Regardless of where I travel and with whom I interact in Navigator circles, I see people doggedly pursuing the vision to reproduce Harvest workers in a variety of contexts, cultures, communities, ethnicities, families, and relational networks. God is using that passion to create a ripple effect — not merely a splash — as the incarnate Gospel continues to forcefully advance!
Recently, one Navigator who works with our Military ministry in the Northwest shared an example of this ever-growing circle of influence with me.
I have been doing one-on-one discipleship with Ben*, a Navy man who is a native of the island country of Palau. Last week I drew out The Bridge™ illustration for him and I encouraged him to memorize it so that he would be prepared to share the Gospel at anytime. Bob Reehm, from The Navigators Military staff, taught me that illustration in 1998 in Monterey, California. It was a privilege to pass it on to Ben on Whidbey Island, Washington, 16 years later.
Ben and I were reviewing Scripture memory verses in the nearly deserted McDonald’s on the Naval Air Station. It was Ben’s turn to recite his memory verses when we noticed another sailor, who had been listening to us, was approaching. He was very bold with many questions about the Bible, so we invited him to sit with us and asked if we could share an illustration that might answer his questions.
As the curious sailor sat down I snatched the paper on which we had drawn The Bridge illustration the week before out of Ben’s Bible and placed it in front of the sailor. Together, Ben and I walked him through the illustration. The sailor had many questions so we spent the rest of our time answering his questions, showing him Bible verses, and getting to know him. This gave Ben an amazing opportunity to share part of his story regarding his relationship with Jesus.
The sailor with whom we were talking had come to faith in Christ many years prior but was out of fellowship and in need of getting back to Him. So we invited him to our upcoming Navigator events, and the next day Ben brought him to watch a football game with some other Navigator men.
Here we had Ben from Palau, receiving discipleship training in America, who in turn was reaching out to help an American in need of getting back to the Lord. Who knows how many people Ben will lead to the Lord in the future—both in America and in his native Palau? The nations are being reached right here on Whidbey Island.
*Not his real name