Daily Disciplemaking at 5 A.M.

A few months after he was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, Calvin*, who enlisted in the Army at age 18, decided to attend a Navigators Bible study that met just a block from his barracks.

“I had gone to church back home, so I decided to show up to this Bible study,” Calvin says. “They all seemed to know a lot about the Bible and were kind of intense. I was ready to run out the door at the end, but a couple of guys met me and kept inviting me to connect. As I continued in Bible study, I understood the why of faith—that reading the Bible was about growing in relationship with Jesus.”

Daily Disciplemaking at 5 A.M. | The Navigators Military | Soldiers pray during therapy session

After Calvin’s small group leader deployed, he started meeting with Seth every morning before work.

“As a private in the infantry, my day started very early,” Calvin says. “We would meet at 5:00 a.m. in Seth’s truck and have a quiet time together. I felt like Christ was speaking directly to me about real issues in my life. One morning I realized that Jesus wasn’t just fire insurance, but I committed to Him as Lord of my life.”

Seth was also encouraged by their daily meetings. “I remember one morning specifically, when Calvin was so excited about God’s Word and how it applied to his life,” Seth says. “I realized that God used Calvin as part of the process for me to catch the vision of making disciples. What I had learned from Mike Chong (Navigators Military) and others wasn’t just for me but was so I could help someone else understand how to make disciples.”

Since that time of daily discipleship six years ago, both Seth and Calvin have continued to grow the next generation of disciplemakers. Seth has completed his Army service and is living with the Chong family near Lewis-McChord while he attends college. He is continuing to disciple soldiers both on the base and in the ROTC program at college.

Calvin is now on his third re-enlistment, newly married, and stationed at Fort Bragg, where he is part of Navigators Military ministry. “God’s call to me is to stay in the military and intentionally invest in young soldiers who are 18-20 years old,” says Calvin. “I can call these young men toward a life of following Christ.”

The model of deeply investing in discipleship through having soldiers live in their home is based on how Mike and Liz Chong were discipled. As a 17-year-old Army private, Mike attended a Navigators Bible study at Fort Carson, Colorado. He decided to follow Jesus and was discipled by a Navigator couple in their home before he was reassigned to a base in Germany. Liz also lived with a couple as a young adult. For nearly 10 years, they have been investing in soldiers from their home near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where they live out 1 Thessalonians 2:8Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

Praise God for the network of Navigators Military and their commitment to discipling young soldiers so they can make a difference for eternity.

*Name changed

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) visual or content does not imply or constitute DOD endorsement. 


  1. Encouraged to read this story! I want to invest whatever time I have left to “making disciples.”
    Falinda Farley
    Charlotte, NC

  2. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. What an awesome witness these servants of Jesus have been to so many! We were first introduced to Navigators by a young college student in one of our churches. We have used Navigators quality, relevant Bible study materials ever since in the various churches where my husband has pastored.

  3. Thank you soooo much for sending this. It is so encouraging to hear about the affects of Christ in our lives. Pan aka Sticky

  4. Navigators led my Bible Study teacher, Jim Braden, to the Lord during his service in the Navy. He led us in a dormitory Bible study at McConnell AFB, KS where I accepted the Lord. 28 years later I’m still in the service and I have stayed in touch with them. I started and led a OCF (Officer’s Christian Fellowship) prayer meeting at Goodfellow AFB, TX turning it over to another service member when I left. While here in Colorado Springs we attended Navigators Joel Yourkowski who sponsored Ray Schmautz who started a Cadence house ministry to Ft. Carson that I attended a number of years. Meanwhile, I commuted to CO from CA for sevens years and was involved in a chapel-sponsored small group in which another Navigator, Megan Fischer attended. It’s amazing to see how God had used so many ministries and caring Christian to weave his tapestry of love and discipleship throughout the military. I attribute my own discipleship and all six of my children’s choice to follow Jesus to the those who invested in me and those who invested in those who taught me and so on. God is good and deserves the glory!

  5. Such an encouraging story. Reassures me that there are people out there that want to hear the Word of truth!!

  6. We should always support our DOD. I disagree with the disclaimer above. And it is not necessary to say something like that.

    1. Hi Ernest – thank you for your question. We do support our military but also don’t want to misrepresent a personal view from a ministry story as coming from the Department of Defense which is why we use the disclaimer from our legal team.

  7. God is Wonderful I thank him everyday for the air that i breathe and his blessings I thank him for watching over our family and blessing our church Thank you Jesus.

    1. I was stationed at Fort Carson too and a huge part of the Navigators military there. We discipled soldiers who we invited to Bible studies every Wednesday and every Thursday and Friday Bible studies. I have Chris Bean to thank for bringing me closer to the Lord. My good friend Spencer is also in the Navigators and recently was stationed in Germany. What a coincidence.

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