Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

Our Special Friend, Who Has Become Much More

Five years ago the Lord blessed Dawn and me with a special friend in Monse Santiago. We first met Monse in Mexico City while she was ministering on the campus of UNAM with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). UNAM is one of the largest universities in the world with over 100,000 students.

Mexico City has held a special place in our heart since the first time I visited the city in the mid-’80s and later Dawn and I moved there in the ’90s. I remember on my first trip to Mexico I visited UNAM during a short-term mission trip in 1985.

So it felt like the Lord brought a number of things together when we first met Monse. To top it all off the other campus minister, Barush Sanchez is the son of, Fernando, who I worked very closely with in the late ’90s. It was like everything connected, our past, present, and future.

Our Daughter – (Mija) Monse
Dave with our friends Mario, Monse and Barush in Mexico City (I believe this was the day Monse told me she could be our daughter).

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Barush and Monse over the last 5 years. Our relationship has been a real gift from the Lord!

On one of our visits three years ago, we decided to go to Mexico City for Dawn’s birthday and Hannah’s birthday just a few months after Hannah died, or as we like to say she moved to heaven. It seems less painful to say that she moved to heaven.

On that trip, we met with Monse and Barush, and I remember distinctly sharing with them the difficulties and challenges of losing our daughter. At the end of our time together Monse told me, “I can be your daughter.” And then right before we said goodbye she said again, “I’m being serious I can be your daughter.”

Since that time Dawn and I have kind of adopted Monse. Every time we visit Mexico City we make sure we can see her. She’s also been able to visit us here in Chula Vista for the past three years.

The Lord is Bringing Our Two World’s Together
Monse in front of her new school – Westminster Seminary

Monse is very intelligent. She loves to study and to learn new languages. She’s had an interest for some time in preparing herself further for ministry by going to seminary. We prayed with her that the Lord would guide her and lead her in this process.

Last December when she came to visit us right before Christmas we took advantage of the time to check out Westminister Seminary in Escondido. When we arrived at the parking lot we noticed that my car odometer read 111111. One is a number for new beginnings, and it made us wonder what the Lord was up to.

Monse submitted her application to Westminster Seminary and she was able to get an amazing scholarship. The coronavirus did make it harder for her to get her visa, but that eventually came through and she was able to move to Escondido earlier this month. RUF just entered into a partnership with Westminster, which made it easier and opened the door for Monse to be able to attend.

Dawn and I have enjoyed having her so close to us. She now only lives 40 minutes away, which is much closer than the 4-hour plane flight to Mexico City.

The Lord Lovingly Restores and Redeems
Dawn & Dave with Monse

Ever since Hannah moved to heaven we’ve been praying for the Lord to restore and redeem what we’ve lost. We know that no one can ever replace our daughter. We don’t expect that. Yet, we do believe our gracious God can bring us healing, and one of the ways he does that is through others. Monse holds a very special place in our hearts. Sometimes I call her Mija, which means my daughter in Spanish. Dawn has started calling her mi Monsita, which Monse loves.

The Lord is so good and so kind. There are a number of things that I don’t understand about life, about our daughter and her short life. But I do know that our Father, our Papa God loves us. He cares for us. He wraps his loving arms around us. He uses people to show us his love. We give thanks for Monse, and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for her!

Join Us In Prayer
Monse with some of the students she worked with in Mexico City

Join us in prayer for her while she adjusts to life in the USA. Pray that her studies go well and that the Lord provides for all her needs while she is her. If you would like to help her get started you can send a donation to Beyond Borders through the link below. You can also support the needs on the Big Island by giving by clicking on the donate link. Just let us know what your gift is for in the note section when you send in your gift! Thank you!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Campus Ministry at UNAM

Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dawn and I went to Mexico City the first week of April. We wanted to be there for Dawn and Hannah’s birthday, since they are not easy days for us. Also, ever since we started ministering in Mexico (Dave 32 years ago, and both of us 28 years ago), we’ve had a heart for Mexico City. We long to see God reach this great city with the gospel.

On Thursday, April 6th I was able to meet with two of our campus ministers, Barush Sanchez and Monse Santiago. God is using them in some amazing ways to share the love of Christ on the largest university in the world UNAM in the heart of Mexico City. They reach out to the students through English clubs, and the Lord has used that to open many doors for them. Barush and Monse also have various Bible studies with the students on Campus as well as a weekly large group meeting.

One interesting connection is that I used to minister with Barush’s dad, Fernando when Dawn and I lived in Mexico in the 90’s. I think it’s amazing how the Lord works and ¬†how he brings together all of the beautiful connections.

Encourage One Another

Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

As we met over lunch and we encouraged one another I was also able to learn more about Monse and Barush and some of the challenges they’ve faced as they seek to reach out on the campus. Their love for the Lord and the students was evident as we talked.

I was able to spur them on in their walk with the Lord as ministers of the gospel on campus. In doing so I shared about the challenge of losing our daughter and how the Lord has been so faithful to sustain us. On the one hand, there is tremendous pain and sorrow, but on the other is the hope of heaven and the Lord’s comfort. They were both very sensitive to what our family has been going through, which lifted my spirits a great deal.

At the end of our time together I prayed for them that the Lord will strengthen their inner lives, and bring healing to them as they minister and share the love of Christ with the students.

Ministering as a Father

As we were saying goodbye and I mentioned having lost my daughter Monse said she would be my daughter, which really touched me because I don’t know her real well. Yet, I know that many need the love of a father.

Recently a new friend told me they sensed that I have the heart of a father. Maybe this is an area the Lord wants me to bless young friends in. I know that I haven’t lost Hannah, she’s just moved to heaven. Now I have another daughter. We can encourage and bless each other in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Hannah & Dave

Hannah & Dave

One of the benefits of my ministry meetings and preaching in Colorado this last weekend was that I was able to see my daughter. I praise the Lord for my daughter and the relationship we have.

We had such a good time together. She went with me on Sunday when I preached at Sky View Presbyterian. When she wasn’t working or in school we got some good father-daughter time in.

I remember when my daughter, Hannah was born that I was afraid to raise a girl. I grew up with two brothers and no sisters. My first two children were boys. I thought I had guys figured out, but I didn’t know what to do with a daughter.

Hannah as the baby in the family and my only daughter always has had a special place in my heart. She surprised me in that I realized what a joy it is to have a sweet little girl. Even though Hannah is now a grown young woman, she will always be my little daughter. I like to call her, my beautiful little daughter that I love!

My Beautiful Little Daughter that I Love, Hannah!

My Beautiful Little Daughter that I Love, Hannah!

One of the many things that gives me joy as Hannah matures is to see her tenderness towards others, and things of the Lord. She has a strong desire to know God better, and to grow in her relationship with him.

The only bummer is that Hannah lives in Colorado and we live in Southern California. It’s too far away, and I miss her dearly. I’m glad that the Lord provides opportunities for us to visit one another. I am so grateful that she loves Jesus!

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.                       Proverbs 31:30,31 (ESV)

It is so hard to say good-bye. I can’t wait to see her again.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org