Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

Greece & MTW
Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Dawn and I just returned from a LEAD meeting in Athens, Greece. Every three years Mission to the World (MTW) holds a leadership meeting for all our missionaries from around the world and our national partners.

It’s an amazing time to come together as a group committed to reaching the world for Christ. We connected with missionaries that we know, and many that we hadn’t met yet. As a mission, we don’t have many opportunities like this to meet together as a missions body and work together, because they serve in other parts of the world. Some of them literally are living on the other side of the world.

One of the highlights for me was spending time with the other missionaries, hearing their stories and having the opportunity to pray with them and for them. Some of our people are working in very remote and difficult places. Missionaries need prayer. They need encouragement. It is not an easy job, and the church must unite with them (us) on Mission with God.

A Place Where Paul Once Preached
The Ruins in Corinth where Paul stood trial for his faith

The Ruins in Corinth where Paul stood trial for his faith

I found it amazing to be meeting in Greece. A place where Paul preached. We even had the opportunity to visit the Acropolis and Mars Hill. We also went to Corinth. While we were there Dawn and I reflected on the roots of our faith. We thought about how our daughter, Hannah is with Paul and other Biblical characters.

Sadly Greece is no longer following Christ. Less than 1% of the people are followers of the Messiah. Greece is a country that has lost its way and now needs to be won again. We do lift up our missionaries there and their national partners. Some wonderful servants of the Lord.

Goals for Growth – More Workers!
MTW LEAD 2017

MTW LEAD 2017

While at the LEAD conference our leadership highlighted some of our goals as a mission. Lloyd Kim, MTW’s coordinator encouraged us to pray and work for more than 2,000 new missionaries to go to the field. The goal is that the PCA would send 2,877 missionaries which is 1% of our membership. That’s a huge undertaking, and our leadership is beginning to put some tracks in place to move towards reaching 1%.

One of the keys is to have many people praying for God to touch people’s hearts and call them to serve on the foreign mission field. There are all kinds of ways that a person can serve today. You can check out some of the opportunities on our website: MTW.org/1

David & Dawn at the Acropolis in Athens

David & Dawn at the Acropolis in Athens

Lloyd Kim and our leadership team also rolled out a goal to work in a more collaborative way with others in order to see more churches planted and more people reached for Christ. We pray that by God’s grace there will be a Kingdom movement. A movement of the Lord where we truly see the world changed, on earth as it is in heaven.

Thanks for praying with us, and believing God for even greater things that are yet to come!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Earth Shakes Again
The Devastation caused by the earthquake

The Devastation caused by the earthquake

Amazingly 32 years to the day since the big earthquake of 1985 struck in Mexico City, another earthquake hit Mexico. The earth shook again on September 19, causing much damage in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. More than 300 people perished in this natural disaster.

Dawn and I lived in Mexico City from 1990 – 2000. Two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah were born there. We have many friends there who were affected by the fallen buildings. Yesterday some of our good friends, the Cisneros family told me that they have been without water for 6 days. I spoke to a pastor friend today, and he told me that surrounding his church many buildings had crumbled as the earth shook. They are mobilizing to provide relief to the families that were affected.

Sad to See Friends Suffer – A Startling Video!

 

It saddens us to see our friends suffer. The first time I visited Mexico City was in the summer of 1985. I was there with a group of seminary students just a month before the big earthquake hit. 10,000 people died due to the damage caused by that quake. I remember visiting the following summer and seeing all the fallen buildings. The buildings that had been damaged as the earth shook.

It was during the summer of 1985 that I first met my friends, the Cisneros family. They are a wonderful family. They love the Lord and have been true friends over the year. God used them to minister to us since Hannah passed away. Our heart goes out to them as they live through this trying time.

Pray for Mexico
Praying for Mexico!

Praying for Mexico!

Please join us in prayer for the many people who lost loved ones, and others who are without basic services and needs. I’d also like prayer for wisdom regarding a visit to Mexico City and Morelos to see the damage that was done, and to explore what more we can do to help.

Mission to the World (MTW) has sent a donation of $10,000 to aid the families and ministries that suffered loss. If you would like to make a gift towards the relief effort you can give to the MTW Compassion-Global Disaster Relief Account #40043 and earmark for Mexico relief.

Thank you, friends, for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Comes Through Again!
Our #MTWMexico Team - Serving Together Throughout MexicoOur #MTWMexico Team - Serving Together Throughout Mexico

Our #MTWMexico Team – Serving Together Throughout Mexico

We prayed that the Lord would show up and He did! I’m on the plane with Dawn returning for Puerto Vallarta from our #MTWMexico retreat. It was a time to pray, to worship, to connect, to unwind as a missionary family.

Our times of prayer and worship were awesome. I felt the Lord’s Spirit moving strongly among us as we met together. It started on the first day and it continued to build.

We had the opportunity to hear from every missionary that serves in Mexico in the following cities and regions: Juarez, Reynosa, McAllen, Acapulco, Tijuana, Ensenada, La Paz, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Durango. So good to hear what the Lord is doing in our midst. Churches being planted, mercy ministries meeting people at their point of need. Stories of lives transformed and faithful service.

Two of our missionaries have served in Mexico for more than 40 years, which is amazing to think of.

Reaching Mexico and Beyond Together
Coming together to pray for one another - Praying for Pastor Rafael Rodriquez and his wife, Martha

Coming together to pray for one another – Praying for Pastor Rafael Rodriquez and his wife, Martha

One of the many things that encouraged me was a sense of coming together and serving together. Missionaries tend to be independent, which makes working together a challenge at times, but I believe there is growing realization that while people need some freedom that we are stronger together. A sense of wanting to be more connected and more unified as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in Mexico and Beyond.

This is something we are still working on, in becoming more unified. I feel that it is an important need for prayer.

Growing in Our Love for Christ
A Wonderful time of praise and worship as we grow in our love for our Savior

A Wonderful time of praise and worship as we grow in our love for our Savior

We encouraged our missionary friends to continue to grow in their love for Christ. This is an important aspect of growth for each of us. We want to minister out of a foundation of a deep and abiding love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My prayer this years has become, “O Lord, that I (we) will love Christ as the Father loves Him.” It’s an impossible goal in one sense, but the Bible calls us to be holy as God is holy, so there is a precedent for asking for such things.

There is a sense in which our daughter, Hannah’s death has propelled me towards the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s not that I wasn’t growing in that direction before her passing, but it definitely drove me further into his arms. I love growing in love with Christ, and I desire that for all my friends and my missionary colleagues.

Thank you Jesus for the great and might work that you did in my life and in our lives at the #MTWMexico retreat. What a great group of people who you’ve given us. You are the Lord of Lord and King of Kings, Worthy of all praise and glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Samson Against Incredible Odds
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Renuevo – Ensenada, Baja California

This week, as I was praying the Lord reminded me of the story of Samson and the mighty jawbone. I say mighty because Samson took on 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone.

I can see Samson there with his muscles ripping through his shirt as he took on 1,000. Even with all that power and might, it’s hard to imagine one person taking on so many. Imagine the odds? How does that happen? I find some humor in Samson’s weapon of choice being a donkey’s jawbone!

This passage reminds me of so many things that we do where we feel the odds are stacked against us. The enemy is ready to pounce on us, and he does. Yet, if God is for us, who can be against us? Is there anything too great for the Lord or the strength of his might?

Samson’s Battle with the Philistines

When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck down a thousand men. And Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men.” As soon as he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand, And that place was called Ramath-lehi. —Judges 15:14-17 ESV

Samson was a flawed hero, to say the least, and yet God in his grace used him. This is just as mysterious and amazing as Samson being victorious against such odds!

God’s Mighty Work on the Baja

 

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Pastor Petri and Yudy

I think of some of the ministries we are involved in, and they have humble beginnings and yet God is using them mightily. This past Sunday Dawn and I visited our new church plant, Renuevo which is in Ensenada. Pastor Petri Petrikowski is leading this outreach with his wife, Yudy. They are just beginning, so it’s still a small work, but lives are beginning to be touched by the gospel of grace. People’s lives are being transformed.

It always encourages us when we can visit and meet the people and see how they are encountering the Lord there. Friends that were far away from Christ are being drawn into the Lord’s saving grace. God is so good!

When we look at the Samson story we realize that when God is on our side, we are already on the winning side. We already have a majority. The enormity of the odds 1,000 to 1 is only possible because God is there and He is working. That’s always been how we attain victory!

We see lives transformed through the work of the church not because we are so great, but because the God who is great and awesome and mighty is on our side. Hallelujah!

Also, I’m reminded of the importance of prayer to this amazing God that we serve. Please continue to stand with us in prayer! Pray for Petri and Yudy as they lead Renuevo in Ensenada. Pray for Dawn and me as we come alongside workers like Petri and Yudy to encourage, coach and train them so that they will grow in grace and in their effectiveness! We do give thanks that God can use even a donkey’s jawbone to defeat the enemy and give us victory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Incubator Church Planters Training
Incubator church planters training

Incubator church planters training

I always get encouraged when I hear one of our pastors refer to a principle that he learned during one of our training events. It means that they are beginning to process and apply what they found helpful to their specific ministry situation.

Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to train some of the pastors and church planters in our incubator church planting training. I love the seeing the guys connect and interact and to begin to think through how they can use the information in their context.

Our prayer is that we will have healthy and growing churches. In order for this to happen, it’s essential that we have well-equipped pastors and leaders.

Christ Centered Biblical Counseling & Conflict
Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

The topics we covered during this training session dealt with Gospel Centered Biblical Counseling and Conflict. These are two keys areas that pastors deal with regularly. I enjoyed hearing the interaction as we discussed some of the difficult conversations they are dealing with in the church they serve at.

If you attend one of their churches, don’t worry names were not shared. We just shared the situations, and then how to navigate through the issues they were dealing with in a Christ centered healthy way. There are no copy and paste answers to most situations we face. Prayer is always key and seeking out the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy of our soul loves to help foment division via conflict. I think it’s one of his primary means of attacking the church. Too often people run from conflict rather than choosing to wade in and work towards reconciliation. We grow as we work through the difficult conversations. This is one of the many reasons learning to deal with conflict is so important.

Join Us In Prayer
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. These pastors are under a lot of pressure from various sides. They need our prayers to stay strong and to walk closely with the Lord as they look to him for wisdom.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Give Thanks for the Lord’s Mighty Work!

 

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Young Children learning about the Creator of the Universe!

The Lord gave us another wonderful week this year with our friends from Skyview Church and our friends from Renuevo. We came together for the fourth year in a row to bless the city of Ensenada with Summer VBS. Many lives were touched, and many families took steps towards Christ!

 

Renuevo – Skyview Summer VBS Ensenada 2017 Video

Here’s a video that shows some of the highlights from our time together.


Thanks so much for praying with us, without faith and an army of friends praying with us none of this would be possible.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Summer VBS in Ensenada
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Singing to the Creator of the Universe 

This was our fourth year of VBS in Ensenada with Skyview from Denver and the church in Ensenada. We started with La Nueva Jerusalén, but this year we have a new church plant called, Renuevo. This is a sister church plant with a strong relationship with La Nueva Jerusalén.

There are some new challenges in running a VBS with a new church plant. There aren’t as many church members to draw from or as many children that are part of the group. Yet, Petri and Yudy did a wonderful job along with their core team of recruiting friends and new believers to get involved. Many of the people who helped lead weren’t in a church as little as 6 months ago!

God the Creator of All
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Yudy teaching the eager children 

Most of the children that came are from families that are not yet involved in a church. Maybe they are interested, seeking or were just looking for something for their children to do that was positive during the summer months. The VBS had a different feel this time around.

The theme of the VBS was on creation. God created with world, and the galaxies. The idea of God’s involvement in creation was new to many of the children. One of the teachers, Luz Angela said that she asked the children she was teaching who created the chicken, and they responded the mother chicken. The concept of God creating the chicken was foreign to them.

Reaching New Families
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Petri sharing with the parents about the importance of teaching their children about the Creator

One of the highlights of the week was parents night, on Wednesday night. Forty parents showed up. Petri and Yudy said they didn’t know how many to expect. They thought maybe only 10 or 15 would come.

Petri talked to the parents about the importance of forming their children’s character and teaching them about having a relationship with God. He told them one of the most important things is that the parents themselves set the example and grow personally in their relationship with the creator of the Universe.

The parents responded very enthusiastically. One of them mentioned that their child came home and had all kinds of questions. Their son asked if God created the world does that mean he created the fly as well? It opened the door for positive interaction among parents and their children.

Praying for Renewal in Ensenada
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Kari Berglund from Denver leading the children with Diane Farris

Petri at the end of the evening was able to invite them all to be a part of the new project, Renuevo. Renuevo means renew. They are working to bring about renewal in Ensenada! So encouraging to see God’s work and the hunger.

The parents were also invited to the closing ceremony on Friday. There was an equally strong showing. The parents were proud of their children as they finished up the week and received their certificate for being involved in the summer VBS.

Thankful for Skyview from Denver!
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Thankful for our friends from Skyview Church

The group from Skyview plays a key role as they show love to the children and lead the crafts and activities. They’ve also developed a wonderful relationship with the team from Renuevo. The love of Christ is very apparent as these two groups come together to work on VBS and to enjoy the week together.

Thanks for praying for us. Please continue to pray for Petri and Yudy and their team as they seek to bring renewal to Ensenada through the good news of the gospel.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org