Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Testimonies of God at Work
Pastor Davis & Luz

I like to look for positive stories. Stories and testimonies that display the goodness of God, and how He is at work. This is especially important while we are going through this world wide crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Two of the church planting couples that I’m working with in Mexico are in the initial phases of starting their church. One of them, Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz just moved into the community of Playas in February. One of the first things a church planter does when arriving in a new community is to begin making new contacts.

Davis and Luz are a very personable and likable young couple. They do a great job meeting people. Yet, you can imagine how it’s been for them since just barely a month after they moved in everyone is living in lockdown. It’s hard to meet people when they are all afraid to go outside!

I’ve been in regular contact with Davis and Luz encouraging them, and praying with them. One of things that we’ve talked about was for them to go on prayer walks in the neighborhood, once they felt safe doing so. Over the last couple weeks they started walking near where they live. When there is someone outside they often have the opportunity to greet them, which is positive!

God’s Guidance
Davis and Luz with their three children Davis Jr., Julian and Ashley

Last week Davis felt tired so he decided to take a nap. While he was sleeping he dreamed that his wife, Luz told him they should go to the pharmacy in the community, so that they could meet someone. When Davis woke up, Luz said, “let’s go on a walk down the street,” and he responded, “that’s not what you told me in the dream.” So they went to the pharmacy, and began to look for someone to talk to in the area.

They saw a number of people, but Davis didn’t sense at first that the people he saw were the one’s that the Lord was leading them to. Finally, Davis saw a man, Jorge and they went to talk to him. Jorge told them that he has lived in Playas for 30 years, so he knows a lot of people there.

Jorge was very friendly and Davis and Luz were able to talk to him for quite a while. They told him that they were starting a church and he expressed interest. Isn’t it encouraging to see the Lord guiding and answering prayer? We are praying and believing that the Lord will build this church. We pray that the Lord will open the doors and make a way. He is the Way Maker.

Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace when he sent them out to minister in a new city. The person of peace is someone who is open and he or she is willing to help. He can open doors for you into the community. Jesus refers to the person of peace in Luke 10:5,6. Jorge may be a person of peace for Davis and Luz as they meet people in Playas.

Join us in Prayer & by Giving
Playas in Tijuana

Join with us in praying for Davis and Luz as they continue to make contacts and share the love of Christ during these unusual days that we are passing through. I believe the Lord is going to use the pandemic to cause people to be spiritually hungry. I just saw the other day that Google searches for prayer are way up, since the COVID-19 crisis began. People are looking for answers, and seeking peace in the midst of all the fear.

Another related issue is that there are many people who are struggling to survive in Mexico and Cuba. I’ve written about the hunger and the lack of basic needs in Cuba in other posts, that you can see here… Poverty was already a problem in Mexico, and now that so many are out of work it has only worsened. You can help by giving to these needs by clicking on the link below.

Donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Extending Our Hands to Help Those in Need
Families that we’ve helped by extending our hands in love

In one of my last posts I wrote about the tremendous needs in Cuba and friends helping hands, “Manos Amigas”. Hands of friends like you who have extended your hands to give food to the hungry and the needy in Cuba. The hunger and lack of basic items continues. You can click here to give or on the button at the end of this post.

One of the pastor’s wives that we’ve been working with has sent us some testimonies describing the needs and how your gifts have helped, so I’d like to share with you what May wrote.

Answered Prayer for Toothpaste
Yuni giving thanks for God’s answer to her prayers

One of the issues that many Cubans face is not having toothpaste, especially during this crisis. They end up having to brush their teeth with water and salt when they don’t have toothpaste to brush their teeth. One of the families who are also leaders in the church have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Church planters, David* and Deborah* were forced to have their daughter, Yuni* (video above) use salt and water to brush her teeth so she wouldn’t get any cavities. Yuni tried to brush her teeth with the salt and she started crying because the salt burned her mouth. While she was crying one the people from the church was walking by and heard her. He asked her why she was crying, and she told him it was because the salt burned her mouth. He told her, “don’t cry, many of us have to brush our teeth with salt.”

She said, “I am not going to brush my teeth with salt anymore. I am going ask God for toothpaste.” That same friend who was talking to Yuni later went to Pastor Lucas* and Maria’s* house and he was laughing about his conversation with Yuni. When Lucas* heard about it he felt sad, and he told Maria* about it. Lucas said to Maria, “we are going to take some toothpaste to them as well as a donation to help their family so they can buy food.”

Maria added that there are people that buy and resale toothpaste for up to $8 in Cuba which is almost half a months salary, if you can imagine that.
After they took the toothpaste to Yuni and her family, she said, ”God answered my prayer, and he saw my tears.” God used the help of friends extending their hands to provide for this beautiful young family. Lucas and Maria told Yuni that “some friends extended their hands and sent the gift to help them and that the Lord used these friends to answer your prayer!”

Soap for Jesus
Maria with Jesus

Jesus who just celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday cried with joy when he saw Lucas and Maria. He was thankful not only that they came to visit him, but they also came to bless him with the help from the friends hands. The help arrived at the perfect time so that he could buy food and soap. He hadn’t been able to bath for a number of days, because he didn’t have the money to buy soap. It completely changed his day. It’s very important to help the elderly. Many of them have limited income and it is difficult for them to pay for their basic needs. This is especially true during this time of the food shortage, and the lack of basic needs due to the restrictions placed on the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jesus Encourages us to Care those in Need

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV (emphasis mine)
Turning Sadness into Joy!
One of the young church planters, Marcos* with his wife and son

Maria wrote, “It’s impressive what the friends helping hands have been able to do. Although you couldn’t fly on a plane to travel. You weren’t able to leave your country or even your houses, but you extended your hands to give and to support the families in need. You have conquered the obstacles. You have crossed borders and even the sea to arrive at places far away to bring relief. You have responded to the prayers and cries of mothers. You have transformed the sadness of the elderly into joy to know that there is someone on this earth that still loves them. Through the kindness of friends’ hands today many children woke up and had a hot and healthy breakfast to eat. The friends’ hands have shown that love isn’t only something spoken with words, but it is demonstrated with actions.”

Young church planting family – Mario* & Lili* give thanks for the help they received.

In the photos you can see that everyone is full of joy. They are all asking and want to know who are the friends hands that have helped them? They don’t understand how in the middle of this global crisis that someone would be willing to give to the needs of others.

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for your generosity and for extending your hands to help those in need. The hunger and lack of basic items like toothpaste and soap continues. There is still a need to give to help our Cuban familia. You can make a huge difference by giving a gift today. Click on the donate button below.

Donation

Thank you for joining Dawn and me on this exciting journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
My dad and me with my mom at my brother John’s wedding

Today we will commit my mom, Virginia Diaso’s remains to the earth. You can read my tribute to mom here…

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

That phrase doesn’t exude much hope. It’s the hard edge of death. We are separated from those we love. I believe that is one of the reasons why Jesus wept when his friend, Lazarus died. Even though there is hope there is a certain level of tragedy in death.

Think about it with me for a moment. If you go back to Genesis after each of the seven days that God created he said, “it was good.” There was no death in Eden’s garden. But the serpent deceived the man and told him that there was a better way. Thus, death entered into the world.

My mom and dad’s backyard with the beautiful garden

There’s a sense in which man has been trying to get back to the garden ever since. I’m sure it is one of the reasons we love beautifully manicured gardens. My mom enjoyed gardening. Actually as I write this I’m sitting in the back yard of my dad and mom’s house enjoying their garden.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that all of creation groans with the pains of childbirth for the day of redemption. Thankfully even though we groan now, there is a day of redemption.

Papa’s Tender Love & Care

We give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation

I’ve seen the Lord’s tender love and care as he’s carried me through both my daughter’s early home going and now my mom’s departure.

I was in Cuba when my mom fell and fractured her pelvis which sent her to the hospital. I hoped that I could get back home and then to Fresno to see mom one last time. I arrived back home at midnight the night before my mom moved to heaven. Even though I made it back home, I wasn’t able to make it to Fresno in time.

I still saw the Lord’s grace and mercy in the valley of the shadow of death.

My brother John called me that morning and told me that mom wasn’t going to make it much longer, so he encouraged me to say goodbye to mom over the phone. To be honest, that was very awkward, but I’m glad for that opportunity. I was able to cry with her and tell her that I loved her one last time. Later in the day, I felt like I should call again as I was getting ready to leave for Fresno. I talked to my brother Greg this time. Right when I got off the phone my mom moved to heaven.

It was like my mom waited. She was always concerned for her family, and she wanted us to be safe. I know she prayed daily for our safety among other concerns that she lifted up to heaven.

God’s Kiss
God’s masterpiece – driving through the rainbow and beautiful sunset on our drive to Fresno on the day mom moved to heaven.

On March 19, we drove to Fresno from the San Diego area. This was when the restrictions were beginning to be set in place, so there wasn’t much traffic.

It was raining as we drove through LA, and for the first time in my life Dawn, Alice (Dawn’s mom) and I drove through a rainbow. It was like God’s kiss. A reminder of his love, and that he would take good care of my mom. Shortly after the rainbow we saw a beautiful sunset with the sun breaking through the clouds.

Our Heavenly Father, Papa God hugged me and comforted me as I drove to be with my family. He reminded me that my mom is now part of the cloud of witnesses. She is with her savior, and she is with her granddaughter, Hannah. I am sure that mom has the most amazing garden now!

Mom’s Legacy
Mom – Virginia Diaso

In the days since my mom died, I’ve sought to take extra time to pray while we are in this lockdown due to the coronavirus. One day as I was praying near our home the Lord reminded me of Elijah. I could see Elijah going up to heaven in his chariot while his mantle was falling on Elisha, his disciple.

In that time as I reflected and prayed I could see my mom’s mantle of prayer falling to me. Even as I write this I feel the Lord’s presence. I feel sentimental, but also I sense the Father’s confirmation.

My mom was a quiet woman, but she prayed. I think she was more powerful than she knew, because of her strong love and connection with God. When she moved to heaven at first I thought, “O no, I’ve lost my number one prayer supporter!” Then the Lord comforted me and showered me with His love. He showed me that mom’s passion and power in the secret place has fallen to me. I am truly blessed, as is my whole family!

Mom was ready for heaven. She had peace about going and she was anxious to get there!

Mom & Hannah reunited in heaven

I thank the Lord for the legacy of love and prayer that mom left. I look forward to carrying on her legacy.

Thank you for praying for my family and me during this time of mourning. I have peace, but it’s never easy to say goodbye to those we love!

The graveside service for mom is at 12 PM PDT on Friday, May 1. We hope to be able to record and hopefully livestream it as well. Thank you again for your loving support through your prayers.

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

“Manos Amigas” Friends Hands
Pastor Luis & May with a number of people who have been helped by the gifts that have been sent.

Our familia is so grateful for the gifts that we’ve been able to send to them so far. Pastor Lucas* and Maria sent us some photos of a number of the families that they have been able to help because of our gifts. You can see that they are holding their hands up in the photos, and I didn’t know what that meant. So I asked them, and they explained that they are praying for the Lord to send the hands of a friend to help them. So they are holding up their hands to say thank you for the friends’ hands who have helped them.

Lucas and Maria told me that they have always prayed and dreamed of having a ministry out of their church that would be called, “Manos Amigas” Friends Hands.

Then they went on to explain that Leti (Dawn) and I are extending our hands to help them. Each of you that are helping are also extending your hands to help our Cuban familia.

There is still time to extend your hands to help the families and the elderly in Cuba by giving a gift today!

Our Cuban familia continues to suffer through the coronavirus. The situation is worse there than it is in other countries, because there was already a food shortage before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Dave with Pastor Lucas & Maria and their children, David & Zuri

Pastor Lucas and his wife, Maria told us how difficult it is for them to get milk, yogurt, cereal and many of the foods that children eat for breakfast. They said that their daughter, Zuri was asking them if there was any milk in the United States. The reason Zuri asked this question is because she is going to be celebrating her 7th birthday soon. The government subsidizes the milk until the child turns seven. Then the price of the milk goes up from .25 centavos to 30 pesos, so it’s about impossible for families to buy milk for their children once they are older than seven.

Families end up sending their children to school without having breakfast, or maybe they’ll have a cup of coffee. Lucas and Maria do everything they can to provide a snack for the children when they come to church on Sunday morning since most of them come hungry.

The Scarcity of Food is Daunting
Pastor Rene on the upper right photo with some of the people from his church

Dawn and I have been staying in close contact with a number of pastors like Pastor Rene (photo above) to make sure that they have enough food for themselves and the people in their congregation. The scarcity is daunting, but they’ve been able to use the money that we’ve sent to help families and the elderly.

We plan on sending more help this week. You can help feed families in Cuba by clicking on the link below and giving.

Dave talking to Pastor Justo

Our good friend, Pastor Justo is one of the pastors that I was able to talk to this week. He had to go outside of his house to get a wifi connection so he could talk to me. We were able to make a video call. Unfortunately, Justo had to wear a mask the whole time, because in Cuba they are giving out fines to the people if they don’t wear a mask when they are outside.

It’s such a different world and now things have worsened with the restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Extend Your Hands to Help

Our Cuban familia needs your help and your prayers. Please click on the donate button to give and to extend your hands to help these families.

Thank you!

Thank you for praying for the needs of Cuba and our Cuban familia. Dawn and I appreciate you, and we are thankful that you are joining us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Scarcity in Cuba

Our heart is breaking this week as we receive messages from our familia, our pastor familia in Cuba. Daily we are receiving news about the lack of transportation, food, and basic necessities during the lockdown due to COVID-19.

Even while I was on the Big Island last month, in March they were already dealing with the scarcity of many basic needs. There were long lines for chicken to the point in one city two women fought over getting their food. One of the women was killed in the altercation.

Compassion for Neighbors in Crisis
Dave with Pastor Luis & May and their two children, David & Zuri

Now some families are literally starving. Just a couple of days ago. One of the pastors, Lucas* and Maria* who we work with heard a child of one of their neighbors crying in the night. Maria told Lucas that she sensed that the child was crying because of hunger. The next day she went to their home and sure enough, they didn’t have any food to give to the children.

Maria went home and brought them some hot rice and beans. She said when their neighbor saw her with the hot food she came out of her house with tears in her eyes. She told Maria that a few days ago her husband left her for another woman. Now she was all alone with her two children to fend for herself in the middle of this crisis.

Maria said when she heard her neighbor’s story she lifted up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord and said, “thank you Lord for David and Leti.” All of our friends in Latin America call Dawn, “Leti”. Maria gave thanks for how the Lord used us, because we had just sent them some financial help. We felt led to do this, because of our love and concern for them. We call them our familia. It was disconcerting to hear all the stories of desperation.

You can Help!
Dave with Pastor Mario & Yany (bottom right) in Cabaiguan one of the areas hit the hardest by the Coronavirus

Dawn and I would like to encourage you to send help as well. The average salary in Cuba is $25 a month, many receive less than that, so even a small gift helps. To send a gift we have a tax deductible 501(c)3 nonprofit, called Beyond Borders.

Donate
  • Via check write your check out to Beyond Borders
    • Send the check to Beyond Borders
    • 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

Also, please join us in prayer for the needs of our pastors, their congregation and the people of Cuba. They are wonderful people who have tremendous needs now. There are many pastors who live day to day, hand to mouth and they aren’t able to work to generate any income because of the Coronavirus. Our pastors, their congregation and their neighbors are all in need of food and can use our financial support during this crisis.

Maria told us that after she brought her neighbor a hot meal. She later gave her some of the items they had just purchased with the money we sent, rice, oil, salt, sugar, bread, and some ground pork. The neighbor cried the whole time with tears of gratitude.

When I shared this with Dawn she started crying. She was moved to compassion for our familia and the people in need in Cuba. Dawn was concerned about where the money would come from to help this precious family and so many others who are in need.

Join us in making a difference in Cuba today! Make a donation to help those who are in need and faithfully serving Christ! Remember to daily lift them up in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Surprised by the Gospel
From top left going clockwise: Pastor Ivan Casados, Pastor Abraham Velazquez, Pastor Gilberto Garcia all in Tijuana, Pastor Jorge Izaguirre in Queretaro, Worship group at Comunidad Cristiana in El Niño, Pastor Jesus Petrikowski in Ensenada, Pastor Mere Godinez and in the middle Pastor Yovani Robles in Tijuana

I was surprised and encouraged to see so many of my friends from the Border and throughout Mexico posting their services online! I opened up my Facebook page on Sunday morning, and all the sudden I started noticing how many services were being broadcast.

Some of the churches were close by in Tijuana, Ensenada and Mexicali. Churches that we helped to plant. I know it’s been a lot of extra work for the pastors and their staff to have to learn how to broadcast their church services. Many of them were reluctant at first, but with some encouragement and help they’ve been able to pull it off.

Renuevo Church in Ensenada

One of the services I watched was lead by Pastor Petri in Ensenada. You could tell that he put a lot of work into preparing for the online Facebook transmission. It was so encouraging to see the gospel go out in this way! I noticed the Renuevo church which Petri leads had more people watching than normally attending the church on a typical Sunday. I also recognized some of the names of the people who tuned in. There were friends watching who had never attended the church before!

Could this seeming barrier end up being a huge win for the church? Many people are reticent to come to church for the first time, but they are willing to watch online. They can hear the gospel through an avenue that they may not have considered before. It also helps that most people are restricted in what they can do on Sundays.

Edna Rodriguez on the left leading worship in Mexicali. This is the church we planted in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

When I see what is going on and how the Lord is using this obstacle it reminds me of what Joseph said to his brothers. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). God is indeed using this for good, and many will be saved! Hallelujah! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God is greater. Satan was defeated at the cross of Christ. We have victory in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Easter Hope in the Midst of COVID-19
Thankful for the Cross of Christ

Dawn and I hope you had a wonderful Easter! I mean, we realize that it was an unusual Easter, since we are all confined to our homes. Yet, it’s wonderful to think about Christians all around the world celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Jesus death and resurrection give us a future and a hope.

As Believers we have reason to be hopeful. Last Wednesday, April 8 was the beginning of the Passover, and it was also Holy Week. God is at work during this time, and although the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy He who is in us is greater. Satan seeks to do us harm through the coronavirus and what’s going on around the world, but I believe God will use it for good.

We are looking to Lord to breakthrough and bring revival!

God is on the Move!

Today I made a short 5 minute video, and in it I share some of our experiences over the last month. I think you will find it encouraging.

Dawn & I give thanks for God’s Great work
Pastor René & Yarlis Peñate
Dave with Pastor René

As I mention in the video I just recently returned from Cuba where I was involved in training 102 church planters in four different cities. Pastor René Peñate is one of the church planters who was involved in the training.

This morning Pastor Rene and his wife, Yarelis sent me a video of Yarelis and their children singing the song Forever (Por Siempre), which was co-written by Kari Jobe. This is a powerful song with a great Easter message. We actually sang this song at our daughter, Hannah’s funeral. Kari Jobe was one of Hannah’s favorite artists so the song and the artist have a special significance for our family.

Por Siempre sung by Yarelis Peñate and family
Forever (English version) performed by Kari Jobe
Forever by Kari Jobe with Lyrics

We do sing Hallelujah, because the Lamb has overcome. Forever He is glorified, forever His is lifted high, He is Alive!

Thanks for doing us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Covid-19, Missing Mom & Feeling Down
Missing Mom

Early last week I was feeling a little down. It started sinking in more that my mom is gone, and that I won’t see her again until I join her in heaven. I think I’m still numb in some ways. I’ve found that grieving is a process, but being back home and trying to live life in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis it’s all hitting me at once.

Of course, it’s not an easy time for our nation or for most of the people around the globe. I don’t believe there’s been an event quite like this during our lifetime. And in the middle of this I’m grieving the loss of my mom.

The Need for Good News & Breakthrough
Our hope in Christ

I felt like I needed to look for some good news. Something to lift me up and give me some hope. It’s difficult to live without hope. In my search the Lord started directing me to some positive messages about what our Father is doing during this time. A number of people believe there is going to be a breakthrough this next week. God is going to bring breakthrough during Passover which starts on Wednesday, April 8. It’s interesting, because this year Passover connects with Holy Week.

In the first Passover the people of God, the Israelites were cloistered in their nuclear families as they took part in the Passover meal. They were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on their door post. They ate the meal in haste as they prepared for the Lord to deliver them, and to bring them out of slavery. He brought them out of slavery and into freedom and eventually into the promised land.

In a similar way during this time of Passover we will be secluded with our family. We also look to the Lord to rescue us.

I believe that God is at work, even though it might be hard to see. The devil seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The enemy of our soul means this for evil, but God means it for good, and for the good for many.

A Creative Response to the Quarantine in Mexicali
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children

I’ve been calling and sending notes to my church planters, pastors and leaders in Mexico and Cuba and seeking to encourage them. Many of them feel discouraged that they are so limited. I mean in Cuba they aren’t able to stream their messages online. Yet, as people in these countries have lost many of the things they usually entertain themselves with it causes them to realize their greatest need. Their spiritual need.

I’ve told my church planters and leaders be ready people are going to be hungry coming out of this!

These dear friends who are like family to us have appreciated the hope that I’ve shared with them. One couple, Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz got creative. They set up a microphone and loudspeaker in front of their house today (Sunday) and he began to share the good news.

Pastor Federico Muñoz sharing the good news in a time when it is desperately needed

Federico told them that this is the first Sunday that they are not able to go to church on Palm Sunday regardless of the church they belong to. Then he told them about our hope in Christ and that Federico and his wife were willing to pray for the people if they had a need. He gave out his number and said they could send their prayer request via WhatsApp. Federico also told them that if they needed a Bible that they would like to give them one.

Then they started receiving messages from their neighbors and other people nearby. Federico and Blanca were initially afraid that their neighbors were going to complain that they were being too loud, but instead their neighbors were thankful!

Some of the people even came out of their houses to sing the worship songs they played on the loudspeaker and they listened to what Federico shared. Many asked them when they were going to start their church services. Wow, amazing! God is so good!

They even had the opportunity to pray for some of the people while trying to practice social distancing.

Federico & Blanca praying for two women who asked for prayer and for Bibles

I was surprised when I received Federico and Blanca’s message about how they were sharing the gospel in their neighborhood. I was even more surprised when they told me that this method of sharing the gospel worked! Of course, this encouraged Federico and Blanca as they took this step of faith. They told me what I had shared with them during the week helped them and encouraged them to continue. Sometimes it’s these small steps of faith that lead to greater things.

Federico and Blanca who are planting a church in Mexicali and Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana and others have felt down, because they feel like they aren’t able to do anything during the quarantine. I feel like the Lord used the blessing, and encouragement He gave to me earlier in the week to be a spark to these wonderful partners in the gospel! We continue to pray for more, Lord!

Draw Near to the Lord in These Days
Dave & Dawn with Federico & Blanca and Luz & Davis

Even though it is a difficult time, God is still at work. Dawn & I am believing and praying for a breakthrough during this week of Passover.

This is a time for us to draw near to the Lord. A time to examine our lives and humble ourselves before the Lord. God promises to respond as we do so.

God says, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”‬‬

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭ESV

It’s important to note that God says my people, so it is the church that is to be humble before the Lord and pray and seek God’s face. Our Father also calls us to turn from our wicked ways, which is not only individually. We need to confess the sins of our land. God is good, and He is loving and He will respond as we humble ourselves and seek him.

I tried to cover a lot of ground in this brief post. Obviously, I’m only hitting on the surface of the these issues, but my hope is that you might be encouraged. There’s so much negative news today, and I don’t think it’s healthy to spend too much time focusing on all the doom and gloom. Lift up your eyes and remember where our help comes from. “My help comes from he Lord, who make heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV)

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Tough Transition Back Home
Virginia Diaso – November 5, 1935 – March 19, 2020

Life has been both difficult and crazy since I returned from Cuba. I saw a lot of fruit while I was with my friends on the big island, but I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting on the other side of my trip. I returned close to midnight on Wednesday, March 18. Communication with my family isn’t easy when I’m in Cuba, because there is very little access to the internet. Finally, on my way home, I was able to talk to my brother, John and I found out that my mom didn’t have much time to live.

I hoped and prayed that I could get to Fresno before my mom moved to heaven, but I wasn’t able to make it in time. Thankfully John called me in the morning on Thursday and suggested that I talk while he put the phone up to mom’s ear and I was able to tell her of my love and say good-bye. I’m grateful for that opportunity. Later in the day I called back and talked to my other brother, Greg and right when I got off the phone with him my mom moved to heaven.

Then as everyone knows we’ve had this pandemic Coronavirus going on which has made it challenging to do basic things that we’ve all come to expect. We still haven’t been able to have a graveside service for my mom, because of the all of the restrictions. It’s an odd time, and we definitely appreciate your prayers during this season of our lives.

I wrote a tribute to mom in the last post and you can read it here…

An Amazing Time with Mi familia Cubana
One of the groups of church planters that we trained in Camaguey

My time in Cuba was amazing, and I find that often when the Lord is working through us in a dark place that there is opposition. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore.

When I was in Cuba last September I was able to train a number of church planters, and I learned that it would be better to train them in cities closer to where they live. This time we held four training events in four different cities and we had 102 church planters attend. One of the most exciting things is that the Cuban leaders did most of the training. This alone is reason to celebrate, because now they can continue with the work even when I’m not there. Another important consideration is that I’m limited in what I’m allowed to do and I desire to be wise and careful while I’m in the country.

These pastors, many of them lay leaders are such quality people that love the Lord. Most of them have such a deep commitment to the Lord that it motivates me to have more faith and devotion to follow Jesus.

The Church is Growing!
One of the group activities during the training

In one of the cities where I was we worked with a group that has started 16 churches in the last year, and their goal is start 30 by the end of 2020. That’s one of the reasons I come back home so stoked! King Jesus is doing a great work on the big Island despite all the obstacles.

Pray for Us & Our Cuban Familia
Our Cuban familia

I’d appreciate your prayers for our familia. Even when things are normal in Cuba life is difficult. Long lines for basic needs are common. What the US is going through now still doesn’t match what the average Cuban experiences on daily basis. Yet, God in his marvelous mercy is at work.

The churches can only meet in very small groups now with the Coronavirus and they don’t have the same access to the internet that we have. Pray for the Lord’s care and provision for them during this time. Many of our friends have asked us to pray them as they’ve shared their growing struggles, and how the quarantine has made things worse.

Look to the Father in this Season
Dave & Dawn

I feel like the Lord wants to wake the church up during this season. My prayer is that we will use this time to strengthen our families and to spend more time with the Lord. Grow in your intimacy with the Father. He is calling all of us to the secret place!

He will care for you as he promises to do.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'”

Psalm 91:1,2 ESV

Thanks so much for joining Dawn and me on this journey of faith. I would like to write more about my time in Cuba in my next post. There are many magnificent stories to tell.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Life Well Lived
Virginia A Diaso – November 5, 1935 – March 19, 2020

I’m not quite sure how to start this tribute to my mom, Virginia A Diaso. How do you encapsulate a life of 84 years into just a few words? It’s not possible to capture it all, or to honor my mom and her memory in the way that she deserves, but I would like to share a few highlights from her life.

My mom was a quiet, unassuming, hard working woman who was dedicated to her family, and who loved her God. Those are probably the two most important aspects of my mom’s life, her two loves. Her family and her God.

Mom’s Faith Story

She was raised in a Catholic home, but she didn’t really come to understand what it meant to live for Christ until I was a teenager. I think she would have been in her late 30’s when she truly came to know Christ. She taught catechism classes at the church. I believe it was as she taught those classes that she met a nun who taught her what it meant to receive Christ as her Lord and savior. Mom went from trying to earn her way to heaven to receiving God’s grace. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior as St. Paul taught in Romans.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

At that point my mom, Virginia Diaso’s life began to change. She prayed for my brothers and I during our rough teenage years. All three of us, John, Greg and I struggled and rebelled in different ways during those years. I feel bad for what we put our parents through!

Mom with her mom and dad and her four sisters from left to right – Gloria, Theresa, Virginia, Georgina and Mary

My mom, who grew up on a ranch and learned how to work hard and the discipline of getting up early while she was young. Throughout her life she would start her days at 4 AM in quiet with her Savior.

I believe that in ways my mom prayed me into the kingdom and she did the same for my brothers. She gave me a Bible and she encouraged me to go to a Bible study while I was in college at Fresno State. It was there that I met Christ.

Mom and I

She was definitely the most significant person in my life especially when I was young in relationship to my spiritual development. My mom was quiet, but she prayed fervently, and she maintained that discipline throughout her life.

Mom on the far left when she was young with her mom and her two sisters, Mary and Georgina

When mom was a teenager she suffered from tuberculosis and she spent most of her teenage years in a sanatorium in the mountains outside of Fresno. She lived away from her family during those years. Unfortunately, she grew to not like the mountains, because of all the bad memories. All of our family vacations where at the beach. Mom never talked about her years in the sanatorium. They were painful years that she wanted to forget about.

Mom & Dad at my brother, John’s wedding

Mom was a beautiful lady, but I don’t think she ever saw herself in that way.

They took out part of mom’s lung and one of her ribs to treat her tuberculosis. It’s a miracle that mom lived as long as she did after having suffered as much as she did and living with a damaged lung. Over the last few years mom developed COPD, caused by the scar tissue in her lungs, and the smaller lung capacity.

When I think of my relationship with mom I feel grateful and I give thanks for her. I know it wasn’t easy for her or my dad for that matter to let me go to serve as a missionary in Mexico. Of course, there is a cost to go serve the Lord in another country, but it isn’t only the one who goes that is affected. The parents, the family also have to pay a price.

Mom was always concerned for us. I know she would admit that she struggled with worry, but I also know that she turned that concern into prayer. I’m sure it’s one of the things that motivated her to pray so fervently.

Virginia, my mom, was born and raised in Fresno, California. She was a good friend to many, and she developed a number of friends at her church. She also was involved in Bible Study Fellowship for a number of years, and she was a leader as well.

When mom’s health started declining over the last year she assured me on numerous occasions that she was ready to go to heaven. About 6 months ago when her health took a turn for the worse and she was hospitalized two times, she began to long for heaven.

Mom with John

A few days before she moved to heaven I was in Cuba, which made it difficult for me to be able to talk to mom. She called Dawn, my wife, and she asked her how I was doing and if I had come back from Cuba. I returned late Wednesday night on March 18. My brother, John, called me and told me that mom wasn’t doing well. I hoped that I could get home in time, and then make it up to Fresno to see her one last time. On Thursday morning on March 19th, John called again. He told me that it wouldn’t be long, so he put the phone up to mom’s ear. I told her I loved her, that she was a good mother, and that I will miss her. I also told her to give our daughter, Hannah a hug for us, and that I looked forward to seeing her again one day soon.

Later that afternoon I called my brother, Greg to see how things were going. We talked for a few minutes and right after I got off the phone with Greg my mom moved on to glory.

Mom & Greg
Goodby for Now

I wish I could have seen my mom one last time, but I’m glad that I was at least able to tell her how special she was and that I loved her. It was almost as if my mom waited to move to heaven until she knew I was safe and had returned from my trip. That would be very much like her. She was a mom till the end!

Bye for now, mom! I love you very much. I miss you, but I’m glad that you no longer have to suffer. I’m thankful that you are with your Savior face to face. It encourages me that you are with Hannah and all the saints that have gone before us.

I give thanks for the hope I have as I say goodbye to one of the most significant women in my life. Hope of the everlasting, and hope to see mom again! Hallelujah!

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org