Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 54’

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

Wow! The middle of the world

Wow! The middle of the world

Last week I felt like a Hobbit or at least I thought of them as I visited the middle of the world in Quito, Ecuador. When I visit a new place I like to spend at least a little time getting to know the city and surrounding area. It was my first time in Quito so I took advantage of my time there and went to see the city, and I also visited the middle of the world. Where it is 0.0 – 0 latitude. It is a fascinating place to be for sure. And like I mentioned it made me feel like a tall Hobbit.

Amazed by the Unity in Christ
Red de Multiplicación meeting in Quito

Red de Multiplicación meeting in Quito

I was in Quito for an annual meeting of the Latin American leadership for Red de Multiplicación (Multiplication Network). This was the first time that I joined this group. I was truly amazed by the spirit of cooperation and community that the group shared.

One of the reasons that I was amazed is because these men and women represented a wide array of denominational groups who shared one goal to see more churches planted throughout Latin America. I don’t always see unity among even people from the same tribe let alone when they are from very different persuasions. I think that is one of the beauties of Red de Multiplicación. They excel in bringing people together for the proclamation and proliferation of the gospel. The goal is to plant more churches and stronger churches.

The unity that I see among these friends reminds me of Psalm 133:1.

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when the brothers dwell in unity!”

Jesus prayed in John 17 that there would be unity among his followers, and too often this isn’t the case. The sense of working together for the gospel demonstrates the love of Christ.

Breakthrough as the Church Multiplies
A great group. Friends from Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico who serve with Red de Multiplicación

A great group. Friends from Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico who serve with Red de Multiplicación

Dawn and I first learned about the Multiplication Network two years ago which was just after Hannah moved to heaven. Of course, that was a time when we were especially hurting and mourning, but we were also praying for more. Dawn and I felt as we prayed that the Lord wanted to see our reach expand.

The Lord impressed Isaiah 54 upon us at the beginning of 2017 which speaks of enlarging your tent, and breakthrough.

“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 rights and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.” Isaiah 54:2-3 ESV

We believe that the Red de Multiplicación is an answer to our heart’s cry. An answer to our prayers. The Lord has already used them to help plant thousands of churches throughout Latin America and as one of our friends, Ben Meyer said, they hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve been encouraged and amazed as I’ve heard the testimonies of ministries that hadn’t planted any churches, and all of the sudden after partnering with the Red de Multiplicación they’be begun to multiply and to see a number of churches planted. We do pray for more!

Join us in Prayer for More!

Pray with us as we partner with the Multiplication Network to see more churches planted so that lives will be transformed by the gospel as they encounter Jesus! We do pray that the church growth we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg and that the Lord will ignite the fires of the gospel throughout Latin America and beyond! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Staying on the Move
Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Sometimes there is so much going on it’s hard to stay up on my posts. I’m also trying to write a book, but I haven’t yet figured out how to squeeze time in to give it the necessary attention. I’d appreciate your prayers that the dream of publishing a book would become a reality. Also, If you have any suggestions on how to fit it into a busy on the go schedule let me know.

Dawn and I will be leaving for Phoenix in just a couple of hours. We will be connecting with a church in the area and we’ll be attending a church planters network meeting. It promises to be a good time with some outstanding friends and ministers of the gospel. To top it off we also will be celebrating our 29th anniversary on Monday, March 5.

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Brokenness and Healing

Last weekend, Dawn and I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Abraham Velazquez’s church in Tijuana. We’ve grown to love Abraham and his wife, Martha. It’s always special when we can be with them. 

I had the opportunity to preach at their church. The sermon was on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken! My family and I have experienced our share of brokenness over the last couple of years since Hannah moved to heaven. This passage gives us hope for a better tomorrow. The barren one, the broken one is told to sing and cry aloud, because the Lord is going to deliver her.

The passage goes on to say prepare yourself for growth. Enlarge your tent. Get your house ready, because I’m going to bring an increase. I am going to bless you!

Isaiah 54:1-3

“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)

One of the practices that Dawn and I have to look for the promises in the Bible and to use them in our prayers. These promises give us hope, especially when things go awry. Does that ever happen to you? I would like to encourage you to remember the promises of God and to repeat them often.

Breakthrough for the Broken in Tijuana
Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

It was such a good time to minister at Pastor Abraham’s church. After the sermon, we had a time of prayer, and it was so encouraging as people shared their testimonies. One of the leaders in the church said that he had been having nightmares that he was going to die. He felt a release and peace after the prayer. I sent him a note the next day and he told me that he slept well and that he didn’t have any nightmares!

Another young man shared about the abuse he had suffered in his family growing up. He was bitter, but he felt the need to forgive his family so I was able to lead him in prayer to confess and forgive. He also needed Jesus so I had the pleasure of leading him to Christ! God is so good, and he is definitely on the move.

I learned while I was at the church that Pastor Mere Godinez, the pastor of the church we are building for Hannah used to attend this church in Tijuana. Abraham and Mere grew up together. They attended church together, and they are both in the ministry now. Wow, Lord! Thanks for all that you are doing. Praise you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fruitful Trip to Fresno
Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the conference

Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the GMC conference in Dallas. (We didn’t get a picture at Sierra View)

Over Thanksgiving weekend Dawn and I had the opportunity to visit my family in Fresno. It was a good time to see my family again. Dawn’s mom also flew out and joined us for a couple of weeks.

While in Fresno we connected with one of our partner churches, Sierra View Presbyterian. I was able to share about our ministry and to preach at the church. I preached on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken. The Lord encouraged us as he showed up and we felt his presence in a special way. Thank you, Jesus, for hearing and answering our prayer!

So Grateful for Our Faithful Partners!

While we were at the church it hit me that Sierra View was one of the first churches that started supporting us as we began with Mission to the World (MTW) back in 1988. Wow! Hard to believe that we are coming up on 30 years with MTW! I started with MTW as a single young man in 1988, and Dawn and I were married in 1989. Dawn went through the evaluation process to join MTW before we were married. Anyway, however, you slice it we’ve been involved in missions for a good long time.

Not only was I impressed by how long we’ve served in missions, but by the importance of having faithful partners standing with us in the ministry. Since we were in my hometown, my parents were there as well. I realize that I could have never gotten to where I am today without my parents and that Dawn and I could not do the outreach, coaching, church planting we do without a number of friends, family, and churches standing with us.

Even this blog has opened up the door for new friends that are praying for us and encouraging us as we serve.

Stand Firm with Other in the Battle
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together. We give thanks for all of our friends who are on the journey with us!

In Ephesians 6 Paul exhorts us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. He then goes on to tell us to gird ourselves with the armor of God. Each believer needs to stand firm fully prepared with the armor of God. Yet, we are not to fight alone. We are to battle side by side with other believers in the power and strength of the Lord.

Our enemy roams like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but our victory is secured in Christ. Yet the battle rages on until Jesus returns. We stand together against our common foe. That is a good analogy for all of our ministry activities we are not meant to go it alone. We are not supposed to be Lone Ranger Christians.

therefore, I thank the Lord for Sierra View Presbyterian church and all of those who stand with us as we invade enemy territory. The kingdom of God continues to advance. The advance may not always be as quick or as easy as we’d like, but our victory is assured. We are more than conquerors in Christ!

Thank you, Jesus for gathering such wonderful partners that surround us, love us and pray for us. This has been a hard year with our daughter, Hannah moving to heaven. I really don’t know how we would have made it without all the loving support that sustains us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Joy and Sadness
IMG_5498

October 15, 2016 the group that helped us finish building the church in Rosarito, Mexico

Today (Sunday) was a special day for me. I love being able to visit our church plants and encourage the pastors and the congregations. Today I was able to visit our latest church plant with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Ramos 2. Pastor Obed and his wife, Cesiah invited me to preach.

You might remember that we finished building this church, and the church was inaugurated just two days before Hannah died. I remember praying with Obed and Cesiah for Hannah, because she wasn’t feeling well. So the joy of being with them still had hints of sad memories.

We experienced a huge victory in the launch of the church, but personally we experienced a tragic loss.

God is Faithful to Build His Church
IMG_0315 2.jpg

Dave encouraging the church through the Word of God

Yet, I have learned that God is faithful. He keeps working in our lives, and in the lives of others. He is faithful to grow his church, and I believe the growth of the church is inevitable. Maybe not the growth of a particular church, but growth of the Church. God’s kingdom continues to grow and transform lives around the world. Even as I’m writing this Ministerios Transformación is building two new churches that will be launched in April and May! Hallelujah!

I thank the Lord for the small part that Dawn and I could play in helping launch this church. I give thanks for all that God is doing and I trust will continue to do in this community through Pastor Obed, his wife Cesiah and the people of the church.

O Lord, Breakthrough
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

We are praying for breakthrough. Breakthrough for this church, and many others that we have a connection with. We’d love to see God’s Spirit move and touch all the churches, and the ministers in Mexico like the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 54 has been on my mind a lot this year. I love that God tells the barren women to have faith, and to enlarge her house, because the baby is coming. For all of those who have suffered loss, or those who are waiting for something you long for, this is a wonderful promise from the Lord of the Angel Armies. He is the Lord Almighty, and he can and he will do it. He calls us to trust him, to have faith, to prepare and to be patient.

“”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. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”

Isaiah 54:1-5 ESV

I encouraged the church with these words today, and God showed up and he touched the people. We grew together as the Spirit ministered to each of us.

Join Us in Prayer

My prayer is that this church will grow, and that they truly will make a difference in the community. I pray and I thank the Lord for Pastor Obed and Cesiah who have a deep and abiding love for Christ, and they are willing to make sacrifices to see this church grow.

Join us in prayer that God will do a great and mighty work in the life of this new church. Pray that they will experience breakthrough personally, and as they reach out in the community with the love of Christ.

Thanks so much for standing with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thanks for the Loving Support
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

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

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

God Breaking Through

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

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

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

The Diaso Family at Christmas!

We’ve been going through a rough and very busy stretch, which has made it about impossible to post anything recently.

I wrote last week about how the battles rages on, as we minister. We were already experiencing some trials in our lives. The friends we minister with have also been faced with some difficult days. Yet, I didn’t expect things to get even harder, but they have.

It’s a reminder that we need people to continue to pray for us, and for protection for our family. The enemy doesn’t play fair. Keep your guard up!

Please pray for the Lord’s sustaining power as we together weather this storm!

Jesus Gives Us Hope, so Look Up!

I’m thankful that God promises to use trials in this life for good. If that were not the case, I’m afraid that I would despair.

The Lord has used some key Bible passages to buoy my spirit during this time.

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 54:13, 14

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

The Lord is near during these times that our faith is tested. He will carry us through this, yet we can be tempted to doubt God’s goodness. Remember his many good works, when you doubt.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org