Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

Kingdom Expansion

The Red de Multiplicación conference in Mexico City

I was in Mexico City in May for a big conference with a number of different denominations and churches involved in church planting. There were church planters and leaders from throughout Latin America as well as a few from Europe and Africa. It’s exciting when groups come together from different traditions within Christianity for the cause of seeing the Kingdom of God extended.

The conference is sponsored every Spring by Red de MultiplicaciónMultiplication Network“. The conference location goes from South America to Northern Latin America. Last year it was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, and this year Mexico City.

Lord, Increase Our Borders

Our church plant in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Dawn and I had been praying for the Lord to increase our borders, and for an opportunity to network with others to see more churches planted. We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Red de Multiplicación. We believe that our relationship with them not only extends our reach, but it also helps us here.

Dawn and I are excited to see all the Lord is doing and to serve here on the U.S. Mexico border on the Baja and Beyond. We are starting to see movement, there are more churches being planted. We helped launch a new church plant last year in Mexicali with Ministerios Transformación. That’s a very special church for us, because we built it in Hannah’s memory. Two years ago we launched a new church in Ensenada. Now we are praying for and working towards getting three churches off the ground. One of them is in La Paz, Southern Baja California. One is in Mexicali and the other one is in Tijuana.

The Church in Mexicali

The church in Mexicali will be planted by Federico and Blanca Muñoz. We are excited for them. They’ve faced some huge challenges in getting to this point, but the Lord is so faithful and he has carried them through. When they first moved to Mexicali about 4 years ago, they didn’t have any furniture and they were sleeping on the floor for almost two years. I don’t know how they made it through that time.

Federico graduated from seminary in early May, and they just found a place to rent in the community in Mexicali where they would like to plant their church. Again we are praying for the Lord’s provision for them. They still have almost no furniture, and it’s very hot this time of year in Mexicali. We need the Lord to come through for them, and we know he will, we just don’t know how yet.

More Growth in Tijuana
David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

The other church planting project that we are just starting is in Tijuana with Davis & Luz Pardo. They are in a similar situation where they are looking for a place to live, and their income is limited right now. We are actually working with them on the possibility of helping to be involved in a business which would help them to earn an income and to support them.

These are faith building experiences. I’m working on raising funds for them, and at the same time praying and seeking the Lord so we can find creative ways to support them and provide for their needs. I think ministry is challenging any where. The battles one faces may be slightly different, but they are still there. In this case in Mexico it’s funding the church plant and getting it to a point where it’s a fully self sustaining church.

Join Us in Prayer

Dawn and I appreciate your interest and your desire to pray with us and even support this wonderful work of the Lord. Pray with us for the Lord’s provision for Federico & Blanca and Davis & Luz. Pray that the Lord will lead them to the right people and community where the light of Christ will shine forth with power.

These projects are impossible for us to do in our own strength. We will not succeed without the Lord being at the very center of what we are doing. We also desperately need friends to be standing with us in prayer. Friends that are willing to to in battle with us for the kingdom!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is on the Move

Our family at David & Emily’s wedding – Jonathan, Hannah, Grandma Alice Moore, Dawn, David Jr., Emily, David Sr., Grandpa Ron Diaso

Wow! So much is happening that it’s hard to keep up. With our son, David’s wedding with his bride, Emily, and our travels to Pennsylvania it’s been difficult to write and post all that the Lord is doing.

Today in trying to decide what to write about I went back and forth between writing about the wonderful advance in church planting throughout Latin America or about what is going on in Cuba and beyond. The Lord is doing an amazing work in Cuba and through our Cuban friends right now. The people of Cuba are going through a heartbreaking trial right now. Our Cuban brothers and sisters need our prayers, so I will focus on them today.

Our Concern for our Friends in Cuba

Article from The San Diego Union-Tribune from Sunday May 12, 2019 on the Cuban economic crisis

Cuba is going through a shortage of food. This has grown even more pronounced since the start of the year. Our friends have been writing to us and telling us that they are having a hard time getting basics like cooking oil, bread, eggs, pork, and chicken. There is also a shortage of soap. When these items are available they have to wait in long lines for them, and sometimes even travel to other cities to purchase them.

All of our Cuban friends who are pastors and live throughout the country have asked us to pray. So I wanted to make you aware of what is going on and to ask you to join us in prayer for this country and her people. The church goes through even greater persecution depending on the part of the country that the pastor lives and works in.

Kingdom Expansion in the midst of Trials
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Even amidst all the challenges, there are rays of light that shine as the gospel goes forth. Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared with us how they just baptized 23 people, and they are grateful that the church continues to grow.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been helping Luis and May reach out to a minister in Colombia, whose name is Andres. Luis and May have never been to Colombia, but somehow they connected through the ministry in their church.

Freedom in Christ in Colombia
Prayer in Camaguey. These people are warriors!

Prayer in Camaguey. Where Pastor Luis & May minister. Their people are warriors!

Andres’ dad, Jose Diego is in the hospital in Colombia. He has blocked arteries and he’s been in critical condition. Jose Diego has practiced white magic and voodoo. Andres shared the gospel with his dad and used some prayers that we shared with Luis and May and his dad prayed to receive Christ. Andres said that his dad looked better and healthier after they prayed together. Then Andres lead his father through some prayers to break off his involvement with the occult. After the time of prayer, Jose Diego told Andres to go to his house and remove and destroy all the idols and altars that he had in his house.

Jose Diego is supposed to be moved to another hospital this Thursday for the operation on his blocked arteries. They are praying and trusting the Lord for complete and total healing. Andres also shared with us that they are praying that through this that salvation will come to their whole family, all the aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. Pray with us that the Lord will use Andres and the testimony of his father, Jose Diego to bring many to Christ.

Encouraged by Kingdom Connections

Pastor Mario & his wife, Yany. Two of our other very dear friends that live and minister in Cuba.

Also, pray for Luis and May who are amazing evangelists that the Lord will guide them as they encourage and minister to Andres and his family. Pray for the other pastors that we are working with like Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany (photo above).

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord works!?! Here Dawn and I are on the San Diego-Tijuana border ministering to and encouraging Luis and May, who live in Cuba and they are ministering to Andres and his family in Colombia. Dawn and I have never met Andres, but somehow the Lord has connected us and extended our reach as the kingdom of God grows. We continue to pray that, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 ESV).

Thank you, Jesus, for your great and might work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Renuevo Church

Dawn and I love to hear the testimonies of how God entered in and changed a life. This last Sunday the Lord gave me the privilege of baptizing 14 people in Ensenada at our Renuevo church plant. It’s so encouraging to see the fruit of Pastor Petri and Yudy’s ministry.

As a missionary I haven’t participated in very many baptisms, so it was a extra special time for me. My focus is more on coaching, training and facilitating ministry with our partners. This day was such a blessing, and it was wonderful to see these friends take the step of faith. I felt a sense of pride as I was able to minister and encourage the church. I could sense the Lord’s Spirit moving and working in the lives of His people.

God Works In & Through Families

A Day of Joyful Baptisms

It was special to see each person get baptized and confess their faith in Christ. Each family has a different story. One of the young couples, Eduardo and Norma lost their baby around the same time that Dawn and I lost our daughter, Hannah. Norma is pregnant, and she is due in July. It’s such a huge encouragement seeing the Lord bring healing to them. Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Arturo, Irlanda and Barbara over the last year. It’s been so good to see the Spirit working in their lives and their family as He gently draws them to himself. These are just two of the families that the Lord touched through the ministry of this church.

Another exciting thing about what the Lord is doing in Ensenada is he has used a church from Colorado and a church from San Diego to help start this church. These two churches especially have been key on coming alongside Petri and Yudy and their team. They’ve helped Dawn and me to build a stronger relationship with the church leadership. We give thanks for our partners.

Join Us in Prayer

Pastor Petri leading the church

Continue to pray with us for Petri and Yudy and their growing church. We are praying that this church will grow to be a strong and healthy church, to the point where they can multiply. We long to see a movement in Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali and the surrounding areas.

God is so good! Praise Him with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating the Church we Started in Memory of Hannah

Mana del Cielo – The church we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah

We celebrated the first year anniversary of “Mana del Cielo” Church on Sunday, May 5th. This is the church in Mexicali that we built last year in memory of our daughter, Hannah. We sensed early on that the Lord had his hand on this church in a special way.

Soon after Hannah moved to heaven I told our good friend Pastor Daniel Nuñez that I’d like to build a church in memory of our daughter. Daniel was one of the first people to come to our house when Hannah passed away. He is one of our closest friends and ministry partners here on the border. Dawn and I were interested in starting a church to honor Hannah’s memory in Mexico because she was born in there and she loved the people of Mexico so we believed that this would be a good way to have a living memorial.

A Life-Giving Community of Hope

Pastor Mere leading the church

I remember when Pastor Daniel first told me that they were thinking of starting the next church in Mexicali, and if I’d like that church to be the one that we helped to start. At first, I thought Mexicali is a long ways from where we live, but then we felt like we should do get involved in this community just outside of Mexicali.

One of the first times I went to visit Mexicali our son, Jonathan was in town and I was able to take him with me. We had a wonderful father and son time as we drove to Mexicali. Jonathan loved being out there, and he started to play with the children that lived nearby. Later that day he told me he’d rather visit the church than the cemetery where Hannah was buried. The church represents life and light in the community.

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna this past year. They are leading the church in Mexicali. Mere and Edna are a young couple, who have a lot of gifts. They are doing a great job of sharing the love of Christ in the community and leading the church.

The Lord’s Hand is on This Church

Cristina & Conchita with the picture of Hannah that I gave to the church

Once we got involved we felt like there was something special about this church. We met Cristina who lived right next to the church. She had been praying with her family for 3 years that the Lord would bring a church there. Cristina also told me that even before she started praying the Lord gave her mom, Conchita a sense that He was going to bring a church to the community.

On Sunday I talked to Cristina and Conchita some more. Conchita said that the Lord actually gave her a vision regarding the church. She saw a church in some clouds being lowered onto the land where the church now sits. The Lord’s ways are mysterious at times.

Then Conchita told me that she wanted to see a picture of Hannah because she had a vision of a young woman. She saw her face three times. I did bring a picture of Hannah so that they could hang it in the church. When I showed the picture of Hannah to Conchita she said that was the face she saw in the vision.

God works in Mysterious Ways

Our day of celebration at the church in Mexicali

I can’t say I understand all these things and the way the Lord is working in the church. I do believe though that the Lord has his hand in a special way on this church, and he is going to use it in a powerful way in the community. There is such a need for the gospel to break through the darkness that we find all around us. I believe we are prone to underestimate the power of the gospel. The power it has to bring change and transformation to an individual, a family, a community, an entire city and beyond!

That is our prayer as Mere and Edna minister in Venustiano Carranza the community where the church is located. The gospel is going forth to bring life change. We give thanks for the good work that He has begun, and we look forward to hearing all the God stories that will come as this church reaches out and shows the love of Jesus.

Jesus said that he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). The growth and expansion of the church are inevitable. All of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ! Glory be to God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Light of Christ Shines Brightly

Our new friends from Long Beach, Jason, David and Randy with Pastor Victor & Sol and some of the students they are showing the love of Christ to

One of our goals as we plant churches in communities is to bring the light of Christ to those that live there. As the light of Christ shines through the testimony of the church we pray for life change, transformation.

This last week I was able to visit some of my favorite people on the planet, Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol. I took some pastors and leaders from Christ Church in Long Beach into Mexico to introduce them to our ministry in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Victor & Sol’s Community Outreach in Rosarito

Victor & Sol with some of the elementary school boys that they are ministering to

Victor and Sol have become like family for us, so it’s always fun to see them. I love seeing them in action and hearing how the Lord is working through them. About three years ago I visited Victor and Sol and my daughter, Hannah was with us. Victor and Sol told us how they wanted to reach the community and to be able to offer tutoring and classes to the children in the community.

They asked me if I could help them raise some funds to build a classroom and to buy some chairs and desks for the children. The Lord graciously gave me a matching fund, and I found a church willing to give the other half. About a year and a half ago we were able to help them to build the classrooms.

One of the challenges is that a significant number of children in the community come from very poor families. They are malnourished and their parents aren’t able to help them with their school work. A number of children in the community don’t even attend school. Those that do attend are failing in their school work. They lack energy because they are not eating well in their homes.

Sol has an undergrad in Psychology and a Masters in Education. She worked for a number of years in the public school system in Mexico, but when they planted the church the Lord put it on her heart to leave her job so that she could minister to the children and families in the community.

Making a Difference in the life of the Children

Once they had the classroom Sol went to work. She works with 20 children daily Monday through Friday. She works with some of them before school and others after school. Sol has a beautiful smile, and she is a patient and loving teacher. The love of Christ shines through her as she works with the children.

While I was there with our friends from Long Beach this last week Victor and Sol shared with us that since Sol has begun working with the children their grades have gone up. Now they are getting A’s and B’s. They’ve also raised some funds and given out of their personal budget to feed the children.

Whereas, before the children had spots on their faces from malnutrition, now they look healthy and strong. When they come to the church one of the first things they ask Sol is, “what’s to eat today?”

Sol and Victor are making a difference in the life of these children and their families. They have the vision to train more teachers to help Sol so that they can minister to even more families. They told me that they also need to raise more funding to sponsor the children so that they can continue to provide them with meals.

New Life in Christ

Since Victor and Sol have begun this outreach some of the families have started attending the church. They told me of one particular family that joined the church, came to Christ and got baptized. Now they are beginning to take responsibility and become part of the leadership team.

Join Us in Prayer for Victor & Sol

Pray with us that the Lord raises up more pastors and leaders like Victor and Sol who are able to make a difference in their community. Pray for the Lord’s provision so that they can grow this ministry and continue to bring spiritual and material nutrition to the children. Pray that the Lord raises up the people to work with Sol to help tutor the children.

Thank you, Jesus, for your good work! You are a good God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Renuevo – Bringing Renewal to the City
Renuevo church in Ensenada

This last week I was in the beautiful coastal port city of Ensenada, Mexico. I enjoyed spending some time getting to know the city better, and the opportunity to show some friends around. While there I met with Pastor Petri and some of the members from his team.

Petri is the pastor of Renuevo church, a new church plant in Ensenada. He is the supervisor of a school district by day and a pastor in the evenings and on the weekends. Renuevo just celebrated 2 years since they held their first service.

New births are exciting, although they can be messy at times. Things don’t always go as planned, but what encourages me about this new work is the people who are coming to Christ and growing in their faith. When the church celebrated their two year anniversary they took advantage to have a barbecue and to invite friends and family.

Celebrating Two Years
Petri enjoying a meal and a time to get to know the visitors after the church service

I enjoyed visiting with Petri as he excitedly showed me pictures of the visitors that came and how they were related to the people that invited them. Pray with us that these friends and families will come to know Jesus and that they will grow in their faith.

In May we will be baptizing at least 10 people from the church that want to make public their decision to follow Jesus. This is a big milestone for the church, and it’s also an opportunity for those that are making their profession of faith to invite their friends and family members so that they might give testimony. Hallelujah!

Testimonies are powerful as people share in a personal way how Jesus has changed their lives. It strengthens the faith of the believers, and it speaks to the heart of those who have not yet made the decision to follow Christ. Rejoice with us in God’s good work!

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray with us that Renuevo church will continue to give witness and see new people become Jesus followers. Pray for wisdom for Petri and his wife, Yudy as they lead the church.

Dave with Blanca & Federico

Dawn and I would also like to ask you to pray for a new church planting project we are working on in Mexicali. We have the church planter, Federico and his wife Blanca. I wrote about them recently. I’m working with the National Presbyterian Church to raise the necessary funds for this project. Fundraising is part of the task that goes into planting a church. We give thanks that the Lord promises to provide. He is our Jehovah Jireh! He is our provider!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Kingdom Growth along the Border and Beyond!
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit two or our church planters in two different cities. One in Ensenada, which is 1 1/2 hours from us. The other one is in Mexicali, which is about 2 1/2 hours from our home. So I had a lot of time in the car, but I also had a great time encouraging and connecting with our church planters and their team. God is on the move in these cities!

Renuevo in Ensenada – Pastor Petri & Yudy

On Sunday I was with Petri, his wife, Yudy and their church plant called Renuevo. They meet in Ensenada, which is a beautiful port city south of border. It is known as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential. Yet, below the beauty, many people are huring and have deep spiritual needs.

Petri and his team are reaching out to professionals on the North side of the city. One of the things that excites me about their project is that there are literally no churches in the area of the city that they are planting in.

There’s a huge need, especially in the part of the city where the church plant is located. Petri is a bi-vocational church planter. He is the supervisor of the school district in Tecate, which is an hour north of Ensenada. Petri’s wife Yudy, is a teacher in this same school disctrict. It is not easy working a full time job in another city, and planting a church. Yet, the advantage is that Petri and Yudy have lived and worked in Ensenada for a number of years so they have deep roots in city. They still live in Ensenada even though they work in Tecate.

One of the things I enjoy about visiting the church is that Petri is an excellent teacher, and he does a great job of explaining and sharing the gospel each Sunday. There’s still much work to be done in Ensenada, but they are off to a good start. Pray that the Lord continues to open doors for them to share the gospel and that more and more people will come to Christ and become a part of the church.

A New Ministry in Mexicali

The other church planters that I visited are just beginning their work in Mexicali. Federico is a seminary student who will be graduating this May. He and his wife, Blanca went through our church planting discovery center in Mexico City in January. They were evaluated and approved as church planters.

Now comes the hard work. I’m partnering with them and the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico to raise the funds to start a new church planting project in Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and it is an important city for the State and for the country of Mexico.

You might remember that we started a new church that we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah in the outskirts of Mexicali. Now we would like to start another church towards the city’s center.

Join us in Prayer!

Since we are just beginning this project there are many things that still have to come togethter for this church plant to get moving forwar. We do have some traction. The wheels are starting to turn. We know that one of the most important needs that we have now is to bathe this project in prayer. Actually we need major prayer for both works. Please join us in lifting these needs before our Heavenly Father. Lift up Petri and Yudy and their team as well as Federico and Blanca.

Thanks so much dear friends for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org