Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Renuevo – Renewal in Ensenada
Pastor Petri leading the church service

On Sunday Dawn and I went to Ensenada and worshipped with our church plant there, Renuevo. It’s a joy for us to connect with the people at the church. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are doing a wonderful job of leading this church. Both of them work in the public school system in Mexico. Petri is the superintendent of the middle schools in Tecate, and Yudy teaches at one of the schools there.

It’s no easy task being a bivocational church planter. Petri and Yudy aren’t able to give as much time to the church plant as they would if they were full-time in the ministry. On the positive side though it does help them and the church in other ways. It helps them to not be dependent on the church for their income. Although we’d love to see the church get to the point where it can support them, we’ve found that few churches are able to pull this off in Mexico.

The other benefit we’ve seen is that Petri and Yudy have a lot of connections in Ensenada, because of all their years working in the school system. Before they began working in Tecate they spent a number of years in both public and private schools in Ensenada. I’ve noticed that those that know them respect them, because they work hard and they are good at what they do.

A Church for All People
Pastor Victor & Sol. Sol leads tutoring for children that come from poor and underprivileged families in the community surrounding their church

A number of the other churches that we are helping to plant are among the urban poor, which is also an important group to reach for the gospel. Petri and Yudy are able to reach professionals, because of their education and background. We love the variety of churches that we work with, and that we help plant. There is a need for all kinds of churches that have the ability to reach different people in order to make a difference in a community.

Of the eleven churches that we’ve helped start since we moved to the border seven years ago. Seven of them target urban poor and four of them target professionals. Each of these pastors and the churches are unique and we’ve grown to love the pastors and their leadership team. They are among are closest friends.

Praying for Multiplication

Our prayer is that this is only the beginning and that we will begin to see even more rapid multiplication of church growth on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. We’ve also helped plant two churches in Cuba and we’ve ministered to more than 60 pastors there. Part of what excites me about Cuba is that some of our Mexican partners have been involved in ministry there with us.

God is doing something special between the relationship of the pastors from these two countries! As one of my friends told me recently we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we work towards multiplication! Hallelujah!

I enjoyed the opportunity to lead Eduardo & Norma with their son Ilai through baptism. They lost their first child soon after he was born. God is doing His healing work in them!

When Dawn and I were with Renuevo and Pastor Petri and Yudy on Sunday. I was able to lead the church in a baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It was a very special time, and I left feeling filled up as the Lord ministered to Dawn, me and all those in attendance.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Traning Pastors and Church Planters
Training with Red de Multiplicación in Mexico City

I give thanks for the goodness of God! Over the last month I’ve been able to train church planters in Cuba, Mexico City and Tijuana. I love helping pastors start new churches. It’s the most effective way to reach people for Christ, and this is true no matter where you are in the world.

A number of the pastors I work with have so little. It strengthens my faith as I see the sacrifices they make for the kingdom. When I’m with these friends and see how they live and minister it helps me to put things in perspective about what is truly important in life. One of the things we struggle with in America, and I’m sure it happens around the world, is comparing ourselves to others. The devil uses this to get our eye off of the ball, off of what is truly important. I’m reminded of how Christ told us to put our “treasure in heaven where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal.” Then Jesus drives the point home and tells us, “for where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20, 21).

The enemy wants to to forget where are true treasure lies.

That’s not to say that it is easy for the church planters that I work with. Nor does it mean that they never struggle with comparing themselves to others. Yet, I do believe many of them do not get as entangled in some of the trappings that we trip over in our more affluent culture.

The Challenges & Trials
Training with Ben Meyer, Abraham Velazquez and Federico & Blanca Muñoz and other church planters in Tijuana

These pastors do face many obstacles and many trials as they serve the Lord. My heart goes out to them, and I find myself often wishing that I could do more. So when I’m training them I always seek to be sensitive to the Spirit and what is going on in their lives. That way Dawn and I can encourage them and pray for them.

Just before I started writing this I received a message from one of our dear friends from Cuba telling us that her cousin just lost her baby, and another close friend of theirs was killed in an accident. On Friday Dawn and I met with some of our church planters that live near us on the border and their daughter told me that she was sleeping on cushions on the floor, because they don’t have a bed for her. It breaks my heart to learn how many of our faithful friends are living and the circumstances that they are facing.

When we train it’s more than just how to plant a church. It’s more than just how to write a vision statement or a mission statement we have to care for the individuals. When we can bring the need for competencies, knowledge, emotional, spiritual and physical needs together we see the Lord working in amazing ways. It’s one of my chief joys in ministry. To care for the whole person and their families. The relationships that we build are priceless!

The Rewards of Ministry
Church Planting Training with our Cuban friends

Part of the reward of ministering in this way, apart from seeing churches planted, and people coming to Christ which is a true reward within itself is the love and relationship we develop with these church planters. As I’ve mentioned in the past some of them come to refer to Dawn and me as dad and mom. Some of their children call us their grandparents, which I guess is also part of getting gray as we age.

As we minister in this way we see the Lord bringing rich and bountiful blessings. We see the church growing, and people coming to Christ. Lives and communities are being transformed by the gospel!

All this is made possible by so many people like you who pray for what God is doing here. God hears your prayers and he responds. It’s exciting to be on mission with God. Thanks so much for joining us on this wild and joyful ride!

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

Worship: A Dream Come True

The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

When we first began planning and preparing for our worship workshop there was much excitement. Pastor Tury Nuñez said, “this is a dream come true.” I believed that it could be a game changer for many of our congregations in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali.

Mark Tedder who leads worship at Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs agreed to come and lead a worship workshop for us in Tijuana. Apart from leading worship at Village 7 Mark also has a ministry called, worship planet. Worship planet leads seminars and workshops around the world. Just in this year alone, they’ve already trained worship leaders in China, England and now Mexico.

A Wonderful Team of Worship Leaders

Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

A group of 5 other musicians and worship leaders came to Tijuana with Mark to form their team. They are all very talented and loving musicians. Dawn and I loved getting to know them.

Mark and his team did a wonderful job leading the group through a variety of exercises and breakout sessions to help them grow and to be better prepared to lead in worship.

Refreshing Time of Worship!

Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

One of the side benefits for me is that I had some wonderful opportunities to worship. My soul and spirit were filled up daily as we worshipped the Lord together. I didn’t really think of that benefit when we planned everything out. Yet, I found my soul and spirit being drawn into worship. It was a refreshing and uplifting time.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
     Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1,2 ESV)

Pray for God’s Continued Work of Renewal in Worship

The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

Our prayer is that those that came to the workshop will continue to improve as they lead in their churches. They learned about flow and how to bring the people into the presence of the Lord.

Pray with us that this will only be the beginning, the first step towards helping these churches have a more vibrant, alive and meaningful worship experiences. We would even pray that the Lord might use humble leaders to aid the churches and the people into worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

God Has Blessed Us With Some Amazing Friends

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Some of my favorite friends are the Cisneros family. I first met them when I was a young, fledgling seminary student in 1985. I came down to Mexico City with Dr. William Iverson and 16 other students and professors. That was a life changing trip for me, because it was there that the Lord first called me to serve in Mexico.

Through the years Dawn and I have been able to stay in touch with the Cisneros’s. We’ve prayed for each other, and encouraged one another. They are a family that is deeply committed to Christ. I first met them, because of they were serving with Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru. Then later they began to work with Operation Mobilization. They continue to serve in missions in Mexico, and other countries.

They are like family to Dawn and me, and we have a strong love for one another.

The Impact of Hannah’s Life!

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel's home

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel’s home

This reunion was special in many ways, as it was the first time Dawn and I have seen them since Hannah passed away. They made a special effort to love on us and encourage us.

Angel's daughter, Ana Rut

Angel’s daughter, Ana Rut

Angel Cisneros who is now like the patriarch of the family had three of his children with us. All of them were sharing how Hannah’s life and death impacted them. One of them, Ana Rut said she remembered Hannah being happy as a small child, and she saw how she grew to love Christ as she became a young woman. She said that Hannah’s death really impacted her, and made her think about her own life and her own devotion to Christ. She shared this through her tears, which brought Dawn and me to tears.

They were healthy, cleansing tears, and we felt so much better after we had cried together. One of my prayers has been and continues to be that Hannah’s death was not in vain. I suppose I know in the grand scheme of things God uses even death, so it’s not in vain, but I want to see an impact left by my beautiful daughter’s life. Ana Rut’s story was an answer to this longing that I’ve had. She told me as well as the family told both Dawn and me that Hannah’s life and example touch many people’s lives.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way

After a wonderful meal we were able to sing together, and then pray together. They asked us if we would pray for them and pray over them, and it was a very special time. We all sensed the presence of the Lord as he ministered in us and through us. Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for the Cisneros family. Wonderful servants of yours, and we do pray your rich and bountiful blessing over them.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebration and Mourning
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The day before Hannah died, we had reason to celebrate. Ministerios Transformacion’s 29th church held their inaugural service. A church that we helped to build, and plant. We were so excited for the new birth and for our friends Pastor Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah.

I’m not going to lie that even though this is a great achievement for kingdom advancement, that because of the circumstances it was hard to celebrate. We were and we are thankful for this new work, but the shock of Hannah’s early departure totally knocked us off balance. Her home going caught us by surprise. We’ve been trying to sort life out since then.

Getting Back in the Battle
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly.

The Lord in his graciousness is bringing healing, but it is a slow process. Dawn and I are getting back in the battle. We are starting to minister to others. Yet, our hearts aren’t always there.

Today we head out to Mexico City. Then on Tuesday we arrive in Havana, Cuba to connect with some friends there. The Lord is opening some wonderful doors for us in Cuba. I will write more about that later.

Over the last month and a half Dawn and I needed to slow down. We’ve needed to mourn and grieve. We still are in the process of doing that, but as time goes on we are grieving while serving. Some days we feel more up than others. Things that used to bring us joy, now don’t. Yet we are not despairing.

Death is a terrible thing. The Apostle Paul says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26). Later in same chapter Paul,goes on to say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54, 55). Glory to God that in Christ we have victory over death, as painful as it might feel today, Jesus has removed the sting of death.

We give thanks that the ministry is not dependent on us. The church continues to grow. Yet, the Lord is so loving and gracious. He carefully teaches us and draws us to himself.

Join us in Prayer!

Please join us in prayer as we learn this new way. We are learning what we call our “new normal”. We need wisdom and grace, as we move forward in ministry. We pray that we will see many more churches planted. Many more people reached for Christ, many more that become disciples. We pray that the Lord will use, even Hannah’s  untimely death to spur others on to love and good deeds. O Lord, do be glorified! Be lifted up, and build your church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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Dave & David, Jr. at the beginning of the journey. David has now successfully moved!

Faithful Partners in Ministry

Stand with us in crying out to the Lord

Stand with us in crying out to the Lord

In my last post I mentioned that I’m helping my son, David move to Fairfield, CA. While helping David move, we made a stop in Fresno. On Sunday I gave a ministry update at one of our longtime partner churches, Sierra View. It’s fun to see friends and talk to people who are praying for us. They are encouraged by what the Lord is doing on the Border and in the Baja, which lifts us up as well.

Dawn and I realize it’s crucial that we have churches and individuals standing with us in prayer. Friends who are strengthening our hands along the way. It’s hard to believe, but we moved to the Border almost 4 years ago. It’s even harder to believe is that we first moved to Mexico City 25 years ago.

Pray for a Thriving Ministry!

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Dave & Dawn

We don’t want to only sustain this ministry, but we want to see  it thrive. It’s vital that we have a strong base of partners who are praying for us, encouraging us and supporting us financially. Pray that the Lord opens doors for us and leads us to new people who will join with us and partner with us in this way.

To have a strong and growing ministry it’s essential to have a growing team standing with us. I’m grateful for all our partners! What a gift you are!

Dawn and I need to dedicate some of our time over the next several months to building and strengthening our support team. We thank you for being a part of that team.

Pray with us that it will continue to expand!

Pray With Us

Today I fly back home. I’ve helped David move to Fairfield in Northern California. Mission accomplished! Pray for David as he begins his new job. Pray for our family as we adjust. God is doing a great things and I know he is taking care of our family.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org