Travel, Hellos and Goodbyes
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David Jr. with Dawn and Dave in Napa, CA. Our last day together before David left for Connecticut

Last week Dawn and I were traveling in Northern California for a ministry meeting. We were also able to fit in a few days with our son, David before we said goodbye. He is moving to Connecticut for his job. After saying a tearful goodbye to David, we headed to Fresno. While in Fresno we saw my parents. My dad was in ICU after surgery on his lungs. We now know that he has cancer caused by asbestos from his days of working in construction when he was younger. Another unpleasant trial for our family.

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Dave & Dawn with Nadine

One of the highlights of the trip was my cousin Nadine’s daughter, Audra’s wedding. While at the wedding we saw a number of relatives we hadn’t seen in a while. Most of them weren’t able to come to Hannah’s funeral service. It was good to visit with my extended family again. They encouraged us through their heartfelt words.

We Have to Keep Moving Forward
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Dave and Dawn with the newlyweds, Michael and Audra Rodriguez  with Dave’s brother, John his wife, Treena and daughter, Baylee

One of my relatives who lost her husband a few years ago told me the first year was very difficult, and that all she could do was just keep trying to move forward. I feel that’s what Dawn and I are doing. We are staying busy, and we are traveling more than usual.

The Lord has ministered to us as we’ve been on the road, and it seems as we give to others it lifts up our spirits.

Yesterday (Saturday) marked four months since Hannah passed away. Our emotions are all over the place. We do feel the Lord’s presence and we believe he is bringing healing to us, but grieving has definitely been the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

O Lord, Make Our Lives Count for Eternity
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The Rainbow a beautiful reminder of God’s promise

Part of my prayer through this is that the Lord will make the time I have left on the earth count for eternity. It’s not necessarily a new prayer, but I do think it’s more focused and more intense. Hannah’s early home going made it crystal clear how short our time is. The Bible says the time we have on the earth is but a vapor. I didn’t think about that very often until my daughter’s life was cut short.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but one of the primary elements that the Lord has used to keep us afloat is the encouragement and prayers of our friends. All the notes are amazing. It’s been wonderful to have all the communication we’ve had on the Hannah Diaso Memorial on Facebook.

Dawn and I keep pouring our hearts out, and so many of you respond and love on us and tell us that you are praying. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus for our friends. Thank you for letting us be real.

The Necessity of Prayer!

The Lord ministered to me in a very profound way through a time of prayer last night. I was going to write about it here, but I don’t want this post to be too long. I hope to write about how God met me and comforted me at my point of need in my next post later this week.

In the meantime I’d like to ask you to keep praying for us.

  • Pray for the Lord’s continued healing and grace
  • Pray for wisdom as we serve and plan out the upcoming months
  • Pray for my dad’s healing as he’s in rehab, and we are still waiting to find out what the treatment for his cancer will be.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection as we are experiencing ongoing attack. We know that Christ is the victor and we trust in him.
  • This upcoming Saturday we are taking a youth group from Redeemer San Diego to Ensenada to work with our new church planting project, Renuevo. Pray also for Petri and Yudy as they lead the church plant.
  • Continue to pray for the pastors and leaders we work with in Tijuana.

Thanks so much dear friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Growing Together in the Gospel
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Dave leading a Session on the Gospel, the Cycle of Renewal

God’s deep love for us is beyond comprehension. His grace is indescribable. The more we ponder what Jesus did for us on the cross through his death and resurrection, we find ourselves marveling at such an amazing and sacrificial love. These are all aspects of the gospel.

I’m sure it’s not too hard to believe that even ministers need the gospel. Actually, that’s a key point, the more the pastor understands the work of Jesus on the cross. The more he meditates on the depth of such love, and what it means for us. As he applies it to his own life, he is more effectively able to share it with others.

This was one of the key themes we covered last week during our incubator training. It fell to me to cover explaining how each of us is renewed by the gospel. We talked about the cycle of renewal – the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we respond in repentance, which leads us to faith, which leads us to worship, and in response in faith and adoration we obey.

Some of the simplest points of the gospel are also the hardest to apply. I’m not sure why, but I think one reason is that there’s something in us that thinks we can earn God’s favor. We quickly forget, it’s through grace. That’s why Luther said, “we have to beat the gospel into ourselves,” and that “all of life is repentance.” A number of people have also said that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves.

How Do We Reach Our Neighbor with God’s Love?
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Jorge Aleman leading the group through a discussion on philosophy of ministry

Another theme that we covered was how to develop a philosophy of ministry. Related to that is the importance of considering the seeker, the not yet Christian in all our activities. In other words, when you are planting a church it’s good to keep in mind as you design your activities that there will be seekers there. There will be those who are interested, but don’t yet have faith.

The world is changing and it’s more apparent now than ever that we live in a hostile deeply divided world. The church planter has to keep all these things in mind as he reaches out to the community that the Lord has called him to minister in.

God has given us a wonderful group of guys that are going through the incubator church planting training. It’s always enjoyable to be around this group. I come away enriched from all the interaction.

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Some of our pastors who are going through the incubator training

Prayer and Opposition

Thanks for praying! We experienced our share of attacks, set-backs as we prepared for the training. My phone died for two days. It’s not easy to live without a phone, especially in the middle of a training event. One of our colleagues forgot his passport, which meant we had to change some of our plans for our prep work. I got sick the week of the training event. The Lord led me to a doctor in Mexico that prescribed some medication, and by the second day I was feeling much better.

The latest setback is our van is not running well, and since it has 208,000 miles on it I’m working with our mechanic to see whether it’s worth it fix it. We will see! Still waiting on that. Dawn and I appreciate your ongoing prayer for that need.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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Dr. Lloyd Kim sharing at MTW regional hub meeting

Yesterday Dawn and I went to a luncheon in Encinitas at Redeemer Church to promote missions with Mission to the World (MTW). It was a wonderful event as we heard from MTW’s coordinator, Dr. Lloyd Kim and Mobilization director, Dave Veldhorst.

They spoke about the vision of seeing 2,877 new missionaries join the mission force through MTW. That’s an exciting and a big goal for our mission. One of the ways we aim to do that is by forming regional hubs in places like San Diego, Dallas and St. Louis to train and prepare potential missionary candidates.

This vision is still coming together, so we need much prayer. One blazing truth that remains is that Jesus needs men and women to serve him in missions. He needs people who are willing to go and serve.

Christ asked his disciples to pray for more workers.

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in his harvest.” (Luke 10:2,3) ESV

Here’s a helpful short video that MTW put together that challenges us to think and pray about sending more people into the world.

Dawn and I have been praying since before we arrived on the border for more workers. Please join us in prayer that God will raise up many more laborers to go out into the harvest field, and that some of them would join us in our work in Mexico.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Coaches Needed

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Dave leading a session on coaching with Alcides De La Cruz

Why do we leave leaders to struggle on their own? Why do some leaders isolate themselves from others? The casualties of those leaving the ministry every month are astonishingly high. The difference in effectiveness between ministers who have the support of a coach, and those that don’t is remarkable.

These are some of the reasons we believe that it is imperative that leaders in the church should have a coach. When I first arrived in Tijuana, I was talking to one of my missionary colleagues who’s also been a coach to me, Gary Watanabe. I explained to Gary how the church was growing so fast here that I couldn’t keep up, and that I couldn’t coach all the leaders myself. Gary encouraged me to explore ways to multiply myself, to multiply coaches.

Through Gary I met Tom Wood and Jim Moon with Church Multiplication Ministries (CMM). Tom Wood has developed some outstanding training for coaching church planters and leaders. The Gospel is at the center of their training, which is refreshing!

Multiplying Coaches in Mexico & Cuba
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Dave with Jim Moon and Josue Mayo

I began working with Tom, Jim and Gary on bringing the Gospel Coach training to Mexico. In December of 2015 we held our first training event in Tijuana and Monterrey, Mexico.

Jim Moon invited me and some of us who minister in Mexico to go to Cuba to see how they were applying the Gospel Coach in Cuba. That was a life transforming trip for me as the Lord introduced me to the wonderful people of Cuba, and showed me how he was at work there. The church is growing in amazing ways in Cuba.

This relationship with Jim Moon who heads up the Spanish ministry for CMM has continued to grow and flourish. Last weekend I worked with Jim and MTW missionary Jamie Burkemper to lead training in the Gospel Coach in Juarez, Mexico. Forty leaders came to the training.

We find as people are exposed to the concepts of coaching the Lord grabs them, and they desire to grow in their capacity to coach others. They also realize how important it is for them to have a coach.

God is Using Our Story
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One of the small group exercises during the coaching training

One of the emphasis that I love about the Gospel Coach training is the focus on the gospel. I led a module on the history of the gospel, and during my session I shared about Hannah’s passing. The Lord used the story of our family and the hope we have in the gospel to encourage our friends. One of my prayers has been that the Lord will use Hannah’s death to bring glory to himself. I know her death isn’t in vain, but as a father I long for evidence of God’s greater purpose. Jesus is already showing up, and showing himself strong as I share how he has sustained us during this time of sorrow and sadness. Thank you Jesus!

We see the light of Christ shining brightly as Dawn and I minister together. Dawn loves to pray for and encourage others. She has a knack for coming alongside those we meet, and showing them the love of Christ. We are much more effective as we team up and serve together. Jesus is giving us moments of light as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Thank you for praying for us as we seek to follow Jesus. We are serving as we grieve. God’s grace is sufficient. Thanks be to the Lord!

We pray that coaches will continue to multiply in Mexico and Cuba and wherever else the Lord opens up the doors for us to minister!

In His Holy Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Battle Rages, but We are Victorious in Christ
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Pastor Obed Lares and Cesiah

I am convinced that our Lord is doing a good work, despite all the pain and all the sorrow we are going through with the loss of our daughter, Hannah. I don’t know why it was Hannah’s time to go, but I do know that the enemy of our soul will do anything to try to slow us down and defeat us.

The day before Hannah died we celebrated the inauguration of church number 29 with our friends from Ministerios Transformación. On that same weekend we finished building the church. We helped Pastor Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah launch their new church plant.

The Joy of New Birth
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

That was a joyous time to see new life, the birth of a new church. Hard to believe that the following day our daughter would be with Jesus in Heaven. We don’t understand, but we know that God is a good and loving God and that we can trust him.

I just met with Obed and Cesiah earlier this week, and I felt so encouraged hearing how the church is growing as they reach out in the community. They’ve had some obstacles to overcome. The church doesn’t have power yet. On Sundays they plug into their neighbors outlets.

The recent rain also slows down the progress. Yet God is on the move there in the community in Rosarito, Mexico.

Obed and Cesiah are very gifted and sensitive to the Holy Spirit as he guides and directs them. When we were together they shared stories about some of the new people who are coming to the church, and how the Lord is touching their lives. As Obed shared, “people are coming to church, because they want to find God. They want an encounter with him.”

Join Us In Prayer

The light of Christ is shining brightly in this community. This is one of the reasons we get attacked. It’s a reminder of how important prayer is. We need protection as do Obed and Cesiah.

Please join us in lifting up Obed and Cesiah as they reach out and share the love of Christ  with the community. Pray that the Lord will protect them and their family. Pray for our protection as well.

Dawn and I are in Juarez, Mexico this week training pastors and leaders in coaching.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A New Year with New Opportunities
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David Sr., Jonathan, Dawn & David Jr. Our new normal

There are some positives to starting a new year. It gives us a chance to recalibrate. We can look back on the past year, and see where we’ve come from. A new year means new opportunities. I must say, that I’ve never had a new year quite like this one.

Last year ended on such a rough note, with our beautiful daughter’s passing. The problem with death I’m finding is there’s no time limit on the pain. The sadness and frustration come at what seems like the oddest times.

Needless to say Dawn and I are starting this new year off still dealing with the aftershocks of Hannah’s death. We are hopeful for a better 2017!

Thankful for Community
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I like this photo, because it represents some of our community which extends from Mexico to Cuba to the U.S.A and Beyond. Our Lord has blessed us with many friends!

I think we are more mindful than ever of the need for community. The necessity for friends to surround us and lift us up in prayer.

We ended the new year traveling from the State of Washington through Oregon and we landed in Redding, California on New Year’s Eve. David and Jonathan were with us, and a friend, Jacob Betchol. On the first day of the year we had the privilege of going to church and worshipping the King of Kings. We attended a wonderful and joyous service. Our loving Father met us there in a special way.

God’s Promises for a Better Tomorrow
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We are Going to Give it #AHannahPercent this Year!    Hannah, we miss you and we love you.

My heavenly Father reminded me of some important truths regarding Hannah’s death. I needed to hear this. “It’s not your fault (that’s something I’ve struggled with). It was Hannah’s appointed time to go. I took her and I will take good care of her.” These are truths the Lord had already assured me of, but as a father who loves his daughter so dearly I needed to hear them again. It was a good way to start off the new year.

As I think of beginning a new year I realize that part of this year includes healing. My family and I still need the Lord’s healing touch. Yet, another thing that the Lord has assured me of is that this is not the end, but the beginning of something greater.

The Lord has reminded me that it is right to grieve Hannah’s loss. Weeping endures for the night, but we will see victory; daybreak is coming. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). It’s like Jesus is saying to me personally, “Cease striving and know that I am God. Do not dwell on the pain. You are a testimony of my grace, and my strength is made perfect in your weakness. I will uphold you. You will not shrink back.”

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Hannah with her brothers, Jonathan & David

It is with this hope and assurance that we begin 2017. Yes, we are hurting. Yes, we are in pain, but God is our deliverer. He will not leave us here forever. In fact, he says that he will never leave us or forsake us!

This year we will begin to experience victory. The Lord is going to use our suffering and he will use our tears for his glory.

So I choose to be hopeful as we begin 2017. I continue to ask you to hold us up in prayer. We will not succeed without your loving support. Dawn and I give thanks for you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
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Our last family photo with Hannah

When I look back over this last year there are a number of wonderful accomplishments that we’ve seen the Lord do. Unfortunately, all of these achievements are overshadowed by Hannah’s death. It makes me feel like we are ending 2016 on a down note. There have been plenty of down days since Hannah’s passing. Yet, I see the Lord picking each of us up, Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and me.

Yes, death is a terrible, even demonic and cruel thing. I believe and feel that this is true in a more intense way that I ever have. While I recognize the pain and the tragedy of death, and Hannah’s early homegoing I see the Lord lifting us up from the ashes. We are down, but not out. I believe our family has drawn closer to the Lord than we have ever been. In many ways I sense that God is not done with us, but just beginning. He is going to bring something beautiful out of our pain, even if we can’t see what that is yet.

We may be going through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” but this shadow has not completely snuffed out the light. Jesus did some amazing things in 2016 that we should celebrate.

Accomplishments by God’s Grace
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

This year by God’s grace we:

  • Helped start our 5th new church planting project with Ministerios Transformación since 2012. It was Ministerios Transformación’s 29th church!
  • Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah are off to a great start in this new church in Rosarito, just South of Tijuana.
  • Partnered with in planting, coaching and training Pastor Daniel Nuñez and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol who are seeing people come to Christ and lives transformed in the church plant they are serving at in Plan Libertador that we helped start in 2015. Every time I talk to Victor and Sol I come away encouraged.
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. They are making a difference as they are reaching out in Ribera del Bosque. We helped plant their church in 2014.
  • Coached and helped launch a new work called Renuevo in Ensenada. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are leading this new church planting project.
  • Led 1 medical missions brigade with Redeemer San Diego & La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada, Mexico. We ministered to more than 80 adults and children, and 9 of them gave their lives to Christ.
  • Led one summer VBS in Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian and La Nueva Jerusalén for 50 children and presented the gospel to them along with their families
  • Started a two-year incubator training for 10 church planters in Tijuana
  • Began a coaching network for pastors and their wives in Mexico
  • Began to coach pastors and train coaches in Cuba – this is a new and exciting ministry that the Lord is opening up for us.
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

I don’t fully know why we experienced such a huge loss this year, but I believe one reason is because our enemy is not happy with all that God is doing. He desires to discourage us and defeat us. Yet, our Lord lifts us up and gives us victory. All our many friends are praying for us, which sustains us. So I will praise Jesus. Hallelujah!

My family and I stand with Job in stating, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a)

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Praise God with us for sustaining us, and giving us so many victories in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org