Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Thomas Graham’

The Ministry Orientation Workshop in Mexico City

The Ministry Orientation Workshop with church planting candidates and evaluators

I’m writing this post from Quito, Ecuador which is exciting, because it fits in with the vision the Lord gave me last year for church planting. Before I write about my time in Quito I’d like to talk with you about the Ministry Orientation Workshop that I was involved in last week in Mexico City.

Dawn and I love Mexico City. We have dear friends in this huge city where we lived for many years, so it’s always fun to visit.

The Ministry Orientation Workshop is an evaluation process we use to confirm the calling, gifting and competencies of candidates for church planting. Whenever I’m involved in this assessment process I’m reminded of all the challenges involved in planting a church. We put the candidates through a number of scenarios so that we can have the best opportunity to effectively evaluate whether the Lord is truly calling them to plant a church.

I’m thankful for a Good Mentor in Dr. Thomas Graham

Pastor Rafael Rodríguez giving some instructions to the group

My mentor Dr. Thomas Graham developed the first church planting assessment centers about 40 years ago. It’s wonderful to see so many church groups and missions using the process that he started all those years ago. Tom told me that he first developed this process for the Peace Core. He said that before they started using this process it seemed like all they needed was a warm handshake to approve you.

I studied my doctorate under Dr. Graham, and I also worked for him for a few years. I’m forever grateful for all the time he gave me and how he built into my life so that I could more effectively help others to be successful in church planting. Tom is definitely one of my heroes.

Evaluating the Call and Gifting of Potential Church Planters

The group working on one of the exercises that we assigned them

We had five couples and two single people go through our church planters workshop last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them personally and to hear their stories. It’s always thrilling for me to learn about all that the Lord has done in the lives of others to get them to where they are now. It’s not easy to plant a church, so although the process we put the candidates through can be pressure packed it’s an important time. This aids us to get to know them and to help to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to determine whether we believe they have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts needed to plant a church.

Praying for More Churches in Mexicali and Beyond!

Dave the tall one in the middle with Blanca & Federico

I had one couple, Federico & Blanca Muñoz go through the church planters workshop. I’d love to see them plant a church in Mexicali, Mexico. This church plant will be in partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Our prayer is that we can start a church plant in Mexicali later this year. I’m grateful that Federico & Blanca were approved by our group of assessors.

Please continue to join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to start a church planting movement on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! That is why I am in Quito for some meetings on promoting and training leaders in Latin America so that more churches will be planted and that we will also have healthier churches. The Lord gave me a vision last year to trust him to see at least 1,000 churches planted. It’s an impossible goal that only our Lord Jesus can accomplish! Thank you Jesus for this great opportunity and that I can trust and believe in you for the impossible!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Pray for Colorado and for Colorado Springs

Pray for Colorado and for Colorado Springs

You may have seen the alarming news that Colorado Springs is on fire! We never thought the city we live in would get caught in such a big fire.

Friends of ours have already lost their homes, and others have been displaced. Those displaced face the possibility of losing their home, and in the meantime they need to find another place to live.

This photo was taken from Tom Graham's house as they were leaving at 4:30 PM on Tuesday

Photo taken from Tom Graham’s house as they were leaving at 4:30 PM on Tuesday

One of our friends that’s been displaced is Tom Graham. Tom has been a mentor to me over the last 12 years, and he has been one of the most influential people in my life during that time. It’s sad to see such dear friends going through this. Now all they can do is wait and pray, hoping their home will be saved.

We live on the east side of Colorado Springs, and the fire is on the west side, so at this point our home isn’t in danger.

We do need prayer! Prayer for the city, and all those affected by the fire.

It’s important to remember during these times that God is greater than the storms that life brings. My daughter, Hannah just posted this quote on her Facebook page,

“Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is.”

That’s a great reminder to all of us. Keep your eyes on the Lord.

Psalm 46 offers us great comfort and encouragement. The subtitle for the Psalm is, God is Our Fortress.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when the morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

— Psalm 46:1-7 (ESV)

It’s so important to remember where are peace comes from. Who are rescuer is. This is an opportunity for us to trust in the Lord, as I wrote about recently.

This is taken from the Chapel Hills Mall - on the north part of the city

This is taken from the Chapel Hills Mall – on the north part of the city

We cry out to the Lord for help! Please rescue our city. Deliver our friends and our homes. Stop the blazing fires. Change the direction of the wind. Comfort our friends who are displaced. Comfort them as they wonder if they still have a home. Draw people to yourself during this fiery trial.

Our church, Village Seven Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs has started a web-link for information on how you can help. Tonight the church called a prayer meeting to plead with God for His mercy to save our city. Here’s the link for more info on ways you can help – v7pc.org/fire.

Here’s a link with some news on the evacuations, and some updates on the fire – Waldo Canyon fire. This article captures some of emotion in the Springs – Firestorm of Epic Proportions.

Dawn and I are in California we fly back to Colorado on Thursday. Pray that we are able to get to Colorado without any complications. David, Jon and Hannah are home. We look to the Lord for their safety.

Wow, what a hot and crazy summer! Thanks for caring, and praying with us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Dr. Thomas Graham

Today is my birthday, so it puts me in a somewhat of a reflective mood. I do hope that as I get older I’m also getting wiser. This reminds me of some of the wise godly mentors that the Lord has given me.

In my last post I wrote about the tremendous value of giving thanks. One of the many things I have to give thanks for are the godly mentors that the Lord has brought into my life. Dr. William Iverson, and Dr. Thomas Graham have been a gift from God.

I worked with Dr. Graham for three years, and he’s been a valuable mentor since we landed in Colorado Springs 12 years ago. The Lord brought him into my life when we came off the mission field. Right after we left Mexico. Tom is one of the wisest, and most humble men I know. When we came off the field Dawn and I were going through a tough time, and I really needed a friend and mentor like Tom.

I still remember when we were struggling with whether to go back to Mexico or not, and Dawn wasn’t too keen on the idea. She was concerned about the security issues in Mexico City, since I had been kidnapped, and held up at gunpoint while we lived there. Tom said, “Dave you need to take the pressure off of Dawn about returning to Mexico.” I may have feared that was true, but it was hard for me to accept at the time. Those words came at the right time, and gave me the gentle nudge I needed to make the difficult decision to not to return to Mexico.

The Lord definitely spoke to me through Tom’s words of wisdom. There were many other thoughts and ideas that Tom shared with me that helped guide and shape me.

I remember I used to struggle a lot with performance anxiety. I had a hard time living in God’s grace, and felt like if I didn’t perform I was a failure. Or at least those were the fears I had. I told Tom that I felt like if I didn’t complete a project I was working on related to church planting in about a year that I would feel like a failure. He gently reminded me, “Well, that’s how you should feel if you are living with performance anxiety.” It was like, “O yeah, I guess I do still struggle with that, don’t I?”

Dave & Dawn

I will always be grateful for Tom mentoring me, and being my advisor in ministry and in my doctoral studies in Missiology. Although I don’t use my title much. Dr. Diaso seems too formal in this informal culture we live in. I value the things I learned as I studied. I remember often thinking, “wow, I wish I would have known this when I was on the mission field!”

Hopefully, now that Dawn and I are going back to the front lines, on the border, I can apply the many lessons I’ve learned from Dr. Thomas Graham.

Thank you – Tom!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontehBorder.org