Posts Tagged ‘Hannah Diaso’

Celebrating the Church we Started in Memory of Hannah

Mana del Cielo – The church we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah

We celebrated the first year anniversary of “Mana del Cielo” Church on Sunday, May 5th. This is the church in Mexicali that we built last year in memory of our daughter, Hannah. We sensed early on that the Lord had his hand on this church in a special way.

Soon after Hannah moved to heaven I told our good friend Pastor Daniel Nuñez that I’d like to build a church in memory of our daughter. Daniel was one of the first people to come to our house when Hannah passed away. He is one of our closest friends and ministry partners here on the border. Dawn and I were interested in starting a church to honor Hannah’s memory in Mexico because she was born in there and she loved the people of Mexico so we believed that this would be a good way to have a living memorial.

A Life-Giving Community of Hope

Pastor Mere leading the church

I remember when Pastor Daniel first told me that they were thinking of starting the next church in Mexicali, and if I’d like that church to be the one that we helped to start. At first, I thought Mexicali is a long ways from where we live, but then we felt like we should do get involved in this community just outside of Mexicali.

One of the first times I went to visit Mexicali our son, Jonathan was in town and I was able to take him with me. We had a wonderful father and son time as we drove to Mexicali. Jonathan loved being out there, and he started to play with the children that lived nearby. Later that day he told me he’d rather visit the church than the cemetery where Hannah was buried. The church represents life and light in the community.

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna this past year. They are leading the church in Mexicali. Mere and Edna are a young couple, who have a lot of gifts. They are doing a great job of sharing the love of Christ in the community and leading the church.

The Lord’s Hand is on This Church

Cristina & Conchita with the picture of Hannah that I gave to the church

Once we got involved we felt like there was something special about this church. We met Cristina who lived right next to the church. She had been praying with her family for 3 years that the Lord would bring a church there. Cristina also told me that even before she started praying the Lord gave her mom, Conchita a sense that He was going to bring a church to the community.

On Sunday I talked to Cristina and Conchita some more. Conchita said that the Lord actually gave her a vision regarding the church. She saw a church in some clouds being lowered onto the land where the church now sits. The Lord’s ways are mysterious at times.

Then Conchita told me that she wanted to see a picture of Hannah because she had a vision of a young woman. She saw her face three times. I did bring a picture of Hannah so that they could hang it in the church. When I showed the picture of Hannah to Conchita she said that was the face she saw in the vision.

God works in Mysterious Ways

Our day of celebration at the church in Mexicali

I can’t say I understand all these things and the way the Lord is working in the church. I do believe though that the Lord has his hand in a special way on this church, and he is going to use it in a powerful way in the community. There is such a need for the gospel to break through the darkness that we find all around us. I believe we are prone to underestimate the power of the gospel. The power it has to bring change and transformation to an individual, a family, a community, an entire city and beyond!

That is our prayer as Mere and Edna minister in Venustiano Carranza the community where the church is located. The gospel is going forth to bring life change. We give thanks for the good work that He has begun, and we look forward to hearing all the God stories that will come as this church reaches out and shows the love of Jesus.

Jesus said that he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). The growth and expansion of the church are inevitable. All of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ! Glory be to God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our group with the church planters in Havana
Our group with the church planters in Havana

This morning I drank my coffee from a cup that a friend from Cuba, Ailyn gave me that says I ❤️ Cuba. I just returned from this Carribean Island last Wednesday night. I thought I would never love a people as much as I love my Mexican hermanos, where Dawn and I have lived and served over the last 30 years. Yet, I must admit our Cuban friends have stolen our hearts! And as Dawn and I travel especially in Latin America we are finding a growing love for those we meet and minister with there also. God is on the move and it’s fun to be part of what he is doing!

Hannah, Havana and Beyond!
The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

Still to this day I’m not sure how to reconcile my daughter, Hannah’s early homegoing. God is bringing us healing along the journey, but there’s so much we don’t understand! Why do I mention this here, after writing my first paragraph about my growing love for Cuba? Well, just before Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I began to pray that the Lord would increase our reach, and extend our borders.

On January 1 of 2017, just 2 months after Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I were with our two sons, David and Jonathan and we heard a sermon on Isaiah 54, which speaks of how God is going to enlarge the tent of the barren woman. It addresses loss, the inability to have children, and the Lord’s wonderful promise for redemption and an increase! We claimed that passage as a promise for our family and our ministry, and we prayed for a breakthrough.

“”Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”

Isaiah‬ ‭54:1-3‬ ‭ESV (emphasis mine)

Enlarging Our Reach!

Since that time we’ve been able to minister in Cuba, El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, and Ecuador. It’s not just geographically that we’ve seen an increase, but also in the depth or our ministry. The Lord has connected us with some wonderful people in these countries. The place that especially stands out apart from Mexico is Cuba.

Our Growing Family!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!

Dawn and I are amazed at the depth of relationship the Lord has given us in Cuba. It’s amazing, because despite only being able to go to Cuba once or twice a year, through email and WhatsApp we’ve been able to communicate and stay in touch with our unbelievable friends there. Some of them have become like family to us.

The Call to be a Spiritual Father & Mother
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Some of the couples now call us their parents. People need to be loved and encouraged all over the world, but especially those who live in a country that makes internet access and communication so difficult. One particular pastor Luis and his wife, May told me while I was there on this last trip, that there has been a marked difference in their ministry since they met Dawn and me last year. Luis and May are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in remarkable ways. So it’s surprising for me to learn that they feel there has been an increase in their effectiveness in ministry over the last year!

They’ve suffered much as they’ve ministered over the years. I don’t know if I’ve personally ever met people who have sacrificed as much for the gospel as our friends in Cuba. They’ve gone without food. They’ve walked for hours in the hot sun each day to reach an unreached community. Now they have sun spots, sun damaged skin from being in the sun so long without the ability to purchase sunscreen to protect themselves. These friends and others call us their parents, which is a real privilege for us. They have truly stolen our hearts.

Mario & Yani Ministering in Cabaiguan
Mario & Yani with their team of church planters
Mario & Yany with their team of church planters. From top left clockwise: Junior & Kendra with Yany & Mario, Jorge & Rachel with Dave, Dave with Mario & Yany, Dave next to Yoiset & Osmeiki

One of the other young couples who live and minister in Cabaiguan, Mario and Yany are doing a wonderful job in their community. They are leading a team of four young church planting couples. Dawn and I first met Mario and Yany less than two months after Hannah moved to heaven. Yany was only 20 years old then. When Dawn first met Yany, tears streamed down Dawn’s face as meeting Yany reminded her of our daughter and what could have been, as Hannah had a growing interest in ministry. We’ve grown to love Mario and Yany, and it’s such a joy to be able to encourage them in their work.

Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train others to plant churches in Cuba!
Dave with Mario & Yany and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train church planters and leaders to plant churches in Cuba!

A little over a year ago Yany’s mom died of cancer leaving Yany without a mom at a young age. Dawn and Yany have bonded over the loss of a mother and a daughter. The two of them have come together to encourage and love one another even as they mourn.

Join Us in Prayer for Cuba and Beyond!

There are other friends in Cuba who we also feel close to, and every year we go back we meet new friends. Our Cuban family continues to grow and we get to know all our friends there better. What a wonderful gift the Lord has given us. This is part of the answer to our hearts cry. Part of the answer to our prayers that the Lord would enlarge our tent! Thank you so much for praying with us. God does indeed hear our prayers. He is concerned about the longings our heart. He does bring healing even in the valley of the shadow of death. Praise be to Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

To Die is Gain, even in Our Pain
Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the worst and longest day of my life. The day my daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso graduated, or as we like to say she moved to heaven.

When I think about it, I suppose it was the worst and the best day of Hannah’s life. Her last day on earth wasn’t a good day for her or for us. Yet she was immediately ushered to heaven where she saw Jesus face to face.

The Lord has been comforting me and reminding me this week of his true and amazing promises. I don’t think I could make it without his loving care and assurances.

Just as I began to write this he reminded me of Paul’s statement regarding life and death.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 ESV

It’s an amazing statement, but if we are honest, this is not the way most of us live. Death is a wake-up call. Dawn and I think about death differently now that Hannah moved to heaven. It’s caused us to think of heaven more frequently, and wonder what it is like there. Hannah went from suffering to experiencing pure joy in just a moment. It’s so hard to comprehend!

My Hate for Death!
Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Through my sweet daughter’s graduation to heaven, I’ve had to come to grips with death. It’s not an easy thing to do. I believe it’s a long process that I’m still going through in many ways.

I hate death and its effect on man. I never realized how horrible death was until my daughter died. God created the world without death. When man fell into sin death was waiting right at the doorstep. Ever since then all of creation has been groaning for the day of redemption.

I’m thankful for the life I’ve been given, but I long for redemption. I look for glimpses of my Heavenly Father’s redeeming love every day. When I see someone healed, or someone receive the gift of eternal life I believe this gives me a glimpse of redemption.

Again Paul gives us words of hope as we wait.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as son, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18-23 ESV emphasis mine

Our loving Papa is at work as we suffer in this world. He brings redemption and he gives us hope as we wait.

A Desire to Encourage Others

Both Dawn and I love to minister. We enjoy encouraging others and seeing them set free of whatever may be holding them back. Often our friends will make a comment to us that we’ve been able to encourage them and lift them up in the midst of our pain and mourning. I think at times they are surprised that we’ve been able to stay upright and maintain a positive attitude.

We do have our difficult and down days, but it encourages us as we love on and minister to others. We’ve seen a lot of grace during these moments. Part of the mystery is the grace flows two ways as we extend God’s goodness to others. It goes out to those we minister to, but it also comes back to us.

I must say that I believe everyone in my immediate family, Dawn, David jr., Jonathan and me have all grown deeper in our love for the Lord. It’s not because there is anything special about us. When you are hurting, you realize that you need to run into the loving arms of your Father. It’s a place of comfort and nourishment. Once you’ve tasted of his love you want more and more. O Lord, bring it on!

More of the Lord’s Loving Encouragement
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I found it interesting in my normal daily Bible reading this week, that the Lord had me read Psalm 116 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Amazing passages!

“I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:1,2 & 16 ESV

I still don’t fully understand death, and God’s ways, but I’m glad to know that the Lord does have it figured out. He has a plan for life and death. He even says that our days our numbered. At times all we can do is trust in his loving kindness. That’s what I choose to do.

From the moment Hannah moved to heaven one of the most helpful comforting verses in the Bible has been 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Often when I share my faith with nonbelievers I tell them that we are sad, but we have hope. The hope of heaven, the hope of redemption, the hope of a Savior sustains us. It takes away the sting of death. Christ conquered the grave.

“…what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”        1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 MSG

I thank the Lord for the work of Jesus through his death and resurrection. Because he conquered the grave we have hope!

I hate that our daughter is no longer with us physically on this earth, but I’m grateful for the promises. I’m grateful for the hope of the gospel. I will continue to love and serve with Dawn longing for and looking for glimpses of God’s redeeming love until the day of redemption. Then I will be reunited with Christ, Hannah and all the saints that have gone before me.

Thank you, Papa, for your loving care! Hannah, I look forward to seeing you again soon!

In His grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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The Inaugural Church Service
Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. It was a special time!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. 

On Sunday Dawn and I had the great joy of participating in the inaugural service of the new church in Mexicali that was built in Hannah’s memory. This church holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons. The more obvious reason is that we built it as a living memorial for our daughter, Hannah! It’s also special, because of all the friends and churches that pitched in to make this a reality. There were well over 50 that helped from the US and some more that gave in Mexico.

The Lord has raised up a special couple to lead this church, Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna. We didn’t really know them before we began this project, but we’ve quickly grown to love them. They are a gifted young couple, and they have a deep love for the Lord.

The Lord Brings All the Loose Ends Together
Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

I found it interesting that when Mere was young he attended church with his good friend Abraham Velazquez. Abraham’s father was the pastor of this church. Then as they got older they both attended a church started by Ministerios Transformación and pastored by our good friend, Jaime Rodriguez. From there Abraham who is a gifted worship leader and pastor began to minister with Pastor Daniel Nuñez.

Eventually, Abraham and his wife Martha began to lead the church in Rojo Gomez. This church has grown significantly and is one of the few churches in Tijuana that has a second service. They are making a huge difference in the community.

Wow! It’s so wonderful to see all these connections. Each one of these people is very special to us. All of these friends were able to be there on Sunday, except for Pastor Abraham.

A Special Service – The First Service!
The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Mexicali starts getting hot in April and May, and it was 105 on Sunday. That is hot! We prayed that the air conditioning would be installed by Sunday, and the Lord graciously answered our request.

The first service is always special since there is only one first and it’s the start of something new and exciting. I love being a part of bringing the gospel through the bride of Christ, his church to a new community. Dawn and I pray that there will be many more churches that we can play a part in planting not only along the border but throughout Mexico and beyond.

Of course, now there is much work to be done in this new community. Pray with us for Pastor Mere and Edna. They need wisdom, encouragement, and stamina as the Lord works through them. We’ve seen time and time again that servants of God going into new territory become targets. The enemy attacks and they need much prayer covering for protection. We want them to stay strong as a couple and as a family.

Thanks for Standing With Us!
Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family

Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family from when we built the church

We give thanks for all of you who have prayed, given and cheered on along the way! We give thanks to the Lord for this living memorial for Hannah. I was feeling down the other day, missing my daughter and a friend reminded me that this church is a living memorial and it represents what was important to her and that the Lord will use it for His glory to impact the lives of others.

One my ongoing prayers since Hannah moved to heaven is that her death wouldn’t be in vain, and I understand that it isn’t because of all of the Lord’s wonderful promises. Yet, I wanted to see some tangible evidence. This is one of those things, and I believe there will many more.

Thank you for standing with us on this long, joyous and sometimes painful journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

An Exciting Time!
The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

This is an exciting time of year for us. A little over a week ago we finished building the church in Hannah’s memory in Mexicali, Mexico. That was a huge accomplishment for us, and we are so grateful the Lord provided the way and the people to pull that off! 34 people from the US joined us and another 30 from Mexico participated. Dawn, David, Jonathan and I are still in awe over all the love we were shown as we built this church. Thank you Jesus!

Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

We are getting ready for the inauguration of the church with Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna on May 6th. Our family is so grateful for Pastor Mere and Edna. They are wonderful young ministers of the gospel. God is already working and moving in the community in Mexicali where we are planting this church.

Time to Celebrate
Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

This past Sunday we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of a church that we helped start with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have done an excellent job planting the church and reaching out in the community. They are creative and very active and the Lord is using them to make a difference. It was so good to celebrate with them. Victor and Sol along with the church honored the part that we played in helping to start the church by recognizing us during the service. It was an encouragement to receive their demonstration of love and appreciation.

The Mariachis leading worship

The Mariachis leading worship

I had the opportunity to preach at the church in Rosarito on Sunday. It was a special day. We rejoice in what the Lord is doing through this church. The church was filled with many joyous people. The worship leaders for the service was a Christian mariachi band. Mariachi music is traditional Mexican music that tends to be sung with a lot of energy and emotion. Viva Mexico! Gloria a Dios!

God’s Healing Work!
Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

The time was also special because we met a 15 year old friend, Michele who had leukemia. We had been praying for Michele along with her family and the church. The last time we visited the church we prayed with her parents Salvador and Miroslava and the Lord broke through and began to heal Michele. I’d like to write more about what God did and is doing in the life of this family in the near future.

We pray for more. More Lord! Keep it coming. More people coming to Christ. More people growing in their faith. More hunger and growth. O Lord, hear our prayer and do your mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mixed Emotions on This Day
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Today is a special day in the life of our family. Under normal circumstances, this would be a day of celebration. You see, on this day, April 9 my daughter, Hannah would have turned 24. The key phrase there is “would have,” but Hannah moved to heaven on October 18, 2016.

Now it is a day with mixed emotions!

Sorrow & Hope!
Hannah #AHannahPercent

Hannah We love you #AHannahPercent

Dawn and I along with our boys, David and Jonathan continue to give thanks for Hannah. We are grateful she was born. We give thanks for all she has meant to us, and the gift she is and was to us. Yet, there is also sadness and sorrow, because she is no longer here. As much as we wish we could, we can not change the fact that she has gone on ahead of us to be with the Lord.

For believers mourning is strange, in that, on the one hand, we have hope. All is not lost. We will see Hannah again! Hallelujah! Hannah is experiencing the greatest celebration possible today! Yet, because we love her so dearly we miss her. Each of my family members wishes we could take her out for a meal today, buy her a birthday cake and watch her joyfully blow out the candles. We would love to buy a gift for her and watch her open it.

Rather we are forced to wait. It’s not easy to wait. We do grieve, we do mourn, but not as those without hope.

The strange thing is on these days that should be days of celebration they become days of reflection. Days to remember what once was, and even what we dreamt for together.

Don’t get me wrong there are many good memories when I think about my daughter’s short life. These good memories are mingled in with some painful moments as well. It’s a mixed bag.

Tough Questions
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I find that from time to time I want to ask, “Why?” “Why, Lord?” Why did this happen?” “Where were you in the midst of it all?”

I realize although these questions are inevitable, they are not good questions to focus on. The Lord was definitely with us in the midst of it all, even though it didn’t always seem like it. He has assured me of that, and he has said that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe those words are true.

The why questions are harder.

I’m not sure if the Lord will ever fully answer that question this side of heaven. We live in a broken world marred by sin. All of creation groans until the day of redemption. We are not the only ones who are crying out to the Lord as we grieve. We groan and we wait for the redemption as Romans 8:22-23 states.

Good Memories, Longing for More

On these days I find it harder to reflect on the good memories of Hannah. I’m not sure why? As I write this, I’m processing and in a sense thinking out loud. There are many good memories, but I think I just miss her so much, so even the good memories cause an ache of sorts.

My son, David wrote a wonderful reflection about his sister today. He shares many positive memories he has of Hannah. Although I cried as I read it, I found it encouraging. It’s worth checking out, My Little Sister.

I often think of King David after his young son died. David said he will not return to me, but one day I will go to him. That’s my hope to see my savior face to face and to see my daughter again one day.

The Lord is My Rock!
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love. We had a special relationship. I do miss her so much.

Thank you, Lord, that you are near the broken hearted. You are with my family and me in our pain. You are carrying us through the valley of the shadow of death. You have a purpose, and it is a good purpose even if I don’t understand it.

When I reflect and think about our life and our grief it always comes back to our rock. He’s the rock of our salvation!

For some reason, this reminds me that a dear friend today, who I love encouraged me to be strong. In some instances, it could be hurtful to say something like that, but as I read those words I felt loved. I started to cry as I read those words, because I know the friend that wrote them loves Dawn and me, and that they look up to us. They want to encourage us.

Also, I realize that being strong doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, or that I don’t get sad or mourn. It means that even though “my world” may be falling apart around me that I keep my eyes on Jesus. He’s my rock. He lifts me up. He says that when I am weak then I am strong! I rejoice in my refuge in whom I run to in times of need.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for loving my family in the midst of all the pain, and what at times even seems like hell on earth. Yet, this is temporary. It will soon pass!

“For this momentary affliction is peparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparision, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ESV)

Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and I thank you for going on this journey with us. It’s not an easy one, so thank you for staying with us through all the ups and downs. God is good! So Good!!

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church

We are excited to build the church in Hannah’s memory this week. Please pray for us as we make the final preparations and work with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to see this new church bring the light of Christ into a community filled with many needs.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Today would have been our daughter, Hannah’s 24th birthday. Our son, David wrote a beautiful reflection on his relationship with Hannah, and things he learned from her life, so I wanted to share them with you here.

How can you sum up a life? Today marks what would have been her 24th birthday. The memories, the tears, the laughs. 22 years of memories can never be summed up in words. My memories with her will never leave me. I thought the best way I could share with you how important she was […]

via My Little Sister — AHANNAHPERCENT