Posts Tagged ‘encouraging pastors’

Evil on the Big Island

On Monday earlier this week, I received three interesting messages from three different families on the Big Island. All three of them wrote to me about witchcraft, spiritual warfare that each of them was experiencing in their ministry. Although witchcraft, Santeria, and voodoo are very common on the Big Island I choose not to focus on it in my posts.

This time I felt like I should let you know what is going on because there is a huge need for us to rally around our friends, our familia on the Big Island, and to pray for them. We know that we have victory in Christ, but the battle rages on. It seems to be increasing recently.

In one of the churches, someone who lives nearby who is involved in witchcraft tied a bag made of fabric just outside the church. The bag had black chicken feathers in it mixed another substance. The witches do this to curse or hex on the church.

Another minister who ministers in a different city told me that in the place they went to ministering there were a number of idols and other trinkets there. They said that they didn’t feel peace and they sensed evil in the area. The sense of evil was heavy. They reached out to Dawn and me and asked us to stand with them and pray!

The Power of the Gospel

These are places that the gospel is infiltrating. The church is growing! Thank God that there is power in the gospel. There is power in Christ to break through these strongholds, and as Paul said our weapons are spiritual because we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The battle is against powers and principalities. Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to stand firm in the battle, and to put on the whole armor of God. The church in the city of Ephesus was in a place where they worshipped many foreign gods and idols.

Paul also tells the Corinthians that their battle is not against the flesh. I think this is true no matter where we live. It may be easier to spot in some places, but the enemy is sly so we have to be discerning, and aware of how he is working in a place.

In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul tells the church,

“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. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)
Christ Gives us Divine Power!

It’s important for us to realize that the Lord has not left us defenseless in this war. He has given us divine power in Christ to destroy strongholds. So we don’t need to fear the devil. We must be prepared. We must put on our armor, which includes the sword ⚔️, the Word of God, and prayer. The truth of God enables us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It makes me sad when I see all that our familia on the Big Island suffers. It’s not only physical suffering, but they experience attacks from evil. It’s crucial to encourage them in the battle and stand with them in prayer. I would like to ask you today to join us in praying for the Lord’s protection over them, and that they will stand firm in the battle.

When Paul speaks of the battle in Ephesians 6 it’s with the idea that the church, that Christians are standing side by side protecting one another and fighting in the battle together. I think that this is one of the reasons there is so much division in the church. Our enemy knows that if he can divide us we aren’t as effective.

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs on the Big Island. They need your generosity, and they need your fervent prayers. I’m so thankful that Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Hallelujah!

Extend Your Hands to Help
Some of the families that we’ve helped on the Big Island

You can extend your hands to help by giving a financial gift to help provide food and basic needs for the people. You can also extend your hands to help by praying for our familia. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will stand firm in the battle. We the church must stand together!

Please donate today by clicking on the link below!

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Church is Growing on the Big Island
Roberto and Yolanda and their gifted family

This week I’d like to highlight a couple of church planters from the Big Island that I haven’t written about before. By the way, some people have asked me about the Big Island (hint: I’m not referring to Hawaii). Both of these couples are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in amazing ways. We’ve been sending them financial help since March so that they can feed their families and help others in need. This also enables them to minister and stay healthy, which is crucial.

Roberto & Yolanda Sending Out More Church Planters
Roberto praying for and commissioning the new church planters (notice the sweat stained shirt, it’s very hot on the Big Island)

Roberto* and Yolanda* lead a church planting movement (*not their real names). Just this year alone they’ve planted 9 churches. That’s with the COVID-19 crisis and all. Roberto asked me in early August if we could help him send a church planter to a key city to start a new church there. I brought this need before Village 7 Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs and they decided to partner with us on this project. Thank you, Jesus!

The new church planters were commissioned this last Sunday and they are heading out this week. How blessed are the feet of those who bring the good news of the gospel to others!

Something else that I admire about Roberto and Yolando is they are amazing singers, especially Yolando. Their entire family has formed a musical group and they sing and lead worship in various churches. The Lord uses them in a powerful way to encourage others in the faith.

Adolfo & Maria are Seeing Amazing Growth
Dave with Adolfo and Maria

The other family that I’d like to highlight is Adolfo* and Maria* (*not their real names). Adolfo and his wife have led the charge to plant 15 churches in 2020. It’s amazing and thrilling to see the church grow and even thrive in this season that we are all experiencing. They are a quiet and unassuming couple, but the Lord is using them in powerful ways!

I know that there is a lot of bad news out there today, and it’s gone on so long this year that it is hard not to get caught up in the swirl. It’s a challenge to not let it affect you in a negative way. I can assure you that even in these difficult times the church is still growing. God is still at work. In fact, God is always at work!

Giving Thanks for Your Generosity
Roberto with some of the people that he is ministering to that we’ve been able to bless with food and basic needs

The Lord has enabled us to provide food and basic needs for a number of families on the Big Island, because of the generosity of many friends. Dawn and I give thanks for your willingness to give!

Just between Roberto and Adolfo and the churches they are working with we’ve been able to provide food for 209 people, 67 families. Of those that we’ve helped in these churches 18 of them have been church planters. That’s only counting these two workers and the churches they are associated with. We’ve helped more than 700 people overall since March. God is so good!

Extend Your Hands to Help!
15 year old David is raising chicken so he can feed families with the eggs

The good news is that the Lord has provided for us to send aid to our familia on the Big Island. The bad news is that the scarcity continues. The people are still suffering from all the lack of food and basic needs. Prayerfully consider a gift today, so that we can continue to help the hurting, to help the families living under this tremendous burden.

Extend your hands to help our friends and familia on the Big Island! Click on the button below to make a donation today!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Travel in this New Era

Dawn and I traveled to the East Coast last week. It was the first time we’ve been on a plane since March. The plane ride wasn’t all that enjoyable wearing a mask the whole way, but it has been good to visit Dawn’s brother and family as well as some friends in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Although we weren’t able to visit as many friends as we would have liked to because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

VBS at New Life in Escondido

One of our partner churches, New Life in Escondido put together a fun video for their VBS featuring our ministry. It’s a lively, upbeat video that I thought you would enjoy seeing. There are some great aerial shots that will give you an idea of some of the places where we are ministering and planting churches. Also, they used some entertaining Latino music that I think you will enjoy!

Join Us in Prayer!

Please pray for our church planters who have a tough job of reaching out during a time when people are afraid, because of the coronavirus. Pray that the Lord will give them the wisdom to connect with people in creative ways. Pray for the tremendous needs that continue to plague those who live on the Big Island. We just received a message this week from one of our church planters on the Big Island telling us that he was being told that his church could no longer meet because they meet in an apartment complex. Pray for the Lord’s care and protection for our familia.

Extend Your Hands to Help!
Some of the families that we’ve extended our hands to help!

Extend your hands to give to the needs and help feed families on the Big Island. The scarcity is heartbreaking, and many of our friends are suffering ill-health as a result of the lack of food. Give through the link below!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Church Planting in Baja California
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Petri & Yudy Petrikowski (top), Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their family (bottom right), Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo with their family (bottom left)

Last week I wrote about the pastors and leaders that we work within Mexico and on the Big Island. Dawn and I are excited about the Lord’s amazing and marvelous work. We give thanks that we are a part of our friends, who have become like families’ ministries. It gives us great joy to hear their testimonies, and we are often blown away by what God is doing through them. We give thanks to the Lord for how He is so faithfully working in their lives and through their churches.

I made a video with the help of my colleague, fellow missionary, Jim DeWitt. In this video, I highlighted three church planting works (photo above): Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana; Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada; Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali.

My son, Jonathan encouraged me to put out more videos, so I hope that you like this one. It’s about 5 minutes long. Let me know if you’d like to see more short videos. I’m trying to decide whether I should make more of them.

Beyond Borders – Video
Join us in Prayer for:
  • Pastor Davis & Luz in Tijuana
  • Pastor Petri & Yudy in Ensenada
  • Pastor Federico & Blanca in Mexicali
  • Pastors on the Big Island
  • Revival
  • Encouragement
Join us in Supporting These Ministries

Prayerfully consider making a donation today. Give to support these church planting ministries and those on the Big Island. The Coronavirus has hurt the economy in the cities that these pastors are working in, and it’s especially difficult on the Big Island.

Click here to donate

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Some of our dear friends on the Big Island. We are helping them plant their fourth church in this city. The church is multiplying!

Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.

I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.

They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of The pastors, Manuel Santos from Durango sent me a photo to show me how he is streaming his services in Mexico. Most of the pastors I know are just using their cell phone to stream their services, but Pastor Manuel has a more complex setup.

One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.

On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.

Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dave & Dawn with Petri and Yudy with Ensenada in the background. The plant is helping us to practice safe social distancing 😃

Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.

We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.

Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.

Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
Dave & Dawn with one of the pastoral couples that we work with in Tijuana, Davis & Luz

On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.

I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.

I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.

Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Some of the pastors and families that we are helping on the Big Island. Our familia – such wonderful people!

Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.

Click here to make a donation

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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.

Click to Donate

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

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