Dave with our new friends Nicolas and Alexander

Dave with our new friends Nicolas and Alexander

An Adventure with our Dog, Daisy

Recently Dawn and I took our dog, Daisy to the dog spa in Tijuana to get her hair groomed. I don’t know how much Daisy likes it, but she does look better after a good wash and the hair salon.🐩🤣

Dawn and I decided to go visit a new café near the beach in Tijuana while we waited for Daisy. On our way to the café I hit the median with our car’s tire, and just like that, we had a flat tire. It took me a block or two to realize the tire was flat. When I finally pulled over there were two guys standing nearby selling candy.

To be honest, at that point I was frustrated and trying to figure out what to do. I began getting the spare tire out of the trunk and trying to use the jack to lift the car up. I had some trouble getting the lug nuts off the tire.

God Opens Doors to the Gospel

In the meantime, Dawn started talking to the two guys, Alexander and Nicolas. They offered to help, which was very kind of them. Before you knew it with their help we changed the tire.

The two guys told us they were former addicts. One of them Nicolas was from New York, and he has been sober for four years. Alexander just recently had kicked the habit. They were both connected with a Christian rehab center. They just happened to be selling some candy there, right where our car stopped.

As we talked some more and began to encourage them in their faith, we asked Alexander if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said no. So Dawn and I shared the gospel with him and asked him if he would like to pray to receive with us. He said, “yes,” so I led him in prayer to ask Jesus to forgive him for his sins, and to come into his life as his Lord and Savior. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Encouragement for Nicolas
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

Then we turned our attention to Nicolas he is a young man around 30, but both of his parents have already passed away. He feels alone, and he wants his life to count, so he’s serving in the rehab center. Yet, sometimes he feels alone and forgotten. He believes that God has called him to something greater.

Tears started to form in Nicolas’ eyes as he shared his story with us. We told him that the Lord had a good plan for him, and he brought us together through our flat tire. Dawn and I told him about some ministries that we could connect him with so that he wasn’t all alone. This too brought tears to his eyes.

Then we prayed with Nicolas and Alexander, and the peace of Christ rested on all of us. It was a beautiful experience, and it all started with our dog, Daisy needing a haircut! Then a frustrating flat tire. God often works in mysterious ways. This is one more way we see the Lord working and redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early homegoing. The Lord brings us healing as we see Him ministering through us, as He works to bring about life transformation. Thank you, Jesus!

Dawn and I have noticed that the key is to pray for opportunities and then to be open and sensitive as He leads throughout the day. I may have missed this opportunity because initially I was so angry and stressed, but Dawn was sensitive to our surroundings and to the Lord’s leading.

Good used something that was stressful and frustrating for good. Praise him for his goodness!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Open Doors in Mexicali and Tijuana

On this journey of faith on the border, the Baja and Beyond Dawn and I enjoy connecting with all the pastors, church planters, and leaders that He brings our way. Our heart is to strengthen those we minister alongside so that they will be encouraged and more effective in ministry. We work and pray for more churches and healthier churches.

Over the last week, we met with a number of church planters and leaders in Tijuana and Mexicali. The day we went to Mexicali the temperature soared about 100 degrees! We managed to stay cool by going from one air-conditioned restaurant to another. It’s such a joy to spend time with these leaders and to get to know them.

Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez
 Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

One of the couples we spent time with was Pastor Mere and Edna, who are leading the church we started in Hannah’s memory. They are both busy in their jobs, and school as they are ministering. This is the first church that they are leading, so they are learning as they go.

Dawn and I love Mere and Edna, they are very special to us. In part, because they are in front of the church that we put our heart and soul into since it was built to honor Hannah and to remember her. We love to listen to them talk about how they are growing, and their desire to reach the community for Christ. We are thankful for the opportunity to speak into their lives.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the church as they reach out in the community of Carranza, which is outside of Mexicali. As I mentioned before Cristina, who lives right next to the church prayed for three years that the Lord would build a church on that property. Her mom believed that the Lord would put a church their, even before Cristina began to pray for it.

The Lord is on the Move! Hallelujah!
The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

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

The Lord is on the move in Mexicali. This is the first church that we’ve been directly connected to in this city, the capital city of Baja California. Now that the Lord has opened up the door to Mexicali through this church, we’ve begun to connect with Edna’s parents who are also leading a young church. Their names are Rafael and Diana. And we pray that both of these churches will grow for the glory of God.

There are also two other pastors that live in Mexicali. Dawn and I met with them last week as well to talk about the possibility of working together to start a new church in Mexicali. Just think in the next year we could have three or four new churches in the capital of Baja California when just a year ago we only had one.

The Ever-expanding Kingdom! What a Joy!
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

The Lord has also introduced us to a couple of new church planters for Tijuana. We would love to see more churches in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Mexicali, La Paz, Los Cabos and throughout Mexico. O Lord, hear our prayer! On earth, as it is in heaven!

Thanks for joining us on this wild ride. Dawn and I have suffered some real pain as we’ve served here, yet God is at work. The Lord is healing this land, and he is raising up a new generation and a people for Himself! Amen!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Concern for the Churches
Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

The Apostel Paul spoke of his daily concern for the churches, and his own weakness as he confronted the trials of ministry. Although my trials pale in comparison, I can identify with Paul’s concern for the churches.

This past Sunday Dawn and I were able to visit one of the churches that we are helping to start. The church in Ensenada is led by Pastor Petri, and his wife, Yudy . We enjoyed the opportunity to see how the church is growing, and to interact with the leadership team to get an update from them on how they felt things are going.

One of the blessings of planting churches is that the gospel is going forward, and lives are being transformed, yet there are challenges that our church planters face. Dawn and I seek to not only be faithful to pray for our church planters but to encourage them in their work.

Petri & Yudy – Bi-vocational Church Planting
Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Petri and Yudy are bi-vocational so there are many demands on their time. The advantage to being bi-vocational is that it takes some of the financial pressure off of the church planter, and it gives them some natural networks in the community through their workplace. Both Petri and Yudy are well respected in their community. Dawn and I love visiting and meeting the new people that have started coming to the church.

One of the goals of a church plant is to reach new people for Christ. We don’t want the church to grow just through people shuffling from one church to another. So it gives us great joy to see the new people who are on a journey and coming into relationship with Christ through the witness of the church. The church in Ensenada is called, Renuevo, which means renewal. That is what Petri and Yudy and their team are seeking to do, to bring renewal to Ensenada through the good news of Christ.

Dave preaching at Renuevo

Dave preaching at Renuevo

On Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Renuevo. What a joy to meet the people and to share the love of Christ with them.

Prayer is such a big part of seeing the churches grow and flourish, so please continue to feverently pray for us and our partners.

Pray For:
  • Pastor Petri and Yudy and their leadership team
  • Wisdom as they reach out to new families
  • The upcoming VBS that they will hold from July 22-27.
  • A group from Skyview Presbyterian church who will be coming from Colorado to help with the VBS outreach in July.
  • Also for the other church planters that we work with in Tijuana, Rosarito and Mexicali.
  • This weekend Dawn and I will be visiting Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez in Mexicali.
  • Dawn and I are also meeting a pastor in Tijuana and a pastor in Mexicali that we are exploring the possibility of starting a new church with in the cities they live in.

Thanks, dear friends for your ongoing encouragement and for faithfulness to pray for us and the ministry on the Border, Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

A Glimpse of us Building the Church in Memory of Hannah

IMG_3052.jpgAs many of you know we had the opportunity to build a church in Hannah’s memory in April. For those of you that were not able to join us, we wanted to share a glimpse of our experience through this slideshow. There was much laughter, some tears, but at the end of the trip, we felt hope. We believe that this building will be used to bring hope and encouragement to those in the area for years to come. I also believe that seeing the fruit from this memorial church will bring continued healing to our family. Thank you for those of you who supported our trip in any way. We appreciate your prayers and donations.

Our son Jonathan wrote this intro for us. Thank you, son!

Check out the Slideshow Video to get a Glimpse of the Church Building!
Pray for the Church Plant in Mexicali

Continue to pray for pastor Mere and his wife Edna as they spearhead this new church planting effort. Mere and Edna have a young daughter, so they have a lot going on as they reach out into the community surrounding the church. Your Kingdom come, Lord, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Worship: A Dream Come True
The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

When we first began planning and preparing for our worship workshop there was much excitement. Pastor Tury Nuñez said, “this is a dream come true.” I believed that it could be a game changer for many of our congregations in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali.

Mark Tedder who leads worship at Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs agreed to come and lead a worship workshop for us in Tijuana. Apart from leading worship at Village 7 Mark also has a ministry called, worship planet. Worship planet leads seminars and workshops around the world. Just in this year alone, they’ve already trained worship leaders in China, England and now Mexico.

A Wonderful Team of Worship Leaders
Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

A group of 5 other musicians and worship leaders came to Tijuana with Mark to form their team. They are all very talented and loving musicians. Dawn and I loved getting to know them.

Mark and his team did a wonderful job leading the group through a variety of exercises and breakout sessions to help them grow and to be better prepared to lead in worship.

Refreshing Time of Worship!
Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

One of the side benefits for me is that I had some wonderful opportunities to worship. My soul and spirit were filled up daily as we worshipped the Lord together. I didn’t really think of that benefit when we planned everything out. Yet, I found my soul and spirit being drawn into worship. It was a refreshing and uplifting time.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
     Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1,2 ESV)

Pray for God’s Continued Work of Renewal in Worship
The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

Our prayer is that those that came to the workshop will continue to improve as they lead in their churches. They learned about flow and how to bring the people into the presence of the Lord.

Pray with us that this will only be the beginning, the first step towards helping these churches have a more vibrant, alive and meaningful worship experiences. We would even pray that the Lord might use humble leaders to aid the churches and the people into worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Coffee with Special Friends in Colombia!
Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

I loved the wonderful coffee in Colombia, and as wonderful as the coffee was there was much more for us to experience in Colombia. We spent the first part of our time in Colombia in Bogotá where we saw many of our MTW missionary colleagues, including Joe and Becky Harrell. We first met the Harrell’s when we served together with them MTW in Mexico City. From Bogotá, we went to Manizales.

Manizales is not far from Bogotá. It’s only about an hour by plane. Manizales is near coffee country. Dawn and I spent a few days with a young couple, Luis and Kerly who we first met in Ensenada where Luis was studying for his doctorate. They are a gifted and loving couple, and they love Jesus.

Something New in Manizales
Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly's home

Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly’s home

Luis and Kerly wanted to start up a cell group in their home and they were praying for a good time for them to start it up. They felt like the Lord was leading them to start it while we were there, and they wanted us to help them kick it off. Luis and Kerly asked us to share with the group some of the things that the Lord had put on our hearts.

Dawn and I had a wonderful time with the group, and we enjoyed sharing with them and leading them in prayer. Those who came responded really well to what we shared, and they told us that it helped them and it encouraged them. One particular couple wanted us to come to their house the next day.

Freedom & Forgiveness in Christ
Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. Kerly is due with their second child any day now

Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. She is due with their second child any day now. They opened doors for us to minister to their friends!

So on Saturday Dawn and I went to David and Maria’s house. After we shared a meal together we all went into their living room. Their two grown children and Maria’s mother also joined us. Dawn and I lead them in prayer, and as we prayed we discovered that Maria was carrying a lot of fear and guilt. She was very open with us and told us that when she was 17 years old she got pregnant and she was afraid and didn’t know what to do. Maria didn’t want to tell her parents so she decided to take some herbs that she thought would cause the baby to abort. She also got up on a chair and jumped down hoping that would cause the baby to be aborted.

She was still carrying tremendous guilt because of her attempt at aborting her baby!

In God’s grace, she wasn’t successful in aborting her child. And her son, Jorge was in the room with us and he was praying with us.

We lead Maria with the support of her family through some prayers to cut off the guilt and shame that she was carrying. We reminded her of God’s promises in Romans 8:1.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God promises to forgive those who are in Christ. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

Dawn and I encouraged Maria to ask Jorge to forgive her for trying to abort him. It was such a beautiful moment. I wish you could have been there to experience it with us. Maria and Jorge were crying as they asked for forgiveness, and we all began to cry with them as we saw God move and bring healing.

Maria told us she felt the peace of Christ after our time of prayer! It was so good!😊 Thank you, Jesus!

The Power of the Gospel

After our time of prayer, we learned that Jorge was not following Christ and hadn’t yet given his life to Jesus. Yet he was there praying with us through the whole time, and he was so loving to his mom when she asked him for forgiveness. So I asked Jorge if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said, “no.” I asked him if he would like to give his life to Christ, and he said, “yes!”

I took some time to explain the gospel message to him. How Christ died for his sins. Christ died the death that we should have died. He lived the life that we should have lived. He paid the penalty for us. Christ defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection. I went on to explain the importance in placing our faith in Christ in trusting His work and in calling on His name so that he might be saved from his sin.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

After I shared these truths with Jorge I asked him again if he would like to pray to receive Christ, and he said, “yes.” Then I had the privilege of leading Jorge in prayer to repent of his sins and to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. His family joined us in prayer. We were all rejoicing after that seeing God’s mighty hand.

David and Maria and their family are such sweet people. Just like our friends Luis and Kerly. It’s like the Lord just knit our hearts together, and the Lord continues to grow our family. It’s one more way that I see the Lord redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early home going. So painful, yet our Papa loves us and he brings healing and hope!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Many Opportunities to Minister as We Traveled
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road on mission with the Lord. Seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

We began our trip to South America in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I wrote in my last post we believe it was an advance for us attending the Red de Multiplicación conference. So good to see various church traditions coming together for the cause of Christ in the Latin world!

After our time in Uruguay, Dawn and I flew to Bogotá, Colombia. Dawn loves to share her faith, and she boldly does it while we travel. It’s amazing to watch how the Lord prepares the people that we meet.

Ripe for the Harvest
The love of Christ can and does change people hearts!

The love of Christ can and does change people’s  hearts!

On the flight from Montevideo to Bogotá, a young woman, Veronica sat next to Dawn on the plane. We were all tired when we first boarded the plane as it was an early morning flight. When they brought us a meal a little later, Dawn began to interact with Veronica. As the two of them talked about their family background when Dawn told her that our daughter, Hannah had moved to heaven Veronica began to cry. She is a very tender and caring person.

She told Dawn about some of the trouble she had experienced with her boyfriend and her family. One thing we learned on our trip is how common it is in both Uruguay and Colombia for couples to live together and not get married. Colombia has one of the highest rates in the world at 80%.

As Dawn and Veronica continued their conversation she told Dawn that her grandmother had been praying for her. She was running away from her troubles, but she felt like God was trying to get her attention.

Dawn shared more with her and told her about Jesus love for her, and the gift of eternal life that Christ came to give us through his death and resurrection. Veronica was ripe. The Lord had been working in her heart. Dawn prayed for her, and Veronica cried some more as she felt the Lord’s peace and presence.

After Dawn explained the message of the gospel to Veronica she led Veronica in prayer to receive the greatest gift ever given. The gift of eternal life in Christ. The Lord’s peace filled Veronica’s heart.

The Gospel Does Bring Change & Transformation!
Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

I’m thankful for Dawn’s boldness to share the love of Christ wherever we are. We don’t always have a whole flight to share with the people we meet.

As we were getting ready for another flight Dawn felt led to give a woman a Bible tract, and she explained briefly what the tract contained. The lady told Dawn that she thought God was trying to get her attention because she had just sat next to a Christian woman on her previous flight. Wow! Amazing how the Lord works!

One more airplane gospel story. We had a long layover in Bogotá before we flew home, so we went to a restaurant to hang out and wait for our flight. Dawn noticed the woman sitting next to us had been on our previous flight, so she felt like she should take the opportunity to share with her.

When Dawn and I share with people we often weave in the story of our family and how our daughter moved to heaven. We talk to them about the importance of having faith in Christ. That’s what has sustained us since Hannah’s early homegoing.

Dawn told the young woman that she recognized her from our previous flight. She began to tell her some about our family and God’s plan. The woman was surprisingly open and she told us she had just prayed in the morning that the Lord would guide her. She is from Manizales, Colombia where we had just come from so we gave her the contact info for our friends that live there. Amazing in just that short time the gospel connection that we were able to make. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for More Open Doors, More Fruit
Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

It’s so important to sow the seed of the gospel. It doesn’t always land on fertile ground, but it is surprising as we pray to see how the Lord often leads us to people who are open and ready. Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to open the doors for us, and we will see more and more people come to Christ as we sow the seed.

There are many other exciting experiences we had as we ministered in Uruguay and Colombia. I hope to continue to share more about our trip in my next post.

Please join us as we pray and minister wherever the Lord takes us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org