Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

The Joy of a Changed Life!

Pastor Ivan with the people from the church who were baptized

On Sunday, September 16th Mexico celebrated their independence. The church also celebrated our liberty. Christ makes us free!

One of the most gratifying things in life and ministry is seeing a life transformed. This Sunday Dawn and I joined our good friends Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados and their church for a special day of celebration. While we were with them we heard the testimony of eight people who had given their lives to Christ. Then we saw their joy and excitement as they were baptized.

God in his grace and mercy had touched each of these new believers with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Margarito and Lizet’s Testimony

Margarito and Lizet

Ivan introduced Dawn and me to Margarito and Lizet. The Lord brought them to the church 6 months ago. They were walking along the road and they noticed a group building a home on a hill in the neighborhood. The group was very friendly and they asked Margarito and Lizet if they would like some tacos. They said, “sure.”

The friendliness of the group was attractive to Margarito and Lizet, so when they invited them to visit their church they agreed to come. Ivan didn’t know it at the time, but his new friends were going through tremendous struggles. They were constantly fighting, and getting on each other’s nerves. They were also very poor, and they were having a hard time staying in business selling their products. It’s seemed like everything was stacked against them.

Margarito and Lizet decided to give the church a try. When they visited the church they found a loving group of people. As Ivan and Rocio begin to minister to the couple they noticed the problems they were going through, but they knew that Christ has the power to restore. Ivan and Rocio sowed the seed of the gospel and Margarito and Lizet were ripe for the gospel.

When Dawn and I talked to Margarito and Lizet they were smiling and seemed to be genuinely happy and in love. They told us how much they used to fight, and how the Lord had graciously delivered them.

God’s Grace Brings About Change!

Pastor Ivan sharing the good news of Christ!

The other people that were being baptized also had inspiring testimonies. God is on the move in this church and beyond!

This is the reason we plant churches. It’s not to have a nice building, but because these churches are sharing the love of Christ, which is creating real life transformation. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your faithfulness!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they reach out in the community of Valle Verde and Bosque de Ribera.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fun-filled Week of VBS
Many smiles - a fun filled week on VBS in Ensenada

Many smiles – a fun-filled week on VBS in Ensenada

One of the favorite parts of our summer for the last 5 years in a row has been when the group from Skyview comes from Colorado to help us run VBS in Ensenada, Mexico. It’s a super busy week for us, but it’s a great time. The thing I most enjoy from the week are the stories. The stories of grace as I hear from the teachers and those leading the VBS how the Lord is working in the life of the children and their families.

A Changed Life!
Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

One of our teacher’s this year, Aideliz shared with me what became my favorite story of grace from this year’s VBS. Aideliz told me that on the first day she asked the students to write down some words on a banner to describe who God is. One of the children, Adrian didn’t write anything. Aideliz asked Adrian why he hadn’t written anything down. He responded by saying, “I don’t believe in God, so there is nothing to write down.”

Aideliz prayed for Adrian and showed him and the other children in her class the love of Christ during the week. All of those involved, the group from Denver as well as those from the local church, are very loving.

The end of the week came and Aideliz asked Adrian what he thought about God. He said, “Now I believe.” Then Aideliz went on to tell Adrian how much God loved him, and how he gave his life for him. Adrian was just one of many children who were literally transformed by the gospel during the week.

The Love of Christ Taught and Lived Out
Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

It’s not just the lessons that were taught about Jesus, but also the love that Aideliz and the other teachers and volunteers showed to Adrian and the rest of the children.

Since Renuevo is a new church plant they are reaching families that are unchurched, so many of the children that come to the VBS either don’t believe or they just haven’t had much of an opportunity to hear the good news.

On the final night of the VBS, we had a meeting with the parents, and a number of parents came. Petri, who is the pastor of the church explained to the parents what they were teaching during the week, as well as thanking the parents for entrusting their children to Petri and the team. After the meeting, some of the those that came expressed interest in attending the church the following Sunday. That’s part of our goal to show the love of Jesus to the people and to create a bridge for the gospel.

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

Continue to Pray for Bridges for the Gospel in Ensenada

Thank you for praying with us for Pastor Petri, his wife Yudy and his team from Renuevo. Pray that the Lord will continue to open doors and create bridges for the gospel in Ensenada. God is on the move!

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

Many Opportunities to Minister as We Traveled
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road on mission with the Lord. Seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

We began our trip to South America in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I wrote in my last post we believe it was an advance for us attending the Red de Multiplicación conference. So good to see various church traditions coming together for the cause of Christ in the Latin world!

After our time in Uruguay, Dawn and I flew to Bogotá, Colombia. Dawn loves to share her faith, and she boldly does it while we travel. It’s amazing to watch how the Lord prepares the people that we meet.

Ripe for the Harvest
The love of Christ can and does change people hearts!

The love of Christ can and does change people’s  hearts!

On the flight from Montevideo to Bogotá, a young woman, Veronica sat next to Dawn on the plane. We were all tired when we first boarded the plane as it was an early morning flight. When they brought us a meal a little later, Dawn began to interact with Veronica. As the two of them talked about their family background when Dawn told her that our daughter, Hannah had moved to heaven Veronica began to cry. She is a very tender and caring person.

She told Dawn about some of the trouble she had experienced with her boyfriend and her family. One thing we learned on our trip is how common it is in both Uruguay and Colombia for couples to live together and not get married. Colombia has one of the highest rates in the world at 80%.

As Dawn and Veronica continued their conversation she told Dawn that her grandmother had been praying for her. She was running away from her troubles, but she felt like God was trying to get her attention.

Dawn shared more with her and told her about Jesus love for her, and the gift of eternal life that Christ came to give us through his death and resurrection. Veronica was ripe. The Lord had been working in her heart. Dawn prayed for her, and Veronica cried some more as she felt the Lord’s peace and presence.

After Dawn explained the message of the gospel to Veronica she led Veronica in prayer to receive the greatest gift ever given. The gift of eternal life in Christ. The Lord’s peace filled Veronica’s heart.

The Gospel Does Bring Change & Transformation!
Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

I’m thankful for Dawn’s boldness to share the love of Christ wherever we are. We don’t always have a whole flight to share with the people we meet.

As we were getting ready for another flight Dawn felt led to give a woman a Bible tract, and she explained briefly what the tract contained. The lady told Dawn that she thought God was trying to get her attention because she had just sat next to a Christian woman on her previous flight. Wow! Amazing how the Lord works!

One more airplane gospel story. We had a long layover in Bogotá before we flew home, so we went to a restaurant to hang out and wait for our flight. Dawn noticed the woman sitting next to us had been on our previous flight, so she felt like she should take the opportunity to share with her.

When Dawn and I share with people we often weave in the story of our family and how our daughter moved to heaven. We talk to them about the importance of having faith in Christ. That’s what has sustained us since Hannah’s early homegoing.

Dawn told the young woman that she recognized her from our previous flight. She began to tell her some about our family and God’s plan. The woman was surprisingly open and she told us she had just prayed in the morning that the Lord would guide her. She is from Manizales, Colombia where we had just come from so we gave her the contact info for our friends that live there. Amazing in just that short time the gospel connection that we were able to make. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for More Open Doors, More Fruit
Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

It’s so important to sow the seed of the gospel. It doesn’t always land on fertile ground, but it is surprising as we pray to see how the Lord often leads us to people who are open and ready. Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to open the doors for us, and we will see more and more people come to Christ as we sow the seed.

There are many other exciting experiences we had as we ministered in Uruguay and Colombia. I hope to continue to share more about our trip in my next post.

Please join us as we pray and minister wherever the Lord takes us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Spirit is on the Move in Mexico City
Mario & Silvia with their son, Daniel

Mario & Silvia with their son, Daniel

Dawn and I are seeking to grow in being more sensitive to the Spirit as we go through the day. We are realizing more and more that much of ministry happens in the unplanned moments as we go through our day.

I’m in Mexico City this week! I love this city, because of all our friends here and the many years we lived here.

On Friday Mario Silva and I went out for breakfast at the local VIPS so we could talk. Well, we ordered and just began to eat our breakfast when I noticed a woman sitting at a table near us, and she was crying. I asked her if she was okay, and she said that she was going through a really hard time. Mario and I invited her to sit with us.

We soon found out that her name was Gaby. When we asked her what was going on, through tears she shared, that her husband who is a successful doctor has been sleeping around. Gaby went on to say that she found out recently that he was using Cocaine.

She was broken.

The Love of Christ Lifts Us Out of the Pit

4A5A59BE-5936-4084-8D85-1694D35DE032Mario and I began to share with her how much God loved her, and that was part of the reason she sat near us that morning. It was in the Lord’s loving plan for her to meet us, so we could share the love of Christ with her, and give her hope.

Then after we spent some time with her encouraging her, we also shared the gospel with her, and we told her the only way to fix her life was to let Christ into it. That’s where it all begins!

We asked Gaby if she would like to pray with us to receive Christ and she said yes! I had the privilege along with Mario to lead her in prayer to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior!

Pray for Gaby’s Spiritual Growth & More Divine Appointments

Mario’s wife, Silvia is a very godly and committed follower of Jesus, so we told Gaby we’d like to connect her with Silvia so she could help her grow in her new found faith, and give her some wise counsel as Gaby seeks to navigate some of the challenges she is facing in her life.

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

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

Dawn is usually the one to meet people in restaurants and share the gospel with them. She’s been a good example for me. I’d say on average Dawn shares her faith with at least one person every time we go to a restaurant and often with even more people. It was encouraging that even though my extroverted wife wasn’t with me that the Lord opened this door for us. Can you say, “Divine Appointment”?

Thanking Jesus! Every time something like this happens I believe it’s one more way that the Lord is redeeming our daughter’s early home going. It’s made Dawn and me even more bold to share the love of Christ with a lost and hurting world. Yay Jesus! 😃

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Story of New Life in Christ
Petri with Lorenia & her husband

Petri with Lorenia & Miguel and the Bibles we gave them

One of the many highlights during our week in Ensenada for the summer VBS was how the Lord used our daughter, Hannah to share the gospel with her host. Lorenia and her family hosted Hannah and the other women from Skyview that came on the trip.

Hannah and Lorenia stayed up late talking one night, and Hannah had the opportunity to share the gospel. She asked Lorenia, “if you died today do you know for sure that you would go to heaven? Lorenia responded, “No, I’m no sure.”

Even with Hannah’s limited Spanish she bravely went on to share the gospel with Lorenia and to let her know how she could have a saving faith. After Hannah had the opportunity to let Lorenia know about the wonderful, sacrificial work of Christ on the cross she asked Lorenia, “Would you like to pray to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

She said yes! 

Hannah with Lorenia and her two children

Hannah with Lorenia and her two children

Then Hannah led her in prayer to place her faith in Christ. Hannah asked her, “do you have a Bible that you can read and learn from?” She said, “no, I don’t have a Bible”. The next day Hannah asked me if I had a Bible that we could give to Lorenia.

Then during the week I saw Lorenia with her husband Miguel when they brought their children to VBS and I was able to give both of them a Bible!

Lorenia’s two children attended VBS all week long, and they enjoyed a great time and learning more about Christ and his kingdom. Hallelujah!

Pray with us that Lorenia and Miguel will grow in their faith as God continues his good work in their lives.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Medical Missions In Ensenada

I hope you are still living in the afterglow of Easter!

Kathie Kim & Sarah Oh from Redeemer SD in the middle surrounded by the leaders from iglesia Nueva Jerusalén

Kathie Kim & Sarah Oh from Redeemer SD in the middle surrounded by the leaders from iglesia Nueva Jerusalén

It’s because of Easter, because of what Christ did on the cross and through his resurrection that we are heading down to Ensenada, Mexico today to lead a medical missions outreach. A group from Redeemer Presbyterian Church San Diego will be ministering this week with the Nueva Jerusalén church. Redeemer and Nueva Jerusalén put in a lot of time preparing for a successful outreach.

Three Sites for Medical Clinic
A group we learned from performing dentistry in Ensenada

A group we learned from performing dentistry in Ensenada

Although I’ve led many short-term missions projects this is the first medical missions trip I have led. We are thankful for the wonderful group from Redeemer that is giving up their time to minister to the needs in Ensenada.

We will hold the medical clinic at three sites. On Monday we will be at the mother church (La Nueva Jerusalén). On Tuesday and Wednesday we will serve at one of their mission sites in a community called, Morelos. Thursday we will minister at another mission in the community of Maneadero.

Outreach to Children & Families
The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The church we are working with in Ensenada (La Nueva Jerusalén) is the same church that Skyview Presbyterian from Denver worked with last year. The Lord gave us an amazing time with them as we used VBS to reach out to children and families in the community. I recently heard from Skyview and they are planning on coming back this summer!

Dawn and I have grown to love the people in this church. We are thrilled that they are so eager to share the good news of Christ.

Join Us In Prayer!

Dawn, Hannah and I will be going on this trip. We’d appreciate much prayer for the group that is going down, as well as for our family. Pray that the Lord goes before us and prepares the hearts of the people we will be working with. Pray as we minister to people’s physical needs that the Lord will open the door to their hearts, and that they will welcome the good news of the gospel.

Pray also that many people will come to the clinic, and that we don’t have any trouble getting things across the border.

Thank you for holding us up in prayer. This is an important week for the ministry here on the border as we seek to see people’s lives transformed.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org