Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

More Opportunities to Minister!

Today I begin a new adventure. I’m on my way to Oaxaca, Mexico to train fellow missionaries. This is my first time to this part of Mexico. I appreciate your prayers as we begin to prep for the training tomorrow.

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

In my last post, I wrote about what the Lord did when we were in Villahermosa, Mexico with Pastor Luis Alberto and his wife, Gina. That was such a good time of ministry, and I believe that it was just the beginning of what King Jesus wants to do. When I see the Lord at work it stokes the passion in me.

Pastor Luis has been following up on the people that Dawn and I had a chance to minister to while we were there. He asked me to pray for him and the people that he is reaching out to.

Freedom in Christ in Villahermosa
The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is pastor

The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is the pastor. The worship helped set the stage for the freedom that followed!

I mentioned in my last post how I had a chance to help set free someone that had been involved in witchcraft. Pastor Luis told Dawn and me that he knew of a number of people in the churches that were involved in witchcraft. It was disappointing to hear about that.

On Sunday night I shared with the men in the church, and I felt like I should talk to them about blessings and curses. I was careful to first explain the gospel of grace to them because I didn’t want them to be confused or to fall into legalism.

In summary, I shared how we need to be careful about what we allow into our lives. The Bible warns us not to give the enemy a foothold. I told them about different ways that we can open a door to evil, which included witchcraft.

We didn’t have as much time to cover the topic, but I felt like it was important to address it. I based that partly on the discussions we had with Pastor Luis during the week while we were driving around and getting to know one another.

After I taught about blessings and curses I asked them if they would pray with me. I led them in a prayer of confession and repentance. When we got to the part of the prayer where I paused so they could confess what they felt like they needed to confess to the Lord, I noticed a number of them were crying. When I tried to continue they weren’t ready, so I gave them more time.

Breakthrough and Freedom from Witchcraft

Then we continued through the prayer. Towards the end of the prayer, one man, in particular, started weeping, and it was noticeable. I finished the prayer with the group, and then I had a chance to talk to this man, we’ll call him Jose. Immediately after the prayer, Jose handed me a necklace with a figure on it. He said he had been involved in witchcraft, and he was having all kinds of problems with his wife and family.

All the other guys left, so I was alone with Jose, so I wanted to be careful and treat this seriously. I led him through some prayers of deliverance. As we prayed together I could see the peace of the Lord come over him. When he left he looked like a new man. It was sad that he had gotten involved in something evil, but it was exhilarating to see him set free.

Continue to Pray for Healing and Breakthrough
Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

I talked to Pastor Luis and he told me that later in the week he went to visit Jose and he was doing much better. Jose said he felt peace and freedom.

There’s so much power in the blood of Christ! Jesus is the almighty God! Continue to pray for Jose as he walks out his freedom. Pray as well for Pastor Luis and his wife, Gina as they minister in a difficult place filled with darkness. Yet, we give thanks that we are overcomers in Christ! There’s so many more that need to experience this freedom. We look to the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Open Doors on the Road
The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is pastor

The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is the pastor

Dawn and I are often amazed by all that the Lord does when traveling and when we are here on the border ministering. We recently returned from a ministry trip to the Villahermosa area, which is in Southeastern Mexico. We went there to work with a team to train pastors and church planters, but God had much more in mind for us.

On the weekend we were supposed to go Coatzacoalcos to meet with some pastors there, but those plans fell through. That gave us a great opportunity to spend more time with Pastor Luis and his wife, Gina. Luis asked me to preach in one of the mission churches.

Prayer Brings Breakthrough
Worship at the mission church where I preached. Pastor Luis is leading the service

Worship at the mission church where I preached. Pastor Luis is leading the service

It was a celebration service as they were celebrating the anniversary of the mission. At the end of my sermon, I asked the people to stand and I led them through a prayer that I’ve found to be powerful in helping set people free. After the time of prayer, I told the congregation that Dawn and I would be willing to meet with anyone that needed prayer.

At first, no one asked for prayer, but during the meal after the service one of the women told me she would like to meet with us.

Dawn and I met with Patricia and her twelve-year-old son, Mauricio. We found out that Patricia’s husband had recently left her, and it was hard on her son. Mauricio was acting out and even threatened to kill her. After hearing their story we led them through some helpful and powerful prayers, and we explained the gospel to them.

New Life in Christ

We asked both Patricia and Mauricio if they would like to pray to receive Christ with us. They said yes, so Dawn and I led them in prayer. Immediately after the prayer, we could see a shift in Mauricio’s attitude. He was experiencing the peace of God.

Dawn and I realized that it was important for them to reconcile with God, but also to reconcile to one another. We helped them to pray and to ask for forgiveness. Mauricio asked his mom to forgive him and then he gave her a big hug! Patricia was in tears as they hugged. God is good!

There is still work to be done, but it was so good to see the power of God break through in that situation. Pastor Luis is following up with them, and working with them as they continue to grow in their faith.

Continue to Join us in Prayer!
Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

I’d like to ask you to pray for Patricia and Mauricio and others like them who are in need. The battle is very real, and the enemy doesn’t play fair and he doesn’t give up easily. We trust the Lord and his promises as he tells us that we are more than conquerors in Christ! O that this will be true in their lives, and that they will begin to walk in victory as they seek and serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s.

Pastor Luis told me that there are many people in the churches who are involved in witchcraft in Villahermosa. They hide it, but they secretly get involved in these occult practices instead of trusting the power of God.

Later that evening I was able to minister to a man who has been involved in witchcraft. I’d like to write more about that experience soon. Sometimes it’s hard to get all of what God is doing down. That often is the case, the Lord is doing so much that it’s difficult to post it all. Let me say in closing, I believe one of the reasons the Lord is opening these doors for us to minister in this way is because of all the people praying for us. My blog isn’t just about getting the word out, but we earnestly need and desire prayer.

Thanks so much for joining us and for praying with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of a Changed Life!

Pastor Ivan with the people from the church who were baptized

On Sunday, September 16th Mexico celebrated their independence. The church also celebrated our liberty. Christ makes us free!

One of the most gratifying things in life and ministry is seeing a life transformed. This Sunday Dawn and I joined our good friends Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados and their church for a special day of celebration. While we were with them we heard the testimony of eight people who had given their lives to Christ. Then we saw their joy and excitement as they were baptized.

God in his grace and mercy had touched each of these new believers with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Margarito and Lizet’s Testimony

Margarito and Lizet

Ivan introduced Dawn and me to Margarito and Lizet. The Lord brought them to the church 6 months ago. They were walking along the road and they noticed a group building a home on a hill in the neighborhood. The group was very friendly and they asked Margarito and Lizet if they would like some tacos. They said, “sure.”

The friendliness of the group was attractive to Margarito and Lizet, so when they invited them to visit their church they agreed to come. Ivan didn’t know it at the time, but his new friends were going through tremendous struggles. They were constantly fighting, and getting on each other’s nerves. They were also very poor, and they were having a hard time staying in business selling their products. It’s seemed like everything was stacked against them.

Margarito and Lizet decided to give the church a try. When they visited the church they found a loving group of people. As Ivan and Rocio begin to minister to the couple they noticed the problems they were going through, but they knew that Christ has the power to restore. Ivan and Rocio sowed the seed of the gospel and Margarito and Lizet were ripe for the gospel.

When Dawn and I talked to Margarito and Lizet they were smiling and seemed to be genuinely happy and in love. They told us how much they used to fight, and how the Lord had graciously delivered them.

God’s Grace Brings About Change!

Pastor Ivan sharing the good news of Christ!

The other people that were being baptized also had inspiring testimonies. God is on the move in this church and beyond!

This is the reason we plant churches. It’s not to have a nice building, but because these churches are sharing the love of Christ, which is creating real life transformation. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your faithfulness!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they reach out in the community of Valle Verde and Bosque de Ribera.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

God Leads Wherever We Go!

Dawn and I just returned from a road trip. I originally thought that I would be able to post while traveling, but our schedule ended up being more full than I anticipated. I haven’t been able to post anything for the last two weeks, which is unusual for me!

Our trip was amazing in many ways. We took some time to rest and visit family and friends. We also were able to connect with one of the churches that partner with us in ministry.

The first stop on our trip was Fresno. My parents, Ron and Virginia still live in Fresno. My brother John and his wife and family are in the process of moving from Fresno to Morro Bay.

While in Fresno I was able to preach at Sierra View Presbyterian Church. This is one of the first churches, if not the first church to start supporting our ministry. Actually, they started supporting me before Dawn and I were married, so they’ve been partnering with us since 1988. That’s amazing and they are one of the reasons that we’ve been able to serve in ministry in Mexico City, Colorado, Europe, Cuba and on the Border and Beyond for all these years. Thank you, Jesus!

Since I grew up in Fresno, it’s always good to go back “home”, although I can’t say that I enjoy the heat. 😉 I’m thankful that the Lord has been so faithful and cared for my parents and my family for all these years.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way in Portland

From Fresno, we headed North and ended up in Portland. We actually stayed in Vancouver, Washington while visiting some special friends in Portland.

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza and Hosea. A wonderful family!

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza, and Hosea. 

This visit was extra special, as we were able to spend time with Nathan and Barbi Carr and their family. Dawn and I first met Barbi when I worked at Greater Europe Mission in Colorado. We reconnected with Barbi and met her husband, Nathan after Hannah moved to heaven.

The Lord connected us, as something that Barbi wrote on Facebook caught my eye when I was flying back home from El Salvador. Dawn and I started communicating with them, and they’ve been a huge encouragement to us as we heal from the experience of our daughter’s early home going.

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

We’ve been wanting to visit them for a long time, so it was so good to finally be with them. I feel like it was healing in many ways to be with them and some of their friends. While we were with them we went to the rose garden, which is beautiful. I think it’s a little taste of heaven on earth, and every time we sense heaven it causes us to feel closer to Hannah. Thank you, Jesus, for your many surprises and good gifts.

As an added gift we also enjoyed some grandparent practice with their 3 cute children, and that was incredible! It makes me hope that my kids hurry, and give us some grandchildren soon! 🙂

Wonderful to End the Trip with My Brother and His family
John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

Then on our drive back home we stopped in Morro Bay to visit my brother, John, his wife, Treena, and their daughter Baylee.

Morro Bay felt like a walk down memory lane. My family used to go there every summer to camp. It’s a beautiful little place with amazing surroundings, including the harbor and the beach which I’ve always loved. When I’m near the beach I feel more close to the Lord, and every time I go I think of it as my beach therapy.

Dawn and I have traveled a great deal for the ministry since Hannah moved to heaven, but almost all of our travels have been ministry related. Although we did have opportunities to minister on this trip as well, we had more time to decompress. It was also good to drive, and spend time together as a couple. This gave us time to pray, and to listen to some audiobooks along the way.

I thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to go on this trip, and to have the experiences that we had. God is good. He’s a good, good Father, and he takes care of his children.

Thank you so much, Jesus for your grace and your healing work in our lives. One of the things that Dawn and I are learning is that grief, mourning is a long experience. It’s also exhausting at times, it takes the wind out of our sails. Yet, I see our Father loving us, and caring for us on this journey. He promises to one day make all things new. I long for that day. I long to see my savior face to face and to be able to hug my daughter again. Yet, I do feel like the Lord still has more for me to do here so I will continue to love and serve him until He calls me home!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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