July 2017

Army Captain Craig Richards* knows that God always has an intention and purpose for deployments, something he learned even before he followed Jesus.

It was during a deployment several years ago that Craig first started reading the Bible. Prior to that, he had given his life to the Army and to his girlfriend. During a phone conversation, his girlfriend asked him to pray with her. That request awakened something in Craig’s soul, to consider God for the first time. He decided to start reading the Bible while on deployment.

Recently I heard a leader ask his group to share the last time they led someone to Christ. You could feel the tension—some had never had the opportunity to do that. But then the speaker explained his new daily goal: to touch one person’s life every day so that they would be led toward Jesus.

What a concept! We run into not-yet-believing people every day—neighbors, family members, restaurant workers, store clerks, or Uber drivers. What if, for each encounter, our goal was to take advantage of the opportunity to represent Jesus in word and deed, in such a way that the non-believing person was drawn closer toward Christ?

On a small lot near the most sex-trafficked and drug-trafficked street in Compton, California, sits a lush garden, filled with vegetables, flowers, herbs, … and hope.
 
Compton is better known as the birthplace of the notorious street gangs the Bloods and the Crips. But since 2013, a group of Navigators have made this garden plot a source of education, job opportunity, and connection.
 
Navigators Bob and Susan Combs have lived and served in Compton for 20 years. “It’s easy to share the Gospel with someone,” Susan says. “But that doesn’t solve the problem of ‘I don’t have a job, I can’t provide for my family.’
 
Their first job-creation idea was selling used cars, but the owner of an available lot wanted them to grow vegetables.  Susan says, “We had no idea how to do that, but we said yes.”

Sharing God's Word in Different Languages

After praying together about building relationships with the internationals they were working alongside at Snow Mountain Ranch, a YMCA camp in Colorado, Nathan Skattebo and Matt Rinella decided they would get Bibles in the primary languages of their new friends. When they shared their idea with the other college students who were part of The Navigators Summer Training Program (STP), there was an outpouring of interest. Many others also wanted a Bible to share!

Dozens of Navigator students come from around the world to be part of the summer Global Student Program (GSP) at Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs (near The Navigator headquarters). Along with volunteering time in operations for the conference center, these students are invested in spiritually through the intentional discipleship and evangelism training program of The Navigators. The impact of this focused training time is felt around the world in generations of disciples!

The Navigators has always encouraged Bible memorization as an important tool for spiritual growth and for sharing truth with friends. The Topical Memory System (TMS) has been used and is still used today by generations of disciples to hide God’s Word in their hearts.

Discover God's Passion for People in Your Community

The boisterous crowds with their gritty palm branches stumbled alongside Him, shoving and shouting. But His gaze was riveted ahead. There in the distance, stones blinding white under merciless sun, lay the city—the city He loved with a fury, the city that had broken His heart.

It was both symbol and sample of all He had lived for, all He would soon suffer and die for. Within its ancient walls lived the Pharisee with his phylactery; the widow with her mite; the jeweled harlot; the cutthroat Zealot; the little girl newly back from the dead, gathering lilies for her still-dumbfounded papa. A market full of beggars, a temple full of thieves, a city full of all things human, crying out for all things divine.

And Jesus wept.

I want you to meet our friends, Dave and Betsy. We first met Dave and Betsy in northern New Jersey at the church we were attending while my wife, Katie, and I were ministering in the NYC area. Perhaps it was Dave’s curiosity and zest for life, or his enjoyment of automobiles that forged a friendship, but one thing for sure was our common passion to follow Jesus Christ.

Through our many adventures we have spent hours together. Thoughtful conversations have explored our values; let us share our dreams, disappointments, and desires to bring glory to God through our lives and marriages. I’d like to share one of our conversations from earlier this year.

A Conversation with Sherry Graf

I think it’s a good idea to have thought through a few different versions of your faith story so you are ready to share when the moment comes up. Depending on who I am talking to determines what I share. If I know we have something from our pasts in common, I try to weave that in. I also like to have memorized a few verses about God’s love and forgiveness to share.

Spiritual Generations Take Root in College

Max Barnett’s Navigator roots run deep. In 1958 he attended a men’s discipleship conference at Glen Eyrie Conference Center and met Lorne Sanny and Leroy Eims, early Navigator leaders.

Max remembers his first impression: “When I met the Navs, I thought, ‘Wow! There is a ministry that actually does discipleship?’ That was a turning point and I knew I wanted to be a part of what they were doing.

“I had gone to seminary and had felt called to make disciples by spending time in the Word of God, praying, and helping others do the same. I started focusing on ministry to medical school students, but it was hard to get their attention due to their schedules and the intensity of their training.