Archive for December, 2014

The Highs and Lows of 2014
The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

At this time of year we tend to reflect on the past year. I like to take time to consider all that the Lord did in and through us during the year.

Questions like, what were the highs and lows of the year? What did we accomplish? How did my family and I grow in our faith?

God Uses Our Pain

In reflecting on the year I realize that this has been one of the hardest years I’ve experienced in a while. Yet even in the trials and pain God has shown up. In many ways, it’s been a mind-blowing year even amidst the difficulties.

The Lord has been with me all along the way! I believe some of my lows are connected to some of my highs. God has drawn me closer to him during those dark moments. He’s strengthened my faith and my love for him. I’ve seen the Lord also do an amazing work in the life of my family.

The Lord’s Amazing Work!
Before and after with the whole group in front of the church before we left

Before and after with the whole group in front of the church in Ribera del Bosque

There have also been some wonderful accomplishments this past year. One of the highlights was helping start a new church plant in Tijuana with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Ribera del Bosque. Dawn and I have loved getting to know Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio.

God is also doing some amazing things through some of our other pastor friends that we minister with in Tijuana. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the Lo Mejor del Trigo, and he and his wife are special friends. It’s always a joy to be with them.

There’s not space to mention all the pastors we work with, but here are some of the those that we’ve worked most closely with are Pastor Abraham and Martha Velazquez, Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta, Pastor Jaime and Valentina Rodriguez and Pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez.

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

Dawn and I have loved getting to know our friends from the Nueva Jerusalén (the New Jerusalem) church in Ensenada. God richly blessed the VBS outreach we held with them and Skyview Presbyterian from Denver this last summer.

I also give thanks for the pastors working in Tijuana and all of Baja California with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

We are getting ready to launch a new church in La Paz, Baja California Sur. There are a number of great men and women represented in these churches.

Bridging Cultures at the Bridge Church
Baptism - the Lord's sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

Baptism at Bridge Church

Dawn and I feel so blessed to minister with and to support the bi-lingual, multicultural Bridge Church and pastor Stephen Phelan north of the border. The church went through a difficult season this summer, but God is lifting us up and bringing healing. One exciting recent development is that one of the pastors from Lo Mejor Del Trigo, Jaime Rodriguez will be taking over as Spanish pastor for the Bridge church staring January 1st.

Giving Thanks for All the Lord has Done

I’m so grateful for all the Lord has done and is doing. He uses our brokenness. He doesn’t waste our pain. He lifts us up when we are down.

I look forward to an even better 2015!

You have played an important role in our 2014, as you’ve prayed for and encouraged us along the way. Dawn and I thank you for going on this journey with us.

Help Us to End 2014 Strong – There’s Still Time to Give

Since we are at Year-End, we are praying for the Lord to raise up the funds necessary to keep this ministry rolling.

DARK RED1 copyWould you consider a special year-end gift? You can give online here at donations.mw.org – select Diaso, David & Dawn, account #11717

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Good News of the Gospel
Jesus Loves City Heights - One of the ways we reach out in the community

Jesus Loves City Heights – One of the ways we reach out in the community

I love sharing my faith. I supposed it’s one of the reasons the Lord called me to be a missionary. It goes back some to those that influenced me when I was a new believer and being trained for the ministry. Dr. Bill Iverson, who I’ve written about in previous posts mentored and trained me in evangelism and discipleship.

Christmas and Easter are times of the year when I find people to be more open. There are more opportunities for me to share the good news of the gospel. Over the last month I’ve been able to lead six people to Christ.

What a thrill it is to see a new birth in Christ!

Pray for Good Soil that Produces Fruit

I must admit though that not all those that pray to receive Christ with me continue in the church. That’s the frustrating part. It’s like the parable of the sower and the seed. Some seed is received immediately, but the birds eat it, or the thorns choke it out and it doesn’t give fruit.

It is a battle to see people come to faith, and then for them to get plugged in and grow.

Jesus & Tacos
My friend, Martin at the taco stand

My friend, Martin at the taco stand

Over the last month Dawn and I have gotten to know one of the guys that cooks our tacos for us in Tijuana. He’s a real friendly guy named Martin. Dawn started talking to him, which opened up the door for us to share the gospel with him and leave him a gospel tract.

Last week I went back to the taco stand, and I shared some more with Martin while I was eating my tacos. I told him about the greatest gift, the gift of eternal life through Christ.

He said he wanted to receive the gift of life in Christ, and I was able to lead him in prayer to place in faith in Jesus work on the cross for his sins.

Grow in the Family
Baptism - the Lord's sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

Baptism – the Lord’s sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

I encouraged him that now he is part of a bigger family, and he needs to stay connected to the family to grow in his faith. I get concerned, because too often I see people who say they want to place their faith in Christ. They want the gift of life everlasting, but then they don’t follow through. So I’m concerned for Martin, and the others that I’ve led to Christ that they will get connected to a church and grow in their faith.

When I was leaving the taco stand. The security guy, who watches our cars while we enjoy our tacos asked me if he could have a gospel tract. I gave him one, and asked him if he had ever placed his faith in Christ. He said he was a believer.

I was thrilled to find out that he was a believer. We talked some and I told him about Martin. How Martin had just come to Christ. I encouraged him to keep talking to Martin and encourage him to grow in his faith. He told me he would follow through with that.

I left the taco stand that day feeling like I was walking in the clouds. O Lord, bring many more to yourself and cause them to grow and produce much fruit for your glory!

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray with us that Martin and the others that have recently come to Christ will get connected and grow in their faith.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is on the Move in Ribera del Bosque
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Ivan and Rocio and their son Brandon

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Ivan and Rocio and their son Brandon

The Lord is doing a marvelous work in the Lo Mejor del Trigo church in Ribera del Bosque. Dawn and I enjoyed worshipping with them and ministering with them on Sunday.

Pastor Ivan Casados along with his wife, Rocio started this church in April. They’ve already grown to 70 people.

These 70 people represent changed lives, as God’s Spirit is moving in Ribera del Bosque.

New Life in Christ – Changed Lives!
Pastor Ivan with Frida & Lupita

Pastor Ivan with Frida & Lupita

It was great to meet Frida, and her family. She just came to Christ a few months ago. I shared her story in an earlier post. Frida invited her cousin, Lupita. Through the witness of the church Lupita gave her life to Christ.

It’s thrilling to hear the testimonies to see new people coming to Christ!

God Hears Our Prayers
One of the couples we prayed for: Juan and Alejandra

One of the couples we prayed for: Juan and Alejandra

After the service many people came up for prayer. God met them at their point of need. They asked for prayer for physical and emotional healing. It was a privilege to lift them up in prayer.

It also hurt to see how some of them were suffering. One of the men we prayed for was involved in a terrible accident that crippled his foot. He and his wife were in tears as we asked the Lord to bring them healing and comfort. After we prayed he said he felt better. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord will bring further healing and wholeness to him and his family.

One of the greatest ways we can bless people is to pray for them. We know that the Lord hears our prayers, and he ministers to them in ways we never could.

Thank you Jesus for changing the lives of our friends in TJ. We pray for more of you, more of your amazing work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

 

 

Christmas in City Heights
Our daughter Hannah serving with Timonthy Walter at the Mercy & Justice booth at CICH

Our daughter Hannah serving with Timonthy Walter at the Mercy & Justice booth at CICH

Saturday evening Bridge church, formerly Harbor Mid-City held a wonderful outreach event – Christmas in City Heights (CICH).

It’s an event that provides affordable gifts for families in the community of City Heights that are struggling to make it. Through donations and many volunteers the church is able to bless many families, so that they can give gifts to their children at Christmas.

Christmas in City Heights is a joyous celebration of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I love seeing the smiles, and watching people enjoy the season with their families.

The Greatest Gift
Pastor Paul Kim, his wife Linda and their children helping by manning the store of CICH

Pastor Paul Kim, his wife Linda with their children who volunteered by manning the store of CICH

One of the things I enjoy most is the opportunity to share about the greatest gift ever given to man. The gift of Christ. Christ is indeed the reason for the season.

People seem to be more open to the message of Christmas, because they realize that during this time of year we celebrate the coming of Christ. The Lord gave me the opportunity to share with a husband and his wife and two sisters. They said they were not sure if they would go to heaven if they were to die today.

This opened the door for me to explain how they could know for sure. I shared the story of Christmas that Christ came to seek and save the lost. That they could receive the gift of grace, the gift of salvation that Christ came to give us.

All four of them said they wanted the gift of Christ. They wanted to have a personal relationship with God. So I had the privilege of leading them in prayer to repent of their sins and to put their faith in Christ. To trust Christ in order to receive the gift of heaven.

It warms my heart to watch people respond to the gospel message. Now they are part of God’s family. The church will help them grow in this grace.

Thanks be to God for his wonderful work and for his saving grace.

Christmas in City Heights Video

Thanks for standing with us in prayer. God uses your prayers to prepare the hearts of men and women to meet the King!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Plight of El Bordo
pastor Leo leading us in prayer

Pastor Leo leading us in prayer during an outreach event at El Bordo

I read an interesting article today that highlights the plight on border caused by all the deportations. No matter where you stand on immigration issues, it’s important to see the condition that people are living in on the border. They are horrific!

The article was featured in the Huffington Post: Crisis in El Bordo.

All the deportations have led to an influx of people living right at the border fence in Tijuana, where the Tijuana canal passes through. Approximately 2,000,000 people have been deported since 2009, which is the most ever by a U.S. president. 40% of the people have been deported at the San Ysidro-Tijuana border and now 4,000 of them are stuck and live in El Bordo.

A man washing his clothes in the Tijuana River in El Bordo

A man washing his clothes in the Tijuana River in El Bordo Photo by Cyrus Saatsaz from Huffington Post

It is sad to see the conditions they are living in, and many of them are stuck there. They have no place to go, and they don’t have the money or resources to find a way out.

The church must follow Jesus’ lead, and minister to the broken and downtrodden. I’m thankful that some of the churches that we’ve helped establish, and that we partner with minister to the people in El Bordo.

Join us in Prayer

I pray that these ministries will continue to flourish as they feed and care for so many hurting people. Lord, bring your peace, and I pray the gospel will bring lasting change to the border.

Join us in prayer for these hurting people. They have physical and spiritual needs.

O Lord, hear our prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

God’s Amazing Grace!
Some of the special friends the Lord has given us!

Some of the special friends the Lord has given us!

Tonight Dawn and I celebrated God’s grace with some wonderful ministry partners!

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas meal, and we took turns sharing about the awesome works of grace that we’ve seen our God do over the past year. It’s so encouraging to serve the Lord with other’s who are committed to Christ.

The Lord minister’s to my soul as I hear how he is working and has worked in the life of friends. It’s not easy, some of the stories people shared were stories of some pain and hardship. Yet God showed up in the moment of need. He promises to be there for us.

God Teaches Us Through the Trials
Some of the guys we've been on a journey with from one of our key partners, Bridge Church

Some of the guys we’ve been on a journey with from one of our key partners, Bridge Church

I feel like this has been one of the hardest years for me personally. We’ve gone through some difficult trials as a family. There have also been some challenging times in the ministry. Some painful things happened. People that we love were hurt.

Despite the difficulty that I’ve faced and our family has faced, I can see our Lord’s hand leading and guiding us. He is the gentle shepherd that leads us to the quiet waters.

Probably the greatest thing that has taken place through these low times is that God has drawn me and my family closer to him.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy as a “professional” minister, as a missionary to lose my first love. I can just go through the motions, and it all becomes somewhat mechanical. Since, the Lord loves me he draws me back to himself. He doesn’t give up on me.

This is where we find much of God’s grace at our weakest point. When we have nothing left to give, God’s grace meets us there. When we fail, God is there.

Keep looking to Jesus

I think one of the keys, is to keep seeking. Keep your eyes on Jesus, cling to him. Grow to love him anew, if you feel that your love has grown cold. He welcomes you with open arms. He is always working and drawing into a deeper relationship with him. Don’t resist his love.

I’m so thankful for God’s renewing grace, and for friends that I can share the story with. I get to see the amazing things God is doing in their lives as well.

You are an amazing God! Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Lord is Faithful
The coast off of La Paz, Baja California. We hope to start a new church plant there in 2015.

The coast off of La Paz, Baja California. We hope to start a new church plant there in 2015.

This past week I’ve written numerous reports for our mission – Mission to the Word (MTW). Recounting highlights and accomplishments over the last year. I found it encouraging to look back on what God had accomplished through the Border and Baja ministry.

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.

I also had to look forward to the future. Prayerfully consider what does the Lord want to do through us in the upcoming year. I find that it’s important to be positive – to dream big dreams.

Dream BIG Dreams!

A friend and supporter of our ministry once shared a quote that has stayed with me.

Dream no small dreams, for small dreams have no power to move the heart of men. –Jonathan Wolfgang Goethe

I like that quote. It challenges me to believe God for good things, even big things. William Carey, missionary to India, who is considered the father of modern missions said,

Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo and Victor Bravo, one of our newest church planters with Dave. We are planning on starting a new church in Rosarito in early 2015

The Lord is the one who enables us to dream big dreams, and when they are God sized dreams then life gets exciting. That is where I want to live.

I’ve found that this place is not a comfortable place to be, because the Lord will stretch us. He will take us to places we’ve never been before.

As you enjoy Advent, and celebrating Immanuel lean on God for the future. He has a good plan for you, so be hopeful!

For We know the thoughts and plans that our God has for us, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)

What a wonderful promise – “plans for welfare and peace and not for evil.” God is a good God and his purpose and plans for us are good. That’s why William Carey could go to a difficult place like India and expect great things from God. He did attempt a great thing for God and the Lord answered his prayer. He changed the face of missions for the church and reached many in India.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray with us that we will be bold enough to both expect great things from God as well as attempt great things for God. We know that we won’t be successful without an army of faithful friends who are standing with us. Hold us up dear friend.

Let me urge you to risk it and trust God for big things in your future as well. After all, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah!

In HIs Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org