Posts Tagged ‘life transformation’

Stories of Grace Through the Camera
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Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol with their son, Abraham serving the Lord in Rosarito and Tijuana, Mexico

Last week a film crew came out to take photos and video shots of the ministry on the border and throughout our work in Mexico. It was an exhilarating time as we met with and interviewed our partners and church planters. We started out in Ensenada and we got some beautiful shots of the city and our church planters Petri & Yudy Petrikowski. Then we headed back up to Rosarito and Tijuana to interview Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol.

 

I wish I could take you with me to meet these wonderful friends. Every time I’m with them I come away encouraged. God fills me up because they are fun to be with, and also because of the way the Lord is transforming lives through their ministry.

God Breaks Through in Rosarito
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Victor and Sol shared with us about a ministry to an orphanage called Nueva Generación (New Generation). They formed a partnership relationship with Luis Salinas, who leads the orphanage a few years ago. The partnership has grown as their church has grown. Now on average 17 orphans attend their church every Sunday.

 

Sol is a psychologist and she has worked with the children and the parents. She ministers the love of Christ to these parents who are caught in addictions, prostitution, and poverty, which has kept them from being able to care for their children. The children experience the love of Christ and hear the good news of the gospel and they are transformed by God’s grace. The goal is also to see their parents break free from their addictions and destructive life style.

Brokenness and Healing
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Raul reunited with his two sons!

We met one of the father’s, his name is Raul. He has an amazing story. Sadly he was caught in a cycle of addiction, which led to poverty and an inability to take care of his children. Raul’s wife left him. Through the work of the orphanage and the love shown to him through Victor and Sol, he came to Christ. He eventually was set free of his addictions and began to work again. It took him more than 10 years to break free, and now he is back in his two boys life.

 

Raul shared through tears about his struggle with alcohol and drugs. He felt sad that he had let his boys down, and not been able to take care of them for so many years. But God broke through! This brought more tears as he reflected on the Lord’s great love and grace.

A life transformed!

A family reunited!

Wow! So good to see God’s grace set the captives free.

When we talk about planting churches we pray for transformed lives and transformed communities as the love of Christ shines brightly in dark places.

Unfortunately, there are many Raul’s in Tijuana and Rosarito. There is much work left to be done! Yet, we are seeing progress as the Lord works in and through the churches and ministries on the border. Thank you, Jesus!

I give thanks for faithful servants like Victor and Sol who are not content just to hold services on Sunday. They desire to see the gospel penetrate and make a difference in the community. My prayer is, our prayer is that the Lord will raise up an army of ministers like Pastor Victor and Sol. He is doing that through ministries like, Ministerios Transformación who have planted 31 churches in 11 years and have a vision to plant many more! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Growing Together - Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

Growing Together – Through the Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

God is Taking Us Deeper

Over the last two weeks God has drawn us deeper. Dawn, Hannah and I have been going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed Life. What’s made it extra special was that we were able to take our missionary colleagues Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. Four pastors from Tijuana and four church leaders from Ensenada also went with us.

2 Keys – Forgiveness & Repentance
Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Two of the keys we spent a lot of time focusing on were forgiveness and repentance. These are bedrock Christian disciplines. On the one hand, they are very basic to our faith. On the other hand, we often struggle to put them in practice.

We don’t like to admit that we are wrong. Our pride gets in the way. Yet forgiveness and repentance bring healing. God’s grace meets us at our place of weakness.

Luther said that all of life is repentance.

The Benefits of Confession

James speaks of the benefits of confession, even confessing to one another. A Christian practice that has mostly been lost on the church today.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭15-16‬ ESV)

I can’t say that it is easy to open up and share about areas where we are wounded, but it is freeing when accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.

Turn to the father. He promises to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. Learn of the father’s love for you.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he removes our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭8-13‬ ESV)

The Keys to a Transformed Life

Our Group – The Keys to a Transformed Life

It’s all part of the upside down kingdom. Where we see a flaunting of sin in the world, God calls us to repent. In many ways that word, repent, seems old an antiquated today. It sounds harsh, and yet it is what the Lord chooses to bring us healing and wholeness. God ministers to us through confession and repentance.

Also when we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we receive God’s healing touch. It is freeing to forgive. Jesus taught us to pray asking our Heavenly Father, “to forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15)

That may be a hard passage, but it’s a wonderful promise. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that the Lord offers us. Come and receive his many gifts!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

 

Much to Give Thanks For
The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

These are some of the pastors that serve with Lo Mejor del Trigo

I’m so thankful for the wonderful men that I’m able to serve the Lord with here on the border. They are choice servants of the Lord and special friends. It also gives me great joy that Dawn and I can come alongside pastors and their wives.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream, since God has called us here. It’s not that we haven’t had more than our share of trials that can make the dream feel more like a nightmare.

Yet, despite the low times. Despite the valleys. There are also so many good things, so many things to give thanks for.

Wonderful Godly Partners
Jim DeWitt, Valentina & Jaime Rodriguez with Dave

Jim DeWitt, Valentina & Jaime Rodriguez with Dave

One of those things that I give thanks for is the people we partner with. They are not only wonderful partners in ministry, but they are outstanding friends.

Just this morning I had breakfast with Jim DeWitt with Mission to the World (MTW) and Jaime Rodriguez, pastor of Lo Mejor del Trigo La Morita and Bridge church. Jaime loves the Lord, and he loves to serve Christ. He is very sensitive to God’s leading and direction. I learn from him.

Valentina, Jaime’s wife is a jewel. Dawn and I feel privileged to minister with them.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez is another wonderful friend that I’ve enjoyed getting to know and serving with over the last 4 years. Daniel’s wife, Yolanda and their whole family have become very special to us.

God has blessed us with so many good people that we work alongside that I don’t have the space to mention all of them in this post, although if you follow my blog you will read about them if you haven’t already.

Growing Together in Christ!
Keys to a Transformed Life in San Antonio de las Minas

Keys to a Transformed Life in San Antonio de las Minas

This week I’m in San Antonio de las Minas going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed life and I have three pastors, and three missionaries here with Dawn, Hannah and me. Pastor Ivan Casados, Pastor Jaime Avila and Pastor Mario Perez. Fellow MTW missionaries Peter and Jenny Boling are here along with Jim DeWitt.

Last week Pastor Felipe Hernandez was with us along with his wife, Laura.

We also had 4 leaders from the Nueva Jerusalen church – Jesus & Yudy Petrikowski and Jorge & Luz Salazar.

Such special people! Thank you Jesus for our friends. O Lord, do meet them at their point of need. Do work in their hearts and draw each of them nearer to you. Use us for your glory and she your kingdom extended on the earth! Amen and Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Changes Lives for His Glory
The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

Life Transformation with 10 leaders in San Antonio de las Minas near Ensenada. Last week the Lord gave me the privilege of going through the Keys to a Transformed Life with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo.

Our friends from Ministerios Fuente de Gracia (Ministry of Fountain of Grace) led us during the week. God showed up! It was thrilling to be a part of this group.

Wonderful Partners in Ministry

I’ve worked very closely with pastor Daniel Nuñez and many of the pastors with Lo Mejor del Trigo over the last 4 years. They are wonderful partners in the gospel, and I thank the Lord for what he is doing in and through these pastors.

As I’ve come alongside these leaders I’ve seen the needs they have. We’ve shared together over meals and while ministering together. I feel honored that I am able to get the time with them. They are outstanding leaders who love Jesus. Most of them are bi-vocational pastors, which is extremely difficult.

God Works Through Repentance & Confession
Learning together

Learning together

Martin Luther said that, “all of life is repentance.” In fact forgiveness and repentance were among the key lessons that we learned while in San Antonio de las Minas. We shared deeply in small groups. We confessed our sins to one another. In that time God showed up in a special way and met us at our point of need hallelujah.

Confession isn’t easy. It is painful, but God meets us there. As we humble ourselves he enters in and brings healing.

This verse comes to mind from Micah 6:8,

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

The Lord desires that we walk humbly before him. He works in and through our humility. Thanks be to God!

I look forward to what the Lord is going to do in the lives of these pastors, and how it will strengthen their churches. O Lord, do a great work through these men. Do a great work first in their families and then in their churches. Be Glorified in their lives, and let the spark that was ignited this last week be only the beginning!

One of the things that we are praying for on the border and the Baja is for life transformation which will bring about revival. Join us as we look to the Lord for a work that only he can do.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Transformed life!
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados

Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados

God is on the move on the border in some amazing ways! I always come away encouraged after meeting with the pastors we are working with in Tijuana.

Pastor Ivan Casados shared with me how God is working and bringing transformation in the lives of people in his young church plant. One of the women in his church, we’ll call her Frida, has experienced life transformation as God has entered into her life.

Frida is the mother of four. She had been with four different men, similar to the Samaritan woman. Frida was not a good mother to her children. She would go out with men and leave her children to fend for themselves. Some days they would not have any food and she went out to dance and have fun with her lovers.

She felt like she needed these men, because they provided financial security and made her feel like somebody cared for her. Yet, these men were taking advantage of her, and she was neglecting her family.

Frida is Growing in Her Faith

God pursued Frida and she gave her life to Christ. She told the men to leave. It was hard for her, but now she is headed in the right direction.

Frida’s life was changed and she is now caring for her children. She’s growing in her faith in the Rivera del Bosque church that pastor Ivan Casados leads.

Ivan says that Frida has become an evangelist. She is  telling everyone she works with about Jesus and inviting them to church.

Isn’t it encouraging to see how Jesus changes lives?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thanksgiving Amidst the Trials
Hannah & David at the airport when Hannah arrived for her surprise visit!

Hannah & David at the airport when Hannah arrived for her surprise visit!

The Lord says he stores up our tears in a bottle. This gives me comfort knowing that he cares deeply about our pain.

Last week I wrote about some of the pain that our family and some friends of ours endured. if you missed it you can read about it here Trials & Tears!, and Trials & Tears: Part Two, Answers.

This week especially we focus on the many blessings that God has given us, and it truly has been a better week.

My daughter, Hannah, who was in a bad car accident last week is here with us to celebrate Thanksgiving. My son, Jon, who had an emergency eye surgery last Friday is recovering. It will be a while before he gains full use of his right eye, but the surgery was successful. We give much thanks for that, and we continue praying for a full and complete recovery.

God Uses Ana’s Pain to Bring Adam to Christ!
The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset cares for you and me!

The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset cares for you and me!

Our friend, Ana who was detained last week was set free last Friday. She is now back with her family!

Ana made a wrong turn last week when she was taking a friend’s son to school. That wrong turn led to her being detained.

The father of the boy Ana was taking to school is named, Adam. After all that happened last week Adam came to church last Sunday with Ana and her family. He heard the gospel, and he gave his life to Christ. God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? Yet, he is always working, and doing so in such a way that he gets the glory.

We don’t always understand the reasons why, or the how’s, but we can trust that he is working.

God’s Loving Care
English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lord cares for you. He tells us he will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He says that the plans he has for us are good (Jeremiah 29:11). He encourages us to ask him for our needs, for even a father will give his child a piece of bread when he asks for it (Matthew 7:9).

Aren’t those wonderful and encouraging promises? We just need to lean on him and trust him.

Lift Our Voices in Thanks to Our God

Lord, I praise you that, because of you we have much to be thankful for. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for giving us friends and family to love!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend!

In HIs Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org