Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ Category

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.

Click to Donate

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.

click to give online
Click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Rolando – His Horse & Carriage
Rolando in the striped shirt taking families home from church

This last week was quite a week. We received an urgent message on Friday from our friends Pastor Mario and Yany that someone had stolen the only. horse and buggy of one of the leaders in their church, Rolando. I’ve benefited from rides on Rolando’s carriage when I’ve been in Cuba. The last time I was there, Rolando took us to meet our taxi in the city, so I could go to the airport in Havana. When I offered to give him some money to pay for his help, he didn’t want to take it. He told me that he liked to help out those from the church. I said to him, “I would like to bless you and your family,” so he finally accepted my offer.

Rolando is a wonderful and faithful servant of God. He always helps the church with rides. It’s hard for the elderly and families to walk to church.

Also, he depends on the horse and carriage for his livelihood, so it’s a huge loss for him. I asked some pastor friends of mine if they would be willing to pitch in to help Rolando replace his horse and carriage. All of them said, “yes.” Mario and Yany told me that it costs $800 to buy another horse and buggy. Would you pitch in as well and give a gift by clicking here or the button below?

Families Give Thanks for the Friends Who have Helped Them
Families giving thanks for the help that they’ve received

Dawn and I are thankful for the generosity of those of you that have given so far. Together we’ve helped over 230 people and more than 65 families. We put together some videos of the families that have received help. It’s gratifying to know that they have food to eat, and that they don’t have to go to bed hungry. You can also read more about the families that we helped in our post: Friends Helping Hands: Our Familia Cubana.

Extend Your Hands to Help
Photo of $30 basic grocery basket taken from the news website: 14ymedio.com

It’s amazing to see how even a small gift can make a huge difference! The average monthly salary in Cuba is $25 – $50. Just to give you a small example of how hard it is for them to live, their basic grocery basket (photo above) of mayonnaise, chicken, soap, detergent, and some tomato sauce cost them more than $30. This is supposed to be a special deal for those health workers who have to care for the sick during the COVID-19 crisis. This represents more than half of what a health care worker earns in a month.

You can extend your hands to help these precious families!

Shoes or Food, which would you Choose?

One of the young boys, Angel* from one of the families that we helped said that even though he doesn’t have shoes, and he has to go barefoot – he is still thankful that he has food to eat, and that he doesn’t have to go hungry. Here’s a short 30-second video of Angel (holding the sign in the photo below) with his family.

Friends Helping Hands: Yolanda and her son Angel give thanks

You can get a glimpse through these videos, and through the collage of photos the difference that we are able to make through your gifts. There is still a need to give and extend your hands to help our Cuban familia. Click on the button below to donate, and to make a difference in the life of a family!

Donation
Thank You for Your Prayers & Gifts

Continue to pray for these needs, for protection for the people, and their leaders. In addition to the mounting stresses due to COVID – 19, our pastors have recently been experiencing serious persecution. Please also join us in prayer for their safety.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Testimonies of God at Work
Pastor Davis & Luz

I like to look for positive stories. Stories and testimonies that display the goodness of God, and how He is at work. This is especially important while we are going through this world wide crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Two of the church planting couples that I’m working with in Mexico are in the initial phases of starting their church. One of them, Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz just moved into the community of Playas in February. One of the first things a church planter does when arriving in a new community is to begin making new contacts.

Davis and Luz are a very personable and likable young couple. They do a great job meeting people. Yet, you can imagine how it’s been for them since just barely a month after they moved in everyone is living in lockdown. It’s hard to meet people when they are all afraid to go outside!

I’ve been in regular contact with Davis and Luz encouraging them, and praying with them. One of things that we’ve talked about was for them to go on prayer walks in the neighborhood, once they felt safe doing so. Over the last couple weeks they started walking near where they live. When there is someone outside they often have the opportunity to greet them, which is positive!

God’s Guidance
Davis and Luz with their three children Davis Jr., Julian and Ashley

Last week Davis felt tired so he decided to take a nap. While he was sleeping he dreamed that his wife, Luz told him they should go to the pharmacy in the community, so that they could meet someone. When Davis woke up, Luz said, “let’s go on a walk down the street,” and he responded, “that’s not what you told me in the dream.” So they went to the pharmacy, and began to look for someone to talk to in the area.

They saw a number of people, but Davis didn’t sense at first that the people he saw were the one’s that the Lord was leading them to. Finally, Davis saw a man, Jorge and they went to talk to him. Jorge told them that he has lived in Playas for 30 years, so he knows a lot of people there.

Jorge was very friendly and Davis and Luz were able to talk to him for quite a while. They told him that they were starting a church and he expressed interest. Isn’t it encouraging to see the Lord guiding and answering prayer? We are praying and believing that the Lord will build this church. We pray that the Lord will open the doors and make a way. He is the Way Maker.

Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace when he sent them out to minister in a new city. The person of peace is someone who is open and he or she is willing to help. He can open doors for you into the community. Jesus refers to the person of peace in Luke 10:5,6. Jorge may be a person of peace for Davis and Luz as they meet people in Playas.

Join us in Prayer & by Giving
Playas in Tijuana

Join with us in praying for Davis and Luz as they continue to make contacts and share the love of Christ during these unusual days that we are passing through. I believe the Lord is going to use the pandemic to cause people to be spiritually hungry. I just saw the other day that Google searches for prayer are way up, since the COVID-19 crisis began. People are looking for answers, and seeking peace in the midst of all the fear.

Another related issue is that there are many people who are struggling to survive in Mexico and Cuba. I’ve written about the hunger and the lack of basic needs in Cuba in other posts, that you can see here… Poverty was already a problem in Mexico, and now that so many are out of work it has only worsened. You can help by giving to these needs by clicking on the link below.

Donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Extending Our Hands to Help Those in Need
Families that we’ve helped by extending our hands in love

In one of my last posts I wrote about the tremendous needs in Cuba and friends helping hands, “Manos Amigas”. Hands of friends like you who have extended your hands to give food to the hungry and the needy in Cuba. The hunger and lack of basic items continues. You can click here to give or on the button at the end of this post.

One of the pastor’s wives that we’ve been working with has sent us some testimonies describing the needs and how your gifts have helped, so I’d like to share with you what May wrote.

Answered Prayer for Toothpaste
Yuni giving thanks for God’s answer to her prayers

One of the issues that many Cubans face is not having toothpaste, especially during this crisis. They end up having to brush their teeth with water and salt when they don’t have toothpaste to brush their teeth. One of the families who are also leaders in the church have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Church planters, David* and Deborah* were forced to have their daughter, Yuni* (video above) use salt and water to brush her teeth so she wouldn’t get any cavities. Yuni tried to brush her teeth with the salt and she started crying because the salt burned her mouth. While she was crying one the people from the church was walking by and heard her. He asked her why she was crying, and she told him it was because the salt burned her mouth. He told her, “don’t cry, many of us have to brush our teeth with salt.”

She said, “I am not going to brush my teeth with salt anymore. I am going ask God for toothpaste.” That same friend who was talking to Yuni later went to Pastor Lucas* and Maria’s* house and he was laughing about his conversation with Yuni. When Lucas* heard about it he felt sad, and he told Maria* about it. Lucas said to Maria, “we are going to take some toothpaste to them as well as a donation to help their family so they can buy food.”

Maria added that there are people that buy and resale toothpaste for up to $8 in Cuba which is almost half a months salary, if you can imagine that.
After they took the toothpaste to Yuni and her family, she said, ”God answered my prayer, and he saw my tears.” God used the help of friends extending their hands to provide for this beautiful young family. Lucas and Maria told Yuni that “some friends extended their hands and sent the gift to help them and that the Lord used these friends to answer your prayer!”

Soap for Jesus
Maria with Jesus

Jesus who just celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday cried with joy when he saw Lucas and Maria. He was thankful not only that they came to visit him, but they also came to bless him with the help from the friends hands. The help arrived at the perfect time so that he could buy food and soap. He hadn’t been able to bath for a number of days, because he didn’t have the money to buy soap. It completely changed his day. It’s very important to help the elderly. Many of them have limited income and it is difficult for them to pay for their basic needs. This is especially true during this time of the food shortage, and the lack of basic needs due to the restrictions placed on the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jesus Encourages us to Care those in Need

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV (emphasis mine)
Turning Sadness into Joy!
One of the young church planters, Marcos* with his wife and son

Maria wrote, “It’s impressive what the friends helping hands have been able to do. Although you couldn’t fly on a plane to travel. You weren’t able to leave your country or even your houses, but you extended your hands to give and to support the families in need. You have conquered the obstacles. You have crossed borders and even the sea to arrive at places far away to bring relief. You have responded to the prayers and cries of mothers. You have transformed the sadness of the elderly into joy to know that there is someone on this earth that still loves them. Through the kindness of friends’ hands today many children woke up and had a hot and healthy breakfast to eat. The friends’ hands have shown that love isn’t only something spoken with words, but it is demonstrated with actions.”

Young church planting family – Mario* & Lili* give thanks for the help they received.

In the photos you can see that everyone is full of joy. They are all asking and want to know who are the friends hands that have helped them? They don’t understand how in the middle of this global crisis that someone would be willing to give to the needs of others.

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for your generosity and for extending your hands to help those in need. The hunger and lack of basic items like toothpaste and soap continues. There is still a need to give to help our Cuban familia. You can make a huge difference by giving a gift today. Click on the donate button below.

Donation

Thank you for joining Dawn and me on this exciting journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org