Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

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.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Laying Mom to Rest

Mom’s graveside ceremony

On May 1st, two weeks ago today we laid my mom to rest. It wasn’t an easy day, but I did feel the peace of the Lord through the prayers of so many who were praying for us. I know that there were friends from Mexico, Cuba and throughout the USA praying for my family and me.

We definitely needed the prayer. Apart from the stress and sadness of the moment when we arrived at the cemetery they told us that we only had 15 minutes to perform the ceremony. By God’s grace they let us start early and end a little late. Yet, both my brother, John and I had to cut things we had planned on saying out of what we had prepared.

Virginia A Diaso – 11/5/1935 – 3/19/2020

When the service started I felt emotional. It was hard to get through the initial words that I wanted to share. I could feel the emotion welling up inside me as I moved along. The Lord gave me strength to get through that initial part, and I began to feel more peace.

The highlight of the service was when we all prayed together as a family to affirm and confirm our faith. It was especially gratifying to see my dad join us in prayer. I believe the Lord was at work, and that He was answering mom’s prayers. Prayers that she had lifted up for many years for our family.

It was not easy saying goodbye to my mom and laying her remains to rest. Yet, I know that the Lord was with me and he sustained me like he always has through all the difficult trials my family and I have gone through.

Strength of the Eagle

I’m so thankful for all the people that supported my family and me and prayed for us. One of my friends shared an amazing experience that he had as he prayed for me while he waited to get into Costco. I’d like to share it with you here.

My reminder to pray for you sounded about 15 mins before you were to start. I was waiting in queue on the sidewalk outside Costco, so I looked to the sky and began to pray. As soon as I looked up, a bald eagle came into sight riding high on the west to east wind. It soared an arrow-straight line overhead…never flapping a single time while it was in my sight. So, I felt the Lord calling me to pray from Isaiah 40 for you… to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. It was also very special that the Lord used it to remind me of your mom’s spirit being high above all the cares of this world…and that one day ours would too. What a privilege it was to be able to pray for you, and experience such a tangible benefit from it myself.

When I read this message from my friend, a fellow missionary it lifted my spirit. When I shared it with Dawn she said it gave her goosebumps.

The Lord is so good to care for me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He gives me strength!

“…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭ESV
Mom’s garden

My thanks to you for standing with us and praying for us. God hears our prayers and He moves through our prayers.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Testimonies of God at Work
Pastor Davis & Luz

I like to look for positive stories. Stories and testimonies that display the goodness of God, and how He is at work. This is especially important while we are going through this world wide crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Two of the church planting couples that I’m working with in Mexico are in the initial phases of starting their church. One of them, Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz just moved into the community of Playas in February. One of the first things a church planter does when arriving in a new community is to begin making new contacts.

Davis and Luz are a very personable and likable young couple. They do a great job meeting people. Yet, you can imagine how it’s been for them since just barely a month after they moved in everyone is living in lockdown. It’s hard to meet people when they are all afraid to go outside!

I’ve been in regular contact with Davis and Luz encouraging them, and praying with them. One of things that we’ve talked about was for them to go on prayer walks in the neighborhood, once they felt safe doing so. Over the last couple weeks they started walking near where they live. When there is someone outside they often have the opportunity to greet them, which is positive!

God’s Guidance
Davis and Luz with their three children Davis Jr., Julian and Ashley

Last week Davis felt tired so he decided to take a nap. While he was sleeping he dreamed that his wife, Luz told him they should go to the pharmacy in the community, so that they could meet someone. When Davis woke up, Luz said, “let’s go on a walk down the street,” and he responded, “that’s not what you told me in the dream.” So they went to the pharmacy, and began to look for someone to talk to in the area.

They saw a number of people, but Davis didn’t sense at first that the people he saw were the one’s that the Lord was leading them to. Finally, Davis saw a man, Jorge and they went to talk to him. Jorge told them that he has lived in Playas for 30 years, so he knows a lot of people there.

Jorge was very friendly and Davis and Luz were able to talk to him for quite a while. They told him that they were starting a church and he expressed interest. Isn’t it encouraging to see the Lord guiding and answering prayer? We are praying and believing that the Lord will build this church. We pray that the Lord will open the doors and make a way. He is the Way Maker.

Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace when he sent them out to minister in a new city. The person of peace is someone who is open and he or she is willing to help. He can open doors for you into the community. Jesus refers to the person of peace in Luke 10:5,6. Jorge may be a person of peace for Davis and Luz as they meet people in Playas.

Join us in Prayer & by Giving
Playas in Tijuana

Join with us in praying for Davis and Luz as they continue to make contacts and share the love of Christ during these unusual days that we are passing through. I believe the Lord is going to use the pandemic to cause people to be spiritually hungry. I just saw the other day that Google searches for prayer are way up, since the COVID-19 crisis began. People are looking for answers, and seeking peace in the midst of all the fear.

Another related issue is that there are many people who are struggling to survive in Mexico and Cuba. I’ve written about the hunger and the lack of basic needs in Cuba in other posts, that you can see here… Poverty was already a problem in Mexico, and now that so many are out of work it has only worsened. You can help by giving to these needs by clicking on the link below.

Donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Extending Our Hands to Help Those in Need
Families that we’ve helped by extending our hands in love

In one of my last posts I wrote about the tremendous needs in Cuba and friends helping hands, “Manos Amigas”. Hands of friends like you who have extended your hands to give food to the hungry and the needy in Cuba. The hunger and lack of basic items continues. You can click here to give or on the button at the end of this post.

One of the pastor’s wives that we’ve been working with has sent us some testimonies describing the needs and how your gifts have helped, so I’d like to share with you what May wrote.

Answered Prayer for Toothpaste
Yuni giving thanks for God’s answer to her prayers

One of the issues that many Cubans face is not having toothpaste, especially during this crisis. They end up having to brush their teeth with water and salt when they don’t have toothpaste to brush their teeth. One of the families who are also leaders in the church have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Church planters, David* and Deborah* were forced to have their daughter, Yuni* (video above) use salt and water to brush her teeth so she wouldn’t get any cavities. Yuni tried to brush her teeth with the salt and she started crying because the salt burned her mouth. While she was crying one the people from the church was walking by and heard her. He asked her why she was crying, and she told him it was because the salt burned her mouth. He told her, “don’t cry, many of us have to brush our teeth with salt.”

She said, “I am not going to brush my teeth with salt anymore. I am going ask God for toothpaste.” That same friend who was talking to Yuni later went to Pastor Lucas* and Maria’s* house and he was laughing about his conversation with Yuni. When Lucas* heard about it he felt sad, and he told Maria* about it. Lucas said to Maria, “we are going to take some toothpaste to them as well as a donation to help their family so they can buy food.”

Maria added that there are people that buy and resale toothpaste for up to $8 in Cuba which is almost half a months salary, if you can imagine that.
After they took the toothpaste to Yuni and her family, she said, ”God answered my prayer, and he saw my tears.” God used the help of friends extending their hands to provide for this beautiful young family. Lucas and Maria told Yuni that “some friends extended their hands and sent the gift to help them and that the Lord used these friends to answer your prayer!”

Soap for Jesus
Maria with Jesus

Jesus who just celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday cried with joy when he saw Lucas and Maria. He was thankful not only that they came to visit him, but they also came to bless him with the help from the friends hands. The help arrived at the perfect time so that he could buy food and soap. He hadn’t been able to bath for a number of days, because he didn’t have the money to buy soap. It completely changed his day. It’s very important to help the elderly. Many of them have limited income and it is difficult for them to pay for their basic needs. This is especially true during this time of the food shortage, and the lack of basic needs due to the restrictions placed on the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jesus Encourages us to Care those in Need

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV (emphasis mine)
Turning Sadness into Joy!
One of the young church planters, Marcos* with his wife and son

Maria wrote, “It’s impressive what the friends helping hands have been able to do. Although you couldn’t fly on a plane to travel. You weren’t able to leave your country or even your houses, but you extended your hands to give and to support the families in need. You have conquered the obstacles. You have crossed borders and even the sea to arrive at places far away to bring relief. You have responded to the prayers and cries of mothers. You have transformed the sadness of the elderly into joy to know that there is someone on this earth that still loves them. Through the kindness of friends’ hands today many children woke up and had a hot and healthy breakfast to eat. The friends’ hands have shown that love isn’t only something spoken with words, but it is demonstrated with actions.”

Young church planting family – Mario* & Lili* give thanks for the help they received.

In the photos you can see that everyone is full of joy. They are all asking and want to know who are the friends hands that have helped them? They don’t understand how in the middle of this global crisis that someone would be willing to give to the needs of others.

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for your generosity and for extending your hands to help those in need. The hunger and lack of basic items like toothpaste and soap continues. There is still a need to give to help our Cuban familia. You can make a huge difference by giving a gift today. Click on the donate button below.

Donation

Thank you for joining Dawn and me on this exciting journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
My dad and me with my mom at my brother John’s wedding

Today we will commit my mom, Virginia Diaso’s remains to the earth. You can read my tribute to mom here…

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

That phrase doesn’t exude much hope. It’s the hard edge of death. We are separated from those we love. I believe that is one of the reasons why Jesus wept when his friend, Lazarus died. Even though there is hope there is a certain level of tragedy in death.

Think about it with me for a moment. If you go back to Genesis after each of the seven days that God created he said, “it was good.” There was no death in Eden’s garden. But the serpent deceived the man and told him that there was a better way. Thus, death entered into the world.

My mom and dad’s backyard with the beautiful garden

There’s a sense in which man has been trying to get back to the garden ever since. I’m sure it is one of the reasons we love beautifully manicured gardens. My mom enjoyed gardening. Actually as I write this I’m sitting in the back yard of my dad and mom’s house enjoying their garden.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that all of creation groans with the pains of childbirth for the day of redemption. Thankfully even though we groan now, there is a day of redemption.

Papa’s Tender Love & Care

We give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation

I’ve seen the Lord’s tender love and care as he’s carried me through both my daughter’s early home going and now my mom’s departure.

I was in Cuba when my mom fell and fractured her pelvis which sent her to the hospital. I hoped that I could get back home and then to Fresno to see mom one last time. I arrived back home at midnight the night before my mom moved to heaven. Even though I made it back home, I wasn’t able to make it to Fresno in time.

I still saw the Lord’s grace and mercy in the valley of the shadow of death.

My brother John called me that morning and told me that mom wasn’t going to make it much longer, so he encouraged me to say goodbye to mom over the phone. To be honest, that was very awkward, but I’m glad for that opportunity. I was able to cry with her and tell her that I loved her one last time. Later in the day, I felt like I should call again as I was getting ready to leave for Fresno. I talked to my brother Greg this time. Right when I got off the phone my mom moved to heaven.

It was like my mom waited. She was always concerned for her family, and she wanted us to be safe. I know she prayed daily for our safety among other concerns that she lifted up to heaven.

God’s Kiss
God’s masterpiece – driving through the rainbow and beautiful sunset on our drive to Fresno on the day mom moved to heaven.

On March 19, we drove to Fresno from the San Diego area. This was when the restrictions were beginning to be set in place, so there wasn’t much traffic.

It was raining as we drove through LA, and for the first time in my life Dawn, Alice (Dawn’s mom) and I drove through a rainbow. It was like God’s kiss. A reminder of his love, and that he would take good care of my mom. Shortly after the rainbow we saw a beautiful sunset with the sun breaking through the clouds.

Our Heavenly Father, Papa God hugged me and comforted me as I drove to be with my family. He reminded me that my mom is now part of the cloud of witnesses. She is with her savior, and she is with her granddaughter, Hannah. I am sure that mom has the most amazing garden now!

Mom’s Legacy
Mom – Virginia Diaso

In the days since my mom died, I’ve sought to take extra time to pray while we are in this lockdown due to the coronavirus. One day as I was praying near our home the Lord reminded me of Elijah. I could see Elijah going up to heaven in his chariot while his mantle was falling on Elisha, his disciple.

In that time as I reflected and prayed I could see my mom’s mantle of prayer falling to me. Even as I write this I feel the Lord’s presence. I feel sentimental, but also I sense the Father’s confirmation.

My mom was a quiet woman, but she prayed. I think she was more powerful than she knew, because of her strong love and connection with God. When she moved to heaven at first I thought, “O no, I’ve lost my number one prayer supporter!” Then the Lord comforted me and showered me with His love. He showed me that mom’s passion and power in the secret place has fallen to me. I am truly blessed, as is my whole family!

Mom was ready for heaven. She had peace about going and she was anxious to get there!

Mom & Hannah reunited in heaven

I thank the Lord for the legacy of love and prayer that mom left. I look forward to carrying on her legacy.

Thank you for praying for my family and me during this time of mourning. I have peace, but it’s never easy to say goodbye to those we love!

The graveside service for mom is at 12 PM PDT on Friday, May 1. We hope to be able to record and hopefully livestream it as well. Thank you again for your loving support through your prayers.

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

“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