Posts Tagged ‘Discovery Center’

The Discovery Center in TJ
Our fun group from the Discovery Center in Tijuana (Centro de Descubrimiento in Spanish)

Our fun group from the Discovery Center in Tijuana (Centro de Descubrimiento in Spanish)

Jesus asked us to pray for more workers in Matthew 9:37 & 38. I participated in a Discovery Center in Tijuana this week. The Discovery Center is designed to evaluate people who are interested in planting churches. You could say that these people are the answer to what Jesus asked us to pray for.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:37-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s exciting to be part of an answer to prayer. At this particular Discovery Center, there were four couples that we were evaluating. I love hearing their testimonies. It’s a joy to get to know them and learn how God has been working in their lives up to this point. Some of those that come have a very strong and definite call to plant a church. Others are interested, but they are exploring and asking the question, “is the Lord calling me to plant a church?”

A Network of Church Planters
The church planting candidates working on one of their projects

The church planting candidates working on planning out a project to plant 5 churches

All four couples that came through the Discovery Center were approved, which means that the team that evaluated them believes they have the skills, the gifts, and the character to plant a church. One of the couples is ministering in Mexicali. The same city where we just built the church in Hannah’s memory. This particular couple is already planting a church, but they have been doing it on their own. They want to be part of a supportive network of churches.

Ministerios Transformación is wonderful at coming alongside those that are either interested in starting a church or already in the process and giving them a place to belong and grow. We’ve worked with them over the years to provide help in training and mentoring. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow and mature as a ministry.

This year they’ve started a church planting training center for all their new church planters. It also is a place to prepare people who are exploring or may be interested in church planting in the future.

Partnering with Friends is Healing

Dawn and I give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to serve alongside our friends at Ministerios Transformación. On the last day during our debrief they told me that they didn’t consider me an outsider, but one of them, even though I was the only American involved. The love and care that they exhibit ministers to both Dawn in me in a deep and profound way. I believe the Lord is using them to bring much healing to us since Hannah moved to heaven.

The Dedication of the Hannah Diaso Church Plant
Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

This Sunday we will be dedicating the new church in Mexicali that we built in Hannah’s memory. Please pray for Pastor Mere and Edna as they launch this new ministry. We pray that as the name Ministerios Transformación implies that there will be true and lasting life transformation in the community they are ministering in. Thank you, Lord, for your promise to build your church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thank Jesus for His Amazing Work!
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

In my last post I wrote about the amazing people the Lord connected us with in Cuba. How God went before us and truly prepared the way, and we were indeed surprised by our experience in Cuba.

Each time we’ve gone to Cuba God has knit our hearts to the people. This trip we especially enjoyed getting to know Pastor Luis and Maiyesmi (May) Jimenez. From the moment Dawn and I met them we fell in love with them. They shared their testimony with us on the first day, and we were all in tears as they shared. We weren’t the only one’s they had this effect on as the friends that went on the trip with also were deeply touched by them.

Luis & May’s Amazing Testimony!
Pastor Luis and May

Pastor Luis and May

I’ve met very few people with the commitment level and sacrifice that Luis and May have made in the ministry.

We were amazed as they shared about how they felt called to minister to a community 18 kilometers from where they lived. There was no church in the community they wanted to reach out to. It was not an easy place to get to. There wasn’t any public transportation to this small village, so they walked the more than 10 miles in the hot sun to get there. It took them four hours to walk that far. They didn’t have any sun block, so May got sun spots on her legs from being out in the sun so long.

They went into the community and started knocking on doors. Every time someone answered the door they said they were not interested in learning more about Jesus. They knocked on every door in the whole town, and they continued to get the same response. Finally they got to the last house. The woman who answered the door said she was not interested, because she had two daughters who were confined to a wheel chair. She was mad at God.

Yet the two daughters heard the conversation and they told Luis and May that they were interested in studying the Bible and learning about Christ. That’s how they began to reach that community.

Their Tremendous Sacrifice and Courage
Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a treat. What a special time for all of us!

Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a meal. What a special time for all of us!

As we talked more to Luis and May we learned that they live on about $20 a month. If they or their children need a pair of shoes, or some clothing then they have to eat less that month. They live on a lot of beans and rice. While May was pregnant with their first child for about two months they had almost no income for food, so friends brought her fruit and whatever they could afford to share with them. Their son, David was born small, because of the lack of nourishment.

Then Luis and May told us about all the warfare they face where they are working. They had to learn how to pray against the attacks. Part of their routine now includes regular fasting and prayer. They take prayer seriously, and they are experiencing results as the Lord works through them.

Dawn and I stayed a couple of days after the Discovery Center was done and Luis and May didn’t leave until late the day after the Center ended. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to minister to one another. They told us more of their story, more of what they’ve learned and all that the Lord was doing through them. Dawn and I were able to bless and encourage them as well. I feel like it was one of the most special times I’ve ever had in ministry.

I truly wish I could bottle those experiences so I had them more often. 

It is not easy to communicate with our friends in Cuba, because they don’t have easy or inexpensive internet service. Yet, we have been able to email one another, and encourage one another in that way.

Please join us in praying for Luis and May and all of our other friends in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God is in the Highs and Lows

We experienced some highs and lows this week. The week started with our incubator training for church planters, which is always a highlight. Then this weekend I was an assessor for a Discovery Center for sixteen church planting candidates. Usually we spread those events out, but this time they happened on the same week.

Dawn’s Dad, Alfred Moore Passed Through Heaven’s Gates
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Alfred Moore

In the middle of the week, in the middle of all this activity we sadly lost Dawn’s dad, Al. Alfred Moore went to be with the Lord at 2:12 AM EDT on Thursday, May 4. Dawn’s mom, Alice is thankful that Al didn’t experience any pain and that he didn’t suffer long after they discovered he had advanced stages of cancer. Dawn is with her mom and brother now in the Philadelphia area. When I talked to them today they mentioned that the Lord has given them peace as they mourn Al’s home going.

We appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s peace and comfort during this difficult time as we experience another significant loss so close to our daughter’s passing. The funeral will be on Saturday, May 13th.

God is On The Move Even Through These Difficult Days

The Lord is working in the midst of these momentary light afflictions. I’m grateful for the opportunities to invest in the lives of our leaders, pastors and church planters.

 

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Incubator Church Planting Training

Three of the guys going through our incubator church planting training just started their church in the last few months. Many of them echoed the sentiments of our friend Petri, who is planting a church in Ensenada. Petri said that the principles we are training them in are coming just at the right time for him. He is taking what he learns during the incubator and sharing it with his core group.

One of the pastors in the group, Abraham said he was going to use what he learned with his leadership team as they had a meeting planned during the week. Many of the pastors there mentioned they hoped to implement what they were learning in their church.

Thank you Jesus for all the good things you are doing in the midst of our pain.

God is On The Move in Discovery
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The Discovery Center

Then this weekend I was with eight couples who have a passion to seeing the Lord’s kingdom extended on the earth. Not all the couples are young, but they are youthful and have dreams and vision for a better tomorrow. It gives me energy when I’m with them. I also love being with the assessment team. They are great friends and we have a good time serving together. This is the joy of the Discovery Center.

Most of the candidates that are approved will go on to prepare themselves further and then plant a church in the next year. The hope, the vision and the passion to see the Lord bring change and tranformation to the lives of people in a new community is life giving.

God is with us, even in the middle of our pain. He is alive and he is on the move, which gives us life and it gives us hope.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org


The Two Sides of Cuba
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Cuban Church planters with Discovery Center Staff

I continue to both amazed and saddened when I spend time in Cuba. I’m amazed by all that the Lord is doing in this country that has experienced so much oppression. They’ve suffered greatly, despite what some in the media write. It saddens me to hear the stories and learn of all they’ve had to live through. As one of my friends said, “there is equality, we all have the same, we all share the same misery.” Yet, despite this they are a wonderful and resilient people. The Cubans we met are good-natured, and enjoyable to be around.

The other thing that I observed is that God has used all their suffering, and all the things they lack to make it crystal clear to the people that they need something greater than themselves. They need a deliverer. They need a savior, and many are turning their lives over to Christ.

Quality and Choice Servants of the Lord
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Dawn with Oniel Rojas and his wife, Heidy and their daughter, Rosa. Oniel is the leader of the movement we worked with in Cuba

The church planters that Dawn and I met during the Discovery Center are such quality people. Their love for Jesus is so evident. Some of them are amazing evangelists, and the Lord is already using them to reach many for Christ. Even though we went to minister to them and encourage them their testimony lifted us up. Dawn and I felt humbled as we heard their stories, and of their love for the Lord.

The church is not allowed to build church buildings in Cuba, but they can meet to study the Bible and to worship in their homes. The house church is exploding in Cuba. Missiologist say that Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere where a true church planing movement is occurring. Yet, there is a need for training, coaching and encouragement. We give thanks to the Lord that we can play a role in the work there.

Second Trip to Cuba

I first went to Cuba in April, and I fell in love with the people. At the time, I thought I’d love to be able to bring my wife and my daughter to Cuba with me. Unfortunately, I will never have the opportunity to bring Hannah, but the Lord did open the door for me to bring Dawn, and we had a wonderful experience together.

God’s Strength in Our Weakness
The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

The church planting candidates working on a project during the Discovery Center

Thank you Jesus for giving us the strength to be able to go and minister in the midst of our sorrow! One of our friends and colleagues in the gospel ministry, Ivan Villalta said it was a miracle that Dawn and I were in Cuba helping with the Discovery Center, since we just lost Hannah only a few weeks ago. That encouraged me that he said that. Yes, it’s not easy to minister in the midst of our pain, but we are finding God’s grace is strengthening us and carrying us through it all.

When I told Mario & Yany one of the church planting couples about Hannah passing away, they said it was clear that the Spirit was giving us strength to be able to continue to minister during this difficult season of life.

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Dawn and I appreciate your love and prayers for us. God is using you to lift us up!

Just as we felt we were able to bring the love and blessing of our Lord to our friends in Cuba, they definitely blessed us and helped lift our spirits. Hallelujah!

The Lord did so many amazing things in Cuba that I have more to write, but I will save it for another post. Please continue to pray for us this week as we are back at home, and celebrating our first Christmas without Hannah.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org