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General Questions:

What Does Desert Stream / Living Waters Ministries Do?

Desert Stream / Living Waters Ministries started in 1980 to bring the transforming power of Jesus Christ to the sexually and relationally broken. We do this through equipping churches around the world to offer healing groups. Equipping lay-ministers in churches of all kinds is the primary work at DSM/LW. In offering pastoral training, we also function as a prophetic voice to what it means to be genuinely human, made in God’s image.

For more information about Desert Stream / Living Waters we recommend reading our history page.

Can Someone Speak At My Event?

Probably. Write info@desertstream.org and we will connect you to right person in your area.

Who Were Some of The Key Influences of Desert Stream/Living Waters?

Key influences in the development of Desert Stream/Living Waters include Kenn Gulliksen and John Wimber (the founders of the Vineyard Movement), Leanne Payne, Frank Worthen, and John Paul II.

May I Speak or Pray With Andrew? Will He personally Read My Email? Can I Set Up An Interview?

Andrew would love to be able to read every email and speak or pray with all those who call or write the ministry. However, he is not able to respond personally to the many requests he receives.

If you are in need of prayer, we recommend you contact one of our local Living Waters Groups who will be able to either pray with you or recommend resources in your area.

The best way to reach Andrew or to set up an interview is by writing Annette, our director of communications: ancomiskey@desertstream.org.

Foundational Questions:

Why Is The Cross Mentioned So Much?

The Cross is central to our programs as it is the greatest living witness of Jesus’ assuming our sins and wounds in order to raise up the new creation. We trust that persons who attend our groups come away with a greater understanding of the Cross as the key to healing.

Isn’t Confessing My Sin To Jesus Enough?

We have found that God consistently meets us and empowers change when we choose to confess our sins within a safe confidential group.

Group Related Questions:

Can I Buy One of Your Books To Use with My Church, Small Group, etc?

If a book is available in our bookstore you can definitely use it. However our Living Water Guidebooks are only available for purchase by Living Waters group coordinators.

Why Are Your Groups Only Run Under The Covering of A Local Church?

We believe in the authority of the local church. To open up deep and difficult areas of your life requires a kind of spiritual protection. We thus believe that local communities of faith are the best context for healing.

Are Your Programs For Men And Women?

Yes. The majority of our groups involve men and women; however, Falling Forward and Men Pursuing Purity are specifically designed to help men overcoming addiction.

Why Are Many of Your Groups Closed?

We have found that the closed format works best for the confidential nature of our programs and for the healthy development of trust.

Can You Tell Me About Your Small Groups?

Most of our programs involve breaking into smaller, same-gender groups for the sake of accountability and healing prayer.

How Are You Different Than AA / SA / NA And Other 12-Step Groups?

Our groups complement 12-step groups support groups. Ours differ in having a beginning and an ending, and in how we incorporate healing prayer.

Can You Help My Child or Friend Who Is Under 18?

Unfortunately we cannot. You must be at least 18 to attend one of our programs. Here is a list of recommended resources for teens.

Why Do Costs Differ By Location?

Costs differ by location for many reasons. We recommend you ask your local leader if you are interested in what the cost breakdown is, as we are not familiar with individual program costs.

I Want To Start A Group What Should I do?

Our programs are best implemented by teams of at least two people. We recommend you find at least one other member of your local community and come our next training. At least one person has to be trained and released by DSM/LW to start a group.

Catholic Questions:

Are Living Waters and Other Desert Stream Programs Catholic Now?

As always, our groups are open to all Christians.

Same-Sex Attraction Related Questions:

My Son, Daughter or Friend Just Told Me They Have Same-Sex Attraction. How Should I Respond?

We recommend you read this article by Andrew Comiskey and then contact the Living Waters Coordinator in your region. Our local leaders will be the most familiar with local support structures. If there are no Living Waters groups in your area, we recommend you connect with the Restored Hope Network  or Courage.

Here is our recommended resource list for teens.

Is Living Waters Just For People Who Are Trying To Overcome Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction?

No. Our groups are for any Christian seeking to be pure and fruitful in their relationships.

Are You An Ex-Gay Ministry?

We certainly believe that identification with Christ displaces a homosexual identity. But our groups are open to all persons seeking wholeness. Approximately 60% of our participants have no SSA (same-sex attraction).

Is This Reparative Therapy?

Our leaders are not therapists but our work incorporates some of the key psychological insights at the core of restoring persons with unwanted same-sex attraction. If you are interested in reparative therapy please contact NARTH.

Other Questions:

I Was Looking On The Internet and Read That a DSM/LW Leader Had Abused a Couple of Teenagers. Is This True?

In 1997, a man met at separate times with two teenagers in the name of DSM/LW and made sexual overtures to them and committed some acts. The details are unknown to us. He, like any predator, hid what he had done. We became aware of one of these instances at the end of 1997; the teen and his parents came forward, and the man was promptly fired then jailed. The teenager received help for the spiritual and sexual abuse that had occurred. We knew that another teen had met with this man, also in 1997; when asked, the teen claimed that nothing had happened. 5 years later, as a young man, he claimed that he had been abused by that man in 1997.

We believed him, and made a lengthy and weighty restitution for the sins committed against him. Since 1997, under legal counsel, we have established new and strong boundaries for all of our dealings with participants. (We no longer offer help to minors.) As many of our adult participants have been subject to sexual abuse as children, we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that we do not abuse them further. The weight of these offenses committed in our name, and the amount of time and money we have spent to help repair the damage done, has helped teach us that lesson.

As we became aware of the sexual abuse, we began a ten-year process of seeking restitution with these two teenagers and their families. Desert Stream/Living Waters faced several civil lawsuits, and criminal charges were filed against the perpetrator, our ex-staff member.

Our restitution involved taking responsibility and seeking forgiveness for our sins and doing all we could to repair the damage done. This was all under legal guidance, which placed guidelines as to what we could and could not say publicly about their families and their suffering.

To prevent further violations, we sought and submitted to legal counsel in crafting better boundaries between lay leaders and those they served.

Within the legal constraints on what we can say publicly, we have taken many opportunities to make known the sexual abuse and its implications for us as a ministry.

What Is The Difference Between Desert Stream/Living Waters and Living Waters Global?

In 2011, Living Waters leadership divided into two separate structures. Desert Stream/Living Waters oversees groups in the US and various countries (including Aguas Vivas). The Living Waters Global Council oversees other groups around the world.

What Does Andrew Say About The Demise of Exodus?

Under Alan Chambers’ leadership, Exodus lost its bearings and mercifully came to an end in 2013. A number of ministries, including DSM/LW saw the problems and started a new network. We are happy for the strong and healthy start of Restored Hope Network.