Founder/Director of Desert Stream Ministries, a ministry that deals with the healing of various sexual and relational problems
Education: B.A. in English and French, UCLA; M.Div. in Marriage and Family Counseling, Fuller Seminary
Married to Annette, four children
Andrew Comiskey started his own journey of healing from sexual brokenness 25 years ago. He was a practicing homosexual who was changed by the power of God's transforming love. His new book, Strength in Weakness, addresses sexual and relational brokenness, and the process of healing through God's love and the power of the Cross. Andrew wants to equip people to take their places in the Body of Christ to help heal the broken. He says this comes through people getting healed of their sexual and relational brokenness, then in turn helping others.
To this Andrew adds, "People need a face and the hope of healing -- people need to be able to deal with sexual and relational issues honestly and openly." When people who are broken see that real people can go through the process of healing, it helps them heal, too. Dealing practically with issues of sexual and relational issues is important to the healing process. Instead of spouting off Scriptures, it is necessary for people to live and demonstrate practical solutions to problems -- to face, deal with, and walk through issues.
Healing takes a long time, says Andrew. It is not a pretty package; people must face the issues with God. The Church wants tidiness in the healing process, but Andrew says that when someone is really trying to heal, things aren't tidy. The power to heal comes through the power of God, but it is a process. Andrew also says that reality and the community of God are key to healing. One needs to find trustworthy confidants. There is healing grace in trustworthy people.
Andrew explains that God is an advocate, not an enemy. "He [God] is a friend of the weak, a point of refuge in weakness, not an adversary. Realizing this will break down the shame and help in healing. When the shame barrier is down, the healing can begin," he says. Healing is not a distant, intangible, or far away thing -- it is rooted in the God who is present. The Cross is crucial in the healing process. Jesus was broken for us. Andrew says there needs to be a new awareness of the Cross, a personal awareness. People need to understand what it means to daily bear the Cross. He also says the grace of what Jesus did at the Cross is always there. People need to walk out the healing process. The Lord is with us. There is hope of real change. God doesn't leave us the same.
Still in Process
Andrew says that he still struggles with past desires. Recently, Andrew and his wife, Annette, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by going to New York City. While they were there, they had time to reflect on how God healed each of them of personal brokenness -- Andrew of homosexuality, and Annette of childhood sexual abuse -- and how God has blessed their lives. However, Andrew found himself being seduced by homosexuality in the New York City culture. Andrew "came to his senses," and he and Annette asserted their identities in Jesus Christ and prayed for the people in that area of New York to turn their lives over to Jesus.
Andrew says of this incident and the ongoing process that the healing comes from firmly making choices in God. It's not about accommodating sin; it's about having to rely on God. He also says it is not something to achieve. It is important to lay a good foundation, God's foundation. God has a high call on humanity, and however feeble we are, God is our hope and our boast.
Andrew says taking a stand in the nation about homosexuality is directly related to dealing honestly about sexual dysfunction in our own camp. It must be based in integrity, not just in word, but in deed. He thinks he is not only wholeheartedly an activist, but a healer as well. He challenges the Church to ask itself, What are we doing practically in our churches, and how are we taking a stand? Andrew believes that if the Church dealt honestly with its sins on an ongoing basis, sins like same-sex marriage, what is happening in today's society wouldn't have gotten so bad or be so surprising. Andrew thinks that the Church needs to work together to fill in the gaps of need and to heal. That healing should be something the whole Church body is involved in, not an isolated few.
Re-Evaluating The Gay Lifestyle
Andrew was raised in a mainline church where he was taught rituals and creeds but little about salvation. At an early age, he developed an unusual desire for feminine things. The ambiguity of not being quite secure in either a girl's or a boy's role began to take up residence in him. As he grew, his life became more complicated and confusing. He acquired a hypersensitivity to remarks about his lack of masculinity. With puberty came the realization of another difference -- his sexual desires were toward other males.
As he kept his secret through junior high, the inner struggle continued. His identity became increasingly blurred. He didn't understand what he was developing into or why. High school didn't shed much light on the question until he met others with the same struggle. They began to frequent the Hollywood disco scene, and by high school graduation, they were ready to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.
Andrew and a friend moved into the "gay ghetto" area of Long Beach, and the downward spiral quickened. After being gang-raped and beaten up at a party and hit with several bouts of VD, Andrew decided to re-evaluate his "liberating" move. A great need had arisen in his life that nothing in sight could meet.
Founding of Desert Stream
When his two older brothers became Christians, Andrew was skeptical, but he knew his own spiritual need was great. When he found a good friend from high school who was saved, Andrew was encouraged and gave his life to Jesus in November 1976. Problems with his roommate and gay friends arose. Most of the difficulty was Andrew's shaky spiritual foundation, due in part to pride and lack of sensitivity from other Christians. He moved back home where sometimes the tension between flesh and Spirit seemed unbearable, but each time he sought God. Choosing God brought Andrew the grace to go on.
He transferred to UCLA where he met his future wife, Annette, who extended herself to him, regardless of his past. He got involved in a local church that had group meetings for former homosexuals. At his own church, he was often called upon to counsel homosexuals. The church elders suggested he start an ex-homosexual support group. Thus began Desert Stream, a Bible study for homosexuals seeking victory over homosexuality.
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