July 2013

Young Europeans Learn the Joy of Giving and Receiving

By Mike Treneer

Dutch Shoes Thumbnail.jpg

In early March, Chris and I had the privilege of joining more than one hundred European Navigator staff who work with college students in ten countries. Seeing firsthand the faith of these young men and women filled us with joy. We were impressed by how a new generation of leaders is practicing the spiritual disciplines that we had learned in the 1970s, including the partnership of giving and receiving. It was clear that, forty years later, Navigator DNA continues to resonate with a new generation!
One conversation in particular stands out to me. During one of the meal times, we sat with Jakar and Martine, a young staff couple from the Netherlands. They have taken a huge step of faith by leaving promising careers in order to dedicate full attention to help Dutch students come to the fullness of life in Christ. Jakar and Martine are right in the middle of the huge challenge of fundraising. We listened to them tell wonderful stories about how, with impeccable timing, God had provided housing and finances for them. This reminded us of our own early faith adventures during which God also provided for our needs in remarkable ways.
Partnership in giving and receiving is a spiritual discipline that is vital for the growth of the Gospel. Philippians 4:15 says, "Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the Gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only." The Greek word koinonia (often translated “fellowship”) is frequently used in the New Testament to describe this practical “sharing” of financial resources.
Jesus demonstrated this in His own ministry (see Luke 8:1-3). A group of women financially supported Him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. Have you ever wondered why Jesus left us this example? He could have made His living as a carpenter, or He could have financed His ministry by helping Peter, Andrew, James, and John develop their fishing business as a missional enterprise. He also could have fed Himself and His disciples with miracle loaves and fishes. But instead He chose to model the vital spiritual discipline of sharing—a partnership in giving and receiving.
In our Navigator work around the world, we need a new generation of young men and women with the vision and commitment to partner in giving and receiving as Paul did with the Philippians. The spiritual discipline of giving generously from our financial resources is complemented by young men and women like Jakar and Martine who are willing to step out by faith and invest the finances they have received for the sake of the Gospel’s advance among the nations.
May each new generation of Navigators embrace this joyful partnership just as Jakar, Martine, and the friends who support them have experienced. You can be sure that those who do this will experience the living God who generously provides for all our needs.

Mike Treneer is International President of The Navigators. Mike and Chris lived in Kenya for 16 years where Mike helped develop our Africa ministries and became our Africa Director. Mike served on the International Executive Team and led our Europe work before becoming President in 2005.

Next Generation Tears

By David Lyons

Photo Courtesy Francisco Gonzalez

Photo Courtesy Francisco Gonzalez

Tears get my attention when they rise from a heart being poured out before God in prayer. And tears were flowing as I joined several young Navigator missionaries to pray for the lost, the broken, and the unreached in their very hard part of the world. The voices of these next generation apprentice missionaries cracked as they cried out to God, asking Him to open the eyes of the blind, and to open hungry hearts to respond to the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom.
I’ve seen a teammate cry while he prayed for the lost and unreached. He’s given his whole life to planting the Gospel among them, at great personal cost. But he’s an old guy like me. Now I was seeing those same tears in the next generation of Navigator missionaries. And my heart leapt.
I sat in a café with some of these young bucks as hookah smoke wafted around us. They spent hours telling me how God had prepared them for their calling to pioneer Gospel movements in the hardest places. As they talked, I was deeply impressed with the incisive clarity of their vision. They demonstrated a surprising maturity and a solid understanding of what it takes to plant the Gospel and to grow a foundational generation where one has never been raised before.
As the hours passed, they also shared about the messy brokenness of their past. They come from a fatherless generation, and carry deep wounds. But right there on the mission field, while being mentored and loved by veterans, the Father is healing their hearts and causing living water to flow from the wounds that are being healed. As a result, their authenticity is winsome and compelling for the lost and broken around them.
They are learning to trust old guys like me who look and smell a lot like their earthly fathers. I am learning to earn their trust by listening to them, loving them, and learning from them.
Years ago, pioneers like these young men and women birthed our movement. They blazed trails into the nations. Then our movement “matured,” and young pioneers like these found it harder to thrive among us. They tend to be messy and make us uncomfortable. But we have much to offer one another. We need them, perhaps more than they need us. May the next generation find us to be faithful and worthy of their trust and partnership in the Gospel!

David Lyons is an International Vice President of The Navigators. He oversees international initiatives, communications, and networking of 5,000 staff in more than 115 countries. David is author of Don’t Waste the Pain.

Missions Prayer Focus: Middle East and North Africa

By IET Communications

For nearly four years, Navigator leaders who support pioneering efforts in the Middle East and North Africa have prayed fervently for open doors in a country stricken by war and economic collapse. A year ago, a revolution erupted in that country causing a wave of refugees to pour into neighboring countries. As tensions eased, many have been able to return to their homes, but others remain in exile.

Two of our key Navigator laborers are reaching these exiles. With compassion, love, and a holistic evangelism approach, these two dedicated Navigator workers are seeing God advance the Gospel. Four young families in exile have responded to the Gospel. Unsure of when the exiled families would be able to return home, the small Navigator team started a concentrated disciple-making effort with them. They have spent extensive times with the families, studying our Navigator Calling, Core Values, Vision, and ministry strategies from the Scriptures.
Recently, the men of the families each found work in their home country. The wives and children expect to join them soon. The Navigator team is keeping contact with the men through Skype and plan to make personal visits after the families are reunited back home.
International Navigator leaders place a high priority on shepherding believers until they can advance the Gospel through their own relational networks. To better accomplish this, the Navigator team is asking God to open a door so that they can move to the country where this fledgling community of families lives.
Over the next three months, the International Executive Team and leaders of the region ask you to pray for these four families according to the promise in Isaiah 60:22. "The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly." Pray daily that through these families many generations of national laborers and leaders will emerge in this unreached country.