Concern for All the Churches
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together
Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and we are thankful to be on this journey with you as we serve the Lord and His church

Lately I’ve been thinking about the Apostle Paul’s statement regarding his daily concern for the churches. In 2 Corinthians 11 he lists all the trials that he’s experienced in ministry. Then at the end of this list in verse 28 he says, “Besides everyone else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28 NIV).

It may be a dangerous thing to compare myself to the apostle Paul, but I feel that I can identify with him in his concern for the churches. I give thanks for how the ministry has grown here on the border and beyond! Yet, as we start more churches I find myself thinking and praying for them more. It’s exciting to see the Lord at work, but that’s not to say that it’s without challenges.

There are all kinds of concerns and pressures that go along with planting churches. Our pastors and those that we are partnering with to start new churches face all kinds of issues, sicknesses, divisions, and financial hardships. There is also the need to see the church grow, and develop leadership so that it will come to be a healthy and reproducing church.

Praying for Protection & Healing
Pastor Jovani & Esmeralda

Dawn and I love to pray for and encourage the pastors we work with. Just last week I met with a young pastor, Jovani and his wife, Esmeralda to pray. Esmeralda suffered a stroke in the last year, and they are a young couple so it’s surprising that she had a stroke. The three of us came together to pray against the attacks of the enemy, who seeks to discourage the Lord’s workers. We prayed for healing, that the Lord would touch her body and bring forth healing and restoration.

After we spent time in prayer we left encouraged, and sensed the Lord had met us and heard our prayers. Esmeralda was not healed as we hoped, but we felt assured that God was at work in her life and in the life of her husband, Jovani as well. Join us in continuing to pray for their comfort and Esmeralda’s total and complete helaing.

Pastor Mere Godinez
Pastor Mere leading the church in Mexicali

One of the other pastors we partner with Mere has also faced health issues at the end of 2019. Mere is planting the church in Mexicali that we built in Hannah’s memory. He was feeling so badly that he had to take some a few weeks off to rest and recuperate. We see the Lord working there, but there has been opposition.

Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo
Pastor Davis & Luz with their three children, Davis Jr., Ashley and Julian

Our church planters in Playas, Tijuana – Davis and Luz Pardo just moved into their new apartment. It was difficult for them to find an affordable place to rent. We are so thankful for the apartment they found, but now they are struggling to get set up. Their place is on the small side, so they need a washer-dryer combo and it’s not easy to find one that fits in their economy. We look to the Lord for His provision in all things including a washer and dryier.

Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children: Junior, Damaris, David & Daniel

Federico and Blanca are just getting started with their church plant in Mexicali. We are so excited for them as we pray with them, coach and encourage them. They are reaching out into the community so they can grow and build a big enough core to launch their church. They have a weekly small group, and they are in the process of starting a second small group.

Pastor Petri & Yudy
Pastor Petri & Yudy

Petri and Yudy are bivocational church planters in Ensenada. Petri is an excellent preacher/teacher. Yudy is gifted with children and she is very caring and creative. The challenge they face is growing the church while both of them are holding down full time jobs in Tecate, which is an hour from Ensenada. The church is growing. They have some excellent leaders in the church, but we are praying for even more, so that they will come to be a strong and thriving church.

The list goes on. One of the pressures I often feel is raising funds for these new works while continuing to work with these pastors. I see God at work in ways that Dawn and I have not seen in all our years of ministry. There’s so much to be thankful for, while we face the concerns and pressures!

Our Growing Family in Cuba
Our wonderful Cuban family

Dawn and I have also grown to love our Cuban family. Our family on this big island keeps growing, and there are many challenges that the pastors face there as well. I’m going to be traveling to Cuba from March 6 – 18. We always give thanks for the opportunity to see these dear friends who have become part of our family.

Join us in Prayer!

When I think about these daily concerns for the churches I’m reminded of the importance of prayer. The importance of trusting in the Lord’s provision. “He who calls you in faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV). I give thanks for our wonderful friends like you, who follow us on this journey and pray for us and the work that the Lord is doing through our partners.

When I can look up and look to Christ and all that he is doing. When I remember his strength, his promises and his power then the pressures and concerns dissipate. Thanks be to God for his wonderful work, and his mighty power. Hallelujah! Amen!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Stories of Expansion
Dave right before going into surgery

Over the last week and a half I’ve been recovering from hernia surgery, which I must say isn’t fun. 😉 It has been a slower process than I envisioned. These days since I haven’t been able to be as mobile as I usually am have given me some time to reflect, and to encourage all those that we are partnering with in ministry.

Dawn and I moved to the San Diego-Tijuana border area 7 1/2 years ago. It’s beautiful to see how the Lord has grown the ministry. He has literally stretched out our tent, just as we prayed from Isaiah 54. I love the stories of the lives that are touched and transformed through those we minister alongside of. I’d like to share one of those wonderful stories with you!

Davis & Luz Pardo
Luz & Davis with their three cute children

You might remember that I asked you to pray for Davis and Luz Pardo, because they were looking for a home in Playas in Tijuana. They were having a terrible time finding an affordable home. God came through again, and provided in the last minute. Now they are getting settled in to their new place, which isn’t far from the beach (that what playas means, beach).

Davis and Luz are a gifted young couple. Luz means light or power. She has a radiant smile that communicates joy and love. Davis is a caring pastor, who is able to attract and encourage people that he ministers to. Together they make a great team.

Luz’s Love Shines in the Produce Section
Luz & Davis

God gave Luz the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ just a couple of days ago in the local grocery store. She told Davis she was going to the grocery store for 5 minutes to buy some oranges. Well those 5 minutes turned into 40, because she met someone in need.

Luz met Mary, and it was obvious that Mary was having a difficult time communicating with her daughter, and there were other family dynamics that caused tension. Luz took the opportunity to talk to Mary, and she shared how Jesus came to give us hope and give us life. After Luz showed compassion to Mary, she asked her if she could pray for her. Mary said yes! And Luz not only prayed for her, but she was able to lead her to Christ!

Luz said she had never prayed from someone in a grocery store before.

Pray for More Growth, More Fruit
Dawn and Dave with some of of our church planters from left to right, Federico & Blanca Muñoz in Mexicali; Luz & Davis Pardo in Tijuana

When Luz and Davis shared this story with me, it made my day. God is so good, and He’s active. Luz asked for prayer for Mary that they will be able to follow up with her and help her to grow in her new found faith.

We also can pray that there will be many more people who are open to the good news of Jesus, like Mary. Pray for all of our church planters that God will open doors for them. Some of them share that they get discouraged along the way. Church planting can be a lonely work, so they need much encouragement and prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Shock of Death: Kobe Bryant

Last Sunday when I saw the pop up notification on my phone that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash I was in disbelief. I was just getting out of church when I saw it, and I felt shock and disbelief. The feeling took me back to the day my beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven.

A friend of mine posted this on Instagram last week. I pray that Kobe, his daughter Gigi and all those who lost their lives in the tragic crash truly knew Jesus

It was so hard to fathom that it could be true. I hoped it was just a bad dream that I would wake up from. I was numb. Unfortunately, it really did happen.

Like many I admired Kobe Bryant as a fan, although I never met him. I believe that sometimes these tragic events take you back to experiences that you may have had. I feel for Kobe’s family and all of those that lost loved ones during the crash.

On Monday the day after Kobe’s crash I watched Demi Lovato’s performance “Anyone” that she gave at the Grammys. She wrote the ballad two years ago just four days before she overdosed trying to end her life.

Demi Lovato’s tearful performance of “Anyone” at the GRAMMYs

As I listened to her sing through her tears it also took me back to experiences we had with Hannah. Our daughter, also struggled with depression and at times she lost the will to live.

Reflections on Life and the Difficulties We Face
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

The interesting thing to me is as we watch these young stars, who have tremendous talent, fame and fortune they live under intense pressure. The internet and social media have caused them to live life in a fish bowl. These are pressures that people in the past didn’t have to face. I feel for them, and pray that they will figure things out in God’s grace.

Solomon’s Words Still Fitting

Solomon talks about the vanity of life without God. Some of these young people do have faith in Christ, but like many of us they are still trying to work it out. It’s especially difficult for them under so much public scrutiny.

We see even among Christians and in the church so many unkind tweets and posts where believers are attacking one another. It’s embarrassing, especially when the Bible says the world will know us by our love for one another.

After Solomon lived his life and acquired all his wisdom he said…

“I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:16-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

Solomon admits that all he had accomplished and acquired seemed like striving after the wind. Have you ever tried to harness the wind? No small task! The Bible says there had never been anyone so blessed as Solomon in material wealth and in wisdom. Yet, with all of his wisdom it increased his sorrow.

I don’t think life is as hopeless as it may seem at times. Many of us including myself have experienced times of exasperation, times of where we hit lows. Jesus said in John 10:10 he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. So why is it that so many, even believers don’t seem to be experiencing this?

One of the reasons is we are listening to wrong voices about what it means to be successful and to live a fulfilled life.

King Solomon also spoke of all these voices crying out, seeking our attention.

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”

Proverbs‬ ‭1:20-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I want to encourage you to be careful to which voices you are listening to, and to who you are looking to, in order to verify your significance. Lately the Lord keeps reminding me not to despise small beginnings.

“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.””

Zechariah‬ ‭4:6, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

Recently I learned that 1 in 3 young people today have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. Which is a sobering stat that is hard to fathom. Too many of us are looking to the wrong things to bring us satisfaction in life and in this ever connected world we seem to be more alone than ever. That’s what Demi Lovato’s song is all about. “Nobody is listening to me… Is there anyone, Lord is there anyone, I need someone.”

There is Hope in our Good Father

My encouragement is that each of us look daily to the Lord for His strength to make it through the day. He loves his children. He is a good God, and desires the best for us. One of my favorite passages in the Bible reminds us of God’s goodness and His desire to care for His children.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

What a wonderful promise. There is hope for each of us as we seek the Lord. Look to your Father who is in heaven my friends. He loves you and He has a good plan for your life. You can trust Him! His promises are sure and true.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Love of Christ is Touching Lives
Junior, Damaris, Federico, Blanca, David & Daniel Muñoz

Dawn and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz. They are planting a new church in Mexicali.

Blanca shared with us how she felt led to take a walk in her neighborhood, which she mentioned that she doesn’t usually do by herself. Yet, this day the Lord nudged her to do it. As she was walking she met a woman who was looking for her son.

Blanca sharing with friends at a an outreach event they held in Mexicali

The woman’s son had run away, and she was distraught trying to find him. Blanca was able to encourage her and tell her that she was willing to help. She showed the love of Christ to the lady, and gave her a big hug. While they were hugging the woman began to cry. She felt loved. She felt that someone cared.

Blanca took the opportunity to tell her that it was because of Christ’s love that she was able to care for her and show her compassion.

Later Blanca was surprised to find out that the woman she had met who lost her son is someone that has a lot of influence in Mexicali. This made Blanca feel humbled and grateful for how the Lord worked. In a few days Blanca learned that her new friend had found her son.

God is so good and we love learning how he is faithful to work through his children.

God’s love wins, and this is one of the many reasons we plant churches and seek to share the love of Christ.

Pastor Deivis & Luz Pardo in Playas
David & Dawn with Pastor Federico & Blanca and Pastor Deivis and Luz

The Lord abundantly blessed Dawn and me, because after we met with Federico and Blanca for a few hours Pastor Deivis and Luz Pardo joined us. It was the first time that Dawn and I have been able to meet with all of them together. Deivis and Luz are just getting started on the church plant in Tijuana.

After much prayer they found a place to live in the area where they are going to plant their church. We were able to rejoice with them as they prepare to move in. They are still working on getting everything set up and furnishing their house.

We believe that the Lord has a great plan for Deivis and Luz and Playas and we can wait to watch and see all that he does!

Join Us in Prayer
  • Pray that the Lord will provide for all of Deivis and Luz’s needs as they move into their new place.
  • They also need some help moving and getting set up.
  • Continue to pray for Pastor Federico and Blanca that the Lord will open up even more doors for them to share the gospel.
  • Pray for me as I’m having surgery today on my hernia. I’d appreciate prayer for a quick recovery.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Trip to Cd. Obregon & Hermosillo
The country side on the road from Cd. Obregon to Hermosillo

In my last post I wrote about my trip to Northwestern Mexico. such a great encouragement to see how the church is growing. On that trip I also connected with two church planting couples that are just beginning their work.

I went to Cd. Obregon and Hermosillo to learn more about how the church is growing and reproducing. As I was preparing for the trip the Lord reminded me that I knew a church planter in Cd. Obregon and that there was a new church plant starting up in Hermosillo. I was able to get some good time with these two pastoral couples.

Cd. Obregon: Pastor Roberto & Gabriela
Dave with Pastor Roberto & Gabriela Mendoza and their family

Pastor Roberto Mendoza and his wife Gabriela are starting a church in Cd. Obregon. I met Roberto a few years ago, but I had never met his wife, or his family. It was a joy to meet them. It’s so good when Jesus orchestrates and brings things together!

Roberto and Gabriela have been working on the church plant for two and a half years. They are at a point where they are doing well, but they also need some encouragement. Roberto shared how lonely it can be to plant a church. My heart goes out to him. It was so clear that our loving Father arranged this time.

One of the wonderful things about connecting in this way, and spending some good time together is that it opens the doors for future ministry. It makes it easier for me to know what some of their needs are, and how I might spur them on and strengthen them along the way.

Pray with us for Roberto and Gabriela. They are doing an important work in establishing a beachhead in Ciudad Obregon. Pastor Roberto has a vision to start more churches in the area and to educate future ministers of the gospel! So good! Lord, grant them the desire of their hearts for your honor and glory.

Hermosillo: Hector & Lulu
Dave with Pastor Hector & Lulu Bautista

From Ciudad Obregon I took the bus to Hermosillo. I just happened to be there the same week that a new church planting couple, Hector and Lulu Bautista were there looking for a house. They are moving from Jalapa, Veracruz to Hermosillo. That is a long move!

They’ve never lived in Northern Mexico before, and there is a huge difference between northern and southern Mexico. One of the main differences is there aren’t as many churches in Northern Mexico.

I had never met Pastor Hector and Lulu, so again Jesus brought everything together at just the right time. Hallelujah!

Hector asked me if he could stay in contact with me so I could mentor him and encourage him as he starts this church from scratch. They told me they are starting from zero. They don’t know anyone in Hermosillo. That is definitely the hardest way to start a church. Of course, nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but it is important to understand some of the challenges they will face. Also it’s super important for them that they don’t feel alone.

Join us in Prayer!
Dave & Dawn – Thanks for joining us on this journey and for praying with us

Dawn and I are praying that the Lord uses us to help plant 1,000 churches over the next 15 – 20 years. When I see Jesus open doors like this I know he’s at work. It’s the Lord’s desire to see his church grow and multiply.

Pray with us for these two couples, Roberto and Gabriela, and Hector and Lulu. They need wisdom from above and boldness as they share the gospel in the communities that the Lord has called them to. All of our church planters could use similar type of prayer. These are some of the other church planters we are working with Federico and Blanca, Mere and Edna in Mexicali, Davis and Luz in Tijuana, Petri and Yudy in Ensenada, Jose Luis and Ana in La Paz. There are others, but these are some of our newer church plants. Evangelism and new contacts is key when they are starting out.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Multiplication
Dave with pastors Samuel, Francisco, Roberto & Raul

On the road in Northwestern Mexico. This week I’ve traveled to some places in Northern Mexico that I’ve never been to, Ciudad Obregón and Hermosillo. I’m meeting with pastors and church planters. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get to know these outstanding men and women and to learn about their work. Such wonderful people who have made great sacrifices for the gospel.

One of the main questions I’m asking as I meet with them is if their church has reproduced? Have they not only successfully planted their church, but also started other churches?

Most of the pastors I talked to have already started other churches. One of them has started 3 churches in just a few years time. So encouraging!

We Long for More!

Dawn and I keep praying for more, and we are praying that we can help plant more churches throughout Mexico and Beyond. I like to say igniting church-planting movements on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! One of the principle places where we are seeing multiplication is in Cuba, but it is happening in Mexico as well. It’s so good to see the church grow.

I feel like one of the great advantages that I have when I meet with these pastors and learn from them is it also allows me to pray for them and to encourage them. The Lord has given me a love and a compassion for them, and we connect deeply in relatively brief period of time.

The Battle Rages On
Some of our Cuban prayer warrior friends. They know how to pray!

One of the pastors, Samuel told me that where he is planting his churches there is a lot of witchcraft going on, which is increasing in Mexico. He said because of that the people battle with more sickness. Samuel said his leaders have helped train them in how to pray and deal with the attacks of the enemy, but he also felt like they needed more help. We’ve found that witchcraft is a serious problem in Cuba and most of the other countries we work in. I believe that it’s on the rise in the US as well.

These pastors are right on the front of the battle lines, and they need encouragement and prayer support. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities, Ephesians 6:12.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 ESV

Even with these obstacles the church is growing. The church is multiplying!

Join Us in Prayer !

Dawn & I are glad to be on this journey with you

I celebrate this growth, and at the same time I long for more. Join with us in the battle. Pray with us and for us. Pray also for these pastors that are in the trenches seeing people freed from darkness through the light of the gospel! The battle rages on, but we have victory in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Family & Growth: So Exciting
Some of the church planters that we are working with that are seeing multiplication

Two of the things that excite Dawn and me the most is our close relationship with the church planters we are working with and seeing the church grow. We continue to work for and pray for multiplication on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

I feel like it’s hard to describe the special relationship that we develop with the church planters that we partner with. A number of them refer to us as family, ‘Padre y Madre’. I haven’t experienced many relationships like this in the U.S.A. I think people tend to be a little more guarded in the United States.

These relationships make us feel good, but there’s more to it than just good feelings!

Fruit: The Ministry is Growing!
Pastor Luis & May with their children David & Zuri

The Lord is using these relationships and the training and coaching that Dawn and I are able to provide to produce fruit. We are seeing ministries grow.

Just today one of the church planting couples that we are working with in Cuba, Luis and May told us how their relationship with us has made a dramatic difference in their lives. They refer to it as a before and after. Luis and May told us that their ministry and their effectiveness has grown since they met us.

They’ve been using some of the church planting training material that I shared with them the last time I was there. Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network) has some excellent church planting training resources that we’ve given them. Luis and May took those resources and have trained 12 couples that have started 12 house churches in their city in the last year. 400 people have been reached through these churches!

That is multiplication, and that is what we are praying and working for! Praise Jesus!

Continued Growth in 2020!
Pastor Mario & Yany’s church in Cabaiguan. There’s a growing network of churches in this city

Luis and May are planning on starting two more house churches this month as we begin 2020. They are already off and running! These are just two of the church planters that Dawn and I are working with. God is building his church on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Please pray for us as we kick-off 2020. We are praying for more churches and multiplication of leaders with a clear vision to reach the lost for Christ. God is so good, and he is so faithful to grow his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org