Thursday, November 15, 2007

one step for the Kingdom

It's snowing outside and finals for the semester are pending - it's a busy time of year for both the students and our ministry! Thank you so much for praying with me and for me, for being part of God's work in the lives of the women He has trusted me with this semester. Through our prayers God has been working in the lives of Brittany, Nardine, Jay, Lizz, Kayleigh, Kiira, Lizz, and Minn!

Recently in Bible Study we wrapped up our investigative discussion on the book of John with a Gospel illustration - since then I have been trying to meet with the girls one-on-one to follow up, and so far the girls I've talked with have had very different responses, but it is apparent that God is working in their lives and it's a joy to see! three girls specifically come to mind -

Jay - pray that she would accept Jesus as "the only name under heaven by which man can be saved" (Acts 4:12) and that God would continue to draw her to Himself, even as she studies abroad next semester

Kayleigh - she has identified that she trusts Jesus as her Savior! I am praising God that she knows now where she stands with Him! Pray that she would grow up in her identity in Christ - and for me, that God would lead me specifically in how to help her.

Minn - as we continue to meet, pray that God would continue to move in her life and to refine her. Pray that He would bless her one-on-one time with Abby, a freshman in the study she leads, and that God would grow Minn's heart for investing in women.

For these three and the rest of the girls, I am excited to continue to be in their lives as Christ grows in them! Pray that they would not lose steam in pursuing Christ over Winter Break.

I'm continually amazed at God's work through me and despite me! To see the generations beginning to happen is an incredible testimony to God's faithfulness - discipleship works! :)

It's also been a blessing to see God moving to build community among our students - we've had snow fights, spa nights, and a B.O.B. night (bless our brothers) - I've included a few pictures below - I hope you enjoy!

1) Spa Night - my teammate Rachel and me

2) Jenessa and Jenny getting their refresh on!

3) exfoliating!

4 & 5) the boys being boys - getting ready for killball - don't worry, it's not literal!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Big Events!

That's right, our annual fall retreat -
The Weekender
- is coming up this Friday! This year's theme -
God's work IN me, God's work THROUGH me

It is a very pivotal time in many students' spiritual walks, as they get to meet other students from campuses around our region, participate in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament (go Gophers!!!) and workshops, and hear from this year's speaker Vic Black, the National Prayer Leader for The Navigators. I've heard from Vic before, and so I know these students are in for a powerful message.

As powerful as his message may be, however, nothing can happen in our students' hearts apart from the work of the Holy Spirit - so we are depending on Him through your prayers!

prayer requests:

- for Becca, Nardine, Lizz and Brittany who have made the commitment to come! (Praise God!) Ask that God would meet them in a significant way, that they would experience His perfect love and be amazed by His mercy and that they would catch a vision for how God wants to use them

- for Kayleigh and Kiira, who are still considering coming - ask that God would bring them, and provide financially for them!

Bible Study/Discipleship Prayer requests:

* that Lizz, Kiira, and Betsy are faithful to come to Bible Study, and that the Holy Spirit would do His convicting work in their hearts - that He would show them their need for a Savior. Pray that I would be faithful in pursuing them and praying for them.

* that God would give me wisdom, and that He would build community among the girls - that we would not just be meeting once a week, but that we could share our lives with one another.

* that God would give these girls a picture of what it looks like to follow Him with their whole lives.

* for Minn and Jenessa, that they would grow in their intimacy with Christ and out of that overflow would grow in obedience to Him

A Personal Note:

I am struggling with doing too much (who would have thought?!). It is difficult at times to get away from the pressures of life and ministry and to just BE with Jesus, and yet that is the thing I need most. I cannot minister to others if I am not spending my time with the God who has called me to ministry out of His grace and mercy.

*Pray that I would repent of busy-ness and of my independence from my Savior and that God would meet me and speak to me as I spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer.

*Pray also that God would continue to meet my financial needs by providing new contacts (only $7,000 more to raise to get to 100%!) so that I may continue to labor on campus for His glory.

I'm so thankful for all of you and your prayers - so may God continue to work in ALL our lives to draw us ever closer to Him and to be amazed at His great mercy towards us in Jesus Christ. With love in His Son - Morgan :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Year, New Adventures, New Challenges

The fourth week of classes is already here at the U of MN campus, and I feel the joyous weight of the calling God has given me!

The newest thing in ministry this year is the Bible studies I lead in 2 of the freshmen dorms. There are 10 girls, all with different backgrounds, and it is quite the challenge to meet each of them where they are at. Every girl brings me joy, however, as I consider what a privilege it is that God has chosen me to serve these women. I am looking forward to studying the book of John with them in the next few weeks, and to see what God will teach us in this study!

Pray for me, that I would hold each of these women up in prayer faithfully, and that I would continue to bring them to God, that He would do His work in them.

Pray also:

that my hand on these studies would remain open so as not to make ministering to these women the means by which I call myself justified, but that I would look to Jesus as my only justification

*that Brittany, Aubrey, Nardine, Kayleigh, Leah, Becca, and Natalie would be rooted down deep in Jesus Christ, that they might be built up in Him and established in the faith, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7)
*that Lizz, Kiira, and Betsy would come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, that God would open the eyes of their hearts to their need for Him through our study of John

*that community would be established among all of these women, that God would be glorified in our hearts and actions, and that others would smell the aroma of Christ in our community.

It is also a joy to continue meeting with Jenessa (now a sophmore) and Minn (a junior) one on one in order to grow in Christ together!
*pray that Jenessa and Minn, as we continue to meet to discuss spiritual disciplines, to dive deeper into the Word together, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Pray that God would give them a vision for how they can impact those around them for the Gospel!

but Bible study isn't the only thing happening here!

God is raising up prayer warriors in our ministry! There are currently 3 groups of students that will begin meeting (all on Wednesdays), and their focus is to pray for God's work to flourish on campus, and for God to be glorified through The Navigators ministry - praise God for these students who have hearts to labor for the Gospel on campus!

Evangelism team! There are four of us, two students (Jeremy and Anne) and two staffers (Lee and me) who have committed to spending time in prayer together and then going out on campus with the object of getting into spiritual conversations in hopes of spreading the Gospel. It is our prayer that students would follow our lead as we set this example - pray that God would make us faithful to this calling!

Thank you

for your participation in this calling with me through your
encouragement and your prayers!

May God show Himself faithful to you, and may He grant you a deeper knowledge of the hope you have in Him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What to say to the VA Tech shootings?

Friends -

In light of what has happened at Virginia Tech, I wanted to post our National Collegiate Director, Mike Jordahl's email to us, as it was very helpful for me in knowing how to pray. It is also helpful for me to remember that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against...the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). May this open our eyes to the reality of the spiritual battle that is taking place every moment.
The Navigator ministry is one of the largest ministries on that campus, and the directors had given us some things to pray for the campus in the coming weeks. To add a request, our own ministry will be addressing what happened at Virginia Tech at our Nav Night this Thursday - would you pray that God would give us wisdom as we do this?

Dear Navigator Family,

By now you have heard the devastating news about the 33 students and teachers at Virginia Tech who lost their lives yesterday – and the 27 who were wounded. Like I imagine it is with you, I am trying to turn the shock of this into prayer.
A few hours ago I spoke and prayed with Navigator Staff Pete Dorrell who led our ministry at VA Tech for about 15 years. Pete and his wife Nancy are now assisting Kent and Jane Dodge as they lead the Virginia Tech Navigator Ministry. I asked Pete if I could send out a short report and some prayer requests for them and the VT Navigator ministry. He encouraged me to do so.

Pete shared that it has “all really been just horrible.”

Last night Pete, Kent and Jane went by the counseling centers that had been set up by the school. In each place there were counselors ready to help, but no one looking for help. Kent and Pete then went to help man some of the VA Tech phone lines – spending time trying to help parents and friends connect with students.
Evidently cell phone coverage had collapsed under heavy use and very few were
able to contact anyone. As fear grew and as no victims’ names were being
given out, they were directing parents to hospitals so they could look for their
children there. You can imagine how raw emotions have been (and
Today Pete visited with
Justin, a Tech student who had been part of NavYouth in Maryland, with Dick
Stum. Pete found him and his mother in a local hospital. Justin had
been shot in the leg and shoulder. He is recovering and seems to be doing
No other Navigator students were shot, wounded or killed. Many of them know someone who was hurt – or knows someone who knows someone who was.
(Unconfirmed reports are that at least one student with some Campus Crusade involvement was
killed and that one or two were also injured.)
For much of the day today, Kent and Pete have walked the campus, calling students and meeting with them wherever they could, to listen, share with them and pray. At home he said they have received well over 100 phone calls from people wanting information or to talk or pray.

Pete reminded me that we have an enemy who is always seeking to destroy. Yesterday that enemy did his work. As a result, Pete said, “lots of students and others are thinking about life and death and what really matters. Today, many are thinking about God.”

As the classes will not be in session until next Monday at the soonest, Pete expects that most students will return to their homes after tonight’s candlelight vigil. I am sure their parents will be glad to have them home. For those who stay on campus, there will be a prayer gathering at noon on Wednesday for all the Christian groups. I am sure the Lord can lead you into how you should pray; but here are a few specifics for you:

§ Pray for Justin and his recovery.
§ Pray for all the families who lost loved ones.
§ Pray for all those who are recovering from wounds – physical and emotional.
§ Pray for all who will experience increased trauma as the funerals and visitations begin in the next few days.
§ Pray for the Nav students (and all the believers) to be able to take their own pain to the cross as well as help others do the same.
§ Pray for many to find life in Christ as a result of the horror of these days.
§ Pray for the Dodges and Dorrells to have wisdom and Holy-Spirit power as they serve and love many students, parents and others.
§ Pray for the Dodges, the Dorrells and the Nav student-leaders to know when to meet others’ needs and when to rest.
§ Pray that, somehow, in the midst of all of this, God will be glorified.

I know that the Tech Navs, as well as other believers, will be grateful for your prayers.

Thank you friends,

May we seek our security and safetly in our eternal God.

- Morgan

Friday, March 30, 2007

Reflections on March

With one month (!!) left in the semester, I am amazed at how this year has flown by. I am continually amazed at how God has blessed our ministry here at the U, giving us the privilege and responsibility of shepherding between 20-30 freshmen, MOST of whom have great potential and desire to become leaders in our ministry. We are not only wrapping up the year, but we are beginning to implement our plans for training up these new leaders to join us in the Navigator vision:

To advance the Gospel of Jesus and His kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost.

We are excited to build up these students, and THEY are excited to grow and develop their gifts for the kingdom: and we need PRAYER! I have been so impacted by 1 Corinthians 1:17
- "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."
My prayer and my desire is that our ministry and our students would seek to preach the Gospel not by our own wisdom or power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.


We had our annual Spring Break trip to Gulf Breeze, Florida two weeks ago, and it was a blast! Our students had a great time studying the book of Nehemiah, going to the beach, participating in a service project at a local church, and just hanging out and getting to know one another. And did I mention we CAMPED? It was not the most restful week, but our students came back with a sense of camaradarie they hadn't had before, as they took lessons in what it looks like to live in community from Nehemiah. It was GREAT! ...oh, and in case you're wondering about the picture, our guys dug a very large hole in the beach one day...very industrious. :)

Above Right
: some of the Nav women sunbathing
Above Left: the Hole - one Sweetman wide and
one Sweetman deep (my fellow EDGEr, Joe
Sweetman became a unit of measurement at 6'7)

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 2 at 7 - 8:30PM (For those of you from the Atlanta area). I will have a Donor Appreciation Party, and I would LOVE it if you could make it!


student-lead IBD!
Two of our students, Jenny Ulmer and Matt Rowe are leading what we call an investigative Bible discussion from now until the end of the year. This is basically a Bible study aimed towards non-believers. The first week was this past Sunday and 9 people attended, many of whom are open or just have a lot of questions they want answered. As a staff team, we have supported them with training on how to lead this and prayer - would you pray for them, that they would be effective in sharing their faith with these students, and that the attendees would continue to have open hearts and minds, and that God would unveil the eyes of their hearts that they might see the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

It has been a blessing meeting with Jenessa this year, and my desire for her is that she would catch a vision for advancing the Gospel on campus as she grows in her relationship with Christ. Would you pray that God would give me wisdom in leading her this way and that she would continually grow in her desire to be intentional in her relationships on campus?

In the last update, I told you about Kelly's decision to get married sooner than they had originally planned, which did happen. Even as it was a bit of a shock, I still remain confident that God is working in her and Sam's (her husband's) life, and that He will continue to guide them in His way. Pray that Kelly and Sam will remain strong in their passion for Christ and that they would seek His calling for their life together.

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful;
He will surely do it."

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Grace and Peace!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Running Hard...

Since being brought to full-funding and laboring on campus, I feel like I have been set free to run hard for the glory of God on campus! It's been exciting to see Him work in the hearts of the girls I'm meeting with, and challenging as well. I am realizing more and more that ministry is unpredictable, and so seeing more and more the need to TRUST God for the hearts of people.

Kelly, one of the women I mentioned in my last post that I am discipling who is getting married, has made some drastic decisions in terms of when she and Sam will be getting married (they've decided to go forward with it this Saturday, the original date was in August). I was taken completely off guard and we have not yet had the opportunity to talk about her and Sam's reasoning behind this. Would you please pray that God will give me wisdom and understanding and the courage to extend both grace and truth, and that Kelly and Sam will also be granted a willingness re-evaluate things with wisdom, discernment and caution? (specifically Colossians 1:9-12 for them and for me)

Another girl I've had the privilege of getting to know is Beth, a junior, who I met in our student union at the end of last semester. We've been able to meet a couple of times, and she has expressed a desire to grow in her relationship with Jesus, but has become overwhelmed with school and getting sent overseas (she's in the National Guard). We've kept it open in terms of hanging out every once in awhile, but it is my prayer that God will grow her desire to seek Him in fellowship. It is in His capable and trustworthy hands.

Would you also continue praying for Jenessa? Right now we are doing a Word study on the heart - what God desires of our hearts, and how our heart plays into our relationship with Him. She continues to be faithful in pursuing a deeper walk, and it is my heart that the Lord would grow her roots down deep in Him.

On a personal note...

I have been challenged this semester in discipline with how I structure my time in terms of keeping a balance between ministering to students, ministry training, and keeping up with two online courses I have the task of completing by May, preparing for the mission trip to Turkey in June, as well as in trying to schedule in rest (which is a lot harder than I thought it would be). It sometimes becomes so overwhelming, and I am fighting to keep everything in its proper place - that is, being given over to the Lord. I realize more and more how much I need Him in all things, or I will face burn out or failing to complete the tasks I have to do, and in all of this is a growing desire - one that sometimes consumes me - to "live...among the lost," as our Navigator mission statement says. Sometimes it's just hard to even know where to begin. God is faithful to keep me in His will, His vision for how He wants to use me, and how He desires to refine me - my desire is that I would keep my heart soft and willing to learn and grow and let go of any bad habits or ways of thinking that would keep me from ministering effectively. I am encouraged in this by 1 Peter 2:9- that I am part of " a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." It's knowing that God has already given me this identity frees me to take risks for His Kingdom.

May He be assuring you of your identity in Christ as well!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Back in Minnesota!

Hey everyone!! - it's almost a month into 2007 and I am finding it hard to believe that February is almost here! I know a lot of time has passed since my last email update, so let me catch you up:

December/January:I spent the first week of December wrapping up the semester as thestudents attended our annual Christmas party, which I had the privilege of planning. It went off without a hitch, and was a great way to end the semester! Then it was off to Colorado Springs for a week for our second national EDGE training, and we got to hear from some of the top Nav guys: Alan Andrews, Mike Jordahl, and of course Jim Lube the national EDGE director! I took one BIG lesson away from the Summit: BELIEVE GOD. With a semester of ministry behind me and 3 weeks of fundraising ahead of me I had been feeling tired and somewhat anxious: was this REALLY God's calling? Would He provide the rest of my funds? But God was calling me to believe Him. He had given me the passage Isaiah 66:9 earlier in the semester, but it hit me especially hard now:

"'Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?' says
the Lord; 'shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?'"

God spoke this to the Israelites at the end of the book of Isaiah, promising to bring to pass ALL of His promises, and as I read this verse, I felt Him saying to me as well: "Morgan, shall I give you 85%, but not 100%? Shall I dangle my promise to you to be glorified in you in front of your face and not let it come to fruition?" The answer is NO, that is not the character of our God. And so I left Colorado and went back to Georgia to finish fundraising, and God provided 92% while I was there, and since I've been back He has not only brought me to 100% of my on-campus budget, but also provided my full mission trip budget! Praise the Lord for His mercy and His provision THROUGH YOU!
Now that it is unbelievably almost February, I am praying hardcore for my two girls, Jenessa and Kelly, that God would be teaching each of them what it means not only to desire Him with our whole hearts, but "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which
is Christ
..." (Colossians 2:2). Would you be praying for them too?:
*Kelly (left) got ENGAGED in December, and then attended our Upper Midwest Region Women's Retreat February 2-4. Pray that God would cement the truths she learned this weekend on her heart and that she would experience His loving pursuit of her more fully as she prepares for marriage.
*Jenessa is feeling really bogged down with school, and I am PROUD of her for her diligence. Pray that even as she is diligent in her schoolwork, she would use that same drive to seek to know God more fully and intimately in Christ; pray that shewould embrace God's grace (Galatians 2:20-21).

I also want to explain the links on this site:
- first is The Navigators national website, so if you have any questions about the ministry, what we believe, or even what kinds of opportunities there are, you can access this site and hopefully get all your questions answered
- second is an opportunity to give online, if you or someone else so feel led. I would like to encourage you to pray about this before you give: ask God how He wants you to use His gifts to you.
- third is a web-ministry of the pastor of my church (John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist) in Minneapolis. There are a ton of resources about different theological topics here, and it is for your viewing pleasure.

Va update: Va spent a month in the hospital for a burst appendix over break, but is now out. Doctors say she's healing well, pray that she would continue to do so, as there is still risk of infection. Also pray that God would use this experience to draw her closer to Him, that she would experience Him as her Healer and Comforter.

Thank you so much!
May you experience God more fully in
the riches of His inheritance for you in Jesus Christ. :)

(this is my team for our summer
mission trip to Turkey...there will
be more updates on this later!)

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