Archive for October, 2015

Learn to Rest in the Lord
Bill Yarbrough with Dave and Jim DeWitt at the border crossing in Mexico

Bill Yarbrough with Dave and Jim DeWitt at the border crossing in Mexico

I thank the Lord that he loves me even when I rest. For some reason grasping this concept is like trying to catch a slippery fish. This is true for me. What has your experience been?

Our Latin American director for Mission to the World (MTW), Bill Yarbrough has been mentoring me in growing in my inner life. In this process he’s encouraged me to stop and to create space and a rhythm in my life that helps me to grow closer to the Father. Bill’s not just a boss, but a friend!

Bill asked me about my sabbath rest. As I reflected on that I realized that my rest isn’t as rich as it could be. When I expressed my struggle to Bill he reminded me that I am loved even when I rest.

How Do I Block Out All the Noise?

I think I get that at least to some degree, and it’s not like I don’t rest physically. The trouble is when I seek rest for my soul, spiritual rest there are so many things that begin to crowd out the quiet. I start worrying about what I have to do today, or about a ministry situation that isn’t going the way I would like it to go.

I feel like this pattern is a lot like what Martha struggled with when Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better thing to sit at his feet. I want to become more like Mary and less like Martha.

Church planters gathering

Church planters gathering

The last two days I’ve been in some invigorating meetings with church planters from around the U.S. and Mexico. Three of the guys that shared spoke about the importance of maintaining our intimacy with Jesus. Two of the pastors said that they felt like they were so focused on the ministry that their relationship with the Lord had waned. They had to get alone with God and restore their first love.

Unfortunately, I found that I could relate to them.

There’s so much to do, so much noise, so many distractions. 

Taken from Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Taken from Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

I don’t know how this is for you, but I think it is common in our culture whether you are serving in vocational ministry or not. We are a busy people. We don’t like to be still. Yet that’s what the Lord calls us to.

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  – Psalm 46:10

I’d appreciate your prayers for my family and for me that we will grow in and maintain an intimate relationship with our Abba, Father. Maybe you should pray for yourself in a similar way. We can’t take a break from growing deeper with Jesus. His mercies are new every morning. Our soul cries out and we long to know him better!

I’d love to hear from you. What have you found that has helped you to maintain a close and intimate walk with the Father?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating Life & Gospel Advance
Enjoying a meal with Tom and Donna Baird after the service

Enjoying a meal with Tom and Donna Baird after the service

This weekend the Lord blessed us and lifted our spirits through the visit of our good friends from Colorado Springs, Tom and Donna Baird. Our family lived in Colorado Springs for 12 years, so a part of our heart will always be there, even more so because our son, Jonathan lives there.

Tom and Donna wanted to go to Mexico while they were here. On Sunday our friends in Ensenada at the Nueva Jerusalén church celebrated their 26th anniversary. It worked out for us to take the Bairds to Ensenada. We enjoyed introducing them to our friends at the church, and participating in the celebration.

Worshipping and Celebrating with La Nueva Jerusalén

Worshipping and Celebrating with La Nueva Jerusalén

There are aspects of the church in Baja California that aren’t as strong or as healthy as we would like. We are grateful that we can celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness to raise up this church, and to minister to the people in the community through the gospel. We are working for and praying for a renewed and a revived church.

O Lord, build your church. Extend your kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven.

Coming Together for the Advance of the Church
Meeting with church planters in Phoenix

Meeting with church planters in Phoenix

Today I met with a number of church planters in Phoenix. One of the points that touched me was the need for us to partner together, to work as one church to see the gospel go out faithfully. God has not called us to build our own little kingdoms, but to participate together in building His kingdom.

It’s incredible what God is doing and will do if when we aren’t concerned about who gets the credit!

Lord, thank you for working in our hearts and granting us the privilege to serve for the advance of your reign on the earth.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Gospel Advance Meetings!
Larry Trotter teaching at the Northwestern Border Presbytery meeting

Larry Trotter teaching at the Northwestern Border Presbytery meeting

This weekend Larry Trotter and I met with the pastors and leaders from Northwestern Mexico. I like to call these meetings gospel advance meetings. That’s what we are praying for and working for, the advance of the gospel. The pastors from the presbyterian church in the Northwestern Mexico meet twice a year to carry on the work of the church.

They aren’t necessarily the most exciting meetings, but good things happen through them. I love the opportunity to connect with so many pastors and leaders at one time in one place. The Lord has given me much grace with these men, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them.

God is opening up some incredible opportunities for us. In May we put our new church planting couple, Victor and Fanny Gonzalez in La Paz. They are off to a great start. They just held their first Bible study this last Friday. In November we will be holding our first assessment center to evaluate the gifting, skills and calling of church planting candidates.

We are praying about and working towards starting new churches in Tijuana, Ensenada and La Paz.

Thank you Lord for your good work in Northwestern Mexico!

Larry & Sandy Trotter – Choice Servants of the Lord!
Larry & Sandy Trotter

Larry & Sandy Trotter

My colleague, fellow Mission to the World (MTW) missionary, Larry Trotter came from Guadalajara with his wife, Sandy to meet with us. Larry did an outstanding job sharing with the presbytery about Christ-centered preaching, the marks of a healthy church and keeping the gospel central in ministry.

The pastors love Larry’s teaching. He is a gifted teacher, and he’s gained credibility through his almost 30 years of missionary work in Mexico. They keep asking him to come back, which is always a good sign. Larry is creating a lot of good will for us and it serves to strengthen our partnership with the National Presbyterian Church on the Border and the Baja.

While Larry and I met with the men Sandy and Dawn were able to spend some time together and to encourage one another. It was a great time!

Larry and Sandy Trotter arrived in Mexico in 1989 a year before Dawn and I began our ministry in Mexico. It’s hard to believe we’ve been serving as long as we have, but it’s fun to look back over the years at what the Lord has done.

We’ve been through some difficult seasons, the Lord has taught us much through the years. There is something to be said for sticking it out.

Lord, enlarge Our Borders!

Dawn and I often pray and dream about the future and what could be. We keep knocking and asking the Lord to bring increase and to enlarge our borders. Lord, extend the reach of the gospel! We pray that many churches will be started. Many people will come to know the Savior and that lives will be transformed as they encounter Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

MTW Redeemer Ensenada Medical Missions
Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalén

Christ’s love radiated through the medical team of 15 that came from Redeemer San Diego to the 96 patients that were treated in Ensenada, Mexico. The Lord gave us a beautiful day of outreach as we ministered with our good friends Castillo Fuerte and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church).

What an excellent experience! Three people prayed with us and gave their lives to Christ. We pray for many more to come to know the Father!

This Video Gives You a Glimpse Into our Day

Pray for Christ’s love to continue to shine forth in Ensenada, and that hearts will be transformed by the gospel in that city.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Flooded with God’s Blessings!
Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Sometimes I feel like Dawn and I are working hard and we are not seeing much in the way of progress. Yet there are other times, when the dam breaks and God floods us with bountiful increase.

This weekend God broke through!

Redeemer San Diego brought down a medical team to work with the Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen (New Jerusalem church) and their mission church, Castillo Fuerte.

I was blown away by how the love of Christ was demonstrated in a practical way to all who attended the medical clinic. Our team consisted of 4 doctors and 3 dentists along with 8 other medical assistants. Those from the local church worked alongside the medical staff and reached out to all the people who came to receive care. Last Spring Redeemer brought down a team of 8 to reach out in the community for 4 days.

New Life in Christ!
Maria with her young child

Maria with her young child. God touched Maria and brought her to faith!

We were able to treat 96 people, which was incredible. The local church set up a prayer station and we prayed for every patient, and we shared the gospel with all of them. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was to see three people come to know the Lord on a personal level as they prayed to receive Christ.

As I shared the gospel with Ana Maria, Ulises and Maria I could see the Lord touch them, and minister to them. Maria and Ulises had tears in their eyes as they experienced God’s love.

The gospel gave them hope for a better tomorrow.

Pray for Ana Maria, Maria and Ulises that they will grow in their new found faith. We pray that the gospel penetrates deeply into their hearts and brings true life change. There are many things working against them, and we know the evil one is like a roaring lion prowling around seeking someone to devour.

Humble Servant Hearts
Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

It touched me as the Lord gave me the privilege to bring this medical team down to Ensenada. They were willing to give up their Saturday to love and serve the needy. Redeemer San Diego is one of my favorite groups to work with. They come to serve with gentle and caring hearts. Each of them treated the patients with respect, and Christ shined brightly through them.

This morning (Sunday) while I was worshipping the Lord during the church service the Lord’s Spirit touched me and I was moved to tears. As I reflected on what was going on, I believe in part I was touched by being able to be a part of a powerful work of God the day before during the medical clinic.

Hannah’s Wilderness Camp
Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah’s life!

The other experience that moved me was that Hannah came home like a new person from her wilderness camping trip. Dawn and I prayed, and we asked you to pray. The Lord answered in a big way. Hannah is so excited about all that Jesus did through the camping experience. She grew closer to her Lord, and she gained a number of new friends! Yay Jesus!

Dawn and I look to the Lord for more breakthroughs as the gospel goes forth and touches and transforms the hearts of men, women and children.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Daisy at the beach

Daisy at the beach

Lessons from Daisy

I took our dog, Daisy on a walk at the beach in the morning. I find that the Lord ministers to me and lifts up my soul when I’m at the beach. Today God taught me a valuable lesson through Daisy.

Daisy and I got towards the end of the beach before we turned around. I took her leash off, and let her run free. She was so happy to be let loose. She started running all around with abandon. It brought a smile to my face, and made me happy as I watched. Her excitement and happiness brought me great joy.

Then as I reflected I thought how much pleasure it gives our Father when we are filled with joy. I think the Lord delights in our joy. He loves to give us good gifts as James 1:17 states.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Our Children Give Us Reason for Joy
Imperial Beach with the U.S./Mexican border in the distance

Imperial Beach with the U.S./Mexican border in the distance

He calls us sons and daughters. I thank the Lord for the gift of my grown children, David, Jon and Hannah. All three of them have accomplished much in their school and work that make Dawn and me feel proud. David and Jon have excelled at work and school. Hannah has overcome some huge obstacles and we are so thrilled and proud of her as she starts her discipleship training school – IMPACT 195.

Dawn and I teared up, with tears of joy as Hannah left for her wilderness camping trip earlier this week. She was so happy to be going, we couldn’t but be moved with emotion. Then to watch all the other students and staff cheer them on as they left also moved us.

God’s kids often have a distorted view of him. They see him as a kill-joy, but he takes pleasure in his children. Our joy pleases him.

IMG_0088If watching Daisy and my children gives me joy, I can’t imagine how much more the Lord is moved as he cares for us. Jesus told us that his Father cares for the birds and the lilies of the field, which are relatively insignificant. How much more does he care for us! We are made in his image.

As the first question of the Westminster Catechism asks: What is the chief end of man? To love God and to enjoy him forever. John Piper calls this Christian Hedonism. I suppose it’s the only good form of hedonism.

“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Join Us in Prayer

Pray that we continue to grow in the Father’s favor and that we daily experience his joy.

Today we are doing a medical outreach in Ensenada with Redeemer Church and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen (The New Jerusalem). Pray for God’s care and a fruitful day of ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Keys to Transformation
Growing and learning together - Keys for a Transformed Life

Growing and learning together – Keys for a Transformed Life

This last week was tremendously gratifying as the Lord brought together a dream that Dawn and I have been working on for two years. Our friends from Ministerios Fuente de Gracia (Fountain of Grace Ministry) came and led a training seminar in Tijuana on Keys for a Transformed Life. We held the course at the Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) El Niño church.

I’ve written a lot about LMT in the past and the leader of this church planting movement, pastor Daniel Nuñez. Daniel, the pastors and leaders of the 25 churches they have planted are wonderful friends and partners in ministry. We often stop and give thanks for them!

This Spring Pastor Daniel went to San Antonio de Las Minas, near Ensenada with me. We took seven pastors from LMT, and God used that time to minister to them in a deep and profound way.

While we were in San Antonio de las Minas we began to think through and plan on bringing the teaching to Tijuana so more pastors and church leaders could attend.

The Basics – Faith & Repentance
One of the learning activities during the course

One of the learning activities during the course

More than 50 people attended the course last week. We dealt with some basic and deep foundational issues. The people heard about the importance of practicing forgiveness and repentance in their Christian life. They learned what it means to be sons and daughters of God. Then as we soaked up these basic principles there was opportunity at the end of the session for us to meet in small groups to practice what we were learning.

It’s beautiful to see the Spirit break through. Many wept as they shared, because of the pain involved in the root causes. With the tears there is a release and as people confess to one another and to God, He shows up and brings comfort and healing.

Dawn and I feel like this is, as the name implies, one of the most transformational courses we’ve been through. Also, as we’ve been able to share the teaching with others we’ve seen God change people from the inside out.

Healing in the Lives of Pastors and Leaders
The group that completed the course

The group that completed the course

A number of the pastors and leaders we work with have deep wounds that they’ve never been able to deal with, because they haven’t had the opportunity to do so. They are in a difficult situation, because many people in the church look up to them, so they don’t know where to turn for help. They are stuck.

The leaders in the churches feel afraid to open up, so they go on limping along not knowing how to be set free. It’s a process to be sure, but it’s amazing to see the process begin and to play a part in that!

On the final night of the course everyone had an opportunity to give a short testimony on how God had used the teaching in their lives. It was gratifying to hear so many positive reports of how the Lord had met them during the week.

Dawn and I pray that the Lord will continue to heal and to bring  transformation in the hearts of men and women on the border and the Baja! Thanks for the part you play in seeing this become a reality.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org