Posts Tagged ‘family’

I Need God’s Grace
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The Cross on Mt. Soledad in San Diego

This year more than past years remembering that Christ was called a man of sorrows acquainted with grief has ministered to me. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3)

I recognize more than ever that I need the Lord’s grace and tender mercies. I long for His healing touch.

Our Ongoing Mourning

My family and I continue to struggle with Hannah’s passing, or as we’ve begun to say her moving to heaven. Recently the thought occurred to me that it doesn’t matter if I get angry or sad or somewhere in between, none of that will bring my daughter back to me. As King David said after washing his face, changing his clothes and worshipping the Lord in reference to his son who had passed away in 2 Samuel 12:23, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

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We Miss Our Beautiful Hannah, but We are Glad She is Celebrating Now

No matter how much I long for it, Hannah will not return to me. I do miss her every day. I do long to see her and hug her again.

These are some of the reasons why I love that the Bible says that Jesus was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. I feel through all of this the Lord is saying to me in a very personal and tender way, “I know your pain, I know your anguish. Hannah’s death was not in vain.” What a wonderful comfort. What a wonderful savior!

The Pain of the Ultimate Loss
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Our family in Mexico City

A few weeks ago Dawn and I went to see the movie, The Shack. I read the book a number of years ago, but I didn’t remember the story all that well. I’m aware of the controversy surrounding both, but that is not my purpose for mentioning it here.

As I watched the movie with Dawn I was surprised by how much the story ministered to me. It touched me as I saw a father grapple with the loss of his daughter. His sorrow, his anger and even his disappointment with God. There was a point in the movie where one of the characters playing God said, “It’s not your fault.” That is something I’ve wrestled with in pondering the why’s behind Hannah’s passing. I too sensed during a time of prayer that the Lord said to me, “It’s not your fault.” I think they are words that I need to be reminded of often.

A father is supposed to protect his child from harm, so when the ultimate harm comes there is a sense of failure. I wasn’t able to protect and keep my daughter from the tragedy of death. That’s so painful! Thank you for the man of sorrows, who is acquainted with grief. Thank you for being there for me.

Thank you for this day when we remember how Christ suffered on the cross for our sins. Good Friday seems like an oxymoron when we consider what it is referring to, but as many have said before, “It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. Hallelujah!”

This hope that we have in Christ. This hope that David declared in recognizing that one day he would go to see his son, that is the hope that sustains us! We give thanks to the Lord for such a wonderful hope!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Travel, Hellos and Goodbyes
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David Jr. with Dawn and Dave in Napa, CA. Our last day together before David left for Connecticut

Last week Dawn and I were traveling in Northern California for a ministry meeting. We were also able to fit in a few days with our son, David before we said goodbye. He is moving to Connecticut for his job. After saying a tearful goodbye to David, we headed to Fresno. While in Fresno we saw my parents. My dad was in ICU after surgery on his lungs. We now know that he has cancer caused by asbestos from his days of working in construction when he was younger. Another unpleasant trial for our family.

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Dave & Dawn with Nadine

One of the highlights of the trip was my cousin Nadine’s daughter, Audra’s wedding. While at the wedding we saw a number of relatives we hadn’t seen in a while. Most of them weren’t able to come to Hannah’s funeral service. It was good to visit with my extended family again. They encouraged us through their heartfelt words.

We Have to Keep Moving Forward
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Dave and Dawn with the newlyweds, Michael and Audra Rodriguez  with Dave’s brother, John his wife, Treena and daughter, Baylee

One of my relatives who lost her husband a few years ago told me the first year was very difficult, and that all she could do was just keep trying to move forward. I feel that’s what Dawn and I are doing. We are staying busy, and we are traveling more than usual.

The Lord has ministered to us as we’ve been on the road, and it seems as we give to others it lifts up our spirits.

Yesterday (Saturday) marked four months since Hannah passed away. Our emotions are all over the place. We do feel the Lord’s presence and we believe he is bringing healing to us, but grieving has definitely been the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

O Lord, Make Our Lives Count for Eternity
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The Rainbow a beautiful reminder of God’s promise

Part of my prayer through this is that the Lord will make the time I have left on the earth count for eternity. It’s not necessarily a new prayer, but I do think it’s more focused and more intense. Hannah’s early home going made it crystal clear how short our time is. The Bible says the time we have on the earth is but a vapor. I didn’t think about that very often until my daughter’s life was cut short.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but one of the primary elements that the Lord has used to keep us afloat is the encouragement and prayers of our friends. All the notes are amazing. It’s been wonderful to have all the communication we’ve had on the Hannah Diaso Memorial on Facebook.

Dawn and I keep pouring our hearts out, and so many of you respond and love on us and tell us that you are praying. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus for our friends. Thank you for letting us be real.

The Necessity of Prayer!

The Lord ministered to me in a very profound way through a time of prayer last night. I was going to write about it here, but I don’t want this post to be too long. I hope to write about how God met me and comforted me at my point of need in my next post later this week.

In the meantime I’d like to ask you to keep praying for us.

  • Pray for the Lord’s continued healing and grace
  • Pray for wisdom as we serve and plan out the upcoming months
  • Pray for my dad’s healing as he’s in rehab, and we are still waiting to find out what the treatment for his cancer will be.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection as we are experiencing ongoing attack. We know that Christ is the victor and we trust in him.
  • This upcoming Saturday we are taking a youth group from Redeemer San Diego to Ensenada to work with our new church planting project, Renuevo. Pray also for Petri and Yudy as they lead the church plant.
  • Continue to pray for the pastors and leaders we work with in Tijuana.

Thanks so much dear friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Family Fun & Baseball
Family Fun!

Family Fun!

This summer has been jam-packed, and we are only half way through it! Even with all the busyness, I feel extremely blessed. This week Dawn, Hannah and I have been able to take a break from some of our normal activities as both David and Jon came to visit us! Woo-hoo!!

We’ve just had a wonderful time enjoying our family being together, which is a special treat. To top it off this year the Baseball All-Star game was played in San Diego. There’s been all kinds of fun activities from last Saturday till this Tuesday.

All-Star Game in San Diego

All-Star Game in San Diego

I grew up a big baseball fan. I played baseball as a young boy, and then I coached my two boys when they played. If you spend time around our family you know that we like to talk about baseball. I suppose to some we talk about it too much. I’m sure Dawn and Hannah feel like we get carried away at times.

On the positive side, even though Dawn isn’t a baseball fan, she let’s me indulge. Hannah doesn’t follow baseball, but she enjoys going to the games with me. I need a baseball buddy, since the boys no longer live here.

Fulfilling a Dream
David & Jonathan at the Home Run Derby

David & Jonathan at the Home Run Derby

The Lord blessed us with an opportunity that I didn’t think I would every have. David Jr. and Jonathan were able to go to the Home run derby on Monday. Then on Tuesday David and I were able to go to the All-Star game. What a wonderful memory with my boys! I’m so glad that now that they are adults there is something that we connect around.

Our faith and walk with Christ are always central and I believe they serve to unify us, and help us get through the rough patches. It’s a gift from the Lord that we can also enjoy baseball together!

David Jr. said that it was a childhood dream of his to be able to go to the Home run derby and the All-Star game. All three of us, David, Jonathan and I enjoyed the festivities that went along with the games.

David Jr. & David Sr. at the All Star Game!

David Jr. & David Sr. at the All Star Game!

I thank the Lord for the gift that this was for our family, especially the men in the family. Even though Dawn and Hannah didn’t go to any of the All-Star activities they loved having David and Jonathan here for a visit. In between the All-Star weekend festivities we found some time to spend together as family. We learn to cherish these moments more and more as our children are now grown, and David & Jonathan live in other cities.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to enjoy family and sports activities together! I’ve found that sporting events are a good way to connect with other church planters as well. The Lord has connected me to some wonderful people who are laboring in the extension of the kingdom on the earth at sporting events! Thank you Jesus for the many good gifts that you give us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Journey Continues
The Diaso Family at the border - with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Dawn, Jon, Hannah, David Jr. and Dave at the border – with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Last year at this time are family was going through some deep waters. At times, it felt like hell on earth! Pardon the expression, but it seems to fit. We cried out to you for prayer, and many people sent encouraging notes and surrounded us in prayer.

Dawn and I give thanks for you! You hold us up. I don’t think we would have made it without your loving support.

Now that we are a year removed from that experience there are some important lessons learned. We are not completely through the trial yet, although we’ve come a long way towards healing since then. We’ve learned and continue to learn about the spiritual battle that we are in. The Lord is deepening us and refining us through the refiner’s fire.

Healing in His Wings
Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Hannah at her school – IMPACT 195

The Lord has used all kinds of friends and wonderful people to come alongside us and to help us on this journey. The discipleship school that Hannah is in IMPACT 195 has been a huge encouragement to Hannah. She has made some wonderful friends, and God has blessed her with some tremendous mentors. Yay Jesus!

There are so many friends that have lifted us up along the way, it’s not possible to mention them all. I will say of those that are close to where we live the pastors and leaders we work with on both sides of the border have been such a blessing to us.

Some of the pastors that I mention often in my blog like, Ivan Casados, Jaime Rodriguez, Daniel Nuñez, Victor Bravo, Abraham Velazquez, Mauro Lopez, Cesar Zavala and Mario Perez among others have asked their church to lift us up in prayer. Every time I talk to them they always ask about our family, and tell us they are praying for us!

Their prayers and your prayers make us feel so loved! It truly lifts our spirits.

God’s Promises

God promises to use trials for our good to build patience, character and hope. We see that happening, although it’s not easy. We are learning things about the Christian life, prayer and spiritual warfare that we would have never learned without this difficult season.

We are often reminded of our weakness through this trial, but God promises that his grace is sufficient.

…”My grace is sufficient for you, and for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

—2 Corinthians 12:9

This is one of Hannah’s favorite Bible verses. Doesn’t it make you feel better knowing that the Lord uses our pain and our weaknesses? I find it to be a source of peace.

The Battle Rages On
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

Sunset on the Pacific

Make no mistake about it, if you are a follower of Jesus then you are in a battle. It’s not a physical battle, although it surely affects us physically. Paul tells us to stand firm in this battle and to put on the armor of God. I think too many Christians don’t take seriously enough the war that we are in.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

—Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV

I’m so thankful that the Lord doesn’t leave us defenseless, but he equips us with the appropriate armor so that we can stand firm. We have victory in Christ! We are more than conquerors! Yet the battle rages on.

I love the powerful promise that the Lord gives us. He gives us hope.

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

What a wonderful promise. The weapons that God has given us have divine power. They are powerful enough to destroy the strongholds. As we stand together as a body we are stronger. The church is triumphant in Christ.

These Trials Have a Purpose

Just yesterday a friend and mentor of ours sent us a note of encouragement. She said,

“The word says what Satan intended for bad God will use for good. All this mess you have had to go through will bring great victory to many. You have plowed deep trenches Hannah. Not an easy way but others will come through easier because of this. The way of the Master is good. Many are those God has called to be part of this battle.”

Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

We are excited about all that the Lord is doing in Hannah’s Life!

We are not through the battle yet. We still need your prayers and encouragement. Thanks so much for standing with us, and for all your love. Let’s march forward together in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

I Hate Saying Good-bye
The Diaso Family at the border - with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

The Diaso Family at the border – with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

One of the most difficult things about being a missionary is saying good-bye to family and all the people we love. It’s something that Dawn and I have been doing for more than 25 years, but it never gets easier.

I can remember weeping when I first said good-bye to my grandparents, my parents, my brothers and my friends those many years ago.

Good-bye Jonny Boy
Dave with Jonathan

Dave with Jonathan

Today (Sunday) my second born son, Jonathan got on a plane and flew back to Colorado. I like to call him Jonny Boy.

The Lord gave us a wonderful visit!

I am thankful that we do have such a close and loving family. We aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we do love and care for each other.

All three of our children, David Jr., Jonathan and Hannah get along very well. It’s a real gift from the Lord to see them together.

Having some fun!

Having some fun on the border!

Dawn and I give thanks that our kids are as close as they are. Thank you Jesus for each member in our family.

While Jonathan was here we were able to spend a couple of days in Fresno visiting my parents and one of my brother’s and his family. It was a special time as we aren’t all able to get together very frequently.

It Could be Worse!

When I think about the sadness that we experience in saying good-bye to our family, I recognize that some missionaries live much further away from their children and other family members. Many have it much harder than we do, so I must give thanks for that. On the other hand, I’m not sure that takes away from the ache of saying good-bye.

Dawn and I are very proud of all three of our children. We feel that they are true gifts from the Lord, and it’s always special when we can all be together.

Thanks for Joining Us In Prayer

We appreciate your prayers, and your love and encouragement for us as we continue on this journey. God has called us here. He has a purpose in all of this, and he is doing a good work on the border and the Baja. His purpose is for our whole family not just for Dawn and me. We lean on Him and we trust in Him.

We give thanks for the Lord’s good work, and for his call!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

My Weakness His Strength
Father & Daughter, Hannah & Dave

Father & Daughter – Hannah & Dave

I find as we are going through this trial with our daughter, Hannah and trying to balance out life and ministry there are times I feel the weight of it all. It seems like too much to bear!

I have to keep reminding myself of God’s promises. His promises are all true in Christ Jesus.

I feel weak today. One of our good friends, pastor Stephen Phelan visited us in the hospital and he shared one of things that he reminds himself of when he feels weak is, “I can’t, but he can.” Our family has claimed that, and we keep reminding ourselves and Hannah of this truth.

2 Corinthians 12 speaks of God’s strength that is made perfect in our weakness.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV – emphasis mine)

Mother & Daughter - Hannah & Dawn with Daisy

Mother & Daughter – Hannah & Dawn with Daisy

This difficult season serves to show us our weakness in Technicolor. It is not enjoyable, but I know the Lord uses it and he has a purpose in it. We seek to trust him.

Today I woke up feeling very weak. I just posted on my blog yesterday,  A Call to Prayer – Update on Hannah and I sent out an email update. I asked for increased prayer for a breakthrough for Hannah. Since I sent those appeals out I’ve felt attacked, so I realize that our family also needs prayer protection.

Enduring Hope & Renewed Strength

I mentioned Ernest Shackleton maintaining hope among his crew for a year while they were ship-wreaked and stranded in Antarctica. They faced insurmountable odds. I think the longer this goes for us, our hope gets clouded. There’s a fog blocking our sight. So today in Christ’s strength I choose to lift up my eyes to hills from where my help comes. The Lord is my rock and my refuge.

Dawn and I are claiming God’s promises for our family and praying for the renewed strength like the eagle from Isaiah 40.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭29-31‬ ESV – emphasis mine)

We Need Jesus & We Need You
Dave at the U.S. Mexico border - Life on the Border

Dave at the U.S. Mexico border – Life on the Border

Thanks for joining us on this journey. We can’t got it alone. We need Jesus, and we need a band of brothers and sisters – faithful friends who hold us up! We are thankful that each day Hannah is improving.

One thing I would ask prayer for besides Hannah’s total and complete healing is wisdom as Dawn and I daily try to figure out what we can realistically do, and to be content with that.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thanks for the Loving Support
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our family has felt very loved through the prayers and encouragement of all of our friends. This has been hard. This painful journey with our daughter, Hannah. The healing has come slower than we’d like, but it is coming!

Two weeks ago the doctor was very concerned about Hannah’s lack of progress. We sent out an appeal. The first call to prayer that I posted. We also called, sent out texts, tweets and Facebook posts. The response was overwhelming. God is using your prayers and support to sustain us.

God Breaking Through

Also, after we sent out this call to prayer through the various media we saw a breakthrough. The Lord answered, and Hannah started showing progress. Since then I’d say the progress has been relatively steady, although slow.

Hannah had her best day yet yesterday. We keep looking to Jesus, just really hanging on to him and his promises. There are hills and valleys on this journey. The Lord holds us in his firm and loving grip, and we have an army of friends who stand with us. An army who are traveling with us on this journey. For that we are truly grateful.

A Story of Enduring Hope
A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house

A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house. A reminder of God’s peace.

I’ve been reading a book about a group that were stranded on Antarctica in 1915 and 1916, and how they survived for about a year against insurmountable odds and opposition. The book is titled, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. One of the most important things that kept them alive was their attitude. Ernest Shackleton, the leader, whom they called boss, made sure they didn’t get down, and that they believed there was hope.

This reminds me of Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 4, and it’s been something that we’ve had to remind Hannah of.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
Paul reminds us to think about good things, things of excellence. There are many excellent and encouraging thoughts found in the Bible. Those also sustain us. Here are a few of those promises:
For We know the thoughts and plans that our God has for us, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)
We will not die but live, and we will declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17 AMP)
No weapon that is fashioned against us shall succeed, and we will refute every tongue that rises against us in judgment. This is our heritage as servants of the Lord and our vindication from you, our Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 ESV)
Keep Storming Heaven in Prayer
Hannah, Dawn and Dave

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

We long to see another breakthrough for Hannah. We’d love to see her completely healed, so please continue to storm heaven with us.

I’m sending out more frequent updates on Hannah via my Twitter feed: @ddiaso and on our Facebook page Diaso Life on the Border. My twitter feed is also on the left side of this blog page.
Thanks so much dear friends!
In His Grip, Dave