Archive for February, 2016

The Church Marches Forward in TJ
Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

As the church advances there is often opposition. Should we be surprised? I think Jesus even promised us that in this world we would encounter trouble. Then he goes on to say, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV)

Often with growth comes trials and tribulation. The church should be encouraged though, because we are on the winning side! There is victory in Jesus!

My friends at Ministerios Transformación are growing. They are going to be planting church #27 in March, and we are going to help them plant church #28 in June. It’s exciting to be connected to something that the Lord is blessing in such a powerful way. Yet, this ministry does encounter opposition along the way.

Worship & Missions
Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Last night (Saturday) I was able to be with them for their missions service. They bring all the churches together to worship and thank the Lord for what he is doing. Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Ministerios Transformación also challenged the churches to give towards the next church plant, which is already in process.

I love that the church is always thinking about multiplying as they work towards their goal of 50 churches.

We had the new church planters Jesus & Lucina Acosta come up in front of the church, and we prayed for them. All the pastors laid hands on them, and blessed them as they start this new endeavor. Jesus and Lucina went through our church planting assessment in November, so it’s wonderful to see them progressing towards the actual launch of the church.

Christ’s Promised Peace Even in Trials
The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

Pastor Daniel gave me a chance to share for a few minutes during the meeting. I felt like I should seek to encourage them as I knew over the last couple months they had lost a few churches. They’ve been through a huge trial amidst the advance.

I shared something I heard a few years ago, that dogs don’t bark at park cars. When we are moving, when we are advancing for the kingdom of God we should be prepared for opposition.

In John 16:33 the same passage that I quoted above Jesus begins the verse saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” Christ promises us peace in him. He is the prince of peace. Yet we are in a war, and the prince of this world battles against us. He seeks to thwart the advance of the church.

We are more than conquerors in Christ. John writes, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, ESV)

The church continues to march forward into the battle. We are overcomers in Christ, more than conquerors!

I give thanks and praise to the Lord for the work he is doing in Tijuana and the growth of the church through Ministerios Transformación. Remember to hold them up in prayer. Pray for Jesus and Lucina Acosta as they start this new church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Journey Continues
The Diaso Family at the border - with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Dawn, Jon, Hannah, David Jr. and Dave at the border – with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Last year at this time are family was going through some deep waters. At times, it felt like hell on earth! Pardon the expression, but it seems to fit. We cried out to you for prayer, and many people sent encouraging notes and surrounded us in prayer.

Dawn and I give thanks for you! You hold us up. I don’t think we would have made it without your loving support.

Now that we are a year removed from that experience there are some important lessons learned. We are not completely through the trial yet, although we’ve come a long way towards healing since then. We’ve learned and continue to learn about the spiritual battle that we are in. The Lord is deepening us and refining us through the refiner’s fire.

Healing in His Wings
Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Hannah at her school – IMPACT 195

The Lord has used all kinds of friends and wonderful people to come alongside us and to help us on this journey. The discipleship school that Hannah is in IMPACT 195 has been a huge encouragement to Hannah. She has made some wonderful friends, and God has blessed her with some tremendous mentors. Yay Jesus!

There are so many friends that have lifted us up along the way, it’s not possible to mention them all. I will say of those that are close to where we live the pastors and leaders we work with on both sides of the border have been such a blessing to us.

Some of the pastors that I mention often in my blog like, Ivan Casados, Jaime Rodriguez, Daniel Nuñez, Victor Bravo, Abraham Velazquez, Mauro Lopez, Cesar Zavala and Mario Perez among others have asked their church to lift us up in prayer. Every time I talk to them they always ask about our family, and tell us they are praying for us!

Their prayers and your prayers make us feel so loved! It truly lifts our spirits.

God’s Promises

God promises to use trials for our good to build patience, character and hope. We see that happening, although it’s not easy. We are learning things about the Christian life, prayer and spiritual warfare that we would have never learned without this difficult season.

We are often reminded of our weakness through this trial, but God promises that his grace is sufficient.

…”My grace is sufficient for you, and for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

—2 Corinthians 12:9

This is one of Hannah’s favorite Bible verses. Doesn’t it make you feel better knowing that the Lord uses our pain and our weaknesses? I find it to be a source of peace.

The Battle Rages On
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

Sunset on the Pacific

Make no mistake about it, if you are a follower of Jesus then you are in a battle. It’s not a physical battle, although it surely affects us physically. Paul tells us to stand firm in this battle and to put on the armor of God. I think too many Christians don’t take seriously enough the war that we are in.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

—Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV

I’m so thankful that the Lord doesn’t leave us defenseless, but he equips us with the appropriate armor so that we can stand firm. We have victory in Christ! We are more than conquerors! Yet the battle rages on.

I love the powerful promise that the Lord gives us. He gives us hope.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

—2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV

What a wonderful promise. The weapons that God has given us have divine power. They are powerful enough to destroy the strongholds. As we stand together as a body we are stronger. The church is triumphant in Christ.

These Trials Have a Purpose

Just yesterday a friend and mentor of ours sent us a note of encouragement. She said,

“The word says what Satan intended for bad God will use for good. All this mess you have had to go through will bring great victory to many. You have plowed deep trenches Hannah. Not an easy way but others will come through easier because of this. The way of the Master is good. Many are those God has called to be part of this battle.”

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

We are excited about all that the Lord is doing in Hannah’s Life!

We are not through the battle yet. We still need your prayers and encouragement. Thanks so much for standing with us, and for all your love. Let’s march forward together in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Vision of a White Horse
Unknown

source: hdwallpaperscool.com

What do you picture in your mind when you think of a white horse? I mean apart from being white, what does the horse look like? What does the horse signify? These are questions that I’ve been pondering lately.

A white horse to me represents strength and grace combined. The color of this horse reminds me of purity.

It may be odd in some ways to think about a white horse, unless you are a horse lover. Recently, Dawn, Hannah and I were praying with some friends, and one of the people praying with us saw a vision of a white horse in a big pasture. The horse was friendly as it came right up to her, and put his head right up to hers.

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Hannah & Daisy

Gentle Strength

When I first heard this, the first thing that came to my mind was our little dog Daisy, a white toy poodle. Daisy is a small dog, but she has a big spirit. She loves to be close to us, which is one of the reasons why everyone in our family loves her.

The horse in the vision had the gentleness of our little poodle, but the strength of a stallion.

Faithful & True

Revelation 19:11-14 speaks of the one called Faithful and True riding on a white horse.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

images-1.jpeg

source: coachingwithhorses.com

I find this idea of the white horse fascinating. The pure unbridled strength is an awe inspiring image. The white horse is included in the book of Revelation, a book filled with vivid images that bream with symbolism. What might be the significance of these strong horses that are ready for battle?

What Are Your Impressions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What comes to mind when you think of a white horse? Has the Lord ever given you an image like this as you’ve prayed?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Renuevo – A Church Plant to Renew Center City Ensenada
Ensenada

Ensenada

We are super excited about the new church planting project in Ensenada that we are launching this year! The city of Ensenada, México has a population of about 500,000.  It lies 78 miles south of San Diego. It is known locally as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential.

Ensenada consists of 65.7% professing Roman Catholics although by experience we can say that they are nominal Catholics, not practicing by conviction. There is only one Presbyterian church in the city.  There is a huge need for gospel-centered churches to be planted in this city.

Mexico proportion of NPCM churches in the north & south of the country

Mexico proportion of NPCM churches in the north & south of the country

In fact, the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico considers this part of Mexico a mission field, since only 2% of all the churches in the country are in the north. The NPC is seeking to start churches in 10 cities in 10 years, with Ensenada being one of these cities due to its importance (size, modernity, and urgent need).  Ensenada is a port city with commercial routes that link it to other cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Panama, Lima, Yokohama and Hong Kong.

Ensenada is also an important port for fishing, tourism and military bases. Currently, Ensenada is the city with the most scientists per capita in Mexico and was recently declared a City of Knowledge. Ensenada has a variety of cultural, scientific and artistic institutions.

image (4)The city of Ensenada is a city with many large neighborhoods and there is a need to plant a church and start a regional movement of church planting in the city and in the state of Baja California.  Thus, the work in Ensenada is intended to start a movement of urban reformed churches, and of leaders for the transformation of cities.

The target area for the church plant is in a neighborhood called Zona Centro in the center of the city, near where many professional people live and work.  The church planter and his wife already have connections in this area, as this is where they work.

With these characteristics and with this population, it is urgent that Ensenada be reached by the gospel.  As Tim Keller says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. (“Why Plant Churches” article by Tim Keller, 2002)

Through the planting of a new church, we want to bring the gospel to the non-Christian professional populace, most of whom distrust religions and established churches.  They need a place where friendship, preaching the gospel and the worship of God is promoted.  The people of Ensenada consider it important to be cultured and educated in art, music, and the sciences, but they need to know the gospel in order to teach their spirits and to worship the God of all creation.  It is our dream that we can take the first steps toward this goal in 2016.

Church Planter
Petri & Yudy

Petri & Yudy

The church planter is Jesús (Petri) A. Petrikowsky along with his wife, Yudy Bernal de Petrikowski. Petri and Yudy were invited to the Church Planting Assessment Workshop in Tijuana in 2015 sponsored by the Church Planting Center of the National Presbyterian Church.  Petri was unanimously identified as the best candidate to plant this new church.  Since he and his wife are both working professionals in Zona Central, they are uniquely gifted to minister to this population. Also, because they will be working bivocationally, the needed funds are significantly lower than most projects.

They currently work in the ministry of the New Jerusalem Presbyterian Church in Ensenada, Mexico.  Petri is a church elder, and together with Yudy, they are responsible for the area of education, and also community service. Petri is a professor of secondary education in the government and in a private school.  He studied Mathematics at the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of Baja California; Spanish Language in the Benemérita State Normal School and Theology at Miami International Seminary.

Join Us In Prayer!

We’d love to have your prayer support. We are looking for churches and individuals to partner together with us in prayer and financially towards seeing a new city center church plant in Ensenada, Baja California.

Paraphrasing the words of the Macedonian man in Acts 16:9b, we say “Come to Mexico and help us!”

In His Grip, Dave

IMG_1651DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

We Still Need More Workers!
Dave preaching at Grace Renewal Church

Dave preaching at Grace Renewal Church

Today (Sunday) I preached on Matthew 9:35-38, which contains the passage that says, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” It’s one of my favorite passages. I think often about how we could use more workers to reach more people, to plant more churches.

Even this week I was speaking to the leader of Mission to the World’s mobilization department, Kendra Jeffreys. We discussed ideas on ways I could improve on what I am presently doing to attract more workers. Kendra said, “you are doing a lot of well, so I want to encourage you to have a  team of people who will pray with you for more workers.”

You are part of that team! That is one of the reasons I post, so that our friends will know how to pray for us.

Of course, Jesus didn’t just say the laborers are few, he also said to, “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in his harvest.” Matthew 9:38

It is one of the blazing truths of Christianity that Jesus needs men and women to reap the harvest.

I usually get a little keyed up when I’m going to preach, but when the moment comes I enjoy it. I loved being with Grace Renewal Church in Chula Vista and being able to exhort them to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. We are to start where we are at, in our Jerusalem. That’s were we begin, but it’s not where we end. The gospel is to go to the ends of the earth.

God is a Fountain of Sending Love

I love this quote from David Bosch,

There is church because there is mission, not vice versa. To participate in mission to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love.” (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, p. 390)

It’s a wonderful privilege for us to participate on mission with God!

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We need you to join us in prayer for more workers. Lord do provide!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Band of Brothers and Sisters
Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor's church in Rosarito last year

Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor’s church in Rosarito last year (What a great celebration it was!)

One of the things I love most about serving in ministry is the camaraderie that we share with such outstanding people here on the border. The Lord has gifted us with a wonderful group to work side by side with. What a rich blessing it is for me to serve with other men and women who truly love the Lord. They encourage me and my family in so many ways!

When Dawn and I where getting set up here on the border, God gave me a great mentor and coach in Dick Kaufmann. Dick told me, “when you look for ministry partners make sure that they are like minded.” That was invaluable advice as there are so many potential people that we could look to work with. God answered our prayer, and gave us some like minded people to work with who have become precious friends!

Walking Together on this Journey
All of our friends from Ministerios Transformación

All our friends from Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and the ministry he leads which just changed it’s name from Lo Mejor del Trigo to Ministerios Transformación have become some of our best ministry partners. Dawn and I truly do love serving alongside them.

I share some of my heaviest burdens with the pastors of Ministerios Transformación, and likewise they share their burdens with me. After all, isn’t than what Paul encourages us to do? “Bear one another’s burdens…” —Galatians 6:2 ESV

If you’ve followed our story at all, then you know that Dawn and I have travailed through some deep valleys. The Lord is bringing us out of the valley, but at times we wondered where and even if it would end.

In those times of darkness it gave us great comfort knowing that Dawn and I could share our hearts with the men and women associated with Ministerios Transformación. Our closest relationships are with the pastors and their wives. They’ve sent us encouraging notes, and they’ve asked their whole congregation to pray for us.

It lifted up our spirits knowing that whole congregations were praying for us. We know that this was going on in churches in the U.S. and some of the National Presbyterian Churches of Mexico in Baja California as well.

Thank you Jesus for These Special Friends
Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel's birthday!

Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel’s birthday!

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” —Psalm 133:1 ESV

Today (Sunday) I was able to go to the church in El Niño, Comunidad Cristiana. We celebrated Daniel Nuñez’s birthday. Even though it was a rainy and gloomy day there was much joy, life and light in the church as we celebrated.

I give thanks to the Lord for these special friends. They make my family and me feel very loved and we feel like we are part of them when we are together.

I say thank you Jesus for all of our friends in Mexico! Thank you for Ministerios Transformación! Thank you for pastor Daniel Nuñez and his family and all the pastors and leaders that are part of that ministry!

We give thanks for you, and recognize that it’s all for God’s glory! Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org