Let me begin by saying how grateful we are for each one of you—our partners in the gospel. I really wish we could write a personal “thank you” letter to each of you more often and bring you up to speed face-to-face as to what God is doing here in Chicago, but we can’t—that would be a full time job in itself. Through these updates, however, we want you to feel connected to us and our work here. We owe some of you a response to an email or other form of a reply—please, be patient with us as we are still trying to come back to a routine from the mode of moving and settling in. We are, however, pleased to report we are officially moved in and operational (maybe except still missing a few pieces of furniture or home accessories).
This update will be slightly different: I’ll try to paint a brief summary of things that have kept us busy and at the end Heather will share something a bit more personal—things happening in our hearts. We do consider you friends and partners and therefore we want not only to inform you of the ministry, but share our lives and struggles with you and we hope that’s okay. (‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’—Galatians 6:2 ESV)
A fun experience was to run the first, after my knee surgery, 5k. I was very happy to finish the race and at a decent, for my abilities, pace of 9’12” per mile. It was also a great time of team building with our Nav20s interns. The run supported a local ministry fighting human trafficking
, so the atmosphere was wonderful! Check out their Facebook page for more pictures and info
We had our first Internship meeting with a wonderful group of young people who decided to sacrifice time in their busy schedule (for the next 9 months) to dig deep in God’s Word, meditate and memorize it, mentor one person for six months, be mentored, be accountable with their lives and to put their hands and heads together to work on a ministry project. We also met with a group of mentors who agreed to come alongside the interns. I have the privilege of mentoring a great young guy—Peter—who is a medical student. What a joy to be able to pour and walk alongside this maturing leader who is eager to influence his peers with the gospel for the sake of Christ.
Another way we could meaningfully connect and invest in young people we serve was during our first ever National Nav20s Conference that took place in beautiful Colorado Springs, at the Navigators’ headquarters at Glen Eyrie. The theme of the conference was Right Where You Are
—our attempt to communicate, inspire, and encourage young adults that God is at work and that He wants to use them exactly where they are—their campuses, workplaces, and communities. What an amazing time of worshipping, learning, interacting, and being challenged together! We heard from many wonderful presenters on topics like Work: Where Life and Calling Meet
by Jerry White, Telling His Story by Telling Yours
by Joe Maschhoff, Reading the Bible with Friends Who Don’t Believe it
by Jim Petersen, and Getting to Know God through a Daily Quiet Time
by Mike Jordahl. The participants could choose between quite a few relevant interactive workshops on topics such as Taking Risks towards Real Relationships, Work, Meaning & the Kingdom, Time & Living on Purpose, Connection and Involvement in your local church, Why Do I Feel Stuck?
, and more
Every Friday we participate in our Metro Mission Staff-in-Training Bible study that will take approximately two years to complete. Topics we covered so far include Identity in Christ, Dynamics of Sin, True Spiritual Transformation, and Spiritual Parenting. We feel so privileged to be invested in and equipped for the work of ministry God called us to!
Much of our responsibilities revolve around developing relationships with other crucial ministries, so that we can better serve young adults and fulfill our calling of laborers next door to everywhere. One of those groups is Collegiate Ministry of The Navigators in our region of Indiana and Illinois. Our boss Jay and I had a chance to meet with them during one of their regional leadership meetings to talk about partnering together to serve students after they graduate and move on to starting their careers.
Another opportunity we thought might be worth exploring was taking part in a meeting of Chicagoland Workplace Ministry Group. It consists of 20+ different groups and ministries getting together periodically to talk about partnering and investing time, talents, and resources to reach out to business people of Chicagoland. The chairman of the Group is involved in campus ministry in a few schools. Please pray for wisdom for us to discern if God would have us partner with them in any way.
The part of our ministry I probably enjoy the most in mentoring/discipling young guys one-on-one. I’m really excited to have started getting together with a former Navy and currently a young, ambitious entrepreneur named Steve, who desires to be better equipped in being salt and light in the marketplace and to do business in a God-honoring way. Would you join me in asking God to grant Steve his heart’s desires to know Him more?
Speaking of new relationships, I just met the first Polish guy Patryk (through Craigslist :)). He was quite open and willing to get together for lunch, so please pray that it would be a start of a meaningful relationship and that perhaps he would introduce me to some of his friends.
And twice this past few weeks we were reminded of how short and fragile our lives are. We said ‘goodbye’ to a wonderful and godly young woman—our friend Rachel. Jesus called her home at the age of 28. We will miss her so much, but if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:8 ESV) And then, very unexpectedly our good neighbor Bruce had a massive heart attack while we were at the conference. We are sad as we didn’t have a chance to invite him over for dinner, like we had planned. Bruce was the person who showed us our apartment when we first found it. Let’s hurry to love people as they so quickly pass away.
Hopefully, these random updates will give you a little flavor of our work here—no two weeks are alike! We miss all of you a lot. Thank you being our friends in this journey!