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Dr. Lloyd Kim sharing at MTW regional hub meeting

Yesterday Dawn and I went to a luncheon in Encinitas at Redeemer Church to promote missions with Mission to the World (MTW). It was a wonderful event as we heard from MTW’s coordinator, Dr. Lloyd Kim and Mobilization director, Dave Veldhorst.

They spoke about the vision of seeing 2,877 new missionaries join the mission force through MTW. That’s an exciting and a big goal for our mission. One of the ways we aim to do that is by forming regional hubs in places like San Diego, Dallas and St. Louis to train and prepare potential missionary candidates.

This vision is still coming together, so we need much prayer. One blazing truth that remains is that Jesus needs men and women to serve him in missions. He needs people who are willing to go and serve.

Christ asked his disciples to pray for more workers.

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in his harvest.” (Luke 10:2,3) ESV

Here’s a helpful short video that MTW put together that challenges us to think and pray about sending more people into the world.

Dawn and I have been praying since before we arrived on the border for more workers. Please join us in prayer that God will raise up many more laborers to go out into the harvest field, and that some of them would join us in our work in Mexico.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Coaches Needed

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Dave leading a session on coaching with Alcides De La Cruz

Why do we leave leaders to struggle on their own? Why do some leaders isolate themselves from others? The casualties of those leaving the ministry every month are astonishingly high. The difference in effectiveness between ministers who have the support of a coach, and those that don’t is remarkable.

These are some of the reasons we believe that it is imperative that leaders in the church should have a coach. When I first arrived in Tijuana, I was talking to one of my missionary colleagues who’s also been a coach to me, Gary Watanabe. I explained to Gary how the church was growing so fast here that I couldn’t keep up, and that I couldn’t coach all the leaders myself. Gary encouraged me to explore ways to multiply myself, to multiply coaches.

Through Gary I met Tom Wood and Jim Moon with Church Multiplication Ministries (CMM). Tom Wood has developed some outstanding training for coaching church planters and leaders. The Gospel is at the center of their training, which is refreshing!

Multiplying Coaches in Mexico & Cuba
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Dave with Jim Moon and Josue Mayo

I began working with Tom, Jim and Gary on bringing the Gospel Coach training to Mexico. In December of 2015 we held our first training event in Tijuana and Monterrey, Mexico.

Jim Moon invited me and some of us who minister in Mexico to go to Cuba to see how they were applying the Gospel Coach in Cuba. That was a life transforming trip for me as the Lord introduced me to the wonderful people of Cuba, and showed me how he was at work there. The church is growing in amazing ways in Cuba.

This relationship with Jim Moon who heads up the Spanish ministry for CMM has continued to grow and flourish. Last weekend I worked with Jim and MTW missionary Jamie Burkemper to lead training in the Gospel Coach in Juarez, Mexico. Forty leaders came to the training.

We find as people are exposed to the concepts of coaching the Lord grabs them, and they desire to grow in their capacity to coach others. They also realize how important it is for them to have a coach.

God is Using Our Story
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One of the small group exercises during the coaching training

One of the emphasis that I love about the Gospel Coach training is the focus on the gospel. I led a module on the history of the gospel, and during my session I shared about Hannah’s passing. The Lord used the story of our family and the hope we have in the gospel to encourage our friends. One of my prayers has been that the Lord will use Hannah’s death to bring glory to himself. I know her death isn’t in vain, but as a father I long for evidence of God’s greater purpose. Jesus is already showing up, and showing himself strong as I share how he has sustained us during this time of sorrow and sadness. Thank you Jesus!

We see the light of Christ shining brightly as Dawn and I minister together. Dawn loves to pray for and encourage others. She has a knack for coming alongside those we meet, and showing them the love of Christ. We are much more effective as we team up and serve together. Jesus is giving us moments of light as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Thank you for praying for us as we seek to follow Jesus. We are serving as we grieve. God’s grace is sufficient. Thanks be to the Lord!

We pray that coaches will continue to multiply in Mexico and Cuba and wherever else the Lord opens up the doors for us to minister!

In His Holy Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Battle Rages, but We are Victorious in Christ
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Pastor Obed Lares and Cesiah

I am convinced that our Lord is doing a good work, despite all the pain and all the sorrow we are going through with the loss of our daughter, Hannah. I don’t know why it was Hannah’s time to go, but I do know that the enemy of our soul will do anything to try to slow us down and defeat us.

The day before Hannah died we celebrated the inauguration of church number 29 with our friends from Ministerios Transformación. On that same weekend we finished building the church. We helped Pastor Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah launch their new church plant.

The Joy of New Birth
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

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

That was a joyous time to see new life, the birth of a new church. Hard to believe that the following day our daughter would be with Jesus in Heaven. We don’t understand, but we know that God is a good and loving God and that we can trust him.

I just met with Obed and Cesiah earlier this week, and I felt so encouraged hearing how the church is growing as they reach out in the community. They’ve had some obstacles to overcome. The church doesn’t have power yet. On Sundays they plug into their neighbors outlets.

The recent rain also slows down the progress. Yet God is on the move there in the community in Rosarito, Mexico.

Obed and Cesiah are very gifted and sensitive to the Holy Spirit as he guides and directs them. When we were together they shared stories about some of the new people who are coming to the church, and how the Lord is touching their lives. As Obed shared, “people are coming to church, because they want to find God. They want an encounter with him.”

Join Us In Prayer

The light of Christ is shining brightly in this community. This is one of the reasons we get attacked. It’s a reminder of how important prayer is. We need protection as do Obed and Cesiah.

Please join us in lifting up Obed and Cesiah as they reach out and share the love of Christ  with the community. Pray that the Lord will protect them and their family. Pray for our protection as well.

Dawn and I are in Juarez, Mexico this week training pastors and leaders in coaching.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A New Year with New Opportunities
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David Sr., Jonathan, Dawn & David Jr. Our new normal

There are some positives to starting a new year. It gives us a chance to recalibrate. We can look back on the past year, and see where we’ve come from. A new year means new opportunities. I must say, that I’ve never had a new year quite like this one.

Last year ended on such a rough note, with our beautiful daughter’s passing. The problem with death I’m finding is there’s no time limit on the pain. The sadness and frustration come at what seems like the oddest times.

Needless to say Dawn and I are starting this new year off still dealing with the aftershocks of Hannah’s death. We are hopeful for a better 2017!

Thankful for Community
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I like this photo, because it represents some of our community which extends from Mexico to Cuba to the U.S.A and Beyond. Our Lord has blessed us with many friends!

I think we are more mindful than ever of the need for community. The necessity for friends to surround us and lift us up in prayer.

We ended the new year traveling from the State of Washington through Oregon and we landed in Redding, California on New Year’s Eve. David and Jonathan were with us, and a friend, Jacob Betchol. On the first day of the year we had the privilege of going to church and worshipping the King of Kings. We attended a wonderful and joyous service. Our loving Father met us there in a special way.

God’s Promises for a Better Tomorrow
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We are Going to Give it #AHannahPercent this Year!    Hannah, we miss you and we love you.

My heavenly Father reminded me of some important truths regarding Hannah’s death. I needed to hear this. “It’s not your fault (that’s something I’ve struggled with). It was Hannah’s appointed time to go. I took her and I will take good care of her.” These are truths the Lord had already assured me of, but as a father who loves his daughter so dearly I needed to hear them again. It was a good way to start off the new year.

As I think of beginning a new year I realize that part of this year includes healing. My family and I still need the Lord’s healing touch. Yet, another thing that the Lord has assured me of is that this is not the end, but the beginning of something greater.

The Lord has reminded me that it is right to grieve Hannah’s loss. Weeping endures for the night, but we will see victory; daybreak is coming. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). It’s like Jesus is saying to me personally, “Cease striving and know that I am God. Do not dwell on the pain. You are a testimony of my grace, and my strength is made perfect in your weakness. I will uphold you. You will not shrink back.”

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Hannah with her brothers, Jonathan & David

It is with this hope and assurance that we begin 2017. Yes, we are hurting. Yes, we are in pain, but God is our deliverer. He will not leave us here forever. In fact, he says that he will never leave us or forsake us!

This year we will begin to experience victory. The Lord is going to use our suffering and he will use our tears for his glory.

So I choose to be hopeful as we begin 2017. I continue to ask you to hold us up in prayer. We will not succeed without your loving support. Dawn and I give thanks for you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
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Our last family photo with Hannah

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

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

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.
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

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

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s gift of healing during this time of Christmas
David & Dawn with Frank Batista

David & Dawn with Frank Batista

Dawn is gifted in sensing when people are in pain physically or emotionally. She loves to pray for people and minister to them when they are struggling, and God gave us many opportunities to pray for Christians and those that are seeking while we were in Cuba. The Lord heard our prayer, and brought healing to the people. Hannah and Dawn used to minister together to our friends as they both loved encouraging people and to see God touch people.

God’s healing Touch for Rosa
David & Dawn with Oniel, Heidy and Rosa

David & Dawn with Oniel, Heidy and Rosa

The first night we were in Havana, Cuba Dawn noticed that Rosa the 12 year old daughter of Pastor Oniel Rojas and his wife, Heidy, wasn’t feeling well. Dawn asked Rosa and her family what was wrong, and she said her arm was bothering her. Dawn felt the need to pray for Rosa’s shoulder. She couldn’t move her arm and she has experienced a lot of pain over the last two months.

Dawn and Yoli Nuñez, who is our friend and partner in ministry from Tijuana, spent some time in prayer for Rosa with her parents, Oniel & Heidy. Then Dawn called us over to pray with them and we prayed some more. As we prayed Rosa’s pain went down from a 10 to a 6. The next day when we saw her parents they were very excited as they said that Rosa was able sleep through the night for the first time in a long time. She was also able to move her arm and put her cloths on by herself for the first time in a while. Rosa said the pain was gone.

Then Rosa went to the doctor with her mom in the morning. The doctor was surprised that Rosa was no longer experiencing any pain. He took X-Rays and they came out normal. Before she had a growth in her shoulder, but now it was gone. He compared the X-Rays to how she was before and although he was surprised he said they looked completely normal and declared her healed and healthy. Thank you Jesus for hearing our prayer!

Oniel and Heidy were so excited that God brought healing to their daughter.

God Touches Lelois in a Special Way
Dawn praying for Lelois

Dawn praying for Lelois

Then a couple of days later we were with our friend Frank Batista (photo above), who I met last April when I was in Cuba. Frank showed Dawn and me around and we enjoyed spending time with him and his family. On Saturday we went to buy some presents at the market. When we went to buy t-shirts Dawn noticed the woman selling the t-shirts was in pain, Lelois.

Dawn asked her how she was feeling, and she admitted that her stomach was bothering her. Dawn wanted to see if she could pray for her. Lelois said yes, so she began to pray for her. When she prayed Lelois felt the power of God in her body. Both Dawn and Lelois sensed the Spirit rushing through them and touching them. After Dawn prayed for her she asked Lelois how she felt and she said her pain went down from a 10 to a 3. Also because she felt God’s tender touch tears came to her eyes. With tears streaming down her face she felt God’s love.

Then Frank and I prayed for her and she no longer had any pain. It was very encouraging to see the way the Lord used my wife’s boldness. Lelois said she’d like a Bible, and she was interested in learning more about the gospel.

We give thanks to the Lord for his mighty work in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org


The Two Sides of Cuba
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Cuban Church planters with Discovery Center Staff

I continue to both amazed and saddened when I spend time in Cuba. I’m amazed by all that the Lord is doing in this country that has experienced so much oppression. They’ve suffered greatly, despite what some in the media write. It saddens me to hear the stories and learn of all they’ve had to live through. As one of my friends said, “there is equality, we all have the same, we all share the same misery.” Yet, despite this they are a wonderful and resilient people. The Cubans we met are good-natured, and enjoyable to be around.

The other thing that I observed is that God has used all their suffering, and all the things they lack to make it crystal clear to the people that they need something greater than themselves. They need a deliverer. They need a savior, and many are turning their lives over to Christ.

Quality and Choice Servants of the Lord
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Dawn with Oniel Rojas and his wife, Heidy and their daughter, Rosa. Oniel is the leader of the movement we worked with in Cuba

The church planters that Dawn and I met during the Discovery Center are such quality people. Their love for Jesus is so evident. Some of them are amazing evangelists, and the Lord is already using them to reach many for Christ. Even though we went to minister to them and encourage them their testimony lifted us up. Dawn and I felt humbled as we heard their stories, and of their love for the Lord.

The church is not allowed to build church buildings in Cuba, but they can meet to study the Bible and to worship in their homes. The house church is exploding in Cuba. Missiologist say that Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere where a true church planing movement is occurring. Yet, there is a need for training, coaching and encouragement. We give thanks to the Lord that we can play a role in the work there.

Second Trip to Cuba

I first went to Cuba in April, and I fell in love with the people. At the time, I thought I’d love to be able to bring my wife and my daughter to Cuba with me. Unfortunately, I will never have the opportunity to bring Hannah, but the Lord did open the door for me to bring Dawn, and we had a wonderful experience together.

God’s Strength in Our Weakness
The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

Thank you Jesus for giving us the strength to be able to go and minister in the midst of our sorrow! One of our friends and colleagues in the gospel ministry, Ivan Villalta said it was a miracle that Dawn and I were in Cuba helping with the Discovery Center, since we just lost Hannah only a few weeks ago. That encouraged me that he said that. Yes, it’s not easy to minister in the midst of our pain, but we are finding God’s grace is strengthening us and carrying us through it all.

When I told Mario & Yany one of the church planting couples about Hannah passing away, they said it was clear that the Spirit was giving us strength to be able to continue to minister during this difficult season of life.

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Dawn and I appreciate your love and prayers for us. God is using you to lift us up!

Just as we felt we were able to bring the love and blessing of our Lord to our friends in Cuba, they definitely blessed us and helped lift our spirits. Hallelujah!

The Lord did so many amazing things in Cuba that I have more to write, but I will save it for another post. Please continue to pray for us this week as we are back at home, and celebrating our first Christmas without Hannah.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org