verse 2 and 5).

How do we help people grow in faith? In chapter 2, Paul described his ministry in Thessalonica as one in which he shared not only the Gospel, but also his own soul with them (2:8). He left them an example of holy, righteous and blameless living. In other words, faith is caught more than taught. When others see us living by faith, the Gospel comes to life.

Paul and Timothy also helped believers grow in faith by communicating the Scriptures. The Word of God provides us with a clearer picture of the object of our faith—God himself and the way of His kingdom.

Disciples, at their core, are people whose lives are characterized by a vibrant, visible faith rooted in an inner life of trust and obedience to the Lord and His Word. Faith makes the Gospel contagious!   

Eddie Broussard joined the International Executive Team in May 2015. He became Navigator staff in 1980. In 1992, he joined the CoMission movement, working in the post-Soviet countries. From 1998 to 2014, he served on the U.S. National Leadership Team. Eddie and his wife, Barbie, were married in 1996.

Experiencing Spiritual Generations

By David R.

 Navigators in Malawi

Navigators in Malawi

God’s faithfulness to expand His kingdom through spiritual generations—from one life to the next—is powerfully demonstrated in the story of Andy Nyirenda in Malawi.

In the January 2016 issue of Worldwide, David Lyons wrote about what God is doing now in rural Malawi through Andy and his wife, Wezzie. (You can watch a video about God’s work through Andy and Wezzie at this link.)

There is an earlier part to Andy’s story, one that demonstrates God’s promise to impact lives one generation after the next. Andy’s fruitfulness and character are the result of generations of God’s personal investment in many people, including His investment in my own life. 

When God led my wife, Susan, and me to pioneer the Navigator work in Malawi, in 1986, we regularly prayed that God would allow us to experience the fulfillment of His promises for spiritual generations in our lifetime. God gave us the privilege of seeing Malawian men and women come to faith and then become disciples and laborers. It was also exciting to watch God form these people into a team with a heart for reaching Malawi.

Later, God brought David and Andrea Taylor from the United Kingdom to join the effort. Susan and I spent several years working together in ministry with them. Then we commissioned them to move to Lilongwe, Malawi to reach out to university students. The Taylors also believed that God would produce spiritual generations through their investments in students.

That bring us to Andy Nyirenda. He was one of the students who was impacted by the Taylor’s campus ministry in Lilongwe. And now, through Andy and Wezzie, God is laying foundations for more spiritual generations in rural Malawi.

Long before we moved to Malawi, The Taylors, Susan and I had already received the spiritual influence of leaders and mentors. Back in my university days (1974-79), when I first became a part of The Navigators, I was inspired by men and women who took the Scriptures seriously and believed that what they read could be true for them!

Here are a few of the promises we claimed for the ministry in Malawi, even before we began to work there.

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left; and your descendants will possess nations and they will resettle the desolate cities . . ." (Isaiah 54:2-4).

"Look among the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. . . . Though it lingers wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay" (Habakkuk 1:5; 2:3).

"Ask of me and I will give you the nations and the very ends of the earth as your inheritance" (Psalm 2:8).

Clearly, all the people who invested in us have had a generational impact leading all the way to rural Malawi. And there is no way to measure what Andy’s influence on people will have in the future.

This generational story about Andy is common in the Navigator work. It’s happening all over the world. Since the 1930s, God’s promises have fueled the faith of countless Navigator men and women who have believed Him for the power to live out a fruitful and supernatural life in a disintegrating world. This faith in God’s promises to produce spiritual generations continues to be one of the hallmarks of those who call themselves Navigators.   

David R. (full name omitted for security) is the Navigator Regional Director for Eurasia. He and his wife, Susan, started the Navigator work in Malawi in 1986. David joined The Navigators during his university years, in 1974-1979.