Archive for September, 2020

Our Special Friend, Who Has Become Much More

Five years ago the Lord blessed Dawn and me with a special friend in Monse Santiago. We first met Monse in Mexico City while she was ministering on the campus of UNAM with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). UNAM is one of the largest universities in the world with over 100,000 students.

Mexico City has held a special place in our heart since the first time I visited the city in the mid-’80s and later Dawn and I moved there in the ’90s. I remember on my first trip to Mexico I visited UNAM during a short-term mission trip in 1985.

So it felt like the Lord brought a number of things together when we first met Monse. To top it all off the other campus minister, Barush Sanchez is the son of, Fernando, who I worked very closely with in the late ’90s. It was like everything connected, our past, present, and future.

Our Daughter – (Mija) Monse
Dave with our friends Mario, Monse and Barush in Mexico City (I believe this was the day Monse told me she could be our daughter).

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Barush and Monse over the last 5 years. Our relationship has been a real gift from the Lord!

On one of our visits three years ago, we decided to go to Mexico City for Dawn’s birthday and Hannah’s birthday just a few months after Hannah died, or as we like to say she moved to heaven. It seems less painful to say that she moved to heaven.

On that trip, we met with Monse and Barush, and I remember distinctly sharing with them the difficulties and challenges of losing our daughter. At the end of our time together Monse told me, “I can be your daughter.” And then right before we said goodbye she said again, “I’m being serious I can be your daughter.”

Since that time Dawn and I have kind of adopted Monse. Every time we visit Mexico City we make sure we can see her. She’s also been able to visit us here in Chula Vista for the past three years.

The Lord is Bringing Our Two World’s Together
Monse in front of her new school – Westminster Seminary

Monse is very intelligent. She loves to study and to learn new languages. She’s had an interest for some time in preparing herself further for ministry by going to seminary. We prayed with her that the Lord would guide her and lead her in this process.

Last December when she came to visit us right before Christmas we took advantage of the time to check out Westminister Seminary in Escondido. When we arrived at the parking lot we noticed that my car odometer read 111111. One is a number for new beginnings, and it made us wonder what the Lord was up to.

Monse submitted her application to Westminster Seminary and she was able to get an amazing scholarship. The coronavirus did make it harder for her to get her visa, but that eventually came through and she was able to move to Escondido earlier this month. RUF just entered into a partnership with Westminster, which made it easier and opened the door for Monse to be able to attend.

Dawn and I have enjoyed having her so close to us. She now only lives 40 minutes away, which is much closer than the 4-hour plane flight to Mexico City.

The Lord Lovingly Restores and Redeems
Dawn & Dave with Monse

Ever since Hannah moved to heaven we’ve been praying for the Lord to restore and redeem what we’ve lost. We know that no one can ever replace our daughter. We don’t expect that. Yet, we do believe our gracious God can bring us healing, and one of the ways he does that is through others. Monse holds a very special place in our hearts. Sometimes I call her Mija, which means my daughter in Spanish. Dawn has started calling her mi Monsita, which Monse loves.

The Lord is so good and so kind. There are a number of things that I don’t understand about life, about our daughter and her short life. But I do know that our Father, our Papa God loves us. He cares for us. He wraps his loving arms around us. He uses people to show us his love. We give thanks for Monse, and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for her!

Join Us In Prayer
Monse with some of the students she worked with in Mexico City

Join us in prayer for her while she adjusts to life in the USA. Pray that her studies go well and that the Lord provides for all her needs while she is her. If you would like to help her get started you can send a donation to Beyond Borders through the link below. You can also support the needs on the Big Island by giving by clicking on the donate link. Just let us know what your gift is for in the note section when you send in your gift! Thank you!

click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Evil on the Big Island

On Monday earlier this week, I received three interesting messages from three different families on the Big Island. All three of them wrote to me about witchcraft, spiritual warfare that each of them was experiencing in their ministry. Although witchcraft, Santeria, and voodoo are very common on the Big Island I choose not to focus on it in my posts.

This time I felt like I should let you know what is going on because there is a huge need for us to rally around our friends, our familia on the Big Island, and to pray for them. We know that we have victory in Christ, but the battle rages on. It seems to be increasing recently.

In one of the churches, someone who lives nearby who is involved in witchcraft tied a bag made of fabric just outside the church. The bag had black chicken feathers in it mixed another substance. The witches do this to curse or hex on the church.

Another minister who ministers in a different city told me that in the place they went to ministering there were a number of idols and other trinkets there. They said that they didn’t feel peace and they sensed evil in the area. The sense of evil was heavy. They reached out to Dawn and me and asked us to stand with them and pray!

The Power of the Gospel

These are places that the gospel is infiltrating. The church is growing! Thank God that there is power in the gospel. There is power in Christ to break through these strongholds, and as Paul said our weapons are spiritual because we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The battle is against powers and principalities. Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to stand firm in the battle, and to put on the whole armor of God. The church in the city of Ephesus was in a place where they worshipped many foreign gods and idols.

Paul also tells the Corinthians that their battle is not against the flesh. I think this is true no matter where we live. It may be easier to spot in some places, but the enemy is sly so we have to be discerning, and aware of how he is working in a place.

In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul tells the church,

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)
Christ Gives us Divine Power!

It’s important for us to realize that the Lord has not left us defenseless in this war. He has given us divine power in Christ to destroy strongholds. So we don’t need to fear the devil. We must be prepared. We must put on our armor, which includes the sword ⚔️, the Word of God, and prayer. The truth of God enables us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It makes me sad when I see all that our familia on the Big Island suffers. It’s not only physical suffering, but they experience attacks from evil. It’s crucial to encourage them in the battle and stand with them in prayer. I would like to ask you today to join us in praying for the Lord’s protection over them, and that they will stand firm in the battle.

When Paul speaks of the battle in Ephesians 6 it’s with the idea that the church, that Christians are standing side by side protecting one another and fighting in the battle together. I think that this is one of the reasons there is so much division in the church. Our enemy knows that if he can divide us we aren’t as effective.

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs on the Big Island. They need your generosity, and they need your fervent prayers. I’m so thankful that Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Hallelujah!

Extend Your Hands to Help
Some of the families that we’ve helped on the Big Island

You can extend your hands to help by giving a financial gift to help provide food and basic needs for the people. You can also extend your hands to help by praying for our familia. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will stand firm in the battle. We the church must stand together!

Please donate today by clicking on the link below!

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Church is Growing on the Big Island
Roberto and Yolanda and their gifted family

This week I’d like to highlight a couple of church planters from the Big Island that I haven’t written about before. By the way, some people have asked me about the Big Island (hint: I’m not referring to Hawaii). Both of these couples are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in amazing ways. We’ve been sending them financial help since March so that they can feed their families and help others in need. This also enables them to minister and stay healthy, which is crucial.

Roberto & Yolanda Sending Out More Church Planters
Roberto praying for and commissioning the new church planters (notice the sweat stained shirt, it’s very hot on the Big Island)

Roberto* and Yolanda* lead a church planting movement (*not their real names). Just this year alone they’ve planted 9 churches. That’s with the COVID-19 crisis and all. Roberto asked me in early August if we could help him send a church planter to a key city to start a new church there. I brought this need before Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs and they decided to partner with us on this project. Thank you, Jesus!

The new church planters were commissioned this last Sunday and they are heading out this week. How blessed are the feet of those who bring the good news of the gospel to others!

Something else that I admire about Roberto and Yolando is they are amazing singers, especially Yolando. Their entire family has formed a musical group and they sing and lead worship in various churches. The Lord uses them in a powerful way to encourage others in the faith.

Adolfo & Maria are Seeing Amazing Growth
Dave with Adolfo and Maria

The other family that I’d like to highlight is Adolfo* and Maria* (*not their real names). Adolfo and his wife have led the charge to plant 15 churches in 2020. It’s amazing and thrilling to see the church grow and even thrive in this season that we are all experiencing. They are a quiet and unassuming couple, but the Lord is using them in powerful ways!

I know that there is a lot of bad news out there today, and it’s gone on so long this year that it is hard not to get caught up in the swirl. It’s a challenge to not let it affect you in a negative way. I can assure you that even in these difficult times the church is still growing. God is still at work. In fact, God is always at work!

Giving Thanks for Your Generosity
Roberto with some of the people that he is ministering to that we’ve been able to bless with food and basic needs

The Lord has enabled us to provide food and basic needs for a number of families on the Big Island, because of the generosity of many friends. Dawn and I give thanks for your willingness to give!

Just between Roberto and Adolfo and the churches they are working with we’ve been able to provide food for 209 people, 67 families. Of those that we’ve helped in these churches 18 of them have been church planters. That’s only counting these two workers and the churches they are associated with. We’ve helped more than 700 people overall since March. God is so good!

Extend Your Hands to Help!
15 year old David is raising chicken so he can feed families with the eggs

The good news is that the Lord has provided for us to send aid to our familia on the Big Island. The bad news is that the scarcity continues. The people are still suffering from all the lack of food and basic needs. Prayerfully consider a gift today, so that we can continue to help the hurting, to help the families living under this tremendous burden.

Extend your hands to help our friends and familia on the Big Island! Click on the button below to make a donation today!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Travel in this New Era

Dawn and I traveled to the East Coast last week. It was the first time we’ve been on a plane since March. The plane ride wasn’t all that enjoyable wearing a mask the whole way, but it has been good to visit Dawn’s brother and family as well as some friends in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Although we weren’t able to visit as many friends as we would have liked to because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

VBS at New Life in Escondido

One of our partner churches, New Life in Escondido put together a fun video for their VBS featuring our ministry. It’s a lively, upbeat video that I thought you would enjoy seeing. There are some great aerial shots that will give you an idea of some of the places where we are ministering and planting churches. Also, they used some entertaining Latino music that I think you will enjoy!

Join Us in Prayer!

Please pray for our church planters who have a tough job of reaching out during a time when people are afraid, because of the coronavirus. Pray that the Lord will give them the wisdom to connect with people in creative ways. Pray for the tremendous needs that continue to plague those who live on the Big Island. We just received a message this week from one of our church planters on the Big Island telling us that he was being told that his church could no longer meet because they meet in an apartment complex. Pray for the Lord’s care and protection for our familia.

Extend Your Hands to Help!
Some of the families that we’ve extended our hands to help!

Extend your hands to give to the needs and help feed families on the Big Island. The scarcity is heartbreaking, and many of our friends are suffering ill-health as a result of the lack of food. Give through the link below!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org