About Don and DeAnn Fraser
The Problem : Young people are bombarded with more conflicting messages than ever, tearing at the fabric of who they are, leaving them confused, adrift, at a loss to deal with what life throws at them. Disappointments in life, doubts, failure and deep pain have led to an epidemic of teen mental health issues, addictions and empty relationships with others and God. Like many of us, teens usually don’t feel it’s okay to share these types of struggles. They find themselves caught in a whirlpool of meaninglessness and fateful choices that aggressively disciples and reproduces as it spreads through the culture. The Solution : Not only is it OK to share these things at Next Generation, together we experience those very struggles as a path to a deeper relationship with Jesus. When someone takes the time to faith-fully walk through life with them, they find meaning and experience real relationship (horizontally with others and vertically with God). The Result : Over and over we have seen our students grow in security, willing and able to share failures and struggles without shame, confident that Jesus covers them. They set out in life with purpose, secure in who they are, following Jesus wherever He leads, and cultivating meaningful relationship with others to help them have it too.
This is real discipleship, much the way Jesus did it with and for us.
Don & DeAnn want more than anything else to give high-school kids the vision and experience that God wants them, will be with them, and will work in and through them in the lives of people around them. People everywhere want be part of something much bigger than themselves, and they find such freedom and purpose when someone takes the time to walk with them and help them to actually experience the kind of real relationship that God intended! When they find that, they want others to find it, too! It’s not just a “teen” thing, but it is so very powerful when a young person gets that when they are beginning to ask deeper questions and understand their faith as a real, personal thing. It becomes a normal part of who they are, and it shapes their faith for a lifetime!
Our vision is …
► to see our youth begin to know and experience God’s love, presence, and power in very personal, sustainable, and dynamic ways!
► to see our youth developing intentional relationships and equipped to help others experience the same things!
► to see more disciple-makers doing just this kind of thing across America!
► to see our youth go “into the nations” to reach every continent — even every nation!
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom!
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts!
Don & DeAnn currently live and minister in Columbia, MD. They have two grown sons, Zach and Nate.
“But then something happened …”
I’ve been thinking this could be the slogan for 2020 — Remember New Years? Large holiday gatherings? Making plans? Looking forward to a year full of "2020 vision" puns?
But then something happened …
Suddenly we were home. Alone. For months. OK, so maybe sleeping in and eating muffins in PJs was a fun novel way to do church for a while. However, for our students it also meant isolation, struggling within a sudden social interaction vacuum. Cancelling clubs, teams, proms and graduation ceremonies. The struggle was real for our students. Those with extroverted tendencies struggled with depression and lethargy. Those who are more introverted all but disappeared. Our hearts sank for our students. So many questions. So many changes.
But then something happened …
Collective brainstorming. Like everyone else, we were praying, networking and thinking outside the box. Jumping in to virtual meetings. NavSnack delivery to each student to have a physical connection during NavNights. Inviting guest musicians for our worship times. Testing the waters of in-person events with a July 4th gathering. The kids were so hungry for time together. About 20 kids enjoyed activities like a COVID piñata and facemask water-balloon volleyball. This gave us (and parents) confidence to try a socially-distanced camping trip. We led students through reflecting on God and how He and His desires for us are reflected in the relationships He has created. Then Dick led a treasure hunt through Colossians. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've seen triple the number of students, proving that this generation is hungry for more than games and social times.
But then something happened …
and is still happening. We are rolling toward to the future with so many questions. What will this schoolyear look like? Teaching through the wheel illustration this semester. We are planning our fall retreat as a 1½ day event — hybrid and local, in-person — focusing on God’s grace. We just postponed our fall retreat. Our students have always struggled with balancing schoolwork and other activities. Virtual learning seems to have multiplied it. Of course, there are other things that prevented the students participating this weekend. But this brings up even more questions. How can we build community? What’s the best way to get great content to our kids? How do we help them act faithfully in each of these situations they are facing? It can seem so overwhelming to us. But one thing we are sure of — Something will happen! We will see God’s hand in this.
Because Something Happened … we are so grateful!
“Be truly humble toward everyone because there was a time when we, too, were foolish, rebellious, and deceived—we were slaves to sensual cravings and pleasures; and we spent our lives being spiteful, envious, hated by many, and hating one another. But then something happened: God our Savior and His overpowering love and kindness for humankind entered our world; He came to save us. It’s not that we earned it by doing good works or righteous deeds; He came because He is merciful. He brought us out of our old ways of living to a new beginning through the washing of regeneration; and He made us completely new through the Holy Spirit” — Titus 3:2b-5 (VOICE)
Please Pray —
• For each student to experience and follow God personally and faithfully
• For true fellowship that produces unity and empowering relationships
• For wisdom, wellness, healing, love, faithfulness, energy & effectiveness
We need you! Your prayers for us make it possible for us to do anything at all. As we stay connected to the Vine, and as you stay connected to the Vine lifting us up, we stay connected to each other and to the only One who brings forth fruit that lasts. Without Him we can do nothing!
We have just come through a crazy full season of travel, training, and ministry and are looking ahead to the holidays! Hope you are, too! So here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening and how you can pray —
Gospel-Centered Life in 3D : This entire year we’re pressing hard into what life wrapped around the Gospel is like. We spent 6 weeks just getting to know the Gospel intimately from 3 different angles, and now we’re looking at ways that we all minimize our sin and our felt need for the Gospel, thereby limiting God’s effectiveness in our lives. These are hard-hitting topics, and our enemy is working hard to interfere in any way they can. Please pray we’ll effectively communicate and as many students as possible will take it to heart and be set free to walk in the light and the power of Jesus!
Travel and Training : As mentioned, we’ve had a very full 2 months. We started October with Juli Slattery at her first Authentic Intimacy conference in Cleveland — a fantastic weekend developing Biblically compassionate approaches as we come alongside our youth and their sexual struggles. Our own Fall Retreat was in mid-October, and the next week was another excellent weekend of training on matters of spiritual warfare and deliverance at Falls Church in the DC area. A scant week after that, we were off to FL for our once-every-four-years Navigator National Gathering. All this while maintaining a normal ministry schedule with students. Whew! We’re tired! Please pray for us to be able to remember and effectively apply what we learned and to be able to recover from the grind!
Spiritual battles and momentum : We feel like our group has lost significant momentum and cohesion this fall. It may well be all the above, but it feels like more than that. Students who were regular have become irregular or disappeared entirely. Interpersonal problems have interfered with relationships. We have had to find a new location (thankfully we will be settling into a new one with the new year). New students have come, but so sporadically as to make it hard to connect well with them. Our student leaders are not as “together” as they have been in the past. All this can use significant prayer! And please pray specifically for our student-leader retreat Dec 6-8.
Personal : Don has been sick since the beginning of October, catching one cold after another just when he starts to get better. It definitely has him worn down. DeAnn is fatigued, but doing well. Nate will be finishing his childcare & teaching certifications in the spring and is applying for jobs at schools. Zach is still living in Damascus, working at a Honda dealer and continuing his auto-tech certifications. (He just had his first accident at work — very painful and a trip to the ER, but otherwise OK.)
All this means we need you! Your prayers on our behalf make it possible for us to do anything at all. As we stay connected to the Vine, and as you stay connected to the Vine lifting us up, we stay connected to each other and to the One who brings forth fruit that lasts. Without Him we can do nothing!
Don & DeAnn