Why live for anyone other than Jesus? — Nathan Stiles
Thank You To Our Ministry Partners
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
We often underestimate the power of God’s word and its ability to dramatically change lives. With your help, the Nathan Project is literally sharing God’s word by placing Bibles in youth groups, youth correctional facilities and anywhere that God leads. We have witnessed individuals who faced significant struggles in their life and were then transformed with the hope that only Jesus can provide. Thank you for being faithful to help spread the love and joy of Christ.
The Abundant Life
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Our children are facing a much different world today than the one we grew up in. Bad choices are available all too frequently. The “thief” knows their vulnerabilities and bad choices are often reinforced by the world’s message. Introducing Jesus and the Word of God to the next generation is vitally important. Only through Jesus can we have the “Abundant Life” that God desires.
The Nathan Project exists to help our youth find their “Abundant Life” through the love of Jesus. Your prayer and financial support makes this possible. Thank You.
With your help over 15,000 Bibles have been distributed including approximately 5,000 that went to more than 25 correctional facilities in Kansas, Colorado, Iowa and Missouri. Our next order will be placed in the next few months with delivery sometime next year. We hope to order over 4,000 Bibles, the biggest order so far. Please be in prayer for God’s guidance in our ministry and His protection of our vulnerable children.
From The Stiles Family
Nathan went to heaven five years ago this fall. That was the most difficult day of our lives. Words are so inadequate to express our appreciation of your friendship, support and prayers, thank you. May God bless each of you and your families as we all grow closer to God’s love through our Lord and Savior Jesus. As Nathan often said “Why live for anyone other than Jesus?”
God continues to bless and change lives through the Nathan Project and we trust in His love and direction. Please know that 100% of your donations go to pay for the cost of the Bibles. You can donate online at www.NathanProject.com or by mail to NCF Heartland, 706 North Lindenwood Drive, Suite 100, Olathe, Kansas 66062. Please make the check out to NCF Heartland and put “The Nathan Project” on the memo line.
A Mother’s Letter
I want to share one mother’s letter to Connie. The names are omitted.
For three years I have done everything in my power to get him to make good decisions. Nothing has worked. His freshman year he went from starting on the varsity football team to one bad decision after another. He lost interest in everything.
Three weeks ago I prayed to God not to let ME find a way to help but for him to. I pray always but I always have questioned my own prayers, am I doing it right, am I sincere, but this time there was none of that. I simply told God he’s your child, too. I’ll step back, just mold him. Ten days later, he was arrested. I could have said yes judge he can come home but I felt I was being led to say not yet so over Easter he stayed. The following Monday I was certain he would come home but his attorney thought it would help if he remembered this experience by staying longer. He was court appointed and I had no option. I was angry. Five days, over Easter, I felt was enough. But I remembered my prayer and the calm that came over me was overwhelming. I knew there was a plan in place, just not mine.
Tuesday I went to see my son, expecting I’m not sure what. I encountered someone I had never met. He carried a Bible and told me the story of your son. He cried, not for himself, but for you, for us, for not listening to God. If my son had not been there he would never have met your husband, never heard the story, never had the time to reflect upon the ignored signs God had been providing all along. This is by far not the end of the story of my son. It’s the beginning. Just as your son’s ending was a beginning as well. I thank you for the bravery it took to do this. I thank God he put this in front of my child. He has said he would like to volunteer with the Nathan Project soon. I would as well.
Here is another letter we received. Names are omitted.
I have had the good fortune to work with young people for many years now, but it has just been in the past few years, that I have seen The Holy Spirit at work in the lives of so many of our young people. “The Nathan Project” Life Application Study Bibles have been a blessing to the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center. These Bibles have not only been a comfort to the young people, they have also provided me, and others, an opportunity to share God’s word. A timid young boy, in detention for the first time, I was talking with just last week said he likes to pray. I looked up the 23 Psalm and read it to him. He also found strength in the 27 Psalm – “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I Tremble?”
Nathan’s story resonates with everyone who hears it, and Nathan’s story is being spread far and wide for God’s Glory. Yesterday, our minister at Colonial Presbyterian Church was telling the congregation about the wonderful fruits coming from “The Impact South Johnson County” Christian outreach program. He told of great turnout of young people in Spring Hill for the meeting, and he made a special point of referencing their fantastic football player, who tragically died a few years ago in Spring Hill, and how God has used this man’s story, and his strong faith in The Lord, to reach many people for His Kingdom. Hearing Nathan’s story being told in my church brought joy to my heart.
One of Those Days, by Ron
Ever had one of those days that everything seems to go wrong and no one seems happy? This is just the kind of day I was having before going to a Bible study at one of the Juvenile Centers. That afternoon 4 young men walked in for our Bible study. Three were 16 to 17 and one was in the 8th grade being around 12. He sat in the back alone. He has been part of our group before, but always somewhat quiet and just giving him a place to be. This day seemed different. He was doing his best to keep up as we read in Proverbs. At the end of the study he asked “Hell real?” You could tell he was out of his comfort zone even asking, but you knew he was being moved and concerned at the same time. I told him “yes it is, but the good news is so is Heaven.” I asked if he felt that he would go to Heaven someday and his answer was no. So I then asked if he had ever asked Jesus into his heart and life. Once again the answer was no. I then asked him if he wanted to and his answer was YES. We then went to the Nathan Bible where the salvation prayer is and I asked if anyone says this prayer and means it they will be in Heaven someday. As we bowed our heads and prayed, just hearing him gave me chills. Our Bible study was over and I gave him a little hug on the way out with a great big smile on my face. As the other volunteer and I walked out the door he told me of how this young man’s life had been very hard, needing someone that cares and is willing to share the hope that we all need. My day totally changed to being wonderful by just sitting in a jail cell seeing what Jesus can do to change a life. A life changed forever.
Nathan Stiles was playing the game of his life. A senior running back for Spring Hill, Kansas, High School, Nathan was elected one of the team captains but was injured in practice and forced to spend much of the season rooting from the sidelines. His enthusiasm for his team and the game never wavered, and he returned for the Homecoming game where he was crowned king. A concussion during that game again sent him to the sidelines, but on October 28 he was back and playing against Osawatomie High School. Nathan scored two times and gained over 100 yards before halftime. Then, shortly after scoring his second touchdown, Nathan came to the sidelines in pain and collapsed. He was unconscious.
Nathan was LifeFlighted to the University of Kansas Medical Center. The emergency room area was soon full of friends and family gathered to support Nathan by their presence and their prayers. They kept vigil into the early hours of the next morning. Doctors tried everything to help him, but in spite of every effort, just four days prior to his 18th birthday, Nathan died. It seemed beyond understanding that so promising a young man could die this way. A standout athlete, a 4.0 student and a leader in his church youth group, Nathan also sang in a band, in high school madrigals and in church choir. However, his accomplishments were overshadowed by the love he brought to everyone who knew him. So many people not only from his community but also from the opposing team’s community and the entire Kansas City area were touched by his life — and torn by his death.
When Ron and Connie Stiles returned to the home that had just 12 hours earlier been filled with their son’s beautiful singing voice, they faced the emptiness with every conceivable emotion. They found themselves retracing their son’s steps. In the basement, Ron and Connie found Nathan’s Bible lying where he read it each day. They noticed Nathan’s imprint in the couch where he sat. They realized that earlier that day, like every other day, Nathan had been in the Word. Nathan had taken seriously a challenge to read the Bible. It occurred to them that this special time alone with God’s Word had helped shape Nathan into the young man he was. Just as he had left his imprint on the couch, God’s Word had made an imprint on his life, and he in turn had made an imprint on so many others. This daily time in the Word was where God blessed Him and prepared Him for his calling in life and in death. It made Him who he was and provided an opportunity for His death to be used for new life.
His parents knew what they must do next — let Nathan’s life and relationship with God speak through “The Nathan Project”. “The Nathan Project” is actually the same challenge that Nathan took — to read the Bible daily for a year and meet in a group to talk about it.
Ron and Connie committed to buy Life Application Study Bibles to give away to those in need of a Bible. “The Nathan Project” was introduced to the more than 3,000 people attending Nathan’s memorial, and it was covered by local and national media. His band played the song he helped write Break In (see the story of Nathan’s Band, “Awakening” at www.awakeningband.com )
THE CHALLENGE: start in Luke, read the Word daily, meet with other believers to talk about the Word and …leave YOUR imprint.
To find a group in your location check out the Project Group page. To start a group in your location check out the Getting Started page.
We pray you accept the challenge!