Archive for the ‘Reflections & Musings’ Category

Celebration of Life: Dad & Mom

I feel bad saying this, but it’s a relief to get through the funeral services for my parents. It took more than three months from the time my mom moved to heaven on March 19 of this year to have the memorial celebration of life service on May 27. We ended up having a combined celebration of life service, since my dad died only 64 days after my mom.

Dave sharing during Dad & Mom’s celebration of life service

I’m thankful for all the memories, and the good times that I enjoyed with dad and mom. I have much to be grateful for, but it’s still hard to say goodbye.

We held the celebration of life service at Riverpark Bible Church in Fresno, California this past Saturday. Mom attended Riverpark for a number of years, and she had many friends there. A good crowd gathered with us to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives. I was encouraged by how many came especially since we are still dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful service. Five of our family members shared about dad and mom and the influence they had on our lives. My brother, John; John’s son, Brandon; my son, Jonathan; my cousin, Nadine; I shared at the end.

I had to lead both of my parents graveside services, so it was a relief to be able to sit and listen as others reflected on the impact dad and mom had on their lives. At certain points I cried and felt sentimental as I thought about dad and mom and all they have meant to me over all of these years.

The Lord used my parents in my life and the life of my family to help us to get to where we are today. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to do or achieve many of the things we have accomplished if it were not for my parents and their influence in our lives. The Lord graciously used them in our lives to spur us on, to call us higher.

I believe there is more to come! “…rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” (John 7:38 TPT, emphasis mine). Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer.

The Blessing to 1,000 Generations
Jonathan sharing at his grandparents memorial service

My son, Jonathan put together a video slideshow that I’d like to share with you here. It was so good for me to watch this video and remember dad and mom. Remember their life and their love.

In the video we chose the song, “The Blessing,” which is sung by Cody Cairns and Kari Jobe. The song was written by them recently and it’s become one of our favorite songs. I love the idea of how God works through families and seeks to bring blessing through families. I hope that you will also enjoy it.

Celebration of Life Video: Ron & Virginia Diaso
Ronald & Virginia Diaso’s life and blessings

“For though a thousand generations may pass away, he is still true to his word. He has kept every promise he made to Abraham and to Isaac.”

Psalms‬ ‭105:8-9‬ ‭TPT (emphasis mine)
Welcome Home Dad & Mom
Love this photo and the thought of Dad & Mom dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus, our daughter, Hannah and all the saints

The morning of the memorial service the Lord led me to read Acts 7. This passage gives the account of Stephen being stoned and going to heaven. I was thinking about how our last breath on earth, leads to our next breath in heaven with Jesus. Then I read this passage, and it reminded me of how the Son of Man, Jesus welcomed Stephen into heaven. Jesus welcomes believers, he welcomes those in Christ home!

““Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!””

Acts 7:56 TPT

That’s a pleasant thought. It’s amazing, even too good to be true, to think of Jesus smiling and welcoming dad and mom home! Hallelujah!

If you’d like to make a donation in honor of my parents, or if you’d like to make a donation to help a hungry and needy family on the Big Island click on the button below.

Donate: You Can Help!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Long Goodbye to Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom – Dancing on the Streets of Gold!

Dawn and I are headed to Fresno today for my dad and mom’s combined memorial service. It’s been more than three months since my mom moved to heaven, and a month since my dad joined her. This Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM we are finally able to have a public memorial celebration of life service at Riverpark Church.

I think it will be a relief to my family and me to get through this part of the grieving process. All the restrictions that have been put in place have made it that much harder to go through the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is with us and He does comfort us.

The Grace to Carry On
We laid the remains of both of my parents to rest on June 8th. The public memorial celebration of life service is Saturday, June 27th.

In the midst of losing both of my parents within 64 days of each other, I cannot lie, it has been challenging to carry on. Yet, I’ve also noticed that it encourages me when I’m able to speak into the lives of our pastor friends, who have become like family to us.

Last week Dawn and I met with five different pastoral couples. Three of them are from our favorite Big Island, and two of them are from Tijuana and Ensenada. They tell us that it encourages them to see us still smiling and carrying on. I mean, I’m not smiling all the time, and some days I just feel like it’s a major accomplishment to have made it through the day. If you know what I’m saying?

Yet, when I am with our familia, it does give me joy! It fills both Dawn and me up!

We Give Thanks in the Midst of Our Sorrow
Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They are one of the pastoral couples that Dawn and I have met with to encourage them.

The Lord lifts me up as I hear their testimonies and as we can pray with them and for them. The Spirit ministers through us and touches each of us in a special way. Often there are tears as we meet together. They help us carry the burdens we are facing during these days. I have to praise my Papa God for loving us so deeply during these days of trial and darkness. Maybe it doesn’t seem like darkness and praise should be mentioned in the same sentence, but I can’t deny that we are in a time of mourning. We grieve, but not as those without hope. We do have HOPE!

I give thanks that my parents are no longer suffering, but the separation is real. The separation is painful. Often I think, “I’d like to call my dad and mom and say hello,” but that is no longer an option. Just as it is no longer an option to call Hannah. More PAIN!

I’ve become all too acquainted with death and grief and I don’t like either one of them. I believe the enemy of our soul wants to squash me so that I can no longer function. My Daddy is greater. He holds me up. He sustains me. I am more than a conqueror in Christ, but I must admit it is a battle.

Papa is Still at Work
One of the beautiful families on the Big Island that we’ve helped

I’d like to end my post with one of the testimonies from one of our pastor familia’s on the Big Island. Pastor Lucas* and Maria* went to visit one of the families in their church. They took their friend Yuni* an envelope with some funds that we sent them so that they could buy food. Maria cried with Lucas and Maria because she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her family. She told pastor Lucas, “tell David, you don’t realize the great blessing it is to receive this gift today. It is an answer to my prayers and my tears.”

Papa God is still at work, even in the midst of our journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He is still at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still at work through all of the riots and social unrest. We can trust him in the dark and in the light. Thank you, Jesus, for your great and mighty deeds!

You can still help our familia on the Big Island. The needs continue there. Families are still struggling to buy food and basic items like soap. To make a donation click the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dad’s casket – the white box to the right is where Mom’s remains are. They were buried together

A week ago today on June 8th we laid my dad’s remains to rest. Since my mom was cremated they were both buried together on the same day. Definitely a somber moment.

I feel peace that both of my parents are now in heaven living without pain and suffering. They are in living and experiencing pure joy! Yet, I also feel lost at times with both dad and mom moving to heaven within 64 days of each other.

I don’t know what I would do without the hope that we have in Christ? It’s hard enough as it is. The separation is real, and I miss them. It’s hard to believe that I will never see either one of them again on this side heaven. I look forward to the reunion.

He Showed Up
Dad and Mom visiting us in Colorado Springs in 2010

Today I’d like to post what I shared at my dad’s graveside service. We will have a combined memorial service for them on June 27 at 11 AM at Riverpark Church in Fresno.

At first I didn’t want to lead the graveside service, and when I realized that I was going to lead it I felt some stress. That night, the Wednesday before the service I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like the Lord gave me the phrase, “he showed up”.

Then when I woke up the next day it was as if the Lord just downloaded the message that he wanted me to share.

Dad showed up. He got involved and that’s how he showed his love and care for our family. I know that everyone in my family has examples of how dad showed up and he got involved in our lives. He showed his interest and love in that way.

I didn’t even have to ask him to join us in building the church in memory of Hannah. Actually, I didn’t think that dad would be interested, since we went into Mexico during a hot time of the year. Yet, he was actually excited to join us, even at 82 years old.

He showed time and time again how he wanted to be a part of our lives, and although not everything in our family was ideal – I think we all gained strength from his commitment and love for our family. The same could be said for mom. They were anchors for our family.

Concern for Dad’s Faith

Dad with me at Jonathan and Hannah’s rehearsal dinner for their wedding on December 1, 2018

The one area we were all concerned about for dad was his faith. We prayed for him, mom prayed for him for years and years and many of our friends prayed for dad.

Before dad died and moved to heaven he began to show evidence of faith. His heart grew softer. He prayed with us some and let us pray for him, but there was still that doubt. I prayed and I know others were praying for more definite confirmation and assurance of his faith.

Just a few days before dad passed my brother, John had an opportunity to talk to dad about his faith. John asked dad, if he was sure that he would go to heaven when he died, and dad said, “no.” So John took the opportunity to explain to dad how Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead defeating sin, death and satan so that we might have life and be forgiven for us sins. He explained that dad just needed to receive the gift of salvation through prayer and placing his trust in Christ.

John said, “mom always prayed for you and hoped that you would join her in heaven.” Dad teared up when John said this, and dad said, “then I guess we better pray then.” John was able to lead dad in prayer to receive Christ. When they were done praying, dad asked if there was anything else that he had to do. He wanted to make sure that he had done what he needed to do.

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

Signs & Affirmations From the Father
The Lord is with us and gives us the strength of an eagle as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death

We hoped that dad would have stayed with us and been around longer, but we can take comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and that he is reunited with mom. Dad died just 3 days after he prayed to receive Christ with John. This reminds me of the death and resurrection of Christ – Jesus Christ rose on the third day! The Lord wants to encourage us in that!

We wish dad would have passed away in a more peaceful way. He moved to heaven while taking a shower.

I think it helps to remember that as dad took his last breath here, his next breath he was in heaven. There Jesus was with the angels to ready to receive him – he received him with a smile. Can you imagine what that must have been like?!?

Also there is a lot of symbolism in water, and I think the Lord wants to encourage us with that as a sign and confirmation of the Lord’s work in dad’s heart.

Water represents a washing and cleansing of our sins. We use water in baptism which is rich in symbolism and as a sign and seal of the Lord’s inner workings in our hearts.

Jesus offers living water and says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The Water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14 (ESV)

The river or spring of water refers to the Holy Spirit – there is an outpouring and an overflowing (see John 7:37-39). Our house was flooded some, because of the way dad passed away. I believe that the Lord wants to encourage us with the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our family (natural and spiritual).

The Lord is so good and loving to encourage us in this way!

GRIEVE BUT NOT AS THOSE WITHOUT HOPE
Mom and Dad in their early 20’s – they may look more like this now in heaven!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul says, “We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV, emphasis mine

It’s good and right to grieve, to be sad and in sorrow. There is a separation now – we miss dad – death is not a good thing. God created the world without death. Death entered into the world when Adam sinned. Paul says in your sorrow remain hopeful, because this is not the end. Then he goes on to say for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus comforts us with these words,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:1,2 (NKJV)

Dad is no longer suffering – he is in glory!

He is probably fishing with St. Peter and camping with John the Baptist. And I’m sure he’s enjoying playing and watching baseball and football with his dad and all his favorites. He’s in glory with mom and Hannah and our grandparents and one day soon we will all be reunited with him!

Our grief and sadness is momentary in light of eternity!

The Lord promises to comfort us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Our Cuban Daughter, May’s Encouragement
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

One of Dawn and my good Cuban friends who’s become like family to us, like a daughter, wrote a note of encouragement to dad, that I read to him the last time we were together and it encouraged dad so much that he cried through the whole thing.

May wrote:
“I would like you to know that I heard about you traveling to support your son, David when they built the church in memory of Hannah. I’m sure you went on that trip because of your love for your son and also that you knew that it was important for David to build that church in honor of Hannah.”

“When I realized how old you were and the miles that you traveled I started to cry, because of your love for David and your family is so big and it showed through your willingness to go on that long trip. You wanted to be alongside those you love to help them finish building the church. Since then I have admired you and prayed for you every day.”

“You are a fortunate and blessed man who knew how to build up and how to care for your beautiful family. We may never get a chance to meet on this earth, but one day we will meet in heaven where I can tell you, ‘Your actions speak louder than your words, and I admire you.’”

Everyone one of us in our family and some of our friends have stories like that of how dad expressed his love to us by being there, by showing up.

DAD FINISHED THE RACE
Dad is reunited with Hannah. He always had a special relationship with Hannah. They are together again.

Dad was determined to be here as long as he could. He told us he wanted to be here for his family and we all benefited from his love, his commitment and his determination.

Dad finished the race, and it was time for him to go home. As much as it pains us to say goodbye we can be assured that dad is no longer suffering. There is no mesothelioma in heaven, there are no breathing problems or heart illnesses – no more tears. Mom and dad are reunited with Hannah, our grandparents and all our dearly departed who are in Christ.

Most likely as dad is now part of the cloud of witnesses that Hebrews tells of – that he is cheering us on from above.

In as sense it falls on us now to carry on mom and dad’s legacy of love, prayer and commitment to our family – we are to carry the torch that they’ve passed on to us. So as we close be comforted that the good shepherd, our loving Heavenly Father promises to be with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, but to believe in God and to believe also in Christ. He is going ahead of us and preparing our mansion as we believe and place our trust in Christ.

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living!

Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ brother,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25, 26 (ESV)

Thank you for standing with us and praying for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

We will be having a combined Memorial Service for dad and mom on June 27 at 11 AM PDT at Riverpark Church in Fresno, California.

You can make a donation in memory of my dad and mom to Beyond Borders by clicking the button below.

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Or you can make a check out to:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Mail to: 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Hardest Post
Ronald John Diaso 6/19/1935-5/26/2020

I feel like this is one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever had to write. It was hard to write about my daughter’s home going and my mom’s recent graduation as well. This is especially hard not only because my dad has departed from this world, but it’s the end of an era. On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, my dad moved to heaven. Both of my parents are now gone. I take comfort in knowing that they are with our Savior, but I ache for them. I miss them in ways that are impossible to put in words!

My dad was a man of few words, but he was always involved in my life. It didn’t come natural for him to tell me he loved me until he got older, but he showed his love through being there. He supported my family and me in every way he could.

Jesus Transformed Our Relationship
Dave & Dad at Jonathan and Hannah’s wedding

I remember when my dad and I hit a rough patch when I was a teenager. I frustrated him, because of my rebellious ways. Then I made it through that period of my life, and I gave my life to Christ. My life began to change and my relationship with dad improved. When I decided that I wanted to go to seminary to prepare myself for the ministry I asked my dad for his blessing. He told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “even though we may have different thoughts on religion, I will never knock what you believe, because it has changed your life 180 degrees.”

That was an encouraging confirmation in my life, of the transformative work that Christ had done.

Dad’s Love & Support
Dad and Mom with Hannah, Jonathan and David in Colorado Springs

Dad stood behind his word and he supported me and helped get me through seminary. He came to my graduation ceremony.

Both my parents visited us when our first son, David was born in Texas. They came to Mexico City to visit us when Jonathan was born. They flew out to Washington DC when Hannah was born. Dad was always there, and he made it clear that he wanted to be involved in our lives.

When he got older he still made the effort to show his love and support. He helped us when we moved from Colorado to the San Diego area. Last year at age 83 he flew out for both of our boys’ weddings. He was definitely an All-Star dad.

One of his most amazing acts of love was when he joined us when we went to Mexicali to build the church in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Dad was actually excited about being able to be us and show his love and support. I was surprised that he would want to go into Mexico, into the desert at the hot time of the year to help.

This all from a man who didn’t like to travel all that much. I have a lot of wonderful memories, because he did!

Christ’s Work in Dad’s Heart

One concern I had about dad was in the area of his faith. He didn’t show any or much evidence of faith in Christ. We prayed for years and years for dad. My mom prayed tirelessly for him.

Mom & Dad are dancing on the streets of gold now

Towards the end of his life he began to become softer and more open. We prayed together and I had some opportunities to share the gospel with him. The last week I spent with dad he cried with me almost every day as we talked about faith and mom. During my mom’s funeral on May 1, I led everyone in prayer to affirm our faith, and my dad prayed with us. I saw many evidences of Christ working in his life, which gave me hope.

I began to feel a peace about my dad’s relationship with Christ, but I continued to pray for a more clear and sure evidence of his faith. Then a little more than a week ago, just 3 days before dad moved to heaven my brother, John called me and told me that he had just shared the gospel with dad and they prayed together.

John asked dad, “if you died do you know for sure that you would go to heaven.” Dad said he wasn’t sure. John explained the importance of placing his faith in Christ and praying to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. John told him that mom always prayed and hoped that he would join her in heaven. Tears formed in dad’s eyes and he said, “I guess we better pray then.” John led my dad in prayer, and then dad asked, “is there anything else that I have to do?” John explained more about the gift of God’s grace.

Then just three days later, dad departed from this world and joined mom in heaven!

God Answers Prayer!
Dad is reunited with Hannah now!

God is so good to lovingly hear and answer our prayers. I miss my dad, and I’m sad because I won’t see him again on this earth. Yet, I have peace and I’m thankful for the assurance that he is with mom, Hannah, and his Heavenly Father!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15 ESV). I’m doing both as I go through this season of life. I am thankful that the Lord is with me and comforting my family and me all along the way! The Good Shepherd comforts me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Dad’s graveside service will be Monday, June 8th at 10 AM at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Fresno (space is limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions). A viewing will be held on Sunday, June 7th from 4 PM – 7 PM at Farewell Funeral Home. We are hoping to have a combined memorial service for Dad and Mom on June 27th at Riverpark Church (still to be confirmed).

If you’d like to make a gift in memory of my dad in lieu of flowers you can give to Beyond Borders by clicking on the button below.

click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Laying Mom to Rest

Mom’s graveside ceremony

On May 1st, two weeks ago today we laid my mom to rest. It wasn’t an easy day, but I did feel the peace of the Lord through the prayers of so many who were praying for us. I know that there were friends from Mexico, Cuba and throughout the USA praying for my family and me.

We definitely needed the prayer. Apart from the stress and sadness of the moment when we arrived at the cemetery they told us that we only had 15 minutes to perform the ceremony. By God’s grace they let us start early and end a little late. Yet, both my brother, John and I had to cut things we had planned on saying out of what we had prepared.

Virginia A Diaso – 11/5/1935 – 3/19/2020

When the service started I felt emotional. It was hard to get through the initial words that I wanted to share. I could feel the emotion welling up inside me as I moved along. The Lord gave me strength to get through that initial part, and I began to feel more peace.

The highlight of the service was when we all prayed together as a family to affirm and confirm our faith. It was especially gratifying to see my dad join us in prayer. I believe the Lord was at work, and that He was answering mom’s prayers. Prayers that she had lifted up for many years for our family.

It was not easy saying goodbye to my mom and laying her remains to rest. Yet, I know that the Lord was with me and he sustained me like he always has through all the difficult trials my family and I have gone through.

Strength of the Eagle

I’m so thankful for all the people that supported my family and me and prayed for us. One of my friends shared an amazing experience that he had as he prayed for me while he waited to get into Costco. I’d like to share it with you here.

My reminder to pray for you sounded about 15 mins before you were to start. I was waiting in queue on the sidewalk outside Costco, so I looked to the sky and began to pray. As soon as I looked up, a bald eagle came into sight riding high on the west to east wind. It soared an arrow-straight line overhead…never flapping a single time while it was in my sight. So, I felt the Lord calling me to pray from Isaiah 40 for you… to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. It was also very special that the Lord used it to remind me of your mom’s spirit being high above all the cares of this world…and that one day ours would too. What a privilege it was to be able to pray for you, and experience such a tangible benefit from it myself.

When I read this message from my friend, a fellow missionary it lifted my spirit. When I shared it with Dawn she said it gave her goosebumps.

The Lord is so good to care for me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He gives me strength!

“…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭ESV
Mom’s garden

My thanks to you for standing with us and praying for us. God hears our prayers and He moves through our prayers.

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

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 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

The Shock of Death: Kobe Bryant

Last Sunday when I saw the pop up notification on my phone that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash I was in disbelief. I was just getting out of church when I saw it, and I felt shock and disbelief. The feeling took me back to the day my beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven.

A friend of mine posted this on Instagram last week. I pray that Kobe, his daughter Gigi and all those who lost their lives in the tragic crash truly knew Jesus

It was so hard to fathom that it could be true. I hoped it was just a bad dream that I would wake up from. I was numb. Unfortunately, it really did happen.

Like many I admired Kobe Bryant as a fan, although I never met him. I believe that sometimes these tragic events take you back to experiences that you may have had. I feel for Kobe’s family and all of those that lost loved ones during the crash.

On Monday the day after Kobe’s crash I watched Demi Lovato’s performance “Anyone” that she gave at the Grammys. She wrote the ballad two years ago just four days before she overdosed trying to end her life.

Demi Lovato’s tearful performance of “Anyone” at the GRAMMYs

As I listened to her sing through her tears it also took me back to experiences we had with Hannah. Our daughter, also struggled with depression and at times she lost the will to live.

Reflections on Life and the Difficulties We Face
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

The interesting thing to me is as we watch these young stars, who have tremendous talent, fame and fortune they live under intense pressure. The internet and social media have caused them to live life in a fish bowl. These are pressures that people in the past didn’t have to face. I feel for them, and pray that they will figure things out in God’s grace.

Solomon’s Words Still Fitting

Solomon talks about the vanity of life without God. Some of these young people do have faith in Christ, but like many of us they are still trying to work it out. It’s especially difficult for them under so much public scrutiny.

We see even among Christians and in the church so many unkind tweets and posts where believers are attacking one another. It’s embarrassing, especially when the Bible says the world will know us by our love for one another.

After Solomon lived his life and acquired all his wisdom he said…

“I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:16-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

Solomon admits that all he had accomplished and acquired seemed like striving after the wind. Have you ever tried to harness the wind? No small task! The Bible says there had never been anyone so blessed as Solomon in material wealth and in wisdom. Yet, with all of his wisdom it increased his sorrow.

I don’t think life is as hopeless as it may seem at times. Many of us including myself have experienced times of exasperation, times of where we hit lows. Jesus said in John 10:10 he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. So why is it that so many, even believers don’t seem to be experiencing this?

One of the reasons is we are listening to wrong voices about what it means to be successful and to live a fulfilled life.

King Solomon also spoke of all these voices crying out, seeking our attention.

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”

Proverbs‬ ‭1:20-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I want to encourage you to be careful to which voices you are listening to, and to who you are looking to, in order to verify your significance. Lately the Lord keeps reminding me not to despise small beginnings.

“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.””

Zechariah‬ ‭4:6, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

Recently I learned that 1 in 3 young people today have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. Which is a sobering stat that is hard to fathom. Too many of us are looking to the wrong things to bring us satisfaction in life and in this ever connected world we seem to be more alone than ever. That’s what Demi Lovato’s song is all about. “Nobody is listening to me… Is there anyone, Lord is there anyone, I need someone.”

There is Hope in our Good Father

My encouragement is that each of us look daily to the Lord for His strength to make it through the day. He loves his children. He is a good God, and desires the best for us. One of my favorite passages in the Bible reminds us of God’s goodness and His desire to care for His children.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

What a wonderful promise. There is hope for each of us as we seek the Lord. Look to your Father who is in heaven my friends. He loves you and He has a good plan for your life. You can trust Him! His promises are sure and true.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A guest post by Jonathan Diaso
Jonathan with his papa, Dave

This is a guest post written by my son, Jonathan Diaso. He wrote this in memory of his sister, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Last Friday, October 18th was the 3rd year anniversary of when Hannah moved to heaven.

I love how Jonathan shares his journey and how the Lord used his sister in his life. I asked Jonathan if it would be okay to share it with you on my blog, and he agreed!


I used to be a Christian – How I left the Church and Finally Found Jesus
Hannah and Jonathan

I still wonder to this day how I was churched since I was born, but never actually knew Jesus on a personal level. Some of you may have a similar experience and some of you may think the idea of “knowing Jesus” is crazy. You might also be wondering how leaving the church led me to Jesus. God has put this on my heart to share with those who have been to church and never really encountered Jesus, those who have never been to church and also those who have a negative perspective on the word Church or Christianity. While I love Jesus there are concerns I have regarding the word “Christian”. What makes a person a Christian anyhow? 

You may have been told that if you do all the right things then Jesus will love you. Whether this emphasis was intended by the church or not I often felt this way. Jesus opened my eyes by showing me that I am welcome “As is”. I do not have to earn his love as he loved me before I was even born. I do good things, because I am loved by God not so that God will love me back. I believe we have a hard time rationalizing this as how many of your friends would love you back if you did not show them affection? “The Christian does not believe that God will love us because we are good rather that he will make us good because he loves us” (C.S. Lewis). God loves you as you are and not as you should be. 

My Christian friends and I would meet up years ago and discuss which biblical laws we were or were not following, we tried to be good people. C.S. Lewis explains this very well, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good”. The Bible talks about the law of works or what I call the do good things gospel and this type of Christianity does not work. While this method seeks to fix the side effects of how we should behave, this process forgets the purpose as to why we do these things. I once heard the statement, “Some people have just enough Jesus to be miserable”. 

I am a Christian, I go to church (in-fact I love my church family), but being a Christian far exceeds attending Church. My Church reads this card every service, “If you are a… Saint, Sinner, Loser, Gambler, Lost, Fearful, ADHD, Liar, Hypocrite, Bastard, Lover, Cutter, Tweaker, Alcoholic, Adopted, Abandoned, Leftover, Divorced, LGBT, Alone, Old, Young, Driven, Cheater, Success, Infected, Rejected, Pierced and Tatted or Just a Misfit… YOU ARE WELCOME HERE” (The Sanctuary Church). I believe that all are welcome in God’s house and are loved where they are at. In other words you come in a mess and God says, “I am going to make your mess a message.” 

Why do I bring this all up today? Three years ago my sister Hannah moved to heaven. Hannah accepted everyone and brought the gospel to outcasts. At Hannah’s prayer vigil I heard many stories of how Hannah had impacted those around her. One of them shared by her friend Jake stood out to me, “No one loved those around her more than Hannah, she knew how to love the margins. When we were out doing ministry Hannah felt God speak to her and she knew she needed to go pray for a man sitting nearby. The man that stood out to Hannah was covered in tattoos (even a tear tattoo next to his eye, commonly a prison tattoo). Plainly put, this man was someone that people often try to avoid. Hannah Did not care what he looked like, what his background was, whether he did good things with his life, how he dressed etc. Hannah knew that God’s love transcended social status and she knew how to bring the message of the Gospel to people of all colors, races and social statuses. When Hannah prayed for this stranger he began to cry, he could not understand why my sister cared about him. He likely knew he did not earn or deserve her love that day. Hannah went up to him without fear of how he would react, she knew that Jesus would do the rest.” Jake did share with me that he would not let her go by herself, which was still a smart call. Jake was amazed by the passion and love that this young woman carried. 

Jonathan gave Hannah this Bible, and as you can see in the text she loved it!

Hannah was highly influential in my life as I attribute much of who I am today to her example over the years. Hannah reminded me later in life that it is not enough to be a Christian and to try to be good people so that we can make it to heaven. We were put on this earth for a reason and God wants to use you and me to love those around us and yes this means loving people before they earn it. I spent many years of my life trying to be a good Christian, hiding my issues in attempt to be accepted and loved by other Christians. I now know that, God does not need to use guilt and shame, because love and grace do a damn good job. There is a famous song that goes, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross”. While this is a powerful line used to thank Jesus for what he did, we actually have a need to know how much it cost for him to die on that cross. When you and I realize how much it cost we also realize our value. Before you and I did anything to earn his love, God sent his son to die for you and me. “Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” (Romans 5:8, TPT). While I left the church years ago, I encountered Jesus in various ways since. While I am still in process and in pursuit of a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, God is still molding me daily to be more like Christ. Christianity is no longer a religion for me. This is the story of how one woman in her short life impacted her older brother and many others around her in an incredible way. If you want to know Jesus on a more personal level send me a message. This could change your life.

Hannah, I love you!