Did you know that there is another evangelistic association that actually precedes the Billy Graham Ministries? The Navigators organization was established in 1933.
Franklin couple Maciej and Heather Wolfart are raising funds right now in order to join one of its evangelistic teams in Illinois.
The Navigators is is an international, interdenominational ministry that has grown to 4,600 staff members and countless volunteers serving in 108 countries around the world. The organization has 23 distinctive ministries, including twenty in some of America’s largest metropolitan areas. Chicago, as the early starting point of the Billy Graham Crusades, is one of those cities.
“Heather and I have individually been aware of God’s calling us to full-time ministry. When we got married in 2006, we started pondering on what shape this could take,” said Wolfart, who was born and raised in Poland. “We even discussed starting our own nonprofit. Then Jason Wing of Apex Community Church told us about Paul Isaacs, who was leading the collegiate Navigators mission at the University of Dayton.”
That’s how their relationship with The Navigators began. It’s a perfect starting point for the Wolfarts, as Maciej is familiar with the language and culture of Chicago’s rather large Polish population. In fact, immigrant Poles and their descendants account for the largest European American ethnic group in the city at 7.3 percent of Chicago’s population. According to www.city-data.com and a survey taken from 2008-10, Chicago is home to 45,958 immigrants of Polish origin and 126,346 Polish-American descendants. As a missionary organization, The Navigators reach out to people who speak 174 different languages throughout the world.
The Wolfarts are busy building a team of ministry partners. These partners pledge monetary support to The Navigators, on any sort of level they wish. Their team is the 20s Mission that focuses on connecting with people in their 20s and early 30s.
“We are igniting hope, centered on Jesus Christ and his word. We desire to make a permanent difference in the spiritual lives of people right where we are,” said Wolfart, who can be contacted online at http://whoismaciej.me. “We minister as teams, small bands of friends who live out the Gospel among those yet to know Christ. Our vision is to advance the Gospel among diverse groups of people in our cities and communities.”
If you want to be involved with the concept of discipleship, go online to http://my.navigators.org/80-Days-of-Discipleship, and sign up for almost three months of emails that will motivate and encourage you to live biblically and spread the word. It is written by worldwide Navigator staff members, like Jerry Bridges in the Colorado collegiate ministry. It is free of charge. If you want to donate online, visit https://donor.navigators.org/Views//dp/donate.
“At the core, Navigators believe in generational disciple making as a natural overflow of being a disciple of Jesus. It’s a vision we totally resonate with,” said Wolfart.