Posts Tagged ‘Acts 14’

The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Some of our dear friends on the Big Island. We are helping them plant their fourth church in this city. The church is multiplying!

Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.

I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.

They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of The pastors, Manuel Santos from Durango sent me a photo to show me how he is streaming his services in Mexico. Most of the pastors I know are just using their cell phone to stream their services, but Pastor Manuel has a more complex setup.

One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.

On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.

Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dave & Dawn with Petri and Yudy with Ensenada in the background. The plant is helping us to practice safe social distancing 😃

Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.

We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.

Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.

Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
Dave & Dawn with one of the pastoral couples that we work with in Tijuana, Davis & Luz

On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.

I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.

I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.

Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Some of the pastors and families that we are helping on the Big Island. Our familia – such wonderful people!

Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.

Click here to make a donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org