Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

Giving Thanks for our Wonderful Partners!

This morning I was reading Philippians 1, which is one of my favorite passages. Even though I’ve read it many times before today verses 4 and 5 jumped off the page, and especially the phrase, because of your partnership in the gospel.

Paul says he is thankful for the church and he is praying for them and then verse 5 says, “because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil. 1:5

It is my custom to pray in the morning for our ministry partners, and often the Lord gives me a passage or a word, something encouraging to share with them as I pray. Then I send a message to them letting them know that we are praying for them, and that the Lord encouraged me with this passage or this word today.

Our Growing Family & Redemption!

Dawn and I have grown to have a deep love for these partners, and many of them have become like family to us. We have partners in various cities in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. It seems like the net, the family keeps growing as we are beginning to develop relationships with pastors and leaders in Honduras and Guatemala as well. Only the Lord truly knows where these gospel centered relationships will take us.

I often feel when the Lord extends our family through these deep relationships that it’s a way He is redeeming our pain and all that we’ve suffered through the loss of our beautiful and dear daughter, Hannah.

It’s interesting to me that the passage that struck me this morning includes Philippians 1:6, which is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Our family decided to put verse 6 on Hannah’s tombstone.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6 ESV

Renuevo – New Life in Ensenada

Last Sunday, Dawn and I along with her mom, her brother and his family joined us in Ensenada. We joined our new church plant Renuevo for their service. I preached on God’s goodness and his desire to have an intimate relationship with us from John 10. At the end of the service I led them in prayer and we celebrated the Lord’s supper together. I guided the church through a time of confession and forgiveness during our time of prayer. I love the opportunity to see people break down walls through the gospel which leads to confession, repentance, forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

The Lord gave us a wonderful and special time of celebration together!

When the service was over I talked to a new family that recently started attending the church as a result of our summer VBS. I noticed that they didn’t take communion with us, so I asked them about their relationship with Christ. This gave me the opportunity to share the gospel with them, and to lead them in prayer to receive Christ and confess their need for the only living and true Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love seeing people come to faith, and start their journey with Jesus!

After everyone had left Dawn and I went out for a meal with the leadership team of Renuevo, which is led by Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. Such a great group! We always enjoy the opportunity to break bread with them.

Our experience with them, reminded me of all of our dear partners in the gospel. People that we’ve grown to love, and who we have a strong and growing relationship with!

Extend Our Borders!

Paul writes about his deep love and the importance of his partnership with the church in Philippi. I echo his sentiment when he says the following in Philippians 1:7.

It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace…”

Dawn and I are so blessed and grateful to have such wonderful partners and a growing family in Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali, Mexico City and Beyond! The Lord has answered our prayers to see our borders expanded. Now we have close and growing partners beyond Mexico’s borders throughout Latin America.

I’m flying to Cuba this week to encourage and minister with our partners there. We covet your prayers, as the Lord continues to open more doors!

Thank you, Jesus! Your love overwhelms us at times, and we experience it in tangible ways through these relationships, through these partners in the gospel!

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

Encouraged by Stories of God’s Grace

Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor and Sol

Every time I’m with Pastor Victor and Sol I come away encouraged by all the God Stories. The Lord is definitely on the move in Plan Libertador. It’s amazing to think that this church just started a little over a year ago.

Victor and Sol told me about Viviana Hernandez and her son, Miguel who recently came to Christ and were just baptized in the church. Miguel is the drum player at the church for the worship team.

They came to the church through a friend that attends the church Viviana says, she was attracted to the church by the love shown and the message. She heard the wonderful message of the gospel of grace and she decided to place her faith in Him.

Then Viviana invited her friend Carmen. They know each other from nursing school. Carmen’s husband is a bodyguard. They have a growing interest in the gospel.

Lupita: The Light of Christ is Shining

Another person who recently came to Christ is Lupita Rodriguez. She’s 22 years old and she was also baptized into the church. She invited her mom to church. Lupita’s mom has a number of health problems, so they’ve been ministering to her and praying for her. Lupita is grateful and her mom is encouraged by all the love they’ve received.

Lupita has a contagious faith and she started sharing the gospel with her cousin, Cristal and she has started attending the church. God is moving through his people. Babes in Christ.

Loving & Caring for Orphans

Pastor Victor, Sol & Abraham with Dave, Dawn and Hannah

Pastor Victor, Sol & Abraham with Dave, Dawn and Hannah

The church is ministering in an orphanage in the community – it’s called Nueva Generación – New Generation. Sol, who is a trained psychologist is meeting with the children and their parents. They have 17 children and the directors are coming to the church on Sundays.

The ministry is growing as they lovingly share the message of Jesus. Victor and Sol are two of my heroes, and I think if you knew them they would also be your heroes. To God be the Glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Amazing Grace!

Some of the special friends the Lord has given us!

Some of the special friends the Lord has given us!

Tonight Dawn and I celebrated God’s grace with some wonderful ministry partners!

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas meal, and we took turns sharing about the awesome works of grace that we’ve seen our God do over the past year. It’s so encouraging to serve the Lord with other’s who are committed to Christ.

The Lord minister’s to my soul as I hear how he is working and has worked in the life of friends. It’s not easy, some of the stories people shared were stories of some pain and hardship. Yet God showed up in the moment of need. He promises to be there for us.

God Teaches Us Through the Trials

Some of the guys we've been on a journey with from one of our key partners, Bridge Church

Some of the guys we’ve been on a journey with from one of our key partners, Bridge Church

I feel like this has been one of the hardest years for me personally. We’ve gone through some difficult trials as a family. There have also been some challenging times in the ministry. Some painful things happened. People that we love were hurt.

Despite the difficulty that I’ve faced and our family has faced, I can see our Lord’s hand leading and guiding us. He is the gentle shepherd that leads us to the quiet waters.

Probably the greatest thing that has taken place through these low times is that God has drawn me and my family closer to him.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy as a “professional” minister, as a missionary to lose my first love. I can just go through the motions, and it all becomes somewhat mechanical. Since, the Lord loves me he draws me back to himself. He doesn’t give up on me.

This is where we find much of God’s grace at our weakest point. When we have nothing left to give, God’s grace meets us there. When we fail, God is there.

Keep looking to Jesus

I think one of the keys, is to keep seeking. Keep your eyes on Jesus, cling to him. Grow to love him anew, if you feel that your love has grown cold. He welcomes you with open arms. He is always working and drawing into a deeper relationship with him. Don’t resist his love.

I’m so thankful for God’s renewing grace, and for friends that I can share the story with. I get to see the amazing things God is doing in their lives as well.

You are an amazing God! Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave preaching

Dave preaching

Are You Living Worthy of the Gospel?

Paul exhorts the Philippians to live their lives worthy of the gospel.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” —Philippians 1:27 ESV

I had the great opportunity to preach on this passage this past Sunday. I love Paul’s pastoral heart. His concern the church in Philippi.

The book of Philippians is part of Paul’s prison epistles. He was concerned for the churches that he started. So he encouraged them to stay strong in their faith and to walk in a way that honors God.

We Strive, but in His Grace

Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

I like the thought of living worthy of the gospel. On the one hand, we know that we can’t live in such a way without the gospel deeply penetrating and permeating our lives. We strive, but in his grace.

Jonathan Edwards said, “The secret of the Christian life is to let the reality of the gospel filter into the nooks and crannies of your life, in your reasoning as well as in your experience.”

We are not worthy of the gospel in and of ourselves, and Paul’s not trying to say that we should be. Rather he is stressing now that you have received the gospel of Christ, keep moving forward in his strength. Don’t settle for a mediocre Christian life. Grow in the rich soil of his grace.

I pray this will be true of those in the churches we are working with on the border. I also pray that it will true for you.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda (Daniel is the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo)

As 2013 draws to a close, it causes me to reflect on all the wonderful works our Lord has done in the past year.

I believe this has been one of the most fruitful and most fulfilling years for Dawn and me in our 25 years of marriage. We couldn’t wait to move to the border, and dig into the ministry on the San Diego – Tijuana border.

It’s been even better than we imagined!

Not everything has been perfect. We’ve experienced some challenges and setbacks as well, but overall it’s been an outstanding time of ministry.

Rejoicing with our Wonderful Partners

Worship at Christmas in City Heights

Worship at Harbor Mid-Cities, Christmas in City Heights

God has given us wonderful partners to serve with here. We love working with Harbor and it’s network of churches north of the border. South of the Border we have a great and growing relationship with Lo Mejor del Trigo and their network of churches. The Lord has opened up some new doors for us as well with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

Rejoicing in the Fruit God has Given

feeding the homeless at El Bordo

feeding the homeless at El Bordo with Pastor Leo and his wife Gloria

Through our partnership with these ministries we’ve seen more than 100 come to Christ in the churches we are directly involved with. Untold hundreds of homeless have been fed and cared for. The poor and unfortunate families have been given hot meals in the name of Christ. Those that were once addicted to drugs have found a Christ-centered drug rehab, and they are healing.

One of the exciting things is that these ministries will only get stronger in 2014. The Lord will extend the reach of the church through his people.

What a privilege it is for Dawn and me to be a part of all that God is doing. That is why we are rejoicing in God’s grace.

In my upcoming posts I’d like to highlight in some more specific ways that we’ve seen God work in 2013. Today I wanted to cast the vision, and give an overview of our Lord’s mighty deeds. We truly see his heart for the border as we live and serve here.

Dave and Dawn - thankful for the Lord's renewing work on the border

Dave and Dawn – thankful for the Lord’s renewing work on the border

Rejoicing in Christ’s Call

Thank you Jesus for calling us to serve you here, and for moving in such a powerful way. We do cry  out and ask you to continue to touch the hearts of men, women and children so that we will see your kingdom extended on the earth.

Consider a Year-End Gift

If you are looking for a fantastic way to give, please consider making a year-end gift to our ministry on the border. You can give online by clicking on this link: https://donations.mtw.org/donate/AddDesignation.aspx?No=11717

In His Grace, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

David Jr. giving his speech at San Diego Christian College

David Jr. giving his speech at San Diego Christian College

On Wednesday I tweeted a tweet (not sure how to say that, but we’ll go with it 😉 ) about being excited that our oldest son, David Jr. would be addressing the faculty and student body at San Diego Christian College. David is the student body president, and they were kicking off the school year with the first chapel. A friend of mine of my seminary days, Maribeth Myers wrote, “proud papa”. Yes that would accurately describe how I felt.

I’m proud of all three of my grown children: David, Jr.; Jonathan; Hannah. They are all excelling in what they are doing, and more importantly they love Jesus.

I want to praise the Lord for the work he has done in my family, and not boast in what we’ve done. I know that it’s God’s work in their hearts.

It was so encouraging to listen David Jr. give his speech at the chapel service. He shared about how he used to get his identity in being a missionary kid when he was a child. Then as he started playing baseball that became a big part of his identity. Over the last few years he’s been growing in his understanding of Christ’s love for him. His identity is in Christ.

David used a powerful quote from Mark Driscoll that expands on the theme of Jesus’ love for us:

Jesus loves me. That’s the bedrock of the Christian faith. We can never outgrow that one great, majestic, and simple transforming truth. Once we know Jesus’ love, we can stop using people for their love and simply start loving them as Jesus loves us.

Foot washing ceremony with President Dr. Paul Ague and David Jr. (representing the faculty and administration serving the students at SDCC)

Foot washing ceremony with President Dr. Paul Ague and David Jr. (representing the faculty and administration serving the students at SDCC)

Our identity in Christ never changes, once we are in Christ, but we do grow. In the grace of God we do become more and more like our Savior. As we become more like Christ we find ourselves loving and serving others.

I pray that each of my children along with those at San Diego Christian College will grow to know and understand the depths of Christ’s love for them. I pray this will be true for Dawn and me, and for you as you read this post!

Pray With Us

Ron & Virginia Diaso (Dave's dad and mom)

Ron & Virginia Diaso (Dave’s dad and mom)

On a side note, I’d like to ask you to join me in prayer for my dad, Ron Diaso. He will be undergoing a heart bypass surgery on September 4th at 7 AM, PT. Pray that the Lord will guide the doctors hands, and that my dad will make it through the surgery. The doctors feel confident going into the surgery, but I know we need the divine doctors care. I will be going up to Fresno this week to be with my parents for the surgery.

Thanks so much for standing with us on this journey, and for encouraging us along the way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org