Archive for July, 2019

Prayer to Expand Our Borders

Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!

A few years ago, we began praying that the Lord would expand our borders. We like to say the Border, the Baja and Beyond. Dawn and I didn’t just choose those words for alliteration, but it’s the vision for what we believe the Lord has called us to. We truly long to see the border, the Baja and even beyond transformed by the gospel. We’ve prayed and asked others to join us in praying to see the beyond part of our vision for ministry become a reality. Since the time we began to look to the Lord to expand our reach God has opened doors for us to minister in El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Cuba. Of these countries, Cuba is the place we’ve seen the greatest opportunities as well as the greatest needs.

Dawn and I have grown to love the people of Cuba!

Open Doors in Cuba

Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, YanyDave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany

Over the last five years, Dawn and I have made various trips to Cuba to strengthen the leaders there. We have participated in church-planters assessment and training. I have also trained pastors and leaders in mentoring/coaching. Each experience has been unique, and our loving Father has connected us with some amazing people.

It’s been a great joy to partner with the church leaders in Cuba. I must admit that I feel torn, and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s heartbreaking to see how the people live on so little, and all the oppression they suffer. Most of the people in Cuba live off of $20 – $40 a month unless they have relatives in the US that have a way to send them money via Western Union. Presently those that live in Cuba have to stand in long lines to buy chicken, bread, rice, soap, and other basic needs. Despite their circumstances, they are a resilient people, who have unbelievably strong faith. Somehow the Cubans I’ve met have managed to maintain a positive outlook on life. They are good-natured and we enjoy their sense of humor.

The Lord Redeems and Expands our Family

Pastor Luis & May with their children Zuri & DavidPastor Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Because of the harsh realities of life in Cuba, the leaders are desperate for encouragement and connection. Dawn and I feel like it’s a privilege to minister to these friends, who have become like family. A number of them now refer to us as mom and dad as we have loved them and encouraged them. One of the families that we’ve become close to they not only call us mom and dad but their children call us grandpa and grandma.

As I wrote the paragraph above, it felt a little awkward sharing this with a largely USA audience. It’s hard to get across the nearness of these relationships via the written word. Also, Latin cultures are more family-oriented and it’s more natural for them to think of us in this way. It’s not as common in the USA for us to refer to another person that we love as our father and mother. This is one of the elements that I love about Latin cultures.

The Lord has blessed us so much through these friends who are now family. It’s one more way the Lord has redeemed and is redeeming Hannah’s early home going. I’m not sure if anything this side of heaven can fully restore the hole that has been left in our lives, but I do believe that we have a good and loving Father and he does bring us healing. There is healing in his wings!

Pray for Cuba and for More open Doors

Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train others to plant churches in Cuba!Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends!

I am planning on returning to Cuba in September. I’m not looking forward to the heat, but I can’t wait to be reunited with our Cuban family! This gives us an opportunity to work with and encourage the pastors that we’ve met from previous trips and help them to plant churches.

Even with all that our Cuban family is facing the church is growing. God is alive, and he is definitely at work in Cuba. Dawn and I would love for you to be a part of all the Lord is doing in this Caribbean country.

Dave praying with some of the church planters, Osmeiki & Yoiset, Mario & Yany, and other leaders. Wonderful people!

Please pray with us for these wonderful families and the work that they are doing in Cuba. Some of the couples that we are working with are Luis & May, Mario & Yany, Justo & Sara, Oniel & Heidy, Adnier & Mariesly, Ernesto & Damara, Ernesto & Yanelkys, Frank & Ariadna, Yamil & Yuneisi, Rene & Yarelis, Jorge & Rachel, Osmeiki & Yoiset and many more.

Thanks, dear friends, for joining us on this journey and praying with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Alliance for Latina America

The Alliance for Latin America met together in Lima, Peru at the beginning
of July

In my last post, I wrote about how the Lord richly blessed me and opened some amazing doors for ministry while I was in Colombia and Perú. I wasn’t able to write as much about my time in Lima, Peru, so I’d like to that today.

I went to Lima, Peru for an alliance meeting with 23 different organizations who are all interested in coming together to reach Latin America for Christ. I found it encouraging that so many have decided to come together and work for the expansion of the kingdom. I pray for the gospel and Christ’s church to grow like wildfire throughout Latin America.

God Show Up in Different and Unexpected Ways

The center of the city in Lima Peru.

Something that I’ve noticed about life and ministry is often when we go to participate in ministry meetings that the Lord has other significant opportunities that weren’t necessarily planned. Dawn and I often pray that we will be open to the Spirit’s leading so that we take advantage of the ministry that he brings to us.

When Dawn isn’t with me I’m not able to rely on her extroversion to help me meet people and open up conversations. I do enjoy talking to the various taxi drivers, especially when I’m in a new country. It’s something that I do it in Mexico as well.

The Gospel & the Taxi Driver

The National Palace in Lima, Peru

Right away in Lima I had to find a taxi. It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to go about getting a safe taxi from a company that I could trust. The taxi driver that helped me out was about my age and he was very friendly.

We began to talk, and I asked him about his family. He told me he had three children and two of them are 28, and that they are twins. I told him that one of my sons is 28, and as I shared about our family I mentioned how our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven two and a half years ago. I told him that it is very painful, but faith and the hope of heaven sustains us.

He began to open up with me, and he said that one of his sons is doing very well, and he works at the airport. The other son, however, has struggled with drug abuse and addictions and that he is presently in jail. He told both his wife and he had been praying for his son nonstop, but he didn’t believe the Lord was answering his prayers and it seemed like he was giving up.

God’s Redeeming Work

The city of Lima, Peru.

I took the opportunity to share with him about the importance of having a relationship with Christ, and how Good our Father is. He desires to give us good gifts. He is a good and loving Father.

After we talked for a little while he also told me that he had been involved in witchcraft and tarot cards. I asked him if he’d be open to praying with me, and he said he was, so we began to pray. I led him to pray to receive Christ as his savior, to confess his sins, forgive those that have hurt him and to break off his past relationship with witchcraft and evil. It was an hour drive from the airport to my hotel because there was a lot of traffic.

After we prayed, since we had time and I felt like he could use it I asked him if he’d like to pray some more to break off whatever evil he had been tied to and to download God’s goodness and love. He was willing so we continued to pray. After we prayed and I shared with him and encouraged him by the time we got to my hotel his countenance had changed. He looked less heavy. He told me he felt peace. Hallelujah!

Thankful for the Openness in Peru

One of the churches found it Lima. We pray for much more!

I found that the people in Peru were very open and willing to pray with me. I was able to pray and share the gospel with all my taxi drivers and led five others in prayer to confess Christ. A number of my taxi drivers were from Venezuela. More than 10% of Venezuela’s population has left the country, because of all the political unrest there. This I’m sure makes them more open. It’s uncomfortable to have to move so far and leave your home, but the Lord uses these trials of life to open people’s hearts. As Jesus said, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36 ESV) Earthly comforts don’t compare to what heaven has to offer.

It’s so good when the Lord opens these doors to people’s hearts, and he lets me be a part of that. This is life-giving for them and for me. When I have these opportunities I’m reminded of the sower and the seed, not all the seed will bear fruit. Yet, if we aren’t sowing, if I’m not sowing there is not an opportunity for the seed to produce fruit. Also, it’s the Spirit’s work to bring growth. We do our part in dependence on our loving Father.

Your prayers make a difference. The Lord hears as we cry out to him and he provides the increase. Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thankful for the Lord’s Answer to Prayer

Manizales, Colombia

I just returned from Colombia and Peru. I greatly appreciate your prayers for my trip and opportunities to minister there. The Lord answered and I’m overwhelmed by God’s love and all that I see him doing.

My time in these two countries was special on numerous fronts. I was able to spend time with and minister to some people that Dawn and I have come to love. A number of the people I shared the gospel with responded and the Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with people and see them give their lives to Christ. It was also enjoyable to participate in meetings with a number of church planting and missions organizations represented to plan, pray and strategize on reaching key cities in Latin America.

Colombia and Luis & Kerly

Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly in May of 2018. Kerly was pregnant with their second son, Neythan, who was born in June of 2018

The Lord blessed Dawn and me richly through our relationship with Luis and Kerly, who live in Manizales, Colombia. We first met them when they were living near us in Ensenada, Mexico. Dawn and I had the opportunity to visit them last year in Manizales and I thought it would be a while before we could return. Luis and Kerly have become like family to us, and they hold a dear place in our hearts.

Dawn wasn’t able to accompany me on this trip, because she is taking care of her mom at home. It’s a new phase and a season for us in life and ministry.

The Gospel Changes Lives

Luis on the far left and Kerly in the red shirt holding Neythan, their other son, David is to the right of Kerly with their family

On this particular trip, I met Luis’ family for the first time. His dad, Roberto, brother, Christian, sister-in-law, Angi and niece, Daniela. They came to stay with Luis and Kerly for a few days. Luis asked me to share my testimony with them.

I enjoy telling others about how Jesus changed my life, and how they can have a personal relationship with the Lord. Our story now includes the pain of our daughter, Hannah’s early home going, and the hope we have to see her again one day soon. I believe part of Hannah’s legacy is the many people we’ve been able to talk to about the hope of something greater beyond this world. Our hope of the world to come!

After I explained the importance of Christ’s work for us on the cross and how he made it possible for us to be forgiven and to become a part of his family, I asked them if they would like to pray with me.

They all agreed to pray with me!

I find most people I meet are open to at least have someone pray for them, and many are willing to pray with me when I ask them. They confessed their sins and their need for a savior. I encouraged them to forgive whoever they felt they needed to forgive and that was a special time as well. Then we went on to pray to break off in Jesus name any strongholds the enemy had over them, because of witchcraft and any involvement with any evil spirits.

Dawn and I have found in Latin America especially, although it is true in the U.S. as well, that it’s important to deal with witchcraft and evil spirits. The majority of the people we talk to in Latin America have either been involved in some form of witchcraft or someone in their family has. I’m grateful for the power that there is in the cross. Jesus breaks strongholds and through his sacrifice, he forgives us and removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. There is power in the blood of Christ!

Prayer and the Peace of God!

One of the many hummingbirds in the beautiful setting of Manizales, Colombia

After we prayed I asked them how they felt, and they said they felt peace. That was a life-giving time for all of us. Luis then shared and encouraged them to grow in their faith, and he talked about how he wanted to support them in following Jesus. It was a truly beautiful time!

Manizales is a beautiful city set in the mountains in Colombia. It’s near where they grow and cultivate delicious coffee. There is also a huge variety of hummingbirds in that part of Colombia. I never knew there were so many different kinds of hummingbirds.

Dawn and I began to pray a few years ago that the Lord would expand our borders and open the doors for us to minister beyond Mexico, and we are seeing him answer this prayer. From Colombia I flew to Lima, Perú and the Lord surprised me again with open doors and all the opportunities in Lima. I hope to write more about my time in Lima in my next post.

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer! It is thrilling to see how the Lord is so faithful to hear us and answer our prayers.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org