Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
When I look back over this last year there are a number of wonderful accomplishments that we’ve seen the Lord do. Unfortunately, all of these achievements are overshadowed by Hannah’s death. It makes me feel like we are ending 2016 on a down note. There have been plenty of down days since Hannah’s passing. Yet, I see the Lord picking each of us up, Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and me.
Yes, death is a terrible, even demonic and cruel thing. I believe and feel that this is true in a more intense way that I ever have. While I recognize the pain and the tragedy of death, and Hannah’s early homegoing I see the Lord lifting us up from the ashes. We are down, but not out. I believe our family has drawn closer to the Lord than we have ever been. In many ways I sense that God is not done with us, but just beginning. He is going to bring something beautiful out of our pain, even if we can’t see what that is yet.
We may be going through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” but this shadow has not completely snuffed out the light. Jesus did some amazing things in 2016 that we should celebrate.
Accomplishments by God’s Grace
This year by God’s grace we:
- Helped start our 5th new church planting project with Ministerios Transformación since 2012. It was Ministerios Transformación’s 29th church!
- Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah are off to a great start in this new church in Rosarito, just South of Tijuana.
- Partnered with in planting, coaching and training Pastor Daniel Nuñez and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación
- Coached and partnered with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol who are seeing people come to Christ and lives transformed in the church plant they are serving at in Plan Libertador that we helped start in 2015. Every time I talk to Victor and Sol I come away encouraged.
- Coached and partnered with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. They are making a difference as they are reaching out in Ribera del Bosque. We helped plant their church in 2014.
- Coached and helped launch a new work called Renuevo in Ensenada. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are leading this new church planting project.
- Led 1 medical missions brigade with Redeemer San Diego & La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada, Mexico. We ministered to more than 80 adults and children, and 9 of them gave their lives to Christ.
- Led one summer VBS in Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian and La Nueva Jerusalén for 50 children and presented the gospel to them along with their families
- Started a two-year incubator training for 10 church planters in Tijuana
- Began a coaching network for pastors and their wives in Mexico
- Began to coach pastors and train coaches in Cuba – this is a new and exciting ministry that the Lord is opening up for us.
I don’t fully know why we experienced such a huge loss this year, but I believe one reason is because our enemy is not happy with all that God is doing. He desires to discourage us and defeat us. Yet, our Lord lifts us up and gives us victory. All our many friends are praying for us, which sustains us. So I will praise Jesus. Hallelujah!
My family and I stand with Job in stating, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a)
Thanks for joining us on this journey. Praise God with us for sustaining us, and giving us so many victories in Christ.
In His Grip, Dave