Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

Peace in La Paz
From upper left clockwise Benjamin & Blanca and Sofi; Dave, Alice, Blanca, Dawn, Sofi and Benjamin; Dawn and Dave; Peter and Jenny

Last week Dawn and I were in La Paz, Mexico which is on the Gulf of California side of the peninsula. We went there to get some time with our fellow missionaries, Peter and Jenny Boling, and our church planters, Benjamin and Blanca Romero.

It was our first ministry trip that we took where we had to get on a plane since the pandemic began.

La Paz, Baja California Sur

It’s always good to get some face to face time with those that we work closely with. Even though La Paz is on the same Peninsula as Tijuana it’s about 800 miles away.

Dawn and I get a lot of time with our church planters in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada, or at least we did until the COVID-19 restrictions began in March. Since these cities are close to where we live it makes it much easier to visit the church planters and encourage them.

Expansion Even in the Midst of the Pandemic
Some of the pastors with are working with throughout Mexico

Despite, the difficulties that the coronavirus restrictions have caused it has forced us to be creative, and in doing so we’ve been able to work with other church planters. In the last year, we’ve started funding, coaching, and training church planters in a number of other cities in Mexico: Neri and Karina in Tapachula, Chiapas; Manuel Santos in Durango, Durango; Roberto and Gabriela Mendoza in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora; Hector and Lulu Bautista in Hermosillo, Sonora; Eraclio and Amy Conde in Culiacán, Sinaloa; Jorge and Clara Izaguirre in Querétaro, Querétaro. And on top of that, there are all the church planters that we are supporting on the Big Island.

As I wrote the list of church planters we are working with I thought, “well it might not be all that exciting to read through that list, but if you consider the Apostle Paul and many of his letters he would end them greeting all the people he partnered with.” Part of the point is that we don’t do ministry alone. Too often church planters tell me, they feel alone and isolated. We are trying to change that. I’m encouraged by all the Lord is doing, and in the next few months, we are planning on partnering with even more church planters in other cities in Mexico.

That does encourage me! It represents kingdom expansion and that’s what we’ve been praying for.

Hard Times on the Big Island
Church that was torn down

Before I go I wanted to update you about some concerns on the Big Island. We just learned that the powers that be bulldozed a church. As you can see in the photos above the church was destroyed. This has all our familia there very concerned! They need our prayer. You can learn more about the tearing down of the church via this website: 14ymedio.com.

The Scarcity Continues
The Bread Shortage as reported by 14ymedio.com

Also, we’ve been getting more reports about the lack of basic needs like bread. And as I mentioned in my last post some church planters are not able to get the medicine they need. One of our pastors, Roberto has diabetes and he can’t get any insulin to help with his glucose levels.

Pray with us for these needs and give to help provide for these families. I wish that you would have the chance to talk to some of our familia, they are so grateful for the ways that we have helped them. Many of them call the help that they’ve received, “Friends Hands.” You are the friends that extend your hands to help them.

Pray and Extend Your Hands to Help our Friends, our Familia Today!

Make a donation today by clicking below.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ministry in This New Season
La Paz, Mexico at night

Dawn and I are on a flight to La Paz, Mexico to visit our missionary teammates and Mexican church planters. It’s our first ministry trip since the coronavirus restrictions began last March. As I write this I reminded what a strange and different season we’ve been living in. It’s not been an easy season to minister in. Yet, in spite of all the obstacles we see God at work.

In mayt ways our ministry has grown during this time. Just since last Saturday Dawn and I have had video calls with pastors and church planters on the Big Island, and in Mexico. The various pastors that we’ve talked to in Mexico represent more than 12 cities throughout the country. Since we’ve had to be more creative in the ways we’ve ministered it’s begun to open doors for us to influence leaders in cities that are new for us.

The Waymaker Brings the Increase
Pastor Roberto & Yolanda on the Big Island. Join us in praying for this wonderful couple and their family. We pray for the Lord’s healing touch on them.

It’s an answer to prayer, because we have been praying for increase. We’ve been praying that the Beyond part of our vision will grow, and that the Lord will make a way. He is the waymaker, as the popular Michael W. Smith song proclaims. It’s so good to see Jesus at work in the lives of men and women.

On Saturday Dawn and I spent over an hour praying with a pastor and his wife from the Big Island, *Roberto and *Yolanda (Not their real names). Roberto has diabetes and because of the ongoing crisis there is a shortage of so many things including medical items like insulin and antibiotics. We felt very concerned for Roberto when he told us that he was running out of insulin, and there wasn’t a way to get more, so we set up a time to met and pray with him and his wife. We prayed for healing and the Lord’s provision. Roberto and Yolanda were moved to tears as we prayed. When we were done Roberto said that he felt better, and as I’ve kept in touch with him this week he’s continued to improve!

Roberto and Yolanda just told us this morning that they don’t have anymore insulin! Prayer for healing and God’s provision is URGENT!

Please join us in prayer for Roberto and Yolanda and so many others who are hurting and having to go without on the Big Island. Send a gift today to help meet these needs, so that we can continue to send aid to our beautiful familia.

Outreach Through Alpha
Zoom meeting for Alpha training

Last night we had five church planters throughout Mexico who are taking an online Alpha class with us so that they can learn how to reach out in their communities even while they are faced with the limitations that we living with. Two more pastors told me today that they would also like to go through this training.

I must admit on the one hand I’m frustrated with all the Zoom meetings. At times life seems so busy, even though most of my meetings now take place on my computer in my home office. Yet, I also realize that I am connecting with pastors who live 100’s if not thousands of miles away in places in Mexico like Tapachula, Durango, Culiacán, Hermosillo and La Paz. And as I’ve already mentioned Dawn and I also have regular, even daily contact with our friends and familia on the Big Island.

The Lion is on the Move!
Outreach in Tijuana & Mexicali

God is on the move! There is a lot of swirl going on right now, with the coronavirus, the social unrest and political divide, but I believe there is breakthrough. There are things we can be excited about, but maybe we just have to look a little harder to find them!

Dawn and I continue to pray for, work for and trust the Lord for breakthrough. It is inevitable that the church will grow. His kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven! I hope that these words might encourage you. Both Dawn and I hope that the needs especially the lack on the Big Island will move you to be generous and give. Donate today! You can’t believe what a tremendous blessing your generosity is to our familia. The reports and testimonies we are receiving are heart warming.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Evil on the Big Island

On Monday earlier this week, I received three interesting messages from three different families on the Big Island. All three of them wrote to me about witchcraft, spiritual warfare that each of them was experiencing in their ministry. Although witchcraft, Santeria, and voodoo are very common on the Big Island I choose not to focus on it in my posts.

This time I felt like I should let you know what is going on because there is a huge need for us to rally around our friends, our familia on the Big Island, and to pray for them. We know that we have victory in Christ, but the battle rages on. It seems to be increasing recently.

In one of the churches, someone who lives nearby who is involved in witchcraft tied a bag made of fabric just outside the church. The bag had black chicken feathers in it mixed another substance. The witches do this to curse or hex on the church.

Another minister who ministers in a different city told me that in the place they went to ministering there were a number of idols and other trinkets there. They said that they didn’t feel peace and they sensed evil in the area. The sense of evil was heavy. They reached out to Dawn and me and asked us to stand with them and pray!

The Power of the Gospel

These are places that the gospel is infiltrating. The church is growing! Thank God that there is power in the gospel. There is power in Christ to break through these strongholds, and as Paul said our weapons are spiritual because we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The battle is against powers and principalities. Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to stand firm in the battle, and to put on the whole armor of God. The church in the city of Ephesus was in a place where they worshipped many foreign gods and idols.

Paul also tells the Corinthians that their battle is not against the flesh. I think this is true no matter where we live. It may be easier to spot in some places, but the enemy is sly so we have to be discerning, and aware of how he is working in a place.

In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul tells the church,

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)
Christ Gives us Divine Power!

It’s important for us to realize that the Lord has not left us defenseless in this war. He has given us divine power in Christ to destroy strongholds. So we don’t need to fear the devil. We must be prepared. We must put on our armor, which includes the sword ⚔️, the Word of God, and prayer. The truth of God enables us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It makes me sad when I see all that our familia on the Big Island suffers. It’s not only physical suffering, but they experience attacks from evil. It’s crucial to encourage them in the battle and stand with them in prayer. I would like to ask you today to join us in praying for the Lord’s protection over them, and that they will stand firm in the battle.

When Paul speaks of the battle in Ephesians 6 it’s with the idea that the church, that Christians are standing side by side protecting one another and fighting in the battle together. I think that this is one of the reasons there is so much division in the church. Our enemy knows that if he can divide us we aren’t as effective.

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs on the Big Island. They need your generosity, and they need your fervent prayers. I’m so thankful that Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Hallelujah!

Extend Your Hands to Help
Some of the families that we’ve helped on the Big Island

You can extend your hands to help by giving a financial gift to help provide food and basic needs for the people. You can also extend your hands to help by praying for our familia. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will stand firm in the battle. We the church must stand together!

Please donate today by clicking on the link below!

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Church is Growing on the Big Island
Roberto and Yolanda and their gifted family

This week I’d like to highlight a couple of church planters from the Big Island that I haven’t written about before. By the way, some people have asked me about the Big Island (hint: I’m not referring to Hawaii). Both of these couples are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in amazing ways. We’ve been sending them financial help since March so that they can feed their families and help others in need. This also enables them to minister and stay healthy, which is crucial.

Roberto & Yolanda Sending Out More Church Planters
Roberto praying for and commissioning the new church planters (notice the sweat stained shirt, it’s very hot on the Big Island)

Roberto* and Yolanda* lead a church planting movement (*not their real names). Just this year alone they’ve planted 9 churches. That’s with the COVID-19 crisis and all. Roberto asked me in early August if we could help him send a church planter to a key city to start a new church there. I brought this need before Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs and they decided to partner with us on this project. Thank you, Jesus!

The new church planters were commissioned this last Sunday and they are heading out this week. How blessed are the feet of those who bring the good news of the gospel to others!

Something else that I admire about Roberto and Yolando is they are amazing singers, especially Yolando. Their entire family has formed a musical group and they sing and lead worship in various churches. The Lord uses them in a powerful way to encourage others in the faith.

Adolfo & Maria are Seeing Amazing Growth
Dave with Adolfo and Maria

The other family that I’d like to highlight is Adolfo* and Maria* (*not their real names). Adolfo and his wife have led the charge to plant 15 churches in 2020. It’s amazing and thrilling to see the church grow and even thrive in this season that we are all experiencing. They are a quiet and unassuming couple, but the Lord is using them in powerful ways!

I know that there is a lot of bad news out there today, and it’s gone on so long this year that it is hard not to get caught up in the swirl. It’s a challenge to not let it affect you in a negative way. I can assure you that even in these difficult times the church is still growing. God is still at work. In fact, God is always at work!

Giving Thanks for Your Generosity
Roberto with some of the people that he is ministering to that we’ve been able to bless with food and basic needs

The Lord has enabled us to provide food and basic needs for a number of families on the Big Island, because of the generosity of many friends. Dawn and I give thanks for your willingness to give!

Just between Roberto and Adolfo and the churches they are working with we’ve been able to provide food for 209 people, 67 families. Of those that we’ve helped in these churches 18 of them have been church planters. That’s only counting these two workers and the churches they are associated with. We’ve helped more than 700 people overall since March. God is so good!

Extend Your Hands to Help!
15 year old David is raising chicken so he can feed families with the eggs

The good news is that the Lord has provided for us to send aid to our familia on the Big Island. The bad news is that the scarcity continues. The people are still suffering from all the lack of food and basic needs. Prayerfully consider a gift today, so that we can continue to help the hurting, to help the families living under this tremendous burden.

Extend your hands to help our friends and familia on the Big Island! Click on the button below to make a donation today!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Jumping for Joy as the Lord Provides
One of the pastors with the children from his church on the Big Island

I just sent a gift, an offering of love to our familia on the Big Island. The messages I received after I sent these gifts were so uplifting. I wish you could see all the wonderful and encouraging messages I receive. I’d like to give you a glimpse through this post.

One of the pastors told me that the funds came just at the right time, and that the people in the church were jumping for joy. The Lord is providing for them. Hallelujah! As you extend your hands in love we are able together to help so many wonderful friends, who are living in desperate times.

I asked the pastors that we’ve been supporting to send me an update, and I learned that now we’ve helped more than 750 people since March of this year. Thank the Lord! The majority of these people have received aid on a monthly basis, because their needs are ongoing. The situation hasn’t improved. The coronavirus has further crippled their already broken economy.

The Horse and Buggy
The new horse and carriage that you gave towards and prayed for was used for the children at a VBS outreach this summer.

You might remember that in May I wrote about Rolando’s horse and buggy being stolen. I asked for prayer and for help to cover the cost of replacing the loss. The horse and carriage are essential for Rolando’s livelihood. He also uses the transportation to help the church as they minister to families and children in the community.

The good news is through your generosity the Lord provided. Rolando purchased another horse and carriage. The church was able to use it recently for their VBS. The pastor of the church where Rolando ministers sent me pictures (like the one above), and they all celebrated God’s grace and his goodness to provide.

Video Highlight of God’s Good Work

I made a short 3 minute video highlighting what Jesus is doing on the Big Island. I’d like to share it with you here.

We give thanks for the Lord’s wonderful work on the Big Island!

Extend Your Hands to Give
One of the families that we’ve help on the Big Island

Please join us in prayer as we just learned that hurricane Laura is effecting the eastern part of the Big Island, so we appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s supernatural protection for the country and the families who live in those areas. There’s already so many difficulties that the people are trying to overcome, because of the COVID-19 crisis. We can be assured that the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

Dawn and I are grateful for how the Lord has used your prayers and your generosity to help the families on the Big Island. Their needs are very real, and heartbreaking, but the Lord has used you to bring relief. The scarcity of food and basic needs is an ongoing reality. Please give to help feed a family today. Your gifts bring more joy and smiles than you can imagine!

Click here to give …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Planting in Baja California
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Petri & Yudy Petrikowski (top), Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their family (bottom right), Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo with their family (bottom left)

Last week I wrote about the pastors and leaders that we work within Mexico and on the Big Island. Dawn and I are excited about the Lord’s amazing and marvelous work. We give thanks that we are a part of our friends, who have become like families’ ministries. It gives us great joy to hear their testimonies, and we are often blown away by what God is doing through them. We give thanks to the Lord for how He is so faithfully working in their lives and through their churches.

I made a video with the help of my colleague, fellow missionary, Jim DeWitt. In this video, I highlighted three church planting works (photo above): Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana; Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada; Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali.

My son, Jonathan encouraged me to put out more videos, so I hope that you like this one. It’s about 5 minutes long. Let me know if you’d like to see more short videos. I’m trying to decide whether I should make more of them.

Beyond Borders – Video
Join us in Prayer for:
  • Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana
  • Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada
  • Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali
  • Pastors on the Big Island
  • Revival
  • Encouragement
Join us in Supporting These Ministries

Prayerfully consider making a donation today. Give to support these church planting ministries and those on the Big Island. The Coronavirus has hurt the economy in the cities that these pastors are working in, and it’s especially difficult on the Big Island.

Click here to donate

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Some of our dear friends on the Big Island. We are helping them plant their fourth church in this city. The church is multiplying!

Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.

I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.

They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of The pastors, Manuel Santos from Durango sent me a photo to show me how he is streaming his services in Mexico. Most of the pastors I know are just using their cell phone to stream their services, but Pastor Manuel has a more complex setup.

One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.

On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.

Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dave & Dawn with Petri and Yudy with Ensenada in the background. The plant is helping us to practice safe social distancing 😃

Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.

We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.

Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.

Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
Dave & Dawn with one of the pastoral couples that we work with in Tijuana, Davis & Luz

On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.

I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.

I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.

Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Some of the pastors and families that we are helping on the Big Island. Our familia – such wonderful people!

Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.

Click here to make a donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

How do we Handle All the Negativity?
Michelangelo’s La Pieta – Reminds us of Christ’s suffering for our sins to give us a future and a hope

On Saturday I was listening to some sermons and talks as I was mowing the lawn. It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing while I take care of our yard. Often, the Lord meets me and encourages me during this time. I did feel more hopeful after listening to these messages a couple days ago.

Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now. One of our trials is that both of my (Dave) parents moved to heaven within 67 days of one another.

I use YouTube to listen to a number of these sermons and talks. Later in the day, on Saturday, I decided to watch some news on YouTube as well. Someone had suggested a particular feed, which was supposed to be more positive. Unfortunately, the news I was finding was very disheartening. After I watched it I felt anxious.

I forgot about the news and watched the movie, Greyhound. It’s an entertaining, although intense movie. It got my mind off of the news at least for a little while. Then as the movie was ending I began to feel heavy, and I wasn’t sure why at first. Then I remembered the news reports I had watched about what was going on in some of our major cities. Of course, it doesn’t help that on top of all the bad news that I’ve recently lost both of my parents within a 67 day period.

I prayed for the Lord’s peace and came against fear and heaviness in Jesus name. This gave me peace.

After that experience, I began to think about how much negative news there is today. The COVID-19 crisis has dragged on much longer than any us hoped it would. There’s been so much social unrest and political divisiveness. And if you are on social media at all even Christians are posting messages that aren’t edifying. It can bring you down if you spend too much time there.

Our Biblical Hope
Dave & Dawn having a delicious meal and a little fun with church planters Davis & Luz. We encourage one another

All of this is swirling around right now. It’s the ambiance that we are living in, and it does make it harder to maintain our biblical hope. When we think of biblical hope, it’s not a wish, but rather an assurance. It is an assurance of God’s goodness. He is true to His promises and to work everything out for good.

Paul encourages us in various passages to be disciplined in our thinking. To think with a renewed mind, Romans 12:2. To take every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. To think about what is good, peaceable, excellent, and pure, Philippians 4:8,9.

This is an important discipline for each of us. We must recognize that our warfare is not against flesh and blood. It is against rulers and authorities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:11. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t play fair.

Since it’s a spiritual war, our weapons are not carnal. Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God, so that we might stand firm, Ephesians 6:13. Our enemy is sly, he is evil, and he also has a measure of ungodly wisdom.

As we stand our ground we remember who we are in Christ. I love to pray and to proclaim the wonderful promises found in God’s Word. I seek to do this every day, and it lifts me up. I pray this way for our church planters and for my family. The Lord responds and He answers. He is a good and loving Father.

We are Victorious in Christ!
A nesting dove in the backyard of my parents’ home. Reminds us of God’s perfect peace

We are triumphant and victorious in Christ. Hallelujah!

I’ve found it important to incorporate worship into my prayer life. Worship is an effective weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Martin Luther and many leaders since have claimed that worship is one of the most effective ways to defeat the enemy.

The Waymaker

Waymaker and The Blessing are two of the songs the Lord has used to minister to me during this time of walking through the valley. He is indeed the waymaker!

The Blessing
Lines for Food and Basic Needs Still Exist
One of the long lines waiting to buy food on the Big Island

Often, when I’m going through a difficult time, or I’m having a bad day I think about my friends in Mexico, or on the Big Island. My friends, our family on the Big Island tell us how the scarcity continues. They struggle to buy the food and basic necessities that they need. They have to stand in long lines all day just to survive. When I think of them and what they are living through it helps me to put things in perspective and to pray for them.

That is also one of the reasons I keep bringing up their needs. They need our help. We’ve been able to help more than 300 people, numerous families and pastors. Dawn and I continue to pray and hope that things will improve and that they will begin to have an easier time getting the food that they need. So far that hasn’t happened.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need
One of the young families that we’ve helped, because of your generosity

Your generosity is a huge help. The needs are real and they continue, so consider a gift today! Thank you.

Click to Give

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

The Long Goodbye to Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom – Dancing on the Streets of Gold!

Dawn and I are headed to Fresno today for my dad and mom’s combined memorial service. It’s been more than three months since my mom moved to heaven, and a month since my dad joined her. This Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM we are finally able to have a public memorial celebration of life service at Riverpark Church.

I think it will be a relief to my family and me to get through this part of the grieving process. All the restrictions that have been put in place have made it that much harder to go through the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is with us and He does comfort us.

The Grace to Carry On
We laid the remains of both of my parents to rest on June 8th. The public memorial celebration of life service is Saturday, June 27th.

In the midst of losing both of my parents within 64 days of each other, I cannot lie, it has been challenging to carry on. Yet, I’ve also noticed that it encourages me when I’m able to speak into the lives of our pastor friends, who have become like family to us.

Last week Dawn and I met with five different pastoral couples. Three of them are from our favorite Big Island, and two of them are from Tijuana and Ensenada. They tell us that it encourages them to see us still smiling and carrying on. I mean, I’m not smiling all the time, and some days I just feel like it’s a major accomplishment to have made it through the day. If you know what I’m saying?

Yet, when I am with our familia, it does give me joy! It fills both Dawn and me up!

We Give Thanks in the Midst of Our Sorrow
Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They are one of the pastoral couples that Dawn and I have met with to encourage them.

The Lord lifts me up as I hear their testimonies and as we can pray with them and for them. The Spirit ministers through us and touches each of us in a special way. Often there are tears as we meet together. They help us carry the burdens we are facing during these days. I have to praise my Papa God for loving us so deeply during these days of trial and darkness. Maybe it doesn’t seem like darkness and praise should be mentioned in the same sentence, but I can’t deny that we are in a time of mourning. We grieve, but not as those without hope. We do have HOPE!

I give thanks that my parents are no longer suffering, but the separation is real. The separation is painful. Often I think, “I’d like to call my dad and mom and say hello,” but that is no longer an option. Just as it is no longer an option to call Hannah. More PAIN!

I’ve become all too acquainted with death and grief and I don’t like either one of them. I believe the enemy of our soul wants to squash me so that I can no longer function. My Daddy is greater. He holds me up. He sustains me. I am more than a conqueror in Christ, but I must admit it is a battle.

Papa is Still at Work
One of the beautiful families on the Big Island that we’ve helped

I’d like to end my post with one of the testimonies from one of our pastor familia’s on the Big Island. Pastor Lucas* and Maria* went to visit one of the families in their church. They took their friend Yuni* an envelope with some funds that we sent them so that they could buy food. Maria cried with Lucas and Maria because she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her family. She told pastor Lucas, “tell David, you don’t realize the great blessing it is to receive this gift today. It is an answer to my prayers and my tears.”

Papa God is still at work, even in the midst of our journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He is still at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still at work through all of the riots and social unrest. We can trust him in the dark and in the light. Thank you, Jesus, for your great and mighty deeds!

You can still help our familia on the Big Island. The needs continue there. Families are still struggling to buy food and basic items like soap. To make a donation click the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org