Posts Tagged ‘Cuba’

My Trip to Cuba
Dave with Mario & Yany

I’m on my way to Cuba to encourage our growing familia. They are people that Dawn and I have come to love. Every time we are on this big island we see the Spirit breakthrough! So I go expectantly.

Dawn is not able to join me on this trip. She is staying home to care for her mom. It’s been a new season for us since Dawn’s mom, Alice has come to live with us. Dawn isn’t able to travel with me as much.

The Lord is opening of some doors and ways for Dawn to join me on some my upcoming trips. We are also praying about the possibility of both them joining me on my next trip to Cuba in June. You can help us by praying that the Lord will show us the way, and make it clear to us. I think it could be a wonderful opportunity! Dawn’s mom still has an adventurous spirit after living in the Ukraine for 20 years.

I’d also appreciate prayer for my time with our familia in Cuba. I will be in four different cities after I land in Havana. First I will go to Sibanicu and Camaguey with Luis and May. Then I will go to Cabaiguan with Mario and Yany. I will end my trip in Jatibonico with Justo and Sara. While there I will have the opportunity to see and encourage a number of our friends.

Join us in Prayer
Dave & Dawn on this journey together
  • Pray for Dawn and her mom, Alice while I’m away.
  • Pray for our family including David and Emily, Jonathan and Hannah and my parents Ron and Virginia.
  • Our son David has had some health issues recently that we are concerned about, and we would ask prayer for his health and healing.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection while I’m in Cuba.
  • Pray for His Spirit to breakthrough and to minister and encourage our Cuban family and friends.
  • I will be in Cuba until March 18th, and I usually have little to no internet access while there, which makes communication sparse.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Give Thanks for God’s Good Work!
Dave with church planters & leaders in Cuba

As Dawn and I look back on 2019 we realize that we have much to be thankful for! Dawn and I experienced fruit and growth as we ministered on the Border, the Baja and Beyond.

2019 has been one of our best years in ministry. We are planting life giving churches in a number of cities in Baja California. We are starting churches in La Paz, Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali with the hope of expanding beyond the Baja in Mexico. There are also numerous church plants in Cuba that are growing.

The Lord is Faithful to Grow His Church
Our church plant in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri and his wife Yudy

Dawn and I continue to pray that the Lord will enlarge our tent and expand our borders. Isaiah 54 has become a key passage for us as we dream and ask the Lord for more.

“”Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thankful for Our Growing Family
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz and their children are one of the many families that we work with that have become part of our family.

This passage also speaks of promises to our offspring. The church planters we work with have become like family to us. We have come to love them, and we see God expanding the kingdom through the ministry of the churches they are starting. Dawn and I feel very blessed through these relationships and all that Jesus is doing through them!

We Rejoice! Hallelujah!

Yany, Rachel & Jorge leading worship in Cabaiguán, Cuba

Hallelujah. We rejoice for God’s good work and all that he is doing!

Let’s Finish 2019 Strong!

Dawn and I would like to ask you to consider making a year-end gift so that this more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We look forward to 2020, and believe that it will be an even greater and more fruitful year!

Donate now by clicking on this link:

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Goodness Seen in Our Growing Family
Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs

As I write this I’m enjoying a cup coffee and taking in the views of the snow capped peaks in Colorado. It reminds me of God’s majesty. Dawn and I are thankful that we can visit our family in Colorado Springs this Christmas and take in the beauty of God’s handiwork.

I’ve been reflecting on God’s goodness and his wonderful work in our lives and throughout the world.

Dawn and I feel like our family keeps growing. Both David and Jonathan married wonderful young women in the last year for which we give much thanks. Also, the Lord has given us family in Latin America.

Giving Thanks for Our Partners
Pastors and Leaders in Cuba

A number of the pastors that we work with have become like family to us. We are in constant communication with them, praying for them, encouraging them and coaching them. At the end of Romans Paul wrote about a long list of people who ministered with him in the gospel. It is evident that Paul didn’t minister alone. The Lord gave him a team of people to work with.

In Philippians 1 the apostle gives thanks for the church and his partners in the gospel there.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In the same way Dawn and I give thanks for our friends, our family, our partners in the gospel. We rejoice in all that the Lord is doing through them.

The Church is Advancing
Yany lovingly leading the children in Cabaiguan

Our friends Mario & Yany, who live in Cabaiguan, Cuba wrote us this week and told us about the opportunity they had to show the love of Christ to 90 children. Mario and Yany are planting four churches in the Cabaiguan area. They are very special friends that Dawn and I have come to consider part of our family. I’ve written about them in other posts.

It’s so good to see the kingdom of God advancing in Cuba.

One of Pastor Justo & Sara’s house churches in Jatibonico. It’s busting at the seams!

Some of our other friends Justo and Sara also wrote us and told us about the outreach and the growth of the church in Jatibonico. Every time we hear from these friends and other partners we rejoice and give thanks.

Join Us In Prayer!
Our Cuban Family – Faithful to Pray

Dawn and I have prayed for years that we would be part of kingdom expansion on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! We are starting to see that prayer answered. God is growing his church on the Border and the Baja where we live and work. We are also seeing growth Beyond these areas, mainly in Cuba. We continue to pray for more. More of Jesus. More of the Spirit and more kingdom growth and expansion!

Thank you for praying with us. We know that we are not alone. The Lord has given us a wonderful team of partners like you who are interested in seeing the kingdom of God expand through this work. We recognize that prayer is the life blood of all that we do.

Pray with us as this year comes to a close, that we will finish the year strong, so that we start 2020 off well. Dawn and I are praying that we can start at least 3 new churches in Mexico and 3 new churches in Cuba in 2020. We also are training and coaching many more church planters and leaders, and seeking to expand that part of the ministry as well.

You can help us make that a reality by praying for us, and by giving a year-end gift. You can give online by clicking the donate link.

Thank you for helping us take the gospel to The Border, The Baja and Beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Challenges & Opportunities of Life in Cuba

Our group of leaders with the Red de Multiplicación discussing church planting at Café La Habana in Mexico City

After I’ve spent time in Cuba with our dear friends, our familia Cubana, I always feel like I have so much I could share, so much I would like to write. It’s hard to capture it all in a short post. Yet I will attempt to give you a glimpse.

One of the things I learned on this trip is that my birthday, December 2nd is an important albeit sad day for Cuba. It is the day that Fidel arrived on the shores of Cuba from Mexico to overthrow the government and begin the revolution. When I told my Cuban friends when my birthday was they began to laugh because it is now an infamous day.

Interestingly enough I was just in Mexico City last week, and I had a breakfast meeting to discuss church planting. Our meeting was held at Café La Habana, which is where Castro met with others to plan out the revolution. The changes he brought have had devastating consequences on the people and the country. It breaks my heart to see how the people suffer.

This bus with all the metal bars on the windows and the metal seats made me feel like it was a bus for prisoners. This is the normal mode of transportation for Cubans. Usually, the bus is standing room only, but we rented this bus.

While I was there Cuba was experiencing a petroleum crisis, so it made it very difficult for the people to find transportation. The transportation isn’t very good to start with. The pastors often have to wait up to 5 hours or more to find available transportation when they are traveling to other cities for their ministry.

The petroleum crisis also means that the price of basic food goes up: chicken, rice, pork, cooking oil, eggs, etc. It’s so hard to see these precious servants of our Heavenly Father living on so little. Yet God is gracious and He is caring for His people. The Cubans I know are resilient and they have such strong faith that it strengthens my faith when I interact with them.

I share my experiences in Cuba to educate, but also with the hope that you will pray. God is doing a great work there. The church is growing. People are coming to faith. The Lord is healing people and providing in supernatural ways.

God is Growing His Church

Our church planting candidates and staff at the Discovery Center

While I was there our team which was made up of mostly Cuban leaders evaluated 10 individuals, 5 church planting couples. These church planters always leave our time together with glowing reports. I love the opportunity to meet and encourage these new leaders. Like I’ve shared before, I’m always struck by their commitment to serve the Lord and His church under such challenging circumstances.

Pastor Yeisel & Liannys Basulto
Pastor Yeisel and Liannys

One of the young couples I met there, Yeisel and Liannys who are my kids’ age, so I felt a special connection with them. They’ve only been serving at the church where they are, which is near Santi Spíritus for 10 months. The church has already grown from 9 to 50 people in that short time. They have tremendous potential as leaders.

The church is in an area where there are a number of witches and altars to foreign deities, which is common in Cuba. They live right next to a brick-making factory, and all the smoke is causing Liannys health problems. She’s had an allergic reaction which adversely affects her eyes. Pray for them as they endure such hardship, and serve so faithfully.

The group of church planters who joined us for a day and a half of training

The other event that I was involved in while I was in Cuba was helping to train church planters. We had 20 church planters join us for the training. The lack of transportation kept more from coming. It was such a rich time, and the Lord met us in a wonderful way. One of the highlights was as part of our time we spent time for praying for couples and individuals. We all felt the Lord’s presence, and we left strengthened.

Join Us in Prayer!

Yany, Rachel and Jorge leading worship in Cabaiguán

Join us in praying for all these wonderful church planters. The Lord is doing something very special in Cuba despite all the opposition. Just today I received an email from one of the church planting families, Mario, and Yany who live in Cabaiguán. They told us that one of their church planters, Pastor Jorge and his wife, Rachel are starting a new mission church. We pray for the Lord’s protection for our Cuban family, and the continued multiplication of the church there. Hallelujah for all that Jesus is doing!

God is Growing His Church

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Best Ministry Trip to Date!
Dave with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany and their church in Cabaiguán

I just returned from a two week trip to Cuba. It was an outstanding trip, and the Lord showed up in some amazing ways. I’m not even sure where to start or how to communicate all that the Lord did while I was there!

This was my best ministry trip in 30 plus years of ministry!

Since I have been going to Cuba for a number of years now the relationships keep growing deeper, which opens the doors for more fruit. As I’ve mentioned before some of the Cubans refer to Dawn and me as mom and dad. They are a very relational and family oriented people.

Amazing Testimonies
Pastor Luis Jimenez leading the church in Sibanicú

Some of the highlights from the tip came from the testimonies about all that our awesome God is doing through our Cuban family. For example, Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared how the Lord used some of the prayers and promises that I sent them a few weeks ago. They read them out loud during one of their church services as they prayed and claimed God’s promises. As they cried out to the Lord they began to feel Jesus and the Spirit in a close and personal way. Hallelujah!

Another wonderful story. Our great and amazing God healed a woman who had cancer. Dawn and I sent Luis and May some prayers that we’ve found helpful as we minister in Latin America. They used these prayers to pray over Maria who had breast cancer. Unfortunately, Maria already had a mastectomy on one of her breasts. The doctors told her that she only had one living cell in her other breast. The church came together and prayed, and they believed that Jesus would minister to Maria and bring her healing.

When Maria went back to the doctor they didn’t find any cancer. The doctors not being believers got upset, and they told her that maybe the cancer had moved to her brain or her lungs. When they ran further tests they all came back clean. Maria was completely healed of cancer!

Freedom and Deliverance!
May praying with Maria and leading her to faith in Christ

Witchcraft, Santeria and other demonic practices are prevalent in Cuba. Many of my friends churches have witches, and altars to foreign deities near where they are ministering.

While I was with Pastor Luis and May they asked me to pray with them for a woman in the church, Fabiola who needed healing and deliverance. She had been involved in witchcraft in the past, and her ex mother-in-law was also a witch and she was putting curses on her. Fabiola is a beautiful young woman, and by looking at her you would never know what was going on. She told me that she had some terrible experiences with deliverance in the past, so she was a little nervous when she met with May and me. Fabiola said that although she was anxious she was also excited and hopeful, because she heard of how I helped another one of their leaders that last time I visited the church.

May and I spent about 3 hours praying with Fabiola and leading her to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it strengthened my faith to see Christ move in her heart, and bring Fabiola healing and freedom. It was a powerful time! We saw first hand how we are victorious in Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Fabiola was so thankful and she had a beautiful smile when we finished our time together!

God is Doing An Amazing Work Through the Challenges!
Pastor Justo (far left) and his wife Sara (3rd from the left) along with the house church leaders in Jatibonico. They have a vision to reach at least 1,000 people

There were many other opportunities that I had to pray for people and encourage them. The Lord is so faithful to meet us at our point of need! I especially enjoyed my time of ministry with the pastors and church planters. Such special and dear people who have made so many sacrifices to serve the Lord.

Every time I go to Cuba I leave feeling that my faith is strengthened. I feel this way, because of the testimony of my friends, many of whom have become like family to us. They have such deep faith in some of the most difficult circumstances that I’ver ever seen. Most of them have a profound commitment to prayer and fasting. They live off of $10 – $50 a month, and yet they continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Instead of letting the challenges stop them they use it as motivation to trust the Lord to provide.

God sees their affliction. He is near the brokenhearted and he delivers them as he promises to do.

So Close yet a World Apart!
Some of the modes of transportation in Cuba – Quite an adventure!

The Island of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Florida. It takes less than an hour to fly from Miami to most cities in Cuba, and yet it’s a whole different world! It’s truly mind boggling!

There are many more stories that I could tell of people coming to Christ, of the Lord bringing healing, freedom and comfort to our friends on the island of Cuba. I hope to share more in a future post.

Thank you so much for praying for me for this trip. I strongly believe one of the reasons that this was my best ministry trip ever was because of all the prayer. The Lord does indeed hear our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Prayer to Expand Our Borders

Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!

A few years ago, we began praying that the Lord would expand our borders. We like to say the Border, the Baja and Beyond. Dawn and I didn’t just choose those words for alliteration, but it’s the vision for what we believe the Lord has called us to. We truly long to see the border, the Baja and even beyond transformed by the gospel. We’ve prayed and asked others to join us in praying to see the beyond part of our vision for ministry become a reality. Since the time we began to look to the Lord to expand our reach God has opened doors for us to minister in El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Cuba. Of these countries, Cuba is the place we’ve seen the greatest opportunities as well as the greatest needs.

Dawn and I have grown to love the people of Cuba!

Open Doors in Cuba

Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, YanyDave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany

Over the last five years, Dawn and I have made various trips to Cuba to strengthen the leaders there. We have participated in church-planters assessment and training. I have also trained pastors and leaders in mentoring/coaching. Each experience has been unique, and our loving Father has connected us with some amazing people.

It’s been a great joy to partner with the church leaders in Cuba. I must admit that I feel torn, and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s heartbreaking to see how the people live on so little, and all the oppression they suffer. Most of the people in Cuba live off of $20 – $40 a month unless they have relatives in the US that have a way to send them money via Western Union. Presently those that live in Cuba have to stand in long lines to buy chicken, bread, rice, soap, and other basic needs. Despite their circumstances, they are a resilient people, who have unbelievably strong faith. Somehow the Cubans I’ve met have managed to maintain a positive outlook on life. They are good-natured and we enjoy their sense of humor.

The Lord Redeems and Expands our Family

Pastor Luis & May with their children Zuri & DavidPastor Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Because of the harsh realities of life in Cuba, the leaders are desperate for encouragement and connection. Dawn and I feel like it’s a privilege to minister to these friends, who have become like family. A number of them now refer to us as mom and dad as we have loved them and encouraged them. One of the families that we’ve become close to they not only call us mom and dad but their children call us grandpa and grandma.

As I wrote the paragraph above, it felt a little awkward sharing this with a largely USA audience. It’s hard to get across the nearness of these relationships via the written word. Also, Latin cultures are more family-oriented and it’s more natural for them to think of us in this way. It’s not as common in the USA for us to refer to another person that we love as our father and mother. This is one of the elements that I love about Latin cultures.

The Lord has blessed us so much through these friends who are now family. It’s one more way the Lord has redeemed and is redeeming Hannah’s early home going. I’m not sure if anything this side of heaven can fully restore the hole that has been left in our lives, but I do believe that we have a good and loving Father and he does bring us healing. There is healing in his wings!

Pray for Cuba and for More open Doors

Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train others to plant churches in Cuba!Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends!

I am planning on returning to Cuba in September. I’m not looking forward to the heat, but I can’t wait to be reunited with our Cuban family! This gives us an opportunity to work with and encourage the pastors that we’ve met from previous trips and help them to plant churches.

Even with all that our Cuban family is facing the church is growing. God is alive, and he is definitely at work in Cuba. Dawn and I would love for you to be a part of all the Lord is doing in this Caribbean country.

Dave praying with some of the church planters, Osmeiki & Yoiset, Mario & Yany, and other leaders. Wonderful people!

Please pray with us for these wonderful families and the work that they are doing in Cuba. Some of the couples that we are working with are Luis & May, Mario & Yany, Justo & Sara, Oniel & Heidy, Adnier & Mariesly, Ernesto & Damara, Ernesto & Yanelkys, Frank & Ariadna, Yamil & Yuneisi, Rene & Yarelis, Jorge & Rachel, Osmeiki & Yoiset and many more.

Thanks, dear friends, for joining us on this journey and praying with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is on the Move

Our family at David & Emily’s wedding – Jonathan, Hannah, Grandma Alice Moore, Dawn, David Jr., Emily, David Sr., Grandpa Ron Diaso

Wow! So much is happening that it’s hard to keep up. With our son, David’s wedding with his bride, Emily, and our travels to Pennsylvania it’s been difficult to write and post all that the Lord is doing.

Today in trying to decide what to write about I went back and forth between writing about the wonderful advance in church planting throughout Latin America or about what is going on in Cuba and beyond. The Lord is doing an amazing work in Cuba and through our Cuban friends right now. The people of Cuba are going through a heartbreaking trial right now. Our Cuban brothers and sisters need our prayers, so I will focus on them today.

Our Concern for our Friends in Cuba

Article from The San Diego Union-Tribune from Sunday May 12, 2019 on the Cuban economic crisis

Cuba is going through a shortage of food. This has grown even more pronounced since the start of the year. Our friends have been writing to us and telling us that they are having a hard time getting basics like cooking oil, bread, eggs, pork, and chicken. There is also a shortage of soap. When these items are available they have to wait in long lines for them, and sometimes even travel to other cities to purchase them.

All of our Cuban friends who are pastors and live throughout the country have asked us to pray. So I wanted to make you aware of what is going on and to ask you to join us in prayer for this country and her people. The church goes through even greater persecution depending on the part of the country that the pastor lives and works in.

Kingdom Expansion in the midst of Trials

Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Even amidst all the challenges, there are rays of light that shine as the gospel goes forth. Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared with us how they just baptized 23 people, and they are grateful that the church continues to grow.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been helping Luis and May reach out to a minister in Colombia, whose name is Andres. Luis and May have never been to Colombia, but somehow they connected through the ministry in their church.

Freedom in Christ in Colombia

Prayer in Camaguey. These people are warriors!

Prayer in Camaguey. Where Pastor Luis & May minister. Their people are warriors!

Andres’ dad, Jose Diego is in the hospital in Colombia. He has blocked arteries and he’s been in critical condition. Jose Diego has practiced white magic and voodoo. Andres shared the gospel with his dad and used some prayers that we shared with Luis and May and his dad prayed to receive Christ. Andres said that his dad looked better and healthier after they prayed together. Then Andres lead his father through some prayers to break off his involvement with the occult. After the time of prayer, Jose Diego told Andres to go to his house and remove and destroy all the idols and altars that he had in his house.

Jose Diego is supposed to be moved to another hospital this Thursday for the operation on his blocked arteries. They are praying and trusting the Lord for complete and total healing. Andres also shared with us that they are praying that through this that salvation will come to their whole family, all the aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. Pray with us that the Lord will use Andres and the testimony of his father, Jose Diego to bring many to Christ.

Encouraged by Kingdom Connections

Pastor Mario & his wife, Yany. Two of our other very dear friends that live and minister in Cuba.

Also, pray for Luis and May who are amazing evangelists that the Lord will guide them as they encourage and minister to Andres and his family. Pray for the other pastors that we are working with like Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany (photo above).

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord works!?! Here Dawn and I are on the San Diego-Tijuana border ministering to and encouraging Luis and May, who live in Cuba and they are ministering to Andres and his family in Colombia. Dawn and I have never met Andres, but somehow the Lord has connected us and extended our reach as the kingdom of God grows. We continue to pray that, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 ESV).

Thank you, Jesus, for your great and might work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org