Revival in the Desert 2024 | God Uniting Yakima Christians

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)

Joining me for this post is Pastor Brian Jennings with Breakthrough Church. Today, we want to invite you to an exciting Kingdom event at the Yakima Valley SunDome – Revival in the Desert! We have multiple churches joining together with Simply Jesus and Breakthrough as we lay the groundwork for this event. Let’s take a look at what’s going on and who God is bringing alongside us in unity!

We’re covering:

  • Brian Jennings | A Ministry of Forgiveness & Obedience
  • Dr. Sunny Bhaskaran | A Journey of Hope & Healing
  • The Genesis of Yakima’s Revival in the Desert
  • What Can I Expect at This Year’s Revival in the Desert?
    • When & Where is the Event?
    • What is the Cost to Attend Revival in the Desert?
    • Will the Event be in Spanish?
    • Are New Believers, Youth, or Young Adult Ministries Welcome?
    • Who Will Be Speaking & Leading Worship?

Brian Jennings | A Ministry of Forgiveness & Obedience

Brian Jennings is the pastor of Breakthrough Church. His testimony is one of divinely orchestrated events, and it’s a profound story of the power of forgiveness and obedience to God’s call.

From Jonah to Nehemiah | Finding The Way Back Home

Brian was born and raised in Yakima, but he endured a lot of pain while growing up here. When Brian was 19, just a few months after he had graduated from high school in 1993, his mother was murdered. This tragedy shook Brian and his family. Brian had just become a Christian, and he was a brand-new believer.

Brian later left Yakima, against what he knew was God’s calling for him to pastor a church. He and his wife moved to the Seattle area. But eventually, God made it clear that they were to return to Yakima to serve this community – not to California, Texas, or even the Tri-Cities like they had asked Him. Yakima.

Brian likened his two-year struggle on the West Side, avoiding God’s call, to that of Jonah being in the belly of the whale. He couldn’t convince God to send them elsewhere. But, during that time, God spoke to Brian and his wife out of the book of Nehemiah about returning and rebuilding the walls of our city.

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Nehemiah 2:17-18, 4:14 (ESV)

God also began to change Brian’s heart towards this city. By the time he and his wife returned to Yakima, they were saying, “Let’s go! This is our city, we’re going to do this!”

Overcoming the Giants in Your Life

While Brian’s Christian walk began in tragedy, what’s most amazing is his parallel story of learning about forgiveness:

On the stand, the individual who killed my mom asked me in front of the entire courtroom, in front of all my family members who weren’t believers: “Brian, I know you’re Christian, and I’ve recently dedicated my own life to God. Can you please forgive me?” I knew I wanted my family to see the real Jesus, and I know the real Jesus is forgiving. That day, I learned the true power of forgiveness when I said to him, “Yes, I do forgive you.”

Pastor Brian Jennings

Fast forward 30 years later. On the first night of the tent revival we in Yakima last summer, Brian encountered his mother’s murderer again. This unexpected meeting coincided with the recent release of Brian’s book, Overcoming the Giants in Your Life, which was all about this part of his testimony and forgiveness. The book had been published just two months before.

Pastor Brian and his ministry highlight the profound ways God can orchestrate events in our lives for His greater purposes. God has taught Brian the power of forgiveness and the importance of following His call, even when it leads us back to places we might have wanted to leave behind.

Dr. Sunny Bhaskaran | A Journey of Hope & Healing

Many of you have heard my own testimony, and those of my wife Sheeba and my daughter Elizabeth. Similar to Brian, I’ve also written our story in a book called, Storms Don’t Last Long, But You Will.

When God is Silent | Waiting to Enter a Promised Land

I was born in Chennai, India. During my early years, my mother was a large source of support and encouragement for me, especially as I began my journey sharing the Gospel in various villages. No matter how small the crowd, my mother would always be there to cheer me on and say, “Amen! Go for it.”

Sadly, my mother died suddenly after complications from an accident. It was shortly after I had moved to the U.S. for my medical residency program. I cried out, I asked God for strength, I asked God to heal her, but she passed away. It was a profound loss.

After completing my medical residency in Oklahoma, I secured a job in Yakima. I knew God had arranged the job, even though I had no idea what Yakima was going to hold for my family. We began to work on immigrating from India to the United States.

In 2001, while we were preparing to move, I had to return to India to change my visa status. During this time, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 occurred; the Twin Towers fell and halted all immigration processes.

We didn’t know if, or when, we could return to the U.S. We’d only anticipated being in India for 3 months. I had $5,000 to my name, and my wife and son to support. Like many immigrants, we found ourselves in limbo without a clear path forward. I considered settling in India. The only thing that helped us walk through this storm was our faith in God. We knew God had a way, but the unbelief could feel so crippling in our hearts.

It was after eight months of waiting and wondering that God moved and finally said to me, “I have passed a judgement in favor of you.”

Amazingly, the job I had secured at the clinic in Yakima was still waiting for me. We didn’t realize they had graciously been paying the lawyers for us; they were also fellow believers in Christ with us. It was unprecedented, and we were so grateful for their support! We wouldn’t have been able to make it here without them, and we knew God had something unique in store for us. 

Many times we ask, “God, why don’t you speak sooner? We are trusting you…” But there are silent years, even Jesus had those years. We don’t know what happened from the time Jesus met the leaders in the temple, to the time he came to the baptism in Jordan. Those years are a mystery. But one thing is for sure: God was preparing Him for the ministry.

Dr. sunny bhaskaran

Storms Don’t Last Long, But You Will

Shortly after we moved, Sheeba was expecting our second child, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, Elizabeth was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition in the womb. The doctors said Elizabeth would likely not live and advised us to terminate the pregnancy.

I struggled with my faith. Despite preaching about Christ as a healer, I found it hard to believe that He would heal my child. We braced ourselves for the worst, but one day, Sheeba reminded me of the hope found in Psalms:

“How can I read the Bible and not have hope that our child is going to live? Every story in the Bible, God came through. If we believe the Bible, then it can happen today.”

Sheeba Bhaskaran

This was the beginning of God working hope into my own life, despite my fear of being disappointed or hurt. As time went on, my hope grew stronger, even as we received more bad news. I started to allow myself to dream of the possibility that God would intervene. This hope eventually turned into a firm belief that our daughter would live.

And she did. Elizabeth is now a healthy 20-year-old whose smile lights up the room. Through these experiences, I’ve learned about the profound power of God’s healing and the importance of keeping the faith during difficult times.

The Genesis of Yakima’s Revival in the Desert

For Brian and I, God drew our testimonies and opportunities together, allowing us to start what has become “Revival in the Desert.” God has put it on our hearts to draw Yakima together in unity and in purpose. This how our story began.

Worshipping During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Yakima

Brian and I first met in 2020 – during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government guidelines, particularly those against singing in worship settings, really bothered me. As a doctor, I understood the need for precautions, but I believed banning worship through song was misguided. I was compelled to take action, and to show our determination to continue worshiping.

The idea was to organize an outdoor night of worship where people could safely gather in their cars. We rented the Yakima Raceway, which was privately owned and not subject to the same restrictions. We complied with government regulations, and we finally held our first night of worship there.

Even though Brian couldn’t make it, he supported the event by promoting it at Breakthrough, and many from his congregation attended.

I thought to myself, “This man is not just promoting his own church. He’s promoting Christ across this Valley.” So, we started to connect.

Dr. sunny bhaskaran

Going Back to Community Tent Revivals

Our relationship grew from there, and during a conversation at the Waffle House in West Valley, we both expressed interest in organizing a tent revival. Brian’s idea to hold a revival stemmed from his own call to ministry during a tent revival in Colusa, California.

We realized a couple weeks later, that we each had what the other person needed: Simply Jesus had the funding to buy the tent, and Breakthrough had the land to hold the revival.

So, we held a tent revival. Over the course of five nights, more than 4,500 people showed up. It was more successful than we had imagined, so we decided to hold another revival. The next year, despite initial hesitation about the size and cost, we decided to host it at the Yakima Fairgrounds. At least one night, we had over 2,000 people show up!

This year, we’re hoping for over 10,000 people to be in attendance.

We are working together; it’s not without challenges, BUT we are seeing the fruit of working together. I believe the key to Kingdom expansion in any city is unity.

Dr. Sunny Bhaskaran

What Can I Expect at This Year’s Revival in the Desert?

We are so excited to be putting on this event! Here are some of the frequently asked questions we’re hearing, and more about what you can expect at this year’s Revival in the Desert. If you have any questions, please feel free to look at our website and contact us.

When & Where is the Event?

2024’s Revival in the Desert will be held at the Yakima Valley SunDome on July 19-21. It’s on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

What is the Cost to Attend Revival in the Desert?

This is a FREE event! There is no cost to attend. We have online registration set up, and there will also be on-site registration available for anyone just walking in. Bring your family, bring your friends, everyone is welcome!

Will the Event be in Spanish?

Yes! Translation will be available. We’ll have in-ear Spanish translation like we had at the last tent revival. Spanish-speaking believers are absolutely welcome; we’re in this together!

Are New Believers, Youth, or Young Adult Ministries Welcome?

Yes, absolutely! All Yakima churches, including youth and young adult ministries, are welcome to join us. This is a wonderful opportunity to come together in unity; our main goal is to glorify Jesus, not ourselves. We also aim to welcome new believers into our community by fostering spiritual breakthrough and by helping them connect with a church that meets their specific needs.

Who Will Be Speaking & Leading Worship?

The speakers we have coming are some of the greatest voices preaching the Gospel today. We have a tremendous lineup; it’s going to shift the atmosphere of Yakima, and we’re so excited to welcome them!

Pastor Vladimir Savchuk | Pastor Vlad is from Hungry Generation Church in Pasco, WA. He and Brian have been friends for about 20 years. He’s a great man of God, and an excellent biblical teacher and communicator.

Zack Parkhotyuk | Zack is the youth pastor at Hungry Generation Church. Breakthrough has often collaborated with him at youth camps. Right now, God is working through Zack to affect the next generation and connect with hundreds of public school students in the Tri-Cities.

Zachariah “Zee Sav” Radcliffe | Zee is a phenomenal rapper with the Kingdom Muzic conglomerate, and an incredible preacher based in California with his own ministry.

Mike & Julie Signorelli | This amazing couple pastors V1 Church in New York. Mike is a gifted preacher, and Julie is an incredible worship leader. Mike also just made a life-changing movie called The Domino Revival that was premiered in theaters.

Alexander Pagani | Alexander is an international speaker who walks in great authority, especially in deliverance and generational curses. He pastors the rapidly growing Amazing Church in the Bronx, New York.

Isaiah Saldivar | Isaiah is another top-notch speaker out of California. He’s been preaching the Gospel for 12 years after being saved from atheism.

On Saturday afternoon, we will be doing a Q&A with all of our speakers, and on Sunday evening at 6 pm, we’ll be having the grand finale concert. This is going to be an amazing, God-glorifying event!

God never changes, but God is always changing the hearts of people like Brian and I. God never changes, but he is changing our city; He loves and wants to change Yakima. So, I beg of every believer: let us have an event where the walls of every denomination crumble, where Christ is exalted. We are not perfect, and our doctrines are not perfect…but we have a perfect Savior. Let us come together.

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