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“We didn’t sacrifice through college and graduate school over the last 11 years for you to change the game plan now!” That was my less-than-enthusiastic response to my husband when he said he was considering a big change for us. Mark wisely dropped the subject and allowed the Lord to do His work in me.
Over the next several months, God gently and steadily softened my heart. Through prayer, interaction with a few Navigator families, and several key verses, God convinced us both that He is leading us to join The Navigators’ Collegiate Ministries as full-time missionaries! Even I am now excited about this opportunity.
When we entered graduate school six years ago, the “game plan” was to reach college students by being a Christian influence in the classroom. As Mark applied for academic positions this past year, he realized that between the duties of research, grading papers, planning lessons, and office work, he would have little time left to invest in the lives of students. He also realized something else…
Mark saw that the Lord could effectively use his Ph.D. in philosophy and his love for apologetics in ministry with The Navigators. Mark comments, “I love helping Christian students on campus think defensively about their faith and challenging unbelievers to seriously consider the claims of Christ.” I do too! So, we are excited to team up with Navigator staff at Cornell University.
God has also been showing me my parts in this ministry. Recently I read I Peter 4:9: “Offer hospitality without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.” How appropriate for the gifts God has given me! For years I have loved having people in our home for meals and to spend time with them. Surely God has gifted me in hospitality so that we can open our home to students and invest in their lives.
The Navigators is a global Christian organization whose mission is “to know Christ and to make Him known.” We re honored that God has called us to give our lives to college students at Cornell. We deeply desire to be on campus full time to reach students who don’t know Christ and to disciple, equip, and challenge Christian students to spread the Good News of Jesus’ saving grace.
Mark plans to finish his Ph.D. and teach at Cornell this fall. During this time we’ll also share our vision with people and invite them to partner with us in prayer and finances. In the coming months we hope to have an opportunity to share with you more of the details of what God is doing and how you might be a part of it. We desire to be in full time ministry at Cornell by January 1, 2007.
You may find this shift in the game plan amazing, but not surprising. Or you may see this new venture as a big surprise as I did initially. But consider what God showed us in Isaiah 43:18–19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” God is doing a new thing in our lives and hearts. He has given us a new focus, and we are willing and excited followers.
Please pray for us as God leads in this new direction and we experience His grace in new and exciting ways.
Blessing to you and your family,
(NOTE: Remember to include the Navigator logo, your first and last name, address, phone, and e-mail.)