Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

An Exciting Time!
The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

This is an exciting time of year for us. A little over a week ago we finished building the church in Hannah’s memory in Mexicali, Mexico. That was a huge accomplishment for us, and we are so grateful the Lord provided the way and the people to pull that off! 34 people from the US joined us and another 30 from Mexico participated. Dawn, David, Jonathan and I are still in awe over all the love we were shown as we built this church. Thank you Jesus!

Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

We are getting ready for the inauguration of the church with Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna on May 6th. Our family is so grateful for Pastor Mere and Edna. They are wonderful young ministers of the gospel. God is already working and moving in the community in Mexicali where we are planting this church.

Time to Celebrate
Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

This past Sunday we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of a church that we helped start with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have done an excellent job planting the church and reaching out in the community. They are creative and very active and the Lord is using them to make a difference. It was so good to celebrate with them. Victor and Sol along with the church honored the part that we played in helping to start the church by recognizing us during the service. It was an encouragement to receive their demonstration of love and appreciation.

The Mariachis leading worship

The Mariachis leading worship

I had the opportunity to preach at the church in Rosarito on Sunday. It was a special day. We rejoice in what the Lord is doing through this church. The church was filled with many joyous people. The worship leaders for the service was a Christian mariachi band. Mariachi music is traditional Mexican music that tends to be sung with a lot of energy and emotion. Viva Mexico! Gloria a Dios!

God’s Healing Work!
Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

The time was also special because we met a 15 year old friend, Michele who had leukemia. We had been praying for Michele along with her family and the church. The last time we visited the church we prayed with her parents Salvador and Miroslava and the Lord broke through and began to heal Michele. I’d like to write more about what God did and is doing in the life of this family in the near future.

We pray for more. More Lord! Keep it coming. More people coming to Christ. More people growing in their faith. More hunger and growth. O Lord, hear our prayer and do your mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

An Amazing Day!
The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

I find it next to impossible to fully express our experience in building the memorial church for our daughter, Hannah. It was wonderful, but it also brought a wide range of emotions.

I felt sad and happy, I felt sorrow and joy, I felt grief and hopeful. On top of all those emotions, I also felt a sense of pride that we could build the church in a community just outside of Mexicali, Mexico. I felt very loved by all those who participated. The Lord gave us about 60 in all counting those that came from both sides of the border.

So Much Love!

Many participated in building the church on a hot day just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

Many participated in building the church on a hot day just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

At the end of the first day, I told one of our Mexican friends, Sol Carrola how much it meant to me that she came all the way from Tijuana to help us build the church. We helped Sol and her husband, Victor to build a now thriving church in Rosarito three years ago. I’m going to be preaching at their three-year anniversary celebration service this Sunday.

I told Sol that I felt very loved that she was helping out, and as I expressed my gratitude I started to cry. She told me that they did love us, and wanted my family and me to feel loved. I started crying even more. God is so good to us!

Thankful for All Who Joined Us!
Jonathan & David working hard on the church

Jonathan & David working hard on the church

Both David and Jonathan, our two boys were able to fly out to be with us and help us build the church. Also David’s girlfriend, Emily and Jonathan’s girlfriend, Hannah joined in the fun. Chivis, our close friend from Mexico City, who was one of Hannah’s closest friends flew out to join us. Jim DeWitt a close friend, and also a colleague with Mission to the World made the trip from Michigan to show his love and support. Marissa, who Hannah knew from Colorado came from St. Louis.

My 82-year-old dad got on a plane and came down from Fresno. When my dad told me he was coming I about started crying. When I told Dawn and the boys that grandpa was coming they cried as well. It’s a miracle that my dad could be with us. Last year on March 1 or thereabouts I received a phone call from my mom telling that the doctor said that my dad only had 6 months to a year to live. God has healed my dad! One of the last doctor’s reports he received, the doctor said that the cancer was regressing. The doctor went on to say that it must be divine intervention because it wasn’t because of anything he had done! God is so good!

Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family

Elissa and Dawn along with Stephany, Kim, Jonathan, Hannah, and Emily with some of the local children

There were also other close friends that joined us locally. Two of Hannah’s friends from her IMPACT 195 discipleship came, Elissa and Stephany. Some of my best friends from Mexico also joined us.

The Impact and Legacy of Hannah’s Life
Praying for Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna as we gave them the keys to the church!

Praying for Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna as we gave them the keys to the church!

As we shared at the end of the time and reflected some on Hannah’s life, one of the things that was mentioned over and over was how loving and welcoming Hannah was. Our prayer is that this new church will bring life to the community and that all who come will feel welcome!

Both of my boys have expressed that they would much rather visit this church and remember Hannah than to go out to the cemetery to remember her.

We believe that this is going to be a life-giving church. Our family and those that joined us enjoyed getting to know Pastor Mere and his wife Edna. God is going to use them in a powerful way as they plant this church. Join us in praying for them. The inauguration service for the church will be on Sunday, May 6th.

On behalf of my family, I want to thank all who prayed for us as we prepared for this big project. I want to thank all who gave, and there were many. We give thanks for you, and we give thanks to the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

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

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Today is a special day in the life of our family. Under normal circumstances, this would be a day of celebration. You see, on this day, April 9 my daughter, Hannah would have turned 24. The key phrase there is “would have,” but Hannah moved to heaven on October 18, 2016.

Now it is a day with mixed emotions!

Sorrow & Hope!
Hannah #AHannahPercent

Hannah We love you #AHannahPercent

Dawn and I along with our boys, David and Jonathan continue to give thanks for Hannah. We are grateful she was born. We give thanks for all she has meant to us, and the gift she is and was to us. Yet, there is also sadness and sorrow, because she is no longer here. As much as we wish we could, we can not change the fact that she has gone on ahead of us to be with the Lord.

For believers mourning is strange, in that, on the one hand, we have hope. All is not lost. We will see Hannah again! Hallelujah! Hannah is experiencing the greatest celebration possible today! Yet, because we love her so dearly we miss her. Each of my family members wishes we could take her out for a meal today, buy her a birthday cake and watch her joyfully blow out the candles. We would love to buy a gift for her and watch her open it.

Rather we are forced to wait. It’s not easy to wait. We do grieve, we do mourn, but not as those without hope.

The strange thing is on these days that should be days of celebration they become days of reflection. Days to remember what once was, and even what we dreamt for together.

Don’t get me wrong there are many good memories when I think about my daughter’s short life. These good memories are mingled in with some painful moments as well. It’s a mixed bag.

Tough Questions
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I find that from time to time I want to ask, “Why?” “Why, Lord?” Why did this happen?” “Where were you in the midst of it all?”

I realize although these questions are inevitable, they are not good questions to focus on. The Lord was definitely with us in the midst of it all, even though it didn’t always seem like it. He has assured me of that, and he has said that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe those words are true.

The why questions are harder.

I’m not sure if the Lord will ever fully answer that question this side of heaven. We live in a broken world marred by sin. All of creation groans until the day of redemption. We are not the only ones who are crying out to the Lord as we grieve. We groan and we wait for the redemption as Romans 8:22-23 states.

Good Memories, Longing for More

On these days I find it harder to reflect on the good memories of Hannah. I’m not sure why? As I write this, I’m processing and in a sense thinking out loud. There are many good memories, but I think I just miss her so much, so even the good memories cause an ache of sorts.

My son, David wrote a wonderful reflection about his sister today. He shares many positive memories he has of Hannah. Although I cried as I read it, I found it encouraging. It’s worth checking out, My Little Sister.

I often think of King David after his young son died. David said he will not return to me, but one day I will go to him. That’s my hope to see my savior face to face and to see my daughter again one day.

The Lord is My Rock!
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love. We had a special relationship. I do miss her so much.

Thank you, Lord, that you are near the broken hearted. You are with my family and me in our pain. You are carrying us through the valley of the shadow of death. You have a purpose, and it is a good purpose even if I don’t understand it.

When I reflect and think about our life and our grief it always comes back to our rock. He’s the rock of our salvation!

For some reason, this reminds me that a dear friend today, who I love encouraged me to be strong. In some instances, it could be hurtful to say something like that, but as I read those words I felt loved. I started to cry as I read those words, because I know the friend that wrote them loves Dawn and me, and that they look up to us. They want to encourage us.

Also, I realize that being strong doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, or that I don’t get sad or mourn. It means that even though “my world” may be falling apart around me that I keep my eyes on Jesus. He’s my rock. He lifts me up. He says that when I am weak then I am strong! I rejoice in my refuge in whom I run to in times of need.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for loving my family in the midst of all the pain, and what at times even seems like hell on earth. Yet, this is temporary. It will soon pass!

“For this momentary affliction is peparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparision, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ESV)

Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and I thank you for going on this journey with us. It’s not an easy one, so thank you for staying with us through all the ups and downs. God is good! So Good!!

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church

We are excited to build the church in Hannah’s memory this week. Please pray for us as we make the final preparations and work with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to see this new church bring the light of Christ into a community filled with many needs.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Journey Continues!
Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Today I’m off to Mexico City. Dawn isn’t joining me on this trip. We enjoy traveling and ministering together, but I’m going to visiting some of the sites where the earthquakes from last Fall caused the most damage, so we decided it would be better for Dawn to stay behind. Her mom is with her, so I’m sure they will enjoy the time together.

 

A Wonderful Accomplishment!
The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

Last week we accomplished a first for us. We finished up our incubator church planting training!

The incubator takes close to two years to cover the 16 modules that we train on. There were 10 people that took the course and 8 of them finished and graduated. I could tell that the guys were excited to graduate from the course. We gave each of them the opportunity to share their highlights. It was gratifying for us to listen to their testimonies.

One of the things we focused on throughout the training was the importance of being Christ-centered and gospel-centered. That the gospel and grace must permeate everything we do both inside the church and as we reach out to a world that is in deep need of a Savior.

Beautiful to See the Church Come Together
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

The participants that took the incubator training were from two main groups, Ministerios Transformación and the Presbyterian Church. Even though they come from different church traditions it was so good to see them come together to learn. They forged a friendship among themselves.

One of the pastors that helped us to teach the course is Pastor Jorge Aleman from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m thankful for the effort Jorge made to fly out and lead. He has some great experience in the church and he is a gifted communicator. Jorge encouraged the guys to invite one another to preach at one another’s church and to continue to further develop their friendship.

Church planting is the best way to do evangelism and to reach a city for Christ. If we want to have successful church plants we need healthy, fully trained and equipped pastors. That is one of the major goals of the incubator, to prepare the church planter for the ministry that the Lord has called him to.

Join Us In Prayer!
Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Dawn and I appreciate your prayers as we continue to coach, mentor and train these friends and partners in the ministry. Pray that they will be effective in their respective churches. They are all at various stages in their church plant. There is one common goal among them they desire to have healthy and growing churches. That is our prayer as well!

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey! Remember to pray for me as I head off to Mexico City to minister in and around the city for the next 10 days. I will also be in Oaxaca for 3 of those days. Much of the earthquake damage occurred in Oaxaca.

Lord, do pour out your Spirit and do I mighty work as I seek to minister and represent Christ and his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Giving Thanks for God’s Good Gifts!
Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

This last Friday I experienced one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Even though this last year has been hard as my family and I have been mourning Hannah’s moving to heaven, the Lord has blessed us with some exceptional experiences, especially lately.

What made Friday so special?

Two main reasons. First, I spent the whole day with one of my son’s, Jonathan. It’s always a special time when I can be with David and Jonathan. We enjoyed driving out to Mexicali and having wonderful interaction along the way. It encourages me so much to see how Jonathan has grown in his love for Christ since his sister moved to heaven. He could have become bitter and angry at God. Instead he’s pushed into Christ and grown tremendously. This is one of the legacies I feel that Hannah has left. The impact she left on both of her brothers. Thank you, Lord for redeeming the pain of Hannah’s early homegoing!

The Foundation is being Laid
The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The second reason is we went to Mexicali to see the foundation being poured for the new church that we are building to honor Hannah. It filled me up to overflowing to see this dream becoming a reality. Thank you, Jesus!

I also enjoyed spending some time with the church planter and his wife. Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna. Mere and his father-in-law, Rafael were working hard laying the foundation for the church.

Some of the neighbors who are interested in seeing the church built were also there. The church actually is right next to Alfonso and Cristina’s house. They used to live in Tijuana and they attended one of the Ministerios Transformación churches in TJ. That’s what brought about the connection. Alfonso and Cristina moved back to Mexicali and they started praying that the Lord would raise up a church in their community.

Years of Prayer for This New Church
Cristina with her three children - she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina with her three children – she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina told me that she prayed for three years that the Lord would bring a church to the community that they live in, which is just outside of Mexicali. The church is close to an hour from the Mexicali – El Centro border crossing.

I loved learning about how the Lord is already working in this community preparing the people to receive the Word of Life. Cristina said that her mom even felt a number of years ago that the Lord was going to build a church on the land right next to the house. Even though they’ve only lived in the house the last few years, they’ve owned the property for a number of years.

The last church we helped Ministerios Transformación start in Rosarito was built and inaugurated the day before Hannah moved to heaven. That church has struggled some to get going. There have been a number of obstacles, and we’ve felt much opposition there. We know as we move into new communities we are bringing the light into dark places. There is a battle that rages on. We are still praying and hopeful that the church in Rosarito will experience breakthrough and make a difference in the community.

Light in the Darkness

This church in Mexicali represents new hope as Christ shines in a place where there is much need. Pray with us as we work with Pastor Mere, his wife Edna and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación to build this church on the weekend of April 14 and 15.

There is still time to help us build this church. We’ve been given a matching fund as we continue to raise funds for this project. You can give online here.

click to give online

click to give online

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer. Our battle is not against flesh and blood! We give thanks for your love and support you’ve shown us in a number ways as we move forward and continue serving the Lord!

In His 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