Celebrating Pastor Daniel & LMT!
Praying for Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Yolanda at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Praying for Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Yolanda at Lo Mejor del Trigo

On Sunday Dawn and I participated in a wonderful worship service with our friends from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). We felt so blessed to be there to celebrate with them.

During the service a number of pastors and leaders including us gave testimony to pastor Daniel Nuñez, who leads LMT. It was Daniel’s birthday, so we took time to recognize him. He and his family have become special friends to us, and it was a real joy to celebrate his birthday.

Kingdom Growth Through LMT
Dave with Pastor Femi Awodele, pastor Jesus Rodriguez and one of the families of the church including a selfie!

Dave with Pastor Femi Awodele, Pastor Jesus Rodriguez and one of the families of the church including a selfie!

The part that I felt especially excited about  is that as we celebrated Daniel’s life it was not just about the man, but about the vision and what God has done through LMT. They are getting ready to start their 24th church in March. We have the privilege of helping with that project.

God gave Daniel the vision to plant 50 churches in his life time, and they are almost half way there in less than 10 years. The Lord is so good.

There were a number of friends at the service to take part in the special day. Many churches represented their partnership with Daniel and LMT to help make the vision a realty. Wow! It’s so good to see the Lord bring different groups together so that the kingdom would expand. The preacher that spoke was a special guest from Nigeria, pastor Femi Awodele. What a group!

There is joy when there is life. There is joy where there is growth.

God is doing his amazing work through these faithful friends. We are so thankful that we are part of what God is doing.

Pray for Expansion and Protection

As I’ve shared before, it often seems as God blesses we see more opposition. The opposition is often painful. It can be personal. We know the Lord is watching over and protecting our family. Yet we do get attacked.

Continue to pray for the expansion of the church, and for his protection over us. We are in the middle of two heavy weeks of ministry, and at the same time we are dealing with a huge trial in our family.

We look to Jesus! We look to the Cross of Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Victor & Sol’s Story of Grace
Victor & Sol Bravo

Victor & Sol Bravo

Dawn and I loved the time we spent this last week with Lo Mejor del Trigo’s newest church planting couple, Victor and Sol Bravo. They are a wonderful young couple with an amazing testimony.

Victor shared how he found himself in prison while he was working with recovering drug addicts. The police accused him of something he hadn’t done, because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time while helping rehabbing drug addicts.

The Pain of Prison

While Victor was in prison he was abused and the prison conditions were horrible. Meanwhile, the church Victor ministered at was faithfully praying for his release. Sol who had met Victor briefly at the church wrote him a letter to encourage him. They didn’t really know each other yet, but the letter was a great source of encouragement to Victor.

He faced the potential of being in prison 6 to 9 years! The church kept praying and fasting, and they had a lawyer working on the case.

Free At Last!

Finally, after much prayer and the work of the lawyers Victor was found innocent and released from prison. The Lord set Victor free!

Once he got out of prison he and Sol got to know one another through their church. Sol has a Masters in psychology. They seemed like an unlikely couple.  At the time Victor wasn’t working, he had just gotten out of prison and Sol had thought she would marry a doctor or someone who had a professional degree. Yet God has a way of surprising us!

The Lord doesn’t always work in conventional ways. Sol and Victor were married, and God is building into their lives and their family.

Free to Share the Good News of the Gospel
The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

God has already opened some amazing doors for them to minister. In March we will be helping them to start a new church in Rosarito, which is just south of Tijuana.

Victor and Sol are wonderful, choice servants of the Lord. Dawn and I feel privileged to be able to work with them. We can’t wait to see how the Lord will use them in this new church.

Pray with us as the Lord goes before us and brings this work together. We look forward to seeing the community radically transformed by the gospel.

Thank you Jesus for our friends, Victor and Sol Bravo! Thank you for your good and holy work.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fiesta for Jaime
Pastor Jaime with his wife, Valentina sharing his vision for the Hispanic ministry

Pastor Jaime with his wife, Valentina sharing his vision for the Hispanic ministry

On Sunday we had a fiesta after church for our new hispanic pastor, Jaime Rodriguez. Bridge church went through a tough stretch this last summer. We lost our hispanic pastor, which caused some upheaval in the church.

The church experienced a period of mourning. God proved himself faithful during that time. He brought healing, which continues.

Joy Comes in the Morning!
Dave with Pastor Jaime Rodriguez

Dave with Pastor Jaime Rodriguez

It reminds me of his promise in Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

My heart rejoices as I see the Lord answering our prayer through Pastor Jaime and his family. Jaime’s precious wife, Valentina and their two precious girls Eneida & Eunice.

Jaime is like a much-needed breath of fresh air to the church.

It was wonderful to see such a large group from Bridge come out to celebrate.

There’s still plenty of work to do. Now rebuilding and reaching out into the community to see the church grow for Christ. We pray that we will see those in the church strengthened in their faith, and that many who do not yet know Christ will turn to him.

A Special Partnership with LMT

What makes it extra-special is that Jaime comes from our friends and partners in Tijuana, Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). Jaime started a church in La Morita in TJ that has grown to over 120 while he’s been there.

We’ve helped Lo Mejor del Trigo plant four churches over the last four years. The Lord has blessed us so richly through our relationship with them.

Join Us in Prayer

We need your prayers for Pastor Jaime as he begins to minister at Bridge. Jaime and I are working on visiting those in the church. We are also beginning go out into the community to share the gospel. This Sunday we will have a group of 150 Latino students from Destino going out in the community with us to be witnesses for Christ. Pray for a good response, and for the growth of Christ’s church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Band of Brothers & Sisters at LMT
Some of the pastors and their wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Some of the pastors and their wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo

On Monday evening Dawn and I had the privilege of being with some of my favorite people in the world, the pastors and wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). We shared a delicious meal of Birria, and then we met together upstairs in the sanctuary.

The pastors there represented the 24 churches that are part of LMT. This gives me 24 reasons and counting to be hopeful in 2015.

We Prayed for a Movement!
The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

When I first met Daniel Nuñez about 5 years ago, they only had 6 or 7 churches. It’s been thrilling to be on this ride and watch them grow from 7 to 24 in just a few short years. The Harbor network of churches who we partner with north of the border is getting ready to help LMT establish their 24th church. This will be the 4th church that LMT and Harbor have come together to start.

Before Dawn and I moved to the border we prayed to the Lord and asked him to let us be part of a church planting movement. He has heard our prayer! We are also connecting with some other ministries that desire to plant churches. One of them is the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. We are working with them to plant churches on the border and in Baja California.

The Highs & Lows of 2014
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo and Victor Bravo, one of our newest church planters with Dave. We are planning on starting a new church in Rosarito in early 2015

Getting back to Dawn and my special night with our friends from LMT. While we were together we shared our highs and lows of the year. It was a rich time to learn about the great opportunities and challenges that the pastors faced in the last year.

I shared about how this last year had been one of our most difficult years, and yet I felt that the Lord has taken us so much deeper. Our love for him has grown. It has both Dawn and I longing for more, and excited about what our Lord has for us this year. We don’t want the pain that the trial produced, but we do more of God.

Can we have one without the other? I think we can, but I also know God has a purpose and a plan for the trials he brings our way. If we do have do endure more, he will hold us up!

On the way home Dawn and I were talking to pastor Jaime Rodriguez. I told him that I felt honored to be included in the meeting with all the Lo Mejor del Trigo pastors, even though I’m not part of LMT. He said you are one of us, you are part of us. Well, that was the cherry on top of the night.

Jesus, Hear Our Prayer

Lord, I know when something grows for the kingdom that the evil one wants to attack. I pray for your protection, and that this movement will continue to blossom. Christ said in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. That gives us hope moving forward that the church is built on a firm foundation.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

2015 Are You Ready?
Stretching towards the goal in 2015

Stretching towards the goal in 2015

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle to get psyched up for the new year. After having fun with my family and taking a few days off during the holidays it’s hard to get ramped up and start over again.

How do you feel when the new year rolls around? Are you excited, or do you shrink back?

A few years ago I shared in a men’s prayer group my difficulty getting up for the new year. One of my friends in the group, who has a close connection with God gave me a word of encouragement that has stuck with me. He reminded me of Paul’s exhortation in Galatians 6.

Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  –Galatians 6:9 ESV

The Lord has used this word to give me hope and courage to take on the challenges and opportunities before me in the new year.

So dear friend, let me encourage you to not grow weary in doing good. The Lord is with you, he will give you the strength to keep on! He promises good things if you stay the course.

Love Jesus! Follow Him!
Dave, Dawn, Hannah and David Jr. with Daisy the dog

Dave, Dawn, Hannah and David Jr. with Daisy the dog

I’ve been trying to spend some extra time in prayer as 2014 closed and I begin 2015. The Lord has been reminding me to grow in my relationship with him. To make time to be still before him. To be careful not to get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent and that I should not compare myself to others.

Remember Peter and his question to Jesus about the Apostle John? Peter said what about him? Jesus said, don’t worry about him, you follow me! (My loose paraphrase of John 21:20-23).

Don’t get caught in the trap of comparison. God has a special and unique plan for each of us.

Pray!

I appreciate your prayers that this will be a fruitful year, and that Dawn and I will continue to grow in our love for Christ. Stay with us as we stay on this journey of faith. We need faithful friends like you to walk with us and encourage us along the way.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Highs and Lows of 2014
The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

At this time of year we tend to reflect on the past year. I like to take time to consider all that the Lord did in and through us during the year.

Questions like, what were the highs and lows of the year? What did we accomplish? How did my family and I grow in our faith?

God Uses Our Pain

In reflecting on the year I realize that this has been one of the hardest years I’ve experienced in a while. Yet even in the trials and pain God has shown up. In many ways, it’s been a mind-blowing year even amidst the difficulties.

The Lord has been with me all along the way! I believe some of my lows are connected to some of my highs. God has drawn me closer to him during those dark moments. He’s strengthened my faith and my love for him. I’ve seen the Lord also do an amazing work in the life of my family.

The Lord’s Amazing Work!
Before and after with the whole group in front of the church before we left

Before and after with the whole group in front of the church in Ribera del Bosque

There have also been some wonderful accomplishments this past year. One of the highlights was helping start a new church plant in Tijuana with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Ribera del Bosque. Dawn and I have loved getting to know Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio.

God is also doing some amazing things through some of our other pastor friends that we minister with in Tijuana. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the Lo Mejor del Trigo, and he and his wife are special friends. It’s always a joy to be with them.

There’s not space to mention all the pastors we work with, but here are some of the those that we’ve worked most closely with are Pastor Abraham and Martha Velazquez, Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta, Pastor Jaime and Valentina Rodriguez and Pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez.

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

Dawn and I have loved getting to know our friends from the Nueva Jerusalén (the New Jerusalem) church in Ensenada. God richly blessed the VBS outreach we held with them and Skyview Presbyterian from Denver this last summer.

I also give thanks for the pastors working in Tijuana and all of Baja California with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

We are getting ready to launch a new church in La Paz, Baja California Sur. There are a number of great men and women represented in these churches.

Bridging Cultures at the Bridge Church
Baptism - the Lord's sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

Baptism at Bridge Church

Dawn and I feel so blessed to minister with and to support the bi-lingual, multicultural Bridge Church and pastor Stephen Phelan north of the border. The church went through a difficult season this summer, but God is lifting us up and bringing healing. One exciting recent development is that one of the pastors from Lo Mejor Del Trigo, Jaime Rodriguez will be taking over as Spanish pastor for the Bridge church staring January 1st.

Giving Thanks for All the Lord has Done

I’m so grateful for all the Lord has done and is doing. He uses our brokenness. He doesn’t waste our pain. He lifts us up when we are down.

I look forward to an even better 2015!

You have played an important role in our 2014, as you’ve prayed for and encouraged us along the way. Dawn and I thank you for going on this journey with us.

Help Us to End 2014 Strong – There’s Still Time to Give

Since we are at Year-End, we are praying for the Lord to raise up the funds necessary to keep this ministry rolling.

DARK RED1 copyWould you consider a special year-end gift? You can give online here at donations.mw.org – select Diaso, David & Dawn, account #11717

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Good News of the Gospel
Jesus Loves City Heights - One of the ways we reach out in the community

Jesus Loves City Heights – One of the ways we reach out in the community

I love sharing my faith. I supposed it’s one of the reasons the Lord called me to be a missionary. It goes back some to those that influenced me when I was a new believer and being trained for the ministry. Dr. Bill Iverson, who I’ve written about in previous posts mentored and trained me in evangelism and discipleship.

Christmas and Easter are times of the year when I find people to be more open. There are more opportunities for me to share the good news of the gospel. Over the last month I’ve been able to lead six people to Christ.

What a thrill it is to see a new birth in Christ!

Pray for Good Soil that Produces Fruit

I must admit though that not all those that pray to receive Christ with me continue in the church. That’s the frustrating part. It’s like the parable of the sower and the seed. Some seed is received immediately, but the birds eat it, or the thorns choke it out and it doesn’t give fruit.

It is a battle to see people come to faith, and then for them to get plugged in and grow.

Jesus & Tacos
My friend, Martin at the taco stand

My friend, Martin at the taco stand

Over the last month Dawn and I have gotten to know one of the guys that cooks our tacos for us in Tijuana. He’s a real friendly guy named Martin. Dawn started talking to him, which opened up the door for us to share the gospel with him and leave him a gospel tract.

Last week I went back to the taco stand, and I shared some more with Martin while I was eating my tacos. I told him about the greatest gift, the gift of eternal life through Christ.

He said he wanted to receive the gift of life in Christ, and I was able to lead him in prayer to place in faith in Jesus work on the cross for his sins.

Grow in the Family
Baptism - the Lord's sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

Baptism – the Lord’s sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

I encouraged him that now he is part of a bigger family, and he needs to stay connected to the family to grow in his faith. I get concerned, because too often I see people who say they want to place their faith in Christ. They want the gift of life everlasting, but then they don’t follow through. So I’m concerned for Martin, and the others that I’ve led to Christ that they will get connected to a church and grow in their faith.

When I was leaving the taco stand. The security guy, who watches our cars while we enjoy our tacos asked me if he could have a gospel tract. I gave him one, and asked him if he had ever placed his faith in Christ. He said he was a believer.

I was thrilled to find out that he was a believer. We talked some and I told him about Martin. How Martin had just come to Christ. I encouraged him to keep talking to Martin and encourage him to grow in his faith. He told me he would follow through with that.

I left the taco stand that day feeling like I was walking in the clouds. O Lord, bring many more to yourself and cause them to grow and produce much fruit for your glory!

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray with us that Martin and the others that have recently come to Christ will get connected and grow in their faith.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org