Thankful for Kingdom Activity
Incubator Church planting training

Incubator Church planting training

We started the new year off running with our church planting incubator training. The activity hasn’t stopped since as I was in Monterrey, Mexico last week to pray and plan about how we can partner and collaborate with other like-minded ministries to reach Mexico with the gospel.

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico City

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico

The last few days Dawn and I have been in Mexico City, which brings to our roots in ministry. We had only been married a little over a year when we first moved here. What we’ve found when we are in this huge city is the Lord always has some surprises for us and some amazing opportunities for us to minister here. One of my goals is that #MTWMEXICO (MTW) will have a greater presence in Mexico City. I’m praying for more workers and more opportunities to partner.

In all of the training and meetings I’ve had it’s with one purpose to see the kingdom of God extended in Mexico and beyond.

Thankful for our Partners & For All That God is Doing!

Enjoying a meal with the Cisneros family. Dave met them the first time in 1985 on his initial trip to Mexico. Thankful for Special memories!

Today I met with the national leadership of the Presbyterian Church in Mexico. We discussed the progress of some of the projects we are working on together as well as dreams for the future. I felt encouraged as they shared how a donation we gave them from MTW helped three churches in three different regions in Mexico that were damaged by the earthquakes in December. It bothered me when I first learned of all the damaged caused by the earthquakes. Now that Dawn and I are here many of our friends have shared how much it scared them when the earth shook so violently in and around Mexico City.

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

When Dawn and I go on these trips the Lord does so much in our midst that I find it hard to capture it all. I feel like I need a way to share those stories as well. Part of the challenge is the long days don’t leave me much time to write it down.

Next Stop Cuba

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Dawn and I are off to Havana, Cuba, which also promises to be an amazing time. Please pray that the Lord opens many doors for us to minister and love on the people while we are in Cuba.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining us on this journey of faith.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Faithfulness and Healing Touch
Dawn and I give thanks for all the wonderful pastors and partners we serve with in Mexico

Dawn and I give thanks for all the wonderful pastors and partners we serve with in Mexico

As we begin 2018 I give thanks for all that the Lord did in 2017. This last year has not been an easy year for Dawn and me. It’s been painful to mourn our daughter, Hannah’s moving to heaven. Yet, I believe the Lord has also brought us a tremendous amount of healing. I give thanks for the comforting arms of the Lord. I’m grateful for so many friends who have reached out to us and loved us.

Even though it has been a year where we’ve needed much encouragement, much love, and much prayer which has been like a salve to our wound, we’ve also seen advance in the ministry.

Milestones in 2017
Redeemer San Diego Medical Missions Team

Redeemer San Diego Medical Missions Team

Some of the ministry milestones for 2017 are:

  • Renuevo Church launching in Ensenada in April
  • Redeemer San Diego sending their youth group down to Ensenada to connect with Renuevo to reach out to teenagers through sports and a fun day.
  • Redeemer San Diego partnering with Renuevo and bringing down a medical team to treat those with physical and spiritual needs. The doctor’s and the team that come down are so loving, and do such a wonderful job of sharing the love of Christ with their patients.
  • Skyview Presbyterian coming to Ensenada for the fourth year to help Renuevo lead a summer VBS.
  • Trained a number of pastors through the incubator that’s geared for church planters.
  • Coached church planters in Tijuana and Ensenada.
  • Raised the funds and helped build classrooms for one of the church plants in Rosarito that we started 2 1/2 years ago.
  • Worked with our friends in Cuba to aid in training coaches.
  • Gave leadership to MTW Mexico
Goals and Dreams for 2018
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

One of our biggest goals for 2018 is to plant a church in Hannah’s memory. We are still working on raising all the funds for the church plant. I spoke with pastor Daniel Nuñez this past week, and we’ve decided that we will build the new church on the weekend of April 13 – 15.

We also have a goal to get our church plant in La Paz, Mexico started in early 2018.

A goal that we have for MTW Mexico is to mobilize a minimum of one new missionary family to join our work in Mexico.

There are other dreams that we are praying for as we enter 2018. I’m starting to work on writing a book. I’ve actually begun working on it, but it’s been a challenge to figure out how to find time to write with all that’s going on.

Dawn and I have a trip to Mexico City this week from January 11 – 16, and from there, we will be going to Havana, Cuba from the 16 – 22. We need major prayer as we minister here on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. I feel that we need prayer especially as we begin to travel. Last year, we feel like we got a little worn out from all the traveling by the end of the year, so we hope to do a better job managing our schedule this year.

Thank you so much for loving us and standing with us dear friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dawn with Hannah

Dawn with Hannah

Dawn shared this a couple of days ago on Facebook, and I thought she did a wonderful job of expressing her own pain, and how she can identify with Mary the mother of Jesus. Since we are in the Christmas season, and also seeking to raise awareness of the funds we are raising for the church we are planning on building in Mexico in Hannah’s memory. I just talked to pastor Daniel Nuñez with Ministerios Transformación earlier today, and we are hoping to build the church on the weekend of April 14th.

Dawn’s Reflections on Mary and Her Journey

Since Hannah has moved to heaven so young I feel that I can relate to Mary more than I ever could before. I believe that only a mother that has also had their child move to heaven before them- knows the grief involved in this long and painful journey. (Although I believe that the journey of grief after losing a spouse would be even more painful and more difficult than that of losing a child. At the moment I am wondering if losing a parent- especially as a child might be most difficult still.)

There are more parents than I had realized who have lost a child. Every parent that has been through this painful experience that Dave and I have met, join us in saying that none of us wanted to be members of this club. Not one of us would have chosen to be part of this club for parents who have had a child move to heaven before them. Somehow, this makes me feel a deep love and respect for both Mary and Joseph since they both had to join this club as well. I believe that they both experienced much more grief than most of us have ever considered or experienced.

Facebook reminded me of this quote below that I posted a few years ago. Wow, I never anticipated that as my life progressed that I would grow to identify with and appreciate Mary’s sacrifices that she made for us all so much more.

I believe that Mary experienced more emotional pain and grief though- than I will probably ever be able to identify with. What a sacrificial and Godly life she lead- and so very much behind the scenes. Walking beside my husband through this journey of grief has been and continues to be sobering. Previously, it never crossed my mind to be appreciative of the sacrifices that Joseph made for us. This experience has taught me some painful lessons and linked to Mary and Joseph in a deeper and more profound way.

Mary and Jesus – The Father’s Greater purpose!

Facebook reminded me of this quote below that I posted a few years ago.

E3434D46-7BA6-4542-9015-887B2122743E“Mary must surely have spoken to her baby, Jesus, and said, “I wanted Your pathway smooth. I wanted Your steps on earth to be easy. I wanted you to have a painless and perfect life. But I sense the presence of Your heavenly Father here with us, and He has a far greater purpose for You than I can ever imagine.”

-The Miracle of Christmas

La Pieta

Michelangelo’s La Pieta

Dawn’s reflection reminds me of our experience at the Vatican this September when we saw Michelangelo’s La Pieta. An amazing sculpture that tells the story of Mary’s pain over the loss of her son. We give thanks that the story doesn’t end there, that Jesus did rise on the third day, which gives all of those in Christ hope.

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

We are at year-end, this is a great time to give towards the Hannah Diaso Memorial Church Plant. Our goal is to raise $30,000, and we were recently given a matching gift, which helps us get closer to reaching the goal. Dawn and I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider a gift today. You can give a donation by clicking on this link.

Thank you for praying for us and for taking the time to consider our request.

In His Grip, Dave & Dawn

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

I Must Keep My Eyes on Jesus
A fun time at our Christmas posada with our friends - the day the music came back to life!

A fun time at our Christmas posada with our friends – the day the music came back to life!

Don Mclean’s song, American Pie, sings about the day the music died. The song uses poetry to tell a tale of sorts about the tragic day that Buddy Holly and Richie Valens died in a plane crash. The other day I listened to American Pie and thought about the day the music died for me when my sweet daughter moved to heaven. That was a sad and horrific day for each of us, David, Jonathan, Dawn and me. We have many friends and family that have mourned with us over this past year.

God is been so good to us this year, despite our sorrow. He has been so near to us and comforted us in so many ways. That’s not to say that it’s been easy. It’s been the hardest year of our lives, but the Lord carries us through it.

There are moments when I think I wish more had changed, that we would see even more redemption than we’ve seen. The Lord has reminded me that I must keep my eyes on him. That I walk by faith and not by sight. Even though we are walking in victory, it doesn’t always feel that way. God has a plan and purpose for us and it’s a good one.

What would I do without this hope? What would I do without the hope of eternity? What would I do without the hope of one day being reunited with Hannah?

I give thanks for the Lord’s nearness and his healing power.

Music and Laughter in Our Home Again!
David before and after the mordida!

David before and after the mordida with our friend Andy!

Last week we had more than 40 people in our home for a Christmas, Posada party. The night of the party it dawned on me that this was the first time we had had a party in our home since Hannah moved to heaven! I thought, Wow! That is a victory for us! That is progress.

The party was even more special because one of our son’s, David was able to be with us for the Posada. David loves the fiesta, and he is the Lord’s gift to us on Christmas, December 24th, which is his birthday. We were able to celebrate David’s birthday as well. One of the traditions that they have in Mexico is the “mordida”, which means a little bite of your birthday cake. Inevitably when the person being honored goes to take the “mordida” bite someone will lovingly shove his face into the cake. Since my children grew up in Mexico, they grew to love this tradition. Also, they still love to have fun!

Usually, it is a little push and a little bite, but this time David’s whole face got shoved into the cake. David loved it!

It was so good to hear laughter in our house again and to have so many friends enjoying the time and celebrating the season. You might say it was the day the music came back to life. The Lord continues to do his amazing healing work in our lives. It’s a long journey, much longer than I would like.

Remembering Hannah

 

I asked David Jr. to share one of his favorite photos of Hannah with me, and here it is.

I asked David Jr. to share one of his favorite photos of Hannah with me, and here it is.

Today David and I went to visit Hannah’s gravesite, which I like to do on occasion, although it tends to be a somber experience. We left the cemetery feeling sad and quiet. It’s a reminder we are not home yet. There is still pain in this world, and part of that pain is being separated from those we love. Even though it wasn’t an especially uplifting time, I’m glad I could share that moment with my son.

As I mentioned above I was hoping that we would have seen even more redemption of Hannah’s moving to heaven. It’s there, but I have my moments of doubt, and at those times I can get down. I’m thankful for my family and that we have so many friends holding us up.

Over the last few months, I’ve made it aware that one of the ways we are seeking to honor Hannah’s memory is by starting a new church in Mexico. We are in the process of raising $30,000 so we can build the church. We would like to build it in the Spring of 2018, and we are inviting all of our friends to join us by giving towards this church plant and to come and help us build it! This also a plays a part in the redemption of Hannah’s early homegoing.

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

You can give by clicking on this link

Thank you, dear friends, for standing with us. We pray that you will have an unbelievably fruitful and blessed 2018!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thankful for our Friends and Partners!

 

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Ministerios Transformación pastoral couples and wonderful friends!

 
Last night (Sunday) Dawn and I celebrated the coming of Christ and gave thanks for all that the Lord has done over the past year with our friends from Ministerios Transformación. It was a festive time! It was even more special, because our son, David, who just flew in, was able to join us. Dawn and I love the pastors that serve with Ministerios Transformación. They are among our best friends, and the Lord has used them to encourage us in so many ways over this last year.

We give thanks for our partnership with them!

It reminds me of the wonderful opportunity that we have to serve with so many outstanding servants of our savior in other cities like, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Monterrey, Durango, Reynosa, Juarez, Tijuana, Ensenada and La Paz throughout Mexico. The gospel is going out, and lives are being changed as the message of Christ and His Spirit touches hearts and lives. We give thanks for the privilege to be ambassadors of Christ along with our friends, our partners.

Just as we have the blessing of outstanding friends and partners in Ministerios Transformación here on the border, we have other amazing friends that we partner with throughout Mexico! It’s a privilege for us, and we count it an honor to minister alongside so many humble and gifted ministers of the gospel.

Our MTW Mexico Story in Video

Recently a friend of our ministry, Drew Siner came down to Mexico and helped us shoot some video. He’s helping us to tell our story of what the Lord is doing in all these places where we serve. I thought you would enjoy seeing one of the videos that Drew put together that gives an overview of MTW Mexico’s ministry in Mexico and beyond!

Hannah Diaso Memorial Church Plant
Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

There is no doubt that this has been an unbelievably hard year, as we mourn Hannah’s moving to heaven, but the Lord has not forgotten us. He is bringing healing, and He is still ministering to us and through us.

One of our goals as we head into 2018 is to plant a church in Hannah’s memory with Ministerios Transformación. We’d like to raise $30,000 so we can build and plant this church, and to train and coach the pastor for a successful ministry. We are hoping to have all the funds raised by the end of February 2018, and to build the church in the Springtime. You can help us make this dream a reality by making a donation to Mission to the World (MTW).

You can give by clicking on the button below. Please prayerful consider a special year-end gift today!

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Click to make a donation

Thanks for your prayers and support as we serve the Lord on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Joy in the Journey!
Dave with our friends from Ministerios Transformación

Dave with our friends from Ministerios Transformación

One of the joys of persevering in ministry is many surprises the Lord brings and all the wonderful people that we get to know along the way. Sometimes my friends and I joke around and say that, “the ministry would be great if it wasn’t for the people” 😉 but in reality the opposite is true. Ministry is great, because of the people.

I’m so grateful that some of my best friends are the people that I serve alongside!

A little over a week ago I celebrated my birthday, and to my surprise a couple days later at the Ministerios Transformación monthly pastors meeting they made a cake for me. Not only that, but they took time out of their meeting to share about how Dawn and I had ministered to them in different ways over the years.

Wow! We felt so loved!

The experience was a huge honor for me, and one of the highlights of all of my years in ministry. To have so many pastors recognize the contribution we have made to them and their church efforts was so encouraging. I told them that it made both Dawn and me feel loved. It was an amazing time!

It’s interesting that right before the meeting I was feeling a little down. Partly due to some disappointment I felt regarding certain aspects of the work. Also, I find that special days are harder for me emotionally now that Hannah’s gone.

Hannah loved to celebrate others. She loved to party, and she had a way of making me and others feel loved and special. So it seems like there is a big hole when she’s not with me on these days.

Thankful for our Friends & God’s Faithfulness
A great night to celebrate our friendship and all that the Lord has done!

A great night to celebrate our friendship and all that the Lord has done!

God is so faithful and he shows his concern, his care and his love for me through others. Our good friends, Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez who lead Ministerios Transformación came up with the idea to encourage me at their meeting. The time was so special for a number of reasons. It was unexpected, and they are friends that Dawn and I love and respect. They walked through Hannah’s passing with us. They’ve prayed for us and encouraged us along the way. We’ve sought to do the same for them.

I’m grateful that by God’s grace we’ve helped them to plant five churches. We’ve also raised funds to help five churches expand as their ministry has grown. These churches are making a difference in the communities that they serve in. We do it all for the glory of the Lord, to make his name great. We’ve been able to train a number of their pastors in leadership, church planting, and coaching. A truly wonderful relationship that we give thanks to the Lord for.

What a joy to count them as our friends!

Dawn and I are very rich, because of them!

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your grace and your continued work, and thank you for all our wonderful partners!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fruitful Trip to Fresno
Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the conference

Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the GMC conference in Dallas. (We didn’t get a picture at Sierra View)

Over Thanksgiving weekend Dawn and I had the opportunity to visit my family in Fresno. It was a good time to see my family again. Dawn’s mom also flew out and joined us for a couple of weeks.

While in Fresno we connected with one of our partner churches, Sierra View Presbyterian. I was able to share about our ministry and to preach at the church. I preached on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken. The Lord encouraged us as he showed up and we felt his presence in a special way. Thank you, Jesus, for hearing and answering our prayer!

So Grateful for Our Faithful Partners!

While we were at the church it hit me that Sierra View was one of the first churches that started supporting us as we began with Mission to the World (MTW) back in 1988. Wow! Hard to believe that we are coming up on 30 years with MTW! I started with MTW as a single young man in 1988, and Dawn and I were married in 1989. Dawn went through the evaluation process to join MTW before we were married. Anyway, however, you slice it we’ve been involved in missions for a good long time.

Not only was I impressed by how long we’ve served in missions, but by the importance of having faithful partners standing with us in the ministry. Since we were in my hometown, my parents were there as well. I realize that I could have never gotten to where I am today without my parents and that Dawn and I could not do the outreach, coaching, church planting we do without a number of friends, family, and churches standing with us.

Even this blog has opened up the door for new friends that are praying for us and encouraging us as we serve.

Stand Firm with Other in the Battle
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together. We give thanks for all of our friends who are on the journey with us!

In Ephesians 6 Paul exhorts us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. He then goes on to tell us to gird ourselves with the armor of God. Each believer needs to stand firm fully prepared with the armor of God. Yet, we are not to fight alone. We are to battle side by side with other believers in the power and strength of the Lord.

Our enemy roams like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but our victory is secured in Christ. Yet the battle rages on until Jesus returns. We stand together against our common foe. That is a good analogy for all of our ministry activities we are not meant to go it alone. We are not supposed to be Lone Ranger Christians.

therefore, I thank the Lord for Sierra View Presbyterian church and all of those who stand with us as we invade enemy territory. The kingdom of God continues to advance. The advance may not always be as quick or as easy as we’d like, but our victory is assured. We are more than conquerors in Christ!

Thank you, Jesus for gathering such wonderful partners that surround us, love us and pray for us. This has been a hard year with our daughter, Hannah moving to heaven. I really don’t know how we would have made it without all the loving support that sustains us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org