The Ministry Orientation Workshop in Mexico City

The Ministry Orientation Workshop with church planting candidates and evaluators

I’m writing this post from Quito, Ecuador which is exciting, because it fits in with the vision the Lord gave me last year for church planting. Before I write about my time in Quito I’d like to talk with you about the Ministry Orientation Workshop that I was involved in last week in Mexico City.

Dawn and I love Mexico City. We have dear friends in this huge city where we lived for many years, so it’s always fun to visit.

The Ministry Orientation Workshop is an evaluation process we use to confirm the calling, gifting and competencies of candidates for church planting. Whenever I’m involved in this assessment process I’m reminded of all the challenges involved in planting a church. We put the candidates through a number of scenarios so that we can have the best opportunity to effectively evaluate whether the Lord is truly calling them to plant a church.

I’m thankful for a Good Mentor in Dr. Thomas Graham

Pastor Rafael Rodríguez giving some instructions to the group

My mentor Dr. Thomas Graham developed the first church planting assessment centers about 40 years ago. It’s wonderful to see so many church groups and missions using the process that he started all those years ago. Tom told me that he first developed this process for the Peace Core. He said that before they started using this process it seemed like all they needed was a warm handshake to approve you.

I studied my doctorate under Dr. Graham, and I also worked for him for a few years. I’m forever grateful for all the time he gave me and how he built into my life so that I could more effectively help others to be successful in church planting. Tom is definitely one of my heroes.

Evaluating the Call and Gifting of Potential Church Planters

The group working on one of the exercises that we assigned them

We had five couples and two single people go through our church planters workshop last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them personally and to hear their stories. It’s always thrilling for me to learn about all that the Lord has done in the lives of others to get them to where they are now. It’s not easy to plant a church, so although the process we put the candidates through can be pressure packed it’s an important time. This aids us to get to know them and to help to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to determine whether we believe they have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts needed to plant a church.

Praying for More Churches in Mexicali and Beyond!

Dave the tall one in the middle with Blanca & Federico

I had one couple, Federico & Blanca Muñoz go through the church planters workshop. I’d love to see them plant a church in Mexicali, Mexico. This church plant will be in partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Our prayer is that we can start a church plant in Mexicali later this year. I’m grateful that Federico & Blanca were approved by our group of assessors.

Please continue to join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to start a church planting movement on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! That is why I am in Quito for some meetings on promoting and training leaders in Latin America so that more churches will be planted and that we will also have healthier churches. The Lord gave me a vision last year to trust him to see at least 1,000 churches planted. It’s an impossible goal that only our Lord Jesus can accomplish! Thank you Jesus for this great opportunity and that I can trust and believe in you for the impossible!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ramping up for the New Year

One year anniversary celebration for Hechos 13 church

I don’t know how it is for you, but I often have a hard time getting in gear after the holidays. Part of it is engaging emotionally and even physically. Don’t get me wrong 2018 was an excellent year, but after slowing down and spending some quality time with my family it’s not easy to get psyched up again.

What’s a guy to do!?!

Today I’m headed to Mexico City for a weeklong church planters assessment with people who I love and enjoy ministering with. Then the following week I’m headed to Quito, Ecuador to connect with an amazing ministry, Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network).  I will be meeting with their leadership as we desire to partner with them with a goal of seeing more churches started and to create an environment to grow healthier churches. I appreciate your prayers for my time with them.

So you can see that there’s not much time to rest as the year begins with much activity!

Galatians 6 – One of my Favorites

One of the verses that the Lord has used to encourage me over the years as I start off a new year is found in Galatians 6.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 ESV

I love Paul’s encouragement to not grow weary. And when I start thinking about the many good things that the Lord lets me be involved in then I start getting excited.

Wonderful Celebration: So Thankful for the Advance!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading Hechos 13

Even last night, Sunday night, I participated in the first year anniversary of a new church plant in Tijuana. The church plant is called, Hechos 13 (Acts 13). My good friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Daniel Nuñez is planting this church. Ministerios Transformación the ministry that Pastor Daniel leads has planted almost 40 churches over the last 11 years. We have a wonderful relationship and partnership for the gospel.

A number of other pastors from Ministerios Transformación were at the celebration as well, and it was so good to see them as well as the people from the local congregation. When I see the fruit of our labor then I start feeling excited!

As I drove home last night I began to give thanks for all that the Lord has done so far. Dawn and I also give thanks and we look forward to all that the Lord is going to do this next year. We are super excited about our growing relationship with Red de Multiplicación. This connection is allowing us to expand our reach, which is something that we’ve been praying for!

Join us in Prayer!

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith togetherDawn & I appreciate your prayers as we walk on this journey of faith together

So as we kick off the ministry in this new year we ask you to join us in praying for the Lord’s leading and guidance. We truly want to be Spirit-led, and not driven purely by methods and plans. Our desire is that Jesus is in the middle of everything we do, and this his kingdom will expand on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

We would also appreciate your prayers for Dawn and her mom, Alice. Alice had surgery on her neck in early December right after our son, Jonathan’s wedding. Dawn will be heading out to Pennsylvania to help her mom out while I travel to Mexico City and Quito. We do pray for the Lord’s continued and ongoing healing for Alice! Thank Jesus that he is our healer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Looking back on God’s good work

When I think back on 2018 I give thanks for all that the Lord did this last year. The highlights this year were building a new church plant in our daughter, Hannah’s memory. That was a huge event and all that went into it. I’m so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to honor Hannah’s memory in this way. Dawn and I are thankful for the pastor that is leading the church plant. Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna have become like family to us, and we’ve grown to love them.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.
The church is near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service on May 6, with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

We love their passion to reach the lost for Christ and to see the community transformed by the gospel. Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know them, and being able to coach and encourage them in their ministry.

Cheering on from Heaven
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.
Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Thankful to be able to build a church honoring her life & memory

There’s so much mystery surrounding heaven and the interaction between heaven and earth. Hebrews speaks of a cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭ESV

We believe if there is any way possible Hannah is in heaven cheering on the work of this church, and even interceding on behalf of Mere and Edna as they serve in Mexicali.

One thing we do know is that Hannah loved Mexico, and she loved the people we work with in Mexico. She was born in Mexico City, and just two weeks before she moved to heaven she told us how she’d love to live in Mexico.

Jonathan & David working hard on the church
Jonathan & David working hard helping to build the church

We miss Hannah so much, our heart aches for her, but we are thankful that our grief is not without hope. Our whole family, David jr., Jonathan, Dawn and I give thanks for all the people that gave towards this project and participated in building the church.

Dawn and I are encouraged by the progress that Pastor Mere and Edna have made as they reach out into the community. We also look forward to seeing all that the Lord has in store for them and this special church.

Celebrating Jonathan & Hannah’s Marriage
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!

The other special highlight for us in 2018 just happened the first day of December when our son, Jonathan married Hannah Blanco. Now they are Mr. & Mrs. Jonthan Diaso. Both of them love Jesus, and they desire to serve the Lord and to be involved in ministry. They have tremendous gifts, and as they come together we know that the Lord is going to do a great work through them. We are so excited for them and cheering them on as they start their lives together.

I wrote more about their wedding and marriage in my last post.

Looking forward to 2019
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily

We already know that 2019 holds something special for us as well. We know this because of God’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plans for us are for good and not for evil. We also know this, because our son David just got engaged to Emily Tenison and they are planning on getting married in May of 2019. The Lord continues to redeem and expand our family and ministry!

Thanks so much for praying for us and encouraging us through this past year. We know that we would not have been as effective or successful without a team of faithful friends standing with us. People who pray for us, encourage us and who give financially to support the ministry. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your goodness and that all of your promises are yes and amen in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. If you’d like to give a year-end gift you can give to the ministry online through this link:

Click to make a donation

Wedding Bells for Jonathan and Hannah

Jonathan & Hannah Diaso

In my last post I mentioned two momentous events that took place on December 1. Our son, Jonathan’s wedding, uniting Jonathan to Hannah Blanco and the inauguration of the president of Mexico, Andres Manual Obrador Lopez (AMLO). Jonathan was born in Mexico so it was fitting that these two events occurred on the same day. Today I’d like to focus on the more significant event in our immediate world, our son’s marriage.

The Joy of Marriage!

Grandpa Ron Diaso, David Diaso, Dawn Diaso, Grandma Alice Moore, Hannah and Jonathan, and David Diaso, Jr.

After two years of grieving our daughter, Hannah’s move to heaven the Lord gave us a glorious event to celebrate. The Lord gifted us with another daughter named, Hannah. I believe this is not mere coincidence, but it’s part of the Lord’s redeeming work in the life of our family. I must admit it takes some getting used to seeing the name Hannah Diaso again. I do believe that Hannah is not only a gift to Jonathan, but to our whole family.

I thank the Lord for his love and graciousness to our family! Great is Thy faithfulness.

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalms 30:5 ESV

One of the many things that excites me about Jonathan and Hannah’s marriage is that they both love Jesus and they have a desire to serve him. The Lord has gifted them, and together they make a great team that the Lord will use to see lives transformed for his glory.

After the ceremony many of our friends encouraged us and told us that it was the most enjoyable wedding they had been to, and that it was deeply spiritual. Thank you, Jesus, because we prayed for the Lord’s presence and he heard and answered our prayers. It was a great privilege for me to officiate the wedding ceremony for my son and his bride.

I must admit it was an emotional day for me, seeing my son get married and officiating the wedding. There were times during the service where I had to hold back the tears. It was a joyous and sentimental day. Right before we began the wedding ceremony Hannah called me up to where she and the other women had been getting ready and she gave me a gift. She gave me a tie clip that said, “Father of the Groom,” and she gave me a picture of Jonathan and me fishing from a few years back. Hannah wrote some beautiful words on the back the picture frame. When she gave me the gifts and I saw the picture I lost it, and I couldn’t talk for a little bit while I cried. After I gathered myself I told her how much I loved her. I think that special moment prepared me for the service!

Join us in Prayer!

David giving an awesome speech for his brother and new sister

Join us in praying for Jonathan and Hannah as they start their lives together. We are so excited for them! Hannah comes from a wonderful family and we’ve grown to love them as well. We look forward to getting to know them better.

The Lord is so good to love us and to continue to redeem and restore what was taken.

Thank you friends for cheering for my family and me. It makes it all the more special to have friends who love us and share this journey with us, both the good and the bad. Keep rooting for us, and pleading to the Heavenly Father on our behalf.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Two Monumental Events in One Day
The newlyweds – Jonathan & Hannah Diaso with, grandpa Ron Diaso, David Diaso, Dawn Diaso, grandma Alice Moore and David Diaso, Jr.

On Saturday, December 1st at least two monumental events took place. One our son, Jonathan married, Hannah Blanco. Now we have another daughter named Hannah. Interesting how the Lord works! The wedding was an amazing and wonderful celebration!

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Inauguration

The second monumental event that took place on December 1st is that Mexico inaugurated their new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The people use his initials and call him AMLO. He won the vote in historic fashion back in July. Those running against him were not even close.

As I read articles and talk to people about AMLO many see him as a type of savior for Mexico. This is partly due to all the crime and corruption in the previous administrations. AMLO appealed to the humble and the disenfranchised in the country, and Mexico has many people that fit that description.

My motivation here is not a political analysis, but more of raising some awareness of the change going on within Mexico, and call people to pray.

Herbs, Incense, and Purification

In AMLO’s attempt to reach out to the often overlooked indigenous people he invited them to participate in the inauguration. They performed a purification or a cleansing with incense and herbs.

On Sunday an article appeared in the L.A. Times titled, Herbs, incense, a wooden staff — Mexico’s indigenous cultures take the inaugural stage to purify the president.  In the article CECILIA SANCHEZ  and PATRICK J. MCDONNELL report:

“At one point, Lopez Obrador, who was sworn into office Saturday for a six-year term, dropped to his knees in a cloud of incense as indigenous healers performed a rite of purification, brushing him with bunches of herbs.”

LA Times by Cecilia Sanchez and Patrick J. Mcdonnell

I don’t know if the president knew what he was doing, but he invited the wrong gods into his presidency. Instead of submitting to the one true God to guide and lead him he invited evil in. AMLO dropped to his knees before the witch doctors!

Be Humble, Pray and Seek the Lord

This is in stark to contrast what the Lord promised to Solomon when he dedicated the temple to the Lord. The Lord said in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

The Lord calls us to humble ourselves and turn to him, to seek his face. I realize that neither the USA nor Mexico are Israel, but there are spiritual principles that the Lord has established. When we seek the Lord and look to him this invites his blessing. When we seek other gods it invites evil. The Lord does work in and through world leaders. I’d like to encourage you to join us in prayer for Mexico and for their new president AMLO. Pray that the president and the country will humble itself, pray and seek the Lord. I do believe God is at work in powerful ways in Mexico, and that is a big reason why opposition comes.

Dawn and I love Mexico and her people. We’ve given much of our lives to serving the Lord in Mexico. We pray for true and lasting change and transformation in our Querido Mexico.

I do thank the Lord that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. That greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world! Thank you, Jesus, for your mighty and great power. You defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross. We have victory in Christ! Pray for Mexico that the gospel will cover the land like the waters cover the sea.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work in Mitla

SIL Missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca

I made it back home from my ministry trip to Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico. I must admit I’m tired, and it wasn’t an easy trip, but I’m encouraged by what the Lord did through my time in Oaxaca. It was amazing for me to get to know and learn more about the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries.

I was in the city of Mitla in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. SIL has a center there for much of the training and the translation they do. I enjoyed training the SIL missionaries and getting to know their stories.

Of course, while I was gone it seemed like the whole world’s attention was on the caravan arriving on the border. Which is ironic, since that’s where I live, but I wasn’t here when all the action was beginning.

My Highlights From Mitla

Ryan teaching a complicated (for me) training module on translation

One of the highlights for me was when one of the participants was leading his practice teaching session. He decided to do a lesson on some technical ideas related to translation. I was immediately lost. All the people at my table lit up with excitement and looked at me. I could tell that this was something they loved, and they take a healthy bit of pride in their trade.

They were so excited that they could help me as I looked on bewildered as Ryan led the session. I didn’t understand much of anything that they were talking about, but they assured me it was basic or beginners level. Well, even though I didn’t have a clue it was enjoyable to see them get so worked up about their craft.

The Many Languages of Mexico

Having some fun putting our learning to music

I learned during my time with my new friends that there are approximately 365 languages spoken in Mexico. That is the 5th highest number of languages spoken among all the countries in the world. The Bible has been translated in 150 of the languages in Mexico. SIL is currently working on 70 more languages. Some of the translations take 34 years or more, which is hard to imagine.

These missionaries go into villages with almost no access to the outside world for months at a time while they are working on the translation projects. Since I’ve always done my missionary work in large cities it’s hard to imagine living and working in these remote areas.

Join Us in Prayer

Mitla, known as the city of the dead

I thank the Lord for the work of SIL and the opportunity the Lord gave me to train and get to know these very committed servants. Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers for the ministry of SIL and for future opportunities to partner together with them and others for the kingdom.

We’d also appreciate your prayers as we head to Colorado this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with our two boys, David and Jonathan. Then our son Jonathan will be married on December 1, and I will be performing the wedding ceremony.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Training Translators in Mitla, Oaxaca

Dave leading a training session with SIL missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico

This week I have the privilege of training the Summer of Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico. Mitla is known as the city of the dead. Wikipedia states, “The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlán, which was the place of the dead or underworld.” In the spiritual sense it doesn’t have the greatest history, and there is much need in this area.

There are a number of indigenous groups in the state of Oaxaca that do not have the Bible in their own language. It’s amazing to me as I talk to the SIL missionaries about their translation work. Some of them travel back and forth to small and isolated villages. They’ve put in years of hard work in seeking to bring the Bible into the native tongue of the many tribal groups that live in this part of Mexico.

The Amazing Work of SIL Missionaries

A fun and active training session

No one can question the commitment these missionaries have to bringing the Word of God the gospel to lost and hurting people. One particular woman I met has spent 32 years working on translation for one particular tribal group. Usually it doesn’t take that long to translate the Bible, but sometimes it does. I met others who’ve spent 16 years working with a team to translate the Bible. The work of translation is a long and laborious ministry of love.

Another thing that impresses me about the SIL missionaries is that they are extremely intelligent. Can you imagine all the work and training involved in learning how to translate the Bible into another language. It’s complicated and strenuous work.

Jim DeWitt leading the training at the SIL center in Mitla

My good friend and colleague Jim DeWitt invited to join him and to be part of the training team as we train the SIL missionaries in train the trainer material. It’s an excellent resource for them, and I wonderful for me to serve in this way. Jim grew up as an MK, missionary kid in Mexico. His parents served with Wycliffe in Mexico, so he has deep roots here.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray for Mitla and the many Unreached indigenous groups in Oaxaca, Mexico

Pray with us that the Lord will use our team as we minister to these missionaries this week. It’s a great opportunity to influence them and be used to help them improve in the very important work they are doing!

Thank you so much for standing with us and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org