Archive for March, 2016

Mountain Moving Faith!

Posted: March 30, 2016 in Christianity, Ministry, Prayer
Tags: ,

 

Whatever You Ask in Prayer…

Jesus says that if we have faith in prayer, even a little faith we can move mountains. I think we tend to dismiss Jesus’ words as hyperbole.

happiness“And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.””

Matthew 21:21-22 ESV (emphasis mine)

Do we really believe him?

I’d like to say, yes! At least I’m praying that I will have that mustard seed of faith, and see the Lord do amazing things as I pray.

Dave & Dawn

Dave & Dawn

What about you?

Dawn and I have some important meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, and we’d like to ask you to join us in prayer. Trust God as you pray that he will answer your prayers. Even better, let’s join hands and trust him together!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Starting New Churches to Expand the Kingdom
Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

I enjoy most things about my job, which is a tremendous blessing. What an amazing privilege it is for me to be a catalyst for church planting on the Border and the Baja! I love the opportunity to help start new churches and support the pastors who lead them.

Yet if I’m honest, there are some challenges to doing this work. These churches are invading enemy territory, so there is backlash. There is a battle going on. My family has felt it, and at times suffered from it. The churches have endured it.

Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions that not everyone is in favor of. My desire is to honor the Lord, and to follow him. Dawn and I seek to pray, and to be sensitive to God’s leading. That’s not to say that we always get it right.

We depend on God’s grace, and seek to repent quickly when we hurt someone.

Prayer Support – Warfare Prayer
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio and Aaron at a church we helped plant in 2014

Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio and Aaron at one of the church plants we helped start in 2014

All this reminds me of the huge need we have for prayer support. As we have served here now on the Border the Lord has brought some wonderful people in to our lives. They are people that are committed to pray for us. We’ve met some friends that are gifted in warfare prayer, and we’ve benefited greatly from them.

This week we find ourselves in a period where we need much prayer and discernment as we move forward. Join us in prayer as we interact with friends and colleagues about the church planting projects that we are getting ready to launch.

I find it interesting in the very verse that Jesus speaks of the abundant life he came to give us, that the verse begins with how the enemy attacks us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. —John 10:10 ESV

What a contrast! The enemy wants to destroy us, but we have this great promise in Christ. We can have an abundant life in the midst of the battle. Jesus defeated our foe on the cross and through his resurrection. That’s what we celebrate in Easter. Hallelujah!

Even though Christ secured victory for us the battle rages on. We have been given armor for this warfare, and prayer is also a means to protect us and to attack. James reminds us of the power of prayer and confession in James 5:16-18 ESV.

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

Sunset on the Pacific

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

What a wonderful reminder of how the Lord uses prayer to bring about healing and to change the course of nature! Do not grow faint as you labor in prayer. The part you play with us is huge!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Crux of Our Faith

The resurrection is the very crux of our faith. In the resurrection, death is swallowed up in victory!

I love this bright day on the church’s calendar!

In Corinthians Paul reminds the church if there is no resurrection, then our faith if futile and we are to be pitied.

Dave preaching at Ministerios Transformation in La Morita Tijuana

We proclaim Christ crucified and our resurrected Lord – Dave preaching at Ministerios Transformation in La Morita Tijuana

“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV (emphasis mine)

There are still many doubters. Still many who scoff at the cross, but the good news is that Christ was raised up from the grave on the third day, just as the scriptures said he would! Hallelujah!

Our sorrow and our despair is turned to joy in the cross. Christ lifts us up out the pit of despair, and gives us hope.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.”

John 16:20 ESV (emphasis mine)

Those who know rejoice! Our task is to take this good news to the world.

We are the Easter People

My friend and colleague, Danny Kim has reminded me that we are the Easter people. Danny recently shared a wonderful quote.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

― Pope John Paul II

Sharing the love of Christ through prayer and medical care

Sharing the love of Christ in Ensenada through prayer and medical care

We are not a hopeless people, and although we are a people of faith it is a grounded faith. Faith based on the reliability of the very Word of God. There’s so much historical evidence, so many miraculous works throughout history that we need not doubt.

I give thanks and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that he was willing to die a terrible death in our place so that our sins might be forgiven. I praise the Father for loving us so much that He gave us His only Son!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

Dave & Dawn

Happy Easter from Dave & Dawn

Hebrews 12:1-4 ESV (emphasis mine)

Life is not easy, but let us not grow weary or fainthearted. Look to Jesus and don’t ever take your eyes off of him!

Happy Easter! He is Risen! Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Transformed by the Gospel
Sharing the love of Christ through prayer and medical care

Sharing the love of Christ through prayer and medical care

Last Saturday when Hannah and I were ministering with Redeemer San Diego and La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada was definitely a highlight on the year. It filled my heart to see so many different people come together from different cultures to serve people in need.

Sarah Oh giving dental care

Sarah Oh giving dental care

Another reason it brought satisfaction to my soul was the special blessing of being able to minister with my daughter. What a high privilege to pray with people, and share the gospel with them. Then to see the Lord use my daughter to lead 7 people in prayer to receive Christ! Wow! Hallelujah and Amen!

Close to 80 people attended the medical clinic and each of them were shown the love of Christ in a real and tangible way through the medical team that treated them. I thank the Lord for such a loving and caring group of medical professionals and staff from both sides of the border!

Good News on Good Friday!
Sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way through the medical clinic

Sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way through the medical clinic

As I write this today on Good Friday I think of the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus Christ made for us on the cross. When Hannah and I shared the gospel with the people I found it ministered to my soul as we explained the importance of Christ death and resurrection. Of course, without his death, there would be no resurrection.

I don’t like the darkness of Friday, but I’m praising the Lord that the story didn’t end on Friday.

On Sunday Jesus Rose from the grave! He defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross! Hallelujah!

God’s Spirit spoke to me through the message of the gospel as I shared it with people who had not yet come to the savior. It was so encouraging to see their eyes light up as I explained the hope we have in Christ.

Our Sin Nailed to the Cross

I’m reminded of what’s become one of my favorite passages over the last year, which is found in Colossians 2.

And you (I was or We were), who were  dead in your (my – our) trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us (me) all our (my) trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us (me) with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Colossians 2:13-15 ESV (parenthesis is my personalization of the passage)

The late Jack Miller, founder of World Harvest Missions used to speak of preaching the gospel to ourselves. This passage helps us to do that, and when I share the gospel with others I’m reminded of the significance of Christ death and resurrection for my life. Christ died the death that I should have died, and he lived the life that I couldn’t but should have lived, so that I might have life everlasting.

Rejoice with me friends, even on this dark day when we stop to remember the sacrificial death of our savior!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Oriesa with Jose Zunun

Oriesa with Jose Zunun

One of the young women, Oriesa Wiyona, who made up part of the medical outreach team from Redeemer San Diego shared her perspective on the trip. She did a great job sharing her story, so I wanted you to see it!

Yesterday was my third time going to Ensenada medical missions with my home church. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least feeling somewhat jaded and “numb”–whatever that means… I felt as if I had no business going again to serve the people there if my heart wasn’t fully invested. Truthfully, I think that one of the worst things to have is a lackluster/lukewarm heart (Revelations 3:16).
On Friday morning, the day before the trip, I was reading a Spurgeon devotional about those who have feeble faith :
“Oh that I had the courage of a great heart, that I could wield his sword and be as valiant as He! But, alas, I stumble at every straw, and a shadow makes me afraid… Peter and Paul, the highly favoured apostles were of the family of the most high; and so are you also; the weak Christian is as much a child of God as the strong one.”

Medical clinic in Ensenada

Medical clinic in Ensenada

Days before the trip, our team found out that a lot of our medical and dental equipments were confiscated on the way down to the border (ie medications, dental tools, lido injections etc.). What a disappointment… Usually we’ve had no problems with our items crossing the border, however this time, things were seemingly more difficult than ever.
On the way down to the border, one of our team physicians lead a morning devotional. He was quoting an idea from a book called, “When Helping Hurts” which stated something alone the lines of: helping and serving can often times feed into our sense of a God complex because people will thank you or “sing your praises”.

I was wondering whether my ego had started to feed into that role which led me to feel ‘holier than thou’ in a sense that these people needed me more than I needed them. Was I depending on the praises of these people to come and serve? Was I wanting to do everything by AND for myself? Were my intentions for going on to missions askew? A sense of sheer guilt began to wash over me for thinking that I could’ve possibly missed the whole intention/purpose of missions. The last thing I wanted to do was go into the missions field with a self-serving/righteous attitude.
However as I returned from Mexico that night, my feeble heart felt strengthened and encouraged as I began to realize God’s subtle blessings during our trip.

Some of our medical team

Some of our medical team

For example, the dental equipments that was lost ended up being provided by a friend of one of our missionaries in Mexico… a family member of one of the church planters is a nurse who rallied the help of her friends to aid with women’s health by providing screenings and free pap smears. And in the end, our team saw 77 patients and 7 prayed to accept Christ. Those numbers served as a reminder for why Christ intended us to do missions–not for my personal gain, but for His glory (One of our team members pointed out that 7 is a pretty holy number after all…)
So today, when my pastor addressed Genesis 1:1-9–the story of Babel, I was incredibly humbled and somewhat taken aback. These people were building towers for the sake of personal gain and achievements, however were rebuked in the end when God changes the language causing their tower building activity to fall apart. Whoa… that sounded a little too familiar.

 

Neighborhood where we held medical outreach

Neighborhood where we held medical outreach

Pastor Paul stated that that building our own tower makes us delusional–we believe that we are bigger and more important than we really are by providing our time, talents, achievements and accomplishments. When I compare my works to the vastness of His universe, I often forget that I am merely encircling myself in a web of pride and selfishness. Our towers do not last, no matter how big the glory and praises of the day seems. It was pride that led to the fall of Adam and Eve and it was pride that led to the judgement of Babel.
So while our doing is for the purpose of eternal kingdom work, it is only by His grace that the new faith of those 7 patients may be sustained AND that my feeble heart as practitioner/missionary can rest assured in His identity and be free to bless our other brothers and sisters in need. And lastly… what a beautiful reminder through missions that my prideful heart can be changed and renewed by His grace.

Thanks Oriesa for sharing your story!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Medical Missions Outreach!
Redeemer San Diego medical missions team

Redeemer San Diego medical missions team

It certainly wasn’t easy to pull it off. I felt like we had to climb a mountain and then walk through a forest to make the medical missions trip happen, but it was well worth it!

God ministered in some amazing ways through the Redeemer San Diego medical team and the team from Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada. When I think of a word to describe the experience, outstanding comes to mind.

Why Was It Terrifically Outstanding?
Our medical team lovingly treating the patients

Our medical team lovingly treating the patients

Why do I say it was outstanding? First, we had to overcome a number of obstacles. All of our dental instruments had been confiscated by customs on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Our dentists were able to see 40 patients, because through friends of the medical team we were able to come up with some more medical supplies.

Second, we saw 78 patients which is amazing considering that we were only able to attend see them during a shortened day, because of the drive, set-up and tear-down. Redeemer’s doctors and the two teams are so loving as they treat the patients. The love of Christ shines through brightly in an otherwise dark place!

Hannah with one of the women from the clinic that she led in prayer

Hannah with one of the women from the clinic that she led in prayer

Prayer for Every Patient

Third, we prayed for every patient. I was so excited to have Hannah with me. We had four people sharing the gospel and praying for the patients.

Hannah and I made up one team. We shared the gospel with 9 adults and their children. Of these 9 adults 7 of them prayed to receive Christ and one of them reconfirmed her faith. I was so proud of Hannah as she led 7 of them in prayer to ask for forgiveness and to place their faith in Christ.

New life in Christ! Hallelujah!

Petri and the Ensenada team was able to recruit a team of nurses and health professionals from Ensenada’s public health services to educate the people who came. This is a huge advance for us, because we are concerned about the ongoing health of the people.

Petri in the middle with some of our friends that helped with prayer and setup

Petri in the middle with some of our friends from Nueva Jerusalén that helped with prayer and setup

We are hoping that at our next clinic we will be able to offer optometry and vaccinations. God’s broadening our borders as we learn and move forward in treating needy people and showing them the love of Christ in a real and tangible way.

At the end of the day, we went to the Colegio Grecia the school that Petri and Yudy work at, and all of our translators attend school there. Petri presented them with a certificate of appreciation on our behalf.

All their parents came. It was a simple recognition, but it opens doors for us as we pray for a church plant among professionals that Petri and Yudy are planning on launching this Fall.

Thank You For Standing With Us In Prayer!

IMG_3959Thank you so much for praying. I felt like more than most trips we needed prayer covering, and that we needed to pray against the strategies of the evil one. Prayer is always essential, but if possible it seemed even more important for this trip. I sensed God’s presence among us throughout the day!

Both groups Redeemer and La Nueva Jerusalén had such wonderful attitudes. It’s not easy when you are tired, and for the Americans working in another culture in another language adds even more stress. Yet, the Lord was with us in a Special way! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Church Planting Connection
JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

I’m driving back from Phoenix with Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Julio. We spent the day connecting with church planters. After talking about church planting, encouraging and praying for one another, which is so important we spent some time just having some fun at a Spring training baseball game.

It’s refreshing to connect with like-minded men and women. Often I’m able to get some great ideas as I share about some of the church planting projects I’m working on.

The Ensenada Project
Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

One of the biggest projects I’m working on right now is for Ensenada with Petri and Yudy Petrikowski. This Saturday I’m leading a medical outreach with Redeemer San Diego and our friends in Ensenada.

I’m excited about the medical clinic. We’ve found it to be one most effective ways to show people in the community the love of Christ. The doctors and staff are very loving as they treat the people. We also have a great opportunity to pray for each person and minister to their spiritual needs.

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

This particular time the outreach has been challenging. The enemy has opposed us as we began to take medical supplies to Ensenada.

Petri was stopped at the border! He had, and we had what I refer to as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We Need Your Prayers!

This experience serves as a reminder that we are in a battle, and the weapons of our Warfare  are spiritual. We need your prayers friends! Keep up the good work of holding up our hands in prayer as we seek to march forward.


“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We are weak left to our own devices, but strong in Christ! We have divine power. We are not defenseless, and we can destroy strongholds! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. I wrote this post on my phone. I’ve never done the whole post on my phone! 😃