Archive for April, 2013

Dave sharing the gospel in Mexico City with Isabel Cisneros

Dave sharing the gospel in Mexico City with Isabel Cisneros (circa 1987)

Jesus shared the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed that fell on fertile soil bore fruit.

Part of our work is sowing the seed. Sometimes the seed falls on infertile soil. Yet, it’s so wonderful when the seed does produce. We rejoice with the angels when there is a new birth.

Fruit From the Summer of 1987

This week a friend of mine from Mexico City told me they met a woman who I shared the gospel with in the summer of 1987. This woman came to Christ through our seed sowing, and she is now a leader in the church.

In the summer of 1987 I was doing an internship while I was in seminary. God used that summer internship to confirm my call to serve in Mexico. I was going out with a small team almost every day in an impoverished area east of Mexico City. We were visiting people, sharing the gospel and praying for the sick.

God used that summer to grow me. I’m grateful that he also used it make a difference in people’s lives. It warms my heart to hear how someone we shared the gospel with those many years ago is continuing to be a faithful member and leader of the church.

God Makes it Grow
Sowing, 1495

Sowing, 1495 (Photo credit: Marcel Douwe Dekker)

I realize that I only played a small part. Our team planted the seed, but others watered and God caused the increase.

Paul says in relationship to his sowing of the gospel,

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6,7 ESV)

This is a reminder to me that we must continue to be faithful to sow the seed of the Word of God. We may not always be around to see the fruit, but some of the seed will fall on good soil. God uses different people in his kingdom to produce fruit. He ultimately is the one who has to make it grow.

Thank you Lord, that you do work through us. Sometimes our efforts are feeble, but you still work through them.

Thanks to our faithful friends for standing with us, as we sow the seed. Continue to pray with us that God will cause much growth as we serve him on the border.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Princess celebrating Christmas with us

Princess celebrating Christmas with us

On Sunday evening we received a phone call that our little dog, Princess passed away. Dawn and I have been traveling, so Princess was with some friends. We felt doubly bad that we weren’t there when she passed away, and that this fell on our friends.

I wasn’t sure whether I should post this or not. My blog is mainly to highlight our ministry on the border. Then I thought, well, I notice that people are very interested in our family, and Princess was like part of the family. For those of you that aren’t dog lovers, please accept my apologies!

Princess was about 14 years old, and she was experiencing more aches and pains. It’s good that she doesn’t have to suffer any longer.

She was a very loving little toy poodle. She enjoyed cuddling with us.

One of the things that I will miss about her is that in the morning when I read the news and had my devotions she sat with me. It was a good way to start off my day. She also was a good companion when I watched TV. Our little Princess fit the bill for the saying, “man’s best friend.”

Daisy and Princess - (Daisy is on top of the couch, and Princess is in the background)

Daisy and Princess – (Daisy is on top of the couch, and Princess is in the background)

In God’s grace he’s provided another toy poodle, Daisy. Daisy came into our family in January. She loves to do all the things Princess did, but she has more energy. Every time I head out the door she assumes it is to take her for a ride in the car, or for a walk.

Well, Dawn and I just said good-bye to two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah last night. It never gets easy.

We are about ready to board a plane and head off to Orlando to mobilize workers for our ministry on the border. Please join us in prayer that it will be a fruitful and productive trip.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

English: View of Pikes Peak from the Universit...

English: View of Pikes Peak from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, sometime before 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dawn and I have been in Colorado Springs for the last week. We came out for some ministry meetings, and the opportunity to connect with friends and family.

When we left Mexico City at the end of 1999 we moved to Colorado Springs. We thought our family would only be in the Springs for a year or so. I remember Dawn saying to me, “It’s cold there, and we don’t know anybody.” I replied, “We’ll only be there for about a year, we can handle it.”

Well, we actually lived in Colorado Springs for 12 years, just slightly more than a year, right? 🙂 I guess, that’s one reason we are having a hard time getting our kids to leave Colorado. It really did become home for us.

The Lord called us to the Mexican border and we left Colorado last August. Mexico has bookended our time in Colorado.

Hannah and Dave enjoying some father - daughter time

Hannah and Dave enjoying some father – daughter time

While we lived in the Springs the Lord gave us many wonderful friends. We are grateful for them. They pray for us and encourage us along the way.

Dawn and I will be leaving on Wednesday morning, and it will be very hard to say good-bye. It always is! It makes it even harder when we have to say to good-bye to two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah.

I thank the Lord that he has given us such a fruitful visit, and for the blessing of friends who love and support us in our ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Three Kids: Jonathan, Hannah & David Jr.

Our Three Kids: Jonathan, Hannah & David Jr.

I must admit one of the principle things I worry about is my children. My kids, David Jr., Jonathan and Hannah, are now grown. Dawn and I just became empty nesters when we left Colorado last August.

I am learning to trust God in deeper ways through this time. God is indeed faithful!

One of the Hardest Things I’ve Ever Done
The beauty of Colorado Springs (taken by Terry Bradley)

The beauty of Colorado Springs (taken by Terry Bradley)

I can still remember the day we drove off from Colorado Springs, and said good-bye to Jon and Hannah. It was a bittersweet day. Sweet because we attained a dream we had worked for in moving and ministering on the San Diego – Tijuana border. Bitter because Dawn and I had to say good-bye to two of our children.

When the Lord first called us to serve on the border I felt that he confirmed in my heart that he would not tear apart our family. I’ve clung to that promise as Dawn and I have been on this journey.

Jesus’ Healing Words

This morning I was reading in Luke 12. Jesus speaks words of comfort to my soul in this passage found in verses 22 and following.

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

—Luke 12:22-26 (ESV)

The impression I get from Jesus’ words is that these basic things we worry about are very simple for God. Your Father loves you, he is good and he promises to take care of you so why do you worry?

Why do I Worry?

I realize one of the reasons I worry is my faith often wavers. I forget that God is good. I forget that God promises to take care of me and my family.

The other reason I worry is that I make an idols out of my children or other things. The problem with idols is that they never satisfy. They can never fill our hearts. Only our Heavenly Father can meet our deepest needs.

Thank you Lord, for being so loving and so patient with me.

Hannah & Jon having some fun

Hannah & Jon having some fun

One of the reason that I’m reminded of all this today is that Dawn and I are in Colorado Springs. We are spending some time with Jon and Hannah. I still would love to have them closer to us, but I’m grateful that our loving Father is taking such good care of them. I’m thankful for Village Seven Presbyterian Church. A church where they have friends, and they can grow and learn.

Thank you Lord, that you are faithful even though I doubt. You are faithful even when I am not.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

God’s Math in Tijuana is the same as it is anywhere else around the world. The Gospel + nothing = everything!

On Sunday I spoke at one of the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) churches in Rojo Gomez, which is an area in eastern Tijuana.

It was so encouraging, because there was a great group of people. Pastor Abraham Velazquez asked them to invite their friends and family to the service. They did just that!

The Message of Grace

I preached on Galatians 1:1-9. I love this passage. Paul speaks somewhat harshly to the Galatians, because they are turning to a different gospel. Then he adds, not that there is another one. If you change even the smallest part of the gospel you lose it all together. The gospel of Christ, is that Jesus is the only way. It is through Christ’s sacrifice and his resurrection that we receive the grace of God. We can’t add to the perfect work that Christ has already done for us.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  —Galatians 1:6-9, ESV

The simple message of the gospel is that in Christ alone are we saved, by grace alone, through faith alone. It’s elementary math, but unfortunately we often like to add to this formula that God has laid out for us.

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

My good friend, pastor Abraham told me that he’s been preparing his people and preaching about grace. At first they resisted the message of grace. They thought he was teaching that it didn’t matter how they lived, but that is not the point. If you believe that you can live in sin you’ve missed it altogether. It’s just that we don’t get to God through our good works.

Another big part of the teaching of grace is that only the gospel can truly change us from the inside out.

Through Abraham’s preaching and the work of the Spirit the Lord had prepared the heart of the people. They were ripe to receive the message.

A Wonderful Response to the Gospel
David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time

David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time – pray for God’s continued work in their lives.

After the message I asked people to come up for prayer if they felt they had a need in their life. Many came up! Then I wondered how we were going to pray for them all, but little by little Dawn, Martha, Abraham and I prayed for them.

One woman, Rosa gave her life to Christ. A young couple who came for the first time asked prayer for their marriage. They came with many needs, and I believe the Lord’s Spirit touched them and brought healing to their broken places!

Pray for pastor Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are a beautiful young couple who love and serve the Lord. God has given them many gifts, and he is blessing them as they serve at the church in Rojo Gomez.

Thank you Lord, for giving me and my family the opportunity to minister to these dear friends.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mobilizing in Charlotte
Mexican border fence

Mexican Border

On Thursday I presented our border ministry to seminary students at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m ringing the bell for the border with the hope that someone will hear.

As I visit schools and churches, I have the opportunity to let people know about the crushing needs on the border. I don’t always get the immediate response that I’d like, yet it is a great experience interacting with people and letting them know about what we are doing.

There is value in making people aware of the mission we are on. Dawn and I are praying for a team of workers to join us. It takes time. I’ve spoken with some of my friends who now have larger teams, and they remind me that it is a process.

Dream Big! Dig Deep! Start Small!

Dick Kauffman has been coaching and mentoring me and I am so grateful for his support. He is a very wise and godly man with a wealth of experience. He keeps reminding me, “it is good that you aren’t building your team too quickly. It gives you more time to know what your needs are.” I believe he’s right, but that’s not to say it’s easy to wait! 😉

When I mentioned to Dick recently that I thought my team was slow in coming together he reminded me of something that Pastor Frank Barker used to say, “Dream big! Dig deep! Start small!” Dick added, “sounds to me that you are doing just that.”

I pray that Dawn and I will dream God sized dreams, and patiently wait for his timing. One thing that does help as we wait is that the Lord has already given us wonderful partners to work with, and we do minister with them as a team.

Dave & Dawn on the Border

Dave & Dawn on the Border

Jesus told us to pray for workers, which means we have to ask God and make an appeal to others to go on mission with God together. The words of Jesus still ring true today:

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. —Matthew 9:37,38

I find it encouraging that it is his harvest. This is ultimately the Lord’s work, and he is the one that will raise up the workers. That is why I will keep ringing the bell for the border.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song —Pope John Paul II

Harbor Mid-City Easter Sunday! Worship

Harbor Mid-City Easter Sunday!

The message of Easter is one of hope. Light breaks through the darkness. We live in a world that seems hopeless and in despair. The resurrection is the game changer. That’s why hallelujah is our song!

When God enters in it is reminder that there is hope. When the gospel truly does break forth it gives us reason to rejoice. Often we are not singing hallelujah, because our spiritual eyes and ears are not open to what the Lord is doing all around us. Maybe we’ve forgotten what our savior did for us on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

One of the ways we learn of how God is working in a community is listening to the testimony of his people. On Easter Sunday, Danny Kim put together a marvelous video that tells the story of three changed lives.

Moses and Oliva both came to know the resurrected savior in a very personal way this last year. God worked in Timonthy’s heart and gave him the strength to forgive someone who had abused him years ago.

It brought tears to my eyes to observe how the Lord had redeemed the lives of these friends. I know that the Lord used the testimonies of these transformed lives to touch the hearts of many who were there to worship the risen savior.

Resurrection: Finding New Life in Jesus Christ!

Give thanks with us for the Lord’s marvelous work, and for these transformed lives!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org