Archive for the ‘Ministry Partners’ Category

Thrilled by the Growth of the Gospel
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Prayer & Planning Meeting in Monterrey, Mexico 

The church is growing in Mexico, and we are thrilled to be a part of that. When we moved to the border almost 5 years ago, and even before that we prayed and dreamed about what we hoped the Lord would do in Mexico. We asked the Lord to use us to see His church grow and flourish.

Last week we had the wonderful privilege of meeting together as leaders and ministers with Mission to the World in Mexico. Leaders from our various teams came: Monterrey, Guadalajara, El Paso/Juarez, McAllen/Reynosa, Baja. It was a great time to pray, hear testimonies and celebrate what the Lord is doing through our teams in Mexico. The church is growing, and the gospel is going forth.

More of Jesus, More Transformed Lives!

One of my great desires is that we will come together as a larger team in Mexico for prayer and to join forces as we seek to partner with the church in Mexico to see many people won for Christ, and to see lives transformed. This was the first time we had a meeting like this in Mexico in a number of years. We want more of Jesus, and more of his Spirit. O Lord, do your mighty work in and among us. We want to see the church expand all across the country.

God is already doing some very encouraging works through our missionaries and our partners, but we long for more. We don’t want to be satisfied, because there is still much work to do. Content in all things, but yet striving for more and for all that the Lord has for us.

Join Us in Prayer!

Please join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to continue his mighty work, and that we will see even greater works of the Lord.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Kingdom is Advancing!
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Dave & Dawn – Thankful for all the good years that the Lord has given us!

Dawn and I have endured some heart ache over the last few months, but the Lord uses many avenues to lift us up. One of them is seeing the church grow. We love to see the Kingdom advance.

I remember when we were thinking about moving from Colorado to the border we dreamed about being involved in a church planting movement. We prayed that the Lord would connect us with like-minded godly men and women who had a heart to see God’s kingdom advance.

Wonderful Church Planters
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Dave & Dawn with Ivan and Rocio

Over the last few days we’ve met with and been in communication with a number of our church planting couples. Tonight we met with Ivan and Rocio Casados. We helped them plant their church with Ministerios Transformación (MT) three years ago. The church is growing, and they’ve just finished a building project so they have more room for the people who God is bringing to them.

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Obed & Cesiah with their family and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on Inauguration day

On Wednesday night we met with Obed and Cesiah Lares who we helped start a church with MT on October 16 last year. The first service was just two days before Hannah passed away. Obed and Cesiah shared how they are reaching out in the community and more families are starting to come to the church and grow in their faith.

Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor and Sol

Recently Dawn and I were with Victor and Sol Bravo who we helped launch their work with MT in March of 2015. Obed and Cesiah came out of their church. This church is not only growing and reaching out to orphans in the community, but they sent out a pastor and his wife to start a new church just a little over a year after they started their church.

Petri & Yudy’s New Work in Ensenada: Renuevo
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Renuevo’s First Service

Just last Sunday Petri and Yudy Petrikowski started their first service. Dawn and I were able to be with them and we helped commissioned them as they were sent out from their home church, La Nueva Jerusalén. Petri and Yudy are planting this church with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Every time Dawn and I are with them we come away encouraged and impressed by how the Lord is using them to reach out to their friends.

We Give Thanks for Our Valuable Partners in Ministry
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Dave and Dawn with two great friends and partners in ministry, JD Pearring and Daniel Nuñez

The three churches with Ministerios Transformación are reaching out in urban poor neighborhoods. MT has built homes for some of the needy people in the community. They are doing some amazing things to make a huge difference in people’s lives. The Ministerios Transformación network has started 30 churches in 10 years!

God is using them to bring about change in the communities where the churches are ministering. They are great partners and friends. Apart from helping them plant churches we’ve been able to partner with them on training church planters and coaches for ministry.

We have two church planting projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. One in La Paz, which is the capital of Southern Baja California, and the one in Ensenada Petri and Yudy are leading.

All these church planters that I’ve mentioned here as well as others like Pastor Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez are great friends. I don’t have space to mention all the wonderful pastors and friends that the Lord has given us.

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Dave training church planters

I just want to say that God is doing a work here. His Spirit is moving, and I believe that we are just beginning. We are going to see even greater things! 

This is happening, because of the hard work and the prayers of many people. You’ve played a part as you’ve prayed with us and for us. Dawn and I give thanks for you, and we pray that the Lord will bring even more to stand with us on this great journey of faith! For His honor and glory. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

A Cross Border, Cross-cultural Encounter
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Redeemer SD youth group with Colegio Grecia youth in Ensenada

Last Saturday I took a youth group from Redeemer San Diego Church to Ensenada to connect with our friends Petri and Yudy. The Lord gave us an outstanding day.

Petri and Yudy invited youth from the school they work at Colegio Grecia to meet the youth from San Diego. They played soccer, basketball and volleyball together. Then we went for some savory tacos at one of the homes of the families represented. There were close to 40 youth from Colegio Grecia that showed up, and many of their parents came as well.

It was an all around fun day, and the event went a long ways towards creating a bridge between the two groups and it opened up the door for future opportunities.

Petri and Yudy are working hard at loving on their friends in Ensenada. They want to build bridges with their co-workers and their families and show them the love of Christ.

A Sentimental Trip
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Hannah with Yudy

This was the first time I had been back in Ensenada, since Hannah died. I couldn’t keep from reminiscing and remembering the good times we enjoyed in Ensenada with our beautiful daughter and our friends there. Hannah loved all our friends there and she had a special relationship with Yudy. I enjoyed the day, and I kept busy enough during our time together that I didn’t have too much time to over think the days gone by. Yet, there was still some sorrow that my daughter, our daughter couldn’t be with us.

Building Bridges for Today and the Future
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Both groups had a great time playing sports such as soccer

Even though this was the first time the youth had met each other, some of them were at the point of tears when they had to say goodbye. Young people somehow manage to  break through barriers and create bonds quickly. That was gratifying to see how the Lord used the event in their lives.

On the way home the youth from Redeemer shared how much they enjoyed the experience, and how they hope to see their new friends again soon. Even though we had to wait five hours to cross back into the U.S., because the border line was so long it didn’t seem to dampen the groups enthusiasm.

Petri shared with me after the trip that one of the mom’s from the group in Mexico told him, “thank you for organizing such a valuable event for the growth of our children. Count on us for other events that you hold, including the medical trips.” Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
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Our last family photo with Hannah

When I look back over this last year there are a number of wonderful accomplishments that we’ve seen the Lord do. Unfortunately, all of these achievements are overshadowed by Hannah’s death. It makes me feel like we are ending 2016 on a down note. There have been plenty of down days since Hannah’s passing. Yet, I see the Lord picking each of us up, Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and me.

Yes, death is a terrible, even demonic and cruel thing. I believe and feel that this is true in a more intense way that I ever have. While I recognize the pain and the tragedy of death, and Hannah’s early homegoing I see the Lord lifting us up from the ashes. We are down, but not out. I believe our family has drawn closer to the Lord than we have ever been. In many ways I sense that God is not done with us, but just beginning. He is going to bring something beautiful out of our pain, even if we can’t see what that is yet.

We may be going through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” but this shadow has not completely snuffed out the light. Jesus did some amazing things in 2016 that we should celebrate.

Accomplishments by God’s Grace
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

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

This year by God’s grace we:

  • Helped start our 5th new church planting project with Ministerios Transformación since 2012. It was Ministerios Transformación’s 29th church!
  • Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah are off to a great start in this new church in Rosarito, just South of Tijuana.
  • Partnered with in planting, coaching and training Pastor Daniel Nuñez and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol who are seeing people come to Christ and lives transformed in the church plant they are serving at in Plan Libertador that we helped start in 2015. Every time I talk to Victor and Sol I come away encouraged.
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. They are making a difference as they are reaching out in Ribera del Bosque. We helped plant their church in 2014.
  • Coached and helped launch a new work called Renuevo in Ensenada. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are leading this new church planting project.
  • Led 1 medical missions brigade with Redeemer San Diego & La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada, Mexico. We ministered to more than 80 adults and children, and 9 of them gave their lives to Christ.
  • Led one summer VBS in Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian and La Nueva Jerusalén for 50 children and presented the gospel to them along with their families
  • Started a two-year incubator training for 10 church planters in Tijuana
  • Began a coaching network for pastors and their wives in Mexico
  • Began to coach pastors and train coaches in Cuba – this is a new and exciting ministry that the Lord is opening up for us.
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

I don’t fully know why we experienced such a huge loss this year, but I believe one reason is because our enemy is not happy with all that God is doing. He desires to discourage us and defeat us. Yet, our Lord lifts us up and gives us victory. All our many friends are praying for us, which sustains us. So I will praise Jesus. Hallelujah!

My family and I stand with Job in stating, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a)

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Praise God with us for sustaining us, and giving us so many victories in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s gift of healing during this time of Christmas
David & Dawn with Frank Batista

David & Dawn with Frank Batista

Dawn is gifted in sensing when people are in pain physically or emotionally. She loves to pray for people and minister to them when they are struggling, and God gave us many opportunities to pray for Christians and those that are seeking while we were in Cuba. The Lord heard our prayer, and brought healing to the people. Hannah and Dawn used to minister together to our friends as they both loved encouraging people and to see God touch people.

God’s healing Touch for Rosa
David & Dawn with Oniel, Heidy and Rosa

David & Dawn with Oniel, Heidy and Rosa

The first night we were in Havana, Cuba Dawn noticed that Rosa the 12 year old daughter of Pastor Oniel Rojas and his wife, Heidy, wasn’t feeling well. Dawn asked Rosa and her family what was wrong, and she said her arm was bothering her. Dawn felt the need to pray for Rosa’s shoulder. She couldn’t move her arm and she has experienced a lot of pain over the last two months.

Dawn and Yoli Nuñez, who is our friend and partner in ministry from Tijuana, spent some time in prayer for Rosa with her parents, Oniel & Heidy. Then Dawn called us over to pray with them and we prayed some more. As we prayed Rosa’s pain went down from a 10 to a 6. The next day when we saw her parents they were very excited as they said that Rosa was able sleep through the night for the first time in a long time. She was also able to move her arm and put her cloths on by herself for the first time in a while. Rosa said the pain was gone.

Then Rosa went to the doctor with her mom in the morning. The doctor was surprised that Rosa was no longer experiencing any pain. He took X-Rays and they came out normal. Before she had a growth in her shoulder, but now it was gone. He compared the X-Rays to how she was before and although he was surprised he said they looked completely normal and declared her healed and healthy. Thank you Jesus for hearing our prayer!

Oniel and Heidy were so excited that God brought healing to their daughter.

God Touches Lelois in a Special Way
Dawn praying for Lelois

Dawn praying for Lelois

Then a couple of days later we were with our friend Frank Batista (photo above), who I met last April when I was in Cuba. Frank showed Dawn and me around and we enjoyed spending time with him and his family. On Saturday we went to buy some presents at the market. When we went to buy t-shirts Dawn noticed the woman selling the t-shirts was in pain, Lelois.

Dawn asked her how she was feeling, and she admitted that her stomach was bothering her. Dawn wanted to see if she could pray for her. Lelois said yes, so she began to pray for her. When she prayed Lelois felt the power of God in her body. Both Dawn and Lelois sensed the Spirit rushing through them and touching them. After Dawn prayed for her she asked Lelois how she felt and she said her pain went down from a 10 to a 3. Also because she felt God’s tender touch tears came to her eyes. With tears streaming down her face she felt God’s love.

Then Frank and I prayed for her and she no longer had any pain. It was very encouraging to see the way the Lord used my wife’s boldness. Lelois said she’d like a Bible, and she was interested in learning more about the gospel.

We give thanks to the Lord for his mighty work in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org


The Two Sides of Cuba
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Cuban Church planters with Discovery Center Staff

I continue to both amazed and saddened when I spend time in Cuba. I’m amazed by all that the Lord is doing in this country that has experienced so much oppression. They’ve suffered greatly, despite what some in the media write. It saddens me to hear the stories and learn of all they’ve had to live through. As one of my friends said, “there is equality, we all have the same, we all share the same misery.” Yet, despite this they are a wonderful and resilient people. The Cubans we met are good-natured, and enjoyable to be around.

The other thing that I observed is that God has used all their suffering, and all the things they lack to make it crystal clear to the people that they need something greater than themselves. They need a deliverer. They need a savior, and many are turning their lives over to Christ.

Quality and Choice Servants of the Lord
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Dawn with Oniel Rojas and his wife, Heidy and their daughter, Rosa. Oniel is the leader of the movement we worked with in Cuba

The church planters that Dawn and I met during the Discovery Center are such quality people. Their love for Jesus is so evident. Some of them are amazing evangelists, and the Lord is already using them to reach many for Christ. Even though we went to minister to them and encourage them their testimony lifted us up. Dawn and I felt humbled as we heard their stories, and of their love for the Lord.

The church is not allowed to build church buildings in Cuba, but they can meet to study the Bible and to worship in their homes. The house church is exploding in Cuba. Missiologist say that Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere where a true church planing movement is occurring. Yet, there is a need for training, coaching and encouragement. We give thanks to the Lord that we can play a role in the work there.

Second Trip to Cuba

I first went to Cuba in April, and I fell in love with the people. At the time, I thought I’d love to be able to bring my wife and my daughter to Cuba with me. Unfortunately, I will never have the opportunity to bring Hannah, but the Lord did open the door for me to bring Dawn, and we had a wonderful experience together.

God’s Strength in Our Weakness
The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

Thank you Jesus for giving us the strength to be able to go and minister in the midst of our sorrow! One of our friends and colleagues in the gospel ministry, Ivan Villalta said it was a miracle that Dawn and I were in Cuba helping with the Discovery Center, since we just lost Hannah only a few weeks ago. That encouraged me that he said that. Yes, it’s not easy to minister in the midst of our pain, but we are finding God’s grace is strengthening us and carrying us through it all.

When I told Mario & Yany one of the church planting couples about Hannah passing away, they said it was clear that the Spirit was giving us strength to be able to continue to minister during this difficult season of life.

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Dawn and I appreciate your love and prayers for us. God is using you to lift us up!

Just as we felt we were able to bring the love and blessing of our Lord to our friends in Cuba, they definitely blessed us and helped lift our spirits. Hallelujah!

The Lord did so many amazing things in Cuba that I have more to write, but I will save it for another post. Please continue to pray for us this week as we are back at home, and celebrating our first Christmas without Hannah.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Walls and Roof Are Up!
Our amazing group who came down to build the church with Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah on the right

Our amazing group who came down to build the church with Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah on the right

I’ll never cease to be amazed by how much work a group of well-coordinated people can get done in one day!

When we arrived on Saturday in Rosarito to build church number 29 with our friends from Ministerios Transformación only the foundation had been laid. Then by the time we left at the end of the day, all the walls were up and the roof was almost finished. A few stayed later to finish up the roof.

Pastor  Daniel Nuñez and his team had done a great deal of prep work before we arrived. They cut the wood and had it laid out for us, and the difficult pieces had already been put together. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see how quickly the church goes up in one day.

This last Saturday was a warm and sunny day, so everybody was worn out about mid-day. Our group isn’t used to hammering nails and lifting walls, siding and roofing. When we crossed the border at the end of the day I could see a sense of accomplishment in those that came. After a while as we drove back they got quiet. They were tired. They worked hard, and the Lord used them to help bring light to a new community.

A Labor of Love
Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave and Pastor Obed Lares

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave and Pastor Obed Lares

At the end of the day Pastor Obed Lares said the church would always remember the group through the pictures and be thankful for their labor of love that brought the light of Christ to the community.

Obed and his wife, Cesiah brought their children and their parents and they worked hard at making the midday meal for us and keeping us hydrated.

I always love these days even though I don’t have a background in construction. It lifts up my heart to see so many people come together to work on a lasting initiative. The building is just the beginning, but it gives the church a presence in the community.

Our son, David Jr. (far right) hard at work. He flew out to join us. It's a family affair

Our son, David Jr. (far right) hard at work. He flew out to join us. It’s a family affair

The Launch of a New Church

The work is not done. This coming Saturday I will lead another group down and we will put up all the drywall, doors, windows and shingles. Our goal is to finish the church by this coming Saturday the 15th, so they can hold their inaugural service on Sunday, October 16th.

Pastor Obed is thrilled to officially launch the church on the 16th, because on that day he also celebrates his birthday. A double celebration!

It will be a glorious day!

Jeff Sloan with the neighbor Roberto who will be the first church member along with his family

Jeff Sloan with the neighbor Roberto who will be the first church member along with his family

The building is just the beginning, but it’s a good and an important beginning to seeing lives transformed as those in the community encounter Christ.

The church is in a humble community, and the family that lives right next to the church were blessed to have their home built by another ministry, YWAM. I was able to meet the family, and Roberto the man of the house told me they were planning on being the first members of the church. The Lord touched me as I saw Roberto and his family pitch in and work with us in seeing the church built. They also let us use their electricity and their bathroom. Two essentials!

Pray for the advance of the kingdom in the community of Colonia Ramos in Rosarito. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org