God Works Through Relationships
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

I feel the longer we are here the deeper our relationships grow, and the wider the ministry reaches. We’ve often prayed that the Lord would enlarge our borders. The journey has been much more crooked and with more lows than we could have ever imagined, but still God is on the move.

One of our believes is that ministry flows out of relationship. God’s Spirit seems to be unleashed as kingdom minded ministries work together.

The Lord brought this point home to me as I participated in a meeting with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) last week. It warmed my heart to rub shoulders with such wonderful servants of the Lord. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the group, and he and his family are special friends.

The Spirit Enlarges Our Borders – Praise Him!
Dave Preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo - Terrazas

Thankful for opportunities to share the Word with my friends from LMT

Later in the week I had the chance to preach at El Niño, the mother church for Lo Mejor del Trigo. Pastor Daniel was the pastor of this church, and he recently handed over the reins to his son, Pastor Turi Nuñez.

Dawn, Hannah and I also spent some time with some friends in Ensenada and San Antonio de las Minas, which is near Ensenada. God is opening up some doors for us in these places as well.

We rejoice in the breath of the Spirit. He moves in a powerful way. It’s so easy for relationships to go awry. We’ve seen some of that as well. Another motive for prayer.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray with us that Jesus will continue to deepen, strengthen and widen these relationships. We have some important ministry opportunities taking place over the summer.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate with Lo Mejor del Trigo in the inauguration of their 25th church. Half way there, in their goal to plant 50 churches! Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave


Keys to Transformation
Growing and learning together - Keys for a Transformed Life

Growing and learning together – Keys for a Transformed Life

This last week was tremendously gratifying as the Lord brought together a dream that Dawn and I have been working on for two years. Our friends from Ministerios Fuente de Gracia (Fountain of Grace Ministry) came and led a training seminar in Tijuana on Keys for a Transformed Life. We held the course at the Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) El Niño church.

I’ve written a lot about LMT in the past and the leader of this church planting movement, pastor Daniel Nuñez. Daniel, the pastors and leaders of the 25 churches they have planted are wonderful friends and partners in ministry. We often stop and give thanks for them!

This Spring Pastor Daniel went to San Antonio de Las Minas, near Ensenada with me. We took seven pastors from LMT, and God used that time to minister to them in a deep and profound way.

While we were in San Antonio de las Minas we began to think through and plan on bringing the teaching to Tijuana so more pastors and church leaders could attend.

The Basics – Faith & Repentance
One of the learning activities during the course

One of the learning activities during the course

More than 50 people attended the course last week. We dealt with some basic and deep foundational issues. The people heard about the importance of practicing forgiveness and repentance in their Christian life. They learned what it means to be sons and daughters of God. Then as we soaked up these basic principles there was opportunity at the end of the session for us to meet in small groups to practice what we were learning.

It’s beautiful to see the Spirit break through. Many wept as they shared, because of the pain involved in the root causes. With the tears there is a release and as people confess to one another and to God, He shows up and brings comfort and healing.

Dawn and I feel like this is, as the name implies, one of the most transformational courses we’ve been through. Also, as we’ve been able to share the teaching with others we’ve seen God change people from the inside out.

Healing in the Lives of Pastors and Leaders
The group that completed the course

The group that completed the course

A number of the pastors and leaders we work with have deep wounds that they’ve never been able to deal with, because they haven’t had the opportunity to do so. They are in a difficult situation, because many people in the church look up to them, so they don’t know where to turn for help. They are stuck.

The leaders in the churches feel afraid to open up, so they go on limping along not knowing how to be set free. It’s a process to be sure, but it’s amazing to see the process begin and to play a part in that!

On the final night of the course everyone had an opportunity to give a short testimony on how God had used the teaching in their lives. It was gratifying to hear so many positive reports of how the Lord had met them during the week.

Dawn and I pray that the Lord will continue to heal and to bring  transformation in the hearts of men and women on the border and the Baja! Thanks for the part you play in seeing this become a reality.

In His Grip, Dave


Hannah & IMPACT 195
Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Our whole family is celebrating this week as our daughter, Hannah just started a discipleship training school at IMPACT 195. It’s so good to see the healing work that the Lord is doing in the life of Hannah.

The yearlong program started this last Tuesday. The first week they hold an open house to welcome in the new students, and those who are exploring the program. Dawn and I attended some of the sessions with Hannah. We were impressed by the quality of the staff. Many of them shared amazing testimonies of how God has changed their lives.

We observed the loving and caring hearts of those that are running the program. It encourages us and gives us increased confidence as Hannah begins her year of training.

God’s Wonderful Provision
Worship is a big priority at IMPACT 195

Worship is a big priority at IMPACT 195

One of the challenges in having Hannah go through this discipleship school was raising the $6,100 tuition. A week before Hannah began she still had over $2,000 to go. It gave us a lot of hope that she raised up as much as she did in about a month.

Then on Tuesday when Hannah and I arrived we spoke with the person in charge of finances and she said that Hannah only needed $120 more.

It brought tears to my eyes as we realized the Lord’s continued and ongoing faithfulness. On Friday I met with a friend, who said he and his wife would cover the last $120.

Praise God for his wonderful provision!

The Lord Hears Our Prayers!


Hannah’s been through some tough trials over the last year and a half. Many of you prayed for Hannah and for our family. God heard our prayers! He has answered even above and beyond what we could ask or think!

We continue to look to the Lord for the ongoing and beautiful work he is doing in Hannah’s life, and in the life of our family.

Lord, hear our prayer as you use IMPACT 195 in a profound way in Hannah’s life. Continue to draw her closer to you, and to mature as a young woman of faith. To you be all the Honor and Glory!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! —Psalm 30:11,12 ESV

Thanks so much for all the encouraging notes that you have sent us, and all the love you’ve shown us as we’ve walked through this.

In His Grip, Dave


A Glorious Sunday of Worship
Dave preaching at LMT Plan Libertador in Rosarito

Dave preaching at LMT Plan Libertador in Rosarito

Today (Sunday) was an invigorating day! It’s so good to see God’s church in action. The church growing, and reaching out to the glory of God!

In the morning I was able to visit and preach at Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) Plan Libertador in Rosarito. Victor Bravo pastors this young church, which we helped him and his wife, Sol launch this past March.

Victor and Sol are some of my favorite people. They have so much energy and enthusiasm and it’s plan to see that they love their people and the people love them.

Dave & Pastor Victor Bravo in front of the church

Dave & Pastor Victor Bravo in front of the church

I preached on Christ’s tender invitation to come learn from him, and rest in him from Matthew 11:25-30. I’ve been camped out on that passage for a while now. It was hot in the church today, so I feared the congregation might take my exhortation to rest literally. Fortunately, they stayed awake and I sensed the Lord used His Word to lift up the spirit of the people.

Even though this church is only a few months old they already have about 40 people in their service. Victor and Sol are doing an outstanding job in showing the love of Christ in the community of Plan Libertador. I wish all our church plants would start off like this one is.

That’s our continued prayer. Lord, build your church.

7 Year Milestone at LMT La Morita
Jaime & Valentina on the far right receiving a plaque of recognition for their 7 years of ministry at the church

Jaime & Valentina on the far right receiving a plaque of recognition for their 7 years of ministry at the church

In the afternoon I was able to go to LMT La Morita in Tijuana to celebrate their seventh anniversary. My good friend, pastor Jaime Rodriguez is leading this church. He planted the church with his wife, Valentina in 2008.

Jaime also ministers as the Hispanic pastor of Bridge church in San Diego. I really enjoy working with him. As I’ve said before it’s a real privilege for me to minister with the men and women like Jaime & Valentina and Victor and Sol.

So encouraging to visit these two churches, and see how God’s Spirit is working in each church.

God’s Amazing Work – What a Joy!

When I pray and think about the future and what God wants to do on the border and throughout the Baja I keep being reminded of Ephesians 3:20.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 ESV)

I love  the idea of Christ doing far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. It doesn’t only say abundantly, but the passage says far more abundantly. God can and will do more than we can even ask or think of. I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope.

Sometimes I get frustrated when I try to do the ministry in my own strength, or even when I lean on my own understanding too much.

So many wonderful promises in the Bible to keep me going in the right direction, and to remind me who’s in charge.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭127:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Thanks for praying and standing with us as we minister here, and see God fulfilling his promise to build his church.
In His Grip, Dave
Breakthrough on the Border & the Baja
Celebrating the Lord's Supper at Dios es Amor

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper at Dios es Amor

We are praying for a breakthrough on the border and the Baja. Dawn and I know that for the church to grow, and for God’s kingdom to expand here that his Spirit must work in the heart of men and women. It’s a work that only God can do, but he gives us the privilege to be involved.

It excites us as the Lord opens new doors, and connects us with all the great people who are serving in this part of the world.

Dios es Amor

Today (Sunday) Dawn, David Jr., Hannah and I visited a church called Dios es Amor. It’s a church that’s been around for a while. They have a wonderful facility, but only a remnant remains.

Efrain & Jenny with their two boys

Efrain & Jenny with their two boys

We enjoyed the opportunity to encourage them and be with Pastor Efrain Romero and his wife, Jenny. Efrain and Jenny just started ministering at Dios es Amor. They have a lot of energy and they desire to see the church grow.

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Efrain and Jenny, and we look forward to seeing how God will use them. We look to the Lord for breakthrough and we ask him to awaken this church, and many others. Use our friends, Efrain and Jenny to point many people to the savior.

We realize that there is a need for church renewal and church revitalization as well as church planting.

Hear Our Prayer!
Dave praying during the service for Dios es Amor

Dave praying during the service for Dios es Amor

We already see God doing many encouraging things as he touches lives and brings about transformation. O Lord, that this would be just the beginning of something much greater. Ignite a holy fire in Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali, Los Cabos and La Paz (in all of the Baja).

Thank you Lord for hearing our prayer. Continue your holy and amazing work! We know that you will build your church. Continue to open more doors for us, and lead the way!

Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave




The Beginnings of a New Church
Victor & Fanny Gonzalez with their daughter, Xaris

Victor & Fanny Gonzalez with their daughter, Xaris

Dawn, Hannah and I just returned from an amazing week in Los Cabos, La Paz and Puerto Vallarta. The first half of our trip we visited our fellow MTW missionaries Peter and Jenny Boling, and our national church planters Victor and Fanny Gonzalez.

We are thrilled by all God is doing at the southern end of Baja California. The Bolings and the Gonzalez are building a strong foundation for the beginnings of the new church planting project in La Paz.

Victor and Fanny are getting to know the city, the needs, and the people. It takes a lot of time, and it’s imperative as they begin this project. We are praying with them for wisdom and direction.

Pray for Direction for the Bolings
Dave, Dawn and Hannah with Peter & Jenny, Victor, Fanny and Xaris in La Paz

Dave, Dawn and Hannah with Peter & Jenny, Victor, Fanny and Xaris in La Paz

Peter and Jenny Boling play an invaluable role in encouraging them, praying with them and supporting them along the way.

The Bolings are in the process of praying about moving their family from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz, which is about a two-hour drive across the peninsula. They would like to be more directly involved in this new church plant. We are excited about the possibility!

Join us in prayer that the Lord will make clear to the Peter and Jenny what he has for them. At this point they are leaning towards making the move, and we look forward to what God will do. Victor and Fanny are a loving couple and they have many gifts. They will be even stronger and more effective if they have a team to work with them.

Jesus Will Build His Church

It’s not an easy thing to start a church from scratch. The Lord is one who builds his church, so we are looking to him and trusting him.

Jesus said,

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. —Matthew 16:18

An aerial view of La Paz, Baja California

An aerial view of La Paz, Baja California

The Lord continues this work of building his church. He promises that he will build it, and that the gates of hell shall not be able to contain what God is doing. Our God is greater and more powerful than any force that the enemy would seek to lift up against us. We are in a battle, but we are on the winning side!

Dawn, Hannah and I were grateful we could connect with these two very special families.

We are praying for them, and asking the Lord to do a great work that the city of La Paz will be transformed by the gospel. That the city will be true to it’s name a city full of peace.

In His Grip, Dave



The Gospel in Cabo & La Paz
Pastor Victor Gonzalez on the left with Peter Boling and the core group for the new church

Pastor Victor Gonzalez on the left with Peter Boling and the core group for the new church in La Paz, Baja California

Dawn, Hannah and I are on our way to Cabo San Lucas and La Paz today. It’s exciting that the Lord worked it out for the three of us to go together.

We just sent a church planter to La Paz in May. Victor Gonzalez has been in La Paz with his wife, Fanny for the last four months getting set up. They are off to a good start as they meet people and work on developing a core group to launch the church.

Mission to the World missionaries, Peter and Jenny Boling are currently living in Cabo San Lucas. They’ve begun helping Victor and Fanny.

Praying for Wisdom & Direction
Peter & Jenny on the left with Emilio & Mytee

Peter & Jenny on the left with Emilio & Mytee some key leaders they are discipling and ministering with in Cabo San Lucas

One of the reasons for this trip is to work with the two couples on strategizing how they can best work together. The Bolings are considering moving to La Paz, so they can be more directly involved in this church planting project.

Our desire is to see the Border and all of Baja California and Beyond transformed by the gospel. We believe the church is the instrument God has chosen to carry the good news and to bring about transformation in the hearts of men and women as they encounter Christ.

Pray that the Lord leads and guides our time together, so that it is fruitful. We also want to be a blessing, an encouragement to our friends.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer as the gospel goes forth.

In His Grip, Dave


Ty & Terri’s Incredible Influence
Terri & Ty Schenzel

Terri & Ty Schenzel

This week as I’ve been grieving the loss of my friends, Ty & Terri Schenzel a couple of things have happened. One is as I followed the news and their memorial page on Facebook, I learned what a huge impact they made in Omaha. They touched literally thousands. More than 3,000 attended their funeral, and an estimated 13,000 watched it via the internet.

I knew they were amazing people, but the impact they made, the influence they had was incredible.

The memorial service was held on Wednesday, August 26th. You can read more about the service and their lives here…

They Shared An Extraordinary Marriage

Ty & Terri shared an extraordinary love for one another

My wife, Dawn directed me to an article written about Ty and Terri’s marriage. A young woman, Melissa Joy Kong traveled around the United States and interviewed 100 couples that had extraordinary marriages. Ty & Terri were one of the couples she interviewed, and Melissa said they stood out from the other couples, because of the Schenzel’s warmth and the obvious love they demonstrated for one another.

You can find the article here, which includes an audio interview.

Ty & Terri Finished Well

As I reflect on their lives I feel proud of what my friends accomplished. I’m so Glad to have known them. I regret not having more contact with them since we left seminary.

They lived well and they finished well. The apostle Paul exhorted the church to run in such a way that we receive the prize. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Then later at the end of his life he tells Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

In reflecting on the wonderful legacy that Ty and Terri left, it causes me to consider what kind of legacy am I building? What influence and impact does my life have? Those are good questions to consider.

One of our seminary professors, Dr. William Iverson used to talk to us about outliving and out dying our generation. Ty and Terri accomplished that, may we follow their example and do the same.

Grieving & Reconnecting
Students from ISOT in the Core Module - led by Dr. William Iverson

Students from ISOT in the Core Module – led by Dr. William Iverson

As part of my grieving process, last week I started to contact all my old friends from seminary. Friends who knew Ty and Terri and because of that we shared a common bond.

I found the reconnection to be refreshing, and to bring me a level of comfort and healing. One of the classmates I connected with was Dieter Zander. As we chatted I learned about the amazing journey he’s been on over the last several years. I asked him if it would be okay for me to share his story with others, and he said yes, so next week I hope to write about his life and the redeeming work that God is doing.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15

I’m so thankful that we have a loving God who makes sense of this crazy world that we live in. He brings order out of the chaos. He gives us hope when it seems hopeless.

In His Grip, Dave