Posts Tagged ‘encouraging pastors’

Church Multiplication
Dave with pastors Samuel, Francisco, Roberto & Raul

On the road in Northwestern Mexico. This week I’ve traveled to some places in Northern Mexico that I’ve never been to, Ciudad Obregón and Hermosillo. I’m meeting with pastors and church planters. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get to know these outstanding men and women and to learn about their work. Such wonderful people who have made great sacrifices for the gospel.

One of the main questions I’m asking as I meet with them is if their church has reproduced? Have they not only successfully planted their church, but also started other churches?

Most of the pastors I talked to have already started other churches. One of them has started 3 churches in just a few years time. So encouraging!

We Long for More!

Dawn and I keep praying for more, and we are praying that we can help plant more churches throughout Mexico and Beyond. I like to say igniting church-planting movements on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! One of the principle places where we are seeing multiplication is in Cuba, but it is happening in Mexico as well. It’s so good to see the church grow.

I feel like one of the great advantages that I have when I meet with these pastors and learn from them is it also allows me to pray for them and to encourage them. The Lord has given me a love and a compassion for them, and we connect deeply in relatively brief period of time.

The Battle Rages On
Some of our Cuban prayer warrior friends. They know how to pray!

One of the pastors, Samuel told me that where he is planting his churches there is a lot of witchcraft going on, which is increasing in Mexico. He said because of that the people battle with more sickness. Samuel said his leaders have helped train them in how to pray and deal with the attacks of the enemy, but he also felt like they needed more help. We’ve found that witchcraft is a serious problem in Cuba and most of the other countries we work in. I believe that it’s on the rise in the US as well.

These pastors are right on the front of the battle lines, and they need encouragement and prayer support. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities, Ephesians 6:12.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 ESV

Even with these obstacles the church is growing. The church is multiplying!

Join Us in Prayer !

Dawn & I are glad to be on this journey with you

I celebrate this growth, and at the same time I long for more. Join with us in the battle. Pray with us and for us. Pray also for these pastors that are in the trenches seeing people freed from darkness through the light of the gospel! The battle rages on, but we have victory in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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 

Renuevo – Renewal in Ensenada
Pastor Petri leading the church service

On Sunday Dawn and I went to Ensenada and worshipped with our church plant there, Renuevo. It’s a joy for us to connect with the people at the church. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are doing a wonderful job of leading this church. Both of them work in the public school system in Mexico. Petri is the superintendent of the middle schools in Tecate, and Yudy teaches at one of the schools there.

It’s no easy task being a bivocational church planter. Petri and Yudy aren’t able to give as much time to the church plant as they would if they were full-time in the ministry. On the positive side though it does help them and the church in other ways. It helps them to not be dependent on the church for their income. Although we’d love to see the church get to the point where it can support them, we’ve found that few churches are able to pull this off in Mexico.

The other benefit we’ve seen is that Petri and Yudy have a lot of connections in Ensenada, because of all their years working in the school system. Before they began working in Tecate they spent a number of years in both public and private schools in Ensenada. I’ve noticed that those that know them respect them, because they work hard and they are good at what they do.

A Church for All People
Pastor Victor & Sol. Sol leads tutoring for children that come from poor and underprivileged families in the community surrounding their church

A number of the other churches that we are helping to plant are among the urban poor, which is also an important group to reach for the gospel. Petri and Yudy are able to reach professionals, because of their education and background. We love the variety of churches that we work with, and that we help plant. There is a need for all kinds of churches that have the ability to reach different people in order to make a difference in a community.

Of the eleven churches that we’ve helped start since we moved to the border seven years ago. Seven of them target urban poor and four of them target professionals. Each of these pastors and the churches are unique and we’ve grown to love the pastors and their leadership team. They are among are closest friends.

Praying for Multiplication

Our prayer is that this is only the beginning and that we will begin to see even more rapid multiplication of church growth on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. We’ve also helped plant two churches in Cuba and we’ve ministered to more than 60 pastors there. Part of what excites me about Cuba is that some of our Mexican partners have been involved in ministry there with us.

God is doing something special between the relationship of the pastors from these two countries! As one of my friends told me recently we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we work towards multiplication! Hallelujah!

I enjoyed the opportunity to lead Eduardo & Norma with their son Ilai through baptism. They lost their first child soon after he was born. God is doing His healing work in them!

When Dawn and I were with Renuevo and Pastor Petri and Yudy on Sunday. I was able to lead the church in a baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It was a very special time, and I left feeling filled up as the Lord ministered to Dawn, me and all those in attendance.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Traning Pastors and Church Planters
Training with Red de Multiplicación in Mexico City

I give thanks for the goodness of God! Over the last month I’ve been able to train church planters in Cuba, Mexico City and Tijuana. I love helping pastors start new churches. It’s the most effective way to reach people for Christ, and this is true no matter where you are in the world.

A number of the pastors I work with have so little. It strengthens my faith as I see the sacrifices they make for the kingdom. When I’m with these friends and see how they live and minister it helps me to put things in perspective about what is truly important in life. One of the things we struggle with in America, and I’m sure it happens around the world, is comparing ourselves to others. The devil uses this to get our eye off of the ball, off of what is truly important. I’m reminded of how Christ told us to put our “treasure in heaven where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal.” Then Jesus drives the point home and tells us, “for where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20, 21).

The enemy wants to to forget where are true treasure lies.

That’s not to say that it is easy for the church planters that I work with. Nor does it mean that they never struggle with comparing themselves to others. Yet, I do believe many of them do not get as entangled in some of the trappings that we trip over in our more affluent culture.

The Challenges & Trials
Training with Ben Meyer, Abraham Velazquez and Federico & Blanca Muñoz and other church planters in Tijuana

These pastors do face many obstacles and many trials as they serve the Lord. My heart goes out to them, and I find myself often wishing that I could do more. So when I’m training them I always seek to be sensitive to the Spirit and what is going on in their lives. That way Dawn and I can encourage them and pray for them.

Just before I started writing this I received a message from one of our dear friends from Cuba telling us that her cousin just lost her baby, and another close friend of theirs was killed in an accident. On Friday Dawn and I met with some of our church planters that live near us on the border and their daughter told me that she was sleeping on cushions on the floor, because they don’t have a bed for her. It breaks my heart to learn how many of our faithful friends are living and the circumstances that they are facing.

When we train it’s more than just how to plant a church. It’s more than just how to write a vision statement or a mission statement we have to care for the individuals. When we can bring the need for competencies, knowledge, emotional, spiritual and physical needs together we see the Lord working in amazing ways. It’s one of my chief joys in ministry. To care for the whole person and their families. The relationships that we build are priceless!

The Rewards of Ministry
Church Planting Training with our Cuban friends

Part of the reward of ministering in this way, apart from seeing churches planted, and people coming to Christ which is a true reward within itself is the love and relationship we develop with these church planters. As I’ve mentioned in the past some of them come to refer to Dawn and me as dad and mom. Some of their children call us their grandparents, which I guess is also part of getting gray as we age.

As we minister in this way we see the Lord bringing rich and bountiful blessings. We see the church growing, and people coming to Christ. Lives and communities are being transformed by the gospel!

All this is made possible by so many people like you who pray for what God is doing here. God hears your prayers and he responds. It’s exciting to be on mission with God. Thanks so much for joining us on this wild and joyful ride!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org