Posts Tagged ‘Church in the Canyon’

Bob Bjerkaas with Billy and her daughter Hillary

Bob Bjerkaas with Billy and her daughter Hillary

One of the things that I like about short-term mission groups is that they bring energy and that can be infectious in a positive way. This past week Pastor Bob Bjerkaas from Church in the Canyon in Calabasas, California brought a group of young people to minister with us. Most of the students he brought were Lacrosse players that he coached.

I enjoyed seeing their concern for the people and outreach of Harbor Mid-City Church. As I mentioned in my last post they built a chicken coop for Stephen and Bradford Phelan and their family. They also did a lot of work for Vicente and Billy Salinas and their neighbors.

Vicente and Billy live in an apartment complex in City Heights. Their landlord doesn’t take very good care of the place. It was in need of repair and some TLC. Bob and company got excited about taking on this project. It was so encouraging to see them love on and minister in this way to Billy and Vicente and their family.

Working hard to finish up the garage

Working hard to finish up the garage

On Saturday they were working on paneling and repairing their garage. The group had planned to go to the beach in the afternoon, but they didn’t finish by noon, so they didn’t let up until they finished their work at 3 PM. Wow, I was impressed! Here we had a bunch of high school students with the fun of the beach waiting, but they were committed to getting the project done before they headed out to the beach.

Many thanks to Bob and the group for taking the risk with us to be our first short-term mission team. I thank the Lord for them, and I’m encouraged by how they blessed the church and the community of City Heights!

Dawn and I continue our house hunting. It’s discouraging at times that the houses are so expensive, and even at that often not in very good shape. Please continue to pray for our housing need.

On a sad note, I know many of you have been interested and following the updates on Petra Anderson and her family. Petra’s mom, Kim Anderson went home with the Lord on Monday night. Let’s lift up their family in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Bob Bjerkaas on the left with his guys in the chicken coop

Bob Bjerkaas on the left with his guys in the chicken coop

This week in the midst of trying to find a place to live, we’ve had a short-term group with us from Calabasas, CA, which is in northern Los Angeles. It’s been great to have them.

Pastor Bob Bjerkaas from Church in the Canyon, in Calabasas has led a group of young people to work with us. Bob’s does an outstanding job relating to and leading the high school kids. It’s encouraging to see how they enjoy and respect him. A number of them are Lacrosse players, and Bob coaches the team. Some of the young people are not involved in the church. The project provides an awesome opportunity to build into their lives as they reach out in the City Heights community.

While they’ve been here among the various projects they’ve accomplished, they built a chicken coop. God has used them to bless the community and some of the families in the Harbor Mid-City Church.

In the afternoons they’ve run a sports camp for children. The camp is held at a park, Colina del Sol, which is right across from the community center where we hold ESL classes and the Spanish service. Fifty kids came to the camp, so it’s been a huge draw.

The kids at the sports camp

The kids at the sports camp

We are thrilled to start our first short-term mission group on such a positive note! Our hope is that this will be the first of many, and that the Lord will use these groups to further His kingdom here on the border.

On the home front we continue looking for a house to reside in and base our ministry out of. Cost and size are factors in this area, so as I mentioned in my last post we are looking to the Lord to provide. Please join us in prayer that the Lord will give us wisdom and lead us to the home He has for us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Pastor Robert A. Bjerkaas

Pastor Robert A. Bjerkaas

In Matthew 2 it speaks of the Magi, who came to worship the king. The Magi were astrologers. They followed the stars. Why would God choose astrologers to come worship the king, and overlook the religious leaders of the day? The Pharisees, the Priests and Levites were not chosen.

Bob Bjerkaas, pastor at Church in the Canyon preached on Matthew 2:1-12 this past Sunday. He brought up this point about the Magi, and it got me thinking. Here’s some of my take aways. For one thing, the Magi seem like an odd choice. They were the pagan astrologers of their day.

The Lord is using Matthew to make a point that the gospel is offered to all. Isn’t that amazing?! The Magi were overjoyed to worship Christ the king while the Pharisees, Priests and Levites didn’t seem to care about Christ’s birth. It reminds me of the older brother’s response when the prodigal repented and came home. The father threw a party, but the older brother pouted.

This makes me ask, do I become blasé and apathetic about Christ? Am I still excited about all that Christ has done for me? I’m grateful that God in His grace holds me close, but I shouldn’t take this relationship for granted. It is a relationship where I should desire to grow stronger in my love for Him. Like any relationship it requires time and attention.

Dave sharing in Sunday School at Church in the Canyon

Dave sharing in Sunday School at Church in the Canyon

God is near to them that seek Him. Christ healed the paralytic who was lowered by his friends through the roof. The blind beggar, Bartimaeus called out unashamedly on the roadside and Jesus healed him. “O Lord, that I would be humble and love you in this way. Continue your wonderful work of grace in my heart.”

Here’s some great promises for those who seek him.

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart”

— Psalm 119:2

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”

— Psalm 145:18, 19

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near”

— Isaiah 55:6

This is a reminder to me and you to seek the Lord, and to call upon him. To recognize we are blind and hopeless without Him!

What do you think? Why did God choose these Magi astrologers?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Dave speaking at Church in the Canyon

Dave speaking at Church in the Canyon

My son, David Jr. and I had a great weekend in Calabasas and Malibu.

On Saturday I presented our San Diego – Tijuana border ministry to a number of pastors and ministry leaders who serve in greater Los Angeles. Our prayer is that not only will these church partner with us through prayer and financial support, but that they will also send us men and woman to serve with us. We need kingdom minded churches who desire to work with us to make a difference on the border.

A number of the churches represented at the meeting have partnered with us in the past, so it was uplifting for me to be able to connect with them again. I realize that you have to start somewhere, and that it’s not always on the fast road. Yet, God is faithful to move these small steps forward.

David Jr. at Malibu Beach

David Jr. at Malibu Beach

The meetings on Saturday went till mid-day. In the afternoon David and I went to Malibu, which was a special treat. We enjoyed the Lord’s beautiful creation on the beach in Malibu. Then we went to visit one of David’s friends, Cameron Kruse at Pepperdine. Cameron is a wonderful young man of God who just graduated from Pepperdine.

On Sunday David and I visited Church in the Canyon in Calabasas and I shared about our ministry with them. They responded well. I left encouraged and do sense God is at work!

Church in the Canyon used to support us and partner with us in ministry, so it was a real thrill to reconnect and worship with them.

Dawn and I know that we can’t do this ministry on our own, so it’s such an awesome blessing to connect with people who are interested in learning more about what we are doing. People who will join our prayer team, and even partner with us financially.

To God be the Glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org