Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

Campus Ministry at UNAM
Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dawn and I went to Mexico City the first week of April. We wanted to be there for Dawn and Hannah’s birthday, since they are not easy days for us. Also, ever since we started ministering in Mexico (Dave 32 years ago, and both of us 28 years ago), we’ve had a heart for Mexico City. We long to see God reach this great city with the gospel.

On Thursday, April 6th I was able to meet with two of our campus ministers, Barush Sanchez and Monse Santiago. God is using them in some amazing ways to share the love of Christ on the largest university in the world UNAM in the heart of Mexico City. They reach out to the students through English clubs, and the Lord has used that to open many doors for them. Barush and Monse also have various Bible studies with the students on Campus as well as a weekly large group meeting.

One interesting connection is that I used to minister with Barush’s dad, Fernando when Dawn and I lived in Mexico in the 90’s. I think it’s amazing how the Lord works and  how he brings together all of the beautiful connections.

Encourage One Another
Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

As we met over lunch and we encouraged one another I was also able to learn more about Monse and Barush and some of the challenges they’ve faced as they seek to reach out on the campus. Their love for the Lord and the students was evident as we talked.

I was able to spur them on in their walk with the Lord as ministers of the gospel on campus. In doing so I shared about the challenge of losing our daughter and how the Lord has been so faithful to sustain us. On the one hand, there is tremendous pain and sorrow, but on the other is the hope of heaven and the Lord’s comfort. They were both very sensitive to what our family has been going through, which lifted my spirits a great deal.

At the end of our time together I prayed for them that the Lord will strengthen their inner lives, and bring healing to them as they minister and share the love of Christ with the students.

Ministering as a Father

As we were saying goodbye and I mentioned having lost my daughter Monse said she would be my daughter, which really touched me because I don’t know her real well. Yet, I know that many need the love of a father.

Recently a new friend told me they sensed that I have the heart of a father. Maybe this is an area the Lord wants me to bless young friends in. I know that I haven’t lost Hannah, she’s just moved to heaven. Now I have another daughter. We can encourage and bless each other in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed Us With Some Amazing Friends
Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

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

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

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

The Impact of Hannah’s Life!
Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel's home

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel’s home

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

Angel's daughter, Ana Rut

Angel’s daughter, Ana Rut

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

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

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way

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

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

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Joy and Sadness
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October 15, 2016 the group that helped us finish building the church in Rosarito, Mexico

Today (Sunday) was a special day for me. I love being able to visit our church plants and encourage the pastors and the congregations. Today I was able to visit our latest church plant with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Ramos 2. Pastor Obed and his wife, Cesiah invited me to preach.

You might remember that we finished building this church, and the church was inaugurated just two days before Hannah died. I remember praying with Obed and Cesiah for Hannah, because she wasn’t feeling well. So the joy of being with them still had hints of sad memories.

We experienced a huge victory in the launch of the church, but personally we experienced a tragic loss.

God is Faithful to Build His Church
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Dave encouraging the church through the Word of God

Yet, I have learned that God is faithful. He keeps working in our lives, and in the lives of others. He is faithful to grow his church, and I believe the growth of the church is inevitable. Maybe not the growth of a particular church, but growth of the Church. God’s kingdom continues to grow and transform lives around the world. Even as I’m writing this Ministerios Transformación is building two new churches that will be launched in April and May! Hallelujah!

I thank the Lord for the small part that Dawn and I could play in helping launch this church. I give thanks for all that God is doing and I trust will continue to do in this community through Pastor Obed, his wife Cesiah and the people of the church.

O Lord, Breakthrough
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

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

We are praying for breakthrough. Breakthrough for this church, and many others that we have a connection with. We’d love to see God’s Spirit move and touch all the churches, and the ministers in Mexico like the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 54 has been on my mind a lot this year. I love that God tells the barren women to have faith, and to enlarge her house, because the baby is coming. For all of those who have suffered loss, or those who are waiting for something you long for, this is a wonderful promise from the Lord of the Angel Armies. He is the Lord Almighty, and he can and he will do it. He calls us to trust him, to have faith, to prepare and to be patient.

“”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. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”

Isaiah 54:1-5 ESV

I encouraged the church with these words today, and God showed up and he touched the people. We grew together as the Spirit ministered to each of us.

Join Us in Prayer

My prayer is that this church will grow, and that they truly will make a difference in the community. I pray and I thank the Lord for Pastor Obed and Cesiah who have a deep and abiding love for Christ, and they are willing to make sacrifices to see this church grow.

Join us in prayer that God will do a great and mighty work in the life of this new church. Pray that they will experience breakthrough personally, and as they reach out in the community with the love of Christ.

Thanks so much for standing with us!

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

 

Growing Together in the Gospel
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Dave leading a Session on the Gospel, the Cycle of Renewal

God’s deep love for us is beyond comprehension. His grace is indescribable. The more we ponder what Jesus did for us on the cross through his death and resurrection, we find ourselves marveling at such an amazing and sacrificial love. These are all aspects of the gospel.

I’m sure it’s not too hard to believe that even ministers need the gospel. Actually, that’s a key point, the more the pastor understands the work of Jesus on the cross. The more he meditates on the depth of such love, and what it means for us. As he applies it to his own life, he is more effectively able to share it with others.

This was one of the key themes we covered last week during our incubator training. It fell to me to cover explaining how each of us is renewed by the gospel. We talked about the cycle of renewal – the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we respond in repentance, which leads us to faith, which leads us to worship, and in response in faith and adoration we obey.

Some of the simplest points of the gospel are also the hardest to apply. I’m not sure why, but I think one reason is that there’s something in us that thinks we can earn God’s favor. We quickly forget, it’s through grace. That’s why Luther said, “we have to beat the gospel into ourselves,” and that “all of life is repentance.” A number of people have also said that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves.

How Do We Reach Our Neighbor with God’s Love?
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Jorge Aleman leading the group through a discussion on philosophy of ministry

Another theme that we covered was how to develop a philosophy of ministry. Related to that is the importance of considering the seeker, the not yet Christian in all our activities. In other words, when you are planting a church it’s good to keep in mind as you design your activities that there will be seekers there. There will be those who are interested, but don’t yet have faith.

The world is changing and it’s more apparent now than ever that we live in a hostile deeply divided world. The church planter has to keep all these things in mind as he reaches out to the community that the Lord has called him to minister in.

God has given us a wonderful group of guys that are going through the incubator church planting training. It’s always enjoyable to be around this group. I come away enriched from all the interaction.

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Some of our pastors who are going through the incubator training

Prayer and Opposition

Thanks for praying! We experienced our share of attacks, set-backs as we prepared for the training. My phone died for two days. It’s not easy to live without a phone, especially in the middle of a training event. One of our colleagues forgot his passport, which meant we had to change some of our plans for our prep work. I got sick the week of the training event. The Lord led me to a doctor in Mexico that prescribed some medication, and by the second day I was feeling much better.

The latest setback is our van is not running well, and since it has 208,000 miles on it I’m working with our mechanic to see whether it’s worth it fix it. We will see! Still waiting on that. Dawn and I appreciate your ongoing prayer for that need.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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Dr. Lloyd Kim sharing at MTW regional hub meeting

Yesterday Dawn and I went to a luncheon in Encinitas at Redeemer Church to promote missions with Mission to the World (MTW). It was a wonderful event as we heard from MTW’s coordinator, Dr. Lloyd Kim and Mobilization director, Dave Veldhorst.

They spoke about the vision of seeing 2,877 new missionaries join the mission force through MTW. That’s an exciting and a big goal for our mission. One of the ways we aim to do that is by forming regional hubs in places like San Diego, Dallas and St. Louis to train and prepare potential missionary candidates.

This vision is still coming together, so we need much prayer. One blazing truth that remains is that Jesus needs men and women to serve him in missions. He needs people who are willing to go and serve.

Christ asked his disciples to pray for more workers.

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in his harvest.” (Luke 10:2,3) ESV

Here’s a helpful short video that MTW put together that challenges us to think and pray about sending more people into the world.

Dawn and I have been praying since before we arrived on the border for more workers. Please join us in prayer that God will raise up many more laborers to go out into the harvest field, and that some of them would join us in our work in Mexico.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org