Archive for July, 2020

The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Some of our dear friends on the Big Island. We are helping them plant their fourth church in this city. The church is multiplying!

Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.

I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.

They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of The pastors, Manuel Santos from Durango sent me a photo to show me how he is streaming his services in Mexico. Most of the pastors I know are just using their cell phone to stream their services, but Pastor Manuel has a more complex setup.

One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.

On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.

Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dave & Dawn with Petri and Yudy with Ensenada in the background. The plant is helping us to practice safe social distancing 😃

Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.

We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.

Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.

Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
Dave & Dawn with one of the pastoral couples that we work with in Tijuana, Davis & Luz

On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.

I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.

I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.

Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Some of the pastors and families that we are helping on the Big Island. Our familia – such wonderful people!

Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

How do we Handle All the Negativity?
Michelangelo’s La Pieta – Reminds us of Christ’s suffering for our sins to give us a future and a hope

On Saturday I was listening to some sermons and talks as I was mowing the lawn. It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing while I take care of our yard. Often, the Lord meets me and encourages me during this time. I did feel more hopeful after listening to these messages a couple days ago.

Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now. One of our trials is that both of my (Dave) parents moved to heaven within 67 days of one another.

I use YouTube to listen to a number of these sermons and talks. Later in the day, on Saturday, I decided to watch some news on YouTube as well. Someone had suggested a particular feed, which was supposed to be more positive. Unfortunately, the news I was finding was very disheartening. After I watched it I felt anxious.

I forgot about the news and watched the movie, Greyhound. It’s an entertaining, although intense movie. It got my mind off of the news at least for a little while. Then as the movie was ending I began to feel heavy, and I wasn’t sure why at first. Then I remembered the news reports I had watched about what was going on in some of our major cities. Of course, it doesn’t help that on top of all the bad news that I’ve recently lost both of my parents within a 67 day period.

I prayed for the Lord’s peace and came against fear and heaviness in Jesus name. This gave me peace.

After that experience, I began to think about how much negative news there is today. The COVID-19 crisis has dragged on much longer than any us hoped it would. There’s been so much social unrest and political divisiveness. And if you are on social media at all even Christians are posting messages that aren’t edifying. It can bring you down if you spend too much time there.

Our Biblical Hope
Dave & Dawn having a delicious meal and a little fun with church planters Davis & Luz. We encourage one another

All of this is swirling around right now. It’s the ambiance that we are living in, and it does make it harder to maintain our biblical hope. When we think of biblical hope, it’s not a wish, but rather an assurance. It is an assurance of God’s goodness. He is true to His promises and to work everything out for good.

Paul encourages us in various passages to be disciplined in our thinking. To think with a renewed mind, Romans 12:2. To take every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. To think about what is good, peaceable, excellent, and pure, Philippians 4:8,9.

This is an important discipline for each of us. We must recognize that our warfare is not against flesh and blood. It is against rulers and authorities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:11. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t play fair.

Since it’s a spiritual war, our weapons are not carnal. Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God, so that we might stand firm, Ephesians 6:13. Our enemy is sly, he is evil, and he also has a measure of ungodly wisdom.

As we stand our ground we remember who we are in Christ. I love to pray and to proclaim the wonderful promises found in God’s Word. I seek to do this every day, and it lifts me up. I pray this way for our church planters and for my family. The Lord responds and He answers. He is a good and loving Father.

We are Victorious in Christ!
A nesting dove in the backyard of my parents’ home. Reminds us of God’s perfect peace

We are triumphant and victorious in Christ. Hallelujah!

I’ve found it important to incorporate worship into my prayer life. Worship is an effective weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Martin Luther and many leaders since have claimed that worship is one of the most effective ways to defeat the enemy.

The Waymaker

Waymaker and The Blessing are two of the songs the Lord has used to minister to me during this time of walking through the valley. He is indeed the waymaker!

The Blessing
Lines for Food and Basic Needs Still Exist
One of the long lines waiting to buy food on the Big Island

Often, when I’m going through a difficult time, or I’m having a bad day I think about my friends in Mexico, or on the Big Island. My friends, our family on the Big Island tell us how the scarcity continues. They struggle to buy the food and basic necessities that they need. They have to stand in long lines all day just to survive. When I think of them and what they are living through it helps me to put things in perspective and to pray for them.

That is also one of the reasons I keep bringing up their needs. They need our help. We’ve been able to help more than 300 people, numerous families and pastors. Dawn and I continue to pray and hope that things will improve and that they will begin to have an easier time getting the food that they need. So far that hasn’t happened.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need
One of the young families that we’ve helped, because of your generosity

Your generosity is a huge help. The needs are real and they continue, so consider a gift today! Thank you.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Celebration of Life: Dad & Mom

I feel bad saying this, but it’s a relief to get through the funeral services for my parents. It took more than three months from the time my mom moved to heaven on March 19 of this year to have the memorial celebration of life service on May 27. We ended up having a combined celebration of life service, since my dad died only 64 days after my mom.

Dave sharing during Dad & Mom’s celebration of life service

I’m thankful for all the memories, and the good times that I enjoyed with dad and mom. I have much to be grateful for, but it’s still hard to say goodbye.

We held the celebration of life service at Riverpark Bible Church in Fresno, California this past Saturday. Mom attended Riverpark for a number of years, and she had many friends there. A good crowd gathered with us to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives. I was encouraged by how many came especially since we are still dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful service. Five of our family members shared about dad and mom and the influence they had on our lives. My brother, John; John’s son, Brandon; my son, Jonathan; my cousin, Nadine; I shared at the end.

I had to lead both of my parents graveside services, so it was a relief to be able to sit and listen as others reflected on the impact dad and mom had on their lives. At certain points I cried and felt sentimental as I thought about dad and mom and all they have meant to me over all of these years.

The Lord used my parents in my life and the life of my family to help us to get to where we are today. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to do or achieve many of the things we have accomplished if it were not for my parents and their influence in our lives. The Lord graciously used them in our lives to spur us on, to call us higher.

I believe there is more to come! “…rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” (John 7:38 TPT, emphasis mine). Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer.

The Blessing to 1,000 Generations
Jonathan sharing at his grandparents memorial service

My son, Jonathan put together a video slideshow that I’d like to share with you here. It was so good for me to watch this video and remember dad and mom. Remember their life and their love.

In the video we chose the song, “The Blessing,” which is sung by Cody Cairns and Kari Jobe. The song was written by them recently and it’s become one of our favorite songs. I love the idea of how God works through families and seeks to bring blessing through families. I hope that you will also enjoy it.

Celebration of Life Video: Ron & Virginia Diaso
Ronald & Virginia Diaso’s life and blessings

“For though a thousand generations may pass away, he is still true to his word. He has kept every promise he made to Abraham and to Isaac.”

Psalms‬ ‭105:8-9‬ ‭TPT (emphasis mine)
Welcome Home Dad & Mom
Love this photo and the thought of Dad & Mom dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus, our daughter, Hannah and all the saints

The morning of the memorial service the Lord led me to read Acts 7. This passage gives the account of Stephen being stoned and going to heaven. I was thinking about how our last breath on earth, leads to our next breath in heaven with Jesus. Then I read this passage, and it reminded me of how the Son of Man, Jesus welcomed Stephen into heaven. Jesus welcomes believers, he welcomes those in Christ home!

““Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!””

Acts 7:56 TPT

That’s a pleasant thought. It’s amazing, even too good to be true, to think of Jesus smiling and welcoming dad and mom home! Hallelujah!

If you’d like to make a donation in honor of my parents, or if you’d like to make a donation to help a hungry and needy family on the Big Island click on the button below.

Donate: You Can Help!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org