In days where views on sexuality and gender are fickle and lines of morality continually shifting, Desert Stream Ministries is committed to both living and preaching the good news of God’s design for sexuality.  Desert Stream holds great hope for the redemption and transformation of our sexual and relational potential in Christ, and our ministry is geared towards anyone who is pursuing chastity from a variety of starting points.

 

At Desert Stream, we serve the Church as she seeks to minister to individuals with a variety of issues, including sexual addiction, sexual trauma, marital difficulties, same-sex attraction, and gender identity problems.

 

Over 35 years ago, Executive Director of Desert Stream, Andrew Comiskey and his wife Annette, responded to their pastor’s call to start a healing/support group in West Hollywood, California for men and women seeking Jesus in light of unwanted same-sex attractions. Having come out of ‘gay’-identification himself, Andrew understood the need for a transparent, Holy Spirit- led healing group within the church.

 

It was evident to the Comiskeys that key healing truths such as honesty, willingness, confession, and forgiveness, effective prayer for deep wounds and deprivations, and learning to set healthy boundaries were needed components in such a group. They soon recognized that these values were helpful and necessary not only for persons with same-sex attractions but also for the redemption of the whole church.

 

As a result, this healing group grew into a multifaceted offering to serve people of all backgrounds and struggles (including sexual addicts, the sexually abused and those struggling with marital problems). This group/ curriculum became known as Living Waters, which is the main offering of Desert Stream Ministries. The ministry expanded nationally (throughout the US) and then internationally. Desert Stream has a growing number of church-based groups all around the world.

 

Through many years of serving the Church in healing ministry, we at Desert Stream/Living Waters are more convinced than ever that Jesus Christ is the answer to broken humanity. The mission of Desert Stream is to continue to impart His healing, equip Christians, and proclaim His transforming love to all who have ears to hear!

 

Andrew Franklin, Counseling Pastor of Antioch Community Church in Norman Oklahoma shared with us: Twelve years ago, I was a new Christian who needed freedom from sexual addiction and clarity about God’s best for me in my same-sex attraction. Living Waters was a place for me to receive what I needed from Jesus. Now, as a pastor at a young evangelical church, Living Waters is providing that same hope and healing to this generation who needs the redemption that only Jesus can bring about in their bodies, sexuality, and relationships.

 

What is a Living Waters Group?

 

Living Waters is a 20 week closed group for men and women seeking transformation and freedom in their lives. Living Waters groups are sponsored by local churches and parishes, combining an in depth healing opportunity with boundaries and guidelines that keep the group safe and trustworthy for all.

 

At the center of Living Waters is the cross of Jesus Christ discovered in His community—the means through which we have access to the Father’s love and the Holy Spirit of resurrection. The cross provides the focal point for exchanging our sin, wounds, and dishonor as men and women for the grace to love and honor one another in a way that reveals God’s intention for humanity.

 

Living Waters combines the use of psychology, theology, and good pastoral practice. The goal of the program is to invite individuals to experience and live more chaste lives: undivided in our commitment to Jesus, operating in purity and self-control (1 Thess. 4:3-8), and embracing our need for gender interdependence, whether married or single.

 

Dr. Anne Nolte, Physician at Gianna Center, New York City speaks of living waters as being “life changing” and “what Pope Francis calls for when he tells us to not be afraid to “get into the mud” and accompany each other along the difficult path of healing, in this case in the difficult areas of sexual and relational brokenness.  LW Leaders are wounded healers, who walk with participants with prayer and without judgment.  Its effect is transformational.”

 

With groups all over the USA and the world and over thirty-five years of ministering God’s healing love, the Living Waters program is a proven path of healing.

 

Many individuals have gone through a Living Waters group and realized they wanted to either stay involved as a local leader, or bring Living Waters groups to a new area and local church. While anyone in a local group can grow into leadership positions, the path for starting new groups involves attending a national Living Waters Leadership Training.

 

What is a Living Waters Training?

 

At our national and international trainings, participants will become familiar with the Living Waters program and its 20 lessons in the guidebook, Living Waters: Restoring Relational Integrity Through the Broken Body of Christ.

 

The Leadership Training Seminar is ecumenical in nature and equips men and women for effective ministry to the sexually and relationally broken. This is an intensive training with an emphasis on ongoing personal healing. The training includes a shortened experience of the Living Waters program with small group participation as well as practical instruction.

 

Workshops are taught on a variety of issues covered in the 20 week group such as:

 

Listening Prayer Ministry and Leading a Small Group

Understanding Sexual Abuse

Understanding Sexual Addiction

Becoming Secure in our own Gender and Relating Well to the Opposite Gender

Becoming Trustworthy: Integrity & Boundaries for Leaders

 

Trainings are open to people at any point along their healing journey, whether desiring to lead a group or simply receive more healing. But, trainings are required in order to become a local group coordinator.

 

We have had the privilege of serving many national and international leaders through our groups and our national training. Christopher West, Founder and President of The Cor Project and Senior Lecturer of Theology & Christian Anthropology at the Theology of the Body Institute has said: The Living Waters Training is a much needed practical and pastoral counterpart to the brilliant insights and wisdom of Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  It provided the opportunity for me, personally, to grow and to heal in unexpected ways.  I would love to see this small group model for growth in chastity and healthy relating planted throughout the Catholic Church.

 

Brad Bailey, Senior Pastor at Westside Vineyard Church in Los Angeles, CA shared: We have been running the Living Waters program for over 20 years and it bears a quality of merit and maturity that sets it apart. While the church at large is known for its negative associations regarding sexuality, Living Waters imparts profound and personal restorative power to the ever-increasing sexual struggles of our day. Living Waters speaks into the depth of false identity and misdirected longings in a way that invites every individual into transformation, whether they struggle with attraction, addiction, abuse, or attachment.

 

For more details about Desert Stream Ministries or Living Waters groups, please visit our website at ww.desertstream.org or call our offices at 866.359.0500.

 

To learn more about our national trainings visit:  www.desertstream.org/leadership-training/ or contact lwtraining@desertstream.org for more information.