Archive for April, 2020

“Manos Amigas” Friends Hands
Pastor Luis & May with a number of people who have been helped by the gifts that have been sent.

Our familia is so grateful for the gifts that we’ve been able to send to them so far. Pastor Lucas* and Maria sent us some photos of a number of the families that they have been able to help because of our gifts. You can see that they are holding their hands up in the photos, and I didn’t know what that meant. So I asked them, and they explained that they are praying for the Lord to send the hands of a friend to help them. So they are holding up their hands to say thank you for the friends’ hands who have helped them.

Lucas and Maria told me that they have always prayed and dreamed of having a ministry out of their church that would be called, “Manos Amigas” Friends Hands.

Then they went on to explain that Leti (Dawn) and I are extending our hands to help them. Each of you that are helping are also extending your hands to help our Cuban familia.

There is still time to extend your hands to help the families and the elderly in Cuba by giving a gift today!

Our Cuban familia continues to suffer through the coronavirus. The situation is worse there than it is in other countries, because there was already a food shortage before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Dave with Pastor Lucas & Maria and their children, David & Zuri

Pastor Lucas and his wife, Maria told us how difficult it is for them to get milk, yogurt, cereal and many of the foods that children eat for breakfast. They said that their daughter, Zuri was asking them if there was any milk in the United States. The reason Zuri asked this question is because she is going to be celebrating her 7th birthday soon. The government subsidizes the milk until the child turns seven. Then the price of the milk goes up from .25 centavos to 30 pesos, so it’s about impossible for families to buy milk for their children once they are older than seven.

Families end up sending their children to school without having breakfast, or maybe they’ll have a cup of coffee. Lucas and Maria do everything they can to provide a snack for the children when they come to church on Sunday morning since most of them come hungry.

The Scarcity of Food is Daunting
Pastor Rene on the upper right photo with some of the people from his church

Dawn and I have been staying in close contact with a number of pastors like Pastor Rene (photo above) to make sure that they have enough food for themselves and the people in their congregation. The scarcity is daunting, but they’ve been able to use the money that we’ve sent to help families and the elderly.

We plan on sending more help this week. You can help feed families in Cuba by clicking on the link below and giving.

Dave talking to Pastor Justo

Our good friend, Pastor Justo is one of the pastors that I was able to talk to this week. He had to go outside of his house to get a wifi connection so he could talk to me. We were able to make a video call. Unfortunately, Justo had to wear a mask the whole time, because in Cuba they are giving out fines to the people if they don’t wear a mask when they are outside.

It’s such a different world and now things have worsened with the restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Extend Your Hands to Help

Our Cuban familia needs your help and your prayers. Please click on the donate button to give and to extend your hands to help these families.

Thank you!

Thank you for praying for the needs of Cuba and our Cuban familia. Dawn and I appreciate you, and we are thankful that you are joining us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Scarcity in Cuba

Our heart is breaking this week as we receive messages from our familia, our pastor familia in Cuba. Daily we are receiving news about the lack of transportation, food, and basic necessities during the lockdown due to COVID-19.

Even while I was on the Big Island last month, in March they were already dealing with the scarcity of many basic needs. There were long lines for chicken to the point in one city two women fought over getting their food. One of the women was killed in the altercation.

Compassion for Neighbors in Crisis
Dave with Pastor Luis & May and their two children, David & Zuri

Now some families are literally starving. Just a couple of days ago. One of the pastors, Lucas* and Maria* who we work with heard a child of one of their neighbors crying in the night. Maria told Lucas that she sensed that the child was crying because of hunger. The next day she went to their home and sure enough, they didn’t have any food to give to the children.

Maria went home and brought them some hot rice and beans. She said when their neighbor saw her with the hot food she came out of her house with tears in her eyes. She told Maria that a few days ago her husband left her for another woman. Now she was all alone with her two children to fend for herself in the middle of this crisis.

Maria said when she heard her neighbor’s story she lifted up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord and said, “thank you Lord for David and Leti.” All of our friends in Latin America call Dawn, “Leti”. Maria gave thanks for how the Lord used us, because we had just sent them some financial help. We felt led to do this, because of our love and concern for them. We call them our familia. It was disconcerting to hear all the stories of desperation.

You can Help!
Dave with Pastor Mario & Yany (bottom right) in Cabaiguan one of the areas hit the hardest by the Coronavirus

Dawn and I would like to encourage you to send help as well. The average salary in Cuba is $25 a month, many receive less than that, so even a small gift helps. To send a gift we have a tax deductible 501(c)3 nonprofit, called Beyond Borders.

Donate
  • Via check write your check out to Beyond Borders
    • Send the check to Beyond Borders
    • 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

Also, please join us in prayer for the needs of our pastors, their congregation and the people of Cuba. They are wonderful people who have tremendous needs now. There are many pastors who live day to day, hand to mouth and they aren’t able to work to generate any income because of the Coronavirus. Our pastors, their congregation and their neighbors are all in need of food and can use our financial support during this crisis.

Maria told us that after she brought her neighbor a hot meal. She later gave her some of the items they had just purchased with the money we sent, rice, oil, salt, sugar, bread, and some ground pork. The neighbor cried the whole time with tears of gratitude.

When I shared this with Dawn she started crying. She was moved to compassion for our familia and the people in need in Cuba. Dawn was concerned about where the money would come from to help this precious family and so many others who are in need.

Join us in making a difference in Cuba today! Make a donation to help those who are in need and faithfully serving Christ! Remember to daily lift them up in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Surprised by the Gospel
From top left going clockwise: Pastor Ivan Casados, Pastor Abraham Velazquez, Pastor Gilberto Garcia all in Tijuana, Pastor Jorge Izaguirre in Queretaro, Worship group at Comunidad Cristiana in El Niño, Pastor Jesus Petrikowski in Ensenada, Pastor Mere Godinez and in the middle Pastor Yovani Robles in Tijuana

I was surprised and encouraged to see so many of my friends from the Border and throughout Mexico posting their services online! I opened up my Facebook page on Sunday morning, and all the sudden I started noticing how many services were being broadcast.

Some of the churches were close by in Tijuana, Ensenada and Mexicali. Churches that we helped to plant. I know it’s been a lot of extra work for the pastors and their staff to have to learn how to broadcast their church services. Many of them were reluctant at first, but with some encouragement and help they’ve been able to pull it off.

Renuevo Church in Ensenada

One of the services I watched was lead by Pastor Petri in Ensenada. You could tell that he put a lot of work into preparing for the online Facebook transmission. It was so encouraging to see the gospel go out in this way! I noticed the Renuevo church which Petri leads had more people watching than normally attending the church on a typical Sunday. I also recognized some of the names of the people who tuned in. There were friends watching who had never attended the church before!

Could this seeming barrier end up being a huge win for the church? Many people are reticent to come to church for the first time, but they are willing to watch online. They can hear the gospel through an avenue that they may not have considered before. It also helps that most people are restricted in what they can do on Sundays.

Edna Rodriguez on the left leading worship in Mexicali. This is the church we planted in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

When I see what is going on and how the Lord is using this obstacle it reminds me of what Joseph said to his brothers. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). God is indeed using this for good, and many will be saved! Hallelujah! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God is greater. Satan was defeated at the cross of Christ. We have victory in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Easter Hope in the Midst of COVID-19
Thankful for the Cross of Christ

Dawn and I hope you had a wonderful Easter! I mean, we realize that it was an unusual Easter, since we are all confined to our homes. Yet, it’s wonderful to think about Christians all around the world celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Jesus death and resurrection give us a future and a hope.

As Believers we have reason to be hopeful. Last Wednesday, April 8 was the beginning of the Passover, and it was also Holy Week. God is at work during this time, and although the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy He who is in us is greater. Satan seeks to do us harm through the coronavirus and what’s going on around the world, but I believe God will use it for good.

We are looking to Lord to breakthrough and bring revival!

God is on the Move!

Today I made a short 5 minute video, and in it I share some of our experiences over the last month. I think you will find it encouraging.

Dawn & I give thanks for God’s Great work
Pastor René & Yarlis Peñate
Dave with Pastor René

As I mention in the video I just recently returned from Cuba where I was involved in training 102 church planters in four different cities. Pastor René Peñate is one of the church planters who was involved in the training.

This morning Pastor Rene and his wife, Yarelis sent me a video of Yarelis and their children singing the song Forever (Por Siempre), which was co-written by Kari Jobe. This is a powerful song with a great Easter message. We actually sang this song at our daughter, Hannah’s funeral. Kari Jobe was one of Hannah’s favorite artists so the song and the artist have a special significance for our family.

Por Siempre sung by Yarelis Peñate and family
Forever (English version) performed by Kari Jobe
Forever by Kari Jobe with Lyrics

We do sing Hallelujah, because the Lamb has overcome. Forever He is glorified, forever His is lifted high, He is Alive!

Thanks for doing us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Covid-19, Missing Mom & Feeling Down
Missing Mom

Early last week I was feeling a little down. It started sinking in more that my mom is gone, and that I won’t see her again until I join her in heaven. I think I’m still numb in some ways. I’ve found that grieving is a process, but being back home and trying to live life in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis it’s all hitting me at once.

Of course, it’s not an easy time for our nation or for most of the people around the globe. I don’t believe there’s been an event quite like this during our lifetime. And in the middle of this I’m grieving the loss of my mom.

The Need for Good News & Breakthrough
Our hope in Christ

I felt like I needed to look for some good news. Something to lift me up and give me some hope. It’s difficult to live without hope. In my search the Lord started directing me to some positive messages about what our Father is doing during this time. A number of people believe there is going to be a breakthrough this next week. God is going to bring breakthrough during Passover which starts on Wednesday, April 8. It’s interesting, because this year Passover connects with Holy Week.

In the first Passover the people of God, the Israelites were cloistered in their nuclear families as they took part in the Passover meal. They were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on their door post. They ate the meal in haste as they prepared for the Lord to deliver them, and to bring them out of slavery. He brought them out of slavery and into freedom and eventually into the promised land.

In a similar way during this time of Passover we will be secluded with our family. We also look to the Lord to rescue us.

I believe that God is at work, even though it might be hard to see. The devil seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The enemy of our soul means this for evil, but God means it for good, and for the good for many.

A Creative Response to the Quarantine in Mexicali
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children

I’ve been calling and sending notes to my church planters, pastors and leaders in Mexico and Cuba and seeking to encourage them. Many of them feel discouraged that they are so limited. I mean in Cuba they aren’t able to stream their messages online. Yet, as people in these countries have lost many of the things they usually entertain themselves with it causes them to realize their greatest need. Their spiritual need.

I’ve told my church planters and leaders be ready people are going to be hungry coming out of this!

These dear friends who are like family to us have appreciated the hope that I’ve shared with them. One couple, Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz got creative. They set up a microphone and loudspeaker in front of their house today (Sunday) and he began to share the good news.

Pastor Federico Muñoz sharing the good news in a time when it is desperately needed

Federico told them that this is the first Sunday that they are not able to go to church on Palm Sunday regardless of the church they belong to. Then he told them about our hope in Christ and that Federico and his wife were willing to pray for the people if they had a need. He gave out his number and said they could send their prayer request via WhatsApp. Federico also told them that if they needed a Bible that they would like to give them one.

Then they started receiving messages from their neighbors and other people nearby. Federico and Blanca were initially afraid that their neighbors were going to complain that they were being too loud, but instead their neighbors were thankful!

Some of the people even came out of their houses to sing the worship songs they played on the loudspeaker and they listened to what Federico shared. Many asked them when they were going to start their church services. Wow, amazing! God is so good!

They even had the opportunity to pray for some of the people while trying to practice social distancing.

Federico & Blanca praying for two women who asked for prayer and for Bibles

I was surprised when I received Federico and Blanca’s message about how they were sharing the gospel in their neighborhood. I was even more surprised when they told me that this method of sharing the gospel worked! Of course, this encouraged Federico and Blanca as they took this step of faith. They told me what I had shared with them during the week helped them and encouraged them to continue. Sometimes it’s these small steps of faith that lead to greater things.

Federico and Blanca who are planting a church in Mexicali and Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana and others have felt down, because they feel like they aren’t able to do anything during the quarantine. I feel like the Lord used the blessing, and encouragement He gave to me earlier in the week to be a spark to these wonderful partners in the gospel! We continue to pray for more, Lord!

Draw Near to the Lord in These Days
Dave & Dawn with Federico & Blanca and Luz & Davis

Even though it is a difficult time, God is still at work. Dawn & I am believing and praying for a breakthrough during this week of Passover.

This is a time for us to draw near to the Lord. A time to examine our lives and humble ourselves before the Lord. God promises to respond as we do so.

God says, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”‬‬

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭ESV

It’s important to note that God says my people, so it is the church that is to be humble before the Lord and pray and seek God’s face. Our Father also calls us to turn from our wicked ways, which is not only individually. We need to confess the sins of our land. God is good, and He is loving and He will respond as we humble ourselves and seek him.

I tried to cover a lot of ground in this brief post. Obviously, I’m only hitting on the surface of the these issues, but my hope is that you might be encouraged. There’s so much negative news today, and I don’t think it’s healthy to spend too much time focusing on all the doom and gloom. Lift up your eyes and remember where our help comes from. “My help comes from he Lord, who make heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV)

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org