Spiritual Generations and Neighborhood Beautification

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One of the hallmarks of The Navigators ministry is spiritual generations. We are committed to discipling the people around us, but not only that, we ensure those people know how to disciple others, creating generation after generation of disciplemakers.

This is seen clearly in our I-58 Navs ministry in Chicago. There, Navigators have developed a ministry called Breaking Ground. One of our staffers, Connie Milton, was discipled through Breaking Ground and now he disciples other men as they take steps to turn their lives around.

Most of the men and women involved in Breaking Ground are ex-offenders. Breaking Ground gives them a chance to change the direction of their lives through spiritual mentoring, education, and job opportunities.

Connie’s influence made a difference in the life of one man named Antwan. Antwan became involved with gangs in high school, and at 17 was arrested for drug possession. He was released from prison after two years, but drugs and crime landed him back in prison by the time he was 21.

“I made up my mind while I was in there that I needed to make a change when I got out, and I did,” Antwan says. “That’s when I heard of Breaking Ground. Gangs and drugs ruled my life for so long and once I came through the doors of Breaking Ground I knew I was in the right place.”

Antwan joined the Teaching Factory in 2007, and listened to Connie share his story as they read through the Gospel of Mark each morning for six weeks. Upon graduation, he began working at Cleanstreet, a neighborhood beautification business.  Each morning before the crews went out to work, they would read the Bible together.  Antwan says, “We were not always interested, but those words stuck with us when we were out on our routes.”  

In 2015, Antwan became the general manager of Cleanstreet, which employs 24 men and women, 16 of whom are ex-offenders. He remains faithful to his family, living in his home and raising his three sons.

“I’ve been blessed to be around some positive people here at Breaking Ground and they’ve also taught me the importance of God, family, and life, and for that I’m deeply honored to be on staff with them.”

Antwan’s story is one of transformation. The Word of God that changed his life is reaching more men and women at Breaking Ground, and the transformation will continue for generations to come.

Becky Grosenbach