After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the 11 disciples and gave them The Great Commission, where he tells them to go and make disciples. This mission of disciplemaking is for all followers of Christ, not only missionaries or vocational ministers. Some of us may make disciples in our hometowns, while others might go to faraway places.
While not everyone is called to go to the traditional mission field, supporting one who is called there is crucial to fulfilling the Great Commission everywhere.
As Navigator staff we trust God for 100 percent of our budget. God provides this through our ministry partners.
These are friends and family who pray and/or give of their finances to support God’s work in the city where a missionary is working.
These individuals are deeply invested in our work.
Ministry partners are essential to advancing the gospel into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers who live and disciple among all people.
In the fall semester of 2014, I was studying at The University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. I asked Sarah, one of the Navigator interns at my campus, if she would disciple me. Sarah and I met weekly during my time at university. We continued to meet together even after her time working for The Navigators came to an end.
Together, we studied the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, prayer, the book of Revelation, the assurance of having victory over sin and ended with the fruits of the Spirit. In our time together, Sarah has shown me Jesus more than anyone else has through her unconditional love for me.
What a blessing it is to call her my sister and one of my greatest friends.
Sarah’s investment in my life excites me because I now have the chance to pass this experience on to other women in Ottawa through The Navigators’ internship program.
However, before I can begin this next journey, I’ve had to go through a season of raising financial support. During this time, I’m trusting God for 100 per cent of my funding so I can fully commit to investing in women’s lives for the year. Personally, this time has been an emotional roller coaster, but God’s kindness is abundant.
One Sunday night in October, I went to visit Sarah’s parents, Dan and Sue, to share with them what God is doing in Ottawa and why I believe He is calling me there. I also wanted to share with them how they could partner with me in ministry through prayer and finances. I heard their stories of how God has been at work in their lives, and shared with them what God did in my life through their daughter Sarah. Dan and Sue helped me put words to some of the emotions I was feeling. Through our conversation the two of them greatly ministered to me. They were so encouraged to hear that I, a recent college graduate, was going into ministry.
Towards the end of our time together I asked them if they would prayerfully consider partnering with me in ministry. They had prayed together in the lead up to our meeting and shared the generous amount with me. Dan gave me some advice while Sue wrote down the names of friends and family who could be potential ministry partners. While we were talking, Dan stopped mid-sentence and said he got a word from the Lord.
Sue remarked, "I know exactly what you're about to say because I got the same word from the Lord!"
God impressed upon their hearts to double their giving. I was speechless. I thanked them for listening to God and for their obedience. We concluded our time with prayer, and after saying amen, Dan shared that God had told him to triple their original amount. It is so evident Dan and Sue know God’s voice and listen to Him faithfully and obediently without hesitation. In John 10:4 (NIV) Jesus said, “…his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
This story illustrates how vitally important ministry partners are to the Navigator work. Without the obedience and faithfulness of my ministry partners, expressed through their prayers and financial giving, I couldn’t invest in students’ lives in Ottawa.
God has not called every person to go into a different cultural setting and make disciples there. But through the partnership of people like Dan and Sue, Jesus is reaching students while they are at their workplace, washing dishes or making lunches.
“I’m thankful for our resources. I am thankful to use them to reach people and places where I can’t be. It is a way of helping the next generation to serve,” Sue told me.
She also shared a powerful story of spiritual multiplication with me.
“One of my high school friends, Roger, was trained and taught with me at our church. He was part of my generation who moved into leadership. His area of service happened to be with the Navigators. Later, I partnered with my mom friends and we prayed for our kids regularly from kindergarten through to the present time. We prayed as our kids went to college - for their connection to ministry, a church and fellow believers. Sarah, our youngest, connected with the Navigators. After enjoying four years of mentoring, training and growing in her faith, she headed into an internship with The Navigators. She was trained by my high school friend Roger! She served with the Navigators for two years at the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Now, to see one of the students she helped mentor move on to do the same for others - it is priceless! The places Navigators choose to go are places where Christ is needed. Our campuses and cities have a greater need for God every day. I’m thankful The Navigators choose to go. I’m thankful I can be a part of it.”
Without this team of partners, we would not be able to do what God has called us into. I’m excited to know my ministry partners are teachers, nurses, business professionals, accountants, students, parents and grandparents, all of whom want to see God’s Kingdom advancing among university students in Ottawa. Their faithful partnership ensures this can become reality.
Stewart Briscoe, a long time pastor at my church, says, “Mission begins between your own two feet.” I am thankful my partners and I get to live on mission together as we seek to advance the gospel in Ottawa together. Their partnership is a true gift from God. It is a testament of His goodness, kindness, faithfulness and provision.
Emily Lorentz was involved as a student with The Navigators at The University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. Throughout university she sensed God's calling into international missions and He led her to Canada. Her greatest desire is that all people would know their identity as God's beloved - that they would "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ."