Rolando – His Horse & Carriage
Rolando in the striped shirt taking families home from church

This last week was quite a week. We received an urgent message on Friday from our friends Pastor Mario and Yany that someone had stolen the only. horse and buggy of one of the leaders in their church, Rolando. I’ve benefited from rides on Rolando’s carriage when I’ve been in Cuba. The last time I was there, Rolando took us to meet our taxi in the city, so I could go to the airport in Havana. When I offered to give him some money to pay for his help, he didn’t want to take it. He told me that he liked to help out those from the church. I said to him, “I would like to bless you and your family,” so he finally accepted my offer.

Rolando is a wonderful and faithful servant of God. He always helps the church with rides. It’s hard for the elderly and families to walk to church.

Also, he depends on the horse and carriage for his livelihood, so it’s a huge loss for him. I asked some pastor friends of mine if they would be willing to pitch in to help Rolando replace his horse and carriage. All of them said, “yes.” Mario and Yany told me that it costs $800 to buy another horse and buggy. Would you pitch in as well and give a gift by clicking here or the button below?

Families Give Thanks for the Friends Who have Helped Them
Families giving thanks for the help that they’ve received

Dawn and I are thankful for the generosity of those of you that have given so far. Together we’ve helped over 230 people and more than 65 families. We put together some videos of the families that have received help. It’s gratifying to know that they have food to eat, and that they don’t have to go to bed hungry. You can also read more about the families that we helped in our post: Friends Helping Hands: Our Familia Cubana.

Extend Your Hands to Help
Photo of $30 basic grocery basket taken from the news website: 14ymedio.com

It’s amazing to see how even a small gift can make a huge difference! The average monthly salary in Cuba is $25 – $50. Just to give you a small example of how hard it is for them to live, their basic grocery basket (photo above) of mayonnaise, chicken, soap, detergent, and some tomato sauce cost them more than $30. This is supposed to be a special deal for those health workers who have to care for the sick during the COVID-19 crisis. This represents more than half of what a health care worker earns in a month.

You can extend your hands to help these precious families!

Shoes or Food, which would you Choose?

One of the young boys, Angel* from one of the families that we helped said that even though he doesn’t have shoes, and he has to go barefoot – he is still thankful that he has food to eat, and that he doesn’t have to go hungry. Here’s a short 30-second video of Angel (holding the sign in the photo below) with his family.

Friends Helping Hands: Yolanda and her son Angel give thanks

You can get a glimpse through these videos, and through the collage of photos the difference that we are able to make through your gifts. There is still a need to give and extend your hands to help our Cuban familia. Click on the button below to donate, and to make a difference in the life of a family!

Donation
Thank You for Your Prayers & Gifts

Continue to pray for these needs, for protection for the people, and their leaders. In addition to the mounting stresses due to COVID – 19, our pastors have recently been experiencing serious persecution. Please also join us in prayer for their safety.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Laying Mom to Rest

Mom’s graveside ceremony

On May 1st, two weeks ago today we laid my mom to rest. It wasn’t an easy day, but I did feel the peace of the Lord through the prayers of so many who were praying for us. I know that there were friends from Mexico, Cuba and throughout the USA praying for my family and me.

We definitely needed the prayer. Apart from the stress and sadness of the moment when we arrived at the cemetery they told us that we only had 15 minutes to perform the ceremony. By God’s grace they let us start early and end a little late. Yet, both my brother, John and I had to cut things we had planned on saying out of what we had prepared.

Virginia A Diaso – 11/5/1935 – 3/19/2020

When the service started I felt emotional. It was hard to get through the initial words that I wanted to share. I could feel the emotion welling up inside me as I moved along. The Lord gave me strength to get through that initial part, and I began to feel more peace.

The highlight of the service was when we all prayed together as a family to affirm and confirm our faith. It was especially gratifying to see my dad join us in prayer. I believe the Lord was at work, and that He was answering mom’s prayers. Prayers that she had lifted up for many years for our family.

It was not easy saying goodbye to my mom and laying her remains to rest. Yet, I know that the Lord was with me and he sustained me like he always has through all the difficult trials my family and I have gone through.

Strength of the Eagle

I’m so thankful for all the people that supported my family and me and prayed for us. One of my friends shared an amazing experience that he had as he prayed for me while he waited to get into Costco. I’d like to share it with you here.

My reminder to pray for you sounded about 15 mins before you were to start. I was waiting in queue on the sidewalk outside Costco, so I looked to the sky and began to pray. As soon as I looked up, a bald eagle came into sight riding high on the west to east wind. It soared an arrow-straight line overhead…never flapping a single time while it was in my sight. So, I felt the Lord calling me to pray from Isaiah 40 for you… to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. It was also very special that the Lord used it to remind me of your mom’s spirit being high above all the cares of this world…and that one day ours would too. What a privilege it was to be able to pray for you, and experience such a tangible benefit from it myself.

When I read this message from my friend, a fellow missionary it lifted my spirit. When I shared it with Dawn she said it gave her goosebumps.

The Lord is so good to care for me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He gives me strength!

“…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭ESV
Mom’s garden

My thanks to you for standing with us and praying for us. God hears our prayers and He moves through our prayers.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Testimonies of God at Work
Pastor Davis & Luz

I like to look for positive stories. Stories and testimonies that display the goodness of God, and how He is at work. This is especially important while we are going through this world wide crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Two of the church planting couples that I’m working with in Mexico are in the initial phases of starting their church. One of them, Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz just moved into the community of Playas in February. One of the first things a church planter does when arriving in a new community is to begin making new contacts.

Davis and Luz are a very personable and likable young couple. They do a great job meeting people. Yet, you can imagine how it’s been for them since just barely a month after they moved in everyone is living in lockdown. It’s hard to meet people when they are all afraid to go outside!

I’ve been in regular contact with Davis and Luz encouraging them, and praying with them. One of things that we’ve talked about was for them to go on prayer walks in the neighborhood, once they felt safe doing so. Over the last couple weeks they started walking near where they live. When there is someone outside they often have the opportunity to greet them, which is positive!

God’s Guidance
Davis and Luz with their three children Davis Jr., Julian and Ashley

Last week Davis felt tired so he decided to take a nap. While he was sleeping he dreamed that his wife, Luz told him they should go to the pharmacy in the community, so that they could meet someone. When Davis woke up, Luz said, “let’s go on a walk down the street,” and he responded, “that’s not what you told me in the dream.” So they went to the pharmacy, and began to look for someone to talk to in the area.

They saw a number of people, but Davis didn’t sense at first that the people he saw were the one’s that the Lord was leading them to. Finally, Davis saw a man, Jorge and they went to talk to him. Jorge told them that he has lived in Playas for 30 years, so he knows a lot of people there.

Jorge was very friendly and Davis and Luz were able to talk to him for quite a while. They told him that they were starting a church and he expressed interest. Isn’t it encouraging to see the Lord guiding and answering prayer? We are praying and believing that the Lord will build this church. We pray that the Lord will open the doors and make a way. He is the Way Maker.

Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace when he sent them out to minister in a new city. The person of peace is someone who is open and he or she is willing to help. He can open doors for you into the community. Jesus refers to the person of peace in Luke 10:5,6. Jorge may be a person of peace for Davis and Luz as they meet people in Playas.

Join us in Prayer & by Giving
Playas in Tijuana

Join with us in praying for Davis and Luz as they continue to make contacts and share the love of Christ during these unusual days that we are passing through. I believe the Lord is going to use the pandemic to cause people to be spiritually hungry. I just saw the other day that Google searches for prayer are way up, since the COVID-19 crisis began. People are looking for answers, and seeking peace in the midst of all the fear.

Another related issue is that there are many people who are struggling to survive in Mexico and Cuba. I’ve written about the hunger and the lack of basic needs in Cuba in other posts, that you can see here… Poverty was already a problem in Mexico, and now that so many are out of work it has only worsened. You can help by giving to these needs by clicking on the link below.

Donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Extending Our Hands to Help Those in Need
Families that we’ve helped by extending our hands in love

In one of my last posts I wrote about the tremendous needs in Cuba and friends helping hands, “Manos Amigas”. Hands of friends like you who have extended your hands to give food to the hungry and the needy in Cuba. The hunger and lack of basic items continues. You can click here to give or on the button at the end of this post.

One of the pastor’s wives that we’ve been working with has sent us some testimonies describing the needs and how your gifts have helped, so I’d like to share with you what May wrote.

Answered Prayer for Toothpaste
Yuni giving thanks for God’s answer to her prayers

One of the issues that many Cubans face is not having toothpaste, especially during this crisis. They end up having to brush their teeth with water and salt when they don’t have toothpaste to brush their teeth. One of the families who are also leaders in the church have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Church planters, David* and Deborah* were forced to have their daughter, Yuni* (video above) use salt and water to brush her teeth so she wouldn’t get any cavities. Yuni tried to brush her teeth with the salt and she started crying because the salt burned her mouth. While she was crying one the people from the church was walking by and heard her. He asked her why she was crying, and she told him it was because the salt burned her mouth. He told her, “don’t cry, many of us have to brush our teeth with salt.”

She said, “I am not going to brush my teeth with salt anymore. I am going ask God for toothpaste.” That same friend who was talking to Yuni later went to Pastor Lucas* and Maria’s* house and he was laughing about his conversation with Yuni. When Lucas* heard about it he felt sad, and he told Maria* about it. Lucas said to Maria, “we are going to take some toothpaste to them as well as a donation to help their family so they can buy food.”

Maria added that there are people that buy and resale toothpaste for up to $8 in Cuba which is almost half a months salary, if you can imagine that.
After they took the toothpaste to Yuni and her family, she said, ”God answered my prayer, and he saw my tears.” God used the help of friends extending their hands to provide for this beautiful young family. Lucas and Maria told Yuni that “some friends extended their hands and sent the gift to help them and that the Lord used these friends to answer your prayer!”

Soap for Jesus
May with Jesus

Jesus who just celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday cried with joy when he saw Luis and May. He was thankful not only that they came to visit him, but they also came to bless him with the help from the friends hands. The help arrived at the perfect time so that he could buy food and soap. He hadn’t been able to bath for a number of days, because he didn’t have the money to buy soap. It completely changed his day. It’s very important to help the elderly. Many of them have limited income and it is difficult for them to pay for their basic needs. This is especially true during this time of the food shortage, and the lack of basic needs due to the restrictions placed on the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jesus Encourages us to Care those in Need

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV (emphasis mine)
Turning Sadness into Joy!
One of the young church planters, Marcos* with his wife and son

Maria wrote, “It’s impressive what the friends helping hands have been able to do. Although you couldn’t fly on a plane to travel. You weren’t able to leave your country or even your houses, but you extended your hands to give and to support the families in need. You have conquered the obstacles. You have crossed borders and even the sea to arrive at places far away to bring relief. You have responded to the prayers and cries of mothers. You have transformed the sadness of the elderly into joy to know that there is someone on this earth that still loves them. Through the kindness of friends’ hands today many children woke up and had a hot and healthy breakfast to eat. The friends’ hands have shown that love isn’t only something spoken with words, but it is demonstrated with actions.”

Young church planting family – Mario* & Lili* give thanks for the help they received.

In the photos you can see that everyone is full of joy. They are all asking and want to know who are the friends hands that have helped them? They don’t understand how in the middle of this global crisis that someone would be willing to give to the needs of others.

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for your generosity and for extending your hands to help those in need. The hunger and lack of basic items like toothpaste and soap continues. There is still a need to give to help our Cuban familia. You can make a huge difference by giving a gift today. Click on the donate button below.

Donation

Thank you for joining Dawn and me on this exciting journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
My dad and me with my mom at my brother John’s wedding

Today we will commit my mom, Virginia Diaso’s remains to the earth. You can read my tribute to mom here…

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

That phrase doesn’t exude much hope. It’s the hard edge of death. We are separated from those we love. I believe that is one of the reasons why Jesus wept when his friend, Lazarus died. Even though there is hope there is a certain level of tragedy in death.

Think about it with me for a moment. If you go back to Genesis after each of the seven days that God created he said, “it was good.” There was no death in Eden’s garden. But the serpent deceived the man and told him that there was a better way. Thus, death entered into the world.

My mom and dad’s backyard with the beautiful garden

There’s a sense in which man has been trying to get back to the garden ever since. I’m sure it is one of the reasons we love beautifully manicured gardens. My mom enjoyed gardening. Actually as I write this I’m sitting in the back yard of my dad and mom’s house enjoying their garden.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that all of creation groans with the pains of childbirth for the day of redemption. Thankfully even though we groan now, there is a day of redemption.

Papa’s Tender Love & Care

We give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation

I’ve seen the Lord’s tender love and care as he’s carried me through both my daughter’s early home going and now my mom’s departure.

I was in Cuba when my mom fell and fractured her pelvis which sent her to the hospital. I hoped that I could get back home and then to Fresno to see mom one last time. I arrived back home at midnight the night before my mom moved to heaven. Even though I made it back home, I wasn’t able to make it to Fresno in time.

I still saw the Lord’s grace and mercy in the valley of the shadow of death.

My brother John called me that morning and told me that mom wasn’t going to make it much longer, so he encouraged me to say goodbye to mom over the phone. To be honest, that was very awkward, but I’m glad for that opportunity. I was able to cry with her and tell her that I loved her one last time. Later in the day, I felt like I should call again as I was getting ready to leave for Fresno. I talked to my brother Greg this time. Right when I got off the phone my mom moved to heaven.

It was like my mom waited. She was always concerned for her family, and she wanted us to be safe. I know she prayed daily for our safety among other concerns that she lifted up to heaven.

God’s Kiss
God’s masterpiece – driving through the rainbow and beautiful sunset on our drive to Fresno on the day mom moved to heaven.

On March 19, we drove to Fresno from the San Diego area. This was when the restrictions were beginning to be set in place, so there wasn’t much traffic.

It was raining as we drove through LA, and for the first time in my life Dawn, Alice (Dawn’s mom) and I drove through a rainbow. It was like God’s kiss. A reminder of his love, and that he would take good care of my mom. Shortly after the rainbow we saw a beautiful sunset with the sun breaking through the clouds.

Our Heavenly Father, Papa God hugged me and comforted me as I drove to be with my family. He reminded me that my mom is now part of the cloud of witnesses. She is with her savior, and she is with her granddaughter, Hannah. I am sure that mom has the most amazing garden now!

Mom’s Legacy
Mom – Virginia Diaso

In the days since my mom died, I’ve sought to take extra time to pray while we are in this lockdown due to the coronavirus. One day as I was praying near our home the Lord reminded me of Elijah. I could see Elijah going up to heaven in his chariot while his mantle was falling on Elisha, his disciple.

In that time as I reflected and prayed I could see my mom’s mantle of prayer falling to me. Even as I write this I feel the Lord’s presence. I feel sentimental, but also I sense the Father’s confirmation.

My mom was a quiet woman, but she prayed. I think she was more powerful than she knew, because of her strong love and connection with God. When she moved to heaven at first I thought, “O no, I’ve lost my number one prayer supporter!” Then the Lord comforted me and showered me with His love. He showed me that mom’s passion and power in the secret place has fallen to me. I am truly blessed, as is my whole family!

Mom was ready for heaven. She had peace about going and she was anxious to get there!

Mom & Hannah reunited in heaven

I thank the Lord for the legacy of love and prayer that mom left. I look forward to carrying on her legacy.

Thank you for praying for my family and me during this time of mourning. I have peace, but it’s never easy to say goodbye to those we love!

The graveside service for mom is at 12 PM PDT on Friday, May 1. We hope to be able to record and hopefully livestream it as well. Thank you again for your loving support through your prayers.

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

“Manos Amigas” Friends Hands
Pastor Luis & May with a number of people who have been helped by the gifts that have been sent.

Our familia is so grateful for the gifts that we’ve been able to send to them so far. Pastor Lucas* and Maria sent us some photos of a number of the families that they have been able to help because of our gifts. You can see that they are holding their hands up in the photos, and I didn’t know what that meant. So I asked them, and they explained that they are praying for the Lord to send the hands of a friend to help them. So they are holding up their hands to say thank you for the friends’ hands who have helped them.

Lucas and Maria told me that they have always prayed and dreamed of having a ministry out of their church that would be called, “Manos Amigas” Friends Hands.

Then they went on to explain that Leti (Dawn) and I are extending our hands to help them. Each of you that are helping are also extending your hands to help our Cuban familia.

There is still time to extend your hands to help the families and the elderly in Cuba by giving a gift today!

Our Cuban familia continues to suffer through the coronavirus. The situation is worse there than it is in other countries, because there was already a food shortage before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Dave with Pastor Lucas & Maria and their children, David & Zuri

Pastor Lucas and his wife, Maria told us how difficult it is for them to get milk, yogurt, cereal and many of the foods that children eat for breakfast. They said that their daughter, Zuri was asking them if there was any milk in the United States. The reason Zuri asked this question is because she is going to be celebrating her 7th birthday soon. The government subsidizes the milk until the child turns seven. Then the price of the milk goes up from .25 centavos to 30 pesos, so it’s about impossible for families to buy milk for their children once they are older than seven.

Families end up sending their children to school without having breakfast, or maybe they’ll have a cup of coffee. Lucas and Maria do everything they can to provide a snack for the children when they come to church on Sunday morning since most of them come hungry.

The Scarcity of Food is Daunting
Pastor Rene on the upper right photo with some of the people from his church

Dawn and I have been staying in close contact with a number of pastors like Pastor Rene (photo above) to make sure that they have enough food for themselves and the people in their congregation. The scarcity is daunting, but they’ve been able to use the money that we’ve sent to help families and the elderly.

We plan on sending more help this week. You can help feed families in Cuba by clicking on the link below and giving.

Dave talking to Pastor Justo

Our good friend, Pastor Justo is one of the pastors that I was able to talk to this week. He had to go outside of his house to get a wifi connection so he could talk to me. We were able to make a video call. Unfortunately, Justo had to wear a mask the whole time, because in Cuba they are giving out fines to the people if they don’t wear a mask when they are outside.

It’s such a different world and now things have worsened with the restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Extend Your Hands to Help

Our Cuban familia needs your help and your prayers. Please click on the donate button to give and to extend your hands to help these families.

Thank you!

Thank you for praying for the needs of Cuba and our Cuban familia. Dawn and I appreciate you, and we are thankful that you are joining us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Scarcity in Cuba

Our heart is breaking this week as we receive messages from our familia, our pastor familia in Cuba. Daily we are receiving news about the lack of transportation, food, and basic necessities during the lockdown due to COVID-19.

Even while I was on the Big Island last month, in March they were already dealing with the scarcity of many basic needs. There were long lines for chicken to the point in one city two women fought over getting their food. One of the women was killed in the altercation.

Compassion for Neighbors in Crisis
Dave with Pastor Luis & May and their two children, David & Zuri

Now some families are literally starving. Just a couple of days ago. One of the pastors, Lucas* and Maria* who we work with heard a child of one of their neighbors crying in the night. Maria told Lucas that she sensed that the child was crying because of hunger. The next day she went to their home and sure enough, they didn’t have any food to give to the children.

Maria went home and brought them some hot rice and beans. She said when their neighbor saw her with the hot food she came out of her house with tears in her eyes. She told Maria that a few days ago her husband left her for another woman. Now she was all alone with her two children to fend for herself in the middle of this crisis.

Maria said when she heard her neighbor’s story she lifted up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord and said, “thank you Lord for David and Leti.” All of our friends in Latin America call Dawn, “Leti”. Maria gave thanks for how the Lord used us, because we had just sent them some financial help. We felt led to do this, because of our love and concern for them. We call them our familia. It was disconcerting to hear all the stories of desperation.

You can Help!
Dave with Pastor Mario & Yany (bottom right) in Cabaiguan one of the areas hit the hardest by the Coronavirus

Dawn and I would like to encourage you to send help as well. The average salary in Cuba is $25 a month, many receive less than that, so even a small gift helps. To send a gift we have a tax deductible 501(c)3 nonprofit, called Beyond Borders.

Donate
  • Via check write your check out to Beyond Borders
    • Send the check to Beyond Borders
    • 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

Also, please join us in prayer for the needs of our pastors, their congregation and the people of Cuba. They are wonderful people who have tremendous needs now. There are many pastors who live day to day, hand to mouth and they aren’t able to work to generate any income because of the Coronavirus. Our pastors, their congregation and their neighbors are all in need of food and can use our financial support during this crisis.

Maria told us that after she brought her neighbor a hot meal. She later gave her some of the items they had just purchased with the money we sent, rice, oil, salt, sugar, bread, and some ground pork. The neighbor cried the whole time with tears of gratitude.

When I shared this with Dawn she started crying. She was moved to compassion for our familia and the people in need in Cuba. Dawn was concerned about where the money would come from to help this precious family and so many others who are in need.

Join us in making a difference in Cuba today! Make a donation to help those who are in need and faithfully serving Christ! Remember to daily lift them up in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org