Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

I hardly have time to reflect on and write about our last trip before we are on to the next trip. Dawn and I just returned from cold Colorado. I must admit that we’ve gotten soft now that we are living on the border with year-round mild temperatures.

We were in Colorado Springs for Village 7’s missions conference. A number of good things happened while in the Springs. We give thanks for God’s many good gifts:

  • Wonderful opportunities to pray with and for others
  • We got to see many of our very close and special friends
  • We had a wonderful time with our son, Jonathan
  • The Lord gave us many opportunities to tell our story, and about all that He is doing on the Border, The Baja and Beyond
  • Many MTW colleagues and friends from other missions organizations were at the conference
  • Despite the cold, the mountains in Colorado are breathtaking
We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

When we are in Colorado we are always reminded of Hannah. There were a number of friends who we saw for the first time since Hannah moved to heaven. Dawn and I love to talk about our daughter, and yet it does bring up some emotions for us. I’m grateful for the Lord’s good and loving healing in our lives. When I think of how fragile we seemed last year at this time. God has been so good, and he is giving us strength as we continue to walk on this journey.

We came home just for a few days to catch our breath, but now we are off to Guadalajara for the weekend. We will be participating in the 20 year anniversary of one of the churches that our colleague and friend, Kenton Wood started. The Lord has used Kenton in some amazing ways over the years to see many won to Christ and discipled into the kingdom. His church, Rey de Reyes, “King of Kings” has started eight other churches as well.

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

We give thanks for the Lord’s good work, and we pray for more. More Lord, give us more!

Dawn and I appreciate your continued and ongoing prayer for us. Every day I feel like the Lord shows me the importance of prayer. It’s like air, we can’t live without it. Breathe in deeply God’s love and his grace. Let us all grow together as we approach the throne of God, a throne filled mercy and grace!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Honoring Hannah’s Memory – Church Expansion
Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Ever since the day our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven I’ve prayed that her death wouldn’t be in vain. I know from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 which mentions to not grieve as those without hope, that her early home going isn’t in vain. Yet, I would like to see in tangible ways how the Lord has used her life to have a lasting impact on the earth. I suppose these are complicated emotions to explain, but I do have the drive to honor our daughter’s memory.

One of the ways we are doing that is building a new church in Mexicali, Mexico in Hannah’s memory. We are doing this with some of my best friends on the planet, Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and Ministerios Transformación. We are inviting friends and family to come help us build the church. Both David Jr. and Jonathan are flying out for the church build as well as other very special people we love.

Memorial Church in Mexicali, Mexico
The site where we are building the church

The site where we are building the church

On Friday I was able to go visit the site where the church will be built. Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez along with Edson Martinez took me to Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California, and it’s about three hours from Tijuana. We’ve partnered with Ministerios Transformación to plant five churches in Tijuana and Rosarito. This will be the first church we’ve helped plant in Mexicali, so that is exciting for us.

This will be the 34th church that Ministerios Transformación has planted! These churches are making a huge difference in the communities they serve in.

Planting Churches with our Special Friends
Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Today (Sunday) Dawn and I went to visit Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol and their church in Rosarito. It’s always a huge blessing for us to be with them. We helped them plant their church 3 years ago. Their church is growing and the people there are in love with Jesus. They have a wonderful outreach to an orphanage, Nueva Generación, “New Generation”.

Victor and Sol’s church is just one example of the difference the gospel is making through the churches we’ve helped to plant in communities around Tijuana and Rosarito. We give thanks for God’s good work!

These friends I’ve mentioned Daniel and Yolanda, Victor and Sol love Hannah, and Hannah loved them. I know if she was still living she would be so proud and excited to know that we are planting a new church with these much-loved friends. Hannah is now a part of the cloud of witnesses. I don’t know if she can see back into this world or not, but if she can I’m sure she’s praying for us and rooting us on along with Christ and all the Saints.

The pastor of this new church is Mere Godinez and his wife is Edna. We’d appreciate your prayers for Mere and Edna as they start this church.

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

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

When I visited the church site this last week I had mixed emotions. I felt both excited and sentimental. When I think about Hannah and her memory it brings up many emotions. I miss her so much! My family and I are grateful for this opportunity to not only honor Hannah’s memory but to make a difference in a community in Mexicali.

Help Us Finish This Memorial Church Plant

We’ve been able to raise more than half of the amount we need to plant the church, but we still need to raise some more to build this church. When I was in Mexicali I realized that it’s so hot there in the summer that they need air conditioning to be able to meet in the church during the summer months. An additional expense we hadn’t considered.

You can give to the church plant in Hannah’s memory by clicking on the link below. We’d love to have you join us!

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

Thank you, dear friends, for standing with us on this wonderful and sometimes painful journey.

In His Grip, Dave for Dawn, David Jr., and Jonathan

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thank Jesus for His Amazing Work!
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

In my last post I wrote about the amazing people the Lord connected us with in Cuba. How God went before us and truly prepared the way, and we were indeed surprised by our experience in Cuba.

Each time we’ve gone to Cuba God has knit our hearts to the people. This trip we especially enjoyed getting to know Pastor Luis and Maiyesmi (May) Jimenez. From the moment Dawn and I met them we fell in love with them. They shared their testimony with us on the first day, and we were all in tears as they shared. We weren’t the only one’s they had this effect on as the friends that went on the trip with also were deeply touched by them.

Luis & May’s Amazing Testimony!
Pastor Luis and May

Pastor Luis and May

I’ve met very few people with the commitment level and sacrifice that Luis and May have made in the ministry.

We were amazed as they shared about how they felt called to minister to a community 18 kilometers from where they lived. There was no church in the community they wanted to reach out to. It was not an easy place to get to. There wasn’t any public transportation to this small village, so they walked the more than 10 miles in the hot sun to get there. It took them four hours to walk that far. They didn’t have any sun block, so May got sun spots on her legs from being out in the sun so long.

They went into the community and started knocking on doors. Every time someone answered the door they said they were not interested in learning more about Jesus. They knocked on every door in the whole town, and they continued to get the same response. Finally they got to the last house. The woman who answered the door said she was not interested, because she had two daughters who were confined to a wheel chair. She was mad at God.

Yet the two daughters heard the conversation and they told Luis and May that they were interested in studying the Bible and learning about Christ. That’s how they began to reach that community.

Their Tremendous Sacrifice and Courage
Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a treat. What a special time for all of us!

Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a meal. What a special time for all of us!

As we talked more to Luis and May we learned that they live on about $20 a month. If they or their children need a pair of shoes, or some clothing then they have to eat less that month. They live on a lot of beans and rice. While May was pregnant with their first child for about two months they had almost no income for food, so friends brought her fruit and whatever they could afford to share with them. Their son, David was born small, because of the lack of nourishment.

Then Luis and May told us about all the warfare they face where they are working. They had to learn how to pray against the attacks. Part of their routine now includes regular fasting and prayer. They take prayer seriously, and they are experiencing results as the Lord works through them.

Dawn and I stayed a couple of days after the Discovery Center was done and Luis and May didn’t leave until late the day after the Center ended. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to minister to one another. They told us more of their story, more of what they’ve learned and all that the Lord was doing through them. Dawn and I were able to bless and encourage them as well. I feel like it was one of the most special times I’ve ever had in ministry.

I truly wish I could bottle those experiences so I had them more often. 

It is not easy to communicate with our friends in Cuba, because they don’t have easy or inexpensive internet service. Yet, we have been able to email one another, and encourage one another in that way.

Please join us in praying for Luis and May and all of our other friends in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Wow, Lord!
Dave and Dawn in Cuba. Quite an adventure.

Dave and Dawn in Cuba. Quite an adventure.

All I can say about our trip to Mexico City and Cuba is Wow! Wow! Wow! Well, at least that’s how I feel.

I had some concerns as we prepared to go on this trip because in both places we were up against some significant challenges, but God came through in a big way. Thanks so much for praying. Dawn and I asked a number of friends and groups on Facebook to lift us up in prayer. It might have been the most prayer covering that we’ve ever had on a trip, and I think it was one of our most fruitful trips ever.

There’s so much to share. I’d like to focus first on our time in Cuba.

The Challenges of Cuba
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and JD Pearring leading us through one of the exercises for the church planting evaluation.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez and JD Pearring leading us through one of the exercises for the church planting evaluation.

It was my fourth trip to Cuba and Dawn and my second trip together. Cuba is a hard place to visit. There’s so much oppression, and many people struggle to just to survive. There are very few people in Cuba who eat meat every day. They have to live off of rice and yucca. Most Cubans live off of $25 a month.

One of the reasons this trip was even better than past trips to Cuba is that we were able to build off of the relationships that we made their last year. The last time Dawn and I were there together it was only a month and a half after Hannah moved to heaven, so we were in a much more vulnerable place.

Thankful for Our Cuban Friends
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

The Cubans are a warm and friendly people. Those that we met last year embraced us this year. We felt very loved. One of the younger church planting couples that the Lord gave us a special connection with when we first met them was there as well. Their names are Mario and Yanny. Yanny is close to Hannah’s age, so I remember when Dawn first met her she started crying because it reminded her of our daughter. Yanny and Mario reached out to us in love. It was so good to see them again and to be able to deepen our relationship.

So it was so good to see them again and to see all that the Lord was doing in and through them. Mario was able to buy a horse which they used to provide more income for themselves so they could build their church. I was excited to learn how his church was becoming a self-sustaining church as they looked for creative ways to fund their ministry.

Dawn with Pastor Oniel and his wife, Heidy and daughter, Rosa

Dawn with Pastor Oniel and his wife, Heidy, and daughter, Rosa

The couple that leads the group is very special also, Oniel and Heidy. Last year the Lord used Dawn’s prayers to bring healing to their daughter, Rosa.  What the Lord did in healing their daughter has helped Oniel and Heidy to grow in their faith, and it has encouraged a number of people. Oniel is on the short side, but he’s a very dynamic preacher and leader.

Pastor Justo Pila Reinoso sharing with the group

Pastor Justo Pila Reinoso sharing with the group

We also love Justo and Sara, who are amazing evangelists. They have a deep love for Jesus. Sara gets up at 3 AM every morning to prayer, and both of them share their faith with almost anything that moves. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a couple that has led more people to Christ than Justo and Sara. They have already planted a number of churches. I’m just in awe of their love for Jesus and their passion for the gospel.

Our Wonderful Team
Our team that came from the US and Mexico. Such a great group!

Our team that came from the US and Mexico. Such a great group!

Dawn and I went to Cuba with a team of five Mexican national partners and two Americans who we also partner with in ministry. It was such a blessing to serve together. One of the many things that struck while we were together was hearing our Yoli, who is from Mexico share with the group that when Americans come to Tijuana to visit most think that they are poor or that they have very little and live under difficult position. Then when we were in Cuba together our Mexican friends realized how little the Cubans have and how much they suffer. It was an eye-opening experience for all of us.

The Lord blessed us with six church planting couples that we were evaluating. They were also awesome, and I’d like to share about them in my next post.

Thanks so much for praying. We felt it, and we saw the Lord answer in major ways as we saw breakthroughs. Yay God! Yay Jesus! We pray for more!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thankful for Kingdom Activity
Incubator Church planting training

Incubator Church planting training

We started the new year off running with our church planting incubator training. The activity hasn’t stopped since as I was in Monterrey, Mexico last week to pray and plan about how we can partner and collaborate with other like-minded ministries to reach Mexico with the gospel.

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico City

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico

The last few days Dawn and I have been in Mexico City, which brings to our roots in ministry. We had only been married a little over a year when we first moved here. What we’ve found when we are in this huge city is the Lord always has some surprises for us and some amazing opportunities for us to minister here. One of my goals is that #MTWMEXICO (MTW) will have a greater presence in Mexico City. I’m praying for more workers and more opportunities to partner.

In all of the training and meetings I’ve had it’s with one purpose to see the kingdom of God extended in Mexico and beyond.

Thankful for our Partners & For All That God is Doing!

Enjoying a meal with the Cisneros family. Dave met them the first time in 1985 on his initial trip to Mexico. Thankful for Special memories!

Today I met with the national leadership of the Presbyterian Church in Mexico. We discussed the progress of some of the projects we are working on together as well as dreams for the future. I felt encouraged as they shared how a donation we gave them from MTW helped three churches in three different regions in Mexico that were damaged by the earthquakes in December. It bothered me when I first learned of all the damaged caused by the earthquakes. Now that Dawn and I are here many of our friends have shared how much it scared them when the earth shook so violently in and around Mexico City.

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

When Dawn and I go on these trips the Lord does so much in our midst that I find it hard to capture it all. I feel like I need a way to share those stories as well. Part of the challenge is the long days don’t leave me much time to write it down.

Next Stop Cuba

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Dawn and I are off to Havana, Cuba, which also promises to be an amazing time. Please pray that the Lord opens many doors for us to minister and love on the people while we are in Cuba.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining us on this journey of faith.

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

Dawn with Hannah

Dawn with Hannah

Dawn shared this a couple of days ago on Facebook, and I thought she did a wonderful job of expressing her own pain, and how she can identify with Mary the mother of Jesus. Since we are in the Christmas season, and also seeking to raise awareness of the funds we are raising for the church we are planning on building in Mexico in Hannah’s memory. I just talked to pastor Daniel Nuñez with Ministerios Transformación earlier today, and we are hoping to build the church on the weekend of April 14th.

Dawn’s Reflections on Mary and Her Journey

Since Hannah has moved to heaven so young I feel that I can relate to Mary more than I ever could before. I believe that only a mother that has also had their child move to heaven before them- knows the grief involved in this long and painful journey. (Although I believe that the journey of grief after losing a spouse would be even more painful and more difficult than that of losing a child. At the moment I am wondering if losing a parent- especially as a child might be most difficult still.)

There are more parents than I had realized who have lost a child. Every parent that has been through this painful experience that Dave and I have met, join us in saying that none of us wanted to be members of this club. Not one of us would have chosen to be part of this club for parents who have had a child move to heaven before them. Somehow, this makes me feel a deep love and respect for both Mary and Joseph since they both had to join this club as well. I believe that they both experienced much more grief than most of us have ever considered or experienced.

Facebook reminded me of this quote below that I posted a few years ago. Wow, I never anticipated that as my life progressed that I would grow to identify with and appreciate Mary’s sacrifices that she made for us all so much more.

I believe that Mary experienced more emotional pain and grief though- than I will probably ever be able to identify with. What a sacrificial and Godly life she lead- and so very much behind the scenes. Walking beside my husband through this journey of grief has been and continues to be sobering. Previously, it never crossed my mind to be appreciative of the sacrifices that Joseph made for us. This experience has taught me some painful lessons and linked to Mary and Joseph in a deeper and more profound way.

Mary and Jesus – The Father’s Greater purpose!

Facebook reminded me of this quote below that I posted a few years ago.

E3434D46-7BA6-4542-9015-887B2122743E“Mary must surely have spoken to her baby, Jesus, and said, “I wanted Your pathway smooth. I wanted Your steps on earth to be easy. I wanted you to have a painless and perfect life. But I sense the presence of Your heavenly Father here with us, and He has a far greater purpose for You than I can ever imagine.”

-The Miracle of Christmas

La Pieta

Michelangelo’s La Pieta

Dawn’s reflection reminds me of our experience at the Vatican this September when we saw Michelangelo’s La Pieta. An amazing sculpture that tells the story of Mary’s pain over the loss of her son. We give thanks that the story doesn’t end there, that Jesus did rise on the third day, which gives all of those in Christ hope.

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

We are at year-end, this is a great time to give towards the Hannah Diaso Memorial Church Plant. Our goal is to raise $30,000, and we were recently given a matching gift, which helps us get closer to reaching the goal. Dawn and I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider a gift today. You can give a donation by clicking on this link.

Thank you for praying for us and for taking the time to consider our request.

In His Grip, Dave & Dawn

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org