Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Remembering the Needs of our Familia on Thanksgiving
We give thanks for our familia, and the good work that the Lord is doing on the Big Island!

As I’ve been in contact with our familia on the Big Island they’ve shared with me how things continue to get harder for them. The price of beans has tripled. It now costs $3 for a pound of beans when it used to cost $1. Also, as I mentioned in one of my recent posts bread is scarce. There wasn’t much, to begin with, and now there is less, and what they do have is more expensive.

We are coming upon Thanksgiving here. A time when we pause and reflect on all that we are thankful for. Even in this most unusual and difficult year, most of us still have plenty. There are many reasons to give thanks.

God’s Goodness in Crisis

I think even though I lost both of my parents this year, and I’ve not enjoyed the COVID-19 crisis or the social unrest I still can give thanks. I’m not saying that it’s been a good year or an easy year. In fact, Dawn and I recently came down with the infamous coronavirus and I must say that it wasn’t my idea of a fun time. Yet, the Lord keeps reminding me of His goodness, and His many good gifts.

Just this week in my devotional reading the Lord had me read Lamentations 3, and it was so encouraging!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,

    to the one who seeks him;

 it is good to wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV (emphasis mine)

The timing of reading that passage was just amazing! It was a demonstration of the Lord’s love for me, for His people as we endure this difficult season. And just to think that Jeremiah, who’s often referred to as the weeping prophet wrote this while his people were living in captivity. He did not write it during a time of abundance or prosperity.

God is so good to remind me of His love and care for me and my family. We have so much to be thankful for. Yet, I am concerned for our familia on the Big Island, because as difficult as life might be in the United States it is much more challenging there.

Concern for Our Familia
Some of the beautiful families that we’ve been able to help

That’s why it’s so important that you pray for them, and that you give. We’ve been able to help close to 1,000 people on the Big Island since March. We are sending aid on a monthly basis. This wasn’t something that I thought we’d be doing when the year began, but the coronavirus hit just as I returned from my trip with our familia in March. Then when I got back home I started hearing all the stories of the suffering, and Dawn and I felt like we had to do something to help!

We hoped that the scarcity wouldn’t have gone on as long as it has. Yet, the truth is it continues to affect our familia, and it’s important for us to extend our hands to help them.

Give Generously During Thanksgiving!
Our Hearts go out to these families in need

This seems like the perfect time as we head into Thanksgiving to give thanks and to help those in need. Our friends and familia are so grateful for the help that we’ve been able to give them. They constantly send us notes thanking us. God has used you to be a blessing to them.

Please take this opportunity to make a special Thanksgiving offering for our familia on the Big Island, but clicking on the button below. Thank you!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Remembering Hannah
Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Last week Dawn and I went on our first ministry trip since the coronavirus hit. Next week we will be traveling to La Paz, Mexico to meet with our church planters. Things are slowly opening up. At first, I was going to write a post more focused on our ministry activities and all that the Lord is doing, but this morning as I was praying the Lord reminded me that this Sunday, October 18th will mark four years since our daughter, Hannah died (or as we like to say, she moved to heaven). It is less painful when we say she moved to heaven.

It wasn’t that I had forgotten that we were coming upon this painful day of remembrance, it was more that it was highlighted to me this morning. I began to reflect, and I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my reflections with you here.

My Reflections About Hannah & Our Healing
Hannah & Dave

This is what I wrote in my journal today, and I feel a little like I’m opening up my soul to you. What’s going on inside of me.

My prayer to the Lord, “this is a hard week as we remember Hannah moved to heaven. I miss her so much, and I wish that it wasn’t true. I wish there was something that I could do to turn back the clock and change it all. Sadly, that is not an option.

Life has not been easy without Hannah. We do have our hope of heaven. Our hope of seeing her again. We have the hope of knowing she is with Jesus, filled with joy. Now both of my parents have joined her.

After Hannah died I hoped that we’d get a pass on the hard things in life, but that has not been the case. Both of our boys, David and Jonathan have battled with some significant health issues over the last year. Dawn has struggled to sleep at night. It’s not been easy!

In our ministry I do believe that we’ve seen an increase and a deepening. I’m encouraged by what the Lord is doing. Yet, that’s not to say that we haven’t faced opposition and difficulties along the way.

The Lord’s Redeeming Work!
David Jr., Hannah & Jonathan

The Lord is good! He is faithful and that has gotten us through. We live between these two worlds of faith and hope on the one side and trials and difficulties on the other.

I continue to pray for the Lord’s redeeming and restorative work. I do believe that we have seen a measure of that. We’ve grown to know the Him in ways I doubt we would have ever grown to know Him. Yet, I wish it didn’t have to be this way.

I love that Jesus is called the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief this is comforting. There are passages in the Bible that I used to skim over that have become alive to me.

Confident That Jesus Will Complete What He Started
Hannah’s headstone

This morning in my devotional reading I happened to be reading Philippians 1. I’ve always been drawn to Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” In fact, this verse is inscribed on Hannah’s headstone.

As I continued to read through Philippians 1 today I was struck with Paul’s struggle as he longed to be with Christ in heaven, but felt it was better for the church that he stay longer.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,  so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Philippians 1:21-26 NIV (emphasis mine)

I love Paul’s passion for Christ. I pray that I would share that burning love. Hannah’s death forced me to think about life and death in ways that I had never contemplated. There’s a sense in which it woke me up to the hope and the realities of heaven.

As I mentioned above I’ve prayed for the Lord’s work of healing in our lives. I believe the Lord has and is answering that prayer through special people who have become like family to us. I wrote about our Mija Monse in my last post. The Lord has given us some wonderful family in Mexico and Cuba. Friends who we minister with and encourage that often call us dad and mom. I don’t fully understand, but that does fill us up. I believe in many ways that these relationships are only going to grow and deepen. The Lord is going to continue to expand our spiritual family, which also extends our reach. I praise the Lord for His tender and loving mercy shown through our familia.

Serafina Grace
David Jr. all smiles as he is looking on during Emily’s ultrasound of Serafina!

One way that we’ve recently experienced the Lord’s healing work of restoration is that David and Emily told us we are going to be grandparents to a baby girl! Our first grandchild! And the news came at a good time. It lightened the load in way as we head into this season when we remember when Hannah departed from this world.

David and Emily told us that they would like to name their daugther, Serafina Grace. I love all the thought they put into this name. Serafina is Italian and Spanish for Seraphim. One of the angels of God. The Seraphim or Serafina angels surround God’s throne and worship Him. They are referred to in Isaiah 6.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah 6:1-3 NIV

One of the reasons David and Emily want to name their daughter Serafina is since Hannah is in heaven it’s a way to honor her and remember her. Serafina was also the name of one of my great grandmothers on my dad’s side. David and Emily told my dad that they wanted to name their daughter Serafina just two days before dad joined Hannah and Serafina in heaven. My dad cried with them when they shared this news as he loved the idea. Just a little over a day after they told dad he joined Hannah and Serafina in heaven. I think this is one of the reasons my dad died in peace.

Serafina’s middle name will be Grace. Hannah means grace and favor. So we just love this name. We are already in love with little Serafina and we are praying for her and Emily daily. She is due on April 30th, and Hannah was born in April on the 9th.

We are very excited and we give thanks for the Jesus and His work of love in our lives and in the life of our family!

Pray & Extend Your Hands to Help Our Familia
Our familia on the Big Island!

Before I say goodbye I would like to ask you to not only remember our family as you pray for us, but remember our familia as well. We just spoke to our familia on the Big Island in the last few days, and a number of them are getting sick with dengue. We have friends that are in the hospital due to dengue. We asked them about medicine, and they told us that there wasn’t any medicine. The scarcity continues, and it appears to be even getting worse. Our familia is in need and your generosity goes a long way on the Big Island. Please, extend your hands and give to these needs. Help to provide food and basic needs for our friends and familia!

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Special Friend, Who Has Become Much More

Five years ago the Lord blessed Dawn and me with a special friend in Monse Santiago. We first met Monse in Mexico City while she was ministering on the campus of UNAM with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). UNAM is one of the largest universities in the world with over 100,000 students.

Mexico City has held a special place in our heart since the first time I visited the city in the mid-’80s and later Dawn and I moved there in the ’90s. I remember on my first trip to Mexico I visited UNAM during a short-term mission trip in 1985.

So it felt like the Lord brought a number of things together when we first met Monse. To top it all off the other campus minister, Barush Sanchez is the son of, Fernando, who I worked very closely with in the late ’90s. It was like everything connected, our past, present, and future.

Our Daughter – (Mija) Monse
Dave with our friends Mario, Monse and Barush in Mexico City (I believe this was the day Monse told me she could be our daughter).

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Barush and Monse over the last 5 years. Our relationship has been a real gift from the Lord!

On one of our visits three years ago, we decided to go to Mexico City for Dawn’s birthday and Hannah’s birthday just a few months after Hannah died, or as we like to say she moved to heaven. It seems less painful to say that she moved to heaven.

On that trip, we met with Monse and Barush, and I remember distinctly sharing with them the difficulties and challenges of losing our daughter. At the end of our time together Monse told me, “I can be your daughter.” And then right before we said goodbye she said again, “I’m being serious I can be your daughter.”

Since that time Dawn and I have kind of adopted Monse. Every time we visit Mexico City we make sure we can see her. She’s also been able to visit us here in Chula Vista for the past three years.

The Lord is Bringing Our Two World’s Together
Monse in front of her new school – Westminster Seminary

Monse is very intelligent. She loves to study and to learn new languages. She’s had an interest for some time in preparing herself further for ministry by going to seminary. We prayed with her that the Lord would guide her and lead her in this process.

Last December when she came to visit us right before Christmas we took advantage of the time to check out Westminister Seminary in Escondido. When we arrived at the parking lot we noticed that my car odometer read 111111. One is a number for new beginnings, and it made us wonder what the Lord was up to.

Monse submitted her application to Westminster Seminary and she was able to get an amazing scholarship. The coronavirus did make it harder for her to get her visa, but that eventually came through and she was able to move to Escondido earlier this month. RUF just entered into a partnership with Westminster, which made it easier and opened the door for Monse to be able to attend.

Dawn and I have enjoyed having her so close to us. She now only lives 40 minutes away, which is much closer than the 4-hour plane flight to Mexico City.

The Lord Lovingly Restores and Redeems
Dawn & Dave with Monse

Ever since Hannah moved to heaven we’ve been praying for the Lord to restore and redeem what we’ve lost. We know that no one can ever replace our daughter. We don’t expect that. Yet, we do believe our gracious God can bring us healing, and one of the ways he does that is through others. Monse holds a very special place in our hearts. Sometimes I call her Mija, which means my daughter in Spanish. Dawn has started calling her mi Monsita, which Monse loves.

The Lord is so good and so kind. There are a number of things that I don’t understand about life, about our daughter and her short life. But I do know that our Father, our Papa God loves us. He cares for us. He wraps his loving arms around us. He uses people to show us his love. We give thanks for Monse, and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for her!

Join Us In Prayer
Monse with some of the students she worked with in Mexico City

Join us in prayer for her while she adjusts to life in the USA. Pray that her studies go well and that the Lord provides for all her needs while she is her. If you would like to help her get started you can send a donation to Beyond Borders through the link below. You can also support the needs on the Big Island by giving by clicking on the donate link. Just let us know what your gift is for in the note section when you send in your gift! Thank you!

click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Evil on the Big Island

On Monday earlier this week, I received three interesting messages from three different families on the Big Island. All three of them wrote to me about witchcraft, spiritual warfare that each of them was experiencing in their ministry. Although witchcraft, Santeria, and voodoo are very common on the Big Island I choose not to focus on it in my posts.

This time I felt like I should let you know what is going on because there is a huge need for us to rally around our friends, our familia on the Big Island, and to pray for them. We know that we have victory in Christ, but the battle rages on. It seems to be increasing recently.

In one of the churches, someone who lives nearby who is involved in witchcraft tied a bag made of fabric just outside the church. The bag had black chicken feathers in it mixed another substance. The witches do this to curse or hex on the church.

Another minister who ministers in a different city told me that in the place they went to ministering there were a number of idols and other trinkets there. They said that they didn’t feel peace and they sensed evil in the area. The sense of evil was heavy. They reached out to Dawn and me and asked us to stand with them and pray!

The Power of the Gospel

These are places that the gospel is infiltrating. The church is growing! Thank God that there is power in the gospel. There is power in Christ to break through these strongholds, and as Paul said our weapons are spiritual because we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The battle is against powers and principalities. Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to stand firm in the battle, and to put on the whole armor of God. The church in the city of Ephesus was in a place where they worshipped many foreign gods and idols.

Paul also tells the Corinthians that their battle is not against the flesh. I think this is true no matter where we live. It may be easier to spot in some places, but the enemy is sly so we have to be discerning, and aware of how he is working in a place.

In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul tells the church,

“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 (emphasis mine)
Christ Gives us Divine Power!

It’s important for us to realize that the Lord has not left us defenseless in this war. He has given us divine power in Christ to destroy strongholds. So we don’t need to fear the devil. We must be prepared. We must put on our armor, which includes the sword ⚔️, the Word of God, and prayer. The truth of God enables us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It makes me sad when I see all that our familia on the Big Island suffers. It’s not only physical suffering, but they experience attacks from evil. It’s crucial to encourage them in the battle and stand with them in prayer. I would like to ask you today to join us in praying for the Lord’s protection over them, and that they will stand firm in the battle.

When Paul speaks of the battle in Ephesians 6 it’s with the idea that the church, that Christians are standing side by side protecting one another and fighting in the battle together. I think that this is one of the reasons there is so much division in the church. Our enemy knows that if he can divide us we aren’t as effective.

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs on the Big Island. They need your generosity, and they need your fervent prayers. I’m so thankful that Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Hallelujah!

Extend Your Hands to Help
Some of the families that we’ve helped on the Big Island

You can extend your hands to help by giving a financial gift to help provide food and basic needs for the people. You can also extend your hands to help by praying for our familia. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will stand firm in the battle. We the church must stand together!

Please donate today by clicking on the link below!

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Jumping for Joy as the Lord Provides
One of the pastors with the children from his church on the Big Island

I just sent a gift, an offering of love to our familia on the Big Island. The messages I received after I sent these gifts were so uplifting. I wish you could see all the wonderful and encouraging messages I receive. I’d like to give you a glimpse through this post.

One of the pastors told me that the funds came just at the right time, and that the people in the church were jumping for joy. The Lord is providing for them. Hallelujah! As you extend your hands in love we are able together to help so many wonderful friends, who are living in desperate times.

I asked the pastors that we’ve been supporting to send me an update, and I learned that now we’ve helped more than 750 people since March of this year. Thank the Lord! The majority of these people have received aid on a monthly basis, because their needs are ongoing. The situation hasn’t improved. The coronavirus has further crippled their already broken economy.

The Horse and Buggy
The new horse and carriage that you gave towards and prayed for was used for the children at a VBS outreach this summer.

You might remember that in May I wrote about Rolando’s horse and buggy being stolen. I asked for prayer and for help to cover the cost of replacing the loss. The horse and carriage are essential for Rolando’s livelihood. He also uses the transportation to help the church as they minister to families and children in the community.

The good news is through your generosity the Lord provided. Rolando purchased another horse and carriage. The church was able to use it recently for their VBS. The pastor of the church where Rolando ministers sent me pictures (like the one above), and they all celebrated God’s grace and his goodness to provide.

Video Highlight of God’s Good Work

I made a short 3 minute video highlighting what Jesus is doing on the Big Island. I’d like to share it with you here.

We give thanks for the Lord’s wonderful work on the Big Island!

Extend Your Hands to Give
One of the families that we’ve help on the Big Island

Please join us in prayer as we just learned that hurricane Laura is effecting the eastern part of the Big Island, so we appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s supernatural protection for the country and the families who live in those areas. There’s already so many difficulties that the people are trying to overcome, because of the COVID-19 crisis. We can be assured that the Lord hears and answers our prayers.

Dawn and I are grateful for how the Lord has used your prayers and your generosity to help the families on the Big Island. Their needs are very real, and heartbreaking, but the Lord has used you to bring relief. The scarcity of food and basic needs is an ongoing reality. Please give to help feed a family today. Your gifts bring more joy and smiles than you can imagine!

Click here to give …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

How do we Handle All the Negativity?
Michelangelo’s La Pieta – Reminds us of Christ’s suffering for our sins to give us a future and a hope

On Saturday I was listening to some sermons and talks as I was mowing the lawn. It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing while I take care of our yard. Often, the Lord meets me and encourages me during this time. I did feel more hopeful after listening to these messages a couple days ago.

Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now. One of our trials is that both of my (Dave) parents moved to heaven within 67 days of one another.

I use YouTube to listen to a number of these sermons and talks. Later in the day, on Saturday, I decided to watch some news on YouTube as well. Someone had suggested a particular feed, which was supposed to be more positive. Unfortunately, the news I was finding was very disheartening. After I watched it I felt anxious.

I forgot about the news and watched the movie, Greyhound. It’s an entertaining, although intense movie. It got my mind off of the news at least for a little while. Then as the movie was ending I began to feel heavy, and I wasn’t sure why at first. Then I remembered the news reports I had watched about what was going on in some of our major cities. Of course, it doesn’t help that on top of all the bad news that I’ve recently lost both of my parents within a 67 day period.

I prayed for the Lord’s peace and came against fear and heaviness in Jesus name. This gave me peace.

After that experience, I began to think about how much negative news there is today. The COVID-19 crisis has dragged on much longer than any us hoped it would. There’s been so much social unrest and political divisiveness. And if you are on social media at all even Christians are posting messages that aren’t edifying. It can bring you down if you spend too much time there.

Our Biblical Hope
Dave & Dawn having a delicious meal and a little fun with church planters Davis & Luz. We encourage one another

All of this is swirling around right now. It’s the ambiance that we are living in, and it does make it harder to maintain our biblical hope. When we think of biblical hope, it’s not a wish, but rather an assurance. It is an assurance of God’s goodness. He is true to His promises and to work everything out for good.

Paul encourages us in various passages to be disciplined in our thinking. To think with a renewed mind, Romans 12:2. To take every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. To think about what is good, peaceable, excellent, and pure, Philippians 4:8,9.

This is an important discipline for each of us. We must recognize that our warfare is not against flesh and blood. It is against rulers and authorities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:11. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t play fair.

Since it’s a spiritual war, our weapons are not carnal. Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God, so that we might stand firm, Ephesians 6:13. Our enemy is sly, he is evil, and he also has a measure of ungodly wisdom.

As we stand our ground we remember who we are in Christ. I love to pray and to proclaim the wonderful promises found in God’s Word. I seek to do this every day, and it lifts me up. I pray this way for our church planters and for my family. The Lord responds and He answers. He is a good and loving Father.

We are Victorious in Christ!
A nesting dove in the backyard of my parents’ home. Reminds us of God’s perfect peace

We are triumphant and victorious in Christ. Hallelujah!

I’ve found it important to incorporate worship into my prayer life. Worship is an effective weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Martin Luther and many leaders since have claimed that worship is one of the most effective ways to defeat the enemy.

The Waymaker

Waymaker and The Blessing are two of the songs the Lord has used to minister to me during this time of walking through the valley. He is indeed the waymaker!

The Blessing
Lines for Food and Basic Needs Still Exist
One of the long lines waiting to buy food on the Big Island

Often, when I’m going through a difficult time, or I’m having a bad day I think about my friends in Mexico, or on the Big Island. My friends, our family on the Big Island tell us how the scarcity continues. They struggle to buy the food and basic necessities that they need. They have to stand in long lines all day just to survive. When I think of them and what they are living through it helps me to put things in perspective and to pray for them.

That is also one of the reasons I keep bringing up their needs. They need our help. We’ve been able to help more than 300 people, numerous families and pastors. Dawn and I continue to pray and hope that things will improve and that they will begin to have an easier time getting the food that they need. So far that hasn’t happened.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need
One of the young families that we’ve helped, because of your generosity

Your generosity is a huge help. The needs are real and they continue, so consider a gift today! Thank you.

Click to Give

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Paul & Barnabas Strengthening the Disciples
Pastor Davis & Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana

Today I was reading Acts 14 about Paul and Barnabas’ experience as they preached the gospel in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This comes right on the heels of Paul being stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Just when they thought Paul was dead, he miraculously stood up. This miracle is mentioned almost like a parenthesis in the passage. It basically he says, he got up and continued with his ministry. Wow!

These were amazing times of persecution and growth for the church!

Then in verse 22 of Acts 14, it says, “At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions,'” (Acts 14:22 TPT, emphasis mine). When I read that it struck me that’s what Dawn and I do. We strengthen leaders, church planters, and encourage them to keep going and to grow deeper in their faith. To keep going in spite of the trials they face.

The Loving Father Sustains Us
Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now.

If you’ve been following our story then you know that we’ve been through a rough period as a family. Both of my parents died in just a little over two months. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then when some of the restrictions due to the pandemic began to loosen the riots and social unrest began. It has not been an easy time, to say the least.

We give thanks that the Lord continues to sustain us during these dark days. He walks with us through the valley.

I must admit that it has been harder to carry on with the ministry, because of all that we’ve experienced. But you know what? God shows up and he encourages us. He gets us through it all, and as we carry on it encourages others. We give thanks and praise for His wonderful work!

God Uses Our Trials
Dawn & I are on this journey together by God’s wonderful grace

I’m thankful that I have not been stoned and left for dead, even so, the Lord does use the suffering that we’ve endured. When I talk to the church planters that we are working with, they tell Dawn and me how much they admire us. They say that it encourages them to see us continuing strong in our faith. They are thankful that we can still give them words of encouragement even as we go through our own difficulties.

One of the things that I learned when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven is that it encourages me when I minister to and encourage others. It may seem counterintuitive, but that’s been my experience. I know that this is how God wired me. He made both Dawn and me to encourage and strengthen others in their faith. Our Papa has proved to be faithful through it all!

Join Us in Prayer!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

It’s hard to describe how rewarding it is to love on and encourage the men and women that we work with. Many of them do suffer tremendously. They’ve lived and survived on a limited diet with limited resources. Dawn and I have not suffered in the same way that they have, but our experiences mean something to them. It helps us to be better able to minister to these choice servants of the Lord, who have become family to us.

Keep praying with us for the Lord to give us the strength to carry on. Pray for the church planters and leaders that we work with. It’s very difficult to be a church planter now, because of all the limitations. We need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to meet each of them at their point of need. “O Lord, hear our cry as we look to you to answer the needs of our hearts. Cause there to be much fruit. That many will grow and come to Christ in these days. O Father, do your work! Thank you and Hallelujah!”

Donate
Another family that we’ve been able to provide food and basic needs for, because of your generosity. Your Gifts Make a Difference!

The tremendous needs on the Border, and on the Big Island continue. Consider making a donation today. You can give by clicking on the button below.

Click to Donate

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Celebration of Life: Dad & Mom

I feel bad saying this, but it’s a relief to get through the funeral services for my parents. It took more than three months from the time my mom moved to heaven on March 19 of this year to have the memorial celebration of life service on May 27. We ended up having a combined celebration of life service, since my dad died only 64 days after my mom.

Dave sharing during Dad & Mom’s celebration of life service

I’m thankful for all the memories, and the good times that I enjoyed with dad and mom. I have much to be grateful for, but it’s still hard to say goodbye.

We held the celebration of life service at Riverpark Bible Church in Fresno, California this past Saturday. Mom attended Riverpark for a number of years, and she had many friends there. A good crowd gathered with us to mourn their loss and celebrate their lives. I was encouraged by how many came especially since we are still dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful service. Five of our family members shared about dad and mom and the influence they had on our lives. My brother, John; John’s son, Brandon; my son, Jonathan; my cousin, Nadine; I shared at the end.

I had to lead both of my parents graveside services, so it was a relief to be able to sit and listen as others reflected on the impact dad and mom had on their lives. At certain points I cried and felt sentimental as I thought about dad and mom and all they have meant to me over all of these years.

The Lord used my parents in my life and the life of my family to help us to get to where we are today. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to do or achieve many of the things we have accomplished if it were not for my parents and their influence in our lives. The Lord graciously used them in our lives to spur us on, to call us higher.

I believe there is more to come! “…rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” (John 7:38 TPT, emphasis mine). Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer.

The Blessing to 1,000 Generations
Jonathan sharing at his grandparents memorial service

My son, Jonathan put together a video slideshow that I’d like to share with you here. It was so good for me to watch this video and remember dad and mom. Remember their life and their love.

In the video we chose the song, “The Blessing,” which is sung by Cody Cairns and Kari Jobe. The song was written by them recently and it’s become one of our favorite songs. I love the idea of how God works through families and seeks to bring blessing through families. I hope that you will also enjoy it.

Celebration of Life Video: Ron & Virginia Diaso
Ronald & Virginia Diaso’s life and blessings

“For though a thousand generations may pass away, he is still true to his word. He has kept every promise he made to Abraham and to Isaac.”

Psalms‬ ‭105:8-9‬ ‭TPT (emphasis mine)
Welcome Home Dad & Mom
Love this photo and the thought of Dad & Mom dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus, our daughter, Hannah and all the saints

The morning of the memorial service the Lord led me to read Acts 7. This passage gives the account of Stephen being stoned and going to heaven. I was thinking about how our last breath on earth, leads to our next breath in heaven with Jesus. Then I read this passage, and it reminded me of how the Son of Man, Jesus welcomed Stephen into heaven. Jesus welcomes believers, he welcomes those in Christ home!

““Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!””

Acts 7:56 TPT

That’s a pleasant thought. It’s amazing, even too good to be true, to think of Jesus smiling and welcoming dad and mom home! Hallelujah!

If you’d like to make a donation in honor of my parents, or if you’d like to make a donation to help a hungry and needy family on the Big Island click on the button below.

Donate: You Can Help!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Long Goodbye to Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom – Dancing on the Streets of Gold!

Dawn and I are headed to Fresno today for my dad and mom’s combined memorial service. It’s been more than three months since my mom moved to heaven, and a month since my dad joined her. This Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM we are finally able to have a public memorial celebration of life service at Riverpark Church.

I think it will be a relief to my family and me to get through this part of the grieving process. All the restrictions that have been put in place have made it that much harder to go through the valley of the shadow of death. The Lord is with us and He does comfort us.

The Grace to Carry On
We laid the remains of both of my parents to rest on June 8th. The public memorial celebration of life service is Saturday, June 27th.

In the midst of losing both of my parents within 64 days of each other, I cannot lie, it has been challenging to carry on. Yet, I’ve also noticed that it encourages me when I’m able to speak into the lives of our pastor friends, who have become like family to us.

Last week Dawn and I met with five different pastoral couples. Three of them are from our favorite Big Island, and two of them are from Tijuana and Ensenada. They tell us that it encourages them to see us still smiling and carrying on. I mean, I’m not smiling all the time, and some days I just feel like it’s a major accomplishment to have made it through the day. If you know what I’m saying?

Yet, when I am with our familia, it does give me joy! It fills both Dawn and me up!

We Give Thanks in the Midst of Our Sorrow
Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They are one of the pastoral couples that Dawn and I have met with to encourage them.

The Lord lifts me up as I hear their testimonies and as we can pray with them and for them. The Spirit ministers through us and touches each of us in a special way. Often there are tears as we meet together. They help us carry the burdens we are facing during these days. I have to praise my Papa God for loving us so deeply during these days of trial and darkness. Maybe it doesn’t seem like darkness and praise should be mentioned in the same sentence, but I can’t deny that we are in a time of mourning. We grieve, but not as those without hope. We do have HOPE!

I give thanks that my parents are no longer suffering, but the separation is real. The separation is painful. Often I think, “I’d like to call my dad and mom and say hello,” but that is no longer an option. Just as it is no longer an option to call Hannah. More PAIN!

I’ve become all too acquainted with death and grief and I don’t like either one of them. I believe the enemy of our soul wants to squash me so that I can no longer function. My Daddy is greater. He holds me up. He sustains me. I am more than a conqueror in Christ, but I must admit it is a battle.

Papa is Still at Work
One of the beautiful families on the Big Island that we’ve helped

I’d like to end my post with one of the testimonies from one of our pastor familia’s on the Big Island. Pastor Lucas* and Maria* went to visit one of the families in their church. They took their friend Yuni* an envelope with some funds that we sent them so that they could buy food. Maria cried with Lucas and Maria because she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy food for herself and her family. She told pastor Lucas, “tell David, you don’t realize the great blessing it is to receive this gift today. It is an answer to my prayers and my tears.”

Papa God is still at work, even in the midst of our journey through the valley of the shadow of death. He is still at work through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still at work through all of the riots and social unrest. We can trust him in the dark and in the light. Thank you, Jesus, for your great and mighty deeds!

You can still help our familia on the Big Island. The needs continue there. Families are still struggling to buy food and basic items like soap. To make a donation click the button below.

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Click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dad’s casket – the white box to the right is where Mom’s remains are. They were buried together

A week ago today on June 8th we laid my dad’s remains to rest. Since my mom was cremated they were both buried together on the same day. Definitely a somber moment.

I feel peace that both of my parents are now in heaven living without pain and suffering. They are in living and experiencing pure joy! Yet, I also feel lost at times with both dad and mom moving to heaven within 64 days of each other.

I don’t know what I would do without the hope that we have in Christ? It’s hard enough as it is. The separation is real, and I miss them. It’s hard to believe that I will never see either one of them again on this side heaven. I look forward to the reunion.

He Showed Up
Dad and Mom visiting us in Colorado Springs in 2010

Today I’d like to post what I shared at my dad’s graveside service. We will have a combined memorial service for them on June 27 at 11 AM at Riverpark Church in Fresno.

At first I didn’t want to lead the graveside service, and when I realized that I was going to lead it I felt some stress. That night, the Wednesday before the service I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like the Lord gave me the phrase, “he showed up”.

Then when I woke up the next day it was as if the Lord just downloaded the message that he wanted me to share.

Dad showed up. He got involved and that’s how he showed his love and care for our family. I know that everyone in my family has examples of how dad showed up and he got involved in our lives. He showed his interest and love in that way.

I didn’t even have to ask him to join us in building the church in memory of Hannah. Actually, I didn’t think that dad would be interested, since we went into Mexico during a hot time of the year. Yet, he was actually excited to join us, even at 82 years old.

He showed time and time again how he wanted to be a part of our lives, and although not everything in our family was ideal – I think we all gained strength from his commitment and love for our family. The same could be said for mom. They were anchors for our family.

Concern for Dad’s Faith

Dad with me at Jonathan and Hannah’s rehearsal dinner for their wedding on December 1, 2018

The one area we were all concerned about for dad was his faith. We prayed for him, mom prayed for him for years and years and many of our friends prayed for dad.

Before dad died and moved to heaven he began to show evidence of faith. His heart grew softer. He prayed with us some and let us pray for him, but there was still that doubt. I prayed and I know others were praying for more definite confirmation and assurance of his faith.

Just a few days before dad passed my brother, John had an opportunity to talk to dad about his faith. John asked dad, if he was sure that he would go to heaven when he died, and dad said, “no.” So John took the opportunity to explain to dad how Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead defeating sin, death and satan so that we might have life and be forgiven for us sins. He explained that dad just needed to receive the gift of salvation through prayer and placing his trust in Christ.

John said, “mom always prayed for you and hoped that you would join her in heaven.” Dad teared up when John said this, and dad said, “then I guess we better pray then.” John was able to lead dad in prayer to receive Christ. When they were done praying, dad asked if there was anything else that he had to do. He wanted to make sure that he had done what he needed to do.

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

Signs & Affirmations From the Father
The Lord is with us and gives us the strength of an eagle as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death

We hoped that dad would have stayed with us and been around longer, but we can take comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and that he is reunited with mom. Dad died just 3 days after he prayed to receive Christ with John. This reminds me of the death and resurrection of Christ – Jesus Christ rose on the third day! The Lord wants to encourage us in that!

We wish dad would have passed away in a more peaceful way. He moved to heaven while taking a shower.

I think it helps to remember that as dad took his last breath here, his next breath he was in heaven. There Jesus was with the angels to ready to receive him – he received him with a smile. Can you imagine what that must have been like?!?

Also there is a lot of symbolism in water, and I think the Lord wants to encourage us with that as a sign and confirmation of the Lord’s work in dad’s heart.

Water represents a washing and cleansing of our sins. We use water in baptism which is rich in symbolism and as a sign and seal of the Lord’s inner workings in our hearts.

Jesus offers living water and says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, The Water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14 (ESV)

The river or spring of water refers to the Holy Spirit – there is an outpouring and an overflowing (see John 7:37-39). Our house was flooded some, because of the way dad passed away. I believe that the Lord wants to encourage us with the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our family (natural and spiritual).

The Lord is so good and loving to encourage us in this way!

GRIEVE BUT NOT AS THOSE WITHOUT HOPE
Mom and Dad in their early 20’s – they may look more like this now in heaven!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Paul says, “We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV, emphasis mine

It’s good and right to grieve, to be sad and in sorrow. There is a separation now – we miss dad – death is not a good thing. God created the world without death. Death entered into the world when Adam sinned. Paul says in your sorrow remain hopeful, because this is not the end. Then he goes on to say for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus comforts us with these words,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:1,2 (NKJV)

Dad is no longer suffering – he is in glory!

He is probably fishing with St. Peter and camping with John the Baptist. And I’m sure he’s enjoying playing and watching baseball and football with his dad and all his favorites. He’s in glory with mom and Hannah and our grandparents and one day soon we will all be reunited with him!

Our grief and sadness is momentary in light of eternity!

The Lord promises to comfort us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Our Cuban Daughter, May’s Encouragement
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

One of Dawn and my good Cuban friends who’s become like family to us, like a daughter, wrote a note of encouragement to dad, that I read to him the last time we were together and it encouraged dad so much that he cried through the whole thing.

May wrote:
“I would like you to know that I heard about you traveling to support your son, David when they built the church in memory of Hannah. I’m sure you went on that trip because of your love for your son and also that you knew that it was important for David to build that church in honor of Hannah.”

“When I realized how old you were and the miles that you traveled I started to cry, because of your love for David and your family is so big and it showed through your willingness to go on that long trip. You wanted to be alongside those you love to help them finish building the church. Since then I have admired you and prayed for you every day.”

“You are a fortunate and blessed man who knew how to build up and how to care for your beautiful family. We may never get a chance to meet on this earth, but one day we will meet in heaven where I can tell you, ‘Your actions speak louder than your words, and I admire you.’”

Everyone one of us in our family and some of our friends have stories like that of how dad expressed his love to us by being there, by showing up.

DAD FINISHED THE RACE
Dad is reunited with Hannah. He always had a special relationship with Hannah. They are together again.

Dad was determined to be here as long as he could. He told us he wanted to be here for his family and we all benefited from his love, his commitment and his determination.

Dad finished the race, and it was time for him to go home. As much as it pains us to say goodbye we can be assured that dad is no longer suffering. There is no mesothelioma in heaven, there are no breathing problems or heart illnesses – no more tears. Mom and dad are reunited with Hannah, our grandparents and all our dearly departed who are in Christ.

Most likely as dad is now part of the cloud of witnesses that Hebrews tells of – that he is cheering us on from above.

In as sense it falls on us now to carry on mom and dad’s legacy of love, prayer and commitment to our family – we are to carry the torch that they’ve passed on to us. So as we close be comforted that the good shepherd, our loving Heavenly Father promises to be with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, but to believe in God and to believe also in Christ. He is going ahead of us and preparing our mansion as we believe and place our trust in Christ.

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living!

Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ brother,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25, 26 (ESV)

Thank you for standing with us and praying for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

We will be having a combined Memorial Service for dad and mom on June 27 at 11 AM PDT at Riverpark Church in Fresno, California.

You can make a donation in memory of my dad and mom to Beyond Borders by clicking the button below.

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Or you can make a check out to:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Mail to: 665 Crescent Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91911

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org