Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

Excited to See the Church Grow

 

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Dawn with Pastor Ivan and his wife Rocio

Today Dawn and I are off to Mexico City. Then on Saturday, I will be going to Cuba to minister with our friends from Los Pinos. Before I talk about these trips I’d like to highlight one of the ministries that we work closely with on the border.

 

Just over three years ago, we helped Ministerios Transformación plant a church in Ribera del Bosque, which is a community in Tijuana. Our good friends, Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio lead this church. It’s been exciting for us to watch them grow as leaders as the church has grown.

Choice Servants – Ivan and Rocio Casados

 

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Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio in front of their church

Ivan and Rocio love our family. They were deeply moved when they heard that Hannah had passed away. When I told Ivan he started to cry, which meant a great deal to me, because I knew he loved Hannah and our family.

 

We give thanks to the Lord for such special and dear friends. I remember not long after we helped build Ivan’s church, that he had the vision to see the church grow. He wanted to build a second floor so that they could use the bottom floor for fellowship and outreach to children. Dawn and I visited the church last week, and it filled our hearts to see the realization of Ivan’s dream. They just recently added a second floor.

They are still working towards putting in a kitchen and developing a breakfast program for children in the neighborhood. One of the many things I love about Ivan and Rocio and all my friends at Ministerios Transformación is that they have a deep desire to make a difference in the community. They are always looking for ways to minister to those in need. The church is truly a light in a dark place. Hallelujah!

As Dawn and I visited with Ivan and Rocio they shared about a friend in the church named Aaron. Aaron has a serious injury to his foot, which has partially crippled him. Hannah and Dawn prayed for Aaron over the past two years. They prayed for healing.

Aaron gave a testimony in church recently about how the Lord was healing his foot, and how it felt so much better. He remembered the prayers of Hannah and Dawn and he gave thanks for them. That news filled our hearts. Thank you, Jesus!

Pray With Us!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they seek to make a difference in Ribera del Bosque.

 

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Dave with some of our friends that we work with in Cuba: Frank, Ariadna & Melissa

Dawn and I would like to ask prayer for our time in Mexico City, and my time in Cuba. We will be visiting our campus ministers right after we land today. Then I will leave for Cuba on the 17th, and Dawn will stay in Mexico City during that time. I will be working with the leaders in Habana. Many of them are growing as coaches, and I’m ministering with a team to train them further in their coaching skills. It’s always a rich blessing for me to be with our brothers and sisters in Cuba. They have such a warm and loving spirit.

 

I do give thanks to the Lord for all the good things that He has done!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is Growing His Church in Mexico
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Guadalajara

Dawn and I are grateful that we are connected to a larger mission that works in many cities in Mexico and beyond. You might remember that we began our ministry with Mission to the World (MTW) in Mexico City back in 1990. That was also the year that our oldest son, David Jr. was born. As we pray and work towards the growth of the church, and for changed lives it’s exciting to be able to visit and encourage our missionaries and to see all the Lord is doing through them. One of the cities we recently visited was Guadalajara.

Precious Servants & Friends

 

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Our good friends, Matt & Esta Jesch with their son, Mateo

Guadalajara is a beautiful city with many needs for the gospel. MTW missionaries have been working in this great city for more than 20 years. It gave Dawn and me great joy to spend some time with Matt and Esta Jesch, who arrived in Guadalajara about three years ago. They are wonderful servants of the Lord, who we’ve grown to love as we’ve gotten to know them. They actually flew out to support us when our daughter, Hannah died.

Matt and Esta have many gifts and they have amazing hearts to work alongside our churches to reach out and come alongside people in need. This includes job training and mercy ministries. We love being with them, they are some of our favorite people.

Church Growth in Acapulco & Guadalajara

 

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Kenton & Adriana Wood with Dawn and Dave in front of Rey de Reyes Church

One of MTW’s missionaries who has had the most success not only in Mexico, but in all of Latin America is Kenton Wood. Kenton’s parents were missionaries when he was a child. They served in the Acapulco area. Unfortunately, when Kenton was still young both of his parents were tragically killed in an airplane accident. Even with this tremendous tragedy, and challenge Kenton’s love for Mexico and the people of Mexico has not waned.

He planted a church in Acapulco in the 80’s. Then in the mid-90’s he moved to Guadalajara to begin his church planting work with his wife, Karen. The church, Rey de Reyes has grown to 900, and they have started four other churches in Guadalajara and other cities in Mexico.

Kenton has experienced some challenges in his life, but he’s been resilient and continued to serve faithfully. Not only did he lose his parents when he was young, but his wife, Karen passed away about 5 years ago. She had cancer. The Lord has sustained Kenton and his family through all these trials.

Dawn and I were so encouraged to share a meal with Kenton and his lovely wife, Adriana who now serves alongside him in the church, Rey de Reyes. God is so good, and takes care of His children. First we visited the church, and saw all the various ministries and how the Lord is using them. It brought us joy to see the vision and creativity for reaching the lost with the good news of Christ.

I give thanks for all that the Lord is doing in Guadalajara. Pray for the church to grow and that even more churches will be started, even more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We pray that we can replicate more churches and healthy churches throughout Mexico and beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

 

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Red de Multiplicación – Multiplication Network in El Salvador

IMG_1145Over 300 people from 19 Latin American countries gathered this week in El Salvador to promote more churches and healthier churches in the Spanish speaking world. One of the most exciting things for me was to see people from so many different cultures and denominational traditions coming together for the Kingdom of God.

I believe it glorifies God when his people come together and when they lay aside some of their differences for the advance of the church. The ministry that organized this event is called Multiplication Network or Red de Multiplicación in Spanish. Their slogan is more churches, healthier churches.

The Church in Growing in Latin America

Reports were given by various leaders about how many churches have been started, how many people have come to Christ, been baptized and other areas which demonstrate growth and health. With all the bad news going on in the world it does lift up my soul to see how God’s Spirit is moving and bringing about transformation in Latin American.

The main focus at the conference was on discipleship and life transformation. This is a much needed area in the church. The trends are showing that while the church is growing in Latin America, that many Christians are becoming nominal. Their faith is shallow, and therefore their influence on the culture is minimal.

We can’t be satisfied with just getting people in the door of the church. O Lord, do wake up the church and bring about true transformation that will rock the nations!

Collaborating with Friends & Colleagues
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Pastor Edson Martinez, David Diaso (Me), Pastor Abraham Velazquez and MTW Missionary Peter Boling

Another highlight for me was that some of my friends and colleagues in ministry were able to join me at the conference. Peter Boling who works with me in the Baja was able to attend. Also, two pastors from Ministerios Transformación attended, Pastor Abraham Velazquez and Pastor Edson Martinez.

On the last night we had a little time available to explore San Salvador and we saw some of the city together and enjoyed pupusas, which is one of the delicious El Salvadoran meals.

My ongoing prayer has been for breakthrough. I long to see breakthrough where we are locally on the border and The Baja. I also long to see breakthrough in other parts of México, in the great cities of Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, etc. I pray that the Lord’s Spirit will move in such an amazing way in Mexico and that it will spill over into other countries in Latin America. My desire is to be a part of what God is doing. This desire, this dream is not too big for the Lord. O Lord, do you mighty and awesome work on the earth as it is in heaven!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Enjoying The Beauty of God’s Work
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La Paz

One of the many wonderful things that we enjoy about our ministry is that we get to travel to see those that we partner with. The Lord is doing a marvelous work through our friends in and around Mexico. An added bonus to all our travels is that we’ve found that it really helps us as we grieve Hannah’s loss. It helps us to not think about it as much, but also the people we connect with are very loving and encouraging to us.

Recently, Dawn and I visited Peter and Jenny Boling who are serving in La Paz, which is in Southern Baja California. La Paz is a beautiful peaceful city, and it is also the capital of the State. La Paz means the peace, so it is appropriately named.

A Place to Pray for Peace
Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter and Jenny have rented some space downtown for a prayer center. This gives them a presence in the city and the opportunity to meet people, and to share the love of Christ. Our goal is to form a beachhead to see the community transformed as we start new churches. The Boling’s just moved to La Paz last September, and they’ve made great progress.

Pray with us for a breakthrough in La Paz. We are also looking for a national church planter who can partner with them. Even though La Paz is a beautiful city, there are great needs in the community. The prayer center is a way to open doors. Peter and Jenny have already had some wonderful conversations and opportunities to pray with people who are curious and seeking.

Praying for Transformed Lives

While we were there Peter showed me a building a stone’s throw away from their prayer center that would make for a great church facility down the road. We have a vision for the future and for a better tomorrow. We know that God’s heart is to see lives transformed and for entire communities to experience his saving love.

Thank you for standing with us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. Pray for Dawn’s dad, Al. He has cancer and is not doing well. It’s tough that it’s so close to losing Hannah, and that my dad also has cancer.

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