Posts Tagged ‘Community Outreach’

God’s Work through Pastor Victor and Sol
Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

We just celebrated the three year anniversary of Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol’s church this past Sunday. It was an amazing day! I wrote about it in my last post: Much to Celebrate in Mexico!

The Lord is changing people’s lives through the ministry of Victor and Sol and their church. One of the outreaches that they have is to children, who have been abandoned or whose parents, because of poor life choices aren’t able to take care of their children.

In this video Sol shares about this ministry to the children, and the part she plays in showing the love of Christ to these families in need. At the end of the video, she highlights how the Lord got a hold of Raul and transformed his life and brought him back with his two boys. I wrote about Raul’s testimony in an earlier post: Tears of Grace.

Video – Sol’s Ministry of Love to Needy Families

The Ministry Continues in the Community of Plan Libertador!

I spoke with Sol today, and she told me that the ministry to the children and their families is starting to grow and take place in their church. This past November we were able to help Victor and Sol build a room for children’s ministry right next to their church building. Victor and Sol have the vision and hope to see lives transformed as they offer the love of Christ in practical ways to the people in the community of Plan Libertador, where the church is located. The people that live in Plan Libertador have many physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Continue to pray for Victor and Sol as they minister the good news of the gospel in a community with astounding needs. Christ is able to change lives and to meet all their needs. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

More Loss in Oaxaca
These two ladies, Alicia and Laura lost their home in the Earthquake. They are standing on the foundation of what once was Laura’s home.

These two ladies, Alicia and Laura lost their home in the Earthquake. They are standing on the foundation of what once was Laura’s home.

Last week I wrote about the two cities I visited outside of Mexico City that suffered much loss during the earthquakes. One church in Jojutla that was totally destroyed. The shock waves that came from the quake caused major structural damage to the other church we visited in Joquicingo. I visited those two churches on the first two days.

The next two and a half days I visited the people in the State of Oaxaca. This part of Mexico was hit very hard by the earthquakes. Even the aftershocks were bad. The people told me one day the aftershocks started at 7 AM and they lasted all day until about 4 PM. This was after many had lost their homes, and endured the loss of loved ones.

Can you imagine the fear that would cause? The panic?

Thousands of Homes Destroyed
Some of the people I met in Ixtepec from one of the churches

Some of the people I met in Ixtepec from one of the churches

The first city we visited was Ixtepec. Our new friends told us that close to 2,000 homes were destroyed during the earthquake in this city. We met some of the people who lost their homes. They are having to make due until they can rebuild. One of them Laura is staying with some friends. The government is helping many people rebuild, but Laura was denied government assistance, because of the way her home was built.

Wow! I felt horrible for the people there. The earthquake causes lasting damage, and it takes people a long time to climb out of the hole they find themselves in.

Laura is not the only person that was left without a home and without help. While we were visiting a number of disgruntled citizens organized a protest and they were blocking the highway because they wanted the government to do another assessment of the damage done. They felt like they needed more help, and I’m sure that many of them do.

The Church – A Place of Refuge

Later that evening we went to Tehuantepec and visited a church there, Jesus of Nazareth church. This church was damaged, but not nearly as severely as the churches I visited the previous day. The interesting thing about this church is they became a center for other churches and organizations to send aid, and they began to distribute food and other necessities in the surrounding area. Always good to see the light of Christ shine in the midst of dark and difficult places.

Horrible to Think of the Loss of so Many Lives!
Juchitán is close to the epicenter and the city suffered much loss

Juchitán is close to the epicenter and the city suffered much loss

The next day we visited a few more cities, and one of the cities we saw was Juchitan. 300 people died during the earthquake in Juchitan. My friends, who were from the church that had helped with outreach said that it was like a large funeral as so many people in the city were mourning their loved ones. As we walked through the city we could see piles of debris from all the fallen homes and buildings.

A government building on the town square of Juchitán that was damaged

A government building on the town square of Juchitán that was damaged

It was shocking, and it saddened my heart to think of all the loss. I mean my family knows loss since our daughter recently moved to heaven. Yet I can’t imagine losing so many people at the same time, plus losing the comfort of your home. What do you do? Where do you go?

The Light of Christ Shines Brightly in the Darkness

Thankfully the church was there in the time of need, and they are still doing what they can to help and to share the love of Christ.

I’ve learned we don’t always have all the answers to life’s hard questions. We don’t always know why? Yet, God is there. The Lord demonstrates His love through His people. We rejoice in His good work.

Continue to pray with me for these dear people who suffered so much loss. Many of them still do not know Jesus. We pray that their eyes will be opened!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Works in the Midst of Loss
Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Last week I experienced both heart wrenching and heartwarming emotions as I visited the areas that were hit the hardest by the Mexico earthquakes. It was heart wrenching to see the lost homes, churches and businesses. There were also lives that were lost.

Even in the midst of all the heartache and sorrow I heard stories of redemption that truly warmed my heart. It was so good to see first hand how the church was reaching out in the their community.

On September 19, 1985 a catastrophic earthquake hit Mexico City, and 10,000 lives were lost. Many of my friends lived through that tragedy, so the memories are still very real. With this new set of earthquakes that again fell in September one of them on the 19th and the other on the 7th in 2017, it not only caused a lot of damage, but it frayed nerves. I sensed while I was there that many were fearful that there may still be more earthquakes to come.

My friends told me how Mexico came together and united after these earthquakes. They all pitched in and helped those in need.

Total Loss in Jojutla
On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

One of the areas I visited was Jojutla which is about three hours from Mexico City in the State of Morelos. The church there, which is called Principe de Paz, “Prince of Peace,” was totally destroyed. There was nothing left, and they have had to start rebuilding from the foundation up.

Yet, even in the midst of their sadness and sorrow over their loss they began to reach out in the community. Donations came in and they were able to provide meals to people in need until December 15th. The love of Christ was displayed in a powerful way through the church. New families have come to Christ as a result of their loving outreach.

Rebuilding in Joquicingo
Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

In another town we visited Joquicingo in the State of Mexico, which was also about 3 hours from Mexico City close to Toluca. The church there was not destroyed, but the columns holding up the church were badly damaged, so they are having to rebuild and reinforce the church. They believe that it will take them a year to finish rebuilding.

Twenty two people in this church also lost their homes. Yet despite the loss and hardship sister churches rallied around them and sent them aid. The hospital in the city was damaged, so they were able to organize medical brigades as other churches came to their aid. They opened a farmacy in the church, since the hospital was not able to provide the medicine that many of the people needed. They said that there is still a shortage of insulin for those with diabetes, and they continue to help the people in the community.

Joquicingo, Mexico

Joquicingo, Mexico

The love shown by the church was attractive, and this church has also seen new people come into the church and come to faith.

I loved the opportunity to meet the people, and to encourage them and pray for them. When you are going through a trial, it helps to know that there are others who are concerned for your welfare.

My prayer for these two churches and these two communities is that the love of Christ would continue to shine as they rebuild again, and they climb out of the rubble all around them.

In my next post I will write about the churches and places we visited in the State of Oaxaca. That’s where many lives were lost, because they were so close to the epicenter.

Continue to pray with me for these dear friends who lost much, and who are seeking to show the love of Christ in communities that are hurting and in need of a Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is Growing His Church in Mexico
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Guadalajara

Dawn and I are grateful that we are connected to a larger mission that works in many cities in Mexico and beyond. You might remember that we began our ministry with Mission to the World (MTW) in Mexico City back in 1990. That was also the year that our oldest son, David Jr. was born. As we pray and work towards the growth of the church, and for changed lives it’s exciting to be able to visit and encourage our missionaries and to see all the Lord is doing through them. One of the cities we recently visited was Guadalajara.

Precious Servants & Friends

 

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Our good friends, Matt & Esta Jesch with their son, Mateo

Guadalajara is a beautiful city with many needs for the gospel. MTW missionaries have been working in this great city for more than 20 years. It gave Dawn and me great joy to spend some time with Matt and Esta Jesch, who arrived in Guadalajara about three years ago. They are wonderful servants of the Lord, who we’ve grown to love as we’ve gotten to know them. They actually flew out to support us when our daughter, Hannah died.

Matt and Esta have many gifts and they have amazing hearts to work alongside our churches to reach out and come alongside people in need. This includes job training and mercy ministries. We love being with them, they are some of our favorite people.

Church Growth in Acapulco & Guadalajara

 

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Kenton & Adriana Wood with Dawn and Dave in front of Rey de Reyes Church

One of MTW’s missionaries who has had the most success not only in Mexico, but in all of Latin America is Kenton Wood. Kenton’s parents were missionaries when he was a child. They served in the Acapulco area. Unfortunately, when Kenton was still young both of his parents were tragically killed in an airplane accident. Even with this tremendous tragedy, and challenge Kenton’s love for Mexico and the people of Mexico has not waned.

He planted a church in Acapulco in the 80’s. Then in the mid-90’s he moved to Guadalajara to begin his church planting work with his wife, Karen. The church, Rey de Reyes has grown to 900, and they have started four other churches in Guadalajara and other cities in Mexico.

Kenton has experienced some challenges in his life, but he’s been resilient and continued to serve faithfully. Not only did he lose his parents when he was young, but his wife, Karen passed away about 5 years ago. She had cancer. The Lord has sustained Kenton and his family through all these trials.

Dawn and I were so encouraged to share a meal with Kenton and his lovely wife, Adriana who now serves alongside him in the church, Rey de Reyes. God is so good, and takes care of His children. First we visited the church, and saw all the various ministries and how the Lord is using them. It brought us joy to see the vision and creativity for reaching the lost with the good news of Christ.

I give thanks for all that the Lord is doing in Guadalajara. Pray for the church to grow and that even more churches will be started, even more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We pray that we can replicate more churches and healthy churches throughout Mexico and beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

 

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our medical team lovingly treating the patients

Our medical team lovingly treating the patients

One of the highlights of our ministry on the border and the Baja has been our medical clinics in Ensenada. God has used the partnership of Redeemer San Diego and La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada to touch the lives of many. It’s beautiful to see the love of Christ poured out through the doctors, dentists and all those that assist and make this outreach possible. We are using medicine to build bridges for the gospel as we show the love of Christ in a real and tangible way.

I put together a short video with the help of my son, David Jr. that will give you a glimpse of what we do on these missions trips.

May the gospel continue to go forth in power in Ensenada. May the Lord’s church extend it’s reach for the glory of God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Sowing the Seed of the Word
Yudy leading one of the VBS classes

Yudy leading one of the VBS classes

The seed of the Word of God is planted in many young hearts during VBS, but we don’t always see immediate fruit. Dawn and I have met and talked to friends this week who told us they came to know Christ through a VBS! What a privilege it is to see broken hearts become whole through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

We pray together for much fruit as the principles of the Bible are taught this week in Ensenada through the songs, activities, teachings, and more.

Sowing in the Hearts of Families
Jesus teaching the parents

Jesus teaching the parents

One of the highlights of this week was a seminar for the parents that was taught by one of the key leaders in the church, Jesus Petrikowski. We all loved this seminar, because we not only reached out to the children through VBS, but also to the parents of the children.

The church did a wonderful job of inviting the parents, and encouraging the children to let their dad and mom know about the class.

There was a good group of parents that came to the seminar.  After Jesus taught the lesson he asked them how many of them would like for their families to follow Christ; how many would like to learn how to follow His principles for their family. Believe it or not they all raised their hand!

They also said that they would like more seminars on how to raise a family. The majority of those that came are not from the church, so it was thrilling to see their reaction.

We pray for God’s continued and bountiful work in their hearts!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

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