Posts Tagged ‘City Heights’

Christmas in City Heights
Our daughter Hannah serving with Timonthy Walter at the Mercy & Justice booth at CICH

Our daughter Hannah serving with Timonthy Walter at the Mercy & Justice booth at CICH

Saturday evening Bridge church, formerly Harbor Mid-City held a wonderful outreach event – Christmas in City Heights (CICH).

It’s an event that provides affordable gifts for families in the community of City Heights that are struggling to make it. Through donations and many volunteers the church is able to bless many families, so that they can give gifts to their children at Christmas.

Christmas in City Heights is a joyous celebration of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I love seeing the smiles, and watching people enjoy the season with their families.

The Greatest Gift
Pastor Paul Kim, his wife Linda and their children helping by manning the store of CICH

Pastor Paul Kim, his wife Linda with their children who volunteered by manning the store of CICH

One of the things I enjoy most is the opportunity to share about the greatest gift ever given to man. The gift of Christ. Christ is indeed the reason for the season.

People seem to be more open to the message of Christmas, because they realize that during this time of year we celebrate the coming of Christ. The Lord gave me the opportunity to share with a husband and his wife and two sisters. They said they were not sure if they would go to heaven if they were to die today.

This opened the door for me to explain how they could know for sure. I shared the story of Christmas that Christ came to seek and save the lost. That they could receive the gift of grace, the gift of salvation that Christ came to give us.

All four of them said they wanted the gift of Christ. They wanted to have a personal relationship with God. So I had the privilege of leading them in prayer to repent of their sins and to put their faith in Christ. To trust Christ in order to receive the gift of heaven.

It warms my heart to watch people respond to the gospel message. Now they are part of God’s family. The church will help them grow in this grace.

Thanks be to God for his wonderful work and for his saving grace.

Christmas in City Heights Video

Thanks for standing with us in prayer. God uses your prayers to prepare the hearts of men and women to meet the King!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

He is Risen!
Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

We celebrated a wonderful Easter with our friends from Harbor Mid-City.

Easter Sunday is such an exciting day. I love the excitement that surrounds the resurrection. All the energy that the visitors bring. You can feel and hear the joy as we sing.

Christ is Victorious!
Many friends from Harbor Mid-City on Easter Sunday

Many friends from Harbor Mid-City on Easter Sunday

I think I’m not the only one that loves Easter. I can hear it in the voice of those directing the worship. Even during the announcements there is more energy.

It’s an uplifting¬†day, because of all that Easter Sunday represents in the resurrection of Christ. Christ paid it all on the cross. He defeated sin, death and Satan through the cross and his resurrection. Hallelujah what a savior!

The Spring weather also adds to my enjoyment of this special day.

After the service today, we all enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Phil’s BBQ. It was a truly special and blessed day. O Lord, give us more times of worship like we experience on Easter!

Danny Kim, who directs worship and communications at Harbor Mid-City put together an uplifting video about the transformation that Christ brings. It’s part of the Easter story.

What’s Your Story?
Jesus’ Exhortation to Share His Story

Jesus spoke to his disciples after his resurrection and said to them,

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

‚ÄĒLuke 24:46-47

I hope you enjoyed your Easter. We are the Easter people.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Worship at Christmas in City Heights

Worship at Christmas in City Heights

This week I’ve posted a couple of times (Christmas in the City and The Importance of Confession) about the inspiring outreach we held this past Sunday. Christmas in City Heights was amazing to be a part of. It was such a great way to bless the community, and share the gospel of Christ.

We were thrilled to see so many receive the greatest gift as 17 people gave their lives to Christ!

Here’s a short video that will give you a glimpse into the some of what happened at Christmas in City Heights.

Please pray for us as we follow-up on those that came to Christ. We are praying that they will get involved in the life of the church, and grow in their new found faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Banner Day!
We Worshipped Outside Today at Hoover High

We Worshipped Outside Today at Hoover High

Today (Sunday) was one of those banner days! I wish there were more days like today, but I cherish them when they come.

We at Harbor Mid City held a special outreach event to the community of City Heights called, Christmas in City Heights. The idea behind it is that people from the church purchase gifts through donations and fund-raisers.

Then the people in the church invite friends in the community who are from low-income families. There are a limited number of invitations given. Our desire is to help families that someone in the church has a relationship with.

It takes a tremendous amount of planning, and more than a hundred volunteers to pull the event off.

Wrapping Presents for All Our Guests

Wrapping Presents for All Our Guests

We invite these families to worship with us. It’s a great time of celebration.

After church we open the Christmas store, where parents can buy presents for their children at much reduced prices. Then we gift wrap the presents for them.

It’s such a great way to bless the community.

God Works Through Weaknesses

I must admit that despite such a wonderful event, and such a wonderful day that I had a bad attitude earlier in the day. God’s Spirit convicted me, and I confessed my struggles. It seemed like after that the clouds parted and skies were blue the rest of the day.

In the afternoon a group of us who were part of the prayer team decided to move our place of operation, because we weren’t getting any “business,” so to speak at the prayer booth. We placed ourselves near the exit, so when the people had already received their gifts we could talk to them.

Many Received the Greatest Gift
Great to see some of our Students from ESL enjoying Christmas in the city

Great to see some of our Students from ESL enjoying Christmas in the city

As they were walking out we asked them if we could pray for them. Everyone of them said they would like for us to pray for them, once we changed our location. Wow! God really opened the floodgates after that.

Dawn and I along with others on the prayer team spent more than two hours interacting and praying for people. We talked to them about the greatest gift that Christ came to bring through his incarnation, perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross.

The amazing thing was that these people were ripe for the harvest. A number of them prayed to receive Christ with us. I counted at least 15 that gave their life to Christ, but I believe there were more. They were all Spanish speakers, because they make up the majority of the population in City Heights.

Some were moved to tears as they heard the good news, and received the gift of life.

A Moving Story of God’s Grace
Pastor Roberto Shim preaching the Good News!

Pastor Roberto Shim preaching the Good News!

All of the people and stories behind them were unique and beautiful. I think my favorite one was with a woman named Elena. She came, because she used to clean the home of one of the woman in our church. Roberto Shim our Spanish-speaking pastor was sharing the gospel with her, and he invited me over.

I had the privilege of being there and supporting them as Roberto explained the gospel message to Elena. Roberto asked her if she wanted to pray to receive Christ, and she responded, “yes”. Then as Roberto was leading her in prayer, she began to cry, so I called Dawn over to comfort Elena.

We continued and Elena with tear-filled joy gave her life to Christ!

Then after a while we saw the woman, who invited Elena to the event. Her name is Ursula. Roberto told Ursula that Elena had come to Christ. Then Ursula began to cry, which touched Elena so that she too wept.

It was beautiful to see God work through so many people. The Lord uses the body of Christ working together in harmony to touch others with the gospel.

The light of Christ shone brightly today in City Heights, and I pray it will only grow to shine brighter.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. These things only happen as God in his grace moves through his church as we come together to seek and serve him.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

ESL, English as a second or foreign language

One of our Growing ESL classes

Today we made a breakthrough. Something we’ve been working on for a while. We got approval to use a classroom at a local elementary school for our ESL class.

The Lord Brings the Increase

This all started as we were going in the streets and handing out flyers to promote our ESL classes. We were handing some of them out in front of Fay Elementary school when we met the school principal. She got so excited when she found out that we were offering free English classes that she suggested that we use one of the classrooms at her school.

Handing out flyers in front of Fay Elementary school

Handing out flyers in front of Fay Elementary school

Since that day we’ve planned and prayed for the opportunity to start a new class at the school. Now we have the teachers we need and a place to hold the class. We will start our third class on Wednesday, May 1st.

Answers to Our Prayers

I’m amazed that God has brought this to pass so quickly.

More students are starting to come, and we found someone to help us with childcare. Wow, Lord thanks for your mighty and continued work!

We could still use more help with childcare, and more teachers, but we are headed in the right direction. Thanks for standing with us in prayer. It’s exciting to be on this journey with a faithful team that prays for us, and an even more faithful God who hears our prayers!

I pray that we will be a blessing to Fay Elementary School, and that we will be a blessing to the community. Lord do be glorified as we seek and serve you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

English: An Italian immigrant makes an America...

English: An Italian immigrant makes an American breakfast aided by instructional materials from the YMCA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow! We had a great day yesterday. God opened a door for us, and I’m excited to see where it leads.

Vicente, Billy, Matt and I walked the streets in City Heights to promote our ESL class. Our hope is that the ESL outreach will grow. The Lord is blessing us with a number of volunteers. Friends that are willing to help teach. This gives us reason to believe God is in this.

While we were handing out flyers and inviting people to come to our ESL class we noticed a local elementary school was ready to end the day. The parents began gathering to pick up their children.

Many of the parents don’t speak English, so it was a prime time and place to be.

ESL, Dave and Vicente

Dave with Vicente

Vicente met one of the teachers and explained to her what we were doing. We asked the teacher, Jessica if we might be able to put up one of our flyers on a bulletin board inside the school. She introduced us to the principal. The principal got very excited when we told her we were offering English classes for free. She said, these parents need some help like this.

We were very encouraged that the principal was open to putting up the flyers, and helping us promote the class. I was really blown away by what she said next. She said that she thought we could use her school after 6:00 in the evening to hold our classes. This is a huge answer to prayer! One of the problems we’ve had is the place we are using is only available in the evenings on Fridays. Thank you Jesus for opening this door!

We have to fill out some paperwork to be able to use a classroom, but it looks positive. Thanks for praying with us. It’s so fun being on journey with Jesus.

“O Lord, please bring more students and work through us to effectively love those in the community of City Heights.”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

One of the many things I love about Harbor church is the love for hurting people that is demonstrated from week to week. The church bridges cultures and people from different economic backgrounds. Some of the people in the church are struggling to make a living.

One of the people who has fallen on difficult times is Al. He is a big, loving and caring guy. You might even say he’s like a big teddy bear.

Every year Harbor has an outreach to the city called Christmas in City Heights. Through this ministry low-income families have the opportunity to purchase at a very reduced price gifts for their children. The goal is to allow for the working poor families to have a dignified and financially affordable Christmas. Over 100 families were touched by this outreach. Many non-Christians helped serve, and were served.

My friend Danny Kim put together a video of Al’s testimony. He felt like the church had given him so much that he had to share what he had. God touched him and put it on his heart to give about 20 teddy bears for the Christmas in City Heights outreach. He had collected these for about 20 years. Al was making a big sacrifice in giving up his teddy bear collection. It reminds us of the widow’s mite that Christ said was the greatest gift. An awesome testimony of God’s grace!

Rejoice with me over how God is reaching down and changing lives! Rejoice in the Christ of Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Worship with Harbor Mid City

Worship with Harbor Mid City

Now that we’ve moved to the border each week we look forward with much anticipation to worshipping with our good friends at Harbor Mid City Church. It’s a wonderful multicultural, bilingual time of worship each Sunday morning.

We sense the Lord’s presence in a very real way during the service. God is both immanent or present and transcendent.

Pastor Stephen Phelan has assembled a great team to minister alongside of him. Stephen is the lead pastor at Harbor Mid City, and Edgardo Avila leads the Spanish-speaking congregation.

Even though we worship in two languages, we are able to start and end each service together. It’s a beautiful sign of the diversity in the church. We conclude most Sunday mornings with communion, The Lord’s Supper, which reminds us of the death of Christ, and that he is coming again. It’s also an equally beautiful display of our unity in Christ.

I wanted to highlight the church this week, because we just launched an upgraded and new looking website. It’s an awesome upgrade, so I figured you’d want to check it out. Here is the website with the weblink:¬†http://www.harbormidcity.org

Pray for the ministry of the church as we reach out to the various cultures represented in City Heights and beyond.  The following two Saturdays we will go down to Tijuana with those from the other Harbor sites to build a church for a new church plant in east TJ.

Our prayer along with Harbor is that the bi-national city of San Diego РTijuana will be transformed in every way socially, spiritually and culturally by the gospel.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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