Open Doors in Osaka
Mie's brother, Hideaki (on the right) at their family run restaurant

Mie’s brother, Hideaki (on the right) at their family run restaurant

The Lord opened up a great door for me here in Osaka, Japan. I’m here visiting Issaid and Mie Arechiga, who are friends I’ve known for over 20 years. They were in the first church plant Dawn and I worked at while we ministered in Mexico City.

Osaka is a city of more than 17 million people, and less than 1% call on the name of Jesus!

Mie’s family lives here, and I’ve had a couple of chances to meet her brother, Hideaki. He doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Japanese so our communication has been limited. Mie has been kind enough to translate for us.

Komachi and Takayasu Disease
Issaid & Mie Arechiga

Issaid & Mie Arechiga

Mie and Issaid shared with me that Hideaki’s daughter, Komachi has Takayasu disease, also known as aortic arch syndrome. It’s a condition that affects the arteries and it mainly affects women of Asian descent. Komachi is only ten years old, and she’s been in the hospital since July, because of this disease. The latest news is that she is expected to be in the hospital until November.

No one in Mie’s family believes in Christ. She feels burdened for her family. While Issaid and Mie are living in Japan they have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with their family.

The Gospel in Japan
Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

I asked Mie and her brother if I could go to the hospital to pray for his daughter. He said yes! So this morning Issaid, Mie and I went to the hospital and we met Hideaki there. We went up to the floor that Komachi was on, and we shared Jesus with them.

We didn’t have much time, because of the schedule they keep at the hospital. Mie translated for me as I shared how sickness and death entered the world through Adam.

Our hope is in Christ alone. He is the answer to man’s sin.

Japanese people are on the shy side, but I felt like it was a good first step.

Then after Mie and I shared the gospel with her brother and her niece we prayed for the Lord’s healing touch. I’m praying that God will hear our prayer and she will be healed.

Lord, Hear Our Prayer!

O Lord, that you would show your mercy to this family and bring healing. As they see you work in a powerful way that they would also recognize that you are the true Lord and Savior. That they will bow the knee to you O Lord. Give Mie and Issaid wisdom and open doors to share the love of Christ with Hideaki, Komachi and the rest of the family.

Dear friends, please join us in prayer for this family. Japan is one of the most unreached nations on the planet. God often uses small things, so we pray he might use this testimony. Holy Spirit be poured out, and wake up this family and this slumbering people.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Lord’s Special Gift!
Issaid & Dave with Issaid's English class

Issaid & Dave with the students Issaid’s English class

The Lord has blessed me with a special gift. I’m in Japan for a few days with our friends, Issaid and Mie Arechiga who Dawn and I first met in Mexico City. Next week I will be involved in Mission to the World’s (MTW) leadership meeting in Cambodia.

It seemed like the perfect time to visit Arechigas as I’m on my way to Cambodia. After we left Mexico City Dawn and I caught up to Issaid and Mie on the border. They were involved in our first church plant in Mexico, and then a church plant we are helping with on the border.

Last year they moved to Japan, where Mie is originally from. They are working on returning to the U.S. We’ve missed them a great deal. It’s a real gift to be able to spend this time with them.

The Beauty of Japan & The Need for Christ
One of the temples in Kyoto, Japan

One of the temples in Kyoto, Japan

Japan is a beautiful country with good people. It’s one of the safest places in the world to live. There’s only one problem, very few of them know Christ. Less than 1% of the population call on the name of Jesus Christ.

This is the paradox of Japan. On the outside things seem just fine, but when you lift up the hood you realize that it’s not as healthy as it first seemed.

It breaks my heart to see such a wonderful people lost. They are doing well in many ways. They are a moral people. For these reasons and more they don’t see their need for God.

There is not the poverty here or the violence that one finds in Mexico. Yet, there is a profound spiritual poverty that they are blind to.

MTW has a large missions force here, and the Lord is using them to make a difference, but it is slow work. Pray for their strength and that the Lord will encourage them as they labor.

The only hope for Japan is found in Christ!

O Lord, would you open the eyes of the people here so that they would see their need for a savior. Work in their hearts so that they might realize that they are poor in spirit and in need of a great Savior, Jesus Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church planting incubator

Church planting incubator

Last week I was in Monterrey, Mexico with pastor Ivan Casados from Tijuana and MTW colleague, Jim DeWitt among others. It was an exciting time going through the church planting incubator.

I felt like it was the beginning of the realization of a dream that I’ve had for the Border and the Baja. I desire to work with our team to see church planters trained and equipped so that they are better prepared to plant a church.

What a thrill to have the most recent church planter that we’ve partnered with Ivan Casados going through the training. We hope to be able to bring this training to other church planters we are working with in Tijuana, but this was a wonderful first step!

I’m so thankful for our partners with Lo Mejor del Trigo. God is blessing their efforts and our partnership as they work towards planting 50 churches.

While we were in Monterrey Jim DeWitt put together a video with the help of one of our other colleagues Jarett Hall. Here it is for your enjoyment.

God is doing wonderful things on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Healing Work
Pastor Leo Nevarez and Dave

Pastor Leo Nevarez and Dave

On returning from Monterrey, Mexico I called Pastor Leo Nevarez. They operated on Leo a week ago to remove a “cancerous” tumor from his kidney.

We prayed for more than a month that God would heal Leo before the surgery!

I must admit I doubted whether the Lord would answer our prayer, but I wanted to believe him for it. Then after the surgery Pastor Daniel Nuñez posted on Facebook that God had miraculously healed Leo. Part of me still wondered. Forgive my lack of faith Lord.

Leo told me that they took out the tumor, which they thought was cancerous. They didn’t have to take out his kidney, because the tumor was near his kidney, but not in his kidney.

Then after they took the tumor out and they examined it the doctors said the tumor was benign. Leo is cancer free!

Thank You Jesus for Your Healing Touch!
pastor Leo leading us in prayer

Pastor Leo leading us in prayer during an outreach event at the border

Before the surgery when they did all the analysis it was showing that the tumor was cancerous, so how this happened apart from God’s intervention no one knows.

Dawn and I rejoice along with all of our friends at Lo Mejor del Trigo. We are thrilled for Leo and Gloria. What a huge victory!

The church that Leo leads in Rosarito is growing. People are coming to Christ. They are ministering to the homeless, to drug addicts and to other needy people in the name of Christ.

God is glorified in and through this church. He is lifted up through his healing work! Hallelujah!!!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Planter Training
Dave & Ivan in Monterrey, Mexico

Dave & Ivan in Monterrey, Mexico

Today we are finishing up our church planter’s incubator training in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s been a wonderful experience!

This morning pastor Ivan Casados who’s going through the training told me that it’s not only met, but exceeded his expectations. That is good news. Ivan is the first pastor from Tijuana that we’ve had go through this training. Our hope is that one day soon we will hold the training in Tijuana, which will help us tremendously in building a stronger church planting movement.

We are seeing a number of churches planted in Tijuana, but there is still a need for more and better preparation and training for our church planters.

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed about the church planting incubator is the variety of the types of men that are here. There are guys from different denominational backgrounds. Some are full-time pastors, some are bi-vocational pastors, some are not yet pastoring.

The Lord is using this to better prepare these men, but also to lift up their vision for the great need for church planting in Mexico.

Praying for La Paz
Church planting incubator

Church planting incubator

We’ve prayed for a church planter for La Paz, Baja California. La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur. There aren’t any Reformed churches presently in this city. We do have a candidate here that is considering working with us and leading the church plant in La Paz.

He’s still in the beginning process of praying with his wife about where the Lord is calling them, so I won’t mention his name. Please join us in prayer for him and his wife. Pray that the Lord will raise up the right person for the job.

Hope for New Church Planting Projects
Praying for the cities we represent for new churches and renewed cities

Praying for the cities we represent for new churches and renewed cities

While I’ve been here I’ve also been able to work on developing new church planting projects for Tijuana and Ensenada. It starts with the vision and prayer. As I get ready to fly back home later today, I leave with more hope for the future. The Lord is giving me greater hope and a renewed vision for reaching people through starting churches on the border and in the Baja.

Thanks so much for praying with us! I know the Lord hears our prayers. There’s so many things that have to come together for these projects to get off the ground that I am continually reminded if the Lord doesn’t build the house our labor is in vain.

O Lord, we don’t want our labor to be in vain. Build your church!

In HIs Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Training for Church Planters
Dave with Pastor Ivan

Dave with Pastor Ivan on the foundation for the new church plant – taken before we built the church

Pastor Ivan Casados and I are in Monterrey, Mexico for church planting training with other Mexican church planters. I’m grateful that Ivan can go through this training, and that I can be here with him. The Lord has given us an opportunity to learn together.

Our hope is that through this training Ivan will be better equipped to plant his church with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Ribera del Bosque. Ivan and his wife, Rocio are off to a good start. They have doubled in size growing from 30 to 60 since April.

We praise the Lord for his good work through them!

A Great Opportunity!

It is a great opportunity for us to work with Mission to the World’s (MTW) Monterrey team. The Church Planting Center, which are Monterrey team operates is a great resource for us. The team here is more advanced in some areas than we are on the border, so I want to learn from them and collaborate with them.

As we work with the team in Monterrey our ministry on the border and the Baja will be able to advance in providing training for church planters. I’m also partnering with the Monterrey team to develop mentoring/coaching for our church planters.

Coming Alongside Our Church Planters
Monterrey, Mexico

Monterrey, Mexico

Our church planters are great people who love the Lord, but they need support. Most people who are starting new churches flounder if they don’t have any type of training or coaching, We desire to see our churches and the leaders of our churches thrive.

One of the things I’ve learned in my years of ministry is that it is not easy to work in partnership with other ministries. It seems that there are many obstacles, and one of the principle ones can be our ego.

On the other hand, it is powerful when God’s people come together for the kingdom. I believe this is one of the reasons it’s so hard to pull it off. The enemy seeks to derail kingdom work.

Join Us In Prayer

Dawn and I covet your prayers as we attempt to develop this training for our work on the border and the Baja. We realize we are a target. We need for the Lord to guide us and protect as we seek to see the advance of the kingdom. Ultimately we want to see the church grow for the glory of God. We pray that many will call on the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Need of Many Pastors
Dawn with Rocio and Ivan

Dawn with Rocio and Ivan

I’m excited about seeing pastors equipped to do their work. The pastors I work with our choice men. They love God and they love the people they are serving.

Yet, there is a problem that I see frequently. Many of them have little training. This is especially pronounced when you compare the training they are receiving to what most church planters in the U.S. receive.

Training in Monterrey, Mexico
Some of the pastors that we are working with in Tijuana

Some of the pastors that we are working with in Tijuana

That is one of the reasons I’m stoked that this next week I will be taking our good friend, pastor Ivan Casados to Monterrey Mexico for training on church planting. This will be a time of learning for both of us. We will learn together, and by going with Ivan it enables me to better coach and encourage him.

I am collaborating with our Mission to the World (MTW) team in Monterrey, Mexico. Our team there has developed The Center for Church Planting, which provides training for church planters. My hope is that one day we will be able to offer this training in Tijuana, but we are not there yet. Even though it’s hard to be patient, I know that’s what the Lord is calling us to.

MTW has a wonderful team in Monterrey, and I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to partner with them in ministry. It’s what kingdom work is all about – ministering with and alongside others to see God’s kingdom expand on earth.

This remains our prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. O Lord, Hear our prayer! Hear our cry for help!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org