Church Planting in Baja California
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Petri & Yudy Petrikowski (top), Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their family (bottom right), Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo with their family (bottom left)

Last week I wrote about the pastors and leaders that we work within Mexico and on the Big Island. Dawn and I are excited about the Lord’s amazing and marvelous work. We give thanks that we are a part of our friends, who have become like families’ ministries. It gives us great joy to hear their testimonies, and we are often blown away by what God is doing through them. We give thanks to the Lord for how He is so faithfully working in their lives and through their churches.

I made a video with the help of my colleague, fellow missionary, Jim DeWitt. In this video, I highlighted three church planting works (photo above): Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana; Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada; Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali.

My son, Jonathan encouraged me to put out more videos, so I hope that you like this one. It’s about 5 minutes long. Let me know if you’d like to see more short videos. I’m trying to decide whether I should make more of them.

Beyond Borders – Video
Join us in Prayer for:
  • Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana
  • Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada
  • Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali
  • Pastors on the Big Island
  • Revival
  • Encouragement
Join us in Supporting These Ministries

Prayerfully consider making a donation today. Give to support these church planting ministries and those on the Big Island. The Coronavirus has hurt the economy in the cities that these pastors are working in, and it’s especially difficult on the Big Island.

Click here to donate

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Some of our dear friends on the Big Island. We are helping them plant their fourth church in this city. The church is multiplying!

Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.

I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.

They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of The pastors, Manuel Santos from Durango sent me a photo to show me how he is streaming his services in Mexico. Most of the pastors I know are just using their cell phone to stream their services, but Pastor Manuel has a more complex setup.

One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.

On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.

Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dave & Dawn with Petri and Yudy with Ensenada in the background. The plant is helping us to practice safe social distancing 😃

Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.

We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.

Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.

Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
Dave & Dawn with one of the pastoral couples that we work with in Tijuana, Davis & Luz

On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.

I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.

I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.

Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Some of the pastors and families that we are helping on the Big Island. Our familia – such wonderful people!

Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.

Click here to make a donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

How do we Handle All the Negativity?
Michelangelo’s La Pieta – Reminds us of Christ’s suffering for our sins to give us a future and a hope

On Saturday I was listening to some sermons and talks as I was mowing the lawn. It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing while I take care of our yard. Often, the Lord meets me and encourages me during this time. I did feel more hopeful after listening to these messages a couple days ago.

Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now. One of our trials is that both of my (Dave) parents moved to heaven within 67 days of one another.

I use YouTube to listen to a number of these sermons and talks. Later in the day, on Saturday, I decided to watch some news on YouTube as well. Someone had suggested a particular feed, which was supposed to be more positive. Unfortunately, the news I was finding was very disheartening. After I watched it I felt anxious.

I forgot about the news and watched the movie, Greyhound. It’s an entertaining, although intense movie. It got my mind off of the news at least for a little while. Then as the movie was ending I began to feel heavy, and I wasn’t sure why at first. Then I remembered the news reports I had watched about what was going on in some of our major cities. Of course, it doesn’t help that on top of all the bad news that I’ve recently lost both of my parents within a 67 day period.

I prayed for the Lord’s peace and came against fear and heaviness in Jesus name. This gave me peace.

After that experience, I began to think about how much negative news there is today. The COVID-19 crisis has dragged on much longer than any us hoped it would. There’s been so much social unrest and political divisiveness. And if you are on social media at all even Christians are posting messages that aren’t edifying. It can bring you down if you spend too much time there.

Our Biblical Hope
Dave & Dawn having a delicious meal and a little fun with church planters Davis & Luz. We encourage one another

All of this is swirling around right now. It’s the ambiance that we are living in, and it does make it harder to maintain our biblical hope. When we think of biblical hope, it’s not a wish, but rather an assurance. It is an assurance of God’s goodness. He is true to His promises and to work everything out for good.

Paul encourages us in various passages to be disciplined in our thinking. To think with a renewed mind, Romans 12:2. To take every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. To think about what is good, peaceable, excellent, and pure, Philippians 4:8,9.

This is an important discipline for each of us. We must recognize that our warfare is not against flesh and blood. It is against rulers and authorities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:11. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t play fair.

Since it’s a spiritual war, our weapons are not carnal. Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God, so that we might stand firm, Ephesians 6:13. Our enemy is sly, he is evil, and he also has a measure of ungodly wisdom.

As we stand our ground we remember who we are in Christ. I love to pray and to proclaim the wonderful promises found in God’s Word. I seek to do this every day, and it lifts me up. I pray this way for our church planters and for my family. The Lord responds and He answers. He is a good and loving Father.

We are Victorious in Christ!
A nesting dove in the backyard of my parents’ home. Reminds us of God’s perfect peace

We are triumphant and victorious in Christ. Hallelujah!

I’ve found it important to incorporate worship into my prayer life. Worship is an effective weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Martin Luther and many leaders since have claimed that worship is one of the most effective ways to defeat the enemy.

The Waymaker

Waymaker and The Blessing are two of the songs the Lord has used to minister to me during this time of walking through the valley. He is indeed the waymaker!

The Blessing
Lines for Food and Basic Needs Still Exist
One of the long lines waiting to buy food on the Big Island

Often, when I’m going through a difficult time, or I’m having a bad day I think about my friends in Mexico, or on the Big Island. My friends, our family on the Big Island tell us how the scarcity continues. They struggle to buy the food and basic necessities that they need. They have to stand in long lines all day just to survive. When I think of them and what they are living through it helps me to put things in perspective and to pray for them.

That is also one of the reasons I keep bringing up their needs. They need our help. We’ve been able to help more than 300 people, numerous families and pastors. Dawn and I continue to pray and hope that things will improve and that they will begin to have an easier time getting the food that they need. So far that hasn’t happened.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need
One of the young families that we’ve helped, because of your generosity

Your generosity is a huge help. The needs are real and they continue, so consider a gift today! Thank you.

Click to Give

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

Click to Donate

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Celebration of Life: Dad & Mom

I feel bad saying this, but it’s a relief to get through the funeral services for my parents. It took more than three months from the time my mom moved to heaven on March 19 of this year to have the memorial celebration of life service on May 27. We ended up having a combined celebration of life service, since my dad died only 64 days after my mom.

Dave sharing during Dad & Mom’s celebration of life service

I’m thankful for all the memories, and the good times that I enjoyed with dad and mom. I have much to be grateful for, but it’s still hard to say goodbye.

We held the celebration of life service at Riverpark Bible Church in Fresno, California this past Saturday. Mom attended Riverpark for a number of years, and she had many friends there. A good crowd gathered with us to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives. I was encouraged by how many came especially since we are still dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful service. Five of our family members shared about dad and mom and the influence they had on our lives. My brother, John; John’s son, Brandon; my son, Jonathan; my cousin, Nadine; I shared at the end.

I had to lead both of my parents graveside services, so it was a relief to be able to sit and listen as others reflected on the impact dad and mom had on their lives. At certain points I cried and felt sentimental as I thought about dad and mom and all they have meant to me over all of these years.

The Lord used my parents in my life and the life of my family to help us to get to where we are today. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to do or achieve many of the things we have accomplished if it were not for my parents and their influence in our lives. The Lord graciously used them in our lives to spur us on, to call us higher.

I believe there is more to come! “…rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” (John 7:38 TPT, emphasis mine). Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer.

The Blessing to 1,000 Generations
Jonathan sharing at his grandparents memorial service

My son, Jonathan put together a video slideshow that I’d like to share with you here. It was so good for me to watch this video and remember dad and mom. Remember their life and their love.

In the video we chose the song, “The Blessing,” which is sung by Cody Cairns and Kari Jobe. The song was written by them recently and it’s become one of our favorite songs. I love the idea of how God works through families and seeks to bring blessing through families. I hope that you will also enjoy it.

Celebration of Life Video: Ron & Virginia Diaso
Ronald & Virginia Diaso’s life and blessings

“For though a thousand generations may pass away, he is still true to his word. He has kept every promise he made to Abraham and to Isaac.”

Psalms‬ ‭105:8-9‬ ‭TPT (emphasis mine)
Welcome Home Dad & Mom
Love this photo and the thought of Dad & Mom dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus, our daughter, Hannah and all the saints

The morning of the memorial service the Lord led me to read Acts 7. This passage gives the account of Stephen being stoned and going to heaven. I was thinking about how our last breath on earth, leads to our next breath in heaven with Jesus. Then I read this passage, and it reminded me of how the Son of Man, Jesus welcomed Stephen into heaven. Jesus welcomes believers, he welcomes those in Christ home!

““Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!””

Acts 7:56 TPT

That’s a pleasant thought. It’s amazing, even too good to be true, to think of Jesus smiling and welcoming dad and mom home! Hallelujah!

If you’d like to make a donation in honor of my parents, or if you’d like to make a donation to help a hungry and needy family on the Big Island click on the button below.

Donate: You Can Help!

click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Long Goodbye to Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom – Dancing on the Streets of Gold!

Dawn and I are headed to Fresno today for my dad and mom’s combined memorial service. It’s been more than three months since my mom moved to heaven, and a month since my dad joined her. This Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM we are finally able to have a public memorial celebration of life service at Riverpark Church.

I think it will be a relief to my family and me to get through this part of the grieving process. All the restrictions that have been put in place have made it that much harder to go through the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is with us and He does comfort us.

The Grace to Carry On
We laid the remains of both of my parents to rest on June 8th. The public memorial celebration of life service is Saturday, June 27th.

In the midst of losing both of my parents within 64 days of each other, I cannot lie, it has been challenging to carry on. Yet, I’ve also noticed that it encourages me when I’m able to speak into the lives of our pastor friends, who have become like family to us.

Last week Dawn and I met with five different pastoral couples. Three of them are from our favorite Big Island, and two of them are from Tijuana and Ensenada. They tell us that it encourages them to see us still smiling and carrying on. I mean, I’m not smiling all the time, and some days I just feel like it’s a major accomplishment to have made it through the day. If you know what I’m saying?

Yet, when I am with our familia, it does give me joy! It fills both Dawn and me up!

We Give Thanks in the Midst of Our Sorrow
Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They are one of the pastoral couples that Dawn and I have met with to encourage them.

The Lord lifts me up as I hear their testimonies and as we can pray with them and for them. The Spirit ministers through us and touches each of us in a special way. Often there are tears as we meet together. They help us carry the burdens we are facing during these days. I have to praise my Papa God for loving us so deeply during these days of trial and darkness. Maybe it doesn’t seem like darkness and praise should be mentioned in the same sentence, but I can’t deny that we are in a time of mourning. We grieve, but not as those without hope. We do have HOPE!

I give thanks that my parents are no longer suffering, but the separation is real. The separation is painful. Often I think, “I’d like to call my dad and mom and say hello,” but that is no longer an option. Just as it is no longer an option to call Hannah. More PAIN!

I’ve become all too acquainted with death and grief and I don’t like either one of them. I believe the enemy of our soul wants to squash me so that I can no longer function. My Daddy is greater. He holds me up. He sustains me. I am more than a conqueror in Christ, but I must admit it is a battle.

Papa is Still at Work
One of the beautiful families on the Big Island that we’ve helped

I’d like to end my post with one of the testimonies from one of our pastor familia’s on the Big Island. Pastor Lucas* and Maria* went to visit one of the families in their church. They took their friend Yuni* an envelope with some funds that we sent them so that they could buy food. Maria cried with Lucas and Maria because she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her family. She told pastor Lucas, “tell David, you don’t realize the great blessing it is to receive this gift today. It is an answer to my prayers and my tears.”

Papa God is still at work, even in the midst of our journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He is still at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still at work through all of the riots and social unrest. We can trust him in the dark and in the light. Thank you, Jesus, for your great and mighty deeds!

You can still help our familia on the Big Island. The needs continue there. Families are still struggling to buy food and basic items like soap. To make a donation click the button below.

click to give online
Click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dad’s casket – the white box to the right is where Mom’s remains are. They were buried together

A week ago today on June 8th we laid my dad’s remains to rest. Since my mom was cremated they were both buried together on the same day. Definitely a somber moment.

I feel peace that both of my parents are now in heaven living without pain and suffering. They are in living and experiencing pure joy! Yet, I also feel lost at times with both dad and mom moving to heaven within 64 days of each other.

I don’t know what I would do without the hope that we have in Christ? It’s hard enough as it is. The separation is real, and I miss them. It’s hard to believe that I will never see either one of them again on this side heaven. I look forward to the reunion.

He Showed Up
Dad and Mom visiting us in Colorado Springs in 2010

Today I’d like to post what I shared at my dad’s graveside service. We will have a combined memorial service for them on June 27 at 11 AM at Riverpark Church in Fresno.

At first I didn’t want to lead the graveside service, and when I realized that I was going to lead it I felt some stress. That night, the Wednesday before the service I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like the Lord gave me the phrase, “he showed up”.

Then when I woke up the next day it was as if the Lord just downloaded the message that he wanted me to share.

Dad showed up. He got involved and that’s how he showed his love and care for our family. I know that everyone in my family has examples of how dad showed up and he got involved in our lives. He showed his interest and love in that way.

I didn’t even have to ask him to join us in building the church in memory of Hannah. Actually, I didn’t think that dad would be interested, since we went into Mexico during a hot time of the year. Yet, he was actually excited to join us, even at 82 years old.

He showed time and time again how he wanted to be a part of our lives, and although not everything in our family was ideal – I think we all gained strength from his commitment and love for our family. The same could be said for mom. They were anchors for our family.

Concern for Dad’s Faith

Dad with me at Jonathan and Hannah’s rehearsal dinner for their wedding on December 1, 2018

The one area we were all concerned about for dad was his faith. We prayed for him, mom prayed for him for years and years and many of our friends prayed for dad.

Before dad died and moved to heaven he began to show evidence of faith. His heart grew softer. He prayed with us some and let us pray for him, but there was still that doubt. I prayed and I know others were praying for more definite confirmation and assurance of his faith.

Just a few days before dad passed my brother, John had an opportunity to talk to dad about his faith. John asked dad, if he was sure that he would go to heaven when he died, and dad said, “no.” So John took the opportunity to explain to dad how Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead defeating sin, death and satan so that we might have life and be forgiven for us sins. He explained that dad just needed to receive the gift of salvation through prayer and placing his trust in Christ.

John said, “mom always prayed for you and hoped that you would join her in heaven.” Dad teared up when John said this, and dad said, “then I guess we better pray then.” John was able to lead dad in prayer to receive Christ. When they were done praying, dad asked if there was anything else that he had to do. He wanted to make sure that he had done what he needed to do.

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

Signs & Affirmations From the Father
The Lord is with us and gives us the strength of an eagle as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death

We hoped that dad would have stayed with us and been around longer, but we can take comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and that he is reunited with mom. Dad died just 3 days after he prayed to receive Christ with John. This reminds me of the death and resurrection of Christ – Jesus Christ rose on the third day! The Lord wants to encourage us in that!

We wish dad would have passed away in a more peaceful way. He moved to heaven while taking a shower.

I think it helps to remember that as dad took his last breath here, his next breath he was in heaven. There Jesus was with the angels to ready to receive him – he received him with a smile. Can you imagine what that must have been like?!?

Also there is a lot of symbolism in water, and I think the Lord wants to encourage us with that as a sign and confirmation of the Lord’s work in dad’s heart.

Water represents a washing and cleansing of our sins. We use water in baptism which is rich in symbolism and as a sign and seal of the Lord’s inner workings in our hearts.

Jesus offers living water and says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The Water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14 (ESV)

The river or spring of water refers to the Holy Spirit – there is an outpouring and an overflowing (see John 7:37-39). Our house was flooded some, because of the way dad passed away. I believe that the Lord wants to encourage us with the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our family (natural and spiritual).

The Lord is so good and loving to encourage us in this way!

GRIEVE BUT NOT AS THOSE WITHOUT HOPE
Mom and Dad in their early 20’s – they may look more like this now in heaven!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul says, “We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV, emphasis mine

It’s good and right to grieve, to be sad and in sorrow. There is a separation now – we miss dad – death is not a good thing. God created the world without death. Death entered into the world when Adam sinned. Paul says in your sorrow remain hopeful, because this is not the end. Then he goes on to say for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus comforts us with these words,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:1,2 (NKJV)

Dad is no longer suffering – he is in glory!

He is probably fishing with St. Peter and camping with John the Baptist. And I’m sure he’s enjoying playing and watching baseball and football with his dad and all his favorites. He’s in glory with mom and Hannah and our grandparents and one day soon we will all be reunited with him!

Our grief and sadness is momentary in light of eternity!

The Lord promises to comfort us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Our Cuban Daughter, May’s Encouragement
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

One of Dawn and my good Cuban friends who’s become like family to us, like a daughter, wrote a note of encouragement to dad, that I read to him the last time we were together and it encouraged dad so much that he cried through the whole thing.

May wrote:
“I would like you to know that I heard about you traveling to support your son, David when they built the church in memory of Hannah. I’m sure you went on that trip because of your love for your son and also that you knew that it was important for David to build that church in honor of Hannah.”

“When I realized how old you were and the miles that you traveled I started to cry, because of your love for David and your family is so big and it showed through your willingness to go on that long trip. You wanted to be alongside those you love to help them finish building the church. Since then I have admired you and prayed for you every day.”

“You are a fortunate and blessed man who knew how to build up and how to care for your beautiful family. We may never get a chance to meet on this earth, but one day we will meet in heaven where I can tell you, ‘Your actions speak louder than your words, and I admire you.’”

Everyone one of us in our family and some of our friends have stories like that of how dad expressed his love to us by being there, by showing up.

DAD FINISHED THE RACE
Dad is reunited with Hannah. He always had a special relationship with Hannah. They are together again.

Dad was determined to be here as long as he could. He told us he wanted to be here for his family and we all benefited from his love, his commitment and his determination.

Dad finished the race, and it was time for him to go home. As much as it pains us to say goodbye we can be assured that dad is no longer suffering. There is no mesothelioma in heaven, there are no breathing problems or heart illnesses – no more tears. Mom and dad are reunited with Hannah, our grandparents and all our dearly departed who are in Christ.

Most likely as dad is now part of the cloud of witnesses that Hebrews tells of – that he is cheering us on from above.

In as sense it falls on us now to carry on mom and dad’s legacy of love, prayer and commitment to our family – we are to carry the torch that they’ve passed on to us. So as we close be comforted that the good shepherd, our loving Heavenly Father promises to be with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, but to believe in God and to believe also in Christ. He is going ahead of us and preparing our mansion as we believe and place our trust in Christ.

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living!

Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ brother,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25, 26 (ESV)

Thank you for standing with us and praying for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

We will be having a combined Memorial Service for dad and mom on June 27 at 11 AM PDT at Riverpark Church in Fresno, California.

You can make a donation in memory of my dad and mom to Beyond Borders by clicking the button below.

click to give online

Or you can make a check out to:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Mail to: 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Hardest Post
Ronald John Diaso 6/19/1935-5/26/2020

I feel like this is one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever had to write. It was hard to write about my daughter’s home going and my mom’s recent graduation as well. This is especially hard not only because my dad has departed from this world, but it’s the end of an era. On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, my dad moved to heaven. Both of my parents are now gone. I take comfort in knowing that they are with our Savior, but I ache for them. I miss them in ways that are impossible to put in words!

My dad was a man of few words, but he was always involved in my life. It didn’t come natural for him to tell me he loved me until he got older, but he showed his love through being there. He supported my family and me in every way he could.

Jesus Transformed Our Relationship
Dave & Dad at Jonathan and Hannah’s wedding

I remember when my dad and I hit a rough patch when I was a teenager. I frustrated him, because of my rebellious ways. Then I made it through that period of my life, and I gave my life to Christ. My life began to change and my relationship with dad improved. When I decided that I wanted to go to seminary to prepare myself for the ministry I asked my dad for his blessing. He told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “even though we may have different thoughts on religion, I will never knock what you believe, because it has changed your life 180 degrees.”

That was an encouraging confirmation in my life, of the transformative work that Christ had done.

Dad’s Love & Support
Dad and Mom with Hannah, Jonathan and David in Colorado Springs

Dad stood behind his word and he supported me and helped get me through seminary. He came to my graduation ceremony.

Both my parents visited us when our first son, David was born in Texas. They came to Mexico City to visit us when Jonathan was born. They flew out to Washington DC when Hannah was born. Dad was always there, and he made it clear that he wanted to be involved in our lives.

When he got older he still made the effort to show his love and support. He helped us when we moved from Colorado to the San Diego area. Last year at age 83 he flew out for both of our boys’ weddings. He was definitely an All-Star dad.

One of his most amazing acts of love was when he joined us when we went to Mexicali to build the church in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Dad was actually excited about being able to be us and show his love and support. I was surprised that he would want to go into Mexico, into the desert at the hot time of the year to help.

This all from a man who didn’t like to travel all that much. I have a lot of wonderful memories, because he did!

Christ’s Work in Dad’s Heart

One concern I had about dad was in the area of his faith. He didn’t show any or much evidence of faith in Christ. We prayed for years and years for dad. My mom prayed tirelessly for him.

Mom & Dad are dancing on the streets of gold now

Towards the end of his life he began to become softer and more open. We prayed together and I had some opportunities to share the gospel with him. The last week I spent with dad he cried with me almost every day as we talked about faith and mom. During my mom’s funeral on May 1, I led everyone in prayer to affirm our faith, and my dad prayed with us. I saw many evidences of Christ working in his life, which gave me hope.

I began to feel a peace about my dad’s relationship with Christ, but I continued to pray for a more clear and sure evidence of his faith. Then a little more than a week ago, just 3 days before dad moved to heaven my brother, John called me and told me that he had just shared the gospel with dad and they prayed together.

John asked dad, “if you died do you know for sure that you would go to heaven.” Dad said he wasn’t sure. John explained the importance of placing his faith in Christ and praying to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. John told him that mom always prayed and hoped that he would join her in heaven. Tears formed in dad’s eyes and he said, “I guess we better pray then.” John led my dad in prayer, and then dad asked, “is there anything else that I have to do?” John explained more about the gift of God’s grace.

Then just three days later, dad departed from this world and joined mom in heaven!

God Answers Prayer!
Dad is reunited with Hannah now!

God is so good to lovingly hear and answer our prayers. I miss my dad, and I’m sad because I won’t see him again on this earth. Yet, I have peace and I’m thankful for the assurance that he is with mom, Hannah, and his Heavenly Father!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15 ESV). I’m doing both as I go through this season of life. I am thankful that the Lord is with me and comforting my family and me all along the way! The Good Shepherd comforts me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Dad’s graveside service will be Monday, June 8th at 10 AM at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Fresno (space is limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions). A viewing will be held on Sunday, June 7th from 4 PM – 7 PM at Farewell Funeral Home. We are hoping to have a combined memorial service for Dad and Mom on June 27th at Riverpark Church (still to be confirmed).

If you’d like to make a gift in memory of my dad in lieu of flowers you can give to Beyond Borders by clicking on the button below.

click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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