Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Family & Growth: So Exciting
Some of the church planters that we are working with that are seeing multiplication

Two of the things that excite Dawn and me the most is our close relationship with the church planters we are working with and seeing the church grow. We continue to work for and pray for multiplication on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

I feel like it’s hard to describe the special relationship that we develop with the church planters that we partner with. A number of them refer to us as family, ‘Padre y Madre’. I haven’t experienced many relationships like this in the U.S.A. I think people tend to be a little more guarded in the United States.

These relationships make us feel good, but there’s more to it than just good feelings!

Fruit: The Ministry is Growing!
Pastor Luis & May with their children David & Zuri

The Lord is using these relationships and the training and coaching that Dawn and I are able to provide to produce fruit. We are seeing ministries grow.

Just today one of the church planting couples that we are working with in Cuba, Luis and May told us how their relationship with us has made a dramatic difference in their lives. They refer to it as a before and after. Luis and May told us that their ministry and their effectiveness has grown since they met us.

They’ve been using some of the church planting training material that I shared with them the last time I was there. Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network) has some excellent church planting training resources that we’ve given them. Luis and May took those resources and have trained 12 couples that have started 12 house churches in their city in the last year. 400 people have been reached through these churches!

That is multiplication, and that is what we are praying and working for! Praise Jesus!

Continued Growth in 2020!
Pastor Mario & Yany’s church in Cabaiguan. There’s a growing network of churches in this city

Luis and May are planning on starting two more house churches this month as we begin 2020. They are already off and running! These are just two of the church planters that Dawn and I are working with. God is building his church on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Please pray for us as we kick-off 2020. We are praying for more churches and multiplication of leaders with a clear vision to reach the lost for Christ. God is so good, and he is so faithful to grow his church!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Give Thanks for God’s Good Work!
Dave with church planters & leaders in Cuba

As Dawn and I look back on 2019 we realize that we have much to be thankful for! Dawn and I experienced fruit and growth as we ministered on the Border, the Baja and Beyond.

2019 has been one of our best years in ministry. We are planting life giving churches in a number of cities in Baja California. We are starting churches in La Paz, Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali with the hope of expanding beyond the Baja in Mexico. There are also numerous church plants in Cuba that are growing.

The Lord is Faithful to Grow His Church
Our church plant in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri and his wife Yudy

Dawn and I continue to pray that the Lord will enlarge our tent and expand our borders. Isaiah 54 has become a key passage for us as we dream and ask the Lord for more.

“”Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thankful for Our Growing Family
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz and their children are one of the many families that we work with that have become part of our family.

This passage also speaks of promises to our offspring. The church planters we work with have become like family to us. We have come to love them, and we see God expanding the kingdom through the ministry of the churches they are starting. Dawn and I feel very blessed through these relationships and all that Jesus is doing through them!

We Rejoice! Hallelujah!

Yany, Rachel & Jorge leading worship in Cabaiguán, Cuba

Hallelujah. We rejoice for God’s good work and all that he is doing!

Let’s Finish 2019 Strong!

Dawn and I would like to ask you to consider making a year-end gift so that this more lives will be transformed by the gospel. We look forward to 2020, and believe that it will be an even greater and more fruitful year!

Donate now by clicking on this link:

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Goodness Seen in Our Growing Family
Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs

As I write this I’m enjoying a cup coffee and taking in the views of the snow capped peaks in Colorado. It reminds me of God’s majesty. Dawn and I are thankful that we can visit our family in Colorado Springs this Christmas and take in the beauty of God’s handiwork.

I’ve been reflecting on God’s goodness and his wonderful work in our lives and throughout the world.

Dawn and I feel like our family keeps growing. Both David and Jonathan married wonderful young women in the last year for which we give much thanks. Also, the Lord has given us family in Latin America.

Giving Thanks for Our Partners
Pastors and Leaders in Cuba

A number of the pastors that we work with have become like family to us. We are in constant communication with them, praying for them, encouraging them and coaching them. At the end of Romans Paul wrote about a long list of people who ministered with him in the gospel. It is evident that Paul didn’t minister alone. The Lord gave him a team of people to work with.

In Philippians 1 the apostle gives thanks for the church and his partners in the gospel there.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In the same way Dawn and I give thanks for our friends, our family, our partners in the gospel. We rejoice in all that the Lord is doing through them.

The Church is Advancing
Yany lovingly leading the children in Cabaiguan

Our friends Mario & Yany, who live in Cabaiguan, Cuba wrote us this week and told us about the opportunity they had to show the love of Christ to 90 children. Mario and Yany are planting four churches in the Cabaiguan area. They are very special friends that Dawn and I have come to consider part of our family. I’ve written about them in other posts.

It’s so good to see the kingdom of God advancing in Cuba.

One of Pastor Justo & Sara’s house churches in Jatibonico. It’s busting at the seams!

Some of our other friends Justo and Sara also wrote us and told us about the outreach and the growth of the church in Jatibonico. Every time we hear from these friends and other partners we rejoice and give thanks.

Join Us In Prayer!
Our Cuban Family – Faithful to Pray

Dawn and I have prayed for years that we would be part of kingdom expansion on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! We are starting to see that prayer answered. God is growing his church on the Border and the Baja where we live and work. We are also seeing growth Beyond these areas, mainly in Cuba. We continue to pray for more. More of Jesus. More of the Spirit and more kingdom growth and expansion!

Thank you for praying with us. We know that we are not alone. The Lord has given us a wonderful team of partners like you who are interested in seeing the kingdom of God expand through this work. We recognize that prayer is the life blood of all that we do.

Pray with us as this year comes to a close, that we will finish the year strong, so that we start 2020 off well. Dawn and I are praying that we can start at least 3 new churches in Mexico and 3 new churches in Cuba in 2020. We also are training and coaching many more church planters and leaders, and seeking to expand that part of the ministry as well.

You can help us make that a reality by praying for us, and by giving a year-end gift. You can give online by clicking the donate link.

Thank you for helping us take the gospel to The Border, The Baja and Beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Outstanding Church Planters we Minister With

One of the highlights of our ministry is connecting with our church planters. It’s not easy to start something new. There are great opportunities, and many challenges along the way. The church planters become great friends. They are like family to us.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been able to meet with church planters from three different cities: Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali. Each of them is at different stages in the process of starting the church.

Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz
Dave & Dawn with Junior, David, Daniel, Blanca, Federico & Damaris

Last week Dawn and I spent time with Pastor Federico and Blanco Muñoz who are starting a new church in Mexicali. Dawn and I prayed with them and encouraged them as they love their neighbors and reach out to the community.

We see the Lord’s hand on Federico and Blanca as they have already made some good connections and they have some friends in the Mexicali area who are helping them to share the love of Christ. These friends are going out with Federico and Blanca to invite the neighbors to a fun event that they are holding this Friday.

They bought 500 hot dogs and they are praying for 200 people to come. I love their vision to reach out broadly. They would like to make a number of contacts that they can follow-up with through this outreach. 

Federico and Blanca have a lovely family with four children ranging from 12 – 19. It seems like every time we see them someone is about to have a birthday, so we enjoy some dessert with them. Their children, Junior, Daniel, David, and Damaris are all committed to helping their parents. They love to worship and to lead worship.

The first person I met in their family was Junior as he came to a worship workshop that we held a year and a half ago. The Lord used that event and a mutual friend to connect us with Federico and Blanca. God is so good. I love how he brings people together for His kingdom purposes.

Changed Lives in Ensenada
Our fun group in Ensenada this past Sunday

The church in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri has already launched. This past Sunday Dawn and I worshipped in Ensenada. After church, a big group of us went out for a meal.

Over the course of the meal, I enjoyed talking to Arturo, Irlanda and their daughter, Barbara. They are a sweet young couple. They came to Christ and were baptized in the church this last year. It was encouraging to talk to them along with Petri, Yudy and the others about their journey. So good to see the Lord change lives, and bring about life transformation.

More Advance – We Pray for More!
Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo with their three children

We also have two other new church plants. One in Tijuana led by Davis & Luz Pardo and one in La Paz led by Jose Luis & Ana. The Lord is on the move and we give thanks for all that he is doing as he works through these couples and their ministry teams.

Please continue to pray for the advance of the kingdom on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! The church is growing, but we’d like to see more. We are hungry for more! Thank you, Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org 

Reconnecting with Dr. William T. Iverson

Dave with Dr. William T. Iverson

I’m writing this as I’m on my way back from a trip to the Philly area. While here I was in a few places in New Jersey, as well as Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Annapolis, Maryland. It was a fruitful trip that gave me the opportunity to tell of the wonders of the Lord and all he is doing on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting my 91-year-old professor, mentor, spiritual father and friend, Dr. William “Bill” Iverson. I first met Bill when I was a 24-year-old seminary student at the International School of Theology (ISOT). ISOT is affiliated with Cru. At the time the school was at Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino, California.

A Spiritual Father & Mentor during My Formative Years

Bill when he was 15 years old seated on the far right with his family. Bill’s dad, Daniel Iverson was an influential pastor in Miami, Florida. He started Shenandoah Presbyterian Church

I came to Christ while I was in college at Fresno State. I believe I was 20 years old at the time, so when I went to seminary I was still a relatively young believer. I needed a lot of guidance. I remember I had my share of insecurities as I was growing in my faith and learning to lead.

Bill became an important father in my life during that time. He was a unique combination of being a bold intellect. He pushed me to study and learn from the church Father’s while I was in school. He’s also the boldest personal evangelist that I’ve ever met. We would often go into a restaurant and he would begin a conversation with someone and then he would open the door for me to step in and share the gospel. At that time I was timid and wet behind the ears, so I would stumble my way through sharing the gospel.

Today I share the gospel with strangers on a regular basis, and Dawn is even bolder than me in sharing her faith. That all had its beginnings with Dr. Bill.

I remember one specific conversation we had in an old greasy spoon in the downtown area of San Bernardino. Bill started up conversations that led to opportunities to share the gospel with two or three people while we were there.

After these conversations I told Bill that I felt timid or fearful to just talk to strangers like that. He told me something that has stuck with me to this day. He said, “remember that these people are afraid as well, but the difference is that you have the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you.”

Wow! That was a game-changer!

I can’t say that I all of the sudden became a bold evangelist, but it did set in motion my growth to becoming bolder and more committed to sharing the good news of the gospel.

The Beginnings of My Call to Mexico

Dr. Iverson (top middle in blue) & Dave (bottom right in red) with other ISOT students and professors on a retreat during the 1984/85 school year

Another huge way that Bill influenced me is that he led a group of 16 students from ISOT to Cuernavaca and Mexico City for six weeks in the summer of 1985. It was on this trip that the Lord gripped my heart and gave me a love for Mexico.

Dr. Iverson taught us, students, the importance of reading broadly to learn from other disciplines and to help us to engage with them and the world around us. He and the students I studied with made my seminary experience an excellent one!

Dawn used to live across the street from Bill before she moved into the city and became one of my neighbors. Bill likes to claim responsibility for Dawn and my relationship, which may be slightly exaggerated! Yet, he did know both of us when we were single and he definitely encouraged us in our relationship.

Dr. Iverson signing a book for me. He’s written 2 or 3 books (one of them is called, Jesus and the Ways of Socrates, which is available on Amazon). He always likes to give me books.

I give thanks to the Lord for Dr. Iverson, and for how the Lord used Bill in our lives! I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence of my mentor and spiritual father. Thankfully the Lord brought other mentors into my life over the years, like Dr. Thomas Graham. I see God’s goodness and love in how he gave me such good men to influence my life.

For all these reasons and more it was so good to be reunited with my gregarious, intellectual, ironic and bold professor.

One of my prayers is that I can be a spiritual father and mentor to the men and women that the Lord privileges us to work with. I believe that is taking place through the church planters and leaders that we work within Mexico, Cuba, and other countries. Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A guest post by Jonathan Diaso
Jonathan with his papa, Dave

This is a guest post written by my son, Jonathan Diaso. He wrote this in memory of his sister, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso. Last Friday, October 18th was the 3rd year anniversary of when Hannah moved to heaven.

I love how Jonathan shares his journey and how the Lord used his sister in his life. I asked Jonathan if it would be okay to share it with you on my blog, and he agreed!


I used to be a Christian – How I left the Church and Finally Found Jesus
Hannah and Jonathan

I still wonder to this day how I was churched since I was born, but never actually knew Jesus on a personal level. Some of you may have a similar experience and some of you may think the idea of “knowing Jesus” is crazy. You might also be wondering how leaving the church led me to Jesus. God has put this on my heart to share with those who have been to church and never really encountered Jesus, those who have never been to church and also those who have a negative perspective on the word Church or Christianity. While I love Jesus there are concerns I have regarding the word “Christian”. What makes a person a Christian anyhow? 

You may have been told that if you do all the right things then Jesus will love you. Whether this emphasis was intended by the church or not I often felt this way. Jesus opened my eyes by showing me that I am welcome “As is”. I do not have to earn his love as he loved me before I was even born. I do good things, because I am loved by God not so that God will love me back. I believe we have a hard time rationalizing this as how many of your friends would love you back if you did not show them affection? “The Christian does not believe that God will love us because we are good rather that he will make us good because he loves us” (C.S. Lewis). God loves you as you are and not as you should be. 

My Christian friends and I would meet up years ago and discuss which biblical laws we were or were not following, we tried to be good people. C.S. Lewis explains this very well, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good”. The Bible talks about the law of works or what I call the do good things gospel and this type of Christianity does not work. While this method seeks to fix the side effects of how we should behave, this process forgets the purpose as to why we do these things. I once heard the statement, “Some people have just enough Jesus to be miserable”. 

I am a Christian, I go to church (in-fact I love my church family), but being a Christian far exceeds attending Church. My Church reads this card every service, “If you are a… Saint, Sinner, Loser, Gambler, Lost, Fearful, ADHD, Liar, Hypocrite, Bastard, Lover, Cutter, Tweaker, Alcoholic, Adopted, Abandoned, Leftover, Divorced, LGBT, Alone, Old, Young, Driven, Cheater, Success, Infected, Rejected, Pierced and Tatted or Just a Misfit… YOU ARE WELCOME HERE” (The Sanctuary Church). I believe that all are welcome in God’s house and are loved where they are at. In other words you come in a mess and God says, “I am going to make your mess a message.” 

Why do I bring this all up today? Three years ago my sister Hannah moved to heaven. Hannah accepted everyone and brought the gospel to outcasts. At Hannah’s prayer vigil I heard many stories of how Hannah had impacted those around her. One of them shared by her friend Jake stood out to me, “No one loved those around her more than Hannah, she knew how to love the margins. When we were out doing ministry Hannah felt God speak to her and she knew she needed to go pray for a man sitting nearby. The man that stood out to Hannah was covered in tattoos (even a tear tattoo next to his eye, commonly a prison tattoo). Plainly put, this man was someone that people often try to avoid. Hannah Did not care what he looked like, what his background was, whether he did good things with his life, how he dressed etc. Hannah knew that God’s love transcended social status and she knew how to bring the message of the Gospel to people of all colors, races and social statuses. When Hannah prayed for this stranger he began to cry, he could not understand why my sister cared about him. He likely knew he did not earn or deserve her love that day. Hannah went up to him without fear of how he would react, she knew that Jesus would do the rest.” Jake did share with me that he would not let her go by herself, which was still a smart call. Jake was amazed by the passion and love that this young woman carried. 

Jonathan gave Hannah this Bible, and as you can see in the text she loved it!

Hannah was highly influential in my life as I attribute much of who I am today to her example over the years. Hannah reminded me later in life that it is not enough to be a Christian and to try to be good people so that we can make it to heaven. We were put on this earth for a reason and God wants to use you and me to love those around us and yes this means loving people before they earn it. I spent many years of my life trying to be a good Christian, hiding my issues in attempt to be accepted and loved by other Christians. I now know that, God does not need to use guilt and shame, because love and grace do a damn good job. There is a famous song that goes, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross”. While this is a powerful line used to thank Jesus for what he did, we actually have a need to know how much it cost for him to die on that cross. When you and I realize how much it cost we also realize our value. Before you and I did anything to earn his love, God sent his son to die for you and me. “Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” (Romans 5:8, TPT). While I left the church years ago, I encountered Jesus in various ways since. While I am still in process and in pursuit of a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, God is still molding me daily to be more like Christ. Christianity is no longer a religion for me. This is the story of how one woman in her short life impacted her older brother and many others around her in an incredible way. If you want to know Jesus on a more personal level send me a message. This could change your life.

Hannah, I love you!

My Best Ministry Trip to Date!
Dave with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany and their church in Cabaiguán

I just returned from a two week trip to Cuba. It was an outstanding trip, and the Lord showed up in some amazing ways. I’m not even sure where to start or how to communicate all that the Lord did while I was there!

This was my best ministry trip in 30 plus years of ministry!

Since I have been going to Cuba for a number of years now the relationships keep growing deeper, which opens the doors for more fruit. As I’ve mentioned before some of the Cubans refer to Dawn and me as mom and dad. They are a very relational and family oriented people.

Amazing Testimonies
Pastor Luis Jimenez leading the church in Sibanicú

Some of the highlights from the tip came from the testimonies about all that our awesome God is doing through our Cuban family. For example, Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared how the Lord used some of the prayers and promises that I sent them a few weeks ago. They read them out loud during one of their church services as they prayed and claimed God’s promises. As they cried out to the Lord they began to feel Jesus and the Spirit in a close and personal way. Hallelujah!

Another wonderful story. Our great and amazing God healed a woman who had cancer. Dawn and I sent Luis and May some prayers that we’ve found helpful as we minister in Latin America. They used these prayers to pray over Maria who had breast cancer. Unfortunately, Maria already had a mastectomy on one of her breasts. The doctors told her that she only had one living cell in her other breast. The church came together and prayed, and they believed that Jesus would minister to Maria and bring her healing.

When Maria went back to the doctor they didn’t find any cancer. The doctors not being believers got upset, and they told her that maybe the cancer had moved to her brain or her lungs. When they ran further tests they all came back clean. Maria was completely healed of cancer!

Freedom and Deliverance!
May praying with Maria and leading her to faith in Christ

Witchcraft, Santeria and other demonic practices are prevalent in Cuba. Many of my friends churches have witches, and altars to foreign deities near where they are ministering.

While I was with Pastor Luis and May they asked me to pray with them for a woman in the church, Fabiola who needed healing and deliverance. She had been involved in witchcraft in the past, and her ex mother-in-law was also a witch and she was putting curses on her. Fabiola is a beautiful young woman, and by looking at her you would never know what was going on. She told me that she had some terrible experiences with deliverance in the past, so she was a little nervous when she met with May and me. Fabiola said that although she was anxious she was also excited and hopeful, because she heard of how I helped another one of their leaders that last time I visited the church.

May and I spent about 3 hours praying with Fabiola and leading her to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it strengthened my faith to see Christ move in her heart, and bring Fabiola healing and freedom. It was a powerful time! We saw first hand how we are victorious in Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Fabiola was so thankful and she had a beautiful smile when we finished our time together!

God is Doing An Amazing Work Through the Challenges!
Pastor Justo (far left) and his wife Sara (3rd from the left) along with the house church leaders in Jatibonico. They have a vision to reach at least 1,000 people

There were many other opportunities that I had to pray for people and encourage them. The Lord is so faithful to meet us at our point of need! I especially enjoyed my time of ministry with the pastors and church planters. Such special and dear people who have made so many sacrifices to serve the Lord.

Every time I go to Cuba I leave feeling that my faith is strengthened. I feel this way, because of the testimony of my friends, many of whom have become like family to us. They have such deep faith in some of the most difficult circumstances that I’ver ever seen. Most of them have a profound commitment to prayer and fasting. They live off of $10 – $50 a month, and yet they continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Instead of letting the challenges stop them they use it as motivation to trust the Lord to provide.

God sees their affliction. He is near the brokenhearted and he delivers them as he promises to do.

So Close yet a World Apart!
Some of the modes of transportation in Cuba – Quite an adventure!

The Island of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Florida. It takes less than an hour to fly from Miami to most cities in Cuba, and yet it’s a whole different world! It’s truly mind boggling!

There are many more stories that I could tell of people coming to Christ, of the Lord bringing healing, freedom and comfort to our friends on the island of Cuba. I hope to share more in a future post.

Thank you so much for praying for me for this trip. I strongly believe one of the reasons that this was my best ministry trip ever was because of all the prayer. The Lord does indeed hear our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org