Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

The Joy of Serving Jesus!
The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

One of the principle joys that Dawn and I share in our ministry on the Border and Beyond is all the pastors and wonderful leaders we meet and get to work with. It’s humbling for us to come alongside so many servants of God who love and suffer for the work of Christ.

They may not have a big and bustling ministry, but the Lord is there and He is working through His people. These ministers and their churches are making an impact in the communities they serve in. We love ministering with these friends.

This last week Dawn and I visited a church on a hill on the outskirts of Tijuana. The church, Monte Sinai has a beautiful view of the city. It reminded me of the verse that says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV).

Pastor Deivis Pardo and Luz
David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

Our friends Pastor Deivis Pardo and his wife, Luz are serving at this church. I enjoyed watching them in action. The church has a number of young people who are very active and involved in the life of the church. Some of them attended the worship workshop that we held in June. Dawn and I loved being able to worship with them, and we felt the presence of the Spirit as we worshipped.

Pastor Deivis invited me to preach. I love encouraging people to grow and to live out their faith as I share with them. I felt like they responded well to my message, which is wonderful. It’s so good to see the Lord work in His church!

Ministering Through the Word and Prayer
Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

After the service, I invited the people to pray. First, I asked them to all join me in prayer, and then I told them if they’d like any more special prayer that Dawn and I would like to pray with them. It’s often during this time that we see God breakthrough in a person’s life.

This service was no different as we prayed and ministered to some of our new friends that came to us with their needs. I won’t share here all that they told us and asked us to pray for, but I would like to share part of what we experienced. After we spent some time praying with one of the lovely young women she told us that she felt like her heart was being tickled. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say anything quite like that before, but it sounds good!

I pray that more people will feel like their heart is being tickled after we pray for them. We pray for more! A greater outpouring on us and on those that we minister to. We pray that this church will truly be like a city set on a hill. A Church where people know that Jesus’ love emanates.

Thank you, Lord for the Joy of serving you, and the wonderful people that we serve with.

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

 

 

Worship: A Dream Come True
The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

The group that attended the worship workshop in Tijuana

When we first began planning and preparing for our worship workshop there was much excitement. Pastor Tury Nuñez said, “this is a dream come true.” I believed that it could be a game changer for many of our congregations in Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali.

Mark Tedder who leads worship at Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs agreed to come and lead a worship workshop for us in Tijuana. Apart from leading worship at Village 7 Mark also has a ministry called, worship planet. Worship planet leads seminars and workshops around the world. Just in this year alone, they’ve already trained worship leaders in China, England and now Mexico.

A Wonderful Team of Worship Leaders
Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

Mark Tedder with his team of worship leaders, Paul Assante, Josh Smith, Mark David, and Lesli and Eric Goetze

A group of 5 other musicians and worship leaders came to Tijuana with Mark to form their team. They are all very talented and loving musicians. Dawn and I loved getting to know them.

Mark and his team did a wonderful job leading the group through a variety of exercises and breakout sessions to help them grow and to be better prepared to lead in worship.

Refreshing Time of Worship!
Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

Mark Tedder and Abby Nuñez leading us in worship in Tijuana

One of the side benefits for me is that I had some wonderful opportunities to worship. My soul and spirit were filled up daily as we worshipped the Lord together. I didn’t really think of that benefit when we planned everything out. Yet, I found my soul and spirit being drawn into worship. It was a refreshing and uplifting time.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
     Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1,2 ESV)

Pray for God’s Continued Work of Renewal in Worship
The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

The group learning about worship through an interactive activity

Our prayer is that those that came to the workshop will continue to improve as they lead in their churches. They learned about flow and how to bring the people into the presence of the Lord.

Pray with us that this will only be the beginning, the first step towards helping these churches have a more vibrant, alive and meaningful worship experiences. We would even pray that the Lord might use humble leaders to aid the churches and the people into worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Coffee with Special Friends in Colombia!
Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

I loved the wonderful coffee in Colombia, and as wonderful as the coffee was there was much more for us to experience in Colombia. We spent the first part of our time in Colombia in Bogotá where we saw many of our MTW missionary colleagues, including Joe and Becky Harrell. We first met the Harrell’s when we served together with them MTW in Mexico City. From Bogotá, we went to Manizales.

Manizales is not far from Bogotá. It’s only about an hour by plane. Manizales is near coffee country. Dawn and I spent a few days with a young couple, Luis and Kerly who we first met in Ensenada where Luis was studying for his doctorate. They are a gifted and loving couple, and they love Jesus.

Something New in Manizales
Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly's home

Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly’s home

Luis and Kerly wanted to start up a cell group in their home and they were praying for a good time for them to start it up. They felt like the Lord was leading them to start it while we were there, and they wanted us to help them kick it off. Luis and Kerly asked us to share with the group some of the things that the Lord had put on our hearts.

Dawn and I had a wonderful time with the group, and we enjoyed sharing with them and leading them in prayer. Those who came responded really well to what we shared, and they told us that it helped them and it encouraged them. One particular couple wanted us to come to their house the next day.

Freedom & Forgiveness in Christ
Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. Kerly is due with their second child any day now

Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. She is due with their second child any day now. They opened doors for us to minister to their friends!

So on Saturday Dawn and I went to David and Maria’s house. After we shared a meal together we all went into their living room. Their two grown children and Maria’s mother also joined us. Dawn and I lead them in prayer, and as we prayed we discovered that Maria was carrying a lot of fear and guilt. She was very open with us and told us that when she was 17 years old she got pregnant and she was afraid and didn’t know what to do. Maria didn’t want to tell her parents so she decided to take some herbs that she thought would cause the baby to abort. She also got up on a chair and jumped down hoping that would cause the baby to be aborted.

She was still carrying tremendous guilt because of her attempt at aborting her baby!

In God’s grace, she wasn’t successful in aborting her child. And her son, Jorge was in the room with us and he was praying with us.

We lead Maria with the support of her family through some prayers to cut off the guilt and shame that she was carrying. We reminded her of God’s promises in Romans 8:1.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God promises to forgive those who are in Christ. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

Dawn and I encouraged Maria to ask Jorge to forgive her for trying to abort him. It was such a beautiful moment. I wish you could have been there to experience it with us. Maria and Jorge were crying as they asked for forgiveness, and we all began to cry with them as we saw God move and bring healing.

Maria told us she felt the peace of Christ after our time of prayer! It was so good!😊 Thank you, Jesus!

The Power of the Gospel

After our time of prayer, we learned that Jorge was not following Christ and hadn’t yet given his life to Jesus. Yet he was there praying with us through the whole time, and he was so loving to his mom when she asked him for forgiveness. So I asked Jorge if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said, “no.” I asked him if he would like to give his life to Christ, and he said, “yes!”

I took some time to explain the gospel message to him. How Christ died for his sins. Christ died the death that we should have died. He lived the life that we should have lived. He paid the penalty for us. Christ defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection. I went on to explain the importance in placing our faith in Christ in trusting His work and in calling on His name so that he might be saved from his sin.

“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

After I shared these truths with Jorge I asked him again if he would like to pray to receive Christ, and he said, “yes.” Then I had the privilege of leading Jorge in prayer to repent of his sins and to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. His family joined us in prayer. We were all rejoicing after that seeing God’s mighty hand.

David and Maria and their family are such sweet people. Just like our friends Luis and Kerly. It’s like the Lord just knit our hearts together, and the Lord continues to grow our family. It’s one more way that I see the Lord redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early home going. So painful, yet our Papa loves us and he brings healing and hope!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

The Inaugural Church Service
Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. It was a special time!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. 

On Sunday Dawn and I had the great joy of participating in the inaugural service of the new church in Mexicali that was built in Hannah’s memory. This church holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons. The more obvious reason is that we built it as a living memorial for our daughter, Hannah! It’s also special, because of all the friends and churches that pitched in to make this a reality. There were well over 50 that helped from the US and some more that gave in Mexico.

The Lord has raised up a special couple to lead this church, Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna. We didn’t really know them before we began this project, but we’ve quickly grown to love them. They are a gifted young couple, and they have a deep love for the Lord.

The Lord Brings All the Loose Ends Together
Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

I found it interesting that when Mere was young he attended church with his good friend Abraham Velazquez. Abraham’s father was the pastor of this church. Then as they got older they both attended a church started by Ministerios Transformación and pastored by our good friend, Jaime Rodriguez. From there Abraham who is a gifted worship leader and pastor began to minister with Pastor Daniel Nuñez.

Eventually, Abraham and his wife Martha began to lead the church in Rojo Gomez. This church has grown significantly and is one of the few churches in Tijuana that has a second service. They are making a huge difference in the community.

Wow! It’s so wonderful to see all these connections. Each one of these people is very special to us. All of these friends were able to be there on Sunday, except for Pastor Abraham.

A Special Service – The First Service!
The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Mexicali starts getting hot in April and May, and it was 105 on Sunday. That is hot! We prayed that the air conditioning would be installed by Sunday, and the Lord graciously answered our request.

The first service is always special since there is only one first and it’s the start of something new and exciting. I love being a part of bringing the gospel through the bride of Christ, his church to a new community. Dawn and I pray that there will be many more churches that we can play a part in planting not only along the border but throughout Mexico and beyond.

Of course, now there is much work to be done in this new community. Pray with us for Pastor Mere and Edna. They need wisdom, encouragement, and stamina as the Lord works through them. We’ve seen time and time again that servants of God going into new territory become targets. The enemy attacks and they need much prayer covering for protection. We want them to stay strong as a couple and as a family.

Thanks for Standing With Us!
Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family

Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family from when we built the church

We give thanks for all of you who have prayed, given and cheered on along the way! We give thanks to the Lord for this living memorial for Hannah. I was feeling down the other day, missing my daughter and a friend reminded me that this church is a living memorial and it represents what was important to her and that the Lord will use it for His glory to impact the lives of others.

One my ongoing prayers since Hannah moved to heaven is that her death wouldn’t be in vain, and I understand that it isn’t because of all of the Lord’s wonderful promises. Yet, I wanted to see some tangible evidence. This is one of those things, and I believe there will many more.

Thank you for standing with us on this long, joyous and sometimes painful journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

A New Church is Being Born!
Jonathan and Dave with Pastor Mere Godinez at the new church site near Mexicali, Mexico

Jonathan and Dave with Pastor Mere Godinez at the new church site near Mexicali, Mexico

It’s hard to believe that it is really happening. After more than a year of praying and working towards this goal. This weekend we will be taking down a group of 33 people to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Apart from the 33 people, we will be bringing from the US, there will be another 40 of our Mexican friends joining us.

Tonight, my 82-year-old dad arrived, because he wants to be involved. He wants to show his love and support by being present for this important event in the life of my family and in the life of the church in Mexico.

I’m blown away by all the love and support we have received!

Confident of God’s Good Work Through This Church!
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Thankful to be able to build a church honoring her memory

This is the 6th church that we’ve helped start with our friends from Ministerios Transformación. The last one we built was finished and inaugurated just one day before Hannah moved to heaven. The pain of our loss put a damper on the joy of seeing a new church started. Unfortunately, that church has struggled, but there is a renewed effort to reach the surrounding community for Christ, so we pray for many open doors.

The other churches that we built we usually only had two or three donors that would give towards the project, but this time we must have had over 50! We’ve had some large gifts, and we’ve just been overwhelmed by the generosity and support we’ve received. I just met with Pastor Daniel Nuñez today, and he told me that the majority of churches in their network of churches gave about $60 USD towards the project, and they gave a total of $1,000 USD. That is a sizeable and sacrificial gift for these churches to make.

We are excited about Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna as they plant this church. God is going to use them in a significant way to impact the community for Christ.

Cristina with her three children - she prayed for 3 years for this church!

Cristina with her three children – she prayed for 3 years for this church! God is answering her prayers. Hallelujah!

Jonathan and I felt so lifted up after visiting the church site in February and meeting some of the people involved. One of the people we met was Cristina, who lives next door to the church. It was so encouraging to hear her story, and learn how she had been praying for three years for a church. God is answering her prayer in a big way!

Join Us in Prayer!

Please do pray and join us in prayer as we bring together the final details for this new church. Pray for us as we build the church, and pray for Pastor Mere and Edna as they begin to minister in the community and to show the love of Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mixed Emotions on This Day
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Today is a special day in the life of our family. Under normal circumstances, this would be a day of celebration. You see, on this day, April 9 my daughter, Hannah would have turned 24. The key phrase there is “would have,” but Hannah moved to heaven on October 18, 2016.

Now it is a day with mixed emotions!

Sorrow & Hope!
Hannah #AHannahPercent

Hannah We love you #AHannahPercent

Dawn and I along with our boys, David and Jonathan continue to give thanks for Hannah. We are grateful she was born. We give thanks for all she has meant to us, and the gift she is and was to us. Yet, there is also sadness and sorrow, because she is no longer here. As much as we wish we could, we can not change the fact that she has gone on ahead of us to be with the Lord.

For believers mourning is strange, in that, on the one hand, we have hope. All is not lost. We will see Hannah again! Hallelujah! Hannah is experiencing the greatest celebration possible today! Yet, because we love her so dearly we miss her. Each of my family members wishes we could take her out for a meal today, buy her a birthday cake and watch her joyfully blow out the candles. We would love to buy a gift for her and watch her open it.

Rather we are forced to wait. It’s not easy to wait. We do grieve, we do mourn, but not as those without hope.

The strange thing is on these days that should be days of celebration they become days of reflection. Days to remember what once was, and even what we dreamt for together.

Don’t get me wrong there are many good memories when I think about my daughter’s short life. These good memories are mingled in with some painful moments as well. It’s a mixed bag.

Tough Questions
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I find that from time to time I want to ask, “Why?” “Why, Lord?” Why did this happen?” “Where were you in the midst of it all?”

I realize although these questions are inevitable, they are not good questions to focus on. The Lord was definitely with us in the midst of it all, even though it didn’t always seem like it. He has assured me of that, and he has said that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe those words are true.

The why questions are harder.

I’m not sure if the Lord will ever fully answer that question this side of heaven. We live in a broken world marred by sin. All of creation groans until the day of redemption. We are not the only ones who are crying out to the Lord as we grieve. We groan and we wait for the redemption as Romans 8:22-23 states.

Good Memories, Longing for More

On these days I find it harder to reflect on the good memories of Hannah. I’m not sure why? As I write this, I’m processing and in a sense thinking out loud. There are many good memories, but I think I just miss her so much, so even the good memories cause an ache of sorts.

My son, David wrote a wonderful reflection about his sister today. He shares many positive memories he has of Hannah. Although I cried as I read it, I found it encouraging. It’s worth checking out, My Little Sister.

I often think of King David after his young son died. David said he will not return to me, but one day I will go to him. That’s my hope to see my savior face to face and to see my daughter again one day.

The Lord is My Rock!
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love. We had a special relationship. I do miss her so much.

Thank you, Lord, that you are near the broken hearted. You are with my family and me in our pain. You are carrying us through the valley of the shadow of death. You have a purpose, and it is a good purpose even if I don’t understand it.

When I reflect and think about our life and our grief it always comes back to our rock. He’s the rock of our salvation!

For some reason, this reminds me that a dear friend today, who I love encouraged me to be strong. In some instances, it could be hurtful to say something like that, but as I read those words I felt loved. I started to cry as I read those words, because I know the friend that wrote them loves Dawn and me, and that they look up to us. They want to encourage us.

Also, I realize that being strong doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, or that I don’t get sad or mourn. It means that even though “my world” may be falling apart around me that I keep my eyes on Jesus. He’s my rock. He lifts me up. He says that when I am weak then I am strong! I rejoice in my refuge in whom I run to in times of need.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for loving my family in the midst of all the pain, and what at times even seems like hell on earth. Yet, this is temporary. It will soon pass!

“For this momentary affliction is peparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparision, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ESV)

Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and I thank you for going on this journey with us. It’s not an easy one, so thank you for staying with us through all the ups and downs. God is good! So Good!!

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church

We are excited to build the church in Hannah’s memory this week. Please pray for us as we make the final preparations and work with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to see this new church bring the light of Christ into a community filled with many needs.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org