Archive for June, 2020

The Long Goodbye to Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom – Dancing on the Streets of Gold!

Dawn and I are headed to Fresno today for my dad and mom’s combined memorial service. It’s been more than three months since my mom moved to heaven, and a month since my dad joined her. This Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM we are finally able to have a public memorial celebration of life service at Riverpark Church.

I think it will be a relief to my family and me to get through this part of the grieving process. All the restrictions that have been put in place have made it that much harder to go through the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is with us and He does comfort us.

The Grace to Carry On
We laid the remains of both of my parents to rest on June 8th. The public memorial celebration of life service is Saturday, June 27th.

In the midst of losing both of my parents within 64 days of each other, I cannot lie, it has been challenging to carry on. Yet, I’ve also noticed that it encourages me when I’m able to speak into the lives of our pastor friends, who have become like family to us.

Last week Dawn and I met with five different pastoral couples. Three of them are from our favorite Big Island, and two of them are from Tijuana and Ensenada. They tell us that it encourages them to see us still smiling and carrying on. I mean, I’m not smiling all the time, and some days I just feel like it’s a major accomplishment to have made it through the day. If you know what I’m saying?

Yet, when I am with our familia, it does give me joy! It fills both Dawn and me up!

We Give Thanks in the Midst of Our Sorrow
Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They are one of the pastoral couples that Dawn and I have met with to encourage them.

The Lord lifts me up as I hear their testimonies and as we can pray with them and for them. The Spirit ministers through us and touches each of us in a special way. Often there are tears as we meet together. They help us carry the burdens we are facing during these days. I have to praise my Papa God for loving us so deeply during these days of trial and darkness. Maybe it doesn’t seem like darkness and praise should be mentioned in the same sentence, but I can’t deny that we are in a time of mourning. We grieve, but not as those without hope. We do have HOPE!

I give thanks that my parents are no longer suffering, but the separation is real. The separation is painful. Often I think, “I’d like to call my dad and mom and say hello,” but that is no longer an option. Just as it is no longer an option to call Hannah. More PAIN!

I’ve become all too acquainted with death and grief and I don’t like either one of them. I believe the enemy of our soul wants to squash me so that I can no longer function. My Daddy is greater. He holds me up. He sustains me. I am more than a conqueror in Christ, but I must admit it is a battle.

Papa is Still at Work
One of the beautiful families on the Big Island that we’ve helped

I’d like to end my post with one of the testimonies from one of our pastor familia’s on the Big Island. Pastor Lucas* and Maria* went to visit one of the families in their church. They took their friend Yuni* an envelope with some funds that we sent them so that they could buy food. Maria cried with Lucas and Maria because she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her family. She told pastor Lucas, “tell David, you don’t realize the great blessing it is to receive this gift today. It is an answer to my prayers and my tears.”

Papa God is still at work, even in the midst of our journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He is still at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still at work through all of the riots and social unrest. We can trust him in the dark and in the light. Thank you, Jesus, for your great and mighty deeds!

You can still help our familia on the Big Island. The needs continue there. Families are still struggling to buy food and basic items like soap. To make a donation click the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dad’s casket – the white box to the right is where Mom’s remains are. They were buried together

A week ago today on June 8th we laid my dad’s remains to rest. Since my mom was cremated they were both buried together on the same day. Definitely a somber moment.

I feel peace that both of my parents are now in heaven living without pain and suffering. They are in living and experiencing pure joy! Yet, I also feel lost at times with both dad and mom moving to heaven within 64 days of each other.

I don’t know what I would do without the hope that we have in Christ? It’s hard enough as it is. The separation is real, and I miss them. It’s hard to believe that I will never see either one of them again on this side heaven. I look forward to the reunion.

He Showed Up
Dad and Mom visiting us in Colorado Springs in 2010

Today I’d like to post what I shared at my dad’s graveside service. We will have a combined memorial service for them on June 27 at 11 AM at Riverpark Church in Fresno.

At first I didn’t want to lead the graveside service, and when I realized that I was going to lead it I felt some stress. That night, the Wednesday before the service I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like the Lord gave me the phrase, “he showed up”.

Then when I woke up the next day it was as if the Lord just downloaded the message that he wanted me to share.

Dad showed up. He got involved and that’s how he showed his love and care for our family. I know that everyone in my family has examples of how dad showed up and he got involved in our lives. He showed his interest and love in that way.

I didn’t even have to ask him to join us in building the church in memory of Hannah. Actually, I didn’t think that dad would be interested, since we went into Mexico during a hot time of the year. Yet, he was actually excited to join us, even at 82 years old.

He showed time and time again how he wanted to be a part of our lives, and although not everything in our family was ideal – I think we all gained strength from his commitment and love for our family. The same could be said for mom. They were anchors for our family.

Concern for Dad’s Faith

Dad with me at Jonathan and Hannah’s rehearsal dinner for their wedding on December 1, 2018

The one area we were all concerned about for dad was his faith. We prayed for him, mom prayed for him for years and years and many of our friends prayed for dad.

Before dad died and moved to heaven he began to show evidence of faith. His heart grew softer. He prayed with us some and let us pray for him, but there was still that doubt. I prayed and I know others were praying for more definite confirmation and assurance of his faith.

Just a few days before dad passed my brother, John had an opportunity to talk to dad about his faith. John asked dad, if he was sure that he would go to heaven when he died, and dad said, “no.” So John took the opportunity to explain to dad how Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead defeating sin, death and satan so that we might have life and be forgiven for us sins. He explained that dad just needed to receive the gift of salvation through prayer and placing his trust in Christ.

John said, “mom always prayed for you and hoped that you would join her in heaven.” Dad teared up when John said this, and dad said, “then I guess we better pray then.” John was able to lead dad in prayer to receive Christ. When they were done praying, dad asked if there was anything else that he had to do. He wanted to make sure that he had done what he needed to do.

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

Signs & Affirmations From the Father
The Lord is with us and gives us the strength of an eagle as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death

We hoped that dad would have stayed with us and been around longer, but we can take comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and that he is reunited with mom. Dad died just 3 days after he prayed to receive Christ with John. This reminds me of the death and resurrection of Christ – Jesus Christ rose on the third day! The Lord wants to encourage us in that!

We wish dad would have passed away in a more peaceful way. He moved to heaven while taking a shower.

I think it helps to remember that as dad took his last breath here, his next breath he was in heaven. There Jesus was with the angels to ready to receive him – he received him with a smile. Can you imagine what that must have been like?!?

Also there is a lot of symbolism in water, and I think the Lord wants to encourage us with that as a sign and confirmation of the Lord’s work in dad’s heart.

Water represents a washing and cleansing of our sins. We use water in baptism which is rich in symbolism and as a sign and seal of the Lord’s inner workings in our hearts.

Jesus offers living water and says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The Water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14 (ESV)

The river or spring of water refers to the Holy Spirit – there is an outpouring and an overflowing (see John 7:37-39). Our house was flooded some, because of the way dad passed away. I believe that the Lord wants to encourage us with the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our family (natural and spiritual).

The Lord is so good and loving to encourage us in this way!

GRIEVE BUT NOT AS THOSE WITHOUT HOPE
Mom and Dad in their early 20’s – they may look more like this now in heaven!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul says, “We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV, emphasis mine

It’s good and right to grieve, to be sad and in sorrow. There is a separation now – we miss dad – death is not a good thing. God created the world without death. Death entered into the world when Adam sinned. Paul says in your sorrow remain hopeful, because this is not the end. Then he goes on to say for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus comforts us with these words,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:1,2 (NKJV)

Dad is no longer suffering – he is in glory!

He is probably fishing with St. Peter and camping with John the Baptist. And I’m sure he’s enjoying playing and watching baseball and football with his dad and all his favorites. He’s in glory with mom and Hannah and our grandparents and one day soon we will all be reunited with him!

Our grief and sadness is momentary in light of eternity!

The Lord promises to comfort us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Our Cuban Daughter, May’s Encouragement
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

One of Dawn and my good Cuban friends who’s become like family to us, like a daughter, wrote a note of encouragement to dad, that I read to him the last time we were together and it encouraged dad so much that he cried through the whole thing.

May wrote:
“I would like you to know that I heard about you traveling to support your son, David when they built the church in memory of Hannah. I’m sure you went on that trip because of your love for your son and also that you knew that it was important for David to build that church in honor of Hannah.”

“When I realized how old you were and the miles that you traveled I started to cry, because of your love for David and your family is so big and it showed through your willingness to go on that long trip. You wanted to be alongside those you love to help them finish building the church. Since then I have admired you and prayed for you every day.”

“You are a fortunate and blessed man who knew how to build up and how to care for your beautiful family. We may never get a chance to meet on this earth, but one day we will meet in heaven where I can tell you, ‘Your actions speak louder than your words, and I admire you.’”

Everyone one of us in our family and some of our friends have stories like that of how dad expressed his love to us by being there, by showing up.

DAD FINISHED THE RACE
Dad is reunited with Hannah. He always had a special relationship with Hannah. They are together again.

Dad was determined to be here as long as he could. He told us he wanted to be here for his family and we all benefited from his love, his commitment and his determination.

Dad finished the race, and it was time for him to go home. As much as it pains us to say goodbye we can be assured that dad is no longer suffering. There is no mesothelioma in heaven, there are no breathing problems or heart illnesses – no more tears. Mom and dad are reunited with Hannah, our grandparents and all our dearly departed who are in Christ.

Most likely as dad is now part of the cloud of witnesses that Hebrews tells of – that he is cheering us on from above.

In as sense it falls on us now to carry on mom and dad’s legacy of love, prayer and commitment to our family – we are to carry the torch that they’ve passed on to us. So as we close be comforted that the good shepherd, our loving Heavenly Father promises to be with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, but to believe in God and to believe also in Christ. He is going ahead of us and preparing our mansion as we believe and place our trust in Christ.

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living!

Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ brother,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25, 26 (ESV)

Thank you for standing with us and praying for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

We will be having a combined Memorial Service for dad and mom on June 27 at 11 AM PDT at Riverpark Church in Fresno, California.

You can make a donation in memory of my dad and mom to Beyond Borders by clicking the button below.

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Or you can make a check out to:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Mail to: 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Hardest Post
Ronald John Diaso 6/19/1935-5/26/2020

I feel like this is one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever had to write. It was hard to write about my daughter’s home going and my mom’s recent graduation as well. This is especially hard not only because my dad has departed from this world, but it’s the end of an era. On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, my dad moved to heaven. Both of my parents are now gone. I take comfort in knowing that they are with our Savior, but I ache for them. I miss them in ways that are impossible to put in words!

My dad was a man of few words, but he was always involved in my life. It didn’t come natural for him to tell me he loved me until he got older, but he showed his love through being there. He supported my family and me in every way he could.

Jesus Transformed Our Relationship
Dave & Dad at Jonathan and Hannah’s wedding

I remember when my dad and I hit a rough patch when I was a teenager. I frustrated him, because of my rebellious ways. Then I made it through that period of my life, and I gave my life to Christ. My life began to change and my relationship with dad improved. When I decided that I wanted to go to seminary to prepare myself for the ministry I asked my dad for his blessing. He told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “even though we may have different thoughts on religion, I will never knock what you believe, because it has changed your life 180 degrees.”

That was an encouraging confirmation in my life, of the transformative work that Christ had done.

Dad’s Love & Support
Dad and Mom with Hannah, Jonathan and David in Colorado Springs

Dad stood behind his word and he supported me and helped get me through seminary. He came to my graduation ceremony.

Both my parents visited us when our first son, David was born in Texas. They came to Mexico City to visit us when Jonathan was born. They flew out to Washington DC when Hannah was born. Dad was always there, and he made it clear that he wanted to be involved in our lives.

When he got older he still made the effort to show his love and support. He helped us when we moved from Colorado to the San Diego area. Last year at age 83 he flew out for both of our boys’ weddings. He was definitely an All-Star dad.

One of his most amazing acts of love was when he joined us when we went to Mexicali to build the church in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Dad was actually excited about being able to be us and show his love and support. I was surprised that he would want to go into Mexico, into the desert at the hot time of the year to help.

This all from a man who didn’t like to travel all that much. I have a lot of wonderful memories, because he did!

Christ’s Work in Dad’s Heart

One concern I had about dad was in the area of his faith. He didn’t show any or much evidence of faith in Christ. We prayed for years and years for dad. My mom prayed tirelessly for him.

Mom & Dad are dancing on the streets of gold now

Towards the end of his life he began to become softer and more open. We prayed together and I had some opportunities to share the gospel with him. The last week I spent with dad he cried with me almost every day as we talked about faith and mom. During my mom’s funeral on May 1, I led everyone in prayer to affirm our faith, and my dad prayed with us. I saw many evidences of Christ working in his life, which gave me hope.

I began to feel a peace about my dad’s relationship with Christ, but I continued to pray for a more clear and sure evidence of his faith. Then a little more than a week ago, just 3 days before dad moved to heaven my brother, John called me and told me that he had just shared the gospel with dad and they prayed together.

John asked dad, “if you died do you know for sure that you would go to heaven.” Dad said he wasn’t sure. John explained the importance of placing his faith in Christ and praying to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. John told him that mom always prayed and hoped that he would join her in heaven. Tears formed in dad’s eyes and he said, “I guess we better pray then.” John led my dad in prayer, and then dad asked, “is there anything else that I have to do?” John explained more about the gift of God’s grace.

Then just three days later, dad departed from this world and joined mom in heaven!

God Answers Prayer!
Dad is reunited with Hannah now!

God is so good to lovingly hear and answer our prayers. I miss my dad, and I’m sad because I won’t see him again on this earth. Yet, I have peace and I’m thankful for the assurance that he is with mom, Hannah, and his Heavenly Father!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15 ESV). I’m doing both as I go through this season of life. I am thankful that the Lord is with me and comforting my family and me all along the way! The Good Shepherd comforts me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Dad’s graveside service will be Monday, June 8th at 10 AM at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Fresno (space is limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions). A viewing will be held on Sunday, June 7th from 4 PM – 7 PM at Farewell Funeral Home. We are hoping to have a combined memorial service for Dad and Mom on June 27th at Riverpark Church (still to be confirmed).

If you’d like to make a gift in memory of my dad in lieu of flowers you can give to Beyond Borders by clicking on the button below.

click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org