Posts Tagged ‘Community Outreach’

Ministry & Family in Fresno & Bakersfield

My dad, Ron Diaso and I

I never grow tired of seeing the gospel bring about transformation, a changed life!

I’m writing this post just as I’m getting ready to leave Fresno and head back home to the Border lands.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my parents in Fresno. While I was in Fresno my dad had a hernia surgery. Thanks for praying for him. It’s a relief to get him through that, and on the road to recovery. I also was able to visit two churches. One in Fresno and one in Bakersfield to promote our missions work and especially the work of church planting on the Border and Beyond.

I’m grateful for a fruitful trip. We wouldn’t see new churches planted without faithful partners who pray for us and give to the ministry.

God’s Grace Shines in Ensenada

The team from Skyview and from Renuevo for our summer VBS in Ensenada

Today I’d like to highlight an experience that I had while the group from Skyview Church in Colorado was with us while we were ministering in Ensenada. Skyview is a valuable partner that has grown close to Renuevo church and their leadership as they’ve come to aid in leading VBS over the last six years.

A couple of weeks ago on Monday while Skyview was in Ensenada, we went to the local hospital in the afternoon to do some outreach and community service. We handed out over 100 sandwiches and burritos and handed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. This hospital services low-income families, so the people were grateful to receive this aid with along with a loving smile.

Jorge’s Open Heart

Jorge my new friend who found forgiveness in Christ

While our group ministered to the people in this way I took the opportunity to ask the people if they’d like prayer. The Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with a few of the people who came to visit and support their family in the hospital. One of the guys that I prayed for in particular stood out. His name is Jorge and I mentioned him in my last post.

There were a number of people waiting outside the hospital and at first I wasn’t sure if I should share with Jorge. I prayed and asked the Lord as I looked for someone to talk to. I approached Jorge, and he told me his sister was in the hospital and she had a problem with her kidneys. I told him that I’d like to pray for him and his sister, and as we talked he told me that he’s struggled with drugs and alcohol for a long time. He admitted that he was separated from his wife, and that he felt hurt and bitter in regards to his ex wife. He felt like his relationship with his wife, and his frustration with her pushed him towards the drugs and alcohol.

Jorge finds Forgiveness and New Life

I took the opportunity to let him know about the importance of forgiveness. I explained that when you don’t forgive and when you hold on to bitterness you are actually hurting yourself. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. I asked him if he was familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, and he said, “yes”. I told him in the Lord’s Prayer part of the prayer is, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In a sense when you are unwilling to forgive and we pray this prayer we are asking the Lord to do the same to us.

The light bulb came on for Jorge. It made sense to him.

I said “Jorge, I believe that God loves you. I could have talked to any number of other people here today, but he sent me to talk to you.” Then we prayed and I a gave him the opportunity to confess Christ as his Lord and Savior as well as confess his sins and to forgive those that had offended him. After we prayed I sought to encourage him more and remind him of God’s great love.

Jorge started to cry. Here was this big, tough looking guy and God broke through. The Lord touched his heart and Jorge found love in Christ that day.

Paul reminds us, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

There were a number of highlights to our week in Ensenada as there always are, but this was definitely at the top of the list. I never tire of seeing the gospel touch someone’s life and bring about change that has eternal implications. Wow! God is so good! Thank you Jesus for leading me to Jorge and giving me the opportunity to share the good news, the love of Christ with him!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Week In The Wild – VBS

A week of fun learning through In The Wild VBS

Our week in Ensenada with Renuevo church and Skyview is always one of the highlights of the year. This is the 6th summer in a row that Skyview has come from Denver, Colorado to help with VBS. One of the beautiful things that the Lord is doing through all the years is bringing maturity and depth to the relationships.

God continues to amaze as the gospel goes forth. We were able to minister to 55 children this year. At the end of the week, one of the teachers gave each of the children a questionnaire and asked them if they would like to have a relationship with Christ. All of them said yes and they expressed interest in continuing to grow in their faith.

The Gospel Touches Families

Petri sharing with the parents about the importance of helping their children to learn about Jesus and the Gospel

We received a number of positive comments from the parents. One parent, in particular, said that their son was coming home and he didn’t want to talk about the games and the crafts so much, but he wanted to talk to his parents about what he was learning about Jesus. Another mother whose son, Tomas is deaf, told us how one of her children kept encouraging the family to go to church. It sounded like more than anyone in the family he hoped that they might all attend church to learn more about Christ.

There were also two students who came with disabilities. Tomas who is deaf, and another girl who has cerebral palsy. It was heartwarming to see the love that these children received, and it was obvious that they enjoyed themselves.

Growing in and Through the Relationship

More VBS Fun!

One of the many benefits of VBS is it brings us all together for this one intense week. It gives Renuevo an opportunity to grow together as they spend extra time together in prep for the week. The Lord works through relationships, so it so good to see these dear friends come together and grow in their love for one another. This includes the relationships with those from Skyview. Each year they anxiously await the time they spend together. The week always ends with a tearful goodbye. Which is descriptive of the love that they share.

Petri is the pastor of Renuevo and his wife is Yudy. They have a wonderful team that works with them, and they are all gifted teachers. In fact, a number of them work in the school system in Mexico. They do an excellent job at organizing the week, and the VBS in particular.

A Week of Outreach and Impact

I had a chance to pray with Jorge and share the love of Christ with him!

Apart from the VBS, there were other opportunities to minister. On Monday afternoon we went to one of the local hospitals that serve many low-income families. The family members and friends waiting outside are needy. We gave out more than 100 sandwiches and burritos. We also gave them toothpaste, toothbrushes, and soap. I was surprised by how many people thanked us for the toothbrush and toothpaste! That seemed to be a real need that they had.

We were able to pray for some of the people that were at the hospital. The Lord gave me a wonderful experience sharing the gospel and praying for one particular man named Jorge (photo above). God did an amazing work in Jorge’s life as we shared and prayed together.

Healing Through Testimonies of God’s Grace

Hannah Berglund leading the children in one of the classes during VBS

One other activity that I’d like to mention before I end this post is that we had a number of young people from Ensenada as well as from Denver, Colorado. Most of them were girls this year ranging from around 15 – 22. On Wednesday night I asked two of them to share a brief testimony. Hannah Berglund and Monica Vasquez shared. They were vulnerable about their own struggles, and how Christ and the gospel have carried them through the difficulties they’ve faced.

After Hannah and Monica shared I asked the group if anyone else would like to share, and then a number of them expressed the challenges they have faced or are facing. Almost everyone got involved in loving and encouraging one another, and it ended up being a beautiful time of healing and redemption. God is so good.

The days were long during the week, but it’s surprising how the time flew by. I think we experienced almost all the emotions, much laughter, and joy, some sadness, and sorrow. Overall it was a time of experiencing God’s loving grace which brought us joy and contentment.

Join us in Prayer

On the final night, we celebrated our week together with some Mariachis!

Pray for Pastor Petri and Yudy and the Renuevo team as they follow up all the families that they were able to reach out to. Pray that these families will come to have a true and living relationship with the Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Light of Christ Shines Brightly

Our new friends from Long Beach, Jason, David and Randy with Pastor Victor & Sol and some of the students they are showing the love of Christ to

One of our goals as we plant churches in communities is to bring the light of Christ to those that live there. As the light of Christ shines through the testimony of the church we pray for life change, transformation.

This last week I was able to visit some of my favorite people on the planet, Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol. I took some pastors and leaders from Christ Church in Long Beach into Mexico to introduce them to our ministry in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Victor & Sol’s Community Outreach in Rosarito

Victor & Sol with some of the elementary school boys that they are ministering to

Victor and Sol have become like family for us, so it’s always fun to see them. I love seeing them in action and hearing how the Lord is working through them. About three years ago I visited Victor and Sol and my daughter, Hannah was with us. Victor and Sol told us how they wanted to reach the community and to be able to offer tutoring and classes to the children in the community.

They asked me if I could help them raise some funds to build a classroom and to buy some chairs and desks for the children. The Lord graciously gave me a matching fund, and I found a church willing to give the other half. About a year and a half ago we were able to help them to build the classrooms.

One of the challenges is that a significant number of children in the community come from very poor families. They are malnourished and their parents aren’t able to help them with their school work. A number of children in the community don’t even attend school. Those that do attend are failing in their school work. They lack energy because they are not eating well in their homes.

Sol has an undergrad in Psychology and a Masters in Education. She worked for a number of years in the public school system in Mexico, but when they planted the church the Lord put it on her heart to leave her job so that she could minister to the children and families in the community.

Making a Difference in the life of the Children

Once they had the classroom Sol went to work. She works with 20 children daily Monday through Friday. She works with some of them before school and others after school. Sol has a beautiful smile, and she is a patient and loving teacher. The love of Christ shines through her as she works with the children.

While I was there with our friends from Long Beach this last week Victor and Sol shared with us that since Sol has begun working with the children their grades have gone up. Now they are getting A’s and B’s. They’ve also raised some funds and given out of their personal budget to feed the children.

Whereas, before the children had spots on their faces from malnutrition, now they look healthy and strong. When they come to the church one of the first things they ask Sol is, “what’s to eat today?”

Sol and Victor are making a difference in the life of these children and their families. They have the vision to train more teachers to help Sol so that they can minister to even more families. They told me that they also need to raise more funding to sponsor the children so that they can continue to provide them with meals.

New Life in Christ

Since Victor and Sol have begun this outreach some of the families have started attending the church. They told me of one particular family that joined the church, came to Christ and got baptized. Now they are beginning to take responsibility and become part of the leadership team.

Join Us in Prayer for Victor & Sol

Pray with us that the Lord raises up more pastors and leaders like Victor and Sol who are able to make a difference in their community. Pray for the Lord’s provision so that they can grow this ministry and continue to bring spiritual and material nutrition to the children. Pray that the Lord raises up the people to work with Sol to help tutor the children.

Thank you, Jesus, for your good work! You are a good God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Cry of Our Heart!
Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

One of the cries of our heart is for more of the Lord. A greater presence and power as we live and love. We have this confidence that the Lord hears our prayers. Dawn and I pray that this will not only be true of us but of those that we minister with. “O Lord, in your grace pour out your Spirit in a greater measure upon us and those we serve with.”

God’s Good Work Through Ministerios Transformación
Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Recently I wrote about our good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife Sol. Dawn and I enjoy being with them, seeing and experiencing how God is moving among them. This last Sunday we worshipped with Victor and Sol and their congregation. We celebrated Victor’s birthday along with the church. Our Mexican friends love the fiesta, and we’ve grown to love it as well.

Pastor Victor and Sol are a part of a larger network of churches called, Ministerios Transformación. I’ve written about this ministry before. We’ve helped them plant 6 churches over the last 6 years, and we’ve also helped them in other ways through training, coaching, and encouragement.

The last church we planted in Mexicali, which we built in our daughter, Hannah’s memory is part of Ministerios Transformación.

A Big Vision – 50 Churches
Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

The lead pastor for Ministerios Transformación is Daniel Nuñez. Daniel was also at the church on Sunday and he preached a message from Hebrews on the importance of working with and supporting the pastor in the church. Daniel is a man of vision, and any time he has a chance to share with others he cast his vision to plant 50 churches. When I first met Daniel 8 years ago he had planted 7 churches, and in just a few weeks they will be planting number 37! Wow! That’s exciting! Thank you, Jesus!

Dawn and I enjoy the opportunity to partner with Daniel and Victor and Sol to help them make their dream, their vision a reality. Our prayer, as well as theirs, is that these churches aren’t just lifeless buildings, but vibrant centers of grace that bring light into communities. We realize to do that we all need much grace and a powerful move of God’s Spirit among the people.

Making a Difference in the Community
Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol, who is a trained psychologist with years of experience working in some of the best schools in Rosarito and Tijuana is reaching out in the community by tutoring children. Sol loves what she does. She’s passionate about it. She was making a good salary working for the school system. Yet, she was willing to put all that aside to use her skills to love on needy children in the community. Dawn and I were able to visit Sol with her students recently, and it was fun to see her at work.

Lives are literally being changed as Victor and Sol along with the people in their church show the love of Christ in the community of Plan Libertador. Victor and Sol are an awesome representative of what the other churches in the network of Ministerios Transformación are doing. We give thanks for them, and for how the Lord is working. He truly does hear our prayer! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Making a Difference in Plan Libertador
Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Dawn and I are truly enriched to have such wonderful friends and partners that we minister alongside. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have blessed us in so many ways! We continually give thanks for them and lift them up in prayer.

Four years ago the Lord brought us together, and we helped Victor and Sol build and start their new church. The Lord has been working through them and the ministry of the church as they seek to make a difference in the community. Both of them have a lot of energy and they possess many gifts.

One of the ways the church is seeking to make a difference in the community of Plan Libertador is they are tutoring students after school. Sol is a trained psychologist and has worked for many years with children in the school system in Tijuana. Since they planted the church she’s wanted to give more time to outreach in the community. She is truly making a difference in the lives of these students and their families.

Dawn and I were able to visit Sol this week, and it filled our hearts to see the bright smiles on the face of each young person there.

Victor also is meeting with and working with the community leaders, so that the church has an active voice and influence in Plan Libertador. He just met with these leaders this week and planned to pray with them as they met. I love Victor and Sol’s boldness and enthusiasm for the gospel.

The Power of Prayer
Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

There’s also the powerful presence of the Lord in their church and those that they are ministering to. Some of the families in their church are going through some real tough trials. I’ve mentioned before 15-year-old Mitchell, who is battling with leukemia.

Mitchell has great faith for a young person going through such a trial. Every time we go to visit her in the hospital to pray with her, she has a beautiful smile on her face. Mitchell says that our visits and our prayers encourage her, and give her peace, but Dawn and I always leave astonished and strengthened by her faith. We are believing the Lord for her healing. We’ve seen the Lord work in her life and bring a measure of healing, but we are looking to Jesus for complete and total healing.

Mitchell was in the hospital in February when we first met her family. We prayed for her, and in a miraculous fashion, in just a few days she was able to leave the hospital. The doctor told Mitchell’s, parents, Miroslava and Salvador that they thought she was going to die in a few days. That was back in February. We were so encouraged when the Lord answered our prayers, and brought her a measure of healing, but battle rages on.

Join Us in Prayer!
Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Join Mitchell’s parents, along with Victor and Sol and the church as we lift up Mitchell and her family in prayer. Mitchell is in the hospital again receiving treatment for her leukemia. We cry out to the Lord from whom our help comes from. He is our healer, our deliverer, and our strong tower!

Pray for Victor and Sol as they minister to those in their church, and as they love on and reach out in their community.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fun-filled Week of VBS
Many smiles - a fun filled week on VBS in Ensenada

Many smiles – a fun-filled week on VBS in Ensenada

One of the favorite parts of our summer for the last 5 years in a row has been when the group from Skyview comes from Colorado to help us run VBS in Ensenada, Mexico. It’s a super busy week for us, but it’s a great time. The thing I most enjoy from the week are the stories. The stories of grace as I hear from the teachers and those leading the VBS how the Lord is working in the life of the children and their families.

A Changed Life!
Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

One of our teacher’s this year, Aideliz shared with me what became my favorite story of grace from this year’s VBS. Aideliz told me that on the first day she asked the students to write down some words on a banner to describe who God is. One of the children, Adrian didn’t write anything. Aideliz asked Adrian why he hadn’t written anything down. He responded by saying, “I don’t believe in God, so there is nothing to write down.”

Aideliz prayed for Adrian and showed him and the other children in her class the love of Christ during the week. All of those involved, the group from Denver as well as those from the local church, are very loving.

The end of the week came and Aideliz asked Adrian what he thought about God. He said, “Now I believe.” Then Aideliz went on to tell Adrian how much God loved him, and how he gave his life for him. Adrian was just one of many children who were literally transformed by the gospel during the week.

The Love of Christ Taught and Lived Out
Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

It’s not just the lessons that were taught about Jesus, but also the love that Aideliz and the other teachers and volunteers showed to Adrian and the rest of the children.

Since Renuevo is a new church plant they are reaching families that are unchurched, so many of the children that come to the VBS either don’t believe or they just haven’t had much of an opportunity to hear the good news.

On the final night of the VBS, we had a meeting with the parents, and a number of parents came. Petri, who is the pastor of the church explained to the parents what they were teaching during the week, as well as thanking the parents for entrusting their children to Petri and the team. After the meeting, some of the those that came expressed interest in attending the church the following Sunday. That’s part of our goal to show the love of Jesus to the people and to create a bridge for the gospel.

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

Continue to Pray for Bridges for the Gospel in Ensenada

Thank you for praying with us for Pastor Petri, his wife Yudy and his team from Renuevo. Pray that the Lord will continue to open doors and create bridges for the gospel in Ensenada. God is on the move!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Concern for the Churches
Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

The Apostel Paul spoke of his daily concern for the churches, and his own weakness as he confronted the trials of ministry. Although my trials pale in comparison, I can identify with Paul’s concern for the churches.

This past Sunday Dawn and I were able to visit one of the churches that we are helping to start. The church in Ensenada is led by Pastor Petri, and his wife, Yudy . We enjoyed the opportunity to see how the church is growing, and to interact with the leadership team to get an update from them on how they felt things are going.

One of the blessings of planting churches is that the gospel is going forward, and lives are being transformed, yet there are challenges that our church planters face. Dawn and I seek to not only be faithful to pray for our church planters but to encourage them in their work.

Petri & Yudy – Bi-vocational Church Planting
Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Petri and Yudy are bi-vocational so there are many demands on their time. The advantage to being bi-vocational is that it takes some of the financial pressure off of the church planter, and it gives them some natural networks in the community through their workplace. Both Petri and Yudy are well respected in their community. Dawn and I love visiting and meeting the new people that have started coming to the church.

One of the goals of a church plant is to reach new people for Christ. We don’t want the church to grow just through people shuffling from one church to another. So it gives us great joy to see the new people who are on a journey and coming into relationship with Christ through the witness of the church. The church in Ensenada is called, Renuevo, which means renewal. That is what Petri and Yudy and their team are seeking to do, to bring renewal to Ensenada through the good news of Christ.

Dave preaching at Renuevo

Dave preaching at Renuevo

On Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Renuevo. What a joy to meet the people and to share the love of Christ with them.

Prayer is such a big part of seeing the churches grow and flourish, so please continue to feverently pray for us and our partners.

Pray For:
  • Pastor Petri and Yudy and their leadership team
  • Wisdom as they reach out to new families
  • The upcoming VBS that they will hold from July 22-27.
  • A group from Skyview Presbyterian church who will be coming from Colorado to help with the VBS outreach in July.
  • Also for the other church planters that we work with in Tijuana, Rosarito and Mexicali.
  • This weekend Dawn and I will be visiting Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez in Mexicali.
  • Dawn and I are also meeting a pastor in Tijuana and a pastor in Mexicali that we are exploring the possibility of starting a new church with in the cities they live in.

Thanks, dear friends for your ongoing encouragement and for faithfulness to pray for us and the ministry on the Border, Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org