Posts Tagged ‘Ensenada Baja California’

Ministry & Family in Fresno & Bakersfield

My dad, Ron Diaso and I

I never grow tired of seeing the gospel bring about transformation, a changed life!

I’m writing this post just as I’m getting ready to leave Fresno and head back home to the Border lands.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my parents in Fresno. While I was in Fresno my dad had a hernia surgery. Thanks for praying for him. It’s a relief to get him through that, and on the road to recovery. I also was able to visit two churches. One in Fresno and one in Bakersfield to promote our missions work and especially the work of church planting on the Border and Beyond.

I’m grateful for a fruitful trip. We wouldn’t see new churches planted without faithful partners who pray for us and give to the ministry.

God’s Grace Shines in Ensenada

The team from Skyview and from Renuevo for our summer VBS in Ensenada

Today I’d like to highlight an experience that I had while the group from Skyview Church in Colorado was with us while we were ministering in Ensenada. Skyview is a valuable partner that has grown close to Renuevo church and their leadership as they’ve come to aid in leading VBS over the last six years.

A couple of weeks ago on Monday while Skyview was in Ensenada, we went to the local hospital in the afternoon to do some outreach and community service. We handed out over 100 sandwiches and burritos and handed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. This hospital services low-income families, so the people were grateful to receive this aid with along with a loving smile.

Jorge’s Open Heart

Jorge my new friend who found forgiveness in Christ

While our group ministered to the people in this way I took the opportunity to ask the people if they’d like prayer. The Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with a few of the people who came to visit and support their family in the hospital. One of the guys that I prayed for in particular stood out. His name is Jorge and I mentioned him in my last post.

There were a number of people waiting outside the hospital and at first I wasn’t sure if I should share with Jorge. I prayed and asked the Lord as I looked for someone to talk to. I approached Jorge, and he told me his sister was in the hospital and she had a problem with her kidneys. I told him that I’d like to pray for him and his sister, and as we talked he told me that he’s struggled with drugs and alcohol for a long time. He admitted that he was separated from his wife, and that he felt hurt and bitter in regards to his ex wife. He felt like his relationship with his wife, and his frustration with her pushed him towards the drugs and alcohol.

Jorge finds Forgiveness and New Life

I took the opportunity to let him know about the importance of forgiveness. I explained that when you don’t forgive and when you hold on to bitterness you are actually hurting yourself. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. I asked him if he was familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, and he said, “yes”. I told him in the Lord’s Prayer part of the prayer is, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In a sense when you are unwilling to forgive and we pray this prayer we are asking the Lord to do the same to us.

The light bulb came on for Jorge. It made sense to him.

I said “Jorge, I believe that God loves you. I could have talked to any number of other people here today, but he sent me to talk to you.” Then we prayed and I a gave him the opportunity to confess Christ as his Lord and Savior as well as confess his sins and to forgive those that had offended him. After we prayed I sought to encourage him more and remind him of God’s great love.

Jorge started to cry. Here was this big, tough looking guy and God broke through. The Lord touched his heart and Jorge found love in Christ that day.

Paul reminds us, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

There were a number of highlights to our week in Ensenada as there always are, but this was definitely at the top of the list. I never tire of seeing the gospel touch someone’s life and bring about change that has eternal implications. Wow! God is so good! Thank you Jesus for leading me to Jorge and giving me the opportunity to share the good news, the love of Christ with him!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Week In The Wild – VBS

A week of fun learning through In The Wild VBS

Our week in Ensenada with Renuevo church and Skyview is always one of the highlights of the year. This is the 6th summer in a row that Skyview has come from Denver, Colorado to help with VBS. One of the beautiful things that the Lord is doing through all the years is bringing maturity and depth to the relationships.

God continues to amaze as the gospel goes forth. We were able to minister to 55 children this year. At the end of the week, one of the teachers gave each of the children a questionnaire and asked them if they would like to have a relationship with Christ. All of them said yes and they expressed interest in continuing to grow in their faith.

The Gospel Touches Families

Petri sharing with the parents about the importance of helping their children to learn about Jesus and the Gospel

We received a number of positive comments from the parents. One parent, in particular, said that their son was coming home and he didn’t want to talk about the games and the crafts so much, but he wanted to talk to his parents about what he was learning about Jesus. Another mother whose son, Tomas is deaf, told us how one of her children kept encouraging the family to go to church. It sounded like more than anyone in the family he hoped that they might all attend church to learn more about Christ.

There were also two students who came with disabilities. Tomas who is deaf, and another girl who has cerebral palsy. It was heartwarming to see the love that these children received, and it was obvious that they enjoyed themselves.

Growing in and Through the Relationship

More VBS Fun!

One of the many benefits of VBS is it brings us all together for this one intense week. It gives Renuevo an opportunity to grow together as they spend extra time together in prep for the week. The Lord works through relationships, so it so good to see these dear friends come together and grow in their love for one another. This includes the relationships with those from Skyview. Each year they anxiously await the time they spend together. The week always ends with a tearful goodbye. Which is descriptive of the love that they share.

Petri is the pastor of Renuevo and his wife is Yudy. They have a wonderful team that works with them, and they are all gifted teachers. In fact, a number of them work in the school system in Mexico. They do an excellent job at organizing the week, and the VBS in particular.

A Week of Outreach and Impact

I had a chance to pray with Jorge and share the love of Christ with him!

Apart from the VBS, there were other opportunities to minister. On Monday afternoon we went to one of the local hospitals that serve many low-income families. The family members and friends waiting outside are needy. We gave out more than 100 sandwiches and burritos. We also gave them toothpaste, toothbrushes, and soap. I was surprised by how many people thanked us for the toothbrush and toothpaste! That seemed to be a real need that they had.

We were able to pray for some of the people that were at the hospital. The Lord gave me a wonderful experience sharing the gospel and praying for one particular man named Jorge (photo above). God did an amazing work in Jorge’s life as we shared and prayed together.

Healing Through Testimonies of God’s Grace

Hannah Berglund leading the children in one of the classes during VBS

One other activity that I’d like to mention before I end this post is that we had a number of young people from Ensenada as well as from Denver, Colorado. Most of them were girls this year ranging from around 15 – 22. On Wednesday night I asked two of them to share a brief testimony. Hannah Berglund and Monica Vasquez shared. They were vulnerable about their own struggles, and how Christ and the gospel have carried them through the difficulties they’ve faced.

After Hannah and Monica shared I asked the group if anyone else would like to share, and then a number of them expressed the challenges they have faced or are facing. Almost everyone got involved in loving and encouraging one another, and it ended up being a beautiful time of healing and redemption. God is so good.

The days were long during the week, but it’s surprising how the time flew by. I think we experienced almost all the emotions, much laughter, and joy, some sadness, and sorrow. Overall it was a time of experiencing God’s loving grace which brought us joy and contentment.

Join us in Prayer

On the final night, we celebrated our week together with some Mariachis!

Pray for Pastor Petri and Yudy and the Renuevo team as they follow up all the families that they were able to reach out to. Pray that these families will come to have a true and living relationship with the Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Renuevo Church

Dawn and I love to hear the testimonies of how God entered in and changed a life. This last Sunday the Lord gave me the privilege of baptizing 14 people in Ensenada at our Renuevo church plant. It’s so encouraging to see the fruit of Pastor Petri and Yudy’s ministry.

As a missionary I haven’t participated in very many baptisms, so it was a extra special time for me. My focus is more on coaching, training and facilitating ministry with our partners. This day was such a blessing, and it was wonderful to see these friends take the step of faith. I felt a sense of pride as I was able to minister and encourage the church. I could sense the Lord’s Spirit moving and working in the lives of His people.

God Works In & Through Families

A Day of Joyful Baptisms

It was special to see each person get baptized and confess their faith in Christ. Each family has a different story. One of the young couples, Eduardo and Norma lost their baby around the same time that Dawn and I lost our daughter, Hannah. Norma is pregnant, and she is due in July. It’s such a huge encouragement seeing the Lord bring healing to them. Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Arturo, Irlanda and Barbara over the last year. It’s been so good to see the Spirit working in their lives and their family as He gently draws them to himself. These are just two of the families that the Lord touched through the ministry of this church.

Another exciting thing about what the Lord is doing in Ensenada is he has used a church from Colorado and a church from San Diego to help start this church. These two churches especially have been key on coming alongside Petri and Yudy and their team. They’ve helped Dawn and me to build a stronger relationship with the church leadership. We give thanks for our partners.

Join Us in Prayer

Pastor Petri leading the church

Continue to pray with us for Petri and Yudy and their growing church. We are praying that this church will grow to be a strong and healthy church, to the point where they can multiply. We long to see a movement in Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali and the surrounding areas.

God is so good! Praise Him with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Renuevo – Bringing Renewal to the City
Renuevo church in Ensenada

This last week I was in the beautiful coastal port city of Ensenada, Mexico. I enjoyed spending some time getting to know the city better, and the opportunity to show some friends around. While there I met with Pastor Petri and some of the members from his team.

Petri is the pastor of Renuevo church, a new church plant in Ensenada. He is the supervisor of a school district by day and a pastor in the evenings and on the weekends. Renuevo just celebrated 2 years since they held their first service.

New births are exciting, although they can be messy at times. Things don’t always go as planned, but what encourages me about this new work is the people who are coming to Christ and growing in their faith. When the church celebrated their two year anniversary they took advantage to have a barbecue and to invite friends and family.

Celebrating Two Years
Petri enjoying a meal and a time to get to know the visitors after the church service

I enjoyed visiting with Petri as he excitedly showed me pictures of the visitors that came and how they were related to the people that invited them. Pray with us that these friends and families will come to know Jesus and that they will grow in their faith.

In May we will be baptizing at least 10 people from the church that want to make public their decision to follow Jesus. This is a big milestone for the church, and it’s also an opportunity for those that are making their profession of faith to invite their friends and family members so that they might give testimony. Hallelujah!

Testimonies are powerful as people share in a personal way how Jesus has changed their lives. It strengthens the faith of the believers, and it speaks to the heart of those who have not yet made the decision to follow Christ. Rejoice with us in God’s good work!

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray with us that Renuevo church will continue to give witness and see new people become Jesus followers. Pray for wisdom for Petri and his wife, Yudy as they lead the church.

Dave with Blanca & Federico

Dawn and I would also like to ask you to pray for a new church planting project we are working on in Mexicali. We have the church planter, Federico and his wife Blanca. I wrote about them recently. I’m working with the National Presbyterian Church to raise the necessary funds for this project. Fundraising is part of the task that goes into planting a church. We give thanks that the Lord promises to provide. He is our Jehovah Jireh! He is our provider!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Kingdom Growth along the Border and Beyond!
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit two or our church planters in two different cities. One in Ensenada, which is 1 1/2 hours from us. The other one is in Mexicali, which is about 2 1/2 hours from our home. So I had a lot of time in the car, but I also had a great time encouraging and connecting with our church planters and their team. God is on the move in these cities!

Renuevo in Ensenada – Pastor Petri & Yudy

On Sunday I was with Petri, his wife, Yudy and their church plant called Renuevo. They meet in Ensenada, which is a beautiful port city south of border. It is known as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential. Yet, below the beauty, many people are huring and have deep spiritual needs.

Petri and his team are reaching out to professionals on the North side of the city. One of the things that excites me about their project is that there are literally no churches in the area of the city that they are planting in.

There’s a huge need, especially in the part of the city where the church plant is located. Petri is a bi-vocational church planter. He is the supervisor of the school district in Tecate, which is an hour north of Ensenada. Petri’s wife Yudy, is a teacher in this same school disctrict. It is not easy working a full time job in another city, and planting a church. Yet, the advantage is that Petri and Yudy have lived and worked in Ensenada for a number of years so they have deep roots in city. They still live in Ensenada even though they work in Tecate.

One of the things I enjoy about visiting the church is that Petri is an excellent teacher, and he does a great job of explaining and sharing the gospel each Sunday. There’s still much work to be done in Ensenada, but they are off to a good start. Pray that the Lord continues to open doors for them to share the gospel and that more and more people will come to Christ and become a part of the church.

A New Ministry in Mexicali

The other church planters that I visited are just beginning their work in Mexicali. Federico is a seminary student who will be graduating this May. He and his wife, Blanca went through our church planting discovery center in Mexico City in January. They were evaluated and approved as church planters.

Now comes the hard work. I’m partnering with them and the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico to raise the funds to start a new church planting project in Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and it is an important city for the State and for the country of Mexico.

You might remember that we started a new church that we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah in the outskirts of Mexicali. Now we would like to start another church towards the city’s center.

Join us in Prayer!

Since we are just beginning this project there are many things that still have to come togethter for this church plant to get moving forwar. We do have some traction. The wheels are starting to turn. We know that one of the most important needs that we have now is to bathe this project in prayer. Actually we need major prayer for both works. Please join us in lifting these needs before our Heavenly Father. Lift up Petri and Yudy and their team as well as Federico and Blanca.

Thanks so much dear friends for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Smiles & Laughter!

Many Smiles and Fun at our Summer VBS in Ensenada

One of my favorite things about our summer VBS in Ensenada is all the big smiles and the laughter. It’s a joy to see the children enjoying themselves and having fun!

I love the fact that we have a cross cultural bi-lingual team as a group of friends from Skyview Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado has come to Ensenada again this summer. This is the 5th summer in a row that Skyview has sent a team from their church.

The group from Skyview led by Tim & Kari Berglund has formed a close and loving relationship with the church here. The Lord has used them and their relationship to help start a new church plant in Ensenada, which is called Renuevo. Dawn and I are thrilled with what the Lord is doing here!

Loving the Unchurched

Game On! is the theme for this Summer’s VBS

This VBS is different from many in that most of the children involved are coming from unchurched families. Since the church just began last year they are reaching out to their friends, and the VBS has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to love on these children and their families.

You can see the love of Jesus shining through the many smiles!

Learning about Jesus and Fun Activities at our Summer VBS

This year we have 70 children participating in the VBS. That’s a big group for this young and growing church. Renuevo means to renew or renewal. The church has a vision to see families, communities and the city renewed by the gospel.

They are reaching out to many young families, who are in need of hope and help as they raise their children.

Join Us in Prayer

Many Fun Activities that aid the Learning

We appreciate your prayers for this week. That many of these children will come to know the Savior, and that their families will also come to know Christ. Pray that the love of Christ shines brightly through all those involved in leading and serving the children and their families. We know that only Jesus and the message of the gospel can fill the emptiness and the needs that these families have.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Concern for the Churches

Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

Worship at Renuevo in Ensenada, Mexico

The Apostel Paul spoke of his daily concern for the churches, and his own weakness as he confronted the trials of ministry. Although my trials pale in comparison, I can identify with Paul’s concern for the churches.

This past Sunday Dawn and I were able to visit one of the churches that we are helping to start. The church in Ensenada is led by Pastor Petri, and his wife, Yudy . We enjoyed the opportunity to see how the church is growing, and to interact with the leadership team to get an update from them on how they felt things are going.

One of the blessings of planting churches is that the gospel is going forward, and lives are being transformed, yet there are challenges that our church planters face. Dawn and I seek to not only be faithful to pray for our church planters but to encourage them in their work.

Petri & Yudy – Bi-vocational Church Planting

Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Petri and Yudy are bi-vocational so there are many demands on their time. The advantage to being bi-vocational is that it takes some of the financial pressure off of the church planter, and it gives them some natural networks in the community through their workplace. Both Petri and Yudy are well respected in their community. Dawn and I love visiting and meeting the new people that have started coming to the church.

One of the goals of a church plant is to reach new people for Christ. We don’t want the church to grow just through people shuffling from one church to another. So it gives us great joy to see the new people who are on a journey and coming into relationship with Christ through the witness of the church. The church in Ensenada is called, Renuevo, which means renewal. That is what Petri and Yudy and their team are seeking to do, to bring renewal to Ensenada through the good news of Christ.

Dave preaching at Renuevo

Dave preaching at Renuevo

On Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Renuevo. What a joy to meet the people and to share the love of Christ with them.

Prayer is such a big part of seeing the churches grow and flourish, so please continue to feverently pray for us and our partners.

Pray For:
  • Pastor Petri and Yudy and their leadership team
  • Wisdom as they reach out to new families
  • The upcoming VBS that they will hold from July 22-27.
  • A group from Skyview Presbyterian church who will be coming from Colorado to help with the VBS outreach in July.
  • Also for the other church planters that we work with in Tijuana, Rosarito and Mexicali.
  • This weekend Dawn and I will be visiting Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez in Mexicali.
  • Dawn and I are also meeting a pastor in Tijuana and a pastor in Mexicali that we are exploring the possibility of starting a new church with in the cities they live in.

Thanks, dear friends for your ongoing encouragement and for faithfulness to pray for us and the ministry on the Border, Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org