The Journey Continues!
Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Today I’m off to Mexico City. Dawn isn’t joining me on this trip. We enjoy traveling and ministering together, but I’m going to visiting some of the sites where the earthquakes from last Fall caused the most damage, so we decided it would be better for Dawn to stay behind. Her mom is with her, so I’m sure they will enjoy the time together.

 

A Wonderful Accomplishment!
The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

Last week we accomplished a first for us. We finished up our incubator church planting training!

The incubator takes close to two years to cover the 16 modules that we train on. There were 10 people that took the course and 8 of them finished and graduated. I could tell that the guys were excited to graduate from the course. We gave each of them the opportunity to share their highlights. It was gratifying for us to listen to their testimonies.

One of the things we focused on throughout the training was the importance of being Christ-centered and gospel-centered. That the gospel and grace must permeate everything we do both inside the church and as we reach out to a world that is in deep need of a Savior.

Beautiful to See the Church Come Together
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

The participants that took the incubator training were from two main groups, Ministerios Transformación and the Presbyterian Church. Even though they come from different church traditions it was so good to see them come together to learn. They forged a friendship among themselves.

One of the pastors that helped us to teach the course is Pastor Jorge Aleman from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m thankful for the effort Jorge made to fly out and lead. He has some great experience in the church and he is a gifted communicator. Jorge encouraged the guys to invite one another to preach at one another’s church and to continue to further develop their friendship.

Church planting is the best way to do evangelism and to reach a city for Christ. If we want to have successful church plants we need healthy, fully trained and equipped pastors. That is one of the major goals of the incubator, to prepare the church planter for the ministry that the Lord has called him to.

Join Us In Prayer!
Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Dawn and I appreciate your prayers as we continue to coach, mentor and train these friends and partners in the ministry. Pray that they will be effective in their respective churches. They are all at various stages in their church plant. There is one common goal among them they desire to have healthy and growing churches. That is our prayer as well!

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey! Remember to pray for me as I head off to Mexico City to minister in and around the city for the next 10 days. I will also be in Oaxaca for 3 of those days. Much of the earthquake damage occurred in Oaxaca.

Lord, do pour out your Spirit and do I mighty work as I seek to minister and represent Christ and his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating 29 years! Amazing!
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are celebrating 29 years today! We. walk on this winding road of faith together. We give thanks for all our friends who are on the journey with us!

Today Dawn and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary! We are in Phoenix, so it will be a first for us enjoying our anniversary here.

It’s possible that my anniversary has put me in a reflective mood, but I posted some thoughts about my family today on Facebook on the Hannah Diaso Memorial page. As I began to write the thoughts just kind of flowed, so I thought I would post them here as well. Let me know what you think 🤔.

First, I’d just like to thank my wife for these 29 years together. Especially the last two years have been so difficult, and when I think of it we’ve had about 5 years of what sometimes appeared to be ‘hell on earth’. Yet instead of all this turmoil, all this pain drawing us apart it has drawn together. The Lord has used my wife to help me to grow in my faith and in my love for Christ. She is passionate, zealous and bold which at times pushes me to uncomfortable places, but it’s kept me from becoming complacent. It’s caused my relationship with Jesus to flourish and we are experiencing things in ministry that we’ve never seen before. It’s super encouraging to see all the Lord is doing! She’s also an amazing mother to our three children. These are some of the reasons that I love and respect my loving wife, Dawn!

Here’s to 29 more years together or more if we live that long!

Reflections on My Happy Family!
My happy family when Hannah was still with us. This was taken around April 2015 by our good friend Jacob Betchol

My happy family when Hannah was still with us. This was taken around April 2015 by our good friend Jacob Betchol

I love this happy picture of my family. I have it on my iPad homepage, so I see it every day. Yet, today I realize that when my daughter moved to heaven this was taken from me.

I’ve always taken pride, hopefully a healthy pride, in my family. It made me feel good knowing that my family was healthy and happy. I’m reminded that in John 10:10 that the thief, the enemy of our soul comes to steal, kill and destroy.

It’s hard to put to words, but I feel that in my idea of a healthy and happy family has been taken from me. Even in some ways I feel disappointed as a father. Not necessarily that I’ve failed, actually the Lord has encouraged me various times through various means that I am a good father. Yet, this isn’t what I hoped for or envisioned for my family.

I believe my family is doing remarkably well despite the terrible loss that we’ve suffered. I’m surprised and amazed at the maturity David & Jonathan have displayed! I’m encouraged by their faith and strength in the Lord.

My marriage to my bride is also stronger than ever today as we celebrate 29 years together. It’s been hard very hard to walk through the valley of shadow of death, but we are doing it, and we are doing it together.

Part of the challenge of losing someone so near, so dear, so loved is that it shatters many dreams. It shatters many of the things that I hoped for. It’s a pain that doesn’t ever fully seem to leave, even though it does get better.

I’m not writing this from a place of deep sadness, although it does sadden me that I can’t see my daughter’s beautiful smile any more. I’m in a more pensive and reflective place today. And I’m reminded when I look at the picture of my family laughing and having fun together, I realize too that I no longer have that seemingly ideal family.

The Lord is comforting each of us as we continue on this journey. In many ways I feel like he has cared for us and blessed us beyond measure since Hannah moved to heaven. I feel like as the enemy meant this to harm us, but that God is using it for our good. He is drawing us closer and closer to him. He’s given us a better perspective on the fact that life is short, and we should be careful not to live in fear and not to live just to please others.

He’s caused me to realize the importance of running hard after the Lord, to grow to love him in a deeper and more profound way. To make our love and service of Christ our ultimate goal in life, even if it doesn’t fit with a conventional comfortable life.

I do give thanks and my family gives thanks for the myriad of friends and family who have prayed for us and encouraged us as we’ve been on this long and winding road.

We need the Lord so desperately, and we we are so grateful for those who love us and have expressed their love to us in so many ways! Thank you, dear friends! We do love and appreciate you.

In His Loving Grip, Dave for the family

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

Giving Thanks for God’s Good Gifts!
Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

Jonathan, Pastor Mere and Dave

This last Friday I experienced one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Even though this last year has been hard as my family and I have been mourning Hannah’s moving to heaven, the Lord has blessed us with some exceptional experiences, especially lately.

What made Friday so special?

Two main reasons. First, I spent the whole day with one of my son’s, Jonathan. It’s always a special time when I can be with David and Jonathan. We enjoyed driving out to Mexicali and having wonderful interaction along the way. It encourages me so much to see how Jonathan has grown in his love for Christ since his sister moved to heaven. He could have become bitter and angry at God. Instead he’s pushed into Christ and grown tremendously. This is one of the legacies I feel that Hannah has left. The impact she left on both of her brothers. Thank you, Lord for redeeming the pain of Hannah’s early homegoing!

The Foundation is being Laid
The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The foundation for the new church in Mexicali, Mexico

The second reason is we went to Mexicali to see the foundation being poured for the new church that we are building to honor Hannah. It filled me up to overflowing to see this dream becoming a reality. Thank you, Jesus!

I also enjoyed spending some time with the church planter and his wife. Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna. Mere and his father-in-law, Rafael were working hard laying the foundation for the church.

Some of the neighbors who are interested in seeing the church built were also there. The church actually is right next to Alfonso and Cristina’s house. They used to live in Tijuana and they attended one of the Ministerios Transformación churches in TJ. That’s what brought about the connection. Alfonso and Cristina moved back to Mexicali and they started praying that the Lord would raise up a church in their community.

Years of Prayer for This New Church
Cristina with her three children - she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina with her three children – she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina told me that she prayed for three years that the Lord would bring a church to the community that they live in, which is just outside of Mexicali. The church is close to an hour from the Mexicali – El Centro border crossing.

I loved learning about how the Lord is already working in this community preparing the people to receive the Word of Life. Cristina said that her mom even felt a number of years ago that the Lord was going to build a church on the land right next to the house. Even though they’ve only lived in the house the last few years, they’ve owned the property for a number of years.

The last church we helped Ministerios Transformación start in Rosarito was built and inaugurated the day before Hannah moved to heaven. That church has struggled some to get going. There have been a number of obstacles, and we’ve felt much opposition there. We know as we move into new communities we are bringing the light into dark places. There is a battle that rages on. We are still praying and hopeful that the church in Rosarito will experience breakthrough and make a difference in the community.

Light in the Darkness

This church in Mexicali represents new hope as Christ shines in a place where there is much need. Pray with us as we work with Pastor Mere, his wife Edna and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación to build this church on the weekend of April 14 and 15.

There is still time to help us build this church. We’ve been given a matching fund as we continue to raise funds for this project. You can give online here.

click to give online

click to give online

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer. Our battle is not against flesh and blood! We give thanks for your love and support you’ve shown us in a number ways as we move forward and continue serving the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

Dave and Dawn in the middle with fellow MTW Mexico missionaries, Jamie and Jen Burkemper, Dan and Becky Young

I hardly have time to reflect on and write about our last trip before we are on to the next trip. Dawn and I just returned from cold Colorado. I must admit that we’ve gotten soft now that we are living on the border with year-round mild temperatures.

We were in Colorado Springs for Village 7’s missions conference. A number of good things happened while in the Springs. We give thanks for God’s many good gifts:

  • Wonderful opportunities to pray with and for others
  • We got to see many of our very close and special friends
  • We had a wonderful time with our son, Jonathan
  • The Lord gave us many opportunities to tell our story, and about all that He is doing on the Border, The Baja and Beyond
  • Many MTW colleagues and friends from other missions organizations were at the conference
  • Despite the cold, the mountains in Colorado are breathtaking
We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

We loved being able to see our son, Jonathan. His dog, Cesar joined us for this photo!

When we are in Colorado we are always reminded of Hannah. There were a number of friends who we saw for the first time since Hannah moved to heaven. Dawn and I love to talk about our daughter, and yet it does bring up some emotions for us. I’m grateful for the Lord’s good and loving healing in our lives. When I think of how fragile we seemed last year at this time. God has been so good, and he is giving us strength as we continue to walk on this journey.

We came home just for a few days to catch our breath, but now we are off to Guadalajara for the weekend. We will be participating in the 20 year anniversary of one of the churches that our colleague and friend, Kenton Wood started. The Lord has used Kenton in some amazing ways over the years to see many won to Christ and discipled into the kingdom. His church, Rey de Reyes, “King of Kings” has started eight other churches as well.

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Promoting the ministry on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

We give thanks for the Lord’s good work, and we pray for more. More Lord, give us more!

Dawn and I appreciate your continued and ongoing prayer for us. Every day I feel like the Lord shows me the importance of prayer. It’s like air, we can’t live without it. Breathe in deeply God’s love and his grace. Let us all grow together as we approach the throne of God, a throne filled mercy and grace!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Honoring Hannah’s Memory – Church Expansion
Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Pastor Edson Martinez, Pastor Mere Godinez, Dave Diaso and Pastor Rafael

Ever since the day our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven I’ve prayed that her death wouldn’t be in vain. I know from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 which mentions to not grieve as those without hope, that her early home going isn’t in vain. Yet, I would like to see in tangible ways how the Lord has used her life to have a lasting impact on the earth. I suppose these are complicated emotions to explain, but I do have the drive to honor our daughter’s memory.

One of the ways we are doing that is building a new church in Mexicali, Mexico in Hannah’s memory. We are doing this with some of my best friends on the planet, Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and Ministerios Transformación. We are inviting friends and family to come help us build the church. Both David Jr. and Jonathan are flying out for the church build as well as other very special people we love.

Memorial Church in Mexicali, Mexico
The site where we are building the church

The site where we are building the church

On Friday I was able to go visit the site where the church will be built. Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez along with Edson Martinez took me to Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California, and it’s about three hours from Tijuana. We’ve partnered with Ministerios Transformación to plant five churches in Tijuana and Rosarito. This will be the first church we’ve helped plant in Mexicali, so that is exciting for us.

This will be the 34th church that Ministerios Transformación has planted! These churches are making a huge difference in the communities they serve in.

Planting Churches with our Special Friends
Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor Bravo, his wife Sol and their son, Abraham

Today (Sunday) Dawn and I went to visit Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol and their church in Rosarito. It’s always a huge blessing for us to be with them. We helped them plant their church 3 years ago. Their church is growing and the people there are in love with Jesus. They have a wonderful outreach to an orphanage, Nueva Generación, “New Generation”.

Victor and Sol’s church is just one example of the difference the gospel is making through the churches we’ve helped to plant in communities around Tijuana and Rosarito. We give thanks for God’s good work!

These friends I’ve mentioned Daniel and Yolanda, Victor and Sol love Hannah, and Hannah loved them. I know if she was still living she would be so proud and excited to know that we are planting a new church with these much-loved friends. Hannah is now a part of the cloud of witnesses. I don’t know if she can see back into this world or not, but if she can I’m sure she’s praying for us and rooting us on along with Christ and all the Saints.

The pastor of this new church is Mere Godinez and his wife is Edna. We’d appreciate your prayers for Mere and Edna as they start this church.

The Mixed Emotions
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

When I visited the church site this last week I had mixed emotions. I felt both excited and sentimental. When I think about Hannah and her memory it brings up many emotions. I miss her so much! My family and I are grateful for this opportunity to not only honor Hannah’s memory but to make a difference in a community in Mexicali.

Help Us Finish This Memorial Church Plant

We’ve been able to raise more than half of the amount we need to plant the church, but we still need to raise some more to build this church. When I was in Mexicali I realized that it’s so hot there in the summer that they need air conditioning to be able to meet in the church during the summer months. An additional expense we hadn’t considered.

You can give to the church plant in Hannah’s memory by clicking on the link below. We’d love to have you join us!

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

Thank you, dear friends, for standing with us on this wonderful and sometimes painful journey.

In His Grip, Dave for Dawn, David Jr., and Jonathan

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thank Jesus for His Amazing Work!
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

In my last post I wrote about the amazing people the Lord connected us with in Cuba. How God went before us and truly prepared the way, and we were indeed surprised by our experience in Cuba.

Each time we’ve gone to Cuba God has knit our hearts to the people. This trip we especially enjoyed getting to know Pastor Luis and Maiyesmi (May) Jimenez. From the moment Dawn and I met them we fell in love with them. They shared their testimony with us on the first day, and we were all in tears as they shared. We weren’t the only one’s they had this effect on as the friends that went on the trip with also were deeply touched by them.

Luis & May’s Amazing Testimony!
Pastor Luis and May

Pastor Luis and May

I’ve met very few people with the commitment level and sacrifice that Luis and May have made in the ministry.

We were amazed as they shared about how they felt called to minister to a community 18 kilometers from where they lived. There was no church in the community they wanted to reach out to. It was not an easy place to get to. There wasn’t any public transportation to this small village, so they walked the more than 10 miles in the hot sun to get there. It took them four hours to walk that far. They didn’t have any sun block, so May got sun spots on her legs from being out in the sun so long.

They went into the community and started knocking on doors. Every time someone answered the door they said they were not interested in learning more about Jesus. They knocked on every door in the whole town, and they continued to get the same response. Finally they got to the last house. The woman who answered the door said she was not interested, because she had two daughters who were confined to a wheel chair. She was mad at God.

Yet the two daughters heard the conversation and they told Luis and May that they were interested in studying the Bible and learning about Christ. That’s how they began to reach that community.

Their Tremendous Sacrifice and Courage
Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a treat. What a special time for all of us!

Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a meal. What a special time for all of us!

As we talked more to Luis and May we learned that they live on about $20 a month. If they or their children need a pair of shoes, or some clothing then they have to eat less that month. They live on a lot of beans and rice. While May was pregnant with their first child for about two months they had almost no income for food, so friends brought her fruit and whatever they could afford to share with them. Their son, David was born small, because of the lack of nourishment.

Then Luis and May told us about all the warfare they face where they are working. They had to learn how to pray against the attacks. Part of their routine now includes regular fasting and prayer. They take prayer seriously, and they are experiencing results as the Lord works through them.

Dawn and I stayed a couple of days after the Discovery Center was done and Luis and May didn’t leave until late the day after the Center ended. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to minister to one another. They told us more of their story, more of what they’ve learned and all that the Lord was doing through them. Dawn and I were able to bless and encourage them as well. I feel like it was one of the most special times I’ve ever had in ministry.

I truly wish I could bottle those experiences so I had them more often. 

It is not easy to communicate with our friends in Cuba, because they don’t have easy or inexpensive internet service. Yet, we have been able to email one another, and encourage one another in that way.

Please join us in praying for Luis and May and all of our other friends in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org