Posts Tagged ‘Border Evangelism and Mercy Ministries’

One of the many things that Dawn and I are thankful for at this time of the year is the incredible people and ministries that we work alongside. The unbelievable thing is that they are not only amazing ministers of the gospel, but they are also wonderful friends. We feel so blessed to be able to count them as our friends, our queridos amigos!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo in Mexico is one such incredible minister and a dear friend. Recently pastor Daniel and I went on a ministry trip together and I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. I would like to share that interview with you here.

We give thanks for Daniel and for all of those that the Lord has privileged us to work alongside!

Pray that the Lord will raise up even more workers, even more ministry partners, so that the kingdom of God will continue to be extended!

In HIs Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating Life & Gospel Advance
Enjoying a meal with Tom and Donna Baird after the service

Enjoying a meal with Tom and Donna Baird after the service

This weekend the Lord blessed us and lifted our spirits through the visit of our good friends from Colorado Springs, Tom and Donna Baird. Our family lived in Colorado Springs for 12 years, so a part of our heart will always be there, even more so because our son, Jonathan lives there.

Tom and Donna wanted to go to Mexico while they were here. On Sunday our friends in Ensenada at the Nueva Jerusalén church celebrated their 26th anniversary. It worked out for us to take the Bairds to Ensenada. We enjoyed introducing them to our friends at the church, and participating in the celebration.

Worshipping and Celebrating with La Nueva Jerusalén

Worshipping and Celebrating with La Nueva Jerusalén

There are aspects of the church in Baja California that aren’t as strong or as healthy as we would like. We are grateful that we can celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness to raise up this church, and to minister to the people in the community through the gospel. We are working for and praying for a renewed and a revived church.

O Lord, build your church. Extend your kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven.

Coming Together for the Advance of the Church
Meeting with church planters in Phoenix

Meeting with church planters in Phoenix

Today I met with a number of church planters in Phoenix. One of the points that touched me was the need for us to partner together, to work as one church to see the gospel go out faithfully. God has not called us to build our own little kingdoms, but to participate together in building His kingdom.

It’s incredible what God is doing and will do if when we aren’t concerned about who gets the credit!

Lord, thank you for working in our hearts and granting us the privilege to serve for the advance of your reign on the earth.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Godly Men on the Border!
The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

These are some of the pastors that serve with Lo Mejor del Trigo

The Lord has richly blessed me with a number of godly men that I serve with on the border. Each week I connect with Mexican pastors. My hope and desire is that I can be a support and an encouragement to them as they lead in the churches they minister in.

I’ve grown to love these men. They are truly hermanos in Christ!

God’s Chosen Ministers
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo and Victor Bravo (in the middle), one of our newest church planters with Dave.

I met the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT), Pastor Daniel Nuñez about 5 years ago. The Lord has given us some wonderful opportunities to minister together, and as we have seen God move the Lord has also deepened our friendship. Daniel has opened the door for me to get to know the 25 plus pastors that work with LMT.

The Lord is also opening doors and giving me opportunities to get to know and grown closer to the pastors from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

They too are a great group of leaders, who love the Lord. We are beginning to work on some exciting new projects!

With both of these groups we are seeing God do a marvelous work through the new churches and the expansion and outreach of the church.

I give thanks to the Lord for this band of brothers!

Pastors – My Faithful Brothers
The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset cares for you and me!

The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset is working in powerful ways on the Border!

Some of the pastors I’ve grown especially close to. I’ve come to realize as I seek to minister to them and to encourage them in their work that they minister to me as much if not more. It’s such a rich and wonderful blessing.

If you’ve followed our journey you know that our family has been going through some deep waters. These guys and their churches have stood with us. Almost daily I get a note or a phone call from one of them telling me they are praying for us. Some of them are even leading their churches through a season of prayer and fasting for our family.

That is very humbling to realize they love and care for us so much and it truly lifts us up.

Join Us In Prayer!

I do pray that I can be even somewhat as encouraging to them as they have been to us. We join hands and come together and pray that the Lord might have compassion, that the Lord might move in our midst, so we see his Spirit going before us and preparing the way. O Lord, do a mighty work. Open the hearts of men and women as the gospel goes forth.

Thank you Jesus for hearing our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work in and Through Oriesa in Ensenada
Oriesa ministering the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa sharing the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa Wiyono, a young medical student, who is currently working as paramedic in San Diego wrote a beautiful piece about what God did in and through her while she was in Ensenada, Mexico. I asked her if I could share what she wrote on my blog, and she agreed, so I’ve copied it below. You can check out her blog site here


Dawn, Hannah and I had such a wonderful experience while we were in Ensenada with the team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church and La Nueva Jerusalen. I love reading how God used the trip to touch of the lives of those that went on the trip.

Oriesa’s Testimony
Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan, Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan,
Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Jose is this 5â€Č0 foot, brown skin, hazel eyed man with this funny and bright infectious personality about him. When I had told him that I drive an ambulance in the states, he tells me that I should drive “rapido y furioso” like the Fast and Furious movie as he proceeds to make an artificial honk and wail siren sound. Jose lives with his wife, his daughter with down syndrome, he serves as an elder at his church and he currently attends school in order to obtain his high school degree in hopes that he may return to the seminary program he once was a part of. During our seafood dinner near the Ensenada Coast, he shared with me stories about misfortunes along with blessings in his life. While on the topic of medical missions, he proceeded to ask a question that would greatly impact my perspective during the trip.

“
would you rather share the gospel or provide medical care for the people in Ensenada?”

“Provide medical care,” I said, “I.. uh
.it’s easier.”

As I answered, I felt a sheer rush of guilt that had gripped my heart. A team nurse on the trip named Patricia had shared with me that the one big thing that we are unable to do in heaven that we can do on earth is to share the gospel, but here I was, afraid, timid and worried about the sake of my comfort and embarrassment. I felt my cheeks go flush as they often did. I’d been exposed and made bare to a man who I barely knew, who barely knew me. I gritted my teeth and told Jose that I was scared to share the gospel because a rejection–to me feels as if someone was to reject my whole entire being and essentially everything that I live for. I mean
 it took me 22 years to understand such a backwards paradigm of love, how am I to share it with someone in such a short period of time? But as I thought about it on the drive home, the concept of His love is so simple. It really is.

The past 22 years of my life has been Christ teaching me this one thing–Jesus loves me, but it is I that has rejected Him countless times, spat in His face, ran away, crucified Him, sought pleasures in worldly things and treasured His gifts more than I treasured my Savior. How selfish of me.. I took advantage of His love and I ran away like a shameless robber.

I then remembered that Jesus said in John 15:18-21:

If the world hates you, remember that is has hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.

Jose then told me that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. And because of that we have this mission to extend the same kind of grace and rejoice in the glory of Christ with believers as we all have a calling to bring one another and the wanderers back home with the different gifts and talents He has equipped us with. Fear is inevitable, but don’t use it as an excuse to not extend the gift of salvation to someone else. He further reminded me that rejection is normal because as one body and as siblings, we fight, reject one other, spew out venom without words, take each other for granted (the provision of free medical care), we take the toys we want from each other’s grasp and we run–much like how we all have done to Christ


But all the more, this ought to point me to the big picture of the magnitude and grace of His love.

You know.. if I were in their shoes, if I was lost, wondering and searching, I think I would like to know this:

“Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son to make a simple point: never mind what you’ve done, just come home.” – Unka Glen

With that said, everything we have done in Mexico is up to the Lord. Despite being able to see 445 patients in 4 days and being able to say that 40 people came to Christ, our works and efforts through calling these people, inviting them out to church, providing medical care, praying for them and following up with them are futile without Him. So how many will actually come back, attend the church and further their relationship with their Savior? None of us will know for sure, but we know God is always good and in Him, all things are possible.

IMG_9440So as I sit here having done nothing to live such a privileged life, I realize that I would often think back to the degree of injustice and poverty and it makes me so angry. However, being able to hear stories like Jose’s and just being able to see such an impoverished city has definitely opened my eyes to the Lord’s heart of compassion for the sick, widows, orphans and those in need. Im learning to be thankful for every drop of clean running water that I have, paved roads, clean toilets, insulated housing etc.. but it’s so easy to get caught up in safety, security and all these little things that we have or don’t have when at the core of everything–Jesus is all you need. He loves you. He will sustain you. He is enough.

The past 4 days in Ensenada have been humbling to say the least. When I was able to see the provision of medical care alongside the sharing of the gospel, I was so touched and that’s when I understood the power of short term missions. When I had returned, a lot of people asked me the purpose of giving someone high BP meds for two weeks–but see, that misses the purpose entirely. The mission had always been and will always be to share the gospel. Medical treatment lasts for a while, but Jesus heals for a lifetime.

That’s all there is to it.

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Super Saturday – An Amazing Day
Pastor Victor Bravo and Sol

Pastor Victor Bravo and Sol

Saturday was an amazing day for all of us involved in the new church plant. Pastor Victor Bravo told me that it brought tears to his eyes when our vans drove up to start building the church Saturday morning.

When we arrived there was only a concrete slab. By the time we left there was a standing building, a church! There is still work to be done to finish up, but the progress in one day is nothing short of amazing.

A group of twenty-three from the former Harbor network of churches showed up to build the church. They were joined by a local team and another church group that came down from Orange County. This Saturday fifty are ready to go down and finish up the work.

As I mentioned Victor had tears in his eyes when we arrived. His wife, Sol was crying tears of joy as we left.

My son, David, Jr. put together a short video that shows the progression throughout the day. I always find it amazing how quickly these buildings go up!

Rosarito Church Plant Day 1

Join Us in Prayer

We look forward to finishing up the work this week by putting up the drywall, shingles on the roof, electricity and trim. I’m thankful that we have a large group of 50 that is joining us this Saturday.

Apart from completing the construction we will take a group out to evangelize in the community. We are praying for a wonderful inaugural service on March 29th. Join us in prayer that many will come to know the savior through the witness of this church.

Pray for Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol as they lead this new church.

Thanks for praying for Hannah and our family. She did very well last Saturday, and the Lord continues his healing work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Amazing Work!
Dave & Dawn

Dave & Dawn

Dawn and I are thrilled by all that God is doing here on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

About five years ago we felt that God was calling us to work here. We prayed that we could be involved in a church planting movement. We asked God to give us some wonderful partners.

The Lord has wonderfully answered these prayers!

Some friends of ours from Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles came down to the border and worked with us to put together this video for us.

Lisa Carrick and Martin Vielma did a wonderful job. Lisa is the missions coordinator at Pacific Crossroads, and she organized and made this happen. Martin is the expert videographer.

We are so thankful for them!

The video tells the story of the ministry on the border and beyond. The story continues. Thanks for joining us on this joy filled journey of faith.

The Story of God’s Work on the Border, The Baja & Beyond

 

Join Us in Prayer

Continue to pray with us that the Border, the Baja and Beyond will be transformed by the gospel one person at a time and one neighborhood at a time. That God will so move that the good news of Christ will fill the bi-national city of San Diego-Tijuana, the nation and the world!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Lord, Lead Us & Guide Us!
Worship with Our Hispanic Group on Friday nights

Worship with Our Hispanic Group on Friday nights

The Lord is working on both sides of the border. There are needs everywhere we turn. One of my constant prayers is for the Lord to direct and lead us to the best, and most important things that we should focus on.

It’s not easy working on the border, there are so many opportunities. Yet as I often tell my kids, keep your eyes on Jesus and take one day at a time. That’s what we try to do.

God’s Work Through ESL
Lauren Howard leading some of our ESL students

Lauren Howard leading some of our ESL students

At the end of last year we lost one of our faithful ESL teachers, and he has been hard to replace. The Lord has heard our cry for help, for more teachers!

God is faithful, and he provided two excellent teachers for our Wednesday night class. Two young women, Lauren Howard and Berkeley Bagwell, who speak Spanish and have served the Lord in Spanish-speaking countries. They both have a heart to serve in foreign missions again in the future.

I’m thankful for all the energy and the new ideas they bring to our ESL class. They are great at loving on the students and reaching out to them.

Our Friday class which had been strong is making a comeback. We have two other new teachers for that class, and they are beginning to get things moving in a positive direction.

A New Class at the YMCA
Berkley Bagwell our other ESL teacher on Wednesday nights with Antonia & Yemali

Berkeley Bagwell our other ESL teacher on Wednesday nights with Antonia & Yamile

We are working on starting up a new class at the YMCA. Pastor Stephen Phelan met one of the leaders at the local ‘Y’ and he asked Stephen if we could provide ESL for them.

We are praising the Lord about this, because it opens up a completely new audience for us!

Almost every week we see people giving their lives to Christ. It’s wonderful to be in an environment where the Lord’s Spirit is moving in the hearts of men and women. Many of those that are deciding to follow Jesus are from our Hispanic group.

The Lord has used community outreach activities like ESL to make a difference in people’s lives. It meets a need as they desire to learn. Frequently, they come away with more! New life In Christ. Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord with us.

Praise & Prayer

Praise the Lord with us, and please pray with us. We look to Jesus to give us wisdom where to focus. We pray that God will strengthen our ESL program, and that more students will attend. Also that the Lord will raise up someone to direct our ESL program for me. O Lord, that many will come to Christ as we bless the community through teaching English.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of the Season!
David & I both celebrate our birthdays in December. The cake got the best of us - "Mordida"

David & I both celebrate our birthdays in December. The cake got the best of us – “Mordida”

Today is a doubly special day in our home. We celebrate the birth of our first-born son, David Jr. and we celebrate the birth of Christ.

Like many my family and I enjoy this season. It’s a great time to reflect on the many gifts the Lord has given us. I love having all the family together, at least my immediate family. I do wish I could be with my parents and my brothers and their families. It becomes more complicated to bring everyone together, but I am so thankful that our kids can be with us.

God Provides the Increase

When I reflect on this last year, and some of the gifts and blessings the Lord has given us I’m reminded this has been one of the most fruitful years we’ve had in our 25 years of ministry. I realize that the Lord provides the increase, but it’s so good to be on this journey. It’s so good to witness God working in the hearts of men and women.

Paul says it best in 1 & 2 Corinthians:

I planted, Apollos water, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. – 1 Corinthians 3:6,7

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. –2 Corinthians 2:15

God is doing a Healing and Restorative work!

Dawn and I love the people we work with. The pastors we are able to serve alongside on both sides of the border. We are grateful that our relationship with them has deepened.

He is moving and bringing many to a saving faith. It is beautiful to be a part of a ministry where we witnessed over 100 come into a new relationship with Christ. Many of those that came to Christ are now growing in their faith.

Just last week we saw 17 people come to Christ through our Christmas in City Heights outreach!

Dave with Daniel Nuñez and two of the church planters, Ivan Casados and Jose Luis Rivera

Dave with Daniel Nuñez and two of the church planters, Ivan Casados and Jose Luis Rivera

There were also many in Tijuana that came to Christ through are partnership with Lo Mejor del Trigo and our church plants there.

Here’s the story that one of our friends, Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio shared with us about a family that has been changed forever by the gospel.

Recently, Rocio met a woman who lives in the neighborhood, Veronica. Rocio asked Veronica if she could pray for her. Veronica said that she needed prayer for her back, and that she was scheduled to have surgery later that week. Veronica was nervous about the upcoming operation.

Rocio prayed and Veronica felt God’s peace, which carried her through the surgery. This comforted and encouraged Veronica and it opened a door for Rocio and the church to share the love of Christ with her. Veronica gave her life to Christ with her. Later her husband, Saul and her son, Samuel came to Christ. Now the family is growing in their faith and they are part of the core group for this new church.

Dave and Dawn - thankful for the Lord's renewing work on the border

Dave and Dawn – thankful for the Lord’s renewing work on the border

One of the things we are excited for 2014 is that we are getting ready to help Ivan and Rocio plant a new church in Valle Verde in Tijuana.

Prayer is Key

I strongly believe that one of the reasons God is blessing the ministry on the border is the prayer of so many friends. Thanks for holding us up, and standing with us in prayer.

Merry Christmas! Worship the King!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone For Christ
Jon with Leo and Gloria at El Bordo

Jon with Leo and Gloria at El Bordo

On Wednesday my son, Jonathan and I felt awkward and uncomfortable for the gospel. God used our time at El Bordo on the border to move us to compassion through the people we met there. We were also in awe of how God’s grace penetrates through the witness of our friends Pastor Leo Nevarez and his wife, Gloria along with the San Diego/Baja YWAM (Youth With a Mission) team.

Leo and Gloria go to El Bordo with a number of young people from YWAM every Tuesday. They share the love of Christ through song, testimony and the Word of God. The compassion and mercy of the Lord also shine in this dark place as they bring a warm meal for more than one hundred homeless people who live right on the border.

El Bordo: A Place for the Homeless
Entering the homeless park, El Bordo in Tijuana

Entering the homeless park, El Bordo in Tijuana

El Bordo is a park that sits right at the border crossing. You can see the crossing where the cars drive into Mexico from the park. Many homeless and deported immigrants live there. Most of the residents, who sleep in tents in the city park are men, but there are some women.

It was such a huge blessing that my son, Jon could accompany me. You might remember that two weeks ago he had eye surgery! He is still recovery, but God is bringing healing.

Compassion for the Hurting
feeding the homeless at El Bordo

feeding the homeless

I find myself feeling uncomfortable when I’m among so many hurting people. There are so many in need of hope. They also have very basic human needs like for food and clothing.

God uses these uncomfortable moments to break us, and touch our heart.

The need is just crushing!

The Gospel in El Bordo

It encouraged my heart to see Leo and Gloria, some people from their church and all the young people from YWAM out there praying for and ministering to the people. They are willing to take a risk, and to get dirty for the gospel.

One of the guys that went with us, Jaime began a conversation with a couple of people at the park. He called me over and asked me if I could help him. Together we began to share the life-giving message of the gospel with a man and a woman.

The man, Fernando didn’t seem as interested. He told me he had bad cholesterol and that he couldn’t think clearly.

The woman, Agustina said she was seeking to grow in faith. She has a friend who is a believer that she’s gone to church with. We sought to encourage her in her faith in Christ.

The others that went with us also had opportunities to share with the people and pray for them.

Rehab on the Border
pastor Leo leading us in prayer

pastor Leo leading us in prayer

Many of the people at El Bordo are caught in addictions. God has used Leo’s background, as the Lord saved him from drug abused, so that he can reach these people. Leo and Gloria have started a rehab center. They take those that desire to get off of drugs, and they work with them so that they can get back on their feet.

They are in the process of building a rehab center right behind their home to house those interested in rehab. These hurting men and women are hearing the good news!

The light of the gospel shines forth in this dark place. It’s worth feeling uncomfortable and even awkward at times as we roll up our sleeves to share the love of Christ.

Hear Our Prayers!

O Lord, that your grace will break loose at El Bordo, and that many of the lost that live there will find their way back home. They will find their way to you.

Thank you Lord, that in you there is hope for the outcast.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our group in Rosarito that went out to share the good news!

Our group in Rosarito that went out to share the good news!

We started our time with Pastor Leo Nevarez in Rosarito with some great tacos. Always a good way to kick off the afternoon.

Then we went back to the church, Lo Mejor Del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Daniel Nuñez’s son, Daniel Jr. brought an evangelism team to work with us. Our group consisted of 15 people. Two stayed back at the church and prayed while we hit the streets to share the gospel.

One of the guys with us had a megaphone, and he used it to preach as we walked through the streets near the church. I wasn’t expecting a megaphone, but it seemed like the Lord used our motley crew for His glory!

A number of the guys that went out with us had been drug addicts. Jesus has radically changed their lives, and now they are giving testimony to the Lord. You wouldn’t know by looking at them that they had struggled with an addiction. They were radiant. It encouraged my soul to see their boldness and faithfulness.

We made our way to a park where we had the opportunity to talk to a number of people. Pastor Leo and I talked to a couple of older men, and then some younger guys. I enjoyed the opportunity to share the gospel, to sow seed with Leo and his people.

Pastor Leo & Luis sharing with Marvin

Pastor Leo & Luis sharing with Marvin

While we were at the park, one of the guys with us, Luis, met Marvin. Marvin looked like he was strung out on drugs. He traveled from Honduras and was trying to cross the border. Luis also had once been an addict, so he knew how to connect with Marvin. Marvin responded to the gospel. He recognized his need for change. He agreed to go with the group to a Christian rehabilitation center. So encouraging!

It thrills me to see the Lord touch a life, especially someone who is hurting so. I pray that many from Rosarito will respond to the call of the gospel. That many will place their faith in Christ.

This morning while reading Habakkuk 2, I came across this verse which describes our prayer and hearts desire for San Diego – Tijuana.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

O Lord, we pray that you will bless, and we will see your glory in these days!

Dawn and I greatly appreciate your prayers, as we are involved in kingdom work we are invading Satan’s territory. When we are ministering in this way that the evil attacks us. After I came back from our time in Rosarito, I saw that someone hacked into my account and spent over $100 in iTunes. Now I’ve got to figure out how to get that fixed.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org