Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Thank Jesus for His Amazing Work!
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

In my last post I wrote about the amazing people the Lord connected us with in Cuba. How God went before us and truly prepared the way, and we were indeed surprised by our experience in Cuba.

Each time we’ve gone to Cuba God has knit our hearts to the people. This trip we especially enjoyed getting to know Pastor Luis and Maiyesmi (May) Jimenez. From the moment Dawn and I met them we fell in love with them. They shared their testimony with us on the first day, and we were all in tears as they shared. We weren’t the only one’s they had this effect on as the friends that went on the trip with also were deeply touched by them.

Luis & May’s Amazing Testimony!
Pastor Luis and May

Pastor Luis and May

I’ve met very few people with the commitment level and sacrifice that Luis and May have made in the ministry.

We were amazed as they shared about how they felt called to minister to a community 18 kilometers from where they lived. There was no church in the community they wanted to reach out to. It was not an easy place to get to. There wasn’t any public transportation to this small village, so they walked the more than 10 miles in the hot sun to get there. It took them four hours to walk that far. They didn’t have any sun block, so May got sun spots on her legs from being out in the sun so long.

They went into the community and started knocking on doors. Every time someone answered the door they said they were not interested in learning more about Jesus. They knocked on every door in the whole town, and they continued to get the same response. Finally they got to the last house. The woman who answered the door said she was not interested, because she had two daughters who were confined to a wheel chair. She was mad at God.

Yet the two daughters heard the conversation and they told Luis and May that they were interested in studying the Bible and learning about Christ. That’s how they began to reach that community.

Their Tremendous Sacrifice and Courage
Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a treat. What a special time for all of us!

Dawn and I were able to take Luis and May out for a meal. What a special time for all of us!

As we talked more to Luis and May we learned that they live on about $20 a month. If they or their children need a pair of shoes, or some clothing then they have to eat less that month. They live on a lot of beans and rice. While May was pregnant with their first child for about two months they had almost no income for food, so friends brought her fruit and whatever they could afford to share with them. Their son, David was born small, because of the lack of nourishment.

Then Luis and May told us about all the warfare they face where they are working. They had to learn how to pray against the attacks. Part of their routine now includes regular fasting and prayer. They take prayer seriously, and they are experiencing results as the Lord works through them.

Dawn and I stayed a couple of days after the Discovery Center was done and Luis and May didn’t leave until late the day after the Center ended. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to minister to one another. They told us more of their story, more of what they’ve learned and all that the Lord was doing through them. Dawn and I were able to bless and encourage them as well. I feel like it was one of the most special times I’ve ever had in ministry.

I truly wish I could bottle those experiences so I had them more often. 

It is not easy to communicate with our friends in Cuba, because they don’t have easy or inexpensive internet service. Yet, we have been able to email one another, and encourage one another in that way.

Please join us in praying for Luis and May and all of our other friends in Cuba!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Blessed to Serve on Mission with God
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and Dave walk on this winding road of faith together

Some days I feel so excited about what we get to do, and who we get to work alongside. Even though working in mission isn’t always easy, I realize that Dawn and I have been blessed in so many ways as we serve in helping to fulfill the great commission. Yet, I’ve found myself feeling up and down these last couple of weeks because we just came upon the one year anniversary of when Hannah went to heaven.

That’s been truly painful. There’s no way to hide from it.

I think Dawn and I receive more support than most people do when they’ve lost a loved one, which does help sustain us. The Lord also lifts us up. He does it day by day and moment by moment.

The Painful One Year Anniversary
Dave picking flowers for Hannah's gravesite on the one year anniversary of Hannah's moving to heaven

Dave picking flowers for Hannah’s gravesite on the one year anniversary of Hannah’s moving to heaven

Last Wednesday, October 18th is when we crossed the one-year threshold. Dawn and I felt like it would be best if we could be out of town for a few days during that time. A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with a close friend and ministry partner, JD Pearring. JD lovingly asked us how we were doing, and what our plans were for the one year anniversary. It was something we had thought about, but Dawn and I hadn’t come up with a decision yet. JD invited to go to the Transformation Ministries conference in the LA area. After we thought about it some we decided to attend the conference.

The Lord met us there in some amazing ways. The conference started on the 19th, and both Dawn and I felt down in the morning as we were driving to the conference.

We were sad on the 18th, and it was hard to go visit Hannah’s gravesite, but in some ways, I felt worse emotionally on the 19th.

The moment we drove up to the conference and got out of the car the first thing that occurred is I dropped my phone in the street and cracked the screen! Huge bummer! Things seemed to be getting worse. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see our friends at that point.

Once the conference began we worshipped the Lord together. The group that led us guided us into the presence of the Lord, and there as I began to worship I felt the weight begin to lift. Praise Jesus!

Then Margaret Feinberg shared a wonderful message. Neither Dawn nor I had heard of her before, but she did an excellent job of transparently sharing about joy in the midst of trials. Margaret is facing cancer at the moment, so she is walking through a valley herself as she ministers to others.

Rejoice in the Lord!

One of the passages she shared really spoke to me from Habakkuk 3.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19, ESV)

This passage ministered to me in such a way, that I just had to start sharing it with others. I had read it before, but since we are going through this painful period of mourning it touched me in a special way.

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

The other way that the Lord lifted us up was being around friends who love Jesus and who love us. Dawn met some new friends who ministered to her in a special way. As we pass through this season we see the Lord using our storying to minister to others out of our pain. God does not waste our trials.

I must say I wish for more. I pray for more. I ask for more. I want more of Jesus and more of the Spirit in my life. God hears my prayer, I’m confident of that, but the answer is not always the way I hope for or expect. Yet, I will praise him. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” (Job 3:15a)

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

We Began The Trip With Some Fear
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Special Moments with dear friends

Dawn and I felt some apprehension as we returned to Colorado for the first time since Hannah moved to heaven. We saw many dear friends, who love us. Through tears Dawn and I retold the story of how Hannah passed from this life to the next. I would say it wasn’t an easy trip, but God showed up as he always does. He brought healing through our tears.

Maybe what we didn’t expect is as we shared our hearts, and friends empathized with us it strengthened us. We were afraid of being pulled down into the valley of the shadow of death, but rather the Lord lifted us up.

Comforted in Our Grieving
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Thankful for Opportunities to share our story like pictured here at Village 7 

Upon arriving to Colorado Springs we attended a conference for grieving parents. Then the next day, Dawn participated in a workshop of grieving mothers. When she arrived Saturday morning and saw all the pictures that had been made into button to be pinned on their clothes. Photos of all the children that passed away too early from our perspective. When Dawn saw those, she lost it. She wasn’t sure she would be able to make it through the workshop. Yet, the women were very loving and supportive and once she got through that she had a great day.

Overall, it was so good to see our friends. We loved visiting with people who care for us, friends who have been praying for us!

 

We enjoyed speaking in two churches, Cheyenne Mountain and Village Seven. We shared our story with them and many others. We told how our hearts still ache for the loss of our precious Hannah. Yet, that’s not the whole story, because the Lord has been healing and redeeming Hannah’s untimely passing.

Encouraged by All That The Lord is Doing
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Raising Funds for the Hannah Diaso Memorial Church!

It encouraged us as we shared about the changed lives through the church planting work and other ministries on the border, the Baja and Beyond. I think it lifted our spirits, because those who came, and listened were excited with us and for us. Also, we challenged people with getting involved in helping us to raise the funds, $30,000 so we can plant a new church in early 2018 that will be a memorial church. A church to honor Hannah’s memory and her legacy! In doing so we know that it will also bring glory to our loving Father.

Dawn and I realized anew that we can’t do what we do without an army of friends standing with us!

An Exciting Week Lies Ahead of Us

 

It seems like we just got back home in time to catch our breath, as we head out today to Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian for a week of ministry. Pray for our time there, and that the Lord will use it in a powerful way to extend his kingdom in Baja California.

Yes, we were afraid, but God came through again. He rescued us, and he continues to redeem our pain and our suffering for that we give thanks!

Thank you as well, dear friend! What would we do without your faithful prayers and encouragement?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Campus Ministry at UNAM
Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dave with Mario, Monse and Barush

Dawn and I went to Mexico City the first week of April. We wanted to be there for Dawn and Hannah’s birthday, since they are not easy days for us. Also, ever since we started ministering in Mexico (Dave 32 years ago, and both of us 28 years ago), we’ve had a heart for Mexico City. We long to see God reach this great city with the gospel.

On Thursday, April 6th I was able to meet with two of our campus ministers, Barush Sanchez and Monse Santiago. God is using them in some amazing ways to share the love of Christ on the largest university in the world UNAM in the heart of Mexico City. They reach out to the students through English clubs, and the Lord has used that to open many doors for them. Barush and Monse also have various Bible studies with the students on Campus as well as a weekly large group meeting.

One interesting connection is that I used to minister with Barush’s dad, Fernando when Dawn and I lived in Mexico in the 90’s. I think it’s amazing how the Lord works and  how he brings together all of the beautiful connections.

Encourage One Another
Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

Dave with Barush & Monse in front of the library at UNAM

As we met over lunch and we encouraged one another I was also able to learn more about Monse and Barush and some of the challenges they’ve faced as they seek to reach out on the campus. Their love for the Lord and the students was evident as we talked.

I was able to spur them on in their walk with the Lord as ministers of the gospel on campus. In doing so I shared about the challenge of losing our daughter and how the Lord has been so faithful to sustain us. On the one hand, there is tremendous pain and sorrow, but on the other is the hope of heaven and the Lord’s comfort. They were both very sensitive to what our family has been going through, which lifted my spirits a great deal.

At the end of our time together I prayed for them that the Lord will strengthen their inner lives, and bring healing to them as they minister and share the love of Christ with the students.

Ministering as a Father

As we were saying goodbye and I mentioned having lost my daughter Monse said she would be my daughter, which really touched me because I don’t know her real well. Yet, I know that many need the love of a father.

Recently a new friend told me they sensed that I have the heart of a father. Maybe this is an area the Lord wants me to bless young friends in. I know that I haven’t lost Hannah, she’s just moved to heaven. Now I have another daughter. We can encourage and bless each other in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed Us With Some Amazing Friends
Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Some of my favorite friends are the Cisneros family. I first met them when I was a young, fledgling seminary student in 1985. I came down to Mexico City with Dr. William Iverson and 16 other students and professors. That was a life changing trip for me, because it was there that the Lord first called me to serve in Mexico.

Through the years Dawn and I have been able to stay in touch with the Cisneros’s. We’ve prayed for each other, and encouraged one another. They are a family that is deeply committed to Christ. I first met them, because of they were serving with Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru. Then later they began to work with Operation Mobilization. They continue to serve in missions in Mexico, and other countries.

They are like family to Dawn and me, and we have a strong love for one another.

The Impact of Hannah’s Life!
Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel's home

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel’s home

This reunion was special in many ways, as it was the first time Dawn and I have seen them since Hannah passed away. They made a special effort to love on us and encourage us.

Angel's daughter, Ana Rut

Angel’s daughter, Ana Rut

Angel Cisneros who is now like the patriarch of the family had three of his children with us. All of them were sharing how Hannah’s life and death impacted them. One of them, Ana Rut said she remembered Hannah being happy as a small child, and she saw how she grew to love Christ as she became a young woman. She said that Hannah’s death really impacted her, and made her think about her own life and her own devotion to Christ. She shared this through her tears, which brought Dawn and me to tears.

They were healthy, cleansing tears, and we felt so much better after we had cried together. One of my prayers has been and continues to be that Hannah’s death was not in vain. I suppose I know in the grand scheme of things God uses even death, so it’s not in vain, but I want to see an impact left by my beautiful daughter’s life. Ana Rut’s story was an answer to this longing that I’ve had. She told me as well as the family told both Dawn and me that Hannah’s life and example touch many people’s lives.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way

After a wonderful meal we were able to sing together, and then pray together. They asked us if we would pray for them and pray over them, and it was a very special time. We all sensed the presence of the Lord as he ministered in us and through us. Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for the Cisneros family. Wonderful servants of yours, and we do pray your rich and bountiful blessing over them.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Kingdom is Advancing!
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Dave & Dawn – Thankful for all the good years that the Lord has given us!

Dawn and I have endured some heart ache over the last few months, but the Lord uses many avenues to lift us up. One of them is seeing the church grow. We love to see the Kingdom advance.

I remember when we were thinking about moving from Colorado to the border we dreamed about being involved in a church planting movement. We prayed that the Lord would connect us with like-minded godly men and women who had a heart to see God’s kingdom advance.

Wonderful Church Planters
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Dave & Dawn with Ivan and Rocio

Over the last few days we’ve met with and been in communication with a number of our church planting couples. Tonight we met with Ivan and Rocio Casados. We helped them plant their church with Ministerios Transformación (MT) three years ago. The church is growing, and they’ve just finished a building project so they have more room for the people who God is bringing to them.

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Obed & Cesiah with their family and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on Inauguration day

On Wednesday night we met with Obed and Cesiah Lares who we helped start a church with MT on October 16 last year. The first service was just two days before Hannah passed away. Obed and Cesiah shared how they are reaching out in the community and more families are starting to come to the church and grow in their faith.

Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor and Sol

Recently Dawn and I were with Victor and Sol Bravo who we helped launch their work with MT in March of 2015. Obed and Cesiah came out of their church. This church is not only growing and reaching out to orphans in the community, but they sent out a pastor and his wife to start a new church just a little over a year after they started their church.

Petri & Yudy’s New Work in Ensenada: Renuevo
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Renuevo’s First Service

Just last Sunday Petri and Yudy Petrikowski started their first service. Dawn and I were able to be with them and we helped commissioned them as they were sent out from their home church, La Nueva Jerusalén. Petri and Yudy are planting this church with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Every time Dawn and I are with them we come away encouraged and impressed by how the Lord is using them to reach out to their friends.

We Give Thanks for Our Valuable Partners in Ministry
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Dave and Dawn with two great friends and partners in ministry, JD Pearring and Daniel Nuñez

The three churches with Ministerios Transformación are reaching out in urban poor neighborhoods. MT has built homes for some of the needy people in the community. They are doing some amazing things to make a huge difference in people’s lives. The Ministerios Transformación network has started 30 churches in 10 years!

God is using them to bring about change in the communities where the churches are ministering. They are great partners and friends. Apart from helping them plant churches we’ve been able to partner with them on training church planters and coaches for ministry.

We have two church planting projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. One in La Paz, which is the capital of Southern Baja California, and the one in Ensenada Petri and Yudy are leading.

All these church planters that I’ve mentioned here as well as others like Pastor Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez are great friends. I don’t have space to mention all the wonderful pastors and friends that the Lord has given us.

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Dave training church planters

I just want to say that God is doing a work here. His Spirit is moving, and I believe that we are just beginning. We are going to see even greater things! 

This is happening, because of the hard work and the prayers of many people. You’ve played a part as you’ve prayed with us and for us. Dawn and I give thanks for you, and we pray that the Lord will bring even more to stand with us on this great journey of faith! For His honor and glory. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Commissioning
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Petri with his core team behind him during commissioning service

Today (Sunday) was both an exhilarating and a painful day. Dawn and I went to Ensenada today to be with our friends. I’ve tried to keep you updated about the new church planting project in Ensenada, Renuevo that Jesus ‘Petri’ Petrikowski is leading. The Lord gave us the opportunity to participate in the commissioning of Petri and Yudy and their team as they leave La Nueva Jerusalén to start their new church.

They’ve been meeting as a core group now for a number of months, and the group is growing and coming together. Petri and Yudy felt like it was time for them to start meeting on Sundays as they continue to move forward on this new church plant. I’ve been concerned for Petri and Yudy, because I’ve not been able to support them as much as I would have liked to since Hannah passed away. Yet, they’ve just kept on going.

Surprised Again by God’s Good Work
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It was a privilege for me to pray for Petri & Yudy and the church planting core team  of Renuevo

I’m pleasantly surprised by the progress they are making, and it brings me great joy to see the Lord working through them.

The ministry continues and I know it’s not dependent on me, which is a good thing.

After the commissioning service Dawn and I were able to meet with the core group, and they are excited for what lies ahead. We enjoyed the opportunity to plan, dream and pray with them. They are all very special friends who love us and they love Hannah.

Another Painful First

In a sense that was the painful part of the day. Today marked the first day that Dawn had been to Ensenada since Hannah went to be with the Lord. She woke up today feeling sad and heavy.

I will let Dawn share the story herself from what she wrote.

Dave wrote at the bottom of this post (referring to a post on the Hannah Diaso Memorial page on Facebook) the verse that says, “joy comes in the morning.” Unfortunately, the joy has not yet come for me yet this morning. Dave wants to go to Ensenada today to a special church service, because of an upcoming new church plant. I am hating the idea to have to face another first going to Ensenada for the first time now without Hannah.

She loved going to Ensenada to minister with us there, and Ensenada was the last place she went to minister with us in Mexico before she died.

I woke up crying today and I am missing Hannah terribly. Recently it seems like the longer that it has been since she “moved to heaven”, the harder it has been for me.

Please pray that God shows me what I should do with myself during these upcoming challenging days. This morning all I want to do is go to heaven. Life on earth can be so very painful and difficult– seemingly unbearable at times.😰

God Loves Us and He Cares for Us
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Dawn and I enjoyed spending some time with our friends and eating some good fish tacos after the service

The Lord did minister to Dawn today, really to both of us. When she got out of the car to go into the church she started sobbing, but we were met there by some loving friends that knew Hannah. Our friends loved on Dawn, and they lifted up Dawn’s spirit and we both ended up feeling much better.

This day was a little harder than most, but we are still in the thick of the grieving process. Still a number of difficult firsts to pass through. Jesus is with us in these moments and he uses his people to love on us and minister to us. Thank you so much for praying for us and for praying for this amazing work in Ensenada!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org