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India Bound

DB and MB (names have been shortened for security purposes) married on July 22, 2012, and waited until their wedding ceremony to enjoy their first kiss. This past year they welcomed their brand new 7-month-old daughter into the world, a half-sister to DB’s twenty-three-year-old daughter, who resides in England. Both DB and MB have tremendous servants’ hearts, a strong gift of mercy, and positivity as one of their top 5 strengths; they both are risk-takers for Jesus, and radical lovers of God’s children. They’ve served faithfully on the leadership team of the Horizon School of Evangelism, Rock Church’s IMPACT 195 School of Ministry, and Rock Church Pastoral Support Team.

During the first quarter of 2016, this family and 7 other adults, plus 1 other infant still to be born, plan to move to India indefinitely—or until the Lord releases them from the work. Their obedience will require great faith, many sacrifices, and much preparation. Their vision is God-sized and God-possible and a part of Rock Church’s vision to bring pervasive hope wherever He directs. Both DB and MB recently granted a heart-felt, candid interview with the Rock Church’s Storytelling Team.

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AK: Where did you 2 grow up?

MB: It was a rural farm in Michigan. We grew sugar beets, corn, wheat, navy beans, and soy beans. I had two younger sisters, plenty of cousins, and fond memories scurrying down the dirt trails and countryside with them. It was a beautiful childhood.

DB: Albuquerque, New Mexico was my hometown. My Dad owned an insurance office and my Mom stayed at home and took care of me, my older brother, and younger sister, while helping out with Dad’s business.

AK: Mel, how long have you been serving in ministry?

MB: 7-and-a-half amazing years. I got my degree in elementary education and did a bit of traveling in my younger years. I knew Jesus, but wasn't truly living my life for Him. But when God called me to the Horizon School of Evangelism, everything changed. His love transformed my life and all I wanted to do was love Him and love others. I joined the leadership team there, and then came over to Rock Church 6 years ago and helped launch the IMPACT 195 School of Ministry. God has given me amazing opportunities to teach, mentor, lead short-term international trips and so much more. 5 years ago, I moved to Haiti as the first Rock Ambassador and lived 6 incredible months in an orphanage followed by 6 more months with the first ever Rock Church long-term team. Seeing how God is moving in Haiti now through the Rock Church, it’s amazing to think that He let me be a part of it!

AK: DB, where did you go on your first mission’s trip?

DB: The Sudan. It was incredible and popped that American bubble pretty quickly. I was a double major in college, earning a degree in finance and entrepreneurial studies, and had a lively run in the marketplace. After a night of debauchery in Las Vegas, I found Jesus. I mean I really found Him, and fully surrendered my life to Him. And, He’s taken me all over the world for His glory… places like Haiti, persecuted parts of Asia, the Philippines and India on multiple trips with IMPACT 195. I’ve also been serving side-by-side with Mel before and during our relationship. The last 2 years, I have been overseeing the evening program of IMPACT 195 as the Assistant Director.

AK: Why India? Why now?

MB:  In Romans 10:14-15 it says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”  India is eighty-percent Hindu, twelve-percent Muslim, and 2-percent Christian. Of all the countries ofthe world it has the largest unreached population by far, with 1,217,461,000 people, that’s ninety-five-percent of the Indian population and approximately one-sixth of the world's population, who have never heard the Gospel. With the caste system in full-force, there is an unprecedented number of marginalized people such as widows, orphans, lepers, and street-children who suffer emotionally, physically, and spiritually in severe ways. The need is great, and I want our family and team to help meet those needs in whatever way God would have us to. I have been tremendously inspired by the video "Tears of the Saints," that captures these overwhelming needs. 

DB: I work at Rock Church, but I’ve also become an Uber driver to earn additional income for our family. Last week I had a super intense experience that God used to confirm our soon departure to India. It was about 3AM in the morning, and I was headed north on the 15. I looked across the freeway and there was a car on fire. People were waving their hands up in the air with looks of deep desperation. I took the next exit and got back on the freeway, heading south so I could go help them. After parking and moving toward the inferno, I passed by these desperate faces; they were in shock, and that's when it hit me that someone was still inside the car. As I hurried closer I noticed a young man indeed was passed out in the driver's seat. Fire was consuming the entire car. He seemed to be minutes away from being burnt alive. The police and firemen arrived at the same time and I began to cry out in prayer over this person's soul. I pleaded with God to let him live, so he could come to know Him, if he didn't already. The fire crew acted quickly and started to put out the fire while using the Jaws of Life to pry open the door and drag the man to safety. Within seconds the ambulance came and took him away. When I got home, I kept praying. I was too shaken up to sleep. The next morning, I was able to confirm through the police and Rock Chaplains that there were no car fatalities that night, and that this person had lived. I believe God led me to that scene, to intercede. It was a 30-second window that saved this man’s life, perhaps eternally. This fire was such a horrific and vivid picture of the fate of a billion-plus people in India. The time is short and the soul is the greatest of treasure. If God calls us we must simply not pass by the dying, thinking someone else will stop and help. We must be wiling to “make a turn on the freeway” of our own agendas, show up on the scene, and intercede for those who are potentially seconds away from a horrific eternity a part from God. This is why we are going to India.

MB: In Luke 10, when Jesus fed the five thousand, that five thousand was broken up into groups of fifty. I’ve wondered if Jesus would have wanted his disciples to distribute bread to the same fifty over and over again, while the other four-thousand-nine-hundred-and-fifty perished... I don't think so, and yet often the majority of resources and people who go to the mission field, go to where the Gospel has already been preached. While this is a necessity and commandment, others must go to the places where the Gospel has never been shared, which is also a commandment. There are over a billion people in India that have never received the bread of life. We desire to go and feed those who have never been fed.

AK: So what's the plan for your mission?

DB: While 9 people can't do everything, we can do something. The biggest impact we can make is through discipleship, multiplying our efforts by raising up local believers to bring the light and love of Jesus to their own people. Discipleship is key to the Gospel continuing on in India whether we are dead or alive. Therefore, the goal is to plant a permanent presence of hope through a Rock Global Outreach base which will focus on a discipleship training school called "Impact India". This school will equip the locals to fulfill 3 key areas of ministry: church-planting among the unreached, Matthew 25 projects in serving the "least of these", and hosting short-term mission trips from Rock Church.  

AK: Dave, how have the believers of India inspired you?

DB: K.P. Yohannan is an amazing Indian preacher. He travels all over the world now,  but his books tell such remarkable and sometimes tragic stories of God moving among the Indian people. In one such account, there was a woman along the edge of the Ganges River. There is a belief among the locals that this river runs up to the heavens to a goddess where they can receive the forgiveness of sin. The river is often filled with bodies of people that have died and those who have been sacrificed to appease this goddess; in fact it’s believed to be the most polluted river in the world, though the Indian people see it as one of the most holy places in India. The story explains that missionaries went to the river to share the Gospel and found a woman beating her chest and weeping uncontrollably. They went to her, wiped away her tears, and comforted her, sharing about Jesus. She was thankful yet through much anguish, uttered her distress, asking the missionaries why they had not come thirty minutes earlier; she had just sacrificed her infant son to the false goddess by throwing him in the river. This story seared my my heart and reminds me of the urgency of the times we live in.

AK: Is it scary moving to India with your baby?

MB: As a new mom, I had to work through this a bit. I realized I had some attachments to the comforts of raising a child in America. I loved her bassinet, her room, and her baby things. I realized I was a bit close-fisted and even idolizing my daughter. Through 3 months of prayer, God really worked in my heart; He confirmed to me that He was calling us as a family to India and now I am all in. That was all I needed to know and it enabled me to let go of my attachments and comforts. I am really excited now! I know God, and I deeply believe His plans and ways are infinitely better than mine! So, I trust Him with her. 

DB:  I think the safest place to be is always in the will of God and we are in His will. When you understand the sovereignty of God, it helps take away any sense of fear. I don’t want our family to make fear-based decisions, but faith-based ones. I really believe the life we can offer our daughter in India is going to be the best thing for her. She’s going to grow up in the thick of ministry, watching her mom and dad live generously, supernaturally, and sacrificially; she’s going to process poverty at a youngage. We believe this is what God wants for her as she is living out His unique plan for her life and He will steward these experiences in her life in the years to come.

AK: What do you need prayer for?

DB: We don’t want to solve spiritual problems with physical solutions. As a team, we may be tempted to jump into meeting needs in our own strength. But that would be vain. Pray for us, that we would birth our entire ministry out of prayer and intimacy with God. Pray that our Matthew 25 Projects would bear tremendous fruit, that the Gospel would go forth and multiply itself, and the school and base we desire to establish would have the blessing of God and favor of man. Pray that a multitude would be saved from the fires of hell and that the kingdom of God would grow through the people of India for His glory.

MB: Please also pray that God would raise up people to partner with us in God's work in India both through prayer and monetary support. The spiritual climate of India is very intense; it is one of the darkest places in the world. We are looking for those prayer warriors to intercede for us and in essence be our spiritual cover-fire as we share God's love and take ground for Him. Additionally, it will take $80,000 to plant the base and start and run the discipleship school. We are also trusting God to provide for our personal start-up costs of $26,000 and our monthly costs of $3,800 to cover living and ministry expenses. Our hope and confidence is that everyone that God moves to invest in His work in India will experience Him in profound ways and bear the fruitof their investments for all of eternity.

AK: What are you most excited about in this next step of faith?

DB: The potential is exponential! If Jesus used twelve ordinary men to reach the world, and we are here because of them today, just think what He could do through our team in 1 country for generations to come. Being a part of changing the world is exciting! We are hopeful and confident that as we, as well as our team and our senders, were born for "such a time as this, " to enter the land that's been promised to us and be used to bless a nation for His glory.

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To track with DB and MB in India and support their work, click here.

For more information about the Global Outreach Ministry, click here »

For more information about what God is doing in India, click here »