Posts Tagged ‘encouraging pastors’

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Testimonies of God at Work
Pastor Davis & Luz

I like to look for positive stories. Stories and testimonies that display the goodness of God, and how He is at work. This is especially important while we are going through this world wide crisis, caused by COVID-19.

Two of the church planting couples that I’m working with in Mexico are in the initial phases of starting their church. One of them, Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz just moved into the community of Playas in February. One of the first things a church planter does when arriving in a new community is to begin making new contacts.

Davis and Luz are a very personable and likable young couple. They do a great job meeting people. Yet, you can imagine how it’s been for them since just barely a month after they moved in everyone is living in lockdown. It’s hard to meet people when they are all afraid to go outside!

I’ve been in regular contact with Davis and Luz encouraging them, and praying with them. One of things that we’ve talked about was for them to go on prayer walks in the neighborhood, once they felt safe doing so. Over the last couple weeks they started walking near where they live. When there is someone outside they often have the opportunity to greet them, which is positive!

God’s Guidance
Davis and Luz with their three children Davis Jr., Julian and Ashley

Last week Davis felt tired so he decided to take a nap. While he was sleeping he dreamed that his wife, Luz told him they should go to the pharmacy in the community, so that they could meet someone. When Davis woke up, Luz said, “let’s go on a walk down the street,” and he responded, “that’s not what you told me in the dream.” So they went to the pharmacy, and began to look for someone to talk to in the area.

They saw a number of people, but Davis didn’t sense at first that the people he saw were the one’s that the Lord was leading them to. Finally, Davis saw a man, Jorge and they went to talk to him. Jorge told them that he has lived in Playas for 30 years, so he knows a lot of people there.

Jorge was very friendly and Davis and Luz were able to talk to him for quite a while. They told him that they were starting a church and he expressed interest. Isn’t it encouraging to see the Lord guiding and answering prayer? We are praying and believing that the Lord will build this church. We pray that the Lord will open the doors and make a way. He is the Way Maker.

Jesus told his disciples to look for a person of peace when he sent them out to minister in a new city. The person of peace is someone who is open and he or she is willing to help. He can open doors for you into the community. Jesus refers to the person of peace in Luke 10:5,6. Jorge may be a person of peace for Davis and Luz as they meet people in Playas.

Join us in Prayer & by Giving
Playas in Tijuana

Join with us in praying for Davis and Luz as they continue to make contacts and share the love of Christ during these unusual days that we are passing through. I believe the Lord is going to use the pandemic to cause people to be spiritually hungry. I just saw the other day that Google searches for prayer are way up, since the COVID-19 crisis began. People are looking for answers, and seeking peace in the midst of all the fear.

Another related issue is that there are many people who are struggling to survive in Mexico and Cuba. I’ve written about the hunger and the lack of basic needs in Cuba in other posts, that you can see here… Poverty was already a problem in Mexico, and now that so many are out of work it has only worsened. You can help by giving to these needs by clicking on the link below.

Donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Surprised by the Gospel
From top left going clockwise: Pastor Ivan Casados, Pastor Abraham Velazquez, Pastor Gilberto Garcia all in Tijuana, Pastor Jorge Izaguirre in Queretaro, Worship group at Comunidad Cristiana in El Niño, Pastor Jesus Petrikowski in Ensenada, Pastor Mere Godinez and in the middle Pastor Yovani Robles in Tijuana

I was surprised and encouraged to see so many of my friends from the Border and throughout Mexico posting their services online! I opened up my Facebook page on Sunday morning, and all the sudden I started noticing how many services were being broadcast.

Some of the churches were close by in Tijuana, Ensenada and Mexicali. Churches that we helped to plant. I know it’s been a lot of extra work for the pastors and their staff to have to learn how to broadcast their church services. Many of them were reluctant at first, but with some encouragement and help they’ve been able to pull it off.

Renuevo Church in Ensenada

One of the services I watched was lead by Pastor Petri in Ensenada. You could tell that he put a lot of work into preparing for the online Facebook transmission. It was so encouraging to see the gospel go out in this way! I noticed the Renuevo church which Petri leads had more people watching than normally attending the church on a typical Sunday. I also recognized some of the names of the people who tuned in. There were friends watching who had never attended the church before!

Could this seeming barrier end up being a huge win for the church? Many people are reticent to come to church for the first time, but they are willing to watch online. They can hear the gospel through an avenue that they may not have considered before. It also helps that most people are restricted in what they can do on Sundays.

Edna Rodriguez on the left leading worship in Mexicali. This is the church we planted in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

When I see what is going on and how the Lord is using this obstacle it reminds me of what Joseph said to his brothers. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). God is indeed using this for good, and many will be saved! Hallelujah! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God is greater. Satan was defeated at the cross of Christ. We have victory in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Easter Hope in the Midst of COVID-19
Thankful for the Cross of Christ

Dawn and I hope you had a wonderful Easter! I mean, we realize that it was an unusual Easter, since we are all confined to our homes. Yet, it’s wonderful to think about Christians all around the world celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Jesus death and resurrection give us a future and a hope.

As Believers we have reason to be hopeful. Last Wednesday, April 8 was the beginning of the Passover, and it was also Holy Week. God is at work during this time, and although the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy He who is in us is greater. Satan seeks to do us harm through the coronavirus and what’s going on around the world, but I believe God will use it for good.

We are looking to Lord to breakthrough and bring revival!

God is on the Move!

Today I made a short 5 minute video, and in it I share some of our experiences over the last month. I think you will find it encouraging.

Dawn & I give thanks for God’s Great work
Pastor René & Yarlis Peñate
Dave with Pastor René

As I mention in the video I just recently returned from Cuba where I was involved in training 102 church planters in four different cities. Pastor René Peñate is one of the church planters who was involved in the training.

This morning Pastor Rene and his wife, Yarelis sent me a video of Yarelis and their children singing the song Forever (Por Siempre), which was co-written by Kari Jobe. This is a powerful song with a great Easter message. We actually sang this song at our daughter, Hannah’s funeral. Kari Jobe was one of Hannah’s favorite artists so the song and the artist have a special significance for our family.

Por Siempre sung by Yarelis Peñate and family
Forever (English version) performed by Kari Jobe
Forever by Kari Jobe with Lyrics

We do sing Hallelujah, because the Lamb has overcome. Forever He is glorified, forever His is lifted high, He is Alive!

Thanks for doing us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Covid-19, Missing Mom & Feeling Down
Missing Mom

Early last week I was feeling a little down. It started sinking in more that my mom is gone, and that I won’t see her again until I join her in heaven. I think I’m still numb in some ways. I’ve found that grieving is a process, but being back home and trying to live life in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis it’s all hitting me at once.

Of course, it’s not an easy time for our nation or for most of the people around the globe. I don’t believe there’s been an event quite like this during our lifetime. And in the middle of this I’m grieving the loss of my mom.

The Need for Good News & Breakthrough
Our hope in Christ

I felt like I needed to look for some good news. Something to lift me up and give me some hope. It’s difficult to live without hope. In my search the Lord started directing me to some positive messages about what our Father is doing during this time. A number of people believe there is going to be a breakthrough this next week. God is going to bring breakthrough during Passover which starts on Wednesday, April 8. It’s interesting, because this year Passover connects with Holy Week.

In the first Passover the people of God, the Israelites were cloistered in their nuclear families as they took part in the Passover meal. They were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on their door post. They ate the meal in haste as they prepared for the Lord to deliver them, and to bring them out of slavery. He brought them out of slavery and into freedom and eventually into the promised land.

In a similar way during this time of Passover we will be secluded with our family. We also look to the Lord to rescue us.

I believe that God is at work, even though it might be hard to see. The devil seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The enemy of our soul means this for evil, but God means it for good, and for the good for many.

A Creative Response to the Quarantine in Mexicali
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children

I’ve been calling and sending notes to my church planters, pastors and leaders in Mexico and Cuba and seeking to encourage them. Many of them feel discouraged that they are so limited. I mean in Cuba they aren’t able to stream their messages online. Yet, as people in these countries have lost many of the things they usually entertain themselves with it causes them to realize their greatest need. Their spiritual need.

I’ve told my church planters and leaders be ready people are going to be hungry coming out of this!

These dear friends who are like family to us have appreciated the hope that I’ve shared with them. One couple, Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz got creative. They set up a microphone and loudspeaker in front of their house today (Sunday) and he began to share the good news.

Pastor Federico Muñoz sharing the good news in a time when it is desperately needed

Federico told them that this is the first Sunday that they are not able to go to church on Palm Sunday regardless of the church they belong to. Then he told them about our hope in Christ and that Federico and his wife were willing to pray for the people if they had a need. He gave out his number and said they could send their prayer request via WhatsApp. Federico also told them that if they needed a Bible that they would like to give them one.

Then they started receiving messages from their neighbors and other people nearby. Federico and Blanca were initially afraid that their neighbors were going to complain that they were being too loud, but instead their neighbors were thankful!

Some of the people even came out of their houses to sing the worship songs they played on the loudspeaker and they listened to what Federico shared. Many asked them when they were going to start their church services. Wow, amazing! God is so good!

They even had the opportunity to pray for some of the people while trying to practice social distancing.

Federico & Blanca praying for two women who asked for prayer and for Bibles

I was surprised when I received Federico and Blanca’s message about how they were sharing the gospel in their neighborhood. I was even more surprised when they told me that this method of sharing the gospel worked! Of course, this encouraged Federico and Blanca as they took this step of faith. They told me what I had shared with them during the week helped them and encouraged them to continue. Sometimes it’s these small steps of faith that lead to greater things.

Federico and Blanca who are planting a church in Mexicali and Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana and others have felt down, because they feel like they aren’t able to do anything during the quarantine. I feel like the Lord used the blessing, and encouragement He gave to me earlier in the week to be a spark to these wonderful partners in the gospel! We continue to pray for more, Lord!

Draw Near to the Lord in These Days
Dave & Dawn with Federico & Blanca and Luz & Davis

Even though it is a difficult time, God is still at work. Dawn & I am believing and praying for a breakthrough during this week of Passover.

This is a time for us to draw near to the Lord. A time to examine our lives and humble ourselves before the Lord. God promises to respond as we do so.

God says, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”‬‬

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭ESV

It’s important to note that God says my people, so it is the church that is to be humble before the Lord and pray and seek God’s face. Our Father also calls us to turn from our wicked ways, which is not only individually. We need to confess the sins of our land. God is good, and He is loving and He will respond as we humble ourselves and seek him.

I tried to cover a lot of ground in this brief post. Obviously, I’m only hitting on the surface of the these issues, but my hope is that you might be encouraged. There’s so much negative news today, and I don’t think it’s healthy to spend too much time focusing on all the doom and gloom. Lift up your eyes and remember where our help comes from. “My help comes from he Lord, who make heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV)

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Tough Transition Back Home
Virginia Diaso – November 5, 1935 – March 19, 2020

Life has been both difficult and crazy since I returned from Cuba. I saw a lot of fruit while I was with my friends on the big island, but I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting on the other side of my trip. I returned close to midnight on Wednesday, March 18. Communication with my family isn’t easy when I’m in Cuba, because there is very little access to the internet. Finally, on my way home, I was able to talk to my brother, John and I found out that my mom didn’t have much time to live.

I hoped and prayed that I could get to Fresno before my mom moved to heaven, but I wasn’t able to make it in time. Thankfully John called me in the morning on Thursday and suggested that I talk while he put the phone up to mom’s ear and I was able to tell her of my love and say good-bye. I’m grateful for that opportunity. Later in the day I called back and talked to my other brother, Greg and right when I got off the phone with him my mom moved to heaven.

Then as everyone knows we’ve had this pandemic Coronavirus going on which has made it challenging to do basic things that we’ve all come to expect. We still haven’t been able to have a graveside service for my mom, because of the all of the restrictions. It’s an odd time, and we definitely appreciate your prayers during this season of our lives.

I wrote a tribute to mom in the last post and you can read it here…

An Amazing Time with Mi familia Cubana
One of the groups of church planters that we trained in Camaguey

My time in Cuba was amazing, and I find that often when the Lord is working through us in a dark place that there is opposition. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore.

When I was in Cuba last September I was able to train a number of church planters, and I learned that it would be better to train them in cities closer to where they live. This time we held four training events in four different cities and we had 102 church planters attend. One of the most exciting things is that the Cuban leaders did most of the training. This alone is reason to celebrate, because now they can continue with the work even when I’m not there. Another important consideration is that I’m limited in what I’m allowed to do and I desire to be wise and careful while I’m in the country.

These pastors, many of them lay leaders are such quality people that love the Lord. Most of them have such a deep commitment to the Lord that it motivates me to have more faith and devotion to follow Jesus.

The Church is Growing!
One of the group activities during the training

In one of the cities where I was we worked with a group that has started 16 churches in the last year, and their goal is start 30 by the end of 2020. That’s one of the reasons I come back home so stoked! King Jesus is doing a great work on the big Island despite all the obstacles.

Pray for Us & Our Cuban Familia
Our Cuban familia

I’d appreciate your prayers for our familia. Even when things are normal in Cuba life is difficult. Long lines for basic needs are common. What the US is going through now still doesn’t match what the average Cuban experiences on daily basis. Yet, God in his marvelous mercy is at work.

The churches can only meet in very small groups now with the Coronavirus and they don’t have the same access to the internet that we have. Pray for the Lord’s care and provision for them during this time. Many of our friends have asked us to pray them as they’ve shared their growing struggles, and how the quarantine has made things worse.

Look to the Father in this Season
Dave & Dawn

I feel like the Lord wants to wake the church up during this season. My prayer is that we will use this time to strengthen our families and to spend more time with the Lord. Grow in your intimacy with the Father. He is calling all of us to the secret place!

He will care for you as he promises to do.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'”

Psalm 91:1,2 ESV

Thanks so much for joining Dawn and me on this journey of faith. I would like to write more about my time in Cuba in my next post. There are many magnificent stories to tell.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Trip to Cuba
Dave with Mario & Yany

I’m on my way to Cuba to encourage our growing familia. They are people that Dawn and I have come to love. Every time we are on this big island we see the Spirit breakthrough! So I go expectantly.

Dawn is not able to join me on this trip. She is staying home to care for her mom. It’s been a new season for us since Dawn’s mom, Alice has come to live with us. Dawn isn’t able to travel with me as much.

The Lord is opening of some doors and ways for Dawn to join me on some my upcoming trips. We are also praying about the possibility of both them joining me on my next trip to Cuba in June. You can help us by praying that the Lord will show us the way, and make it clear to us. I think it could be a wonderful opportunity! Dawn’s mom still has an adventurous spirit after living in the Ukraine for 20 years.

I’d also appreciate prayer for my time with our familia in Cuba. I will be in four different cities after I land in Havana. First I will go to Sibanicu and Camaguey with Luis and May. Then I will go to Cabaiguan with Mario and Yany. I will end my trip in Jatibonico with Justo and Sara. While there I will have the opportunity to see and encourage a number of our friends.

Join us in Prayer
Dave & Dawn on this journey together
  • Pray for Dawn and her mom, Alice while I’m away.
  • Pray for our family including David and Emily, Jonathan and Hannah and my parents Ron and Virginia.
  • Our son David has had some health issues recently that we are concerned about, and we would ask prayer for his health and healing.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection while I’m in Cuba.
  • Pray for His Spirit to breakthrough and to minister and encourage our Cuban family and friends.
  • I will be in Cuba until March 18th, and I usually have little to no internet access while there, which makes communication sparse.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Concern for All the Churches
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 we are thankful to be on this journey with you as we serve the Lord and His church

Lately I’ve been thinking about the Apostle Paul’s statement regarding his daily concern for the churches. In 2 Corinthians 11 he lists all the trials that he’s experienced in ministry. Then at the end of this list in verse 28 he says, “Besides everyone else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28 NIV).

It may be a dangerous thing to compare myself to the apostle Paul, but I feel that I can identify with him in his concern for the churches. I give thanks for how the ministry has grown here on the border and beyond! Yet, as we start more churches I find myself thinking and praying for them more. It’s exciting to see the Lord at work, but that’s not to say that it’s without challenges.

There are all kinds of concerns and pressures that go along with planting churches. Our pastors and those that we are partnering with to start new churches face all kinds of issues, sicknesses, divisions, and financial hardships. There is also the need to see the church grow, and develop leadership so that it will come to be a healthy and reproducing church.

Praying for Protection & Healing
Pastor Jovani & Esmeralda

Dawn and I love to pray for and encourage the pastors we work with. Just last week I met with a young pastor, Jovani and his wife, Esmeralda to pray. Esmeralda suffered a stroke in the last year, and they are a young couple so it’s surprising that she had a stroke. The three of us came together to pray against the attacks of the enemy, who seeks to discourage the Lord’s workers. We prayed for healing, that the Lord would touch her body and bring forth healing and restoration.

After we spent time in prayer we left encouraged, and sensed the Lord had met us and heard our prayers. Esmeralda was not healed as we hoped, but we felt assured that God was at work in her life and in the life of her husband, Jovani as well. Join us in continuing to pray for their comfort and Esmeralda’s total and complete helaing.

Pastor Mere Godinez
Pastor Mere leading the church in Mexicali

One of the other pastors we partner with Mere has also faced health issues at the end of 2019. Mere is planting the church in Mexicali that we built in Hannah’s memory. He was feeling so badly that he had to take some a few weeks off to rest and recuperate. We see the Lord working there, but there has been opposition.

Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo
Pastor Davis & Luz with their three children, Davis Jr., Ashley and Julian

Our church planters in Playas, Tijuana – Davis and Luz Pardo just moved into their new apartment. It was difficult for them to find an affordable place to rent. We are so thankful for the apartment they found, but now they are struggling to get set up. Their place is on the small side, so they need a washer-dryer combo and it’s not easy to find one that fits in their economy. We look to the Lord for His provision in all things including a washer and dryier.

Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children: Junior, Damaris, David & Daniel

Federico and Blanca are just getting started with their church plant in Mexicali. We are so excited for them as we pray with them, coach and encourage them. They are reaching out into the community so they can grow and build a big enough core to launch their church. They have a weekly small group, and they are in the process of starting a second small group.

Pastor Petri & Yudy
Pastor Petri & Yudy

Petri and Yudy are bivocational church planters in Ensenada. Petri is an excellent preacher/teacher. Yudy is gifted with children and she is very caring and creative. The challenge they face is growing the church while both of them are holding down full time jobs in Tecate, which is an hour from Ensenada. The church is growing. They have some excellent leaders in the church, but we are praying for even more, so that they will come to be a strong and thriving church.

The list goes on. One of the pressures I often feel is raising funds for these new works while continuing to work with these pastors. I see God at work in ways that Dawn and I have not seen in all our years of ministry. There’s so much to be thankful for, while we face the concerns and pressures!

Our Growing Family in Cuba
Our wonderful Cuban family

Dawn and I have also grown to love our Cuban family. Our family on this big island keeps growing, and there are many challenges that the pastors face there as well. I’m going to be traveling to Cuba from March 6 – 18. We always give thanks for the opportunity to see these dear friends who have become part of our family.

Join us in Prayer!

When I think about these daily concerns for the churches I’m reminded of the importance of prayer. The importance of trusting in the Lord’s provision. “He who calls you in faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV). I give thanks for our wonderful friends like you, who follow us on this journey and pray for us and the work that the Lord is doing through our partners.

When I can look up and look to Christ and all that he is doing. When I remember his strength, his promises and his power then the pressures and concerns dissipate. Thanks be to God for his wonderful work, and his mighty power. Hallelujah! Amen!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Stories of Expansion
Dave right before going into surgery

Over the last week and a half I’ve been recovering from hernia surgery, which I must say isn’t fun. 😉 It has been a slower process than I envisioned. These days since I haven’t been able to be as mobile as I usually am have given me some time to reflect, and to encourage all those that we are partnering with in ministry.

Dawn and I moved to the San Diego-Tijuana border area 7 1/2 years ago. It’s beautiful to see how the Lord has grown the ministry. He has literally stretched out our tent, just as we prayed from Isaiah 54. I love the stories of the lives that are touched and transformed through those we minister alongside of. I’d like to share one of those wonderful stories with you!

Davis & Luz Pardo
Luz & Davis with their three cute children

You might remember that I asked you to pray for Davis and Luz Pardo, because they were looking for a home in Playas in Tijuana. They were having a terrible time finding an affordable home. God came through again, and provided in the last minute. Now they are getting settled in to their new place, which isn’t far from the beach (that what playas means, beach).

Davis and Luz are a gifted young couple. Luz means light or power. She has a radiant smile that communicates joy and love. Davis is a caring pastor, who is able to attract and encourage people that he ministers to. Together they make a great team.

Luz’s Love Shines in the Produce Section
Luz & Davis

God gave Luz the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ just a couple of days ago in the local grocery store. She told Davis she was going to the grocery store for 5 minutes to buy some oranges. Well those 5 minutes turned into 40, because she met someone in need.

Luz met Mary, and it was obvious that Mary was having a difficult time communicating with her daughter, and there were other family dynamics that caused tension. Luz took the opportunity to talk to Mary, and she shared how Jesus came to give us hope and give us life. After Luz showed compassion to Mary, she asked her if she could pray for her. Mary said yes! And Luz not only prayed for her, but she was able to lead her to Christ!

Luz said she had never prayed from someone in a grocery store before.

Pray for More Growth, More Fruit
Dawn and Dave with some of of our church planters from left to right, Federico & Blanca Muñoz in Mexicali; Luz & Davis Pardo in Tijuana

When Luz and Davis shared this story with me, it made my day. God is so good, and He’s active. Luz asked for prayer for Mary that they will be able to follow up with her and help her to grow in her new found faith.

We also can pray that there will be many more people who are open to the good news of Jesus, like Mary. Pray for all of our church planters that God will open doors for them. Some of them share that they get discouraged along the way. Church planting can be a lonely work, so they need much encouragement and prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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