Archive for the ‘Journey’ Category

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

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

Rolando – His Horse & Carriage
Rolando in the striped shirt taking families home from church

This last week was quite a week. We received an urgent message on Friday from our friends Pastor Mario and Yany that someone had stolen the only. horse and buggy of one of the leaders in their church, Rolando. I’ve benefited from rides on Rolando’s carriage when I’ve been in Cuba. The last time I was there, Rolando took us to meet our taxi in the city, so I could go to the airport in Havana. When I offered to give him some money to pay for his help, he didn’t want to take it. He told me that he liked to help out those from the church. I said to him, “I would like to bless you and your family,” so he finally accepted my offer.

Rolando is a wonderful and faithful servant of God. He always helps the church with rides. It’s hard for the elderly and families to walk to church.

Also, he depends on the horse and carriage for his livelihood, so it’s a huge loss for him. I asked some pastor friends of mine if they would be willing to pitch in to help Rolando replace his horse and carriage. All of them said, “yes.” Mario and Yany told me that it costs $800 to buy another horse and buggy. Would you pitch in as well and give a gift by clicking here or the button below?

Families Give Thanks for the Friends Who have Helped Them
Families giving thanks for the help that they’ve received

Dawn and I are thankful for the generosity of those of you that have given so far. Together we’ve helped over 230 people and more than 65 families. We put together some videos of the families that have received help. It’s gratifying to know that they have food to eat, and that they don’t have to go to bed hungry. You can also read more about the families that we helped in our post: Friends Helping Hands: Our Familia Cubana.

Extend Your Hands to Help
Photo of $30 basic grocery basket taken from the news website: 14ymedio.com

It’s amazing to see how even a small gift can make a huge difference! The average monthly salary in Cuba is $25 – $50. Just to give you a small example of how hard it is for them to live, their basic grocery basket (photo above) of mayonnaise, chicken, soap, detergent, and some tomato sauce cost them more than $30. This is supposed to be a special deal for those health workers who have to care for the sick during the COVID-19 crisis. This represents more than half of what a health care worker earns in a month.

You can extend your hands to help these precious families!

Shoes or Food, which would you Choose?

One of the young boys, Angel* from one of the families that we helped said that even though he doesn’t have shoes, and he has to go barefoot – he is still thankful that he has food to eat, and that he doesn’t have to go hungry. Here’s a short 30-second video of Angel (holding the sign in the photo below) with his family.

Friends Helping Hands: Yolanda and her son Angel give thanks

You can get a glimpse through these videos, and through the collage of photos the difference that we are able to make through your gifts. There is still a need to give and extend your hands to help our Cuban familia. Click on the button below to donate, and to make a difference in the life of a family!

Donation
Thank You for Your Prayers & Gifts

Continue to pray for these needs, for protection for the people, and their leaders. In addition to the mounting stresses due to COVID – 19, our pastors have recently been experiencing serious persecution. Please also join us in prayer for their safety.

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

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

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

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

We are looking to Lord to breakthrough and bring revival!

God is on the Move!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for doing us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A guest post by Jonathan Diaso
Jonathan with his papa, Dave

This is a guest post written by my son, Jonathan Diaso. He wrote this in memory of his sister, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Last Friday, October 18th was the 3rd year anniversary of when Hannah moved to heaven.

I love how Jonathan shares his journey and how the Lord used his sister in his life. I asked Jonathan if it would be okay to share it with you on my blog, and he agreed!


I used to be a Christian – How I left the Church and Finally Found Jesus
Hannah and Jonathan

I still wonder to this day how I was churched since I was born, but never actually knew Jesus on a personal level. Some of you may have a similar experience and some of you may think the idea of “knowing Jesus” is crazy. You might also be wondering how leaving the church led me to Jesus. God has put this on my heart to share with those who have been to church and never really encountered Jesus, those who have never been to church and also those who have a negative perspective on the word Church or Christianity. While I love Jesus there are concerns I have regarding the word “Christian”. What makes a person a Christian anyhow? 

You may have been told that if you do all the right things then Jesus will love you. Whether this emphasis was intended by the church or not I often felt this way. Jesus opened my eyes by showing me that I am welcome “As is”. I do not have to earn his love as he loved me before I was even born. I do good things, because I am loved by God not so that God will love me back. I believe we have a hard time rationalizing this as how many of your friends would love you back if you did not show them affection? “The Christian does not believe that God will love us because we are good rather that he will make us good because he loves us” (C.S. Lewis). God loves you as you are and not as you should be. 

My Christian friends and I would meet up years ago and discuss which biblical laws we were or were not following, we tried to be good people. C.S. Lewis explains this very well, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good”. The Bible talks about the law of works or what I call the do good things gospel and this type of Christianity does not work. While this method seeks to fix the side effects of how we should behave, this process forgets the purpose as to why we do these things. I once heard the statement, “Some people have just enough Jesus to be miserable”. 

I am a Christian, I go to church (in-fact I love my church family), but being a Christian far exceeds attending Church. My Church reads this card every service, “If you are a… Saint, Sinner, Loser, Gambler, Lost, Fearful, ADHD, Liar, Hypocrite, Bastard, Lover, Cutter, Tweaker, Alcoholic, Adopted, Abandoned, Leftover, Divorced, LGBT, Alone, Old, Young, Driven, Cheater, Success, Infected, Rejected, Pierced and Tatted or Just a Misfit… YOU ARE WELCOME HERE” (The Sanctuary Church). I believe that all are welcome in God’s house and are loved where they are at. In other words you come in a mess and God says, “I am going to make your mess a message.” 

Why do I bring this all up today? Three years ago my sister Hannah moved to heaven. Hannah accepted everyone and brought the gospel to outcasts. At Hannah’s prayer vigil I heard many stories of how Hannah had impacted those around her. One of them shared by her friend Jake stood out to me, “No one loved those around her more than Hannah, she knew how to love the margins. When we were out doing ministry Hannah felt God speak to her and she knew she needed to go pray for a man sitting nearby. The man that stood out to Hannah was covered in tattoos (even a tear tattoo next to his eye, commonly a prison tattoo). Plainly put, this man was someone that people often try to avoid. Hannah Did not care what he looked like, what his background was, whether he did good things with his life, how he dressed etc. Hannah knew that God’s love transcended social status and she knew how to bring the message of the Gospel to people of all colors, races and social statuses. When Hannah prayed for this stranger he began to cry, he could not understand why my sister cared about him. He likely knew he did not earn or deserve her love that day. Hannah went up to him without fear of how he would react, she knew that Jesus would do the rest.” Jake did share with me that he would not let her go by herself, which was still a smart call. Jake was amazed by the passion and love that this young woman carried. 

Jonathan gave Hannah this Bible, and as you can see in the text she loved it!

Hannah was highly influential in my life as I attribute much of who I am today to her example over the years. Hannah reminded me later in life that it is not enough to be a Christian and to try to be good people so that we can make it to heaven. We were put on this earth for a reason and God wants to use you and me to love those around us and yes this means loving people before they earn it. I spent many years of my life trying to be a good Christian, hiding my issues in attempt to be accepted and loved by other Christians. I now know that, God does not need to use guilt and shame, because love and grace do a damn good job. There is a famous song that goes, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross”. While this is a powerful line used to thank Jesus for what he did, we actually have a need to know how much it cost for him to die on that cross. When you and I realize how much it cost we also realize our value. Before you and I did anything to earn his love, God sent his son to die for you and me. “Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” (Romans 5:8, TPT). While I left the church years ago, I encountered Jesus in various ways since. While I am still in process and in pursuit of a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, God is still molding me daily to be more like Christ. Christianity is no longer a religion for me. This is the story of how one woman in her short life impacted her older brother and many others around her in an incredible way. If you want to know Jesus on a more personal level send me a message. This could change your life.

Hannah, I love you!

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!

Dawn and I just celebrated our anniversary yesterday, March 5. We hit an amazing milestone of 30 years of marital bliss. I can’t say that it’s always blissful, but it’s defintely worth working through those difficult days.

It’s Been Quite a Journey
Our family as we served in Mexico City
Our family in the early days as we served in Mexico City

We’ve endured more than most couples. Our first year of marriage we lived in Fresno, California. Then our second year we lived in three different cities in three different States: Fresno, California; Detroit, Michigan; McAllen, Texas. Our first son, David Jr. was born in McAllen.

When David was 5 months old in April of 1991 we moved to Mexico City where we lived for the next 3 plus years. While in Mexico City both Jonathan and Hannah were born. When Hannah was about one month old we drove from Mexico to McLean, Virginia. That was quite an adventure. Three children in diapers traveling across Mexico and then onto the US. After about 6 months in Virginia we drove across country to Fresno.

Sometimes, when I look back on it all, I wonder what we were thinking!!! We were very driven, and we had more energy back then!

After about 6 months in Fresno, I drove with my dad and David jr. back to Mexico City, while Dawn flew to Mexico with Jonathan and Hannah. When we arrived the house we thought we had rented fell through, so we didn’t have a place to live. I don’t remember how long it took us to find a home, but we did eventually find a great place to live and serve.

On our second term in Mexico City, I was kidnapped. You can read the full story by clicking here: kidnapped 1 &, kidnapped 2. Then about a year and a half later I was held up at gunpoint and had my car stolen. They took me on a short joy ride during that robbery as well. I also wrote about that and you can read that story by clicking on this link: kidnapped 3.

From Mexico City to Colorado
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven

From Mexico City we moved to Colorado Springs. Those years were relatively calm compared to our first 10 years of marriage. Of course, we did raise three teenagers in Colorado Springs which is never easy.

Then just over six years ago we moved from Colorado to where we are now serving on the San Diego – Tijuana border and beyond. I like to add beyond, because we travel and work throughout Mexico and in other Latin American countries. It’s an amazing and growing ministry!

Our Life on the Border and Beyond!
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah, Jonathan, Dawn and Dave
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah (Jonathan’s wife & our new daughter), Jonathan, Dawn and Dave

We love living and serving on the border, yet it hasn’t been easy. As most of you know if you’ve been following us that two years ago our beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. That’s not something you necessarily get over. In fact this last week I’ve especially been missing Hannah. Sometimes I feel sad, and sometimes I feel frustrated and upset. It’s extremely hard on Dawn as well. This is an area we can always use prayer for as we mourn our daughter’s early home going.

When I began writing this post I was going to go a different direction with it, but I trust the Lord led me to write a summary of our lives and some of the trials and adventures we’ve been on. Of course, there have been many wonderful moments and seasons as well.

Giving Thanks for the Gift Dawn has been to Me
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together
Dawn and I are seeking to show and share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

I guess, my main point here is that I chose well and that the Lord has blessed me in many ways by giving me Dawn. I don’t think that too many women could have survived all that we’ve been through. Unfortunately, many marriages don’t stand the test of time. By God’s grace, in spite of all that we’ve been through our love for one another has grown over the years. We are still growing. You don’t stop. We are still striving to have a greater love and passion for the Lord and for one another.

I give thanks today for the gift that my wife is to me, and to my children. We are stronger together, and it’s so encouraging to see where the Lord is taking us and the doors he is opening for us! Thank you for following us and praying for us. We couldn’t do it without the support and prayers of faithful friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Many Opportunities to Minister as We Traveled

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road on mission with the Lord. Seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

We began our trip to South America in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I wrote in my last post we believe it was an advance for us attending the Red de Multiplicación conference. So good to see various church traditions coming together for the cause of Christ in the Latin world!

After our time in Uruguay, Dawn and I flew to Bogotá, Colombia. Dawn loves to share her faith, and she boldly does it while we travel. It’s amazing to watch how the Lord prepares the people that we meet.

Ripe for the Harvest

The love of Christ can and does change people hearts!

The love of Christ can and does change people’s  hearts!

On the flight from Montevideo to Bogotá, a young woman, Veronica sat next to Dawn on the plane. We were all tired when we first boarded the plane as it was an early morning flight. When they brought us a meal a little later, Dawn began to interact with Veronica. As the two of them talked about their family background when Dawn told her that our daughter, Hannah had moved to heaven Veronica began to cry. She is a very tender and caring person.

She told Dawn about some of the trouble she had experienced with her boyfriend and her family. One thing we learned on our trip is how common it is in both Uruguay and Colombia for couples to live together and not get married. Colombia has one of the highest rates in the world at 80%.

As Dawn and Veronica continued their conversation she told Dawn that her grandmother had been praying for her. She was running away from her troubles, but she felt like God was trying to get her attention.

Dawn shared more with her and told her about Jesus love for her, and the gift of eternal life that Christ came to give us through his death and resurrection. Veronica was ripe. The Lord had been working in her heart. Dawn prayed for her, and Veronica cried some more as she felt the Lord’s peace and presence.

After Dawn explained the message of the gospel to Veronica she led Veronica in prayer to receive the greatest gift ever given. The gift of eternal life in Christ. The Lord’s peace filled Veronica’s heart.

The Gospel Does Bring Change & Transformation!

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

I’m thankful for Dawn’s boldness to share the love of Christ wherever we are. We don’t always have a whole flight to share with the people we meet.

As we were getting ready for another flight Dawn felt led to give a woman a Bible tract, and she explained briefly what the tract contained. The lady told Dawn that she thought God was trying to get her attention because she had just sat next to a Christian woman on her previous flight. Wow! Amazing how the Lord works!

One more airplane gospel story. We had a long layover in Bogotá before we flew home, so we went to a restaurant to hang out and wait for our flight. Dawn noticed the woman sitting next to us had been on our previous flight, so she felt like she should take the opportunity to share with her.

When Dawn and I share with people we often weave in the story of our family and how our daughter moved to heaven. We talk to them about the importance of having faith in Christ. That’s what has sustained us since Hannah’s early homegoing.

Dawn told the young woman that she recognized her from our previous flight. She began to tell her some about our family and God’s plan. The woman was surprisingly open and she told us she had just prayed in the morning that the Lord would guide her. She is from Manizales, Colombia where we had just come from so we gave her the contact info for our friends that live there. Amazing in just that short time the gospel connection that we were able to make. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for More Open Doors, More Fruit

Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

It’s so important to sow the seed of the gospel. It doesn’t always land on fertile ground, but it is surprising as we pray to see how the Lord often leads us to people who are open and ready. Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to open the doors for us, and we will see more and more people come to Christ as we sow the seed.

There are many other exciting experiences we had as we ministered in Uruguay and Colombia. I hope to continue to share more about our trip in my next post.

Please join us as we pray and minister wherever the Lord takes us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work through Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

We just celebrated the three year anniversary of Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol’s church this past Sunday. It was an amazing day! I wrote about it in my last post: Much to Celebrate in Mexico!

The Lord is changing people’s lives through the ministry of Victor and Sol and their church. One of the outreaches that they have is to children, who have been abandoned or whose parents, because of poor life choices aren’t able to take care of their children.

In this video Sol shares about this ministry to the children, and the part she plays in showing the love of Christ to these families in need. At the end of the video, she highlights how the Lord got a hold of Raul and transformed his life and brought him back with his two boys. I wrote about Raul’s testimony in an earlier post: Tears of Grace.

Video – Sol’s Ministry of Love to Needy Families

The Ministry Continues in the Community of Plan Libertador!

I spoke with Sol today, and she told me that the ministry to the children and their families is starting to grow and take place in their church. This past November we were able to help Victor and Sol build a room for children’s ministry right next to their church building. Victor and Sol have the vision and hope to see lives transformed as they offer the love of Christ in practical ways to the people in the community of Plan Libertador, where the church is located. The people that live in Plan Libertador have many physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Continue to pray for Victor and Sol as they minister the good news of the gospel in a community with astounding needs. Christ is able to change lives and to meet all their needs. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Faithfulness and Healing Touch

Dawn and I give thanks for all the wonderful pastors and partners we serve with in Mexico

Dawn and I give thanks for all the wonderful pastors and partners we serve with in Mexico

As we begin 2018 I give thanks for all that the Lord did in 2017. This last year has not been an easy year for Dawn and me. It’s been painful to mourn our daughter, Hannah’s moving to heaven. Yet, I believe the Lord has also brought us a tremendous amount of healing. I give thanks for the comforting arms of the Lord. I’m grateful for so many friends who have reached out to us and loved us.

Even though it has been a year where we’ve needed much encouragement, much love, and much prayer which has been like a salve to our wound, we’ve also seen advance in the ministry.

Milestones in 2017

Redeemer San Diego Medical Missions Team

Redeemer San Diego Medical Missions Team

Some of the ministry milestones for 2017 are:

  • Renuevo Church launching in Ensenada in April
  • Redeemer San Diego sending their youth group down to Ensenada to connect with Renuevo to reach out to teenagers through sports and a fun day.
  • Redeemer San Diego partnering with Renuevo and bringing down a medical team to treat those with physical and spiritual needs. The doctor’s and the team that come down are so loving, and do such a wonderful job of sharing the love of Christ with their patients.
  • Skyview Presbyterian coming to Ensenada for the fourth year to help Renuevo lead a summer VBS.
  • Trained a number of pastors through the incubator that’s geared for church planters.
  • Coached church planters in Tijuana and Ensenada.
  • Raised the funds and helped build classrooms for one of the church plants in Rosarito that we started 2 1/2 years ago.
  • Worked with our friends in Cuba to aid in training coaches.
  • Gave leadership to MTW Mexico
Goals and Dreams for 2018

One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

One of our biggest goals for 2018 is to plant a church in Hannah’s memory. We are still working on raising all the funds for the church plant. I spoke with pastor Daniel Nuñez this past week, and we’ve decided that we will build the new church on the weekend of April 13 – 15.

We also have a goal to get our church plant in La Paz, Mexico started in early 2018.

A goal that we have for MTW Mexico is to mobilize a minimum of one new missionary family to join our work in Mexico.

There are other dreams that we are praying for as we enter 2018. I’m starting to work on writing a book. I’ve actually begun working on it, but it’s been a challenge to figure out how to find time to write with all that’s going on.

Dawn and I have a trip to Mexico City this week from January 11 – 16, and from there, we will be going to Havana, Cuba from the 16 – 22. We need major prayer as we minister here on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. I feel that we need prayer especially as we begin to travel. Last year, we feel like we got a little worn out from all the traveling by the end of the year, so we hope to do a better job managing our schedule this year.

Thank you so much for loving us and standing with us dear friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org