January 2018

Living with Bold Faith

By Eddie Broussard


What seemingly insurmountable problems do you face? How are you responding to them?

As followers of Christ, we are invited to lean into impossible problems by leaning on Jesus. We’re called to live with bold faith. This focus on living by faith has led many Navigators to pray John 11:40. “Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’”

During our 2017 International Forum in Malaysia, I had the honor of hearing many stories about Navigators around the world who are living and working among the lost with bold faith. These men and women, in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers, have pressed onward in faith to advance the Gospel. And they have seen God act in remarkable ways. Here are two examples.

In Guatemala, most university students must work while going to school in order to pay their living expenses. This makes it difficult for Navigators to sustain student leaders on campus, which in turn makes it harder to operate thriving campus ministries. And without strong ministries at Guatemala’s universities, the generational aspects of the Navigator work can suffer.

Navigator laborer Luis Tejeda knew many student-leaders who had a passion for ministry but who lacked the time and bandwidth to serve more effectively. So, he and others began to pray boldly for a solution. How could campus student-leaders manage course work, make a living, and minister to other students?

In time, God provided what was needed in an unexpected way. Luis realized that if other Navigators in Guatemala City could contribute the funding, the ministry could pay the student-leaders to disciple people on campus rather than work elsewhere. Although paying students to lead ministry was a new idea, they realized it was a new idea from God. Through the eyes of bold faith they saw a solution that the eyes of the flesh did not see. This solution would enable the students to invest more time in relationships with their peers. The idea was well-received by Navigators around the city, and they generously contributed to the effort.

Today, two student-leaders are actively ministering among non-believing friends. Not only has this helped to raise a new generation of young people, it has also helped those who graduate to stay in Navigator post-college disciple-making communities as they enter professional life.

Another example is a Navigator woman in our Asia-Pacific region who is serving the homeless, alcoholics, and drug addicts. Through the love of Christ, the homeless people she serves (along with a team) develop a new life off the streets. Drug addicts and alcoholics are given the opportunity to enter rehab. The goal is to help them become self-sufficient, reconciled with their families, and reconciled to God.

Overcoming problems like addiction and poverty stretches her faith and the faith of those she is reaching. But in response to her bold faith God is working miracles. For example, she has been helping a woman named Sarah. Not only has Sarah overcome her drug addiction, she has also become economically self-sufficient through her small business. Most importantly, she worships Jesus now! And her transformation has given her a deep concern for other homeless women. Her faith is reproducing!

As we often saw at the International Forum, many Navigators are experiencing John 11:40—seeing the glory of God—as they face obstacles and hardships in bold faith and perseverance.

How about you? What insurmountable problems are you facing? What might it look like for you to face these obstacles in faith?

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.

Bringing Hope to a Violent Land

By Raul Ortiz


The state of Colima, in Mexico, has one of the highest per-capita homicide rates in the world. Nearly 50 percent of the state’s residents are reported to be involved in violent drug trade. Mexico’s drug trafficking means it is common to hear or see shootings in the state’s towns and cities.

The violence in the region hit close to our team in late November. One of our close friends, a believer who worked to help drug addicts, was murdered in front of his five-year-old daughter. We are still reeling from this, but God is working in powerful ways to advance His kingdom in our city.

Our work in this dangerous context started about three years ago, when my wife, Paty, and I moved to the city of Colima and began to develop relationships with non-believers. We prayed for another couple to join us, a prayer God answered last year when Mauricio and Gabriela Zamudio agreed to join us.

The Zamudios’ decision to work in Colima is rooted in a deep conviction to follow Christ. Gabriela recognized that it would be a challenging move for her family, but she said this: “God seemed to be asking me, ‘Do you want to serve me or just go to a place that is beautiful?’ I knew that I wanted to serve God, even if it meant going to Colima.”

For Mauricio, the decision meant leaving his profession as a businessman and turning his work over to his business partners. He was also concerned that the people they had been discipling in Leon might not continue growing in Christ without their support.

Mauricio and Gabriela continued to pray and to talk with the Navigator community in Mexico about the possibility of working with us. Favorable responses predominated, and before long their network of Navigator friends had provided full financial support. So, in 2016, they took the leap and set up camp in Colima with their three children.

We are all amazed by what God has done over the past year. Soon after the Zamudios arrived in the city, they connected with Gabriela’s distant relatives (whom they had never met). They were Christians, but they were discouraged and alone in their faith. Mauricio and Gabriela formed a group to study the Bible, which reinvigorated relationships with God. Then Gabriela’s relatives started inviting others from their own network of family and friends to the study.

In addition to forming this group, God has established three other study groups led by Mauricio and Gabriela. One is with couples and the other is with university students. Most recently, they have started a study for kids and young teens. These relationships are opening the door to a broader network of Mexicans in Colima, and today the Zamudios have a prayer list with more than 40 people on it.

We know that these expanding pathways for the Gospel are a result of extensive prayer. Mauricio and I have not relied on “ministry methods.” During Mauricio’s first four months in the city, we just prayed together. As Mauricio recently said, “Today we are experiencing a harvest because of the prayer.”

Although God is clearly working, Gabriela says that the move into Colima has not been easy. The crime and violence means that their children have much less freedom to play, and the kids have struggled to find new friendships. Gabriela says there is always a concern about safety, adding that everyone knows someone who has been shot.

God’s protection was recently evident when Gabriela learned there had been a shooting not far from their house. She and her daughter would have been on that street at that time, but some unexpected inconveniences made them late for her daughter’s painting class.

“I don’t feel insecure,” says Gabriela. “God called us here and he knows what we need.”

Raul Ortiz serves as the Navigator Regional Director for Latin America. He and his wife, Paty, live in Colima, Mexico. The helped pioneer the Navigator work in Uruguay.

Reaching Rural Villages in West Africa

By Bulus Silas Bossan

Rural Villages.png

Bringing God’s love and hope to rural villages in West Africa is a daunting challenge. Most people in rural areas are devout followers of the major religion that dominates the region. Navigators often need permission from resistant village chiefs. Illiteracy rates and poverty are high. In some areas, there is a risk of terrorism.

But God is opening doors to reach these areas by equipping college students from rural areas to return to their villages after they graduate. About 70 percent of college students in West Africa come from rural villages.

Therefore, one of our African Navigator leaders, David (not his real name), has established a discipleship and training ministry that equips and encourages rural-born students to return with the Gospel to their home villages. They are already trusted and respected within their relational networks, giving the Gospel natural access.

David says, “We want them to gain a heart for missions before they graduate, to be creative and intentional in how they bring the Gospel to these needy areas and villages.”

David’s forums are designed to build strong relationships among participants. He noticed that many Navigator students and emerging leaders were scattered around the region and isolated from one another. So, instead of individually discipling them, he decided to train them as a group in a central location (Togo). Here students and campus workers from four Francophone nations forge friendships, deepen their understanding of the Scriptures, and learn the art of disciple-making.

One example is Gana (not his real name), a forum participant who grew up in a rural village and then attended college in a major West Africa city. He first met some Navigators in a local church. They encouraged him to pray about getting more involved in reaching people for Christ while establishing his career.

Eventually God called Gana to serve the young people in his rural home. As a first step, he decided to spend three months in Togo at David’s discipleship forum. For Gana, this was a life-changing experience. The forum gave him the vision, training and relational network needed to start a rural youth ministry.

With a college degree Gana was qualified to serve as the administrator of a school for underprivileged rural children. Working at the school enabled him to educate rural children and gain rapport with the community. The school offers children a healthy learning environment, at least one meal per day, textbooks and excellent teachers.

Then Gana decided to set up an annual week-long Bible camp for students, in partnership with the school. He teamed up with a Navigator woman named Asa (not her real name) who he met at David’s forum in Togo. They began the camp with about 35 students in 2013. In 2017, they had about 80 students. This growth has occurred because young people enjoy the camp so much that they invite their friends. And, seeing the positive impact of the camp, parents in the village are eager to send their children.

By serving the students through the school and camp, Navigators like Gana and Asa have gained the trust and freedom needed to introduce the Gospel in personal and relevant ways.

Please pray for our work in rural West Africa, that God would continue to sustain David’s discipleship forums, and that He would bear much fruit through our Navigators at the school and camp. 
Canadian Navigator Brendan Danielson provided the reporting for this article.

Bulus Silas Bossan, born and raised in Nigeria, has served as the Navigator Regional Director for Africa since 2011. He and his wife, Salama, live in Nairobi, Kenya. They have four daughters.