Crazy Favor

Our dear friend, Ashish, lives in an area of North India where Christians are highly persecuted. But in the middle of these difficult circumstances, God has given him crazy favor with the local government of that state. Recently, he was invited to the governor’s birthday party. They all know he is a Christian leader but rather than shun or even attack him, he was invited as a VIP to be with the governor.

While the governor was preparing to cut the birthday cake, Ashish’s 6-year-old daughter was in the crowd. Seeing her, the governor called her over to help cut the cake.  She even fed a piece of the cake to the governor! Later, Ashish was invited to go to the governor’s house for a personal meeting.

I know that may not sound like much for us, but for a Christian leader in North India it is unprecedented.  It is just one sign of how God has raised this man up and given him governmental authority to advance His Kingdom in that region. Ashish boldly preaches Christ everywhere he goes and is fearless in his faith.

Ashish has been busy helping church leaders in several different states and establishing more ISOM training points.  Right now, he has about 500 students enrolled in ISOM receiving training to be church planters.  May God continue to bless this man and multiply the work of his hands all over North India!

There Are Still No Closed Doors

It has always been in the DNA of 5 Rivers that there are no closed doors.  Over and over again, it has been a signet of our ministry that God would take us into places that had been closed for generations.

Last June we were on our way to one of those closed regions when I had the accident and broke my leg. As the saying goes, delayed does not mean denied.  I rejoice that Ashish was able to take a team and go into this region last month and do a prayer drive.  He even stopped at the exact location of the accident to give praise to God that we lived and they were able to go into a new territory where the Gospel has never been preached.

It is a great joy to see people that I have mentored for years go where I was not able to. This is the fruit of all the years of going and praying.  Thanks to your faithful prayers and giving that made it all possible, India is in good hands of those who have been trained to GO.

The Kingdom is Advancing

“We are compelled to print thousands more copies of the ISOM training manuals in Hindi and Oria. The needs are increasing as many more are being enrolled. We are also purchasing 100 cell phones and many more memory cards for ISOM to continue to expand. We are purchasing 1,000 carpets (the Indians mostly sit on carpets for their teaching), 250 bicycles, 1,000 black boards and 10,000 Bibles. Please pray.” This was the text I received from my friend, Josh, recently.  I had to stop and just laugh at how huge the needs are.  My spirit leaps for joy because this list of needs tells us how much the Kingdom of God is advancing in India.

WOW!!! This is crazy! In the midst of intense persecution (reports of beatings, villages being burned, and pastors imprisoned in the middle of the night continue to come in), the Gospel is being preached. People, entire families, are being saved. People are being healed and set free from demons. Thousands of leaders are being trained to be church planters and the Kingdom of God is being manifested in India.

Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”  This is absolutely what is happening in India and we rejoice! We praise God for our ministry partners that have remained faithful, courageous, and are always advancing rather than drawing back.

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Home and Away


While I was in the Indian hospital recovering from surgery on my broken leg, I received a phone call from Hal Sacks of Bridge Builders. “Dutch Sheets has put out a call for a nationwide prayer initiative called Paint Your Borders. He has asked us to take the lead for the state of Arizona.  Since you have nothing to do for a while, I want you to head this up for us. I am sending out an email to all our mailing list giving them your contact information. You can coordinate all those who want to participate.”  Since I was on a lot of pain meds and wasn’t thinking clearly, I said “Sure, I’ll do that.”

Over the next several weeks my phone was blowing up as people began to contact me.  Well over one hundred people, (that we know of), began to travel and pray all over Arizona. We created an online group where they could communicate with each other, saying when and where they were going, how others could join them, posting praise reports and pictures from their travels and cheering each other on as people released the Kingdom of God everywhere they went. It was an amazing thing to see so many people so fully activated to pray for our state. Several people who have lived here all their lives said they had never seen anything like it. It was truly a historic spiritual moment for Arizona.

When I got home In August, I was able to make several prayer trips and I have continued to connect with intercessors across the state. Now, moving into 2024, the Holy Spirit has given us a strategy for activating people to pray like never before. We are looking forward to what God has in store for the upcoming year here at HOME!

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Increased Persecution

While the church has been growing by leaps and bounds, the persecution to try to stop it has increased dramatically. Just recently, in one northern state, nearly 90 pastors were arrested for converting people to Christianity. The police would break into their homes in the middle of the night, catching them when they were away from their congregations and trying to instill as much fear as they could. With wives and children screaming and terrified, these men were torn from their families and placed in jail to await trial.  If found guilty, they face 7-10 years in prison.

Another thing the government is doing is cutting off the ability of ministries to receive foreign funds. Just recently, one of the largest Christian organizations in the country (CNI church) had the ability to receive foreign funds stripped from them. The government is trying to financially choke ministries and has threatened to confiscate their property as well.

The persecution has become very intense, but in the middle of it the believers are showing great courage and faith.  They are uniting stronger than ever before, taking care of the families of the pastors who have been arrested, praying together, and encouraging one another to stay strong. They continue to preach the gospel fearlessly, fully prepared to pay the price of being beaten or imprisoned. Some have already given their very lives for Jesus Christ.

These men and women need your prayers and support now more than ever. We must continually reach out to them in any way possible to let them know they are not alone. We must be faithful to fight for them through prayer and giving to support families that have lost their husbands and fathers to persecution.

The Hand of God and the Love of Friends

As most of you know, during my last trip to India in June, I was in an accident.  I was on the back of a motorcycle high in the Himalayas when we lost control and slammed into the side of an oncoming truck.  My driver, a recent ISOM graduate with a heart to start a work in this very unreached region, had three breaks in his right leg and I had two breaks in my right femur.

Shortly after my surgery in India, a police investigator came to see me. He is Hindu and has investigated many accidents on that road.  He told me that according to his investigation, my driver had lost control of the bike and had crossed the lane. He said if we had not hit the truck, we would have crossed the lane and gone over the cliff 1600 feet into the river. (In fact, one day before my accident a man on a motorcycle, very near the location of my accident, did exactly that, falling to his death.)

This Hindu policeman was explaining to me that the only thing that saved our lives was the truck we hit and the fact we hit the back tires.  He kept throwing up his hand toward heaven saying, “Only the hand of God saved you. Only the hand of God!”  He was obviously very impressed we had lived! (We say “Thank you, Jesus, for the truck and angelic protection.”)

In the middle of all the pain, chaos of hospitals, ambulances, and surgeons during the next several days, what stood out the most to me was the love of my Indian friends.  At great hardship to themselves, they covered me, protected me, and got me the best help possible every step of the way, often staying with me night and day.  One dear brother held my blood transfusion against his chest trying to warm it up for me.  Another went to a metal shop to have a brace made for my leg so I could travel in the ambulance.

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