Archive for the ‘Tijuana’ Category

The Joy of Serving Jesus!
The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

One of the principle joys that Dawn and I share in our ministry on the Border and Beyond is all the pastors and wonderful leaders we meet and get to work with. It’s humbling for us to come alongside so many servants of God who love and suffer for the work of Christ.

They may not have a big and bustling ministry, but the Lord is there and He is working through His people. These ministers and their churches are making an impact in the communities they serve in. We love ministering with these friends.

This last week Dawn and I visited a church on a hill on the outskirts of Tijuana. The church, Monte Sinai has a beautiful view of the city. It reminded me of the verse that says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV).

Pastor Deivis Pardo and Luz
David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

Our friends Pastor Deivis Pardo and his wife, Luz are serving at this church. I enjoyed watching them in action. The church has a number of young people who are very active and involved in the life of the church. Some of them attended the worship workshop that we held in June. Dawn and I loved being able to worship with them, and we felt the presence of the Spirit as we worshipped.

Pastor Deivis invited me to preach. I love encouraging people to grow and to live out their faith as I share with them. I felt like they responded well to my message, which is wonderful. It’s so good to see the Lord work in His church!

Ministering Through the Word and Prayer
Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

After the service, I invited the people to pray. First, I asked them to all join me in prayer, and then I told them if they’d like any more special prayer that Dawn and I would like to pray with them. It’s often during this time that we see God breakthrough in a person’s life.

This service was no different as we prayed and ministered to some of our new friends that came to us with their needs. I won’t share here all that they told us and asked us to pray for, but I would like to share part of what we experienced. After we spent some time praying with one of the lovely young women she told us that she felt like her heart was being tickled. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say anything quite like that before, but it sounds good!

I pray that more people will feel like their heart is being tickled after we pray for them. We pray for more! A greater outpouring on us and on those that we minister to. We pray that this church will truly be like a city set on a hill. A Church where people know that Jesus’ love emanates.

Thank you, Lord for the Joy of serving you, and the wonderful people that we serve with.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Staying on the Move
Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Sometimes there is so much going on it’s hard to stay up on my posts. I’m also trying to write a book, but I haven’t yet figured out how to squeeze time in to give it the necessary attention. I’d appreciate your prayers that the dream of publishing a book would become a reality. Also, If you have any suggestions on how to fit it into a busy on the go schedule let me know.

Dawn and I will be leaving for Phoenix in just a couple of hours. We will be connecting with a church in the area and we’ll be attending a church planters network meeting. It promises to be a good time with some outstanding friends and ministers of the gospel. To top it off we also will be celebrating our 29th anniversary on Monday, March 5.

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Brokenness and Healing

Last weekend, Dawn and I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Abraham Velazquez’s church in Tijuana. We’ve grown to love Abraham and his wife, Martha. It’s always special when we can be with them. 

I had the opportunity to preach at their church. The sermon was on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken! My family and I have experienced our share of brokenness over the last couple of years since Hannah moved to heaven. This passage gives us hope for a better tomorrow. The barren one, the broken one is told to sing and cry aloud, because the Lord is going to deliver her.

The passage goes on to say prepare yourself for growth. Enlarge your tent. Get your house ready, because I’m going to bring an increase. I am going to bless you!

Isaiah 54:1-3

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
    break forth into singing and cry aloud,
    you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities. (Isaiah 54:1-3)

One of the practices that Dawn and I have to look for the promises in the Bible and to use them in our prayers. These promises give us hope, especially when things go awry. Does that ever happen to you? I would like to encourage you to remember the promises of God and to repeat them often.

Breakthrough for the Broken in Tijuana
Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

It was such a good time to minister at Pastor Abraham’s church. After the sermon, we had a time of prayer, and it was so encouraging as people shared their testimonies. One of the leaders in the church said that he had been having nightmares that he was going to die. He felt a release and peace after the prayer. I sent him a note the next day and he told me that he slept well and that he didn’t have any nightmares!

Another young man shared about the abuse he had suffered in his family growing up. He was bitter, but he felt the need to forgive his family so I was able to lead him in prayer to confess and forgive. He also needed Jesus so I had the pleasure of leading him to Christ! God is so good, and he is definitely on the move.

I learned while I was at the church that Pastor Mere Godinez, the pastor of the church we are building for Hannah used to attend this church in Tijuana. Abraham and Mere grew up together. They attended church together, and they are both in the ministry now. Wow, Lord! Thanks for all that you are doing. Praise you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebration and Mourning
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The day before Hannah died, we had reason to celebrate. Ministerios Transformacion’s 29th church held their inaugural service. A church that we helped to build, and plant. We were so excited for the new birth and for our friends Pastor Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah.

I’m not going to lie that even though this is a great achievement for kingdom advancement, that because of the circumstances it was hard to celebrate. We were and we are thankful for this new work, but the shock of Hannah’s early departure totally knocked us off balance. Her home going caught us by surprise. We’ve been trying to sort life out since then.

Getting Back in the Battle
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly.

The Lord in his graciousness is bringing healing, but it is a slow process. Dawn and I are getting back in the battle. We are starting to minister to others. Yet, our hearts aren’t always there.

Today we head out to Mexico City. Then on Tuesday we arrive in Havana, Cuba to connect with some friends there. The Lord is opening some wonderful doors for us in Cuba. I will write more about that later.

Over the last month and a half Dawn and I needed to slow down. We’ve needed to mourn and grieve. We still are in the process of doing that, but as time goes on we are grieving while serving. Some days we feel more up than others. Things that used to bring us joy, now don’t. Yet we are not despairing.

Death is a terrible thing. The Apostle Paul says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26). Later in same chapter Paul,goes on to say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54, 55). Glory to God that in Christ we have victory over death, as painful as it might feel today, Jesus has removed the sting of death.

We give thanks that the ministry is not dependent on us. The church continues to grow. Yet, the Lord is so loving and gracious. He carefully teaches us and draws us to himself.

Join us in Prayer!

Please join us in prayer as we learn this new way. We are learning what we call our “new normal”. We need wisdom and grace, as we move forward in ministry. We pray that we will see many more churches planted. Many more people reached for Christ, many more that become disciples. We pray that the Lord will use, even Hannah’s  untimely death to spur others on to love and good deeds. O Lord, do be glorified! Be lifted up, and build your church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Successful Launch!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez Commissioning Pastor Arturo Torres 

We are excited to announce the latest church to launch with Ministerios Transformación (MT) in Tijuana. Church number 28, Cielos Abiertos just celebrated their inaugural service on Sunday! Hallelujah.

We weren’t able to be there because, Dawn, Hannah and I are in Colorado for some friends’ weddings. We are also visiting ministry partners and friends. It’s a great opportunity for us, although even while we travel part of us is still in TJ!

Exciting news all around!
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Ministerios Transformación church #28 Cielos Abiertos

We give thanks to the Lord for Pastor Arturo Torres as he leads this new work. This is church number 28 for Ministerios Transformación. The church is called, Cielos Abiertos, which means Open Heavens.

I first got to know Arturo and his wife at the Discovery Center for church planters that MT held in February. Arturo is also a part of our incubator church planting training. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. He’s a humble man, who loves Jesus and has a heart for Tijuana. He wants to be a light for Christ in the community they are serving in.

The Lord fills me up as he ministers to my spirit through all my friends with MT. I love their vision to plant churches and to make a difference in the communities that these churches minister in.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez and his team of ministers have been such an encouragement to my family and me. They have become wonderful friends, and we are so grateful for such amazing ministry partners.

We look forward to seeing all that God will do through Pastor Arturo and this new church. Many lives will be changed forever as they receive new life in Christ.

Now that church #28 is officially launched we look forward to helping them build and launch their 29th church plant in October in Rosarito. Dawn and I have been meeting with Obed and his wife, Cesiah. They will be leading the next new church. They have tremendous gifts, and it’s a real joy to minister with them!

Wow! we continue to be blown away by God’s grace.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray for the ministry of MT as they continue to plant churches and help reach Tijuana and Rosarito for Christ. Also pray for Dawn, Hannah and me while we meet with churches and friends and share with them about our work on the border and in the Baja and beyond. We need a strong team standing with us in order for us to be effective and fruitful in ministry.

Thanks for the vital part you play!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Cup is Overflowing: Tremendous Advance!
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Arturo Vasquez and his wife on the property for MT's church plant #28!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Arturo Vasquez and his wife on the property for MT’s church plant #28!

One of the things that fills my cup to overflowing is to see God’s church grow! And it really gets exciting when I’m able to help and be involved in seeing that happen.

Some awesome doors are being opened for us right now!

Ministerios Transformación: Gospel Advance
Church planters Obed & Cesiah Lares

Church planters Obed & Cesiah Lares

Last Monday pastor Daniel Nuñez put the money down on two lots that will be used for church plants. The churches will pay off the land over time, and we’ve raised the money to help construct the churches on the land.

We are directly helping with one of these church plants that will be led by Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah. Our target is to build to launch the church plant in October.

The other church plant will be built and launched in August. Arturo will lead this church plant.

Both Obed and Arturo are going through our church planting incubator training that we just started this month.

I give thanks to the Lord for our relationship with Ministerios Transformación and all the wonderful ministry that is taking place through their ministry! There are other church plants that started over the last few years that we are also coming alongside and encouraging, but these two are the most recent. Thank you Jesus!

New Projects with the NPCM
Church planting incubator training

Church planting incubator training

There are two new projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM) that we are also involved in at various levels. I’ve written about the good work and the excitement of the new project in Ensenada led by Jesus “Petri” Petrikowski. The plan is to launch the Renuevo project this Fall.

I’ve also been building a relationship with another church planter with the NPCM, Deivis Pardo. Deivis and his wife, Luz are starting the first church for the NPCM in Rosarito.

Petri and Deivis went through our church planting evaluation last November and were approved along with their wives to plant a church. Now Petri & Deivis are going through the incubator church planting training along with our friends from Ministerios Transformación.

I think it’s significant that we have two groups participating together in the training. They are encouraging and strengthening one another. We hope that as they get to know one another better they will create a network to see a growing movement of church planting on the border, and the Baja that influences the rest of Mexico as well.

Ministry flows out of relationship. This is especially true in a Latin context.

Many of the pastors we work with feel alone and isolated. We want to change that. As a friend and church planting network colleague, J.D. Pearring, says “we are not trying to change the whole world, but we do want to change the church planting world.” Of course, if these church plants are healthy and as effective as we pray they will be they will influence and bring change to the world through the gospel. In that sense we are trying to change the world!

Pray that it will be so in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Celebrate Life in Abundance!
Pastor Cesar Zavala and his wife, Kristina in the blue shirts with Dave and some of the visiting pastors

Pastor Cesar Zavala and his wife, Cristina in the blue shirts with Dave and some of the visiting pastors including pastor Abraham Velazquez and Martha

This afternoon Hannah and I participated in a great celebration!

Vida Abundante church of Ministerios Transformación held their 12th year anniversary today. Pastor Julio Cesar Zavala and his wife, Cristina are good friends of ours and they invited us to participate in their anniversary celebration.

They started the church in the eastern part of Tijuana 12 years ago. They replanted the church two years ago in an area of TJ called La Torres. The Lord provided some land for them, and through their affiliation with Ministerios Transformación they were able to build a church on the land two years ago.

When they moved the church they lost some of their people, because so many people they minister to don’t have cars, so proximity to the church becomes an issue. This gave them the opportunity to build on their core from their church to reach out in this new community.

It was exciting for Hannah and me to be able to worship with them today. We could see the love and feel the Spirit working among this church.

Christ Promise of Abundant Life
Hannah worshipping at the Vida Abundante Church

Hannah worshipping at the Vida Abundante Church

I love the name of the church, Vida Abundante, which means Abundant Life. One of the verses both Dawn and I often refer to when we are sharing the gospel is John 10:10. The second part of the verse states, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

What a wonderful promise that Christ gives us, and yet so many people are not experiencing the abundant life. Those who don’t have Christ in their lives aren’t able to experience this abundance that Jesus speaks of. Also, many that are in Christ are not walking in the Spirit as Paul speaks of in Ephesians 5, so they miss out on this life as well.

Yet it is such a wonderful promise, and all God’s promises are true in Christ Jesus!

The first part of John 10:10 states that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” We must not forget that we have an enemy who wants to destroy us, but we are overcomers in Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Cesar and Cristina have a heart to see the lives of the people in their community transformed. The light of Christ shines brightly as they faithfully serve and share the love of Christ.

Pray for Kingdom Expansion
They gave Dave and some of the other visiting ministers an opportunity to share a word of encouragement

They gave Dave and some of the other visiting ministers an opportunity to share a word of encouragement

Pray for them that their church will continue to grow as they reach even more for the kingdom. Pray that the Lord will raise up many more like them.

This Thursday and Friday we will be holding church planting training for 12 pastors from Tijuana, Rosarito, Tecate and Ensenada. Cesar will be one of the pastors attending the training. Pray with us that the Lord uses it to minister to, and enrich the lives of these servants so that they will be even more effective in their ministries.

We pray that the church will continue to grow on the border, the Baja and Beyond! Jesus, hear our cry!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Band of Brothers and Sisters
Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor's church in Rosarito last year

Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor’s church in Rosarito last year (What a great celebration it was!)

One of the things I love most about serving in ministry is the camaraderie that we share with such outstanding people here on the border. The Lord has gifted us with a wonderful group to work side by side with. What a rich blessing it is for me to serve with other men and women who truly love the Lord. They encourage me and my family in so many ways!

When Dawn and I where getting set up here on the border, God gave me a great mentor and coach in Dick Kaufmann. Dick told me, “when you look for ministry partners make sure that they are like minded.” That was invaluable advice as there are so many potential people that we could look to work with. God answered our prayer, and gave us some like minded people to work with who have become precious friends!

Walking Together on this Journey
All of our friends from Ministerios Transformación

All our friends from Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and the ministry he leads which just changed it’s name from Lo Mejor del Trigo to Ministerios Transformación have become some of our best ministry partners. Dawn and I truly do love serving alongside them.

I share some of my heaviest burdens with the pastors of Ministerios Transformación, and likewise they share their burdens with me. After all, isn’t than what Paul encourages us to do? “Bear one another’s burdens…” —Galatians 6:2 ESV

If you’ve followed our story at all, then you know that Dawn and I have travailed through some deep valleys. The Lord is bringing us out of the valley, but at times we wondered where and even if it would end.

In those times of darkness it gave us great comfort knowing that Dawn and I could share our hearts with the men and women associated with Ministerios Transformación. Our closest relationships are with the pastors and their wives. They’ve sent us encouraging notes, and they’ve asked their whole congregation to pray for us.

It lifted up our spirits knowing that whole congregations were praying for us. We know that this was going on in churches in the U.S. and some of the National Presbyterian Churches of Mexico in Baja California as well.

Thank you Jesus for These Special Friends
Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel's birthday!

Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel’s birthday!

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” —Psalm 133:1 ESV

Today (Sunday) I was able to go to the church in El Niño, Comunidad Cristiana. We celebrated Daniel Nuñez’s birthday. Even though it was a rainy and gloomy day there was much joy, life and light in the church as we celebrated.

I give thanks to the Lord for these special friends. They make my family and me feel very loved and we feel like we are part of them when we are together.

I say thank you Jesus for all of our friends in Mexico! Thank you for Ministerios Transformación! Thank you for pastor Daniel Nuñez and his family and all the pastors and leaders that are part of that ministry!

We give thanks for you, and recognize that it’s all for God’s glory! Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org