Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

Our group with the church planters in Havana
Our group with the church planters in Havana

This morning I drank my coffee from a cup that a friend from Cuba, Ailyn gave me that says I ❤️ Cuba. I just returned from this Carribean Island last Wednesday night. I thought I would never love a people as much as I love my Mexican hermanos, where Dawn and I have lived and served over the last 30 years. Yet, I must admit our Cuban friends have stolen our hearts! And as Dawn and I travel especially in Latin America we are finding a growing love for those we meet and minister with there also. God is on the move and it’s fun to be part of what he is doing!

Hannah, Havana and Beyond!
The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

Still to this day I’m not sure how to reconcile my daughter, Hannah’s early homegoing. God is bringing us healing along the journey, but there’s so much we don’t understand! Why do I mention this here, after writing my first paragraph about my growing love for Cuba? Well, just before Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I began to pray that the Lord would increase our reach, and extend our borders.

On January 1 of 2017, just 2 months after Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I were with our two sons, David and Jonathan and we heard a sermon on Isaiah 54, which speaks of how God is going to enlarge the tent of the barren woman. It addresses loss, the inability to have children, and the Lord’s wonderful promise for redemption and an increase! We claimed that passage as a promise for our family and our ministry, and we prayed for a breakthrough.

“”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 ‭ESV (emphasis mine)

Enlarging Our Reach!

Since that time we’ve been able to minister in Cuba, El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, and Ecuador. It’s not just geographically that we’ve seen an increase, but also in the depth or our ministry. The Lord has connected us with some wonderful people in these countries. The place that especially stands out apart from Mexico is Cuba.

Our Growing Family!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!

Dawn and I are amazed at the depth of relationship the Lord has given us in Cuba. It’s amazing, because despite only being able to go to Cuba once or twice a year, through email and WhatsApp we’ve been able to communicate and stay in touch with our unbelievable friends there. Some of them have become like family to us.

The Call to be a Spiritual Father & Mother
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Some of the couples now call us their parents. People need to be loved and encouraged all over the world, but especially those who live in a country that makes internet access and communication so difficult. One particular pastor Luis and his wife, May told me while I was there on this last trip, that there has been a marked difference in their ministry since they met Dawn and me last year. Luis and May are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in remarkable ways. So it’s surprising for me to learn that they feel there has been an increase in their effectiveness in ministry over the last year!

They’ve suffered much as they’ve ministered over the years. I don’t know if I’ve personally ever met people who have sacrificed as much for the gospel as our friends in Cuba. They’ve gone without food. They’ve walked for hours in the hot sun each day to reach an unreached community. Now they have sun spots, sun damaged skin from being in the sun so long without the ability to purchase sunscreen to protect themselves. These friends and others call us their parents, which is a real privilege for us. They have truly stolen our hearts.

Mario & Yani Ministering in Cabaiguan
Mario & Yani with their team of church planters
Mario & Yany with their team of church planters. From top left clockwise: Junior & Kendra with Yany & Mario, Jorge & Rachel with Dave, Dave with Mario & Yany, Dave next to Yoiset & Osmeiki

One of the other young couples who live and minister in Cabaiguan, Mario and Yany are doing a wonderful job in their community. They are leading a team of four young church planting couples. Dawn and I first met Mario and Yany less than two months after Hannah moved to heaven. Yany was only 20 years old then. When Dawn first met Yany, tears streamed down Dawn’s face as meeting Yany reminded her of our daughter and what could have been, as Hannah had a growing interest in ministry. We’ve grown to love Mario and Yany, and it’s such a joy to be able to encourage them in their work.

Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train others to plant churches in Cuba!
Dave with Mario & Yany and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train church planters and leaders to plant churches in Cuba!

A little over a year ago Yany’s mom died of cancer leaving Yany without a mom at a young age. Dawn and Yany have bonded over the loss of a mother and a daughter. The two of them have come together to encourage and love one another even as they mourn.

Join Us in Prayer for Cuba and Beyond!

There are other friends in Cuba who we also feel close to, and every year we go back we meet new friends. Our Cuban family continues to grow and we get to know all our friends there better. What a wonderful gift the Lord has given us. This is part of the answer to our hearts cry. Part of the answer to our prayers that the Lord would enlarge our tent! Thank you so much for praying with us. God does indeed hear our prayers. He is concerned about the longings our heart. He does bring healing even in the valley of the shadow of death. Praise be to Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Growing Family

Some of our pastor friends in Cuba – starting from the bottom Justo, Luis & May and Oniel

I’m on my way to Havana as I write this. Once I’m in Cuba I will have very limited if any access to the internet. I don’t usually like to write my posts on the phone while I’m traveling, but I believe that I need a lot of prayer covering. I will be in Havana from today until Friday the 8th. Then I will be going to some smaller communities to visit and encourage some friends who are pastors.

These friends have become like family to Dawn and me. Since they are isolated in many ways, because of the lack of internet access and because of some of what they’ve had to live through they need encouragement. We all need someone to help us along the way, but it’s even more pronounced on this Island.

Our Role as Spiritual Parents

Pastor Mario and Yany with their daughter, Lorena

Dawn and I have grown to love these dear friends. A number of them now call us dad and mom. This is something that’s more common in Latin cultures. It’s also a growing part of or ministry especially since Hannah moved to heaven. It’s like the Lord has called us to be spiritual parents to a number of people. We enjoy encouraging and loving these friends. It is a true gift from the Lord! Jesus has given us friends to love on in Mexico who see us as spiritual parents.

Join us in Prayer!

Dawn and I would also appreciate your prayers for Dawn and her mom as they had to stay behind. We know that we are in a new season as Dawn’s mom, Alice is not able to live by herself. It’s a privilege to have her in our home and care for her. At least for the time being Dawn is not able to travel as much with me. We trust in the Lord’s guidance and leading during this season.

Lately Dawn and I have been separated some. This will change after I get back from this trip, but it is something we are seeking to manage the best we can now.

I’m not expecting that I will be able to write and post once I’m in Cuba. So it will most likely be a week or more before I post again.

I believe that the Lord is going to do something very special during my time there. I look forward to writing about God’s great and mighty work once I return. Thank you so much for standing with us and praying for us! We praise Jesus for his love and his desire to bring change and transformation to the nations!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Journey Continues!
Dave in Quito - The Middle of the World
Dave in Quito – The Middle of the World

The above statement has been our prayer, especially since our daughter Hannah moved to heaven. God is graciously answering our prayer! I’m heading out today (Thursday) for Colorado then to Cuba, so I wanted to get something out before I took off. This year has started with a bang, as I’ve already gone on ministry trips to Mexico City and Quito, Ecuador. Not much time to rest, and we’ve had the added adventure of taking care of Dawn’s mom, Alice.

It’s a new season for us, and we are just taking one day at a time as we seek to keep our eyes on Jesus. I prefer having Dawn join me on our trips. She is a catalyst in many ways, as she meets so many people in the most unusual ways. You could say, this is a time of growth for both of us. The Lord is teaching us new things as he is so faithful to do.

We do enjoy having Dawn’s mom with us. They are both extroverted so they meet many people in their endeavors. Dawn and I both like to use of our home to minister to others, family and friends.

Giving Thanks for the Lord’s Good Gifts!
The Newlyweds – Jonathan and Hannah with David, Jr., Dawn and Dave

I feel excited about these trips. I’ll be in Colorado Springs for a missions conference, but there’s the added bonus of being able to see my boys and our growing family. This season has been wonderful! Jonathan just married, Hannah and David is engaged to Emily! Many fun celebrations after our time of mourning. It’s not like the mourning completely leaves, but it is so good to receive the Lord’s healing touch through the wonderful young women that Jesus has brought into our family.

Family in Cuba
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

After I’m in Colorado I leave for Cuba and I’ll be there for 11 days. Dawn and I have grown to love our friends in Cuba. Some of the pastors we minister to there call us dad and mom. That’s a huge encouragement to us, and it gives us much joy to stay in contact with them and to strengthen the pastors there. They are amazing people who have gone through so much. They are still cut off from much of the rest of the world. Internet access is expensive, so it makes it difficult to communicate.

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

We are thankful that over this last year the internet presence in Cuba is slowly growing, and it’s becoming easier to communicate with our friends. The government restrictions make it challenging to travel to Cuba, but the Lord has used some of these difficulties to make the people hungry for the gospel. The Cubans we have met are good natured and fun loving people. It seems like they’ve had to learn to laugh in spite of their circumstances.

Join Us in Prayer!

Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers as I’m traveling and Dawn is at home with her mom. I need prayer covering especially for my time in Cuba. That the Lord will protect me both physically and spiritually while I’m there. Also, that we will see a breakthrough, that the Lord will do a mighty work in our friends and with those they minister to. Thank you so much for joining us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Wow! The middle of the world

Wow! The middle of the world

Last week I felt like a Hobbit or at least I thought of them as I visited the middle of the world in Quito, Ecuador. When I visit a new place I like to spend at least a little time getting to know the city and surrounding area. It was my first time in Quito so I took advantage of my time there and went to see the city, and I also visited the middle of the world. Where it is 0.0 – 0 latitude. It is a fascinating place to be for sure. And like I mentioned it made me feel like a tall Hobbit.

Amazed by the Unity in Christ

Red de Multiplicación meeting in Quito

Red de Multiplicación meeting in Quito

I was in Quito for an annual meeting of the Latin American leadership for Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network). This was the first time that I joined this group. I was truly amazed by the spirit of cooperation and community that the group shared.

One of the reasons that I was amazed is because these men and women represented a wide array of denominational groups who shared one goal to see more churches planted throughout Latin America. I don’t always see unity among even people from the same tribe let alone when they are from very different persuasions. I think that is one of the beauties of Red de Multiplicación. They excel in bringing people together for the proclamation and proliferation of the gospel. The goal is to plant more churches and stronger churches.

The unity that I see among these friends reminds me of Psalm 133:1.

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when the brothers dwell in unity!”

Jesus prayed in John 17 that there would be unity among his followers, and too often this isn’t the case. The sense of working together for the gospel demonstrates the love of Christ.

Breakthrough as the Church Multiplies

A great group. Friends from Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico who serve with Red de Multiplicación

A great group. Friends from Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico who serve with Red de Multiplicación

Dawn and I first learned about the Multiplication Network two years ago which was just after Hannah moved to heaven. Of course, that was a time when we were especially hurting and mourning, but we were also praying for more. Dawn and I felt as we prayed that the Lord wanted to see our reach expand.

The Lord impressed Isaiah 54 upon us at the beginning of 2017 which speaks of enlarging your tent, and breakthrough.

“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 rights and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.” Isaiah 54:2-3 ESV

We believe that the Red de Multiplicación is an answer to our heart’s cry. An answer to our prayers. The Lord has already used them to help plant thousands of churches throughout Latin America and as one of our friends, Ben Meyer said, they hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve been encouraged and amazed as I’ve heard the testimonies of ministries that hadn’t planted any churches, and all of the sudden after partnering with the Red de Multiplicación they’be begun to multiply and to see a number of churches planted. We do pray for more!

Join us in Prayer for More!

Pray with us as we partner with the Multiplication Network to see more churches planted so that lives will be transformed by the gospel as they encounter Jesus! We do pray that the church growth we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg and that the Lord will ignite the fires of the gospel throughout Latin America and beyond! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ministry Orientation Workshop in Mexico City

The Ministry Orientation Workshop with church planting candidates and evaluators

I’m writing this post from Quito, Ecuador which is exciting, because it fits in with the vision the Lord gave me last year for church planting. Before I write about my time in Quito I’d like to talk with you about the Ministry Orientation Workshop that I was involved in last week in Mexico City.

Dawn and I love Mexico City. We have dear friends in this huge city where we lived for many years, so it’s always fun to visit.

The Ministry Orientation Workshop is an evaluation process we use to confirm the calling, gifting and competencies of candidates for church planting. Whenever I’m involved in this assessment process I’m reminded of all the challenges involved in planting a church. We put the candidates through a number of scenarios so that we can have the best opportunity to effectively evaluate whether the Lord is truly calling them to plant a church.

I’m thankful for a Good Mentor in Dr. Thomas Graham

Pastor Rafael Rodríguez giving some instructions to the group

My mentor Dr. Thomas Graham developed the first church planting assessment centers about 40 years ago. It’s wonderful to see so many church groups and missions using the process that he started all those years ago. Tom told me that he first developed this process for the Peace Core. He said that before they started using this process it seemed like all they needed was a warm handshake to approve you.

I studied my doctorate under Dr. Graham, and I also worked for him for a few years. I’m forever grateful for all the time he gave me and how he built into my life so that I could more effectively help others to be successful in church planting. Tom is definitely one of my heroes.

Evaluating the Call and Gifting of Potential Church Planters

The group working on one of the exercises that we assigned them

We had five couples and two single people go through our church planters workshop last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them personally and to hear their stories. It’s always thrilling for me to learn about all that the Lord has done in the lives of others to get them to where they are now. It’s not easy to plant a church, so although the process we put the candidates through can be pressure packed it’s an important time. This aids us to get to know them and to help to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to determine whether we believe they have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts needed to plant a church.

Praying for More Churches in Mexicali and Beyond!

Dave the tall one in the middle with Blanca & Federico

I had one couple, Federico & Blanca Muñoz go through the church planters workshop. I’d love to see them plant a church in Mexicali, Mexico. This church plant will be in partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Our prayer is that we can start a church plant in Mexicali later this year. I’m grateful that Federico & Blanca were approved by our group of assessors.

Please continue to join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to start a church planting movement on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! That is why I am in Quito for some meetings on promoting and training leaders in Latin America so that more churches will be planted and that we will also have healthier churches. The Lord gave me a vision last year to trust him to see at least 1,000 churches planted. It’s an impossible goal that only our Lord Jesus can accomplish! Thank you Jesus for this great opportunity and that I can trust and believe in you for the impossible!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ramping up for the New Year

One year anniversary celebration for Hechos 13 church

I don’t know how it is for you, but I often have a hard time getting in gear after the holidays. Part of it is engaging emotionally and even physically. Don’t get me wrong 2018 was an excellent year, but after slowing down and spending some quality time with my family it’s not easy to get psyched up again.

What’s a guy to do!?!

Today I’m headed to Mexico City for a weeklong church planters assessment with people who I love and enjoy ministering with. Then the following week I’m headed to Quito, Ecuador to connect with an amazing ministry, Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network).  I will be meeting with their leadership as we desire to partner with them with a goal of seeing more churches started and to create an environment to grow healthier churches. I appreciate your prayers for my time with them.

So you can see that there’s not much time to rest as the year begins with much activity!

Galatians 6 – One of my Favorites

One of the verses that the Lord has used to encourage me over the years as I start off a new year is found in Galatians 6.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 ESV

I love Paul’s encouragement to not grow weary. And when I start thinking about the many good things that the Lord lets me be involved in then I start getting excited.

Wonderful Celebration: So Thankful for the Advance!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading Hechos 13

Even last night, Sunday night, I participated in the first year anniversary of a new church plant in Tijuana. The church plant is called, Hechos 13 (Acts 13). My good friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Daniel Nuñez is planting this church. Ministerios Transformación the ministry that Pastor Daniel leads has planted almost 40 churches over the last 11 years. We have a wonderful relationship and partnership for the gospel.

A number of other pastors from Ministerios Transformación were at the celebration as well, and it was so good to see them as well as the people from the local congregation. When I see the fruit of our labor then I start feeling excited!

As I drove home last night I began to give thanks for all that the Lord has done so far. Dawn and I also give thanks and we look forward to all that the Lord is going to do this next year. We are super excited about our growing relationship with Red de Multiplicación. This connection is allowing us to expand our reach, which is something that we’ve been praying for!

Join us in Prayer!

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith togetherDawn & I appreciate your prayers as we walk on this journey of faith together

So as we kick off the ministry in this new year we ask you to join us in praying for the Lord’s leading and guidance. We truly want to be Spirit-led, and not driven purely by methods and plans. Our desire is that Jesus is in the middle of everything we do, and this his kingdom will expand on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

We would also appreciate your prayers for Dawn and her mom, Alice. Alice had surgery on her neck in early December right after our son, Jonathan’s wedding. Dawn will be heading out to Pennsylvania to help her mom out while I travel to Mexico City and Quito. We do pray for the Lord’s continued and ongoing healing for Alice! Thank Jesus that he is our healer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Looking back on God’s good work

When I think back on 2018 I give thanks for all that the Lord did this last year. The highlights this year were building a new church plant in our daughter, Hannah’s memory. That was a huge event and all that went into it. I’m so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to honor Hannah’s memory in this way. Dawn and I are thankful for the pastor that is leading the church plant. Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna have become like family to us, and we’ve grown to love them.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.
The church is near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service on May 6, with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

We love their passion to reach the lost for Christ and to see the community transformed by the gospel. Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know them, and being able to coach and encourage them in their ministry.

Cheering on from Heaven
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.
Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Thankful to be able to build a church honoring her life & memory

There’s so much mystery surrounding heaven and the interaction between heaven and earth. Hebrews speaks of a cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭ESV

We believe if there is any way possible Hannah is in heaven cheering on the work of this church, and even interceding on behalf of Mere and Edna as they serve in Mexicali.

One thing we do know is that Hannah loved Mexico, and she loved the people we work with in Mexico. She was born in Mexico City, and just two weeks before she moved to heaven she told us how she’d love to live in Mexico.

Jonathan & David working hard on the church
Jonathan & David working hard helping to build the church

We miss Hannah so much, our heart aches for her, but we are thankful that our grief is not without hope. Our whole family, David jr., Jonathan, Dawn and I give thanks for all the people that gave towards this project and participated in building the church.

Dawn and I are encouraged by the progress that Pastor Mere and Edna have made as they reach out into the community. We also look forward to seeing all that the Lord has in store for them and this special church.

Celebrating Jonathan & Hannah’s Marriage
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!
Excited for this young couple, Jonathan & Hannah as they start their lives together!

The other special highlight for us in 2018 just happened the first day of December when our son, Jonathan married Hannah Blanco. Now they are Mr. & Mrs. Jonthan Diaso. Both of them love Jesus, and they desire to serve the Lord and to be involved in ministry. They have tremendous gifts, and as they come together we know that the Lord is going to do a great work through them. We are so excited for them and cheering them on as they start their lives together.

I wrote more about their wedding and marriage in my last post.

Looking forward to 2019
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily
Hannah & Jonathan with David & Emily

We already know that 2019 holds something special for us as well. We know this because of God’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plans for us are for good and not for evil. We also know this, because our son David just got engaged to Emily Tenison and they are planning on getting married in May of 2019. The Lord continues to redeem and expand our family and ministry!

Thanks so much for praying for us and encouraging us through this past year. We know that we would not have been as effective or successful without a team of faithful friends standing with us. People who pray for us, encourage us and who give financially to support the ministry. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your goodness and that all of your promises are yes and amen in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. If you’d like to give a year-end gift you can give to the ministry online through this link:

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