As you celebrate Christmas, may you reflect on how worthy Jesus is of our worship. Our hearts are overwhelmed with thankfulness to the Father for sending Jesus (the greatest “gift”), to Jesus for humbling himself to come to earth as a baby and die a humiliating death on a cross for us, and to the Holy Spirit for the peace, comfort and joy He provides to each one of us. And, as always, we are so thankful for those of you who love and support the ministry of 5 Rivers International with your prayers and generosity.
Especially at this time of year, as many of us in the United States pause to “give thanks,” we want to express our deepest gratitude to you – for your love, prayer support and generosity that allow 5 Rivers to continue to bless India and the nations.
We see you. We appreciate you. We thank God for you.
It was October, 2012, and I was on my first missions trip to North India with Mark Geppert and SEAPC. Richard and Linda Salley were part of that trip and we connected in the spirit, enjoying great times of prayer together over India. We stayed connected over the years, with visits in each other’s homes (different states). The Salleys have such beautiful hearts for missions, and great authority in prayer for the nations. They have an incredible ministry of networking people together to make a difference in the Kingdom. We met numerous missionaries through these visits and our hearts continued to knit deeply together. WHO KNEW where this would lead?
For years, the Salleys would talk about a ministry project they were involved with in CA via Good Shepherd Ministries called ISOM (International School of Ministry), and I even met someone who had worked on the translations into Hindi in India. The Salleys had heard of thousands of believers in third world countries being filled with the Holy Spirit and trained to evangelize their own people through ISOM. They invited me in 2017 and 2018 to the annual conferences. However, I did not feel this was something I was called to pursue for what God had me doing in India over these years. It was a wonderful Bible College on a flash-drive, but I didn’t “connect.”
Fast forward to February, 2019 – I was once again invited and this time felt compelled to attend (or maybe a little “pressured” as this time they purchased a ticket in advance for me and talked it up quite a bit). I was going to fit it in after a missions trip to Cambodia, so not only coming in after conference had begun, but pretty jet-lagged! WHO KNEW this would change everything? I think GOD KNEW (and the Salleys)!! I was able to meet with Dr Berin Gilfillan, the director, the Salleys purchased the program, and plans were made to get this going in North India. It has been an incredible and amazing story of what God has done since I met the Salleys in 2012. This story is JUST BEGINNING!
Today ISOM is exploding in India. My dear friend, Josh, has implemented ISOM training throughout his network of 15,000 house churches. We began with 39 of his top leaders coming to Delhi for 5 days of training in August, and have now just finished their second trimester. Those 39 have trained 700. Those 700 have now finished the first trimester and are prepared to teach it to their next level of leaders. By the time you read this those 700 will have multiplied into 3,500 people being trained in the Word of God! WHO KNEW God would take this to amazing levels so quickly?!
In spite of covid and being restricted from international travel, 5 Rivers is alive and well thanks to you who continue to pray and give. Our relationships in India are still very active as we have continued to assist various partners with covid relief, and we continue to see the International School of Ministry (ISOM) grow and make disciples.
However, India has been suffering much through the pandemic, and persecution of Christians is on the rise. Please read on for the updates and prayer points for each section. We have also included what’s been going on with us on the “homefront.” This is a still a critical time for India, our nation and the world. Your prayers and support are greatly needed and appreciated – thank you for standing with us!
India has experienced a second wave of covid that many of my friends say was much worse than the first. At one point over 6,000 people a day were dying. There is no way to calculate the loss, the pain and suffering as it seems every family in India has been deeply affected by this. The people do not trust the government and many refuse to go to the hospitals. They say “Everyone who goes to the hospitals die.” Now, as this second wave begins to weaken there are reports that a third wave of a variant may be on its way.
Please pray that there will not be a third wave of covid.
Pray that in the middle of all this pain and suffering Christ will be preached and there will be a massive nation-wide revival as millions come to Christ.
Pray that the doors will open soon and I may return to my beloved India.
The International School of Ministry is back up and students are once again taking classes. Because of the covid situation classes were forced to close, but now we have just reopened with a fresh batch of students being trained to plant churches. We also are making plans to establish ISOM in a network of 15,000 house churches. This is an amazing opportunity to literally train thousands of workers in a short amount of time.
Please pray that the people will be able to gather in small groups for training.
Pray that God will give us the strategy of how to establish ISOM in this network so that it will grow and multiply quickly.
Pray for those who are being trained to have very powerful and fruitful ministries that advance the Kingdom of God in India.