Find Your This
Our MTWMexico team at our booth (about half of our team is pictured here)

Our MTWMexico team at our booth (about half of our team is pictured here)

Once every three years Mission to the World (MTW) has a national missions conference called, Global Missions Conference #GMC17. This past weekend Dawn and I participated in the GMC in Dallas, Texas. There were close to 2,000 people there including 450 missionaries.

The theme for the conference was “Find Your This”.

MTW MEXICO was well represented. Almost all of our missionaries from Mexico attended, including some of our national partners. Our team made an outstanding display for our booth. I was blown away by how good it looked, which helped us to attract attention. We not only had a beautiful booth, but our Mexican partners made homemade salsa, so we had chips and salsa at our booth as well.

Send More Workers, Lord!

All of this hard work on our presentation made for a wonderful backdrop on our conversations with many people who are interested in Mexico. Some of them already know us, some of them are interested in getting involved in one way or another. One of our prayers is for more workers.

Lord, send us more partners and more workers!

God is on the Move in Mexico
Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the conference

Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the conference

I had the opportunity to give a seminar at the conference to encourage people there to consider Mexico. I enjoy the opportunity to share about God’s call on our lives to serve the people of Mexico and to ask people to join us.

It saddens me to see all the negative news coming out about our neighbor. Yes, there are still many challenges, many needs, many hills to climb in reaching Mexico with the gospel. There is much work to do and a huge need for more laborers. Yet, despite all the bad news, God is on the move.

I pray along with Dawn and our team for a renewed Mexico as the gospel so thoroughly impacts every corner of the society as the waters cover the sea.

We must not forget what primary task is. As missionaries, we are not called to build walls, if anything we are called to tear down spiritual strongholds and to build bridges for the gospel.

  • We are ambassadors for Christ.
  • We represent a different kingdom.
  • We are people of the Lamb.
    • The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
Rejoicing in the Work the Lord is Doing!
MTW Mexico Display

MTW Mexico Display

I thank the Lord for all the churches that have been planted since we began our work. These churches in cities like, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Monterrey, Durango, Juarez, Reynosa, Tijuana, and Ensenada represent lives changed and transformed by the gospel. How can we not praise the Lord for his good work!?!

We give thanks for you!

Wow! What a blessing to have friends like you praying with us, and encouraging us along the way. Thank you, Jesus!

Our MTW MEXICO team just launched a new website to represent our work in Mexico. You can find the website on this link: www.mtwmexico.org

Continue to pray with us that the Lord raises up more laborers for the harvest field.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ringing the Bell for Missions
Dave at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dave at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dawn and I just returned from a whirlwind trip. We started our trek in the Hartford, Connecticut area to visit our son, David Jr., and to help him move. Then we drove down to Maryland for the weekend and spent some time visiting some wonderful friends and a new church that has just started partnering with us in ministry.

It’s been a number of years since Dawn and I were able to visit our churches and ministry partners on the east coast. We’ve been so focused on our ministry in Mexico it’s been hard to break away. Also, the difficulties we went through in the years leading up to Hannah’s early home going made traveling more of a challenge.

This trip was outstanding and it awakened in me not only the need but the desire to reconnect with many of those who partner with us in ministry. My only regret is that there were still a number of our friends and partners that we weren’t able to see, so we hope we can make a return trip in the near future.

Thankful for the Task the Lord has Entrusted us with
Dave sharing during Sunday School at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dave sharing during Sunday School at Trinity Presbyterian Church

While we visited Trinity Presbyterian Church Dawn and I had the opportunity to share with them about what God is doing in Mexico. I love sharing about Mexico and the people we work with, such wonderful people. Our son, David was able to join us so that made it that much more enjoyable.

The people at the church were wonderful. What a privilege to share about the challenges as well as the victories we experience in ministry. I find it especially enjoyable to meet people who used to live on the field or the missionary kids who are now grown and living in the United States.

Pray with us for more partners and for Workers
Dave and Dawn with some of our wonderful friends - Jim & Leslie Wilkins and Dave and Cathy Rysak and our sone, David, Jr.

Dave and Dawn with some of our wonderful friends – Jim & Leslie Wilkins and Dave and Cathy Rysak and our son, David, Jr.

The older I get the more convinced I am of the necessity of working together in ministry. The importance for Dawn and me to have a loving team that surrounds us encourages us and prays for us. We seek to love, encourage and pray for our friends as well.

Not only do we need a team that comes around us in this way, but we need more workers. We are praying for more people who are called by God to leave the comfort of their own home to serve with us on mission with God in Mexico.

Please pray with us for the Lord to raise up more laborers. Jesus still needs men and women for the harvest. It’s one of the blazing truths of Christianity!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Blessed to Serve on Mission with God
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and Dave walk on this winding road of faith together

Some days I feel so excited about what we get to do, and who we get to work alongside. Even though working in mission isn’t always easy, I realize that Dawn and I have been blessed in so many ways as we serve in helping to fulfill the great commission. Yet, I’ve found myself feeling up and down these last couple of weeks because we just came upon the one year anniversary of when Hannah went to heaven.

That’s been truly painful. There’s no way to hide from it.

I think Dawn and I receive more support than most people do when they’ve lost a loved one, which does help sustain us. The Lord also lifts us up. He does it day by day and moment by moment.

The Painful One Year Anniversary
Dave picking flowers for Hannah's gravesite on the one year anniversary of Hannah's moving to heaven

Dave picking flowers for Hannah’s gravesite on the one year anniversary of Hannah’s moving to heaven

Last Wednesday, October 18th is when we crossed the one-year threshold. Dawn and I felt like it would be best if we could be out of town for a few days during that time. A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with a close friend and ministry partner, JD Pearring. JD lovingly asked us how we were doing, and what our plans were for the one year anniversary. It was something we had thought about, but Dawn and I hadn’t come up with a decision yet. JD invited to go to the Transformation Ministries conference in the LA area. After we thought about it some we decided to attend the conference.

The Lord met us there in some amazing ways. The conference started on the 19th, and both Dawn and I felt down in the morning as we were driving to the conference.

We were sad on the 18th, and it was hard to go visit Hannah’s gravesite, but in some ways, I felt worse emotionally on the 19th.

The moment we drove up to the conference and got out of the car the first thing that occurred is I dropped my phone in the street and cracked the screen! Huge bummer! Things seemed to be getting worse. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see our friends at that point.

Once the conference began we worshipped the Lord together. The group that led us guided us into the presence of the Lord, and there as I began to worship I felt the weight begin to lift. Praise Jesus!

Then Margaret Feinberg shared a wonderful message. Neither Dawn nor I had heard of her before, but she did an excellent job of transparently sharing about joy in the midst of trials. Margaret is facing cancer at the moment, so she is walking through a valley herself as she ministers to others.

Rejoice in the Lord!

One of the passages she shared really spoke to me from Habakkuk 3.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19, ESV)

This passage ministered to me in such a way, that I just had to start sharing it with others. I had read it before, but since we are going through this painful period of mourning it touched me in a special way.

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

The other way that the Lord lifted us up was being around friends who love Jesus and who love us. Dawn met some new friends who ministered to her in a special way. As we pass through this season we see the Lord using our storying to minister to others out of our pain. God does not waste our trials.

I must say I wish for more. I pray for more. I ask for more. I want more of Jesus and more of the Spirit in my life. God hears my prayer, I’m confident of that, but the answer is not always the way I hope for or expect. Yet, I will praise him. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” (Job 3:15a)

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Hannah’s Homegoing
A photo of our family taken by Jacob Betchol lylphotography

A photo of our family taken by Jacob Betchol lylphotography.com

#AHANNAHPERCENT – Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

One year ago tonight Hannah moved to heaven. She passed into glory. O how we miss our beautiful daughter, and the boys miss their much-loved sister.

A close friend of ours, Jacob Betchol posted this tribute on his website today. I asked him if it would be okay for me to share it with you on my site, and he agreed. Thank you, Jacob!

We first met him when our son, David, and Jacob became close friends and debate partners at San Diego Christian College. Jacob is a talented photographer. He’s also a great friend and support to our family. He took some beautiful photos for our family about two years ago. He also took this stunning shot of Hannah for her graduation from IMPACT, and it ended up being used for her graduation to heaven as well.

Here’s Jacob’s website: lylphotography.com/Ahannahpercent and I copied his post below. I think you will enjoy what he has to share.

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly. Photo by Jacob Betchol lylphotography.com/ahannahpercent

Jacob’s Post

Hannah stood alone at the front, radiating a smile. Beautifully framed she stood still, the air around her almost bright and airy. The memories and stories that friends and family shared about her, joined together into an encouraging melody. And as the stories swelled around her, it was as if her smile grew even larger.
______

It was late afternoon, the sun was settling for the day. Its rays were long and colorful, and radiated with such beauty. That the posing and the click of the shutter were almost distractions from the creativity of the golden hour. When Hannah had asked me to photograph her for her graduation, it took me longer than usual to get back to her. I almost said no.

Photography was no longer just a passion, it was (and is) my vocation. So I had started saying no when people asked me to take photographs. The feeble excuses that it would add to my portfolio or would just take few minutes were falling flat. And yet, I found myself in Point Loma that day taking graduation photographs. My thank you for my efforts, a dirty chai, was sitting on an uneven stump slowly melting. I’m not sure why I said yes that day, but this story is not about that answer.

This is the story of a photograph worth taking. I’m so glad I agreed to photograph Hannah that day. It has been almost a year since I walked up to her portrait. My hand reaching into my suit pocket for my handkerchief wiping away the tears forming in the corner of my eye. Hannah was no longer with us, but her memory encourages me to this day. Little did I know, that a photograph from that graduation photo session would end up in front of the sanctuary for her graduation to heaven. That her smile would embody the stories shared then and even now.

Hannah’s family coined the word Ahannahpercent to embody her memory. If you know the Diaso family, you know that it is impossible to feel unwelcome in their home. Hannah was the sum of that welcoming grace. She always had a bright smile and a warm welcome. She cared for you and lived fully present in the moment. While it can be so easy to go through the motions, to say hello without being genuine or to offer a smile that is not caring. That is not living life Ahannahpercent.

She is an encouragement to me as I photograph wedding days. A reminder to be fully present and invested in the stories I am documenting. If I can be unashamedly excited and genuinely thrilled by the details of the day. I am photographing Ahannahpercent. It calls for going beyond platitudes and genuinely caring for people. One of Hannah’s good friends shares it best. I’ll let Susanna take it from here.

Thank You for Standing with us on this Journey!

We appreciate your prayers and encouragement over the last year and during these difficult days.

Our family has set up two memorials for Hannah. AHANNAHPERCENT: Hannah Diaso Memorial for scholarships to young women who are interested in serving the Lord in ministry. You can give to that fund by clicking the link above. The fund is managed by Mission to the World.

We are also working on raising funds for a Hannah Diaso Memorial Church. You can give to that outreach project by clicking on the above link.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

La Pieta
Dave & Dawn in St. Peter's Cathedral

Dave & Dawn in St. Peter’s Cathedral

Dawn and I had the opportunity to visit St. Peter’s Cathedral when we were in Rome. We actually walked up to the top of the dome, which gave us a good work out and breathtaking views.

One of my favorite pieces of art that I saw in the Cathedral is La Pieta, which I believe Michaelangelo sculpted. It depicts Mary with Christ laying across her after he had been crucified. In the sculpture, you see Mary’s sorrow. Dawn and I have thought in a different and more profound way about loss, since our daughter, Hannah passed away last year. We are coming up on the one year anniversary, which has brought many hard memories back. Hannah went to be with the Lord around midnight – the ending of one day, October 17 and the beginning of a new day October 18.

Identifying with Mary’s Sorrow
La Pieta

La Pieta

We are able to identify with Mary’s sorrow in a much deeper way. I think most of us tend to focus on the resurrection, which is supremely important to our faith. As Paul says, without the resurrection we would be fools. My point isn’t to minimize the significance of the resurrection rather highlight that Christ suffered as he bore our sins. It cost Him dearly. Also, those that were close to him at the time did not realize at first that Christ would be raised, even though He told them that he would.

Back to the sculpture, many have said that it not only captures the sorrow, the sadness of Mary, but also the hope. I think this is key. There is hope in the gospel, so much hope.

I don’t know what I would do in my sorrow if it were not for the hope that we have in Christ. Paul told us not to grieve as those who do not have hope. We do have much to help us lift up our eyes from where our help comes from.

Grief and Grieving
Dawn, Hannah & Dave at MTW's Link conference

Dawn, Hannah & Dave at MTW’s Link conference taken in September 2016

As I go through this period of grieving with my wife I notice that she is more expressive about her sadness. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Hannah, and I don’t miss her. Often, I wonder and even ask out loud, “why”? “What could have we done differently? Is there something we could have done to change the outcome?” I don’t really know the answer to those questions, but I do know that the Lord comforts me in my sorrow, just as I’m sure he comforted Mary as she wept when Christ was crucified.

The Bible even encourages by saying that we have a high priest who can sympathize with us in our weaknesses. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV) Then the author of Hebrews continues in Hebrews 5:7,8, “In the days of his flesh, ‘Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.”

It seems strange that there would be comfort in the cross. Comfort in the symbol that signified the most painful and most disgraceful way to die during that time period. There is pain in the cross and yet there is comfort because of the resurrection. Christ suffered on our behalf. He paid the debt for our sins. He rose on the third day as was prophesied. Because of His death and resurrection, we have hope, and those who place their faith in Christ have life everlasting. That’s why the Bible says, “O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57, ESV).

Thanks be to God my friends. Thanks be to God who takes who comforts us in our sorrow and sadness and takes away the sting of death and gives us live!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Greece & MTW
Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Dawn and I just returned from a LEAD meeting in Athens, Greece. Every three years Mission to the World (MTW) holds a leadership meeting for all our missionaries from around the world and our national partners.

It’s an amazing time to come together as a group committed to reaching the world for Christ. We connected with missionaries that we know, and many that we hadn’t met yet. As a mission, we don’t have many opportunities like this to meet together as a missions body and work together, because they serve in other parts of the world. Some of them literally are living on the other side of the world.

One of the highlights for me was spending time with the other missionaries, hearing their stories and having the opportunity to pray with them and for them. Some of our people are working in very remote and difficult places. Missionaries need prayer. They need encouragement. It is not an easy job, and the church must unite with them (us) on Mission with God.

A Place Where Paul Once Preached
The Ruins in Corinth where Paul stood trial for his faith

The Ruins in Corinth where Paul stood trial for his faith

I found it amazing to be meeting in Greece. A place where Paul preached. We even had the opportunity to visit the Acropolis and Mars Hill. We also went to Corinth. While we were there Dawn and I reflected on the roots of our faith. We thought about how our daughter, Hannah is with Paul and other Biblical characters.

Sadly Greece is no longer following Christ. Less than 1% of the people are followers of the Messiah. Greece is a country that has lost its way and now needs to be won again. We do lift up our missionaries there and their national partners. Some wonderful servants of the Lord.

Goals for Growth – More Workers!
MTW LEAD 2017

MTW LEAD 2017

While at the LEAD conference our leadership highlighted some of our goals as a mission. Lloyd Kim, MTW’s coordinator encouraged us to pray and work for more than 2,000 new missionaries to go to the field. The goal is that the PCA would send 2,877 missionaries which is 1% of our membership. That’s a huge undertaking, and our leadership is beginning to put some tracks in place to move towards reaching 1%.

One of the keys is to have many people praying for God to touch people’s hearts and call them to serve on the foreign mission field. There are all kinds of ways that a person can serve today. You can check out some of the opportunities on our website: MTW.org/1

David & Dawn at the Acropolis in Athens

David & Dawn at the Acropolis in Athens

Lloyd Kim and our leadership team also rolled out a goal to work in a more collaborative way with others in order to see more churches planted and more people reached for Christ. We pray that by God’s grace there will be a Kingdom movement. A movement of the Lord where we truly see the world changed, on earth as it is in heaven.

Thanks for praying with us, and believing God for even greater things that are yet to come!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Earth Shakes Again
The Devastation caused by the earthquake

The Devastation caused by the earthquake

Amazingly 32 years to the day since the big earthquake of 1985 struck in Mexico City, another earthquake hit Mexico. The earth shook again on September 19, causing much damage in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. More than 300 people perished in this natural disaster.

Dawn and I lived in Mexico City from 1990 – 2000. Two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah were born there. We have many friends there who were affected by the fallen buildings. Yesterday some of our good friends, the Cisneros family told me that they have been without water for 6 days. I spoke to a pastor friend today, and he told me that surrounding his church many buildings had crumbled as the earth shook. They are mobilizing to provide relief to the families that were affected.

Sad to See Friends Suffer – A Startling Video!

 

It saddens us to see our friends suffer. The first time I visited Mexico City was in the summer of 1985. I was there with a group of seminary students just a month before the big earthquake hit. 10,000 people died due to the damage caused by that quake. I remember visiting the following summer and seeing all the fallen buildings. The buildings that had been damaged as the earth shook.

It was during the summer of 1985 that I first met my friends, the Cisneros family. They are a wonderful family. They love the Lord and have been true friends over the year. God used them to minister to us since Hannah passed away. Our heart goes out to them as they live through this trying time.

Pray for Mexico
Praying for Mexico!

Praying for Mexico!

Please join us in prayer for the many people who lost loved ones, and others who are without basic services and needs. I’d also like prayer for wisdom regarding a visit to Mexico City and Morelos to see the damage that was done, and to explore what more we can do to help.

Mission to the World (MTW) has sent a donation of $10,000 to aid the families and ministries that suffered loss. If you would like to make a gift towards the relief effort you can give to the MTW Compassion-Global Disaster Relief Account #40043 and earmark for Mexico relief.

Thank you, friends, for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org