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

The Love of Christ is Touching Lives
Junior, Damaris, Federico, Blanca, David & Daniel Muñoz

Dawn and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz. They are planting a new church in Mexicali.

Blanca shared with us how she felt led to take a walk in her neighborhood, which she mentioned that she doesn’t usually do by herself. Yet, this day the Lord nudged her to do it. As she was walking she met a woman who was looking for her son.

Blanca sharing with friends at a an outreach event they held in Mexicali

The woman’s son had run away, and she was distraught trying to find him. Blanca was able to encourage her and tell her that she was willing to help. She showed the love of Christ to the lady, and gave her a big hug. While they were hugging the woman began to cry. She felt loved. She felt that someone cared.

Blanca took the opportunity to tell her that it was because of Christ’s love that she was able to care for her and show her compassion.

Later Blanca was surprised to find out that the woman she had met who lost her son is someone that has a lot of influence in Mexicali. This made Blanca feel humbled and grateful for how the Lord worked. In a few days Blanca learned that her new friend had found her son.

God is so good and we love learning how he is faithful to work through his children.

God’s love wins, and this is one of the many reasons we plant churches and seek to share the love of Christ.

Pastor Deivis & Luz Pardo in Playas
David & Dawn with Pastor Federico & Blanca and Pastor Deivis and Luz

The Lord abundantly blessed Dawn and me, because after we met with Federico and Blanca for a few hours Pastor Deivis and Luz Pardo joined us. It was the first time that Dawn and I have been able to meet with all of them together. Deivis and Luz are just getting started on the church plant in Tijuana.

After much prayer they found a place to live in the area where they are going to plant their church. We were able to rejoice with them as they prepare to move in. They are still working on getting everything set up and furnishing their house.

We believe that the Lord has a great plan for Deivis and Luz and Playas and we can wait to watch and see all that he does!

Join Us in Prayer
  • Pray that the Lord will provide for all of Deivis and Luz’s needs as they move into their new place.
  • They also need some help moving and getting set up.
  • Continue to pray for Pastor Federico and Blanca that the Lord will open up even more doors for them to share the gospel.
  • Pray for me as I’m having surgery today on my hernia. I’d appreciate prayer for a quick recovery.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Trip to Cd. Obregon & Hermosillo
The country side on the road from Cd. Obregon to Hermosillo

In my last post I wrote about my trip to Northwestern Mexico. such a great encouragement to see how the church is growing. On that trip I also connected with two church planting couples that are just beginning their work.

I went to Cd. Obregon and Hermosillo to learn more about how the church is growing and reproducing. As I was preparing for the trip the Lord reminded me that I knew a church planter in Cd. Obregon and that there was a new church plant starting up in Hermosillo. I was able to get some good time with these two pastoral couples.

Cd. Obregon: Pastor Roberto & Gabriela
Dave with Pastor Roberto & Gabriela Mendoza and their family

Pastor Roberto Mendoza and his wife Gabriela are starting a church in Cd. Obregon. I met Roberto a few years ago, but I had never met his wife, or his family. It was a joy to meet them. It’s so good when Jesus orchestrates and brings things together!

Roberto and Gabriela have been working on the church plant for two and a half years. They are at a point where they are doing well, but they also need some encouragement. Roberto shared how lonely it can be to plant a church. My heart goes out to him. It was so clear that our loving Father arranged this time.

One of the wonderful things about connecting in this way, and spending some good time together is that it opens the doors for future ministry. It makes it easier for me to know what some of their needs are, and how I might spur them on and strengthen them along the way.

Pray with us for Roberto and Gabriela. They are doing an important work in establishing a beachhead in Ciudad Obregon. Pastor Roberto has a vision to start more churches in the area and to educate future ministers of the gospel! So good! Lord, grant them the desire of their hearts for your honor and glory.

Hermosillo: Hector & Lulu
Dave with Pastor Hector & Lulu Bautista

From Ciudad Obregon I took the bus to Hermosillo. I just happened to be there the same week that a new church planting couple, Hector and Lulu Bautista were there looking for a house. They are moving from Jalapa, Veracruz to Hermosillo. That is a long move!

They’ve never lived in Northern Mexico before, and there is a huge difference between northern and southern Mexico. One of the main differences is there aren’t as many churches in Northern Mexico.

I had never met Pastor Hector and Lulu, so again Jesus brought everything together at just the right time. Hallelujah!

Hector asked me if he could stay in contact with me so I could mentor him and encourage him as he starts this church from scratch. They told me they are starting from zero. They don’t know anyone in Hermosillo. That is definitely the hardest way to start a church. Of course, nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but it is important to understand some of the challenges they will face. Also it’s super important for them that they don’t feel alone.

Join us in Prayer!
Dave & Dawn – Thanks for joining us on this journey and for praying with us

Dawn and I are praying that the Lord uses us to help plant 1,000 churches over the next 15 – 20 years. When I see Jesus open doors like this I know he’s at work. It’s the Lord’s desire to see his church grow and multiply.

Pray with us for these two couples, Roberto and Gabriela, and Hector and Lulu. They need wisdom from above and boldness as they share the gospel in the communities that the Lord has called them to. All of our church planters could use similar type of prayer. These are some of the other church planters we are working with Federico and Blanca, Mere and Edna in Mexicali, Davis and Luz in Tijuana, Petri and Yudy in Ensenada, Jose Luis and Ana in La Paz. There are others, but these are some of our newer church plants. Evangelism and new contacts is key when they are starting out.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Multiplication
Dave with pastors Samuel, Francisco, Roberto & Raul

On the road in Northwestern Mexico. This week I’ve traveled to some places in Northern Mexico that I’ve never been to, Ciudad Obregón and Hermosillo. I’m meeting with pastors and church planters. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get to know these outstanding men and women and to learn about their work. Such wonderful people who have made great sacrifices for the gospel.

One of the main questions I’m asking as I meet with them is if their church has reproduced? Have they not only successfully planted their church, but also started other churches?

Most of the pastors I talked to have already started other churches. One of them has started 3 churches in just a few years time. So encouraging!

We Long for More!

Dawn and I keep praying for more, and we are praying that we can help plant more churches throughout Mexico and Beyond. I like to say igniting church-planting movements on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! One of the principle places where we are seeing multiplication is in Cuba, but it is happening in Mexico as well. It’s so good to see the church grow.

I feel like one of the great advantages that I have when I meet with these pastors and learn from them is it also allows me to pray for them and to encourage them. The Lord has given me a love and a compassion for them, and we connect deeply in relatively brief period of time.

The Battle Rages On
Some of our Cuban prayer warrior friends. They know how to pray!

One of the pastors, Samuel told me that where he is planting his churches there is a lot of witchcraft going on, which is increasing in Mexico. He said because of that the people battle with more sickness. Samuel said his leaders have helped train them in how to pray and deal with the attacks of the enemy, but he also felt like they needed more help. We’ve found that witchcraft is a serious problem in Cuba and most of the other countries we work in. I believe that it’s on the rise in the US as well.

These pastors are right on the front of the battle lines, and they need encouragement and prayer support. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities, Ephesians 6:12.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 ESV

Even with these obstacles the church is growing. The church is multiplying!

Join Us in Prayer !

Dawn & I are glad to be on this journey with you

I celebrate this growth, and at the same time I long for more. Join with us in the battle. Pray with us and for us. Pray also for these pastors that are in the trenches seeing people freed from darkness through the light of the gospel! The battle rages on, but we have victory in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Family & Growth: So Exciting
Some of the church planters that we are working with that are seeing multiplication

Two of the things that excite Dawn and me the most is our close relationship with the church planters we are working with and seeing the church grow. We continue to work for and pray for multiplication on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

I feel like it’s hard to describe the special relationship that we develop with the church planters that we partner with. A number of them refer to us as family, ‘Padre y Madre’. I haven’t experienced many relationships like this in the U.S.A. I think people tend to be a little more guarded in the United States.

These relationships make us feel good, but there’s more to it than just good feelings!

Fruit: The Ministry is Growing!
Pastor Luis & May with their children David & Zuri

The Lord is using these relationships and the training and coaching that Dawn and I are able to provide to produce fruit. We are seeing ministries grow.

Just today one of the church planting couples that we are working with in Cuba, Luis and May told us how their relationship with us has made a dramatic difference in their lives. They refer to it as a before and after. Luis and May told us that their ministry and their effectiveness has grown since they met us.

They’ve been using some of the church planting training material that I shared with them the last time I was there. Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network) has some excellent church planting training resources that we’ve given them. Luis and May took those resources and have trained 12 couples that have started 12 house churches in their city in the last year. 400 people have been reached through these churches!

That is multiplication, and that is what we are praying and working for! Praise Jesus!

Continued Growth in 2020!
Pastor Mario & Yany’s church in Cabaiguan. There’s a growing network of churches in this city

Luis and May are planning on starting two more house churches this month as we begin 2020. They are already off and running! These are just two of the church planters that Dawn and I are working with. God is building his church on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Please pray for us as we kick-off 2020. We are praying for more churches and multiplication of leaders with a clear vision to reach the lost for Christ. God is so good, and he is so faithful to grow his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Give Thanks for God’s Good Work!
Dave with church planters & leaders in Cuba

As Dawn and I look back on 2019 we realize that we have much to be thankful for! Dawn and I experienced fruit and growth as we ministered on the Border, the Baja and Beyond.

2019 has been one of our best years in ministry. We are planting life giving churches in a number of cities in Baja California. We are starting churches in La Paz, Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali with the hope of expanding beyond the Baja in Mexico. There are also numerous church plants in Cuba that are growing.

The Lord is Faithful to Grow His Church
Our church plant in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri and his wife Yudy

Dawn and I continue to pray that the Lord will enlarge our tent and expand our borders. Isaiah 54 has become a key passage for us as we dream and ask the Lord for more.

“”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 ‭54:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thankful for Our Growing Family
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz and their children are one of the many families that we work with that have become part of our family.

This passage also speaks of promises to our offspring. The church planters we work with have become like family to us. We have come to love them, and we see God expanding the kingdom through the ministry of the churches they are starting. Dawn and I feel very blessed through these relationships and all that Jesus is doing through them!

We Rejoice! Hallelujah!

Yany, Rachel & Jorge leading worship in Cabaiguán, Cuba

Hallelujah. We rejoice for God’s good work and all that he is doing!

Let’s Finish 2019 Strong!

Dawn and I would like to ask you to consider making a year-end gift so that this more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We look forward to 2020, and believe that it will be an even greater and more fruitful year!

Donate now by clicking on this link:

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Goodness Seen in Our Growing Family
Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs

As I write this I’m enjoying a cup coffee and taking in the views of the snow capped peaks in Colorado. It reminds me of God’s majesty. Dawn and I are thankful that we can visit our family in Colorado Springs this Christmas and take in the beauty of God’s handiwork.

I’ve been reflecting on God’s goodness and his wonderful work in our lives and throughout the world.

Dawn and I feel like our family keeps growing. Both David and Jonathan married wonderful young women in the last year for which we give much thanks. Also, the Lord has given us family in Latin America.

Giving Thanks for Our Partners
Pastors and Leaders in Cuba

A number of the pastors that we work with have become like family to us. We are in constant communication with them, praying for them, encouraging them and coaching them. At the end of Romans Paul wrote about a long list of people who ministered with him in the gospel. It is evident that Paul didn’t minister alone. The Lord gave him a team of people to work with.

In Philippians 1 the apostle gives thanks for the church and his partners in the gospel there.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In the same way Dawn and I give thanks for our friends, our family, our partners in the gospel. We rejoice in all that the Lord is doing through them.

The Church is Advancing
Yany lovingly leading the children in Cabaiguan

Our friends Mario & Yany, who live in Cabaiguan, Cuba wrote us this week and told us about the opportunity they had to show the love of Christ to 90 children. Mario and Yany are planting four churches in the Cabaiguan area. They are very special friends that Dawn and I have come to consider part of our family. I’ve written about them in other posts.

It’s so good to see the kingdom of God advancing in Cuba.

One of Pastor Justo & Sara’s house churches in Jatibonico. It’s busting at the seams!

Some of our other friends Justo and Sara also wrote us and told us about the outreach and the growth of the church in Jatibonico. Every time we hear from these friends and other partners we rejoice and give thanks.

Join Us In Prayer!
Our Cuban Family – Faithful to Pray

Dawn and I have prayed for years that we would be part of kingdom expansion on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! We are starting to see that prayer answered. God is growing his church on the Border and the Baja where we live and work. We are also seeing growth Beyond these areas, mainly in Cuba. We continue to pray for more. More of Jesus. More of the Spirit and more kingdom growth and expansion!

Thank you for praying with us. We know that we are not alone. The Lord has given us a wonderful team of partners like you who are interested in seeing the kingdom of God expand through this work. We recognize that prayer is the life blood of all that we do.

Pray with us as this year comes to a close, that we will finish the year strong, so that we start 2020 off well. Dawn and I are praying that we can start at least 3 new churches in Mexico and 3 new churches in Cuba in 2020. We also are training and coaching many more church planters and leaders, and seeking to expand that part of the ministry as well.

You can help us make that a reality by praying for us, and by giving a year-end gift. You can give online by clicking the donate link.

Thank you for helping us take the gospel to The Border, The Baja and Beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org