Archive for September, 2019

My Best Ministry Trip to Date!
Dave with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany and their church in Cabaiguán

I just returned from a two week trip to Cuba. It was an outstanding trip, and the Lord showed up in some amazing ways. I’m not even sure where to start or how to communicate all that the Lord did while I was there!

This was my best ministry trip in 30 plus years of ministry!

Since I have been going to Cuba for a number of years now the relationships keep growing deeper, which opens the doors for more fruit. As I’ve mentioned before some of the Cubans refer to Dawn and me as mom and dad. They are a very relational and family oriented people.

Amazing Testimonies
Pastor Luis Jimenez leading the church in Sibanicú

Some of the highlights from the tip came from the testimonies about all that our awesome God is doing through our Cuban family. For example, Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared how the Lord used some of the prayers and promises that I sent them a few weeks ago. They read them out loud during one of their church services as they prayed and claimed God’s promises. As they cried out to the Lord they began to feel Jesus and the Spirit in a close and personal way. Hallelujah!

Another wonderful story. Our great and amazing God healed a woman who had cancer. Dawn and I sent Luis and May some prayers that we’ve found helpful as we minister in Latin America. They used these prayers to pray over Maria who had breast cancer. Unfortunately, Maria already had a mastectomy on one of her breasts. The doctors told her that she only had one living cell in her other breast. The church came together and prayed, and they believed that Jesus would minister to Maria and bring her healing.

When Maria went back to the doctor they didn’t find any cancer. The doctors not being believers got upset, and they told her that maybe the cancer had moved to her brain or her lungs. When they ran further tests they all came back clean. Maria was completely healed of cancer!

Freedom and Deliverance!
May praying with Maria and leading her to faith in Christ

Witchcraft, Santeria and other demonic practices are prevalent in Cuba. Many of my friends churches have witches, and altars to foreign deities near where they are ministering.

While I was with Pastor Luis and May they asked me to pray with them for a woman in the church, Fabiola who needed healing and deliverance. She had been involved in witchcraft in the past, and her ex mother-in-law was also a witch and she was putting curses on her. Fabiola is a beautiful young woman, and by looking at her you would never know what was going on. She told me that she had some terrible experiences with deliverance in the past, so she was a little nervous when she met with May and me. Fabiola said that although she was anxious she was also excited and hopeful, because she heard of how I helped another one of their leaders that last time I visited the church.

May and I spent about 3 hours praying with Fabiola and leading her to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it strengthened my faith to see Christ move in her heart, and bring Fabiola healing and freedom. It was a powerful time! We saw first hand how we are victorious in Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Fabiola was so thankful and she had a beautiful smile when we finished our time together!

God is Doing An Amazing Work Through the Challenges!
Pastor Justo (far left) and his wife Sara (3rd from the left) along with the house church leaders in Jatibonico. They have a vision to reach at least 1,000 people

There were many other opportunities that I had to pray for people and encourage them. The Lord is so faithful to meet us at our point of need! I especially enjoyed my time of ministry with the pastors and church planters. Such special and dear people who have made so many sacrifices to serve the Lord.

Every time I go to Cuba I leave feeling that my faith is strengthened. I feel this way, because of the testimony of my friends, many of whom have become like family to us. They have such deep faith in some of the most difficult circumstances that I’ver ever seen. Most of them have a profound commitment to prayer and fasting. They live off of $10 – $50 a month, and yet they continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Instead of letting the challenges stop them they use it as motivation to trust the Lord to provide.

God sees their affliction. He is near the brokenhearted and he delivers them as he promises to do.

So Close yet a World Apart!
Some of the modes of transportation in Cuba – Quite an adventure!

The Island of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Florida. It takes less than an hour to fly from Miami to most cities in Cuba, and yet it’s a whole different world! It’s truly mind boggling!

There are many more stories that I could tell of people coming to Christ, of the Lord bringing healing, freedom and comfort to our friends on the island of Cuba. I hope to share more in a future post.

Thank you so much for praying for me for this trip. I strongly believe one of the reasons that this was my best ministry trip ever was because of all the prayer. The Lord does indeed hear our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Giving Thanks for our Wonderful Partners!

This morning I was reading Philippians 1, which is one of my favorite passages. Even though I’ve read it many times before today verses 4 and 5 jumped off the page, and especially the phrase, because of your partnership in the gospel.

Paul says he is thankful for the church and he is praying for them and then verse 5 says, “because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil. 1:5

It is my custom to pray in the morning for our ministry partners, and often the Lord gives me a passage or a word, something encouraging to share with them as I pray. Then I send a message to them letting them know that we are praying for them, and that the Lord encouraged me with this passage or this word today.

Our Growing Family & Redemption!

Dawn and I have grown to have a deep love for these partners, and many of them have become like family to us. We have partners in various cities in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. It seems like the net, the family keeps growing as we are beginning to develop relationships with pastors and leaders in Honduras and Guatemala as well. Only the Lord truly knows where these gospel centered relationships will take us.

I often feel when the Lord extends our family through these deep relationships that it’s a way He is redeeming our pain and all that we’ve suffered through the loss of our beautiful and dear daughter, Hannah.

It’s interesting to me that the passage that struck me this morning includes Philippians 1:6, which is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Our family decided to put verse 6 on Hannah’s tombstone.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6 ESV

Renuevo – New Life in Ensenada

Last Sunday, Dawn and I along with her mom, her brother and his family joined us in Ensenada. We joined our new church plant Renuevo for their service. I preached on God’s goodness and his desire to have an intimate relationship with us from John 10. At the end of the service I led them in prayer and we celebrated the Lord’s supper together. I guided the church through a time of confession and forgiveness during our time of prayer. I love the opportunity to see people break down walls through the gospel which leads to confession, repentance, forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

The Lord gave us a wonderful and special time of celebration together!

When the service was over I talked to a new family that recently started attending the church as a result of our summer VBS. I noticed that they didn’t take communion with us, so I asked them about their relationship with Christ. This gave me the opportunity to share the gospel with them, and to lead them in prayer to receive Christ and confess their need for the only living and true Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love seeing people come to faith, and start their journey with Jesus!

After everyone had left Dawn and I went out for a meal with the leadership team of Renuevo, which is led by Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. Such a great group! We always enjoy the opportunity to break bread with them.

Our experience with them, reminded me of all of our dear partners in the gospel. People that we’ve grown to love, and who we have a strong and growing relationship with!

Extend Our Borders!

Paul writes about his deep love and the importance of his partnership with the church in Philippi. I echo his sentiment when he says the following in Philippians 1:7.

It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace…”

Dawn and I are so blessed and grateful to have such wonderful partners and a growing family in Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali, Mexico City and Beyond! The Lord has answered our prayers to see our borders expanded. Now we have close and growing partners beyond Mexico’s borders throughout Latin America.

I’m flying to Cuba this week to encourage and minister with our partners there. We covet your prayers, as the Lord continues to open more doors!

Thank you, Jesus! Your love overwhelms us at times, and we experience it in tangible ways through these relationships, through these partners in the gospel!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org