Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

Multiplication in Mexico and Beyond

Group of Pastors and leaders that went through the Red de Multiplicación training in Comalcalco, Mexico near Villahermosa

This past week has been a special time for Dawn and me. On October 3, we landed in Villahermosa, Mexico, which is in southeastern Mexico. It’s the first time in all our years in Mexico that Dawn and I have spent any time in this part of Mexico. We enjoyed getting to know the people and learning about the ministry and the culture.

The first few days we helped lead some training on church health with a team of trainers with Red de Multiplicación, “Multiplication Ministries.” We’ve begun to partner with Red de Multiplicación as they are working with churches throughout Mexico and in many countries in Latin America. The Lord has used them to see more than 1,000 churches planted! We are thrilled to play a part in this movement!

An Increased Vision!

Dave leading a training module on small groups

Recently through prayer and a good friend’s prompting the Lord put it on my heart to be involved in helping to see at least 1,000 churches planted. Dawn and I believe the best way to do that is to collaborate and partner with other like minded ministries.

Over the last few years we’ve gotten to know the ministry of Red de Multiplicación and how they are ministering with many different denominations. It’s been refreshing to see the church focus on their main mission of making much of Christ, by proclaiming the gospel and discipling people into the kingdom. It’s unique in some ways, because each denomination maintains their distinctiveness, and they work towards their goals. Red de Multiplicación comes alongside them to help them with a greater vision for church planting, and to provide training.

This encourages Dawn and me. We believe it’s in part an answer to our prayer.

Praying for More: The Tip of the Iceberg

Ben Meyer who is a missionary and a leader for Red de Multiplicación in Mexico. He’s leading a training module on vision.

While we were in Villahermosa this last week we were working with pastors and leaders from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico in this part of the country. They are facing some challenges in seeing the church grow, yet there does seem to be a growing desire for more. This increased appetite for more is taking place among others as well. Our prayer is that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even though the church is growing, and churches are being planted there’s a need for so much more. We do pray that the Lord will bring increase.

Dave with the leaders from Quintana Roo, Mexico

After leaving Villahermosa I was able to go to Playa del Carmen for Mission to the World’s Americas area retreat. While here I was able to meet with another group of Presbyterian pastors and leaders who are interested in seeing more churches planted in this part of Mexico. They too would like to receive church planting training through Red de Multiplicación. Thank you, Jesus, and please continue to bring the increase!

When we see the Lord working in this way we can’t help but think the Lord is redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early home-going. Now we’d also add our young friend, Mitchell to that list. The Lord is always working. He’s on the move!

I hope to write soon about some of the other amazing experiences Dawn an I had while we were in Villahermosa, Mexico.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Cry of Our Heart!
Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

One of the cries of our heart is for more of the Lord. A greater presence and power as we live and love. We have this confidence that the Lord hears our prayers. Dawn and I pray that this will not only be true of us but of those that we minister with. “O Lord, in your grace pour out your Spirit in a greater measure upon us and those we serve with.”

God’s Good Work Through Ministerios Transformación
Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Recently I wrote about our good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife Sol. Dawn and I enjoy being with them, seeing and experiencing how God is moving among them. This last Sunday we worshipped with Victor and Sol and their congregation. We celebrated Victor’s birthday along with the church. Our Mexican friends love the fiesta, and we’ve grown to love it as well.

Pastor Victor and Sol are a part of a larger network of churches called, Ministerios Transformación. I’ve written about this ministry before. We’ve helped them plant 6 churches over the last 6 years, and we’ve also helped them in other ways through training, coaching, and encouragement.

The last church we planted in Mexicali, which we built in our daughter, Hannah’s memory is part of Ministerios Transformación.

A Big Vision – 50 Churches
Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

The lead pastor for Ministerios Transformación is Daniel Nuñez. Daniel was also at the church on Sunday and he preached a message from Hebrews on the importance of working with and supporting the pastor in the church. Daniel is a man of vision, and any time he has a chance to share with others he cast his vision to plant 50 churches. When I first met Daniel 8 years ago he had planted 7 churches, and in just a few weeks they will be planting number 37! Wow! That’s exciting! Thank you, Jesus!

Dawn and I enjoy the opportunity to partner with Daniel and Victor and Sol to help them make their dream, their vision a reality. Our prayer, as well as theirs, is that these churches aren’t just lifeless buildings, but vibrant centers of grace that bring light into communities. We realize to do that we all need much grace and a powerful move of God’s Spirit among the people.

Making a Difference in the Community
Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol, who is a trained psychologist with years of experience working in some of the best schools in Rosarito and Tijuana is reaching out in the community by tutoring children. Sol loves what she does. She’s passionate about it. She was making a good salary working for the school system. Yet, she was willing to put all that aside to use her skills to love on needy children in the community. Dawn and I were able to visit Sol with her students recently, and it was fun to see her at work.

Lives are literally being changed as Victor and Sol along with the people in their church show the love of Christ in the community of Plan Libertador. Victor and Sol are an awesome representative of what the other churches in the network of Ministerios Transformación are doing. We give thanks for them, and for how the Lord is working. He truly does hear our prayer! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of a Changed Life!

Pastor Ivan with the people from the church who were baptized

On Sunday, September 16th Mexico celebrated their independence. The church also celebrated our liberty. Christ makes us free!

One of the most gratifying things in life and ministry is seeing a life transformed. This Sunday Dawn and I joined our good friends Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados and their church for a special day of celebration. While we were with them we heard the testimony of eight people who had given their lives to Christ. Then we saw their joy and excitement as they were baptized.

God in his grace and mercy had touched each of these new believers with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Margarito and Lizet’s Testimony

Margarito and Lizet

Ivan introduced Dawn and me to Margarito and Lizet. The Lord brought them to the church 6 months ago. They were walking along the road and they noticed a group building a home on a hill in the neighborhood. The group was very friendly and they asked Margarito and Lizet if they would like some tacos. They said, “sure.”

The friendliness of the group was attractive to Margarito and Lizet, so when they invited them to visit their church they agreed to come. Ivan didn’t know it at the time, but his new friends were going through tremendous struggles. They were constantly fighting, and getting on each other’s nerves. They were also very poor, and they were having a hard time staying in business selling their products. It’s seemed like everything was stacked against them.

Margarito and Lizet decided to give the church a try. When they visited the church they found a loving group of people. As Ivan and Rocio begin to minister to the couple they noticed the problems they were going through, but they knew that Christ has the power to restore. Ivan and Rocio sowed the seed of the gospel and Margarito and Lizet were ripe for the gospel.

When Dawn and I talked to Margarito and Lizet they were smiling and seemed to be genuinely happy and in love. They told us how much they used to fight, and how the Lord had graciously delivered them.

God’s Grace Brings About Change!

Pastor Ivan sharing the good news of Christ!

The other people that were being baptized also had inspiring testimonies. God is on the move in this church and beyond!

This is the reason we plant churches. It’s not to have a nice building, but because these churches are sharing the love of Christ, which is creating real life transformation. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your faithfulness!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they reach out in the community of Valle Verde and Bosque de Ribera.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of Serving Jesus!
The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

One of the principle joys that Dawn and I share in our ministry on the Border and Beyond is all the pastors and wonderful leaders we meet and get to work with. It’s humbling for us to come alongside so many servants of God who love and suffer for the work of Christ.

They may not have a big and bustling ministry, but the Lord is there and He is working through His people. These ministers and their churches are making an impact in the communities they serve in. We love ministering with these friends.

This last week Dawn and I visited a church on a hill on the outskirts of Tijuana. The church, Monte Sinai has a beautiful view of the city. It reminded me of the verse that says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV).

Pastor Deivis Pardo and Luz
David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

Our friends Pastor Deivis Pardo and his wife, Luz are serving at this church. I enjoyed watching them in action. The church has a number of young people who are very active and involved in the life of the church. Some of them attended the worship workshop that we held in June. Dawn and I loved being able to worship with them, and we felt the presence of the Spirit as we worshipped.

Pastor Deivis invited me to preach. I love encouraging people to grow and to live out their faith as I share with them. I felt like they responded well to my message, which is wonderful. It’s so good to see the Lord work in His church!

Ministering Through the Word and Prayer
Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

After the service, I invited the people to pray. First, I asked them to all join me in prayer, and then I told them if they’d like any more special prayer that Dawn and I would like to pray with them. It’s often during this time that we see God breakthrough in a person’s life.

This service was no different as we prayed and ministered to some of our new friends that came to us with their needs. I won’t share here all that they told us and asked us to pray for, but I would like to share part of what we experienced. After we spent some time praying with one of the lovely young women she told us that she felt like her heart was being tickled. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say anything quite like that before, but it sounds good!

I pray that more people will feel like their heart is being tickled after we pray for them. We pray for more! A greater outpouring on us and on those that we minister to. We pray that this church will truly be like a city set on a hill. A Church where people know that Jesus’ love emanates.

Thank you, Lord for the Joy of serving you, and the wonderful people that we serve with.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fun-filled Week of VBS
Many smiles - a fun filled week on VBS in Ensenada

Many smiles – a fun-filled week on VBS in Ensenada

One of the favorite parts of our summer for the last 5 years in a row has been when the group from Skyview comes from Colorado to help us run VBS in Ensenada, Mexico. It’s a super busy week for us, but it’s a great time. The thing I most enjoy from the week are the stories. The stories of grace as I hear from the teachers and those leading the VBS how the Lord is working in the life of the children and their families.

A Changed Life!
Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

One of our teacher’s this year, Aideliz shared with me what became my favorite story of grace from this year’s VBS. Aideliz told me that on the first day she asked the students to write down some words on a banner to describe who God is. One of the children, Adrian didn’t write anything. Aideliz asked Adrian why he hadn’t written anything down. He responded by saying, “I don’t believe in God, so there is nothing to write down.”

Aideliz prayed for Adrian and showed him and the other children in her class the love of Christ during the week. All of those involved, the group from Denver as well as those from the local church, are very loving.

The end of the week came and Aideliz asked Adrian what he thought about God. He said, “Now I believe.” Then Aideliz went on to tell Adrian how much God loved him, and how he gave his life for him. Adrian was just one of many children who were literally transformed by the gospel during the week.

The Love of Christ Taught and Lived Out
Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

It’s not just the lessons that were taught about Jesus, but also the love that Aideliz and the other teachers and volunteers showed to Adrian and the rest of the children.

Since Renuevo is a new church plant they are reaching families that are unchurched, so many of the children that come to the VBS either don’t believe or they just haven’t had much of an opportunity to hear the good news.

On the final night of the VBS, we had a meeting with the parents, and a number of parents came. Petri, who is the pastor of the church explained to the parents what they were teaching during the week, as well as thanking the parents for entrusting their children to Petri and the team. After the meeting, some of the those that came expressed interest in attending the church the following Sunday. That’s part of our goal to show the love of Jesus to the people and to create a bridge for the gospel.

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

Continue to Pray for Bridges for the Gospel in Ensenada

Thank you for praying with us for Pastor Petri, his wife Yudy and his team from Renuevo. Pray that the Lord will continue to open doors and create bridges for the gospel in Ensenada. God is on the move!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Smiles & Laughter!

Many Smiles and Fun at our Summer VBS in Ensenada

One of my favorite things about our summer VBS in Ensenada is all the big smiles and the laughter. It’s a joy to see the children enjoying themselves and having fun!

I love the fact that we have a cross cultural bi-lingual team as a group of friends from Skyview Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado has come to Ensenada again this summer. This is the 5th summer in a row that Skyview has sent a team from their church.

The group from Skyview led by Tim & Kari Berglund has formed a close and loving relationship with the church here. The Lord has used them and their relationship to help start a new church plant in Ensenada, which is called Renuevo. Dawn and I are thrilled with what the Lord is doing here!

Loving the Unchurched

Game On! is the theme for this Summer’s VBS

This VBS is different from many in that most of the children involved are coming from unchurched families. Since the church just began last year they are reaching out to their friends, and the VBS has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to love on these children and their families.

You can see the love of Jesus shining through the many smiles!

Learning about Jesus and Fun Activities at our Summer VBS

This year we have 70 children participating in the VBS. That’s a big group for this young and growing church. Renuevo means to renew or renewal. The church has a vision to see families, communities and the city renewed by the gospel.

They are reaching out to many young families, who are in need of hope and help as they raise their children.

Join Us in Prayer

Many Fun Activities that aid the Learning

We appreciate your prayers for this week. That many of these children will come to know the Savior, and that their families will also come to know Christ. Pray that the love of Christ shines brightly through all those involved in leading and serving the children and their families. We know that only Jesus and the message of the gospel can fill the emptiness and the needs that these families have.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Open Doors in Mexicali and Tijuana

On this journey of faith on the border, the Baja and Beyond Dawn and I enjoy connecting with all the pastors, church planters, and leaders that He brings our way. Our heart is to strengthen those we minister alongside so that they will be encouraged and more effective in ministry. We work and pray for more churches and healthier churches.

Over the last week, we met with a number of church planters and leaders in Tijuana and Mexicali. The day we went to Mexicali the temperature soared about 100 degrees! We managed to stay cool by going from one air-conditioned restaurant to another. It’s such a joy to spend time with these leaders and to get to know them.

Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez
 Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

One of the couples we spent time with was Pastor Mere and Edna, who are leading the church we started in Hannah’s memory. They are both busy in their jobs, and school as they are ministering. This is the first church that they are leading, so they are learning as they go.

Dawn and I love Mere and Edna, they are very special to us. In part, because they are in front of the church that we put our heart and soul into since it was built to honor Hannah and to remember her. We love to listen to them talk about how they are growing, and their desire to reach the community for Christ. We are thankful for the opportunity to speak into their lives.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the church as they reach out in the community of Carranza, which is outside of Mexicali. As I mentioned before Cristina, who lives right next to the church prayed for three years that the Lord would build a church on that property. Her mom believed that the Lord would put a church their, even before Cristina began to pray for it.

The Lord is on the Move! Hallelujah!
The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The Lord is on the move in Mexicali. This is the first church that we’ve been directly connected to in this city, the capital city of Baja California. Now that the Lord has opened up the door to Mexicali through this church, we’ve begun to connect with Edna’s parents who are also leading a young church. Their names are Rafael and Diana. And we pray that both of these churches will grow for the glory of God.

There are also two other pastors that live in Mexicali. Dawn and I met with them last week as well to talk about the possibility of working together to start a new church in Mexicali. Just think in the next year we could have three or four new churches in the capital of Baja California when just a year ago we only had one.

The Ever-expanding Kingdom! What a Joy!
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

The Lord has also introduced us to a couple of new church planters for Tijuana. We would love to see more churches in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Mexicali, La Paz, Los Cabos and throughout Mexico. O Lord, hear our prayer! On earth, as it is in heaven!

Thanks for joining us on this wild ride. Dawn and I have suffered some real pain as we’ve served here, yet God is at work. The Lord is healing this land, and he is raising up a new generation and a people for Himself! Amen!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org