Archive for September, 2017

The Earth Shakes Again
The Devastation caused by the earthquake

The Devastation caused by the earthquake

Amazingly 32 years to the day since the big earthquake of 1985 struck in Mexico City, another earthquake hit Mexico. The earth shook again on September 19, causing much damage in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. More than 300 people perished in this natural disaster.

Dawn and I lived in Mexico City from 1990 – 2000. Two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah were born there. We have many friends there who were affected by the fallen buildings. Yesterday some of our good friends, the Cisneros family told me that they have been without water for 6 days. I spoke to a pastor friend today, and he told me that surrounding his church many buildings had crumbled as the earth shook. They are mobilizing to provide relief to the families that were affected.

Sad to See Friends Suffer – A Startling Video!

 

It saddens us to see our friends suffer. The first time I visited Mexico City was in the summer of 1985. I was there with a group of seminary students just a month before the big earthquake hit. 10,000 people died due to the damage caused by that quake. I remember visiting the following summer and seeing all the fallen buildings. The buildings that had been damaged as the earth shook.

It was during the summer of 1985 that I first met my friends, the Cisneros family. They are a wonderful family. They love the Lord and have been true friends over the year. God used them to minister to us since Hannah passed away. Our heart goes out to them as they live through this trying time.

Pray for Mexico
Praying for Mexico!

Praying for Mexico!

Please join us in prayer for the many people who lost loved ones, and others who are without basic services and needs. I’d also like prayer for wisdom regarding a visit to Mexico City and Morelos to see the damage that was done, and to explore what more we can do to help.

Mission to the World (MTW) has sent a donation of $10,000 to aid the families and ministries that suffered loss. If you would like to make a gift towards the relief effort you can give to the MTW Compassion-Global Disaster Relief Account #40043 and earmark for Mexico relief.

Thank you, friends, for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Even the Rocks Give Testimony
Dave & Dawn in St. Peter's Cathedral

Dave & Dawn in St. Peter’s Cathedral

I found my first trip to Rome to be a spiritual experience. I wasn’t expecting it, but as Dawn and I saw the beautiful sites and history, so much inspired by our Faith, and the Story of the Bible. To see Mary, Joseph and Jesus in paintings and sculptures in the Pantheon one of the oldest buildings in the world, speaks to the longevity, the endurance of the Church. God has preserved His Church.

This truth is even more evident in the Vatican. Regardless of the missteps of the Church over the centuries, it’s amazing to think of how the Lord God Almighty has preserved His Church. The Church today exists in many forms around the world, and although there have been sects and offshoots there are many that still faithfully preach the foundational message of the Gospel.

The Message Found in the Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo's masterpiece found in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo’s masterpiece found in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel is not only beautiful, but it tells the story of the Bible from the Creation of the World and Man to Moses and the Law to Christ and his life, death and resurrection. On the front wall of the Sistine Chapel the largest painting depicts the final judgement something that we tend to shy away from today in our churches. It seems that many churches today are timid and afraid to talk about sin. They either under emphasize sin and it’s effect on the world, or they over emphasize it and forget God’s grace. The other issues the church is reluctant to address today are hell and the final judgment. All these themes are amazingly and strikingly captured in Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

The Challenge of Preaching the Full Gospel in Our Age
Inside St. Peter's Cathedral

Inside St. Peter’s Cathedral

I believe part of the reason we shy from these themes in the church today is that they were not preached with love and balance in the past. We’ve also been influenced by our culture and we live in an age of tolerance. Anything that divides we tend to stay away from.

I understand being sensitive and careful in how we communicate the gospel with our culture. Yet, if people fail to see the darkness of sin and the despair of hell, they will not appreciate fully what Christ did for us. Christ death and resurrection are minimized if we don’t realize how lost we are without his saving grace found in his death and resurrection.

Pray to Grow and Know God in a Deeper Way
Worship in Spirit and Truth

Worship in Spirit and Truth

My desire is to grow in loving God, represented in the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I want to know Him more and love Him in a greater way. Jesus says in John 10 that His sheep know His voice. I definitely want to know His voice and be able discern the difference between His voice and all the other many voices calling for my attention. I pray that my love for Christ will exceed my desire for man’s approval. That is not easy. It’s hard to be called names, or for people to think you are foolish when you follow Christ. Yet, this often happens to those who love Jesus. It happened to Jesus himself.

Pray with me and my family as we seek to put God’s kingdom first. I must admit that often I fail miserably. I don’t love as Christ loved, but as He works in me I see transformation and His Spirit doing a Holy and wonderful work in my family and in me. Praise be to God! Thanks for praying with us and for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Pain of Loss
The Cross on Mount Soledad in San Diego

The Cross on Mount Soledad in San Diego

Recently I was conversing with some of my missionary colleagues about death and grieving, and how most of us struggle with working through the sorrow of losing someone we love. The Bible tells us to not grieve as those without hope, but it does not tell us not to grieve. One of the phrases that was said a few times just a few days after Hannah had passed away is that “Hannah is more alive than ever.” While that is true, I didn’t feel that it helped me at the time. That phrase in some way seemed to make me feel like I shouldn’t be sad. I know it wasn’t meant that way, but I didn’t find it comforting. That is not to say that I lost hope entirely. Yet, I felt that it minimized the pain and the deep loss I had just experienced.

I should add that I’m more able to receive that word, and I find it more comforting now that I’ve had some time to grieve and process Hannah’s home going.

I still feel the sadness at times, and it hits me at unexpected times. It’s not as frequent as it once was. In some way, I find it hard to explain the emotions that I go through. The realization that my daughter is no longer here, and that I can’t talk to her anymore. We can’t do together any of those things we had dreamed of.

Lessons from the Cross
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love

As I conversed with my missionary friends, one of them, Bill Yarbrough brought up some thoughts of a friend of his, who just happens to be a nun. She said that she feels we move on from the cross too quickly to the resurrection. We forget the pain involved in Jesus’s death on the cross, and that his mother and his friends felt deep sorrow. They didn’t realize at the time of his death that Jesus would rise from the dead. Thanks be to God that Jesus did rise on the third day!

Now that I lost my daughter, and I have suffered deep loss I am grateful for the man of sorrows, who’s acquainted with grief. He comforts me in my loss. He stays with me. He gives me hope, and lifts me out of the pit when I fall in. I believe the Lord has some awesome and wonderful mysteries for me to learn as He embraces me in my loss.

All of the Creation Groans for Redemption
Dave & Dawn - Thankful for my wife and that I don't have to go on this journey alone

Dave & Dawn – Thankful for my wife and that I don’t have to go on this journey alone

We live in this broken world, scarred by sin.

The enemy of our soul comes to kill, steal and destroy, and he will do anything he can to hurt us. This too is one of the effects of the fallen world we live in.

That is why all of creation groans for redemption. We long for the new creation. We long to be in the place where there will be no more loss, no more suffering, no more sorrow. The place where we will see our Savior, the lover of our soul face to face. We will be reunited with those we love.

I can’t wait to see my daughter again. I can’t wait to hug her again. If there are any tears they will be tears of joy!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Comes Through Again!
Our #MTWMexico Team - Serving Together Throughout MexicoOur #MTWMexico Team - Serving Together Throughout Mexico

Our #MTWMexico Team – Serving Together Throughout Mexico

We prayed that the Lord would show up and He did! I’m on the plane with Dawn returning for Puerto Vallarta from our #MTWMexico retreat. It was a time to pray, to worship, to connect, to unwind as a missionary family.

Our times of prayer and worship were awesome. I felt the Lord’s Spirit moving strongly among us as we met together. It started on the first day and it continued to build.

We had the opportunity to hear from every missionary that serves in Mexico in the following cities and regions: Juarez, Reynosa, McAllen, Acapulco, Tijuana, Ensenada, La Paz, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Durango. So good to hear what the Lord is doing in our midst. Churches being planted, mercy ministries meeting people at their point of need. Stories of lives transformed and faithful service.

Two of our missionaries have served in Mexico for more than 40 years, which is amazing to think of.

Reaching Mexico and Beyond Together
Coming together to pray for one another - Praying for Pastor Rafael Rodriquez and his wife, Martha

Coming together to pray for one another – Praying for Pastor Rafael Rodriquez and his wife, Martha

One of the many things that encouraged me was a sense of coming together and serving together. Missionaries tend to be independent, which makes working together a challenge at times, but I believe there is growing realization that while people need some freedom that we are stronger together. A sense of wanting to be more connected and more unified as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in Mexico and Beyond.

This is something we are still working on, in becoming more unified. I feel that it is an important need for prayer.

Growing in Our Love for Christ
A Wonderful time of praise and worship as we grow in our love for our Savior

A Wonderful time of praise and worship as we grow in our love for our Savior

We encouraged our missionary friends to continue to grow in their love for Christ. This is an important aspect of growth for each of us. We want to minister out of a foundation of a deep and abiding love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My prayer this years has become, “O Lord, that I (we) will love Christ as the Father loves Him.” It’s an impossible goal in one sense, but the Bible calls us to be holy as God is holy, so there is a precedent for asking for such things.

There is a sense in which our daughter, Hannah’s death has propelled me towards the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s not that I wasn’t growing in that direction before her passing, but it definitely drove me further into his arms. I love growing in love with Christ, and I desire that for all my friends and my missionary colleagues.

Thank you Jesus for the great and might work that you did in my life and in our lives at the #MTWMexico retreat. What a great group of people who you’ve given us. You are the Lord of Lord and King of Kings, Worthy of all praise and glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org