Posts Tagged ‘encouraging pastors’

Open Doors in Mexicali and Tijuana

On this journey of faith on the border, the Baja and Beyond Dawn and I enjoy connecting with all the pastors, church planters, and leaders that He brings our way. Our heart is to strengthen those we minister alongside so that they will be encouraged and more effective in ministry. We work and pray for more churches and healthier churches.

Over the last week, we met with a number of church planters and leaders in Tijuana and Mexicali. The day we went to Mexicali the temperature soared about 100 degrees! We managed to stay cool by going from one air-conditioned restaurant to another. It’s such a joy to spend time with these leaders and to get to know them.

Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez
 Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

One of the couples we spent time with was Pastor Mere and Edna, who are leading the church we started in Hannah’s memory. They are both busy in their jobs, and school as they are ministering. This is the first church that they are leading, so they are learning as they go.

Dawn and I love Mere and Edna, they are very special to us. In part, because they are in front of the church that we put our heart and soul into since it was built to honor Hannah and to remember her. We love to listen to them talk about how they are growing, and their desire to reach the community for Christ. We are thankful for the opportunity to speak into their lives.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the church as they reach out in the community of Carranza, which is outside of Mexicali. As I mentioned before Cristina, who lives right next to the church prayed for three years that the Lord would build a church on that property. Her mom believed that the Lord would put a church their, even before Cristina began to pray for it.

The Lord is on the Move! Hallelujah!
The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The Lord is on the move in Mexicali. This is the first church that we’ve been directly connected to in this city, the capital city of Baja California. Now that the Lord has opened up the door to Mexicali through this church, we’ve begun to connect with Edna’s parents who are also leading a young church. Their names are Rafael and Diana. And we pray that both of these churches will grow for the glory of God.

There are also two other pastors that live in Mexicali. Dawn and I met with them last week as well to talk about the possibility of working together to start a new church in Mexicali. Just think in the next year we could have three or four new churches in the capital of Baja California when just a year ago we only had one.

The Ever-expanding Kingdom! What a Joy!
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

The Lord has also introduced us to a couple of new church planters for Tijuana. We would love to see more churches in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Mexicali, La Paz, Los Cabos and throughout Mexico. O Lord, hear our prayer! On earth, as it is in heaven!

Thanks for joining us on this wild ride. Dawn and I have suffered some real pain as we’ve served here, yet God is at work. The Lord is healing this land, and he is raising up a new generation and a people for Himself! Amen!

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

 

 

An Exciting Time!
The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

This is an exciting time of year for us. A little over a week ago we finished building the church in Hannah’s memory in Mexicali, Mexico. That was a huge accomplishment for us, and we are so grateful the Lord provided the way and the people to pull that off! 34 people from the US joined us and another 30 from Mexico participated. Dawn, David, Jonathan and I are still in awe over all the love we were shown as we built this church. Thank you Jesus!

Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

We are getting ready for the inauguration of the church with Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna on May 6th. Our family is so grateful for Pastor Mere and Edna. They are wonderful young ministers of the gospel. God is already working and moving in the community in Mexicali where we are planting this church.

Time to Celebrate
Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

This past Sunday we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of a church that we helped start with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have done an excellent job planting the church and reaching out in the community. They are creative and very active and the Lord is using them to make a difference. It was so good to celebrate with them. Victor and Sol along with the church honored the part that we played in helping to start the church by recognizing us during the service. It was an encouragement to receive their demonstration of love and appreciation.

The Mariachis leading worship

The Mariachis leading worship

I had the opportunity to preach at the church in Rosarito on Sunday. It was a special day. We rejoice in what the Lord is doing through this church. The church was filled with many joyous people. The worship leaders for the service was a Christian mariachi band. Mariachi music is traditional Mexican music that tends to be sung with a lot of energy and emotion. Viva Mexico! Gloria a Dios!

God’s Healing Work!
Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

The time was also special because we met a 15 year old friend, Michele who had leukemia. We had been praying for Michele along with her family and the church. The last time we visited the church we prayed with her parents Salvador and Miroslava and the Lord broke through and began to heal Michele. I’d like to write more about what God did and is doing in the life of this family in the near future.

We pray for more. More Lord! Keep it coming. More people coming to Christ. More people growing in their faith. More hunger and growth. O Lord, hear our prayer and do your mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

The Incubator Church Planters Training
Incubator church planters training

Incubator church planters training

I always get encouraged when I hear one of our pastors refer to a principle that he learned during one of our training events. It means that they are beginning to process and apply what they found helpful to their specific ministry situation.

Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to train some of the pastors and church planters in our incubator church planting training. I love the seeing the guys connect and interact and to begin to think through how they can use the information in their context.

Our prayer is that we will have healthy and growing churches. In order for this to happen, it’s essential that we have well-equipped pastors and leaders.

Christ Centered Biblical Counseling & Conflict
Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

The topics we covered during this training session dealt with Gospel Centered Biblical Counseling and Conflict. These are two keys areas that pastors deal with regularly. I enjoyed hearing the interaction as we discussed some of the difficult conversations they are dealing with in the church they serve at.

If you attend one of their churches, don’t worry names were not shared. We just shared the situations, and then how to navigate through the issues they were dealing with in a Christ centered healthy way. There are no copy and paste answers to most situations we face. Prayer is always key and seeking out the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy of our soul loves to help foment division via conflict. I think it’s one of his primary means of attacking the church. Too often people run from conflict rather than choosing to wade in and work towards reconciliation. We grow as we work through the difficult conversations. This is one of the many reasons learning to deal with conflict is so important.

Join Us In Prayer
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. These pastors are under a lot of pressure from various sides. They need our prayers to stay strong and to walk closely with the Lord as they look to him for wisdom.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Training Off to a Great Start!
Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

How would you feel if you had to start a new job, and you received little if any training? Or if you were starting up a new business and you just had to wing it? Believe it or not, many church planters receive almost no training. Sadly, it’s a sink or swim scenario.

We are trying to stop that trend, and help church planters to be better prepared for the ministry the Lord has called them to. Last week we held our first incubator training for church planters in the Tijuana region.

God Gave Us a Great Group
Dave leading one of the sessions

Dave leading one of the sessions

Ten pastors attended the training, and began the process. The incubator is a year and a half of preparation for starting a new church.

Our Baja team partnered with MTW’s team from Monterrey to provide the training in Rosarito/Tijuana Mexico. The church planters came from the two groups we are working with, Ministerios Transformación and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

The Lord gave a great group of guys, who love the Lord and desire to see his named proclaimed in the communities they are serving in and beyond! Three of the men are starting up new church planting projects this Fall.

I’ve dreamed about providing church planting training for the pastors we work with since Dawn and I arrived on the border almost four years ago. I feel like it’s so important that we see men and women equipped to serve the Lord in the church. There are too many pastors who are struggling to survive and they don’t know where to turn.

A Network of Support
Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

I am thankful that we can train our friends so that they are better equipped to plant churches. My hope is that these pastors develop strong and enduring friendships so that they can encourage and support one another. Some of the pastors that came said they felt all alone. They don’t feel like they are receiving any support from the outside, or even within their own camp.

One of the challenges to providing the training and encouragement is manpower. We could use more workers. Yet, we are doing all we can to train and multiply coaches and mentors who can support leaders in ministry.

Pray with us for the Lord’s continued and ongoing encouragement for these pastors. That the Lord will raise up a mighty army of equipped leaders, who will be effective in ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Band of Brothers and Sisters
Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor's church in Rosarito last year

Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor’s church in Rosarito last year (What a great celebration it was!)

One of the things I love most about serving in ministry is the camaraderie that we share with such outstanding people here on the border. The Lord has gifted us with a wonderful group to work side by side with. What a rich blessing it is for me to serve with other men and women who truly love the Lord. They encourage me and my family in so many ways!

When Dawn and I where getting set up here on the border, God gave me a great mentor and coach in Dick Kaufmann. Dick told me, “when you look for ministry partners make sure that they are like minded.” That was invaluable advice as there are so many potential people that we could look to work with. God answered our prayer, and gave us some like minded people to work with who have become precious friends!

Walking Together on this Journey
All of our friends from Ministerios Transformación

All our friends from Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and the ministry he leads which just changed it’s name from Lo Mejor del Trigo to Ministerios Transformación have become some of our best ministry partners. Dawn and I truly do love serving alongside them.

I share some of my heaviest burdens with the pastors of Ministerios Transformación, and likewise they share their burdens with me. After all, isn’t than what Paul encourages us to do? “Bear one another’s burdens…” —Galatians 6:2 ESV

If you’ve followed our story at all, then you know that Dawn and I have travailed through some deep valleys. The Lord is bringing us out of the valley, but at times we wondered where and even if it would end.

In those times of darkness it gave us great comfort knowing that Dawn and I could share our hearts with the men and women associated with Ministerios Transformación. Our closest relationships are with the pastors and their wives. They’ve sent us encouraging notes, and they’ve asked their whole congregation to pray for us.

It lifted up our spirits knowing that whole congregations were praying for us. We know that this was going on in churches in the U.S. and some of the National Presbyterian Churches of Mexico in Baja California as well.

Thank you Jesus for These Special Friends
Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel's birthday!

Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel’s birthday!

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” —Psalm 133:1 ESV

Today (Sunday) I was able to go to the church in El Niño, Comunidad Cristiana. We celebrated Daniel Nuñez’s birthday. Even though it was a rainy and gloomy day there was much joy, life and light in the church as we celebrated.

I give thanks to the Lord for these special friends. They make my family and me feel very loved and we feel like we are part of them when we are together.

I say thank you Jesus for all of our friends in Mexico! Thank you for Ministerios Transformación! Thank you for pastor Daniel Nuñez and his family and all the pastors and leaders that are part of that ministry!

We give thanks for you, and recognize that it’s all for God’s glory! Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org