Our Leaders

DEEPER is led by John and Unisha Arends, a husband-wife team. They are passionate about seeing this generation walk in the fulness of their destiny as powerful lovers of Jesus.

John has been on staff at The River for many years, starting when he was a teen himself, and currently oversees the worship, media, youth and young adults ministries. As a teen, John began to have powerful encounters with God's love and power. As he witnessed powerful miracles, he realized that if Jesus is worth following at all, He is worth following all the way. Now John lives to know God more and to see everyone he meets encounter Jesus too. John has a bachelor's degree in Professional Communication from Regent University and is ordained by Global Awakening (the ministry of Randy Clark). John also happens to be a recording artist, which is pretty cool. Check out his music at johnarendsmusic.com.

Unisha was born in the nation of Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayas, sandwiched between India and China. She grew up not knowing about the love of Jesus. But when she was a university student in India, she had a powerful encounter with the love of Jesus when she was brought to church by a friend. She worked as medical doctor for 5 years. After attending a leaders conference by The River in Thailand--and after falling in love with John--she attended Fire School and moved to the USA. She has experienced that with God nothing is impossible and His love is an unquenchable love. She now has a passion to see youth experience this love and power for themselves and to see them come to know that they are valuable and can change the world.



Favorite food: Cow stomach and intestines (Bhutanese dishes).
Favorite place: John's arms.
Hobbies: All outdoor activities, like hiking, running and swimming.
Favorite Quotes: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world" (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity). "There's food in the fridge" (from anyone).
Dislikes: The smell of raw squid intestines.
Odd fact #1: I enjoy the smell of skunk!
Odd fact #2: I am 4 feet 9 inches tall.


Favorite food: Insanely hot and spicy chilies!!!! And coffee.
Favorite place: Asia.
Hobbies: I hate music. Just kidding. I like making funny videos, recording music, cooking Asian food, and hiking.
Favorite Quotes: From anybody, "Do you want to go get coffee?" From other people, "Here's some money and lots of diamonds." From Jesus, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Dislikes: Yard work.
Odd fact #1: I have eaten the hottest chile in the world.
Odd fact #2: I have taken a nap with a kangaroo. True story.