Archive for May, 2013

The Gospel is Making a Difference in Tijuana
The pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo that we met with last week.

The pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo that we met with last week.

I give thanks for the leaders the Lord has given me to work with on both sides of the border. Last week I was able to meet with a number of them. Such choice servants of the Lord!

We visited the two churches that Harbor helped plant among some of the other churches. Cesar one of the younger pastors has just taken over a church that has gone through a lot of turmoil. The church had shrunk and was down to about three families.

Since Cesar took the church over just in the last month they’ve had 100 people attend the church.

The Lord Hears the Prayer of His People

I asked Cesar what they were doing to reach the people. He said the main thing they were doing was praying. God is hearing their plea.

These ministries are loving on the people in the community. Many of them are feeding the poor. Periodically they set up a medical clinic to help those that can’t afford to go to a doctor. It’s so good to see the Lord at work.

God is working through these churches as they share the love of Christ in their community. Our prayer is that they will continue to grow and to be a blessing in Tijuana.

Praise and Prayer

I praise the Lord for his faithfulness to these churches, and those who serve in them. They are blessing their communities in some practical ways. One of the questions we are asking is how can we come alongside of them, and be of encouragement to them.

Join in prayer as we ask the Lord to open the hearts of the people as the gospel goes out into the communities surrounding the church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Jon and Dave embarking on the cross country trip from Colorado Springs to Chula Vista

Jon and Dave embarking on the cross-country trip from Colorado Springs to Chula Vista

I’ve been on the road the last week, which has made it harder to get on the internet to post anything. Last Thursday I flew out to Colorado to help our son, Jonathan move to Chula Vista.

I can still remember the tears and the pain of saying good-bye to Jonathan and Hannah last August! God is so good to provide a way for Jonathan to be with us again.

One of the difficulties of living out the life of a missionary is all the painful good-byes. You keep thinking that it might get easier, but it doesn’t, at least not for me.

The Lord has put us in the wonderfully unique situation of living and serving in missions on the border. Because of where we live we can minister on both sides of the border. In two different countries with two radically varied cultures. This makes it possible for us to be closer to our grown children. It’s an opportunity many missionaries do not have.

In Jeremiah the Lord encouraged the Israelites to seek the welfare of the city where they had been sent. As God blessed the city they too would be blessed. That is really our heart here. We pray that we will see San Diego – Tijuana blessed by God. We trust as the Lord showers down his blessings on the city that our family and friends will experience God’s rich and bountiful care as well.

God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:7 & 11, gives us comfort and hope:

Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find welfare… For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jon & Hannah right before we began our trek

Jon & Hannah right before we began our trek

Dawn and I love what we do, and we love where we live. It affords us the opportunity to minister to Latinos in San Diego and in Tijuana. God has given us some great partners to work with. We continue to pray that the Lord’s kingdom will be expanded on the border as it is in heaven.

“Thank you Jesus for calling us to serve on the border! Thank you for making it possible for our son, Jon to move so he can be near us. We pray for your watchful care over our whole family. Thank you that we can trust you!”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Experience: Kidnapped in Mexico City
Dave and Dawn with our son, David Diaso Jr. He is a student at San Diego Christian College

Dave and Dawn with our son, David Diaso Jr. He is a student at San Diego Christian College

While we were serving as missionaries in Mexico City in the 90’s I was kidnapped. Many people have asked me to share more about how it all happened. My son, David Jr. wrote a story about my experience. The event affected our whole family, and I love the way David tells the story.

Since it’s not a short story I’m posting it in parts. This is the third of a three-part story. You can find part 1 here…, and part 2 here…

Kidnapped: Part 3

Dad wasn’t carrying a lot of cash with him but did have a couple of debit cards. The men drove to the airport where there were a number of ATM’s and asked, “What is your pin number?” At that point my dad realized that it would be no use trying to fight them so he hesitantly gave them the number,

“Ocho…nueve…uno…cuatro.” One of the men stayed with my father in the cab holding the knife against his neck. The other man took the card to the ATM taking out the maximum amount from the machine, because the they would only allow you to take out so much in a day. One of the men got up and started taking his friends food order. Then he asked my dad,

English: VW Beetle taxi in Mexico City. These ...

VW Beetle taxi in Mexico City. These taxis are commonly referred to as “bochos”. Similar to the taxi Dave was held up in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Te gustaría un taco o una bebida?” Would you like a taco or drink? My dad thought about the question, These must be the friendliest kidnappers, since they are, offering me food with the money they just took from me.

“Si, me gustaría una bebida” I’ll take a drink dad tentatively piped in. As the clock struck midnight the kidnappers got back to work. The man went back to the machine and again took the max out the maximum amount.

Then the men took dad and went back to the cab. O great what are they going to do with me now” dad thought. They placed the blindfold back over my dad’s eyes. One of the men leaned over and whispered something to the cab driver. A few moments later the car began to move. Time could not have been going any slower. Finally the cab came to a stop and the men took the blindfold off my dad. They had just stopped in the middle of the road. The men hollered at my dad,

“No le diga a la policía. No mires hacia atrás. Si lo haces te mataremos a ti y a tu familia. Recuerde que sabemos donde vives.” Don’t tell the police. Don’t look back. If you do we will kill you and your family. Remember we know where you live. The words echoed in my father’s head as he stood on the curb watching the Beetle drive away. A wave of realization hit as he dropped to his knees in sobbing emotion. Thank you, thank you Lord.  

* * *

David Jr with his brother, Jon and sister, Hannah and LiverLips. This was taken around the time when the kidnapping took place

David Jr with his brother, Jon and sister, Hannah and LiverLips. This was taken around the same time when the kidnapping took place

Mom sat by the phone ever since she realized dad was missing. It was already one in the morning and she hadn’t heard from him since 10:30 when she had told him to come home.

Ring … ring… ring… Mom ran over to the phone praying it would be my dad. She started bawling in confirmation.  

“What happened, are you okay?” she asked.

“I’m okay” dad said, “I was kidnapped by a couple of guys outside of the office and they took me to the ATM and stole all of our money” dad added. Mom’s face lit up. At that point she could care less that they had taken all our money; dad was safe and that is all that mattered.

Dad explained that they had left him near the airport and needed to be picked up. Mom called one of our neighbors and told them what had happened. She asked if they would take her to the airport.

We give thanks that the story had a happy ending!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Experience: Kidnapped in Mexico City
Dave and Dawn with our son, David Diaso Jr. He is a student at San Diego Christian College

Dave and Dawn with our son, David Diaso Jr. He is a student at San Diego Christian College

While we were serving as missionaries in Mexico City in the 90’s I was kidnapped. Many people have asked me to share more about how it all happened. My son, David Jr. wrote a story about my experience. The event affected our whole family, and I love the way David tells the story.

Since it’s not a short story I’m posting it in parts. This is the second of a three-part story. I received some great feedback from the first post. You can find part 1 here…

Kidnapped: Part 2

The cab driver opened the door for them and quickly jumped in the cab and sandwiched my father. Quickly the man on my dad’s left ordered him to keep his eyes closed. What is going to happen to me? Dad thought. Was this the end? Is today the day I meet the Lord? Just a few weeks before one of the missionaries who worked with my dad had been kidnapped and killed.

Dad felt one of the men stick a cold rusty blade against his side. The blade dug into his side as the cab bounced over the beaten streets of downtown Mexico City. The other man patted my father down. He grabbed his wallet, wedding ring, briefcase and then they saw the gold beaded necklace with a gold cross that dangled on my dad’s neck. The man quickly yanked it off my dad’s neck, leaving the beaded imprint on the back of his tan Italian skin.

“Que es su trabajo?” What is your job they yelled. “Soy un misionero.” I’m a missionary he proudly answered. They saw his small leather bound Bible his mother gave him. He carried that Bible everywhere. The men pulled the Bible out and demanded to my father “Juro, juro sobre esta Biblia que no nos mienta y no vas a decir nada a nadie acerca de nosotros.” Swear, swear on this bible you will not lie to us or tell anyone on us. Dad placed his left hand on the Bible and hesitantly lifted his right arm. Sweat was dripping down my father’s horrified face that was still covered by the cloth. His body was shaking uncontrollably and a chill rushed down his spine. His mind was racing, wondering what would happen to him, to our family.

“Prometo” I promise, dad timidly claimed.

* * *

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. just outside Mexico City at the pyramids

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. just outside Mexico City at the pyramids

Mom and I waited in the kitchen like we always did. My brother, Jon and my sister, Hannah were already fast asleep but I couldn’t sleep. When my dad left, I was the man of the house. At three feet nine inches with my zip up footie-pajamas, I was the protector of the house. Sure I was only 7 years old but someone had to take care of my mom and my little siblings.

“Mommy where’s dad?” I asked. It was late and dad should have been home 30 minutes ago. My mother started worrying, but I tried to stay my optimistic self.

Another hour went by and we knew something was definitely wrong. It was way past my bedtime but I couldn’t go to sleep. I always waited for my dad to come home and tuck me in. But today he wasn’t here, What was I going to do? I can’t handle losing my dad. I’m only seven years old. To be continued…

Thanks for the great feedback on part 1. I’d love to hear what you think of part 2. I will conclude the story in my next post.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Experience: Kidnapped in Mexico City
Dave and Dawn with our son, David Diaso Jr. He is a student at San Diego Christian College

Dave and Dawn with, David Diaso Jr. David Jr. is a student at San Diego Christian College

While we were serving as missionaries in Mexico City in the 90’s I was kidnapped. Many people have asked me to share more about how it all happened. My son, David Jr. wrote a story about my experience. The event affected our whole family, and I love the way David tells the story. Since it’s not a short story I’ll post it in parts.

Kidnapped: Part 1

My dad had a busier day than usual and had to stay at his office until it was dark. After hours upon hours of working on reports for the home office, making phone calls and planning for the coming weeks for his ministry he was finally able to leave work. Unlike most work days he had not driven to work this day. His car was in the shop getting fixed. He grabbed his big black over coat and shoved his vintage colorful blue Apple MacBook, paperwork, and Bible into his briefcase. Before he left the office he called our house and told us he was coming home, as he always did. I remember loving to wait by the phone every night for my dad to call. I would patiently sit on our old Victorian burgundy couch. When I heard the phone ring I would quickly run over to the phone. I handed the phone to my mom and she told my dad to hurry home because it was already 10:30 and it was getting dangerous.

English: A 2002 Volkswagen Beetle Mexico City ...

A 2002 Volkswagen Beetle Mexico City Green Taxi cab. This is what the taxi looked like. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my dad was walking out of the work complex and through the doors he double-checked his pockets to make sure he didn’t forget anything. My dad walked out of his office in downtown Mexico City, the biggest city in the world, and likely the most dangerous as well. Dad was never afraid of the danger of the city. He loved Mexico and their people. However, this night would change his perspective. It was a dark night and the only lights were coming from the front of the buildings and the headlights from the road. People were running all around him. As he neared the street dad tried to whistle down a cab. After a few cars passed he thought “I’m never going to get a cab.” After a few minutes of trying to wave down a cab an old green Volkswagen Beetle pulled up. My dad opened up the passenger door and moved his way past the empty passenger seat that had been taken out. “Finally I’m going home,” or so he thought.

The small green cab came screeching to a halt just a block from the office. The stoplight was green but the driver wasn’t moving forward. “Que paso?” What is going on, my dad asked. Two Mexican men were knocking on the cab’s window. Dad was thinking, “Well this is strange, maybe they think the cab is empty.”

David Jr. celebrating Mexican Independence day with Dawn and Dave in Mexico City

David Jr. celebrating Mexican Independence day with Dawn and Dave in Mexico City

Or maybe he got in the wrong cab at the wrong time. Maybe it was because he was white and they thought he was an American with a lot of money. Maybe the driver was an accomplice . . . whatever the situation was, the men were not looking for a ride. To be continued …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Daniel Nuñez with the pastors of Lo Mejor Del Trigo

Daniel Nuñez with the pastors of Lo Mejor Del Trigo

God’s Amazing Work in TJ

I see God doing an amazing work in Tijuana, and it’s fun to be a part of it. There’s so much bad news in the world it’s refreshing to receive good news.

The Lord has blessed me with some wonderful pastors to work with in Tijuana. Last week I was especially encouraged!

On Sunday I preached at the church we helped start. Such a great group of people! The church responded well to my message. They blessed Dawn and me, and we felt we were able to love on and minister to them. God is using pastor Rodrigo and his wife, Nancy to build the church.

Then on Monday Bill Yarbrough and I were able to be with Daniel Nuñez and all the pastors with Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat). Bill spoke on Christ centered preaching, and they loved it. It’s wonderful to see the gospel influence the influencers of a church planting movement.

Coaching and Encouraging Pastors
Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right) pastors, ministers, pastors wives

Rodrigo & Nancy Vallarta, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham Velazquez (from left to right)

Later in the week I met with some of the pastors that I’m coaching and encouraging in their ministries. I had a great time with pastor Abraham Velazquez. He shared with me how he is preaching the gospel in his church, and how God is using it in people’s lives. Some of the things Bill and I have shared with him he is passing on. Wow, that thrilled my heart to hear!

I do believe God is winning in Tijuana!

Abraham has a wonderful family. Dawn and I love Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are quickly becoming some of our favorite people in Tijuana. The Lord is doing an amazing work in their family and through their ministry at the church.

Praise Jesus for His Good Work

I praise the Lord that he is using our efforts to bring positive change in Tijuana.

Thanks for standing with us on this journey of faith for Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT)

It’s so encouraging to see the gospel make a difference in the lives of our friends on both sides of the border.

Christ-centered preaching

This week Bill Yarbrough went with me to the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) pastors meeting. Bill gave a presentation on Christ-centered preaching. It warmed my heart to see the pastors smiling, laughing and enjoying learning about what for some of them would be a different emphasis in their preaching.

The pastors were laughing, because Bill has a good sense of humor, and he compared and contrasted what might be the opposite of Christ centered preaching. There is always the danger in preaching of placing burdens on people that they cannot bear. The problem is when we over emphasize our effort (moralism), and under emphasize Christ work for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

Moralism vs. the Gospel

Jesus spoke harshly to the scribes and the Pharisees for laying burdens on the people that they themselves could not bear. There is a danger when moralism is preached instead of the cross. I think most pastors, if they are honest, would admit that they have fallen into this trap before.

In Matthew 23:2-4 Jesus criticizes the religious leaders:

…For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and they lay them on the people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. —Matt. 23:3b-4 (ESV)

The Spirit gives life, but the law kills. The law isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t life giving. It can only warn us what not to do, or what we should do. Only the gospel gives us the power to live the life that God wants us to live.

Paul encourages the Corinthians to live in the new covenant that Christ brought:

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. —2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (ESV)

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Most people in ministry serve, because they love Jesus, and they want to help others. Yet if we are honest, we all struggle with a bit of Pharisaism. This is true of pastors as well as those that are attending the church.

If the church doesn’t preach the gospel, then people will get weighed down by burdens they were never meant to carry. They will eventually leave the church, or live a lifeless Christianity. The gospel is life giving. That’s why Christ centered preaching is so important.

Gospel Renewal

Our prayer is that the gospel would so permeate the San Diego – Tijuana border that the border is renewed and revived. It’s a work that only God can do. The Lord works through his church – his people!

Pray with us that Christ will be preached in such a powerful way on the border that we will see many lives transformed. O, that the light of Christ would shine brightly! O, that Christ will be lifted up and glorified in a powerful way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Pastor Rodrigo Vallarta leading the church

Pastor Rodrigo Vallarta leading the church

Today (Sunday) Dawn and I had the privilege to spend some time with our friends at the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) church in Pipila, in eastern Tijuana. You might remember that this is one of the churches we partnered with Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo to plant last Fall.

A Great Beginning

The church started last November, and it is off to a fantastic start!

Dawn and I enjoyed the opportunity to be with this young and growing church. Rodrigo and his wife, Nancy are doing a good job loving and leading the people. Rodrigo told me that the church is frequently going out  to share the gospel in the community.

I enjoyed the opportunity to minister to the church through preaching on grace today. The Gospel does change lives! They were very open to the message, and Dawn and I sensed the Lord moving among them.

The woman, who donated the land for the church was also visiting today. She has a great heart, and loves God’s church. It was the first time she was able to visit the church, since it was built. After the service she met with Rodrigo, Nancy, Dawn and me and she was very interested in the needs of the church.

The Church’s Needs

I’d like to share with you what we found out, so you can pray with us.

  1. The church doesn’t have its own electricity. They are having to run an extension cord from a neighbor’s house to the church.
  2. They don’t have any musical instruments.
  3. They need some better security. Someone has broken into the church through the windows.
  4. Nancy has some dental needs, and they don’t have the money to cover the medical costs.
  5. Rodrigo and Nancy don’t have a car, so it’s hard to make it to their many ministry activities and to cart around the music equipment they borrow.
  6. Rodrigo could use a computer to help with his sermons, studies and communication.
Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

We are thrilled by all the Lord is doing at this young church, yet some of the needs do make us concerned. We wish we could do more. Jesus is making a difference through the gospel in the community of Pipila. Thank you Lord, for your continued ministry in the heart of men and women on the border.

Pray for these needs and this church. We hurt for Nancy, and her dental health. O Lord, please do provide a way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our third ESL class - opening night

Our third ESL class – opening night

We kicked off our third ESL class on Wednesday night. The class got off to a good start.

A Person of Peace

There was a woman in the parking lot with her three children before the class. I told her about our free English class, and invited her to come. She came! Then she called two of her sisters and they joined the class as well.

The woman’s name is Anna. Anna said she is going to invite more friends next week. The Lord has blessed us with a people gatherer. She is a person of peace.

All the teachers at Fay Elementary School will be giving each student a flyer promoting the ESL class today, so we should have even more students next week.

Thank You Lord!

I thank the Lord for how he has opened the doors for us to expand our ESL outreach. We started 2013 with one class, and now we have three.

We still have a ways to go to develop our ESL program, but we’ve made some great progress. It’s gratifying to see the Lord bless. I’m so encouraged, and I feel like I’m just watching God work.

It’s fun to be on this journey with Jesus. I know a big reason for the success we’ve had is our wonderful prayer partners.

Prayer Needs

Continue to pray for our teachers, childcare workers and more students. Pray that we will be a blessing to the community, and that the Lord touches the hearts of those that come.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org