Archive for the ‘Ministry Partners’ Category

God’s Work in Mitla

SIL Missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca

I made it back home from my ministry trip to Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico. I must admit I’m tired, and it wasn’t an easy trip, but I’m encouraged by what the Lord did through my time in Oaxaca. It was amazing for me to get to know and learn more about the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries.

I was in the city of Mitla in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. SIL has a center there for much of the training and the translation they do. I enjoyed training the SIL missionaries and getting to know their stories.

Of course, while I was gone it seemed like the whole world’s attention was on the caravan arriving on the border. Which is ironic, since that’s where I live, but I wasn’t here when all the action was beginning.

My Highlights From Mitla

Ryan teaching a complicated (for me) training module on translation

One of the highlights for me was when one of the participants was leading his practice teaching session. He decided to do a lesson on some technical ideas related to translation. I was immediately lost. All the people at my table lit up with excitement and looked at me. I could tell that this was something they loved, and they take a healthy bit of pride in their trade.

They were so excited that they could help me as I looked on bewildered as Ryan led the session. I didn’t understand much of anything that they were talking about, but they assured me it was basic or beginners level. Well, even though I didn’t have a clue it was enjoyable to see them get so worked up about their craft.

The Many Languages of Mexico

Having some fun putting our learning to music

I learned during my time with my new friends that there are approximately 365 languages spoken in Mexico. That is the 5th highest number of languages spoken among all the countries in the world. The Bible has been translated in 150 of the languages in Mexico. SIL is currently working on 70 more languages. Some of the translations take 34 years or more, which is hard to imagine.

These missionaries go into villages with almost no access to the outside world for months at a time while they are working on the translation projects. Since I’ve always done my missionary work in large cities it’s hard to imagine living and working in these remote areas.

Join Us in Prayer

Mitla, known as the city of the dead

I thank the Lord for the work of SIL and the opportunity the Lord gave me to train and get to know these very committed servants. Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers for the ministry of SIL and for future opportunities to partner together with them and others for the kingdom.

We’d also appreciate your prayers as we head to Colorado this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with our two boys, David and Jonathan. Then our son Jonathan will be married on December 1, and I will be performing the wedding ceremony.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

Mourning for a Dear Friend

Our beautiful young friend Mitchell moved to heaven on October 1

Today my heart is heavy, because we lost a dear young friend. Our 15 year old friend, Mitchell was battling leukemia. Dawn and I were praying for her, and we truly believed the Lord was going to heal her. I envisioned writing a different post regarding Mitchell, about how the Lord miraculously healed her. There’s so much we don’t understand about life, but I have to go back to what I know to be true, that God is a God of love. He has a good plan for us, and not a plan for evil. He is in control, even when it seems that the world is out of control and that we are living in chaos.

Mitchell for me was a real hero!

Mitchell happy to receive her backpack for school

Each time Dawn and I saw her she had this big beautiful smile. She also had an amazingly positive attitude. It was hard to believe that she was so sick. It was difficult to comprehend that she was approaching death’s door.

She loved and she showed concern for the other patients and her doctors. She prayed for them and she shared the love of Christ with everyone she came in contact with in the hospital. It was impossible to miss her infectious, gentle and caring spirit. Mitchell was mature beyond her years!

One of her doctors was cold and hardened at times, and he shared with Mitchell and Miroslava that he didn’t believe in God. Yet, Mitchell and Miroslava lovingly shared with the doctor and he began to soften. Seed has been planted and the Lord has begun to work in his heart.

The last few times Dawn and I visited Mitchell in the hospital we had the opportunity to pray with one of the other young patients, Erwin. He joined with us as we prayed. Also, a young girl who was in the bed next to Mitchell was crying and weeping loudly from her pain. We could see the concern for her in Mitchell’s eyes. She was such a loving and gentle young woman.

Then Dawn went over to comfort the young girl. Dawn prayed with her and began to show her Christ’s love.

When we left the hospital on that day Mitchell was weak, but we didn’t think it would be the last time we’d see her on this side of heaven. The young girl next to Mitchell said as we left, “God is going to heal me.” We do pray that he will. I believe that the Lord was using all the prayer, as we know that Mitchell and her mom where praying day and night, to raise the level of hope in that hospital.

Mitchell’s Strong Faith

Mitchell loved to pray and on this day she prayed with us for Juan who has problems with his kidneys, and the Lord ministered to Juan through Mitchell

I admire Mitchell’s strong faith in the midst of such difficult circumstances. I told Mitchell that she was like Daniel in the Bible. Daniel was a young man taken into captivity when he was about 15 years old, the same age as Mitchell. Daniel maintained his strong faith, and became a man of influence in Babylon.

That’s why or one of the reasons Mitchell is my hero, and why I admire he so much!

God’s Comfort in Times of Pain

The last two days I was with Mitchell’s family: her dad, Salvador; her mom, Miroslava; her sister, Kenia along with other family and friends. It was so hard to see their tears. Their deep and painful sorrow as they mourn. I prayed with them and sought to encourage them in Christ.

Yesterday they brought Mitchell’s body to their home and in the evening they had the wake. My good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol minister at the church that Salvador and Miroslava attend. Victor and Sol have walked through this painful journey with the family. The whole church has been coming together weekly to pray for Mitchell’s healing. Both Victor and Sol shared the love of Christ at the funeral service. It was a message of hope. I’m proud of Victor and Sol for the important work they do in the community of Plan Libertador.

They gave me an opportunity to share as well. It was so hard, but I’m grateful for the Lord’s grace that sustains me and the hope we have in Christ. Sol told me that I could minister to them in a special way, because of what Dawn and I went through with Hannah. I’m grateful the Lord can redeem our experience in this way. It also brought up some painful memories for me as we approach our daughter, Hannah’s 2 year mark of her moving to heaven.

Mourning for Mitchell and her Family

They held the wake in the front of Salvador & Miroslava’s home in Rosarito

As I was leaving Salvador and Miroslava’s home I felt so sad and concerned for the family. Even though I wasn’t crying at the time, in some ways it was like an overwhelming hopeless feeling. Even as I write this the tears start to well up in my eyes as I think of this precious family and the journey before them. Dawn and I have grown to love this family. We are deeply concerned for their well being.

Dawn and I personally know the grief they are passing through. The pain of losing a child, and I think there’s nothing more painful for a parent to go through. And I realize our children aren’t “lost”, but at times it feels that way. As I mentioned we are coming up on two years with Hannah, and there are still days that I feel heavy as I miss her.

I felt for the family as I left. I wondered whether they would be able to bear the pain and to sustain their faith in the midst of this fiery trial. I wish there was something more I could do to spare them. At that moment the Lord gently reminded me that he was able and that he would sustain them. I felt His peace at that moment.

Thank you Lord for that assurance. You are truly a good God.

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Earlier that day, on Tuesday morning, the day after Mitchell moved to heaven the Lord directed me to read Psalm 118 and I found it very comforting. The words found there gave me hope, and reminded me of the Lord’s unfailing love.

In the first four verses of Psalm 118 the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever.” The Lord is encouraging his people his church to remember and to declare the truth that, “His steadfast love endures forever!” If God is for us who can be against us? We have victory in Christ. We are more than overcomers. This is all true for those in Christ, Hallelujah and Amen!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalms‬ ‭118:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

In His Loving 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

Making a Difference in Plan Libertador
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.

Dawn and I are truly enriched to have such wonderful friends and partners that we minister alongside. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have blessed us in so many ways! We continually give thanks for them and lift them up in prayer.

Four years ago the Lord brought us together, and we helped Victor and Sol build and start their new church. The Lord has been working through them and the ministry of the church as they seek to make a difference in the community. Both of them have a lot of energy and they possess many gifts.

One of the ways the church is seeking to make a difference in the community of Plan Libertador is they are tutoring students after school. Sol is a trained psychologist and has worked for many years with children in the school system in Tijuana. Since they planted the church she’s wanted to give more time to outreach in the community. She is truly making a difference in the lives of these students and their families.

Dawn and I were able to visit Sol this week, and it filled our hearts to see the bright smiles on the face of each young person there.

Victor also is meeting with and working with the community leaders, so that the church has an active voice and influence in Plan Libertador. He just met with these leaders this week and planned to pray with them as they met. I love Victor and Sol’s boldness and enthusiasm for the gospel.

The Power of Prayer
Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

There’s also the powerful presence of the Lord in their church and those that they are ministering to. Some of the families in their church are going through some real tough trials. I’ve mentioned before 15-year-old Mitchell, who is battling with leukemia.

Mitchell has great faith for a young person going through such a trial. Every time we go to visit her in the hospital to pray with her, she has a beautiful smile on her face. Mitchell says that our visits and our prayers encourage her, and give her peace, but Dawn and I always leave astonished and strengthened by her faith. We are believing the Lord for her healing. We’ve seen the Lord work in her life and bring a measure of healing, but we are looking to Jesus for complete and total healing.

Mitchell was in the hospital in February when we first met her family. We prayed for her, and in a miraculous fashion, in just a few days she was able to leave the hospital. The doctor told Mitchell’s, parents, Miroslava and Salvador that they thought she was going to die in a few days. That was back in February. We were so encouraged when the Lord answered our prayers, and brought her a measure of healing, but battle rages on.

Join Us in Prayer!
Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Join Mitchell’s parents, along with Victor and Sol and the church as we lift up Mitchell and her family in prayer. Mitchell is in the hospital again receiving treatment for her leukemia. We cry out to the Lord from whom our help comes from. He is our healer, our deliverer, and our strong tower!

Pray for Victor and Sol as they minister to those in their church, and as they love on and reach out in their community.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

God Leads Wherever We Go!

Dawn and I just returned from a road trip. I originally thought that I would be able to post while traveling, but our schedule ended up being more full than I anticipated. I haven’t been able to post anything for the last two weeks, which is unusual for me!

Our trip was amazing in many ways. We took some time to rest and visit family and friends. We also were able to connect with one of the churches that partner with us in ministry.

The first stop on our trip was Fresno. My parents, Ron and Virginia still live in Fresno. My brother John and his wife and family are in the process of moving from Fresno to Morro Bay.

While in Fresno I was able to preach at Sierra View Presbyterian Church. This is one of the first churches, if not the first church to start supporting our ministry. Actually, they started supporting me before Dawn and I were married, so they’ve been partnering with us since 1988. That’s amazing and they are one of the reasons that we’ve been able to serve in ministry in Mexico City, Colorado, Europe, Cuba and on the Border and Beyond for all these years. Thank you, Jesus!

Since I grew up in Fresno, it’s always good to go back “home”, although I can’t say that I enjoy the heat. 😉 I’m thankful that the Lord has been so faithful and cared for my parents and my family for all these years.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way in Portland

From Fresno, we headed North and ended up in Portland. We actually stayed in Vancouver, Washington while visiting some special friends in Portland.

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza and Hosea. A wonderful family!

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza, and Hosea. 

This visit was extra special, as we were able to spend time with Nathan and Barbi Carr and their family. Dawn and I first met Barbi when I worked at Greater Europe Mission in Colorado. We reconnected with Barbi and met her husband, Nathan after Hannah moved to heaven.

The Lord connected us, as something that Barbi wrote on Facebook caught my eye when I was flying back home from El Salvador. Dawn and I started communicating with them, and they’ve been a huge encouragement to us as we heal from the experience of our daughter’s early home going.

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

We’ve been wanting to visit them for a long time, so it was so good to finally be with them. I feel like it was healing in many ways to be with them and some of their friends. While we were with them we went to the rose garden, which is beautiful. I think it’s a little taste of heaven on earth, and every time we sense heaven it causes us to feel closer to Hannah. Thank you, Jesus, for your many surprises and good gifts.

As an added gift we also enjoyed some grandparent practice with their 3 cute children, and that was incredible! It makes me hope that my kids hurry, and give us some grandchildren soon! 🙂

Wonderful to End the Trip with My Brother and His family
John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

Then on our drive back home we stopped in Morro Bay to visit my brother, John, his wife, Treena, and their daughter Baylee.

Morro Bay felt like a walk down memory lane. My family used to go there every summer to camp. It’s a beautiful little place with amazing surroundings, including the harbor and the beach which I’ve always loved. When I’m near the beach I feel more close to the Lord, and every time I go I think of it as my beach therapy.

Dawn and I have traveled a great deal for the ministry since Hannah moved to heaven, but almost all of our travels have been ministry related. Although we did have opportunities to minister on this trip as well, we had more time to decompress. It was also good to drive, and spend time together as a couple. This gave us time to pray, and to listen to some audiobooks along the way.

I thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to go on this trip, and to have the experiences that we had. God is good. He’s a good, good Father, and he takes care of his children.

Thank you so much, Jesus for your grace and your healing work in our lives. One of the things that Dawn and I are learning is that grief, mourning is a long experience. It’s also exhausting at times, it takes the wind out of our sails. Yet, I see our Father loving us, and caring for us on this journey. He promises to one day make all things new. I long for that day. I long to see my savior face to face and to be able to hug my daughter again. Yet, I do feel like the Lord still has more for me to do here so I will continue to love and serve him until He calls me home!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Smiles & Laughter!

Many Smiles and Fun at our Summer VBS in Ensenada

One of my favorite things about our summer VBS in Ensenada is all the big smiles and the laughter. It’s a joy to see the children enjoying themselves and having fun!

I love the fact that we have a cross cultural bi-lingual team as a group of friends from Skyview Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado has come to Ensenada again this summer. This is the 5th summer in a row that Skyview has sent a team from their church.

The group from Skyview led by Tim & Kari Berglund has formed a close and loving relationship with the church here. The Lord has used them and their relationship to help start a new church plant in Ensenada, which is called Renuevo. Dawn and I are thrilled with what the Lord is doing here!

Loving the Unchurched

Game On! is the theme for this Summer’s VBS

This VBS is different from many in that most of the children involved are coming from unchurched families. Since the church just began last year they are reaching out to their friends, and the VBS has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to love on these children and their families.

You can see the love of Jesus shining through the many smiles!

Learning about Jesus and Fun Activities at our Summer VBS

This year we have 70 children participating in the VBS. That’s a big group for this young and growing church. Renuevo means to renew or renewal. The church has a vision to see families, communities and the city renewed by the gospel.

They are reaching out to many young families, who are in need of hope and help as they raise their children.

Join Us in Prayer

Many Fun Activities that aid the Learning

We appreciate your prayers for this week. That many of these children will come to know the Savior, and that their families will also come to know Christ. Pray that the love of Christ shines brightly through all those involved in leading and serving the children and their families. We know that only Jesus and the message of the gospel can fill the emptiness and the needs that these families have.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org