Posts Tagged ‘church planters’

The Discovery Center in TJ
Our fun group from the Discovery Center in Tijuana (Centro de Descubrimiento in Spanish)

Our fun group from the Discovery Center in Tijuana (Centro de Descubrimiento in Spanish)

Jesus asked us to pray for more workers in Matthew 9:37 & 38. I participated in a Discovery Center in Tijuana this week. The Discovery Center is designed to evaluate people who are interested in planting churches. You could say that these people are the answer to what Jesus asked us to pray for.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:37-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s exciting to be part of an answer to prayer. At this particular Discovery Center, there were four couples that we were evaluating. I love hearing their testimonies. It’s a joy to get to know them and learn how God has been working in their lives up to this point. Some of those that come have a very strong and definite call to plant a church. Others are interested, but they are exploring and asking the question, “is the Lord calling me to plant a church?”

A Network of Church Planters
The church planting candidates working on one of their projects

The church planting candidates working on planning out a project to plant 5 churches

All four couples that came through the Discovery Center were approved, which means that the team that evaluated them believes they have the skills, the gifts, and the character to plant a church. One of the couples is ministering in Mexicali. The same city where we just built the church in Hannah’s memory. This particular couple is already planting a church, but they have been doing it on their own. They want to be part of a supportive network of churches.

Ministerios Transformación is wonderful at coming alongside those that are either interested in starting a church or already in the process and giving them a place to belong and grow. We’ve worked with them over the years to provide help in training and mentoring. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow and mature as a ministry.

This year they’ve started a church planting training center for all their new church planters. It also is a place to prepare people who are exploring or may be interested in church planting in the future.

Partnering with Friends is Healing

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to serve alongside our friends at Ministerios Transformación. On the last day during our debrief they told me that they didn’t consider me an outsider, but one of them, even though I was the only American involved. The love and care that they exhibit ministers to both Dawn in me in a deep and profound way. I believe the Lord is using them to bring much healing to us since Hannah moved to heaven.

The Dedication of the Hannah Diaso Church Plant
Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

This Sunday we will be dedicating the new church in Mexicali that we built in Hannah’s memory. Please pray for Pastor Mere and Edna as they launch this new ministry. We pray that as the name Ministerios Transformación implies that there will be true and lasting life transformation in the community they are ministering in. Thank you, Lord, for your promise to build your church!

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

A New Church is Born
Pastor Ivan Casados with Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church's foundation

Pastor Ivan Casados with Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church’s foundation

On Friday afternoon pastor Daniel Nuñez and his wife, Yolanda and I went to visit pastor Ivan Casados at the new church plant site in Valle Verde. They just poured the slab for the foundation last week, so it’s exciting to see the progress on the building.

Ivan gave us a good report about how excited his people are about the construction for the church. It will give them more visibility in the community and create the opportunity for them to reach new and different people.

We are praying that we will have the majority of the church building completed in time for their first service on April 13th, Palm Sunday. Join us in prayer that the Lord will bring everything together for his glory, and that the church will reach their neighbors as the gospel goes forth.

Training Our Pastors
Rocio & Ivan - Please pray for them as they lead this new work

Rocio & Ivan – Please pray for them as they lead this new work

Pastor Ivan and his wife, Rocio are heading to Monterrey, Mexico today for a church planting assessment center. This will help them to discover their strengths and weaknesses, which will be a tool to aid them in being better church planters.

I was planning on going with Ivan and Rocio, but because of the trials my family is going through right now many friends and co-workers counseled me that it would be better for me to not attend this time around. I’ve worked with Ivan and Rocio and talked to other friends that will be there to make sure they will be well taken care of and have a good experience.

The assessment center is part of our larger plan to better equip our church planters. The next step will be incubator training that they will attend in the fall.

I’m thrilled that even though we’ve only been on the border for a year and a half that the Lord is moving this forward, and new works are springing up.

The Church Moves Forward on Her Knees

We should attempt great things for God, but in doing so we need much prayer.

Dave with Pastor Ivan

Dave with Pastor Ivan

Here are some specific prayer requests:

  1. Ivan & Rocio’s travel to and from Monterrey, Mexico and for a great experience at the assessment center.
  2. For all the details to come together in the building of this new church.
  3. We will be doing the majority of building on April 5th and 12th.
  4. I’m working on recruiting and organizing 50 – 60 people who will be coming down to build the church.
  5. Transportation – that we have enough for everyone, and that we don’t have any trouble getting to the site.
  6. That God will protect everyone that goes on the trip, and that they will all have a great experience.
  7. That the Lord will use this for his kingdom and his church will grow in Tijuana.
  8. That the Valle Verde church has a wonderful opening church celebration on April 13th.

 

Thanks so much dear friends. I don’t know what we would do without your prayer covering!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org