Archive for the ‘Ministry Partners’ Category

An Amazing Day!
The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

I find it next to impossible to fully express our experience in building the memorial church for our daughter, Hannah. It was wonderful, but it also brought a wide range of emotions.

I felt sad and happy, I felt sorrow and joy, I felt grief and hopeful. On top of all those emotions, I also felt a sense of pride that we could build the church in a community just outside of Mexicali, Mexico. I felt very loved by all those who participated. The Lord gave us about 60 in all counting those that came from both sides of the border.

So Much Love!

Many participated in building the church on a hot day just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

Many participated in building the church on a hot day just outside of Mexicali, Mexico

At the end of the first day, I told one of our Mexican friends, Sol Carrola how much it meant to me that she came all the way from Tijuana to help us build the church. We helped Sol and her husband, Victor to build a now thriving church in Rosarito three years ago. I’m going to be preaching at their three-year anniversary celebration service this Sunday.

I told Sol that I felt very loved that she was helping out, and as I expressed my gratitude I started to cry. She told me that they did love us, and wanted my family and me to feel loved. I started crying even more. God is so good to us!

Thankful for All Who Joined Us!
Jonathan & David working hard on the church

Jonathan & David working hard on the church

Both David and Jonathan, our two boys were able to fly out to be with us and help us build the church. Also David’s girlfriend, Emily and Jonathan’s girlfriend, Hannah joined in the fun. Chivis, our close friend from Mexico City, who was one of Hannah’s closest friends flew out to join us. Jim DeWitt a close friend, and also a colleague with Mission to the World made the trip from Michigan to show his love and support. Marissa, who Hannah knew from Colorado came from St. Louis.

My 82-year-old dad got on a plane and came down from Fresno. When my dad told me he was coming I about started crying. When I told Dawn and the boys that grandpa was coming they cried as well. It’s a miracle that my dad could be with us. Last year on March 1 or thereabouts I received a phone call from my mom telling that the doctor said that my dad only had 6 months to a year to live. God has healed my dad! One of the last doctor’s reports he received, the doctor said that the cancer was regressing. The doctor went on to say that it must be divine intervention because it wasn’t because of anything he had done! God is so good!

Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family

Elissa and Dawn along with Stephany, Kim, Jonathan, Hannah, and Emily with some of the local children

There were also other close friends that joined us locally. Two of Hannah’s friends from her IMPACT 195 discipleship came, Elissa and Stephany. Some of my best friends from Mexico also joined us.

The Impact and Legacy of Hannah’s Life
Praying for Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna as we gave them the keys to the church!

Praying for Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna as we gave them the keys to the church!

As we shared at the end of the time and reflected some on Hannah’s life, one of the things that was mentioned over and over was how loving and welcoming Hannah was. Our prayer is that this new church will bring life to the community and that all who come will feel welcome!

Both of my boys have expressed that they would much rather visit this church and remember Hannah than to go out to the cemetery to remember her.

We believe that this is going to be a life-giving church. Our family and those that joined us enjoyed getting to know Pastor Mere and his wife Edna. God is going to use them in a powerful way as they plant this church. Join us in praying for them. The inauguration service for the church will be on Sunday, May 6th.

On behalf of my family, I want to thank all who prayed for us as we prepared for this big project. I want to thank all who gave, and there were many. We give thanks for you, and we give thanks to the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Journey Continues!
Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Today I’m off to Mexico City. Dawn isn’t joining me on this trip. We enjoy traveling and ministering together, but I’m going to visiting some of the sites where the earthquakes from last Fall caused the most damage, so we decided it would be better for Dawn to stay behind. Her mom is with her, so I’m sure they will enjoy the time together.

 

A Wonderful Accomplishment!
The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

Last week we accomplished a first for us. We finished up our incubator church planting training!

The incubator takes close to two years to cover the 16 modules that we train on. There were 10 people that took the course and 8 of them finished and graduated. I could tell that the guys were excited to graduate from the course. We gave each of them the opportunity to share their highlights. It was gratifying for us to listen to their testimonies.

One of the things we focused on throughout the training was the importance of being Christ-centered and gospel-centered. That the gospel and grace must permeate everything we do both inside the church and as we reach out to a world that is in deep need of a Savior.

Beautiful to See the Church Come Together
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

The participants that took the incubator training were from two main groups, Ministerios Transformación and the Presbyterian Church. Even though they come from different church traditions it was so good to see them come together to learn. They forged a friendship among themselves.

One of the pastors that helped us to teach the course is Pastor Jorge Aleman from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m thankful for the effort Jorge made to fly out and lead. He has some great experience in the church and he is a gifted communicator. Jorge encouraged the guys to invite one another to preach at one another’s church and to continue to further develop their friendship.

Church planting is the best way to do evangelism and to reach a city for Christ. If we want to have successful church plants we need healthy, fully trained and equipped pastors. That is one of the major goals of the incubator, to prepare the church planter for the ministry that the Lord has called him to.

Join Us In Prayer!
Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Dawn and I appreciate your prayers as we continue to coach, mentor and train these friends and partners in the ministry. Pray that they will be effective in their respective churches. They are all at various stages in their church plant. There is one common goal among them they desire to have healthy and growing churches. That is our prayer as well!

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey! Remember to pray for me as I head off to Mexico City to minister in and around the city for the next 10 days. I will also be in Oaxaca for 3 of those days. Much of the earthquake damage occurred in Oaxaca.

Lord, do pour out your Spirit and do I mighty work as I seek to minister and represent Christ and his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Staying on the Move
Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Sometimes there is so much going on it’s hard to stay up on my posts. I’m also trying to write a book, but I haven’t yet figured out how to squeeze time in to give it the necessary attention. I’d appreciate your prayers that the dream of publishing a book would become a reality. Also, If you have any suggestions on how to fit it into a busy on the go schedule let me know.

Dawn and I will be leaving for Phoenix in just a couple of hours. We will be connecting with a church in the area and we’ll be attending a church planters network meeting. It promises to be a good time with some outstanding friends and ministers of the gospel. To top it off we also will be celebrating our 29th anniversary on Monday, March 5.

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Brokenness and Healing

Last weekend, Dawn and I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Abraham Velazquez’s church in Tijuana. We’ve grown to love Abraham and his wife, Martha. It’s always special when we can be with them. 

I had the opportunity to preach at their church. The sermon was on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken! My family and I have experienced our share of brokenness over the last couple of years since Hannah moved to heaven. This passage gives us hope for a better tomorrow. The barren one, the broken one is told to sing and cry aloud, because the Lord is going to deliver her.

The passage goes on to say prepare yourself for growth. Enlarge your tent. Get your house ready, because I’m going to bring an increase. I am going to bless you!

Isaiah 54:1-3

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
    break forth into singing and cry aloud,
    you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities. (Isaiah 54:1-3)

One of the practices that Dawn and I have to look for the promises in the Bible and to use them in our prayers. These promises give us hope, especially when things go awry. Does that ever happen to you? I would like to encourage you to remember the promises of God and to repeat them often.

Breakthrough for the Broken in Tijuana
Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

It was such a good time to minister at Pastor Abraham’s church. After the sermon, we had a time of prayer, and it was so encouraging as people shared their testimonies. One of the leaders in the church said that he had been having nightmares that he was going to die. He felt a release and peace after the prayer. I sent him a note the next day and he told me that he slept well and that he didn’t have any nightmares!

Another young man shared about the abuse he had suffered in his family growing up. He was bitter, but he felt the need to forgive his family so I was able to lead him in prayer to confess and forgive. He also needed Jesus so I had the pleasure of leading him to Christ! God is so good, and he is definitely on the move.

I learned while I was at the church that Pastor Mere Godinez, the pastor of the church we are building for Hannah used to attend this church in Tijuana. Abraham and Mere grew up together. They attended church together, and they are both in the ministry now. Wow, Lord! Thanks for all that you are doing. Praise you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Giving Thanks for God’s Good Gifts!
Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

This last Friday I experienced one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Even though this last year has been hard as my family and I have been mourning Hannah’s moving to heaven, the Lord has blessed us with some exceptional experiences, especially lately.

What made Friday so special?

Two main reasons. First, I spent the whole day with one of my son’s, Jonathan. It’s always a special time when I can be with David and Jonathan. We enjoyed driving out to Mexicali and having wonderful interaction along the way. It encourages me so much to see how Jonathan has grown in his love for Christ since his sister moved to heaven. He could have become bitter and angry at God. Instead he’s pushed into Christ and grown tremendously. This is one of the legacies I feel that Hannah has left. The impact she left on both of her brothers. Thank you, Lord for redeeming the pain of Hannah’s early homegoing!

The Foundation is being Laid
The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The second reason is we went to Mexicali to see the foundation being poured for the new church that we are building to honor Hannah. It filled me up to overflowing to see this dream becoming a reality. Thank you, Jesus!

I also enjoyed spending some time with the church planter and his wife. Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna. Mere and his father-in-law, Rafael were working hard laying the foundation for the church.

Some of the neighbors who are interested in seeing the church built were also there. The church actually is right next to Alfonso and Cristina’s house. They used to live in Tijuana and they attended one of the Ministerios Transformación churches in TJ. That’s what brought about the connection. Alfonso and Cristina moved back to Mexicali and they started praying that the Lord would raise up a church in their community.

Years of Prayer for This New Church
Cristina with her three children - she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina with her three children – she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina told me that she prayed for three years that the Lord would bring a church to the community that they live in, which is just outside of Mexicali. The church is close to an hour from the Mexicali – El Centro border crossing.

I loved learning about how the Lord is already working in this community preparing the people to receive the Word of Life. Cristina said that her mom even felt a number of years ago that the Lord was going to build a church on the land right next to the house. Even though they’ve only lived in the house the last few years, they’ve owned the property for a number of years.

The last church we helped Ministerios Transformación start in Rosarito was built and inaugurated the day before Hannah moved to heaven. That church has struggled some to get going. There have been a number of obstacles, and we’ve felt much opposition there. We know as we move into new communities we are bringing the light into dark places. There is a battle that rages on. We are still praying and hopeful that the church in Rosarito will experience breakthrough and make a difference in the community.

Light in the Darkness

This church in Mexicali represents new hope as Christ shines in a place where there is much need. Pray with us as we work with Pastor Mere, his wife Edna and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación to build this church on the weekend of April 14 and 15.

There is still time to help us build this church. We’ve been given a matching fund as we continue to raise funds for this project. You can give online here.

click to give online

click to give online

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer. Our battle is not against flesh and blood! We give thanks for your love and support you’ve shown us in a number ways as we move forward and continue serving the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

I hardly have time to reflect on and write about our last trip before we are on to the next trip. Dawn and I just returned from cold Colorado. I must admit that we’ve gotten soft now that we are living on the border with year-round mild temperatures.

We were in Colorado Springs for Village 7’s missions conference. A number of good things happened while in the Springs. We give thanks for God’s many good gifts:

  • Wonderful opportunities to pray with and for others
  • We got to see many of our very close and special friends
  • We had a wonderful time with our son, Jonathan
  • The Lord gave us many opportunities to tell our story, and about all that He is doing on the Border, The Baja and Beyond
  • Many MTW colleagues and friends from other missions organizations were at the conference
  • Despite the cold, the mountains in Colorado are breathtaking
We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

When we are in Colorado we are always reminded of Hannah. There were a number of friends who we saw for the first time since Hannah moved to heaven. Dawn and I love to talk about our daughter, and yet it does bring up some emotions for us. I’m grateful for the Lord’s good and loving healing in our lives. When I think of how fragile we seemed last year at this time. God has been so good, and he is giving us strength as we continue to walk on this journey.

We came home just for a few days to catch our breath, but now we are off to Guadalajara for the weekend. We will be participating in the 20 year anniversary of one of the churches that our colleague and friend, Kenton Wood started. The Lord has used Kenton in some amazing ways over the years to see many won to Christ and discipled into the kingdom. His church, Rey de Reyes, “King of Kings” has started eight other churches as well.

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

We give thanks for the Lord’s good work, and we pray for more. More Lord, give us more!

Dawn and I appreciate your continued and ongoing prayer for us. Every day I feel like the Lord shows me the importance of prayer. It’s like air, we can’t live without it. Breathe in deeply God’s love and his grace. Let us all grow together as we approach the throne of God, a throne filled mercy and grace!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Honoring Hannah’s Memory – Church Expansion
Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Ever since the day our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven I’ve prayed that her death wouldn’t be in vain. I know from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 which mentions to not grieve as those without hope, that her early home going isn’t in vain. Yet, I would like to see in tangible ways how the Lord has used her life to have a lasting impact on the earth. I suppose these are complicated emotions to explain, but I do have the drive to honor our daughter’s memory.

One of the ways we are doing that is building a new church in Mexicali, Mexico in Hannah’s memory. We are doing this with some of my best friends on the planet, Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and Ministerios Transformación. We are inviting friends and family to come help us build the church. Both David Jr. and Jonathan are flying out for the church build as well as other very special people we love.

Memorial Church in Mexicali, Mexico
The site where we are building the church

The site where we are building the church

On Friday I was able to go visit the site where the church will be built. Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez along with Edson Martinez took me to Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California, and it’s about three hours from Tijuana. We’ve partnered with Ministerios Transformación to plant five churches in Tijuana and Rosarito. This will be the first church we’ve helped plant in Mexicali, so that is exciting for us.

This will be the 34th church that Ministerios Transformación has planted! These churches are making a huge difference in the communities they serve in.

Planting Churches with our Special Friends
Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Today (Sunday) Dawn and I went to visit Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol and their church in Rosarito. It’s always a huge blessing for us to be with them. We helped them plant their church 3 years ago. Their church is growing and the people there are in love with Jesus. They have a wonderful outreach to an orphanage, Nueva Generación, “New Generation”.

Victor and Sol’s church is just one example of the difference the gospel is making through the churches we’ve helped to plant in communities around Tijuana and Rosarito. We give thanks for God’s good work!

These friends I’ve mentioned Daniel and Yolanda, Victor and Sol love Hannah, and Hannah loved them. I know if she was still living she would be so proud and excited to know that we are planting a new church with these much-loved friends. Hannah is now a part of the cloud of witnesses. I don’t know if she can see back into this world or not, but if she can I’m sure she’s praying for us and rooting us on along with Christ and all the Saints.

The pastor of this new church is Mere Godinez and his wife is Edna. We’d appreciate your prayers for Mere and Edna as they start this church.

The Mixed Emotions
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

When I visited the church site this last week I had mixed emotions. I felt both excited and sentimental. When I think about Hannah and her memory it brings up many emotions. I miss her so much! My family and I are grateful for this opportunity to not only honor Hannah’s memory but to make a difference in a community in Mexicali.

Help Us Finish This Memorial Church Plant

We’ve been able to raise more than half of the amount we need to plant the church, but we still need to raise some more to build this church. When I was in Mexicali I realized that it’s so hot there in the summer that they need air conditioning to be able to meet in the church during the summer months. An additional expense we hadn’t considered.

You can give to the church plant in Hannah’s memory by clicking on the link below. We’d love to have you join us!

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

Thank you, dear friends, for standing with us on this wonderful and sometimes painful journey.

In His Grip, Dave for Dawn, David Jr., and Jonathan

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Wow, Lord!
Dave and Dawn in Cuba. Quite an adventure.

Dave and Dawn in Cuba. Quite an adventure.

All I can say about our trip to Mexico City and Cuba is Wow! Wow! Wow! Well, at least that’s how I feel.

I had some concerns as we prepared to go on this trip because in both places we were up against some significant challenges, but God came through in a big way. Thanks so much for praying. Dawn and I asked a number of friends and groups on Facebook to lift us up in prayer. It might have been the most prayer covering that we’ve ever had on a trip, and I think it was one of our most fruitful trips ever.

There’s so much to share. I’d like to focus first on our time in Cuba.

The Challenges of Cuba
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and JD Pearring leading us through one of the exercises for the church planting evaluation.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez and JD Pearring leading us through one of the exercises for the church planting evaluation.

It was my fourth trip to Cuba and Dawn and my second trip together. Cuba is a hard place to visit. There’s so much oppression, and many people struggle to just to survive. There are very few people in Cuba who eat meat every day. They have to live off of rice and yucca. Most Cubans live off of $25 a month.

One of the reasons this trip was even better than past trips to Cuba is that we were able to build off of the relationships that we made their last year. The last time Dawn and I were there together it was only a month and a half after Hannah moved to heaven, so we were in a much more vulnerable place.

Thankful for Our Cuban Friends
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

The Cubans are a warm and friendly people. Those that we met last year embraced us this year. We felt very loved. One of the younger church planting couples that the Lord gave us a special connection with when we first met them was there as well. Their names are Mario and Yanny. Yanny is close to Hannah’s age, so I remember when Dawn first met her she started crying because it reminded her of our daughter. Yanny and Mario reached out to us in love. It was so good to see them again and to be able to deepen our relationship.

So it was so good to see them again and to see all that the Lord was doing in and through them. Mario was able to buy a horse which they used to provide more income for themselves so they could build their church. I was excited to learn how his church was becoming a self-sustaining church as they looked for creative ways to fund their ministry.

Dawn with Pastor Oniel and his wife, Heidy and daughter, Rosa

Dawn with Pastor Oniel and his wife, Heidy, and daughter, Rosa

The couple that leads the group is very special also, Oniel and Heidy. Last year the Lord used Dawn’s prayers to bring healing to their daughter, Rosa.  What the Lord did in healing their daughter has helped Oniel and Heidy to grow in their faith, and it has encouraged a number of people. Oniel is on the short side, but he’s a very dynamic preacher and leader.

Pastor Justo Pila Reinoso sharing with the group

Pastor Justo Pila Reinoso sharing with the group

We also love Justo and Sara, who are amazing evangelists. They have a deep love for Jesus. Sara gets up at 3 AM every morning to prayer, and both of them share their faith with almost anything that moves. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a couple that has led more people to Christ than Justo and Sara. They have already planted a number of churches. I’m just in awe of their love for Jesus and their passion for the gospel.

Our Wonderful Team
Our team that came from the US and Mexico. Such a great group!

Our team that came from the US and Mexico. Such a great group!

Dawn and I went to Cuba with a team of five Mexican national partners and two Americans who we also partner with in ministry. It was such a blessing to serve together. One of the many things that struck while we were together was hearing our Yoli, who is from Mexico share with the group that when Americans come to Tijuana to visit most think that they are poor or that they have very little and live under difficult position. Then when we were in Cuba together our Mexican friends realized how little the Cubans have and how much they suffer. It was an eye-opening experience for all of us.

The Lord blessed us with six church planting couples that we were evaluating. They were also awesome, and I’d like to share about them in my next post.

Thanks so much for praying. We felt it, and we saw the Lord answer in major ways as we saw breakthroughs. Yay God! Yay Jesus! We pray for more!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org