Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

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

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

God’s Math in Tijuana is the same as it is anywhere else around the world. The Gospel + nothing = everything!

On Sunday I spoke at one of the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) churches in Rojo Gomez, which is an area in eastern Tijuana.

It was so encouraging, because there was a great group of people. Pastor Abraham Velazquez asked them to invite their friends and family to the service. They did just that!

The Message of Grace

I preached on Galatians 1:1-9. I love this passage. Paul speaks somewhat harshly to the Galatians, because they are turning to a different gospel. Then he adds, not that there is another one. If you change even the smallest part of the gospel you lose it all together. The gospel of Christ, is that Jesus is the only way. It is through Christ’s sacrifice and his resurrection that we receive the grace of God. We can’t add to the perfect work that Christ has already done for us.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  —Galatians 1:6-9, ESV

The simple message of the gospel is that in Christ alone are we saved, by grace alone, through faith alone. It’s elementary math, but unfortunately we often like to add to this formula that God has laid out for us.

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

My good friend, pastor Abraham told me that he’s been preparing his people and preaching about grace. At first they resisted the message of grace. They thought he was teaching that it didn’t matter how they lived, but that is not the point. If you believe that you can live in sin you’ve missed it altogether. It’s just that we don’t get to God through our good works.

Another big part of the teaching of grace is that only the gospel can truly change us from the inside out.

Through Abraham’s preaching and the work of the Spirit the Lord had prepared the heart of the people. They were ripe to receive the message.

A Wonderful Response to the Gospel
David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time

David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time – pray for God’s continued work in their lives.

After the message I asked people to come up for prayer if they felt they had a need in their life. Many came up! Then I wondered how we were going to pray for them all, but little by little Dawn, Martha, Abraham and I prayed for them.

One woman, Rosa gave her life to Christ. A young couple who came for the first time asked prayer for their marriage. They came with many needs, and I believe the Lord’s Spirit touched them and brought healing to their broken places!

Pray for pastor Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are a beautiful young couple who love and serve the Lord. God has given them many gifts, and he is blessing them as they serve at the church in Rojo Gomez.

Thank you Lord, for giving me and my family the opportunity to minister to these dear friends.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org