Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

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

 

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