Archive for the ‘Bright Spots on the Border’ Category

Linking for Missions Mobilization
Dawn, Hannah & Dave at MTW's Link conference

Dawn, Hannah & Dave at MTW’s Link conference

This past weekend Dawn, Hannah and I had the opportunity to participate in MTW’s Link conference in Escondido. Link is designed to mobilize new people for missions.

We were given the opportunity to share about our work in Mexico on the border and the Baja. There were also missionaries there who represented, Peru, Costa Rica, Australia, Germany and other European countries.

This was the first time that MTW tried to do a mobilization event in the West.

Thankful for the Blessings & Benefits!
Barbara Jones directing us at MTW's Link event in Escondido, CA

Barbara Jones directing us at MTW’s Link event in Escondido, CA

There weren’t quite as many people there as we hoped for, but it was still a positive event. I felt like it was beneficial in many ways.

It was a good first step at promoting missions in the western U.S.

  • I loved the opportunity to meet and interact with the people who came, and the other missionaries.
  • MTW has some quality people, which is encouraging to see.
  • I enjoy telling our story, and the promoting the outworking of the great commission.
  • It was wonderful having Dawn and Hannah at the conference with me.
Pray for Workers!
MTW the Baja Team! Ringing the bell for the border, and the Baja!

MTW the Baja Team! Ringing the bell for the border, and the Baja!

I believe that Christ’s commission is a timeless mandate, and his desire for us to pray for workers also continues till the end of the world.

…”The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”                                —Matthew 9:37, 38

We must continue to ring the bell for missions, and look to the Lord of the harvest to send workers. He can and will do it, so let’s be faithful to pray in faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Good News about TJ

Tijuana

I love finding positive news about Tijuana!

The news about this border city just keeps getting better. I think TJ gets a bad rap, because of the past. It takes time for perception to change, even if the city is on an upward swing.

An article titled, The Rebirth of Tijuana appeared in The New York Times Opinion section on Sunday.  Author Sam Quinones writes a realistic view of Tijuana.

Tijuana is not pretty. A city of 1.3 million people, it is chaotic, grimy, unplanned, loud, and it smells bad. It possesses none of the colonial architecture or history of Morelia, Oaxaca City or Zacatecas, across Mexico’s interior. On the contrary, most of its neighborhoods, stacked across alarmingly steep hills, are less than 40 years old.

But Tijuana’s beauty lies deeper, and has to do with why the town is flourishing now.

The Welcome Arch in the Tourist area in Tijuana

The Welcome Arch in the Tourist area in Tijuana, near the border crossing

Quinones believes part of the appeal of Tijuana, and part of what makes it a special place is how far it is from Mexico City. Tijuana is the furthest city in Mexico from Mexico City.

I think it was one of Mexico’s poets, Octavio Paz who said, “poor Mexico so far from God and so close to the United States.” Quinones posits another saying, “Farther from Mexico City, the closer to God.”

Since we lived in Mexico City, it’s an interesting take on the power and influence that the capital city has over the nation and it’s people.

There’s Hope for TJ

Tijuana has survived much of its troublesome past and its beginning to thrive as it makes some positive strides forward.

Quinones finishes his article saying,

Decades after rising from the coastal desert, Tijuana finally has something like a history. More important, it has emerged from its darkest days to return to its roots as that rare place within Mexico where poor people like Mari can find refuge and a future.

We pray that the gospel will further invade this border town and that they will truly draw near to God! O Lord, hear our prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Rocio & Ivan

Rocio & Ivan

New Life in Ribera del Bosque

Today I met with Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio. They are planting a church in Tijuana in Ribera del Bosque.

God is changing lives through the testimony of their church!

Ivan and Rocio shared with me how God is bringing life to their community. It was so encouraging to see the smiles on their faces as they told me all that God is doing in their church.

Joanna’s Story

Joanna and her husband Felipe were not getting along. Felipe got fed up with all the fighting, so he decided to walk out on the marriage. Joanna felt so down when Felipe left that she swallowed a whole bottle of pills in an attempt to take her life.

One of Joanna’s neighbors, Mari goes to the Lo Mejor del Trigo, Ribera del Bosque church. Mari found out what happened to Joanna and she began to love on her. She loved her with the love of Christ.

Joanna started coming to church and she heard the gospel message and she realized there was hope for life. She gave her life to Christ.

The story doesn’t end there. Felipe, Joanna’s husband came back home and now he’s started going to church. Ivan said that Felipe has not yet given his life to Christ, but he is showing great interest.

Felipe and Joanna also have a daughter who is coming to church with them.

Mari is growing and being used by the Lord as a faithful witness. Yet it wasn’t too long ago that Mari was angry and spiteful woman. Through the ministry of the church Mari came to Christ. The gospel is changing her. Ivan and Rocio told me that Mari is a leader, so they are encouraged to see God at work in their midst!

Join us in Prayer
  • Pray for Joanna and Felipe that God will bring healing to their marriage and that Felipe will soon come to Christ.
  • Pray for Ivan and Rocio as they minister in the church.
  • Pray for Dawn. She is having oral surgery today. Pray for her peace and a successful surgery.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

God is Building HIs Church in Tijuana
Dave preaching in El Niño parte alto

Dave preaching in El Niño parte alto

Yesterday was a special day for us! I preached at two different churches in Tijuana, and Dawn and I visited four churches.

My point is not that we should get some special award for the number of churches we visited, but it is encouraging to think that these churches represent the Lord’s work. It also speaks of the relationships that we’ve been able to build during our time here.

We’ve been praying and we continue to pray for a church planting movement. Through our partnership with Harbor north of the border and Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) south of the border we are seeing the church grow.

God’s Spirit is Stirring the Hearts of Men & Women
Pastor Eleodoro Rosas praying for those that came up for prayer after the sermon

Pastor Eleodoro Rosas praying for those that came up for prayer after the sermon.

Dawn and I love our friends with Lo Mejor del Trigo. It lifted up my soul to share the Word in El Niño parte alto and La Morita. We sensed the Lord’s Spirit moving in a special way during the service touching the lives of the men, women and children that were there.

I don’t always have a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence during worship, but I did yesterday. Maybe that is more, because of me than the services I’m regularly at. Yet I do think there are times when God’s Spirit comes on us in worship in a more powerful way.

Worship at La Morita

Worship at Lo Mejor del Trigo in La Morita

I pray that we will see more of an outpouring of God’s grace and HIs Spirit at work as we worship and serve him.

The prophet Zechariah said,

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD of hosts. —Zechariah 4:6b

We recognize as Zechariah says it’s not by how great we are, or the talents we have but by the Spirit of the LORD of hosts! Isn’t it wonderful to serve such a great and mighty God!?!

Give Testimony of God’s Mighty Deeds

One of the ways that we are to encourage one another is by giving testimony to how God is working. I would love to hear your stories.

How have you seen God working in your life and through your church?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Continued Work in 2014
Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church plant site

I’m still reflecting some on all that God did in 2013. The Lord’s mighty deeds encourage my heart, and I hope it will lift your spirits as well.

One of the projects that we began in 2013 that I’m very excited about going into 2014 is a new church plant in Tijuana. We are working with Daniel Nuñez (Lo Mejor del Trigo, “The Best of the Wheat“) and Harbor to start a new work in Valle Verde. The pastor of this new work is Ivan Casados.

We’ve had some set backs in getting this project up and running, but our hope is to get this new church off to a strong start in the next month or so.

Pray For God to Bring Things Together

We appreciate your prayers for pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio as they lead this new work. Pray God brings all the resources together, so we can move this church plant forward.

One of the reasons that I get stoked about church planting is that as C. Peter Wagner has said,

“Church Planting is the best methodology of evangelism under the sun.”          Church Planting for a Greater Harvest (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1990), 11.

A Changed Life
Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

I love the stories of changed lives that come from our church planters.

Ivan shared this story with me lately of someone who his wife, Rocio reached out to. Rocio went out with a group from the church to visit neighbors in the community where they are starting the new church. Rocio met Veronica, and asked her if she could pray for her. Veronica said she was nervous about her upcoming back surgery.

Rocio prayed and Veronica felt God’s peace which gave her strength and carried her through the operation. Through the witness of Rocio and the prayer and loving support of the church Veronica gave her life to Jesus. Then her husband, Saul and her son, Samuel came to Christ. Now they are becoming an integral part of the church.

Pray for many more people like Veronica and Saul to come to know the Savior, and see their lives transformed. We’d love to see the Lord do a mighty work through this church in 2014 and beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Blessings in 2013
Roberto & Mana Shim with Dawn & Dave

Roberto & Mana Shim with Dawn & Dave

There are so many things to be thankful for as I think back on 2013! I shared some of the reasons I am grateful for God’s grace in the way he worked and used us this past year in my last post.

One of the ministries that encouraged my heart was mentoring and coaching pastors. Dawn and I just love to be able to love on the pastors and their wives. I suppose a big reason for this is the way God has wired us.

Loving Pastors and Their Wives

He’s given us a passion for coming alongside and encouraging pastors. I also think it is one of the most strategic things we can do, as it provides the opportunity for us to influence the leaders. Our prayer is to see a church planting movement spread along the San Diego – Tijuana border that will eventually fill all of Baja California. For that to happen we need a team of strong godly leaders.

Abraham and Martha with Dawn and Dave

Abraham and Martha with Dawn and Dave

The Lord gave us the opportunity to work with a number of pastors and their wives, but the one’s that we’ve gotten closest to are Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT), Roberto and Mana Shim at Harbor Mid-City, Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta at LMT Pípila, Abraham and Martha Velazquez at LMT Rojo Gomez, Cesar and Kristina Zavala at LMT Vida Abundante and Leo and Gloria Nevarez at LMT Rosarito. There are others that we are starting to get to know better and we look forward to ministering with them.

God is On The Move as the Gospel Goes Forth

It fills our heart with joy to see how the Lord is using these men and women, and how the Lord is blessing them as they serve him.

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

The churches these friends are leading are doing wonderful things. They are preaching the gospel and seeing families won to Christ and growing in their faith. They are feeding the hungry, ministering to homeless and those caught in a lifestyle of addiction.

I’m so thankful for all God is doing, and for the opportunity for Dawn and me to minister in our sweet spot. It also is further confirmation that we are in the right place, and doing the right things.

Thanks for praying for the expansion God’s kingdom on the border and beyond!

Happy New Year!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda (Daniel is the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo)

As 2013 draws to a close, it causes me to reflect on all the wonderful works our Lord has done in the past year.

I believe this has been one of the most fruitful and most fulfilling years for Dawn and me in our 25 years of marriage. We couldn’t wait to move to the border, and dig into the ministry on the San Diego – Tijuana border.

It’s been even better than we imagined!

Not everything has been perfect. We’ve experienced some challenges and setbacks as well, but overall it’s been an outstanding time of ministry.

Rejoicing with our Wonderful Partners
Worship at Christmas in City Heights

Worship at Harbor Mid-Cities, Christmas in City Heights

God has given us wonderful partners to serve with here. We love working with Harbor and it’s network of churches north of the border. South of the Border we have a great and growing relationship with Lo Mejor del Trigo and their network of churches. The Lord has opened up some new doors for us as well with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

Rejoicing in the Fruit God has Given
feeding the homeless at El Bordo

feeding the homeless at El Bordo with Pastor Leo and his wife Gloria

Through our partnership with these ministries we’ve seen more than 100 come to Christ in the churches we are directly involved with. Untold hundreds of homeless have been fed and cared for. The poor and unfortunate families have been given hot meals in the name of Christ. Those that were once addicted to drugs have found a Christ-centered drug rehab, and they are healing.

One of the exciting things is that these ministries will only get stronger in 2014. The Lord will extend the reach of the church through his people.

What a privilege it is for Dawn and me to be a part of all that God is doing. That is why we are rejoicing in God’s grace.

In my upcoming posts I’d like to highlight in some more specific ways that we’ve seen God work in 2013. Today I wanted to cast the vision, and give an overview of our Lord’s mighty deeds. We truly see his heart for the border as we live and serve here.

Dave and Dawn - thankful for the Lord's renewing work on the border

Dave and Dawn – thankful for the Lord’s renewing work on the border

Rejoicing in Christ’s Call

Thank you Jesus for calling us to serve you here, and for moving in such a powerful way. We do cry  out and ask you to continue to touch the hearts of men, women and children so that we will see your kingdom extended on the earth.

Consider a Year-End Gift

If you are looking for a fantastic way to give, please consider making a year-end gift to our ministry on the border. You can give online by clicking on this link: https://donations.mtw.org/donate/AddDesignation.aspx?No=11717

In His Grace, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org