Excited to See the Church Grow

 

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Dawn with Pastor Ivan and his wife Rocio

Today Dawn and I are off to Mexico City. Then on Saturday, I will be going to Cuba to minister with our friends from Los Pinos. Before I talk about these trips I’d like to highlight one of the ministries that we work closely with on the border.

 

Just over three years ago, we helped Ministerios Transformación plant a church in Ribera del Bosque, which is a community in Tijuana. Our good friends, Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio lead this church. It’s been exciting for us to watch them grow as leaders as the church has grown.

Choice Servants – Ivan and Rocio Casados

 

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Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio in front of their church

Ivan and Rocio love our family. They were deeply moved when they heard that Hannah had passed away. When I told Ivan he started to cry, which meant a great deal to me, because I knew he loved Hannah and our family.

 

We give thanks to the Lord for such special and dear friends. I remember not long after we helped build Ivan’s church, that he had the vision to see the church grow. He wanted to build a second floor so that they could use the bottom floor for fellowship and outreach to children. Dawn and I visited the church last week, and it filled our hearts to see the realization of Ivan’s dream. They just recently added a second floor.

They are still working towards putting in a kitchen and developing a breakfast program for children in the neighborhood. One of the many things I love about Ivan and Rocio and all my friends at Ministerios Transformación is that they have a deep desire to make a difference in the community. They are always looking for ways to minister to those in need. The church is truly a light in a dark place. Hallelujah!

As Dawn and I visited with Ivan and Rocio they shared about a friend in the church named Aaron. Aaron has a serious injury to his foot, which has partially crippled him. Hannah and Dawn prayed for Aaron over the past two years. They prayed for healing.

Aaron gave a testimony in church recently about how the Lord was healing his foot, and how it felt so much better. He remembered the prayers of Hannah and Dawn and he gave thanks for them. That news filled our hearts. Thank you, Jesus!

Pray With Us!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they seek to make a difference in Ribera del Bosque.

 

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Dave with some of our friends that we work with in Cuba: Frank, Ariadna & Melissa

Dawn and I would like to ask prayer for our time in Mexico City, and my time in Cuba. We will be visiting our campus ministers right after we land today. Then I will leave for Cuba on the 17th, and Dawn will stay in Mexico City during that time. I will be working with the leaders in Habana. Many of them are growing as coaches, and I’m ministering with a team to train them further in their coaching skills. It’s always a rich blessing for me to be with our brothers and sisters in Cuba. They have such a warm and loving spirit.

 

I do give thanks to the Lord for all the good things that He has done!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is Growing His Church in Mexico
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Guadalajara

Dawn and I are grateful that we are connected to a larger mission that works in many cities in Mexico and beyond. You might remember that we began our ministry with Mission to the World (MTW) in Mexico City back in 1990. That was also the year that our oldest son, David Jr. was born. As we pray and work towards the growth of the church, and for changed lives it’s exciting to be able to visit and encourage our missionaries and to see all the Lord is doing through them. One of the cities we recently visited was Guadalajara.

Precious Servants & Friends

 

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Our good friends, Matt & Esta Jesch with their son, Mateo

Guadalajara is a beautiful city with many needs for the gospel. MTW missionaries have been working in this great city for more than 20 years. It gave Dawn and me great joy to spend some time with Matt and Esta Jesch, who arrived in Guadalajara about three years ago. They are wonderful servants of the Lord, who we’ve grown to love as we’ve gotten to know them. They actually flew out to support us when our daughter, Hannah died.

Matt and Esta have many gifts and they have amazing hearts to work alongside our churches to reach out and come alongside people in need. This includes job training and mercy ministries. We love being with them, they are some of our favorite people.

Church Growth in Acapulco & Guadalajara

 

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Kenton & Adriana Wood with Dawn and Dave in front of Rey de Reyes Church

One of MTW’s missionaries who has had the most success not only in Mexico, but in all of Latin America is Kenton Wood. Kenton’s parents were missionaries when he was a child. They served in the Acapulco area. Unfortunately, when Kenton was still young both of his parents were tragically killed in an airplane accident. Even with this tremendous tragedy, and challenge Kenton’s love for Mexico and the people of Mexico has not waned.

He planted a church in Acapulco in the 80’s. Then in the mid-90’s he moved to Guadalajara to begin his church planting work with his wife, Karen. The church, Rey de Reyes has grown to 900, and they have started four other churches in Guadalajara and other cities in Mexico.

Kenton has experienced some challenges in his life, but he’s been resilient and continued to serve faithfully. Not only did he lose his parents when he was young, but his wife, Karen passed away about 5 years ago. She had cancer. The Lord has sustained Kenton and his family through all these trials.

Dawn and I were so encouraged to share a meal with Kenton and his lovely wife, Adriana who now serves alongside him in the church, Rey de Reyes. God is so good, and takes care of His children. First we visited the church, and saw all the various ministries and how the Lord is using them. It brought us joy to see the vision and creativity for reaching the lost with the good news of Christ.

I give thanks for all that the Lord is doing in Guadalajara. Pray for the church to grow and that even more churches will be started, even more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We pray that we can replicate more churches and healthy churches throughout Mexico and beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

 

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fruitful Day of Ministry
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Our fun team from Redeemer San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico

I believe I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite ministries is our medical outreach. This is the third year now that we’ve taken a team down from Redeemer San Diego to minister to the needy in Ensenada. This year we went to Maneadero, which is just South of Ensenada.

The Love of Christ Exhibited
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Jennifer Lutes lovingly caring for one of the families that came to the clinic

We had our largest medical team, with 17 people coming from Redeemer and a sister church from Orange County. The medical team is made up of some of the most loving and caring people I know. The love of Christ just shines through them as they treat the patients.

The staff also is a tremendous witness to the translators who come from a middle school in Ensenada, Colegio Grecia. A number of the families involved in the school have an interest in being a part of the new church plant that Petri and Yudy are leading. The new church is called Renuevo.

Our medical team treated 50 patients while we were in Maneadero. We held the medical clinic in a mission church, called Gracia y Paz. This mission is led by Pastor Jose Zunun. Jose is also involved in our incubator church planting training as is Petri.

We are so excited by what the Lord is doing in and around Ensenada!

The Healing Work of the Gospel!
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Pastor Jose Zunun sharing the gospel with one of the families that came to the medical clinic

Jose and I prayed for and shared the gospel with every patient that came to the clinic. We let them know that we are not only concerned for their physical health, but also for their spiritual health. The people we cared for come from humble families, very few if any have vehicles, so it’s hard for them to go very far to go to church. That is one of the reasons we try to start a number of churches in a community, so the people can walk to them. One of the ladies that prayed with me to receive Christ, Maria de Jesus, told me she wanted to come to church, but it was too far for her family to walk to.

Pastor Jose doesn’t have a car either, so he’s not able to go pick them up. I pray that Maria can find a way to start coming to church, so that she will grow in her faith with her beautiful family.

The Lord blessed us as we shared the gospel with the people and eight of them prayed to receive Christ. We prayed for their health as well, and they sensed the Lord’s comfort and peace.

Remembering Hannah
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Hannah and her beautiful smile with our friends on the medical missions trip last year

The last time we did a medical outreach in Ensenada our daughter, Hannah was with us. I couldn’t help, but think about how she helped me to pray for the people. Last year Hannah led the people in prayer, and she led nine people to faith in Christ. One day those people will see Hannah in heaven, and I’m sure that they will thank her for sharing with them about the greatest news ever given. What a wonderful day that will be!

Our son, David, Jr. just started a memorial fund called: #AHANNAHPERCENT Hannah Diaso Memorial fund. The purpose is to raise money for a new church in Hannah’s memory, and to create a scholarship fund. Here’s the link, and please share it with your friends: www.youcaring.com/daviddiaso-830534

A Life Transforming Experience!

At the end of the day, we went to Colegio Grecia to present the translators with a certificate recognizing the good work they had done. It was gratifying to see the parents broad smiles as they were so proud of their children. The young translators shared how the experienced changed them as they were able to help people less fortunate than themselves. It’s a life transforming experience when these youth, who come from wealthy families interact with the poor. It opens their eyes. I think it opens all of our eyes, and gives us the eyes of Christ. That is our hope and prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Red de Multiplicación – Multiplication Network in El Salvador

IMG_1145Over 300 people from 19 Latin American countries gathered this week in El Salvador to promote more churches and healthier churches in the Spanish speaking world. One of the most exciting things for me was to see people from so many different cultures and denominational traditions coming together for the Kingdom of God.

I believe it glorifies God when his people come together and when they lay aside some of their differences for the advance of the church. The ministry that organized this event is called Multiplication Network or Red de Multiplicación in Spanish. Their slogan is more churches, healthier churches.

The Church in Growing in Latin America

Reports were given by various leaders about how many churches have been started, how many people have come to Christ, been baptized and other areas which demonstrate growth and health. With all the bad news going on in the world it does lift up my soul to see how God’s Spirit is moving and bringing about transformation in Latin American.

The main focus at the conference was on discipleship and life transformation. This is a much needed area in the church. The trends are showing that while the church is growing in Latin America, that many Christians are becoming nominal. Their faith is shallow, and therefore their influence on the culture is minimal.

We can’t be satisfied with just getting people in the door of the church. O Lord, do wake up the church and bring about true transformation that will rock the nations!

Collaborating with Friends & Colleagues
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Pastor Edson Martinez, David Diaso (Me), Pastor Abraham Velazquez and MTW Missionary Peter Boling

Another highlight for me was that some of my friends and colleagues in ministry were able to join me at the conference. Peter Boling who works with me in the Baja was able to attend. Also, two pastors from Ministerios Transformación attended, Pastor Abraham Velazquez and Pastor Edson Martinez.

On the last night we had a little time available to explore San Salvador and we saw some of the city together and enjoyed pupusas, which is one of the delicious El Salvadoran meals.

My ongoing prayer has been for breakthrough. I long to see breakthrough where we are locally on the border and The Baja. I also long to see breakthrough in other parts of México, in the great cities of Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, etc. I pray that the Lord’s Spirit will move in such an amazing way in Mexico and that it will spill over into other countries in Latin America. My desire is to be a part of what God is doing. This desire, this dream is not too big for the Lord. O Lord, do you mighty and awesome work on the earth as it is in heaven!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is in the Highs and Lows

We experienced some highs and lows this week. The week started with our incubator training for church planters, which is always a highlight. Then this weekend I was an assessor for a Discovery Center for sixteen church planting candidates. Usually we spread those events out, but this time they happened on the same week.

Dawn’s Dad, Alfred Moore Passed Through Heaven’s Gates
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Alfred Moore

In the middle of the week, in the middle of all this activity we sadly lost Dawn’s dad, Al. Alfred Moore went to be with the Lord at 2:12 AM EDT on Thursday, May 4. Dawn’s mom, Alice is thankful that Al didn’t experience any pain and that he didn’t suffer long after they discovered he had advanced stages of cancer. Dawn is with her mom and brother now in the Philadelphia area. When I talked to them today they mentioned that the Lord has given them peace as they mourn Al’s home going.

We appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s peace and comfort during this difficult time as we experience another significant loss so close to our daughter’s passing. The funeral will be on Saturday, May 13th.

God is On The Move Even Through These Difficult Days

The Lord is working in the midst of these momentary light afflictions. I’m grateful for the opportunities to invest in the lives of our leaders, pastors and church planters.

 

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Incubator Church Planting Training

Three of the guys going through our incubator church planting training just started their church in the last few months. Many of them echoed the sentiments of our friend Petri, who is planting a church in Ensenada. Petri said that the principles we are training them in are coming just at the right time for him. He is taking what he learns during the incubator and sharing it with his core group.

One of the pastors in the group, Abraham said he was going to use what he learned with his leadership team as they had a meeting planned during the week. Many of the pastors there mentioned they hoped to implement what they were learning in their church.

Thank you Jesus for all the good things you are doing in the midst of our pain.

God is On The Move in Discovery
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The Discovery Center

Then this weekend I was with eight couples who have a passion to seeing the Lord’s kingdom extended on the earth. Not all the couples are young, but they are youthful and have dreams and vision for a better tomorrow. It gives me energy when I’m with them. I also love being with the assessment team. They are great friends and we have a good time serving together. This is the joy of the Discovery Center.

Most of the candidates that are approved will go on to prepare themselves further and then plant a church in the next year. The hope, the vision and the passion to see the Lord bring change and tranformation to the lives of people in a new community is life giving.

God is with us, even in the middle of our pain. He is alive and he is on the move, which gives us life and it gives us hope.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Enjoying The Beauty of God’s Work
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La Paz

One of the many wonderful things that we enjoy about our ministry is that we get to travel to see those that we partner with. The Lord is doing a marvelous work through our friends in and around Mexico. An added bonus to all our travels is that we’ve found that it really helps us as we grieve Hannah’s loss. It helps us to not think about it as much, but also the people we connect with are very loving and encouraging to us.

Recently, Dawn and I visited Peter and Jenny Boling who are serving in La Paz, which is in Southern Baja California. La Paz is a beautiful peaceful city, and it is also the capital of the State. La Paz means the peace, so it is appropriately named.

A Place to Pray for Peace
Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter and Jenny have rented some space downtown for a prayer center. This gives them a presence in the city and the opportunity to meet people, and to share the love of Christ. Our goal is to form a beachhead to see the community transformed as we start new churches. The Boling’s just moved to La Paz last September, and they’ve made great progress.

Pray with us for a breakthrough in La Paz. We are also looking for a national church planter who can partner with them. Even though La Paz is a beautiful city, there are great needs in the community. The prayer center is a way to open doors. Peter and Jenny have already had some wonderful conversations and opportunities to pray with people who are curious and seeking.

Praying for Transformed Lives

While we were there Peter showed me a building a stone’s throw away from their prayer center that would make for a great church facility down the road. We have a vision for the future and for a better tomorrow. We know that God’s heart is to see lives transformed and for entire communities to experience his saving love.

Thank you for standing with us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. Pray for Dawn’s dad, Al. He has cancer and is not doing well. It’s tough that it’s so close to losing Hannah, and that my dad also has cancer.

Campus Ministry at UNAM
Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dawn and I went to Mexico City the first week of April. We wanted to be there for Dawn and Hannah’s birthday, since they are not easy days for us. Also, ever since we started ministering in Mexico (Dave 32 years ago, and both of us 28 years ago), we’ve had a heart for Mexico City. We long to see God reach this great city with the gospel.

On Thursday, April 6th I was able to meet with two of our campus ministers, Barush Sanchez and Monse Santiago. God is using them in some amazing ways to share the love of Christ on the largest university in the world UNAM in the heart of Mexico City. They reach out to the students through English clubs, and the Lord has used that to open many doors for them. Barush and Monse also have various Bible studies with the students on Campus as well as a weekly large group meeting.

One interesting connection is that I used to minister with Barush’s dad, Fernando when Dawn and I lived in Mexico in the 90’s. I think it’s amazing how the Lord works and  how he brings together all of the beautiful connections.

Encourage One Another
Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

As we met over lunch and we encouraged one another I was also able to learn more about Monse and Barush and some of the challenges they’ve faced as they seek to reach out on the campus. Their love for the Lord and the students was evident as we talked.

I was able to spur them on in their walk with the Lord as ministers of the gospel on campus. In doing so I shared about the challenge of losing our daughter and how the Lord has been so faithful to sustain us. On the one hand, there is tremendous pain and sorrow, but on the other is the hope of heaven and the Lord’s comfort. They were both very sensitive to what our family has been going through, which lifted my spirits a great deal.

At the end of our time together I prayed for them that the Lord will strengthen their inner lives, and bring healing to them as they minister and share the love of Christ with the students.

Ministering as a Father

As we were saying goodbye and I mentioned having lost my daughter Monse said she would be my daughter, which really touched me because I don’t know her real well. Yet, I know that many need the love of a father.

Recently a new friend told me they sensed that I have the heart of a father. Maybe this is an area the Lord wants me to bless young friends in. I know that I haven’t lost Hannah, she’s just moved to heaven. Now I have another daughter. We can encourage and bless each other in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org