Recently, my dear friend Mark Geppert stayed at my house for a few days. Mark is the man who mentored me, imparted into me and activated me to go to unreached people groups beginning in 2011. We have been on five trips together and have spent hundreds of hours seeing and doing what very few ever get to see and do. Because of those experiences we have a very deep bond that few could understand. In short, we “get” each other and it is a blast to get together and reminisce about old times.
Over and over the conversation would begin with, “Do you remember…?” “Do you remember when we camped at 17,000 feet?” “Do you remember Kar Dung La?” “Do you remember the helicopter ride that never happened?”
With each “Do you remember” we would laugh as we retold all the details of each memory. Then Mark looked at me and said, “Do you remember Kailash?” We both went silent, just staring at each other as the memories of holy awe swept over us. “Yeah, I remember.” I said quietly. “That was the day of all days”.
Kailash is a mountain in Tibet near the border of India. It is known as the throne of Shiva, who is regarded as one of the main gods of the Hindu religion. It is a high holy place where thousands come every year to make pilgrimage and pay homage to their gods. There at the base of the mountain is a small village at 15,000 ft altitude.
It was here that Mark brought a team of 15 people to pray in 2012. As the team began to spread out we began to attract the attention of the locals. Suddenly, our Chinese translator grabbed my arm and said, “Come, come, someone needs healing prayer.” She took me to a woman who was blind and immediately I remembered a vision God had given to me before the trip…a vision of a blind woman being healed. This was that woman! At that moment God gave me the faith and grace to pray and God healed her eyes!
Continue reading (and enjoy more pictures)…
Our team of 10 was trekking a narrow mountain path when it began to rain. Soon we were all wet and our boots covered in mud from the slippery path. As we came to a road an apple truck came by and offered us a ride. We all immediately climbed onto the truck laughing and feeling blessed that were able to get a ride.
After a few miles we were dropped at a tea stall in a small remote village. As we all climbed down a young man from the team approached me with his coat tied around his waist and a look of total fear in his eyes. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Sheepishly, he opened the jacket to reveal a huge split in his pants. My eyes grew big and my jaw dropped as I watched his brown face turn red from embarrassment. And I, being the man of compassion that I am, laughed and laughed. In fact all of us got a great laugh which did not help the guy at all but it really was funny. Then, to our amazement, directly across from the tea stall was a tailor.
Obviously God loved him more than we did because he provided a tailor in the middle of nowhere. The entire teamed marched over and snickered and laughed while the man held out his pants to the tailor from behind a curtain. One of the young women in our group showed compassion and paid for the much needed repairs.
Their story continues…
We have so enjoyed praying across Arizona in partnership with BridgeBuilders. It’s been wonderful to meet local pastors and intercessors of kindred spirit and lift their arms as we pray with them for their region. In October our dear friends from India, recent Bethel graduates currently still in CA, came to AZ to join on some of these journeys. We had a blessed, fun week with Rhema and Joby. We were honored and humbled that they would come to pray with us for our state and nation, and we know many in India have also been praying.
We have also had the joy of connecting with intercessors here in the Valley, many of them young people who love to burn before the Lord day and night. Their love and passion for the Lord is intense and it is so much fun to pray with them in various weekly meetings, special 4 hr sessions, a 24 hr session, as well as a gathering with Dutch Sheets with nearly 1000 people in attendance. Prayer is the heartbeat of 5 Rivers, whether at home or across the world.
This fall during the civil unrest in the US, God told me to go to Washington DC with boots on the ground to pray. The dates I picked just “happened” to be the exact day that Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court and also “happened” to be the same day that Lou Engle and Sean Feucht were hosting a prayer and worship rally on the National Mall. What a powerful evening worshipping and praying with nearly 30,000 believers for our nation. God is doing great things and we are so humbled and blessed that He has invited us to be a part of it.
“There have been many prophesies about Arizona being the tip of the spear and leading the way for national revival. What I want to see are prayer teams going to strategic locations throughout the state, staying for several days at a time and pray until we get breakthrough. It needs to be a sustained effort with measurable results.”
I just sat there and stared at him quietly for a moment. A mutual friend was introducing me to Hal and Cheryl Saks. Hal and Cheryl have been directing a prayer ministry here in Arizona for more than 30 years called BridgeBuilders. While I knew of them for years, this was our first time to officially meet. As I sat and listened to Hal’s heart the Holy Spirit began to poke me. This is not why I came to meet them, I thought. This was not on my radar. Then I heard the Spirit say, “This is your assignment. India is closed right now. I have a work for you to do here.”
Finally, I looked at Hal and said, “That is what I do. I go to the nations. I pray and God brings breakthrough. If you want to do that here then I am in. Hal, you are the senior Apostle of prayer for the state of Arizona. The only way I will do this is if I am connected to your mantle of spiritual authority in this state. Are you good with that?”
Recently one of our intercessors had a vision while praying for India and after asking that the hearts that had been ministered to would rise up and remember the truth they had heard. She prayed that courage would be steadfast during this time. She saw some shepherds pondering – some sitting and some lying down. Their hearts were being stirred and some were thinking there was more than what they had believed. Hearts were being expanded and a hush fell. She then realized she was hearing the actual rocks declaring the Lord and preaching of His goodness. The voice from the rocks was completely Dan’s voice. It was as if he himself was standing there in the wilderness proclaiming the good news. So powerful and encouraging! We thank God that He allows us to know that even while our boots are in AZ and not India right now, our ministry continues and His Word that has been sent out is still alive and active.
Thank you to all of you who have prayed and so generously given to relieve some of the burden created by the pandemic in India. Through you thousands of people received food and prayer. Many people have become open to Jesus and our workers are finding great favor with some government leaders who at one time opposed Christians. The hungry are being fed. The gospel is being preached and God is moving in India.
But it’s not over yet. The need is still overwhelming as people were not able to plant crops or open their small business so what they normally would have to sustain them is not there. I can’t imagine being a father looking at my hungry children and yet unable to provide for them. The pain and the need are real. We are grateful for your continued support as we continue to partner with those in India who can help meet the needs.