Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

Our Growing Family

Some of our pastor friends in Cuba – starting from the bottom Justo, Luis & May and Oniel

I’m on my way to Havana as I write this. Once I’m in Cuba I will have very limited if any access to the internet. I don’t usually like to write my posts on the phone while I’m traveling, but I believe that I need a lot of prayer covering. I will be in Havana from today until Friday the 8th. Then I will be going to some smaller communities to visit and encourage some friends who are pastors.

These friends have become like family to Dawn and me. Since they are isolated in many ways, because of the lack of internet access and because of some of what they’ve had to live through they need encouragement. We all need someone to help us along the way, but it’s even more pronounced on this Island.

Our Role as Spiritual Parents

Pastor Mario and Yany with their daughter, Lorena

Dawn and I have grown to love these dear friends. A number of them now call us dad and mom. This is something that’s more common in Latin cultures. It’s also a growing part of or ministry especially since Hannah moved to heaven. It’s like the Lord has called us to be spiritual parents to a number of people. We enjoy encouraging and loving these friends. It is a true gift from the Lord! Jesus has given us friends to love on in Mexico who see us as spiritual parents.

Join us in Prayer!

Dawn and I would also appreciate your prayers for Dawn and her mom as they had to stay behind. We know that we are in a new season as Dawn’s mom, Alice is not able to live by herself. It’s a privilege to have her in our home and care for her. At least for the time being Dawn is not able to travel as much with me. We trust in the Lord’s guidance and leading during this season.

Lately Dawn and I have been separated some. This will change after I get back from this trip, but it is something we are seeking to manage the best we can now.

I’m not expecting that I will be able to write and post once I’m in Cuba. So it will most likely be a week or more before I post again.

I believe that the Lord is going to do something very special during my time there. I look forward to writing about God’s great and mighty work once I return. Thank you so much for standing with us and praying for us! We praise Jesus for his love and his desire to bring change and transformation to the nations!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Journey Continues!
Dave in Quito - The Middle of the World
Dave in Quito – The Middle of the World

The above statement has been our prayer, especially since our daughter Hannah moved to heaven. God is graciously answering our prayer! I’m heading out today (Thursday) for Colorado then to Cuba, so I wanted to get something out before I took off. This year has started with a bang, as I’ve already gone on ministry trips to Mexico City and Quito, Ecuador. Not much time to rest, and we’ve had the added adventure of taking care of Dawn’s mom, Alice.

It’s a new season for us, and we are just taking one day at a time as we seek to keep our eyes on Jesus. I prefer having Dawn join me on our trips. She is a catalyst in many ways, as she meets so many people in the most unusual ways. You could say, this is a time of growth for both of us. The Lord is teaching us new things as he is so faithful to do.

We do enjoy having Dawn’s mom with us. They are both extroverted so they meet many people in their endeavors. Dawn and I both like to use of our home to minister to others, family and friends.

Giving Thanks for the Lord’s Good Gifts!
The Newlyweds – Jonathan and Hannah with David, Jr., Dawn and Dave

I feel excited about these trips. I’ll be in Colorado Springs for a missions conference, but there’s the added bonus of being able to see my boys and our growing family. This season has been wonderful! Jonathan just married, Hannah and David is engaged to Emily! Many fun celebrations after our time of mourning. It’s not like the mourning completely leaves, but it is so good to receive the Lord’s healing touch through the wonderful young women that Jesus has brought into our family.

Family in Cuba
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

After I’m in Colorado I leave for Cuba and I’ll be there for 11 days. Dawn and I have grown to love our friends in Cuba. Some of the pastors we minister to there call us dad and mom. That’s a huge encouragement to us, and it gives us much joy to stay in contact with them and to strengthen the pastors there. They are amazing people who have gone through so much. They are still cut off from much of the rest of the world. Internet access is expensive, so it makes it difficult to communicate.

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

We are thankful that over this last year the internet presence in Cuba is slowly growing, and it’s becoming easier to communicate with our friends. The government restrictions make it challenging to travel to Cuba, but the Lord has used some of these difficulties to make the people hungry for the gospel. The Cubans we have met are good natured and fun loving people. It seems like they’ve had to learn to laugh in spite of their circumstances.

Join Us in Prayer!

Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers as I’m traveling and Dawn is at home with her mom. I need prayer covering especially for my time in Cuba. That the Lord will protect me both physically and spiritually while I’m there. Also, that we will see a breakthrough, that the Lord will do a mighty work in our friends and with those they minister to. Thank you so much for joining us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ministry Orientation Workshop in Mexico City

The Ministry Orientation Workshop with church planting candidates and evaluators

I’m writing this post from Quito, Ecuador which is exciting, because it fits in with the vision the Lord gave me last year for church planting. Before I write about my time in Quito I’d like to talk with you about the Ministry Orientation Workshop that I was involved in last week in Mexico City.

Dawn and I love Mexico City. We have dear friends in this huge city where we lived for many years, so it’s always fun to visit.

The Ministry Orientation Workshop is an evaluation process we use to confirm the calling, gifting and competencies of candidates for church planting. Whenever I’m involved in this assessment process I’m reminded of all the challenges involved in planting a church. We put the candidates through a number of scenarios so that we can have the best opportunity to effectively evaluate whether the Lord is truly calling them to plant a church.

I’m thankful for a Good Mentor in Dr. Thomas Graham

Pastor Rafael Rodríguez giving some instructions to the group

My mentor Dr. Thomas Graham developed the first church planting assessment centers about 40 years ago. It’s wonderful to see so many church groups and missions using the process that he started all those years ago. Tom told me that he first developed this process for the Peace Core. He said that before they started using this process it seemed like all they needed was a warm handshake to approve you.

I studied my doctorate under Dr. Graham, and I also worked for him for a few years. I’m forever grateful for all the time he gave me and how he built into my life so that I could more effectively help others to be successful in church planting. Tom is definitely one of my heroes.

Evaluating the Call and Gifting of Potential Church Planters

The group working on one of the exercises that we assigned them

We had five couples and two single people go through our church planters workshop last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them personally and to hear their stories. It’s always thrilling for me to learn about all that the Lord has done in the lives of others to get them to where they are now. It’s not easy to plant a church, so although the process we put the candidates through can be pressure packed it’s an important time. This aids us to get to know them and to help to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to determine whether we believe they have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts needed to plant a church.

Praying for More Churches in Mexicali and Beyond!

Dave the tall one in the middle with Blanca & Federico

I had one couple, Federico & Blanca Muñoz go through the church planters workshop. I’d love to see them plant a church in Mexicali, Mexico. This church plant will be in partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Our prayer is that we can start a church plant in Mexicali later this year. I’m grateful that Federico & Blanca were approved by our group of assessors.

Please continue to join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to start a church planting movement on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! That is why I am in Quito for some meetings on promoting and training leaders in Latin America so that more churches will be planted and that we will also have healthier churches. The Lord gave me a vision last year to trust him to see at least 1,000 churches planted. It’s an impossible goal that only our Lord Jesus can accomplish! Thank you Jesus for this great opportunity and that I can trust and believe in you for the impossible!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ramping up for the New Year

One year anniversary celebration for Hechos 13 church

I don’t know how it is for you, but I often have a hard time getting in gear after the holidays. Part of it is engaging emotionally and even physically. Don’t get me wrong 2018 was an excellent year, but after slowing down and spending some quality time with my family it’s not easy to get psyched up again.

What’s a guy to do!?!

Today I’m headed to Mexico City for a weeklong church planters assessment with people who I love and enjoy ministering with. Then the following week I’m headed to Quito, Ecuador to connect with an amazing ministry, Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network).  I will be meeting with their leadership as we desire to partner with them with a goal of seeing more churches started and to create an environment to grow healthier churches. I appreciate your prayers for my time with them.

So you can see that there’s not much time to rest as the year begins with much activity!

Galatians 6 – One of my Favorites

One of the verses that the Lord has used to encourage me over the years as I start off a new year is found in Galatians 6.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 ESV

I love Paul’s encouragement to not grow weary. And when I start thinking about the many good things that the Lord lets me be involved in then I start getting excited.

Wonderful Celebration: So Thankful for the Advance!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading Hechos 13

Even last night, Sunday night, I participated in the first year anniversary of a new church plant in Tijuana. The church plant is called, Hechos 13 (Acts 13). My good friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Daniel Nuñez is planting this church. Ministerios Transformación the ministry that Pastor Daniel leads has planted almost 40 churches over the last 11 years. We have a wonderful relationship and partnership for the gospel.

A number of other pastors from Ministerios Transformación were at the celebration as well, and it was so good to see them as well as the people from the local congregation. When I see the fruit of our labor then I start feeling excited!

As I drove home last night I began to give thanks for all that the Lord has done so far. Dawn and I also give thanks and we look forward to all that the Lord is going to do this next year. We are super excited about our growing relationship with Red de Multiplicación. This connection is allowing us to expand our reach, which is something that we’ve been praying for!

Join us in Prayer!

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith togetherDawn & I appreciate your prayers as we walk on this journey of faith together

So as we kick off the ministry in this new year we ask you to join us in praying for the Lord’s leading and guidance. We truly want to be Spirit-led, and not driven purely by methods and plans. Our desire is that Jesus is in the middle of everything we do, and this his kingdom will expand on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

We would also appreciate your prayers for Dawn and her mom, Alice. Alice had surgery on her neck in early December right after our son, Jonathan’s wedding. Dawn will be heading out to Pennsylvania to help her mom out while I travel to Mexico City and Quito. We do pray for the Lord’s continued and ongoing healing for Alice! Thank Jesus that he is our healer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Looking back on God’s good work

When I think back on 2018 I give thanks for all that the Lord did this last year. The highlights this year were building a new church plant in our daughter, Hannah’s memory. That was a huge event and all that went into it. I’m so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to honor Hannah’s memory in this way. Dawn and I are thankful for the pastor that is leading the church plant. Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna have become like family to us, and we’ve grown to love them.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.
The church is near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service on May 6, with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

We love their passion to reach the lost for Christ and to see the community transformed by the gospel. Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know them, and being able to coach and encourage them in their ministry.

Cheering on from Heaven
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.
Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Thankful to be able to build a church honoring her life & memory

There’s so much mystery surrounding heaven and the interaction between heaven and earth. Hebrews speaks of a cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭ESV

We believe if there is any way possible Hannah is in heaven cheering on the work of this church, and even interceding on behalf of Mere and Edna as they serve in Mexicali.

One thing we do know is that Hannah loved Mexico, and she loved the people we work with in Mexico. She was born in Mexico City, and just two weeks before she moved to heaven she told us how she’d love to live in Mexico.

Jonathan & David working hard on the church
Jonathan & David working hard helping to build the church

We miss Hannah so much, our heart aches for her, but we are thankful that our grief is not without hope. Our whole family, David jr., Jonathan, Dawn and I give thanks for all the people that gave towards this project and participated in building the church.

Dawn and I are encouraged by the progress that Pastor Mere and Edna have made as they reach out into the community. We also look forward to seeing all that the Lord has in store for them and this special church.

Celebrating Jonathan & Hannah’s Marriage
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!

The other special highlight for us in 2018 just happened the first day of December when our son, Jonathan married Hannah Blanco. Now they are Mr. & Mrs. Jonthan Diaso. Both of them love Jesus, and they desire to serve the Lord and to be involved in ministry. They have tremendous gifts, and as they come together we know that the Lord is going to do a great work through them. We are so excited for them and cheering them on as they start their lives together.

I wrote more about their wedding and marriage in my last post.

Looking forward to 2019
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily

We already know that 2019 holds something special for us as well. We know this because of God’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plans for us are for good and not for evil. We also know this, because our son David just got engaged to Emily Tenison and they are planning on getting married in May of 2019. The Lord continues to redeem and expand our family and ministry!

Thanks so much for praying for us and encouraging us through this past year. We know that we would not have been as effective or successful without a team of faithful friends standing with us. People who pray for us, encourage us and who give financially to support the ministry. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your goodness and that all of your promises are yes and amen in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. If you’d like to give a year-end gift you can give to the ministry online through this link:

Click to make a donation

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