Resilience in the Gospel
By Ian McIntosh, first published in Compass Winter issue 2022
What do you think about when you hear the word resilience? TV interviews with disaster victims or soldiers fighting a David and Goliath battle? Relational conflict? People battling their personal demons relating to themselves, others and God? Or just wanting to feel okay?
Resilience is inbuilt whether we are a believer or not, but the ability to endure and spring back with hope and optimism from a difficult situation over which we have little or no control can be a struggle and feel impossible without Christ. (more…)
God Behind the Scenes
By Luke Midena, Canberra Labouring Community
Connecting with people during COVID-19 restrictions can be a challenge, but I wanted to share with you a story about Ethan, who I meet with online.
Ethan and I started meeting a few years ago, about the time he finished high school. Although he came from a strong Christian family, he wasn’t convinced about Jesus. Nor was he into ‘self-help’ strategies to improve his life.
Fast-forward a few years and Ethan is literally ‘a new creation’ – everything from his attitudes, priorities, passions, and whole life direction have been turned upside down. In a very short time, he’s gone from unbeliever to now training to be a missionary pilot with a Christian aviation organisation!
I genuinely wonder, how on earth did this happen?
- Was it the conversations we had on every imaginable topic while walking up hills or playing pool at the Irish club?
- Was it the time we spent reading and discussing the gospel of Matthew?
- Was it that he connected with a church and recognised the genuine goodness in the people as evidence of God’s influence?
- Maybe it was the many people who have prayed for Ethan over the years and the spiritual seeds planted in his life?
Even though I was in the vicinity of Ethan when this change occurred, I didn’t see it. The evidence of Ethan’s new life is obvious, but I couldn’t begin to explain how God did it.
It’s just like Jesus said:
‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come’ (Mk. 4:26-29).
Isn’t it both wonderful, and also a little bit frustrating? Watching God bring someone from spiritual death to life is nothing short of breathtaking, but since I can’t even begin to know how he does it, I can’t bottle or control it. Everyone can see that Ethan was changed by God’s power, but that power remains mysterious and beyond our grasp.
‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit’ (Jn. 3:8).
Even in a world distracted by many other things, God continues his unnoticed work of adopting children into his family!
Ethan and I have been meeting online while he completes pilot training.
- that Ethan’s experience would be mirrored by many people in his life through his work as a missionary pilot.
- for the Canberra university ministries (ADFA and ANU) as they work hard at connecting with new students. (Social restrictions have made recruiting challenging over the last 2 years).
- that God would continue to use our campus ministries to train and develop labourers for his kingdom.
Thanks again for your investment in guys like Ethan, through your prayer and giving.
Perseverance That Overcomes
By Lindsey Swartzentruber, first published in Compass Autumn edition 2021
Living as a labourer, bringing others along as we pursue knowing Christ, takes perseverance that stems from convictions on God’s character. When I first met Skye in 2011, she was a hard-working, soccer-playing, leopard print-loving student with no convictions on who God was, let alone the perseverance of a labourer. (more…)
By Frank Tully, first published in Compass, Autumn 2019
In order to follow God’s calling in our lives – To advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom – we need to have a context. For Navigators, that context is authentic community deeply rooted in the Kingdom of God. We don’t consider community as an optional fringe benefit from (more…)
Nurturing Those In Our Community
A story from one of our Melbourne Communities, first published in Compass, Autumn 2019
Cheny* (not her real name) first joined our group two and a half years ago. Reading Scripture was a first for her. She said, “If God exists, I’m afraid of Him and so I’ll ignore Him.” But Cheny loved the group gatherings and began to discover a God of love. (more…)