Archive for December, 2012

Jon, David, Hannah, Dave & Dawn at Hannah's graduation

Jon, David, Hannah, Dave & Dawn at Hannah’s graduation

Even though I am ending 2012 in bed with a cold, it has been an outstanding year! We have experienced more change this year than we have since we left Mexico in late 1999.

I praise the Lord along with my wife, Dawn, for all He has done in and through us in 2012.

“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

The biggest event in our lives this past year was selling our house in Colorado and moving to the San Diego-Tijuana border. Dawn and I had been working towards this goal for two years. It took us longer than we thought it would take to sell our house. We know God’s timing is perfect, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to wait.

The wait has made it all the sweeter, though. We love being here, and we are so thrilled with all that God is doing.

After living in Colorado for 12 years it was hard to say good-bye to all our friends. We will always cherish our time in Colorado Springs. God brought healing and provided some wonderful fellow sojourners.

The most difficult thing about leaving Colorado was leaving two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah. We miss them dearly. It’s not easy being instant empty nesters. After all, aren’t we too young for that? 😉

It does make it easier knowing that our loving Father is watching over our children, and caring for them. We are grateful that our oldest son, David Jr. lives close to us as he goes to school in El Cajon at San Diego Christian College.

All three of our kids are doing well and they love the Lord.

  • David is on the student council at his school, and he’s excelling in his courses. When I visited the school recently one of the professors from the school told me David was a high impact student! Thank you Lord!
  • Jonathan began working at Wells Fargo Bank as a teller in June. He just went through their banker’s training, and he is exploring the possibility of getting a job transfer that would put him close to us. O, Lord, we pray you would open the door for that to happen soon.
  • Hannah graduated from high school in May. She is working at Big Lots and going through many adjustments being on her own in Colorado. Hannah will fly out to visit us this next week, so we are super excited about seeing her!

We have much to be thankful for in 2012! Even in the short time Dawn and I have been here, we’ve seen the Lord do some wonderful things. In late October and early November we partnered with Harbor Church and Lo Mejor Del Trigo to start a new church.

God’s encouraged us as we launched the English as a Second Language (ESL) outreach last April. Oliva came to Christ through ESL, and is now growing in her faith. We are getting ready to launch a second ESL class next week.

Dave & Dawn at San Diego Harbor

Wishing You A Happy New Year!

This is only a small sampling of the many marvelous things that God did in 2012. Praise him with us!

“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5, ESV)

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Noah's Ark (1846), a painting by the American folk painter Edward Hicks

Noah’s Ark (1846), a painting by the American folk painter Edward Hicks

On Sunday I have the privilege and the challenge of preaching in Spanish at Harbor Mid-City.

As I’ve prepared for the message all the meaning in Noah and the Ark foreshadowing the coming of Christ really hit me. Some simple, yet profound truths. Those who were in the ark were saved from God’s judgement, just as those in Christ are rescued.

God’s fury burns as demonstrated by 40 days and 40 nights of rain. That rain brought death and judgement to most. Wow, just think of what Christ suffered for us on the cross.

I don’t stop to think about that often enough. If we don’t realize how much God hates sin, then we minimize the penalty that Christ paid for us. It wasn’t just that he died on the cross, but he bore our sins.

Christ cried out on the cross. He cried out for his Father.

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

–Matthew 27:46b (ESV)

How painful that moment must have been for the Father and the Son!

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Dave preaching on another occasion at Lo Mejor del Trigo

It’s hard enough for me to watch my children suffer, and yet this was far greater. They had a perfect relationship. There is much mystery to the relationship between the Father and the Son, especially at that moment.

I praise the Lord also that he was pleased with the sacrifice of his Son. The Son satisfied the Father and his wrath. He was our substitute.

“Thank you, Lord for giving me the opportunity to study this passage in Genesis and teaching me more about your love for us. Your great sacrifice for us. How much you hate sin. O, that I would loath sin as you do. Please speak through me as I share your Word in the morning.

Friends, I appreciate your faithful prayers for me and my family. I’d like to ask you to lift me up before the throne that I might bring the Word of God in a way that honors our Lord and edifies his people.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

One of the many things I love about Harbor church is the love for hurting people that is demonstrated from week to week. The church bridges cultures and people from different economic backgrounds. Some of the people in the church are struggling to make a living.

One of the people who has fallen on difficult times is Al. He is a big, loving and caring guy. You might even say he’s like a big teddy bear.

Every year Harbor has an outreach to the city called Christmas in City Heights. Through this ministry low-income families have the opportunity to purchase at a very reduced price gifts for their children. The goal is to allow for the working poor families to have a dignified and financially affordable Christmas. Over 100 families were touched by this outreach. Many non-Christians helped serve, and were served.

My friend Danny Kim put together a video of Al’s testimony. He felt like the church had given him so much that he had to share what he had. God touched him and put it on his heart to give about 20 teddy bears for the Christmas in City Heights outreach. He had collected these for about 20 years. Al was making a big sacrifice in giving up his teddy bear collection. It reminds us of the widow’s mite that Christ said was the greatest gift. An awesome testimony of God’s grace!

Rejoice with me over how God is reaching down and changing lives! Rejoice in the Christ of Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Bill Yarbrough Preaching at Lo Mejor Del Trigo

Bill Yarbrough Preaching at Lo Mejor Del Trigo

Despite waiting 5+ hours in line to cross the border on Sunday, we had a wonderful time of ministry in Tijuana!

Bill Yarbrough is a great friend and champion of ours. Did I mention he’s also our boss. Bill along with his wife, Sue and daughter, Elle spent the weekend with us. On Sunday Bill accompanied my son, Jon and me down to Tijuana.

Last year Bill came down and led a Living in Grace conference with Daniel Nuñez and Lo Mejor Del Trigo. The church loved it. Unfortunately, many Mexican Christians struggle with living a moralistic, legalistic Christianity. Of course, this is not a problem in the U.S., ha ha ;).

The Lord used the themes of grace to encourage and strengthen the faith of our Mexican friends. I remember the people laughing as Bill shared some of the things we do in the church to act like we are “good” christians. The focus tends to be on the outward appearance rather than on our heart. The church resonated with this, but Daniel admitted it takes time for people to change.

Good things happened after the conference. Those in the church extended grace to him and his family when they experienced a family crisis. Wow! God’s timing is amazing. I may share more specifics about this testimony of God’s grace in a future post. The fact is we are all growing in grace, and we all desperately need to know and experience the love of God and his redeeming grace.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes that Bill shared that I’ve heard from others as well.

“The good news is that you are worse off than you can ever imagine. The greater good news is you are more loved than you ever dared to imagine.”

Dave addressing the church

Dave addressing the church

God’s grace is greater than all our sin. Live and grow deeply in this truth.

On Sunday Bill followed up on these truths. The Lord is using events like this to strengthen our relationship with Daniel Nuñez and the people in his movement. I’m so encouraged by how the Lord is moving on the border. The gospel does change everything.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Petra performing the violin

Petra performing the violin

Heart breaking and horrifying events took place in Oregon and Connecticut this last week. It’s a sad reminder that we live in a fallen world. Our country is suffering from decay from within.

Even with all the bad news there is hope. The tragedies of the past week also are a reminder of the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Petra Anderson’s story is an amazing testimony of God’s grace. He miraculously spared Petra’s life. Now she is recovering.

Petra still is on a long journey to recovery, but it’s amazing she’s come so far so quickly. Brian Williams featured Petra’s story on Rock Center this week. I’ve included the video on this link: MSNBC, Miracle in Aurora.

This summer, Kim Anderson, Petra’s mom passed away due to cancer. Chloe and Robert (Petra’s sister and brother) along with Petra have endured more hardship than seems fair.

Our heart goes out to the families that were affected by the shootings in Oregon and Connecticut. Once again it doesn’t seem right and it isn’t fair. I’m sure many wonder where is God in all of this? Yet somehow, someway God is there in their midst. He does give us hope. Petra’s story is one of hope for a hurting people.

God is not dead. We may not understand his ways, but he is working.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither  are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55: 8-11 (ESV)

I know life is tough, and horrible things happen that leave us wondering. Remember friend, God is still on the throne. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). There is plenty to be thankful for.

I do praise the Lord for saving Petra’s life. I look forward to how he will use her and her family in the future. Her’s is a heartwarming story, and I’m encouraged that MSNBC would cover it.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave with Hannah & Jon

Dave with Hannah & Jon

Last week after I was at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis seeking to connect with students, and encourage them to take a look at our work on the border, I went to Colorado. While I was in Colorado Springs I visited two of my favorite people. My kids, Jonathan and Hannah. It was so good to see them, and to have the opportunity to visit other friends.

I love all three of my children, David Jr., Jon and Hannah! David goes to school at San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, California. He lives near us and we see him often. Jon and Hannah stayed in Colorado Springs.

Dawn and I love what we do, and where we live. Our season in Colorado was wonderful, but the Lord called us to move on. Now that we’ve moved, we are excited about what lies ahead as we live and serve on the San Diego – Tijuana border!

my daughter, Hannah & my son, Jonathan enjoying a float and having some fun!

my daughter, Hannah & my son, Jonathan enjoying a float and having some fun!

The hardest thing about moving apart from packing and unpacking 🙂 is leaving Jon and Hannah back in Colorado. I know it’s common for college age children to leave their home. In our case the parents left the home. Yet that’s not to say Dawn and I don’t miss our kids like crazy. One thing I used to enjoy doing is dropping in on them while they were working to say hello. I miss being able to do those simple things.

That’s what made it so awesome, so thrilling and exciting for me to be able visit Jon and Hannah. I dropped in on Hannah while she was working. We went shopping. Hannah and I enjoyed a cup of coffee together. On our last night together we made Gingerbread houses with Scott, Jeshua and Kaci Kracht. Wow! It was fun to be with my kids again.

The minute I said good-bye to them I missed them. The tears welled up in my eyes!

I know the Lord watches over us and our now grown children as we live in different places. I thank Jesus for his good promises to care for us.

Jesus also encourages us to keep our eyes focused on him, as we live for and serve him.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”

—Matthew 19:29 (ESV)

Having some fun while building the Gingerbread House with the Krachts

Having some fun while building the Gingerbread House with the Krachts

“O, Lord I know others suffer the pain of separation from those they love, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Continue to watch over and care for my family. Lead them in your way, and cause their love for you to grow. I ask that I too will love you more, and walk in ways that honor you, day by day and moment by moment. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for loving us, even though we don’t deserve it. You are the King and Lord of All!”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave Presenting at Covenant Seminary

Dave Presenting at Covenant Seminary

On Tuesday I was at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. I presented our work on the border to the students there. In God’s wonderful grace I met some great students! Young people who want to serve the Lord, and who are preparing themselves to be on mission with God.

I remember when I first went to the Covenant last April, I wondered what kind of students I would encounter? I thought, “maybe they are going to give me a lot of push back? Maybe they won’t agree with my philosophy of ministry?” I thought that might be the case in part, because in seminary it is a place where you study and think through how things ought to be.

Seminary is a great place to learn, but sometimes when it is removed from the messiness of life it can become a bit idealistic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I wondered how it might influence how they received my presentation of our work on the border. I know about the idealistic tendencies in part, because I can remember going through some of that while I studied in seminary.

Despite all my doubts, I have been very impressed by the quality of students I have met so far at Covenant. The school has a reputation for preaching grace, and the students I’ve met also seek to exhibit grace in their lives.

Interacting with students at Covenant

Interacting with students at Covenant

I’m thankful that the Lord connected me with these students, and I look forward to seeing what he will do. Who will come and join us?

Our need is for those who have a passion for God, his mission and the gospel to serve with us. This also includes those that haven’t been to seminary, but have the gifts and character necessary to minister in a cross-cultural setting.

Dawn and I continue to pray that the Lord will raise up workers to join our team. We look to the Lord to bring us the right people. Those that God is calling to serve with us, who have the necessary gift mix to make an impact on the border. Of course, not everyone will be a good fit, so we are also praying that the Lord will protect us from the wrong people.

Apart from praying we are actively looking for those that the Lord might be calling to the border. “Lord, give us wisdom where to look!”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org