Posts Tagged ‘Mexicali Mexico’

Celebrating 31 years!
I give thanks for my wife, Dawn!

Today is a special day. Dawn and I celebrate our 31st anniversary today! As Proverbs 31 says, “an excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10). I do give thanks for Dawn and the wonderful journey that we have been on together. Our love for one another has grown through the good and the difficult times.

We have endured more trials than most. I was kidnapped in Mexico City and our car was stolen at gun point. Our daughter Hannah struggled with some tremendously difficult demons for close to three years. The hardest thing for us to endure was when Hannah moved to heaven. We are still dealing with that, which is hard because most don’t understand that grief doesn’t have an end point.

When I think about an excellent wife and this passage, the first two people who come to mind are Dawn and Hannah. I do give thanks for my beautiful wife, Dawn. Our love has grown over the years and she is truly my better half and far more precious than jewels.

Hannah – Our Virtuous Daughter
Our Beautiful Virtuous Daughter, Hannah

I think of Hannah as well. Hannah longed to find a man and be married before she moved to heaven. As one friend, Susanna Schuemann said at Hannah’s funeral that Hannah now is the bride to the perfect Husband.

When Hannah was younger she posted a video about the virtuous woman as described in Proverbs 31. She always wanted to be a positive influence on young women. She hoped to one day write and give encouraging talks. Now that I think about it, this is interesting, because the Lord has brought another beautiful young woman into our lives who was born on the same day as Hannah who does have a powerful ministry to young women. I believe it’s one of the ways the Lord is redeeming our pain and suffering. It’s like a kiss from our loving Father. A reminder that He loves us and that He will not leave us or forsake us. Our loving Papa, God!

Hannah’s video on the virtuous woman

Love Makes a Difference in Mexicali
The happy couples at the Valentine’s dinner

It seems appropriate on our anniversary to talk about love and how the Lord is using the theme of love in marriage to bring transformation to young couples in Mexicali.

One example of friends being touched by the love of Christ happened this past weekend in our church plant in Mexicali. Our church planters Federico and Blanca Muñoz wanted to take advantage of the month of love and friendship, the month of February. They invited some of their new friends that they’ve met over the last few months to a fun meal celebrating love and friendship. It was an event for couples with an eye towards strengthening marriages through the love of Christ.

Federico and Blanca did an excellent job organizing the event, and all the people who came had a great experience. Marriage isn’t easy, and many couples struggle to maintain their love for one another. There are so many things that mitigate against families today. Our friends need encouragement and help to grow in their marriage relationship.

Wonderful Testimonies of God’s Grace
All smiles – One of the young married couples enjoying the evening

Federico and Blanca shared that as part of the evening activities they encouraged the couples to forgive one another for past faults. The couples took advantage of the opportunity. It’s not an easy thing to admit you made a mistake and to ask someone to forgive you, but Jesus broke through!

One of the couples that came has been living together for 14 years. They expressed a desire to commit to the covenant of marriage before God! Wow! It’s heartwarming to see how the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel brings about change and transformation. It gives all of us hope!

I enjoy seeing people encounter Christ for the first time. It’s so good watching the Lord work in their hearts to bring about change. The gospel is truly good news! These gospel encounters happen frequently in the churches that we are planting. It’s one of the principle reasons we are so committed to starting new churches.

We know that Jesus makes all the difference! As the Spirit works in our lives and teaches us to love like Jesus relationships begin to change for the better.

Join Us in Prayer for Federico & Blanca and the Ministry in Mexicali
Federico & Blanco with their children, Junior, Damaris, David & Daniel (from left to right)

For many of the couples that came to the Valentine’s themed event, it was their first exposure to the gospel. It was a step in the right direction for them to see life transformation. We lift these couples up along with Federico and Blanca as they reach out to their friends. We join them in praying that they will come to Christ and grow in their faith. Lord, do continue your good work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Love of Christ is Touching Lives
Junior, Damaris, Federico, Blanca, David & Daniel Muñoz

Dawn and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz. They are planting a new church in Mexicali.

Blanca shared with us how she felt led to take a walk in her neighborhood, which she mentioned that she doesn’t usually do by herself. Yet, this day the Lord nudged her to do it. As she was walking she met a woman who was looking for her son.

Blanca sharing with friends at a an outreach event they held in Mexicali

The woman’s son had run away, and she was distraught trying to find him. Blanca was able to encourage her and tell her that she was willing to help. She showed the love of Christ to the lady, and gave her a big hug. While they were hugging the woman began to cry. She felt loved. She felt that someone cared.

Blanca took the opportunity to tell her that it was because of Christ’s love that she was able to care for her and show her compassion.

Later Blanca was surprised to find out that the woman she had met who lost her son is someone that has a lot of influence in Mexicali. This made Blanca feel humbled and grateful for how the Lord worked. In a few days Blanca learned that her new friend had found her son.

God is so good and we love learning how he is faithful to work through his children.

God’s love wins, and this is one of the many reasons we plant churches and seek to share the love of Christ.

Pastor Deivis & Luz Pardo in Playas
David & Dawn with Pastor Federico & Blanca and Pastor Deivis and Luz

The Lord abundantly blessed Dawn and me, because after we met with Federico and Blanca for a few hours Pastor Deivis and Luz Pardo joined us. It was the first time that Dawn and I have been able to meet with all of them together. Deivis and Luz are just getting started on the church plant in Tijuana.

After much prayer they found a place to live in the area where they are going to plant their church. We were able to rejoice with them as they prepare to move in. They are still working on getting everything set up and furnishing their house.

We believe that the Lord has a great plan for Deivis and Luz and Playas and we can wait to watch and see all that he does!

Join Us in Prayer
  • Pray that the Lord will provide for all of Deivis and Luz’s needs as they move into their new place.
  • They also need some help moving and getting set up.
  • Continue to pray for Pastor Federico and Blanca that the Lord will open up even more doors for them to share the gospel.
  • Pray for me as I’m having surgery today on my hernia. I’d appreciate prayer for a quick recovery.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Fun Times & the Gospel!
Pastor Federico & Blanca with their children, Junior, Damaris, David & Daniel

The good news of the gospel for Mexicali!

Our church planters Federico and Blanca Muñoz just held an evangelistic outreach in Mexicali. They made it a fun event. An opportunity for people in the community to get to know them.

Federico and Blanca have some friends, a team that they’ve recruited. Their team helped them pull off an enjoyable activity. Some of their friends donated 500 hotdogs, and some toys for the children. They also organized games, and face painting.

Some fun activities including face painting

There were many smiles shared on this special fun-filled day.

Loving Outreach & Connections
Blanca with one of the families that came

Nowadays Christians get a lot of bad press, but there are some wonderful and even amazing things that Jesus followers are doing. The Muñoz family is seeking to present Jesus in a loving and authentic way to a skeptical world.

At this particular event, Federico and Blanca were able to introduce themselves and the new work that they are starting. They also introduced their team. The initial phase of a church plant is making contacts and letting them know what you are doing.

Music, games and the gospel!

I’ve been encouraged by the progress that the Muñoz’s have made in their first few months as they work towards launching their church. They’ve worked hard on developing their vision and mission for the church. It’s exciting to see how they are connecting with people in the community.

They are training their team in how to share the love of Christ in a winsome way.

The Gospel Touches Hurting People
Fun gifts were given to the children and adults

One example of how they are being sensitive to the Lord and ministering to people. Federico and Blanca told me they were setting up a business contract for their ministry, and as they were getting to know the lady that was helping them God showed up. The lady began to share how her family was experiencing division and pain. Federico and Blanca asked if they could pray for her, and she said yes. They prayed for her, and she felt so much better and so encouraged that she actually lowered the price for them.

Wow! Isn’t it a joy to be on this journey with the Lord and see how he works in the hearts of those all around us. So many people are in need. We just need to open our eyes and be sensitive to the Spirit.

Join us in Prayer
Federico & Blanca’s friends with the gifts they received!

Continue to pray for the Muñoz family and those that are working with them as they reach out into the community and make new contacts. We are praying for the Lord to shower them with his blessing, and that many will respond to the message of Christ. The needs are great, but the workers are few. The enemy is on the prowl seeking whom he may devour. Thanks be to God that greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnThe Border.org

God is on the Move in Amazing Ways

I’m writing this as I fly from Mexico to Colombia, and by the time you read this I will be in Colombia. We are excited about all the Lord is doing in our lives right now!

There are periods when the ministry is slow and not as invigorating as we’d like. Yet during those times we have to stay at it, and continue to plant and water that we might see growth and fruit down the road. Dawn and I feel like we are in a period of growth now. We are reaping some of the fruit from the seed we have sown. There is so much going on in our family and in the ministry. God is on the move in some amazing ways.

Pastor Petri leading Renuevo Church

Over the last week I connected with four of the church planters we are working with, who are ministering all along the border. Sunday I was at the church plant in Ensenada, Renuevo. We celebrated the Lord’s supper together. It’s encouraging to see that church grow and mature.

I also connected with two of our new church planters, which is energizing for me. To see something new started, even though it requires more time and work it is thrilling.

Pastor Federico and Blanca getting set up for Mexicali

(From left to right) – Junior, Dámaris, Federico, Blanca, David & Daniel

On Monday I was with Federico, Blanca and their four children helping them to find furniture to get set up in Mexicali.

After we spent the day picking up some of the furniture they needed we were able to stop and have some tacos. I enjoyed spending time with the family and helping them get set up. Their 14 year old son, Daniel, said that the Lord was going to bless my life threefold. He said this as he observed me help his family and as I was able to be a blessing to them. Those words really touched me at a deep level, and I almost started to cry. I held it in, which maybe isn’t good. I guess it’s part of my struggle as a guy to show much emotion at times like that.

I genuinely enjoyed working with Federico and Blanca, and helping them to move into a nice place so that they can reach out in that community. Yet, the words of their son touched me in deep way. It was a moment that money can’t buy. They were simple words, but the Lord used the words of a young boy to minister to my spirit.

There are a lot of challenges to starting a church, and there is some stress that goes with it. I’m still raising money for this project, which in my weaker moments causes me to worry. Yet in the midst of this I’m excited and looking forward to what God is going to do. I think Federico, Blanca and their children are growing in their faith as they trust the Lord for his provision and to raise up this church.

Pastor Davis & Luz – A new church in Tijuana

Pastor Davis & some of the people we are working with in Tijuana. From left to right, Davis, David, Blanca, Stan, Aaron & Liliana

It also gave me great joy to meet with and encourage Pastor Davis and Luz as they are working towards planting a church in Tijuana. As I encourage and minister to them it strengthens me as well. God is so good to bless us when we serve him. I’m not saying that we don’t experience hardship on the journey, but rather that He is a good good Father and he desires to give good things to his children.

Jesus taught about this and he used the Father’s goodness as an example when he taught us to pray in the gospels.

Davis and Luz have been beaten down a lot in the ministry. The same could be said for Federico and Blanca. Unfortunately, many of the challenges that they’ve encountered have come from inside the church not from outside. It’s one of the reasons why we need new gospel centered, Spirit filled churches. We need to live out the love of Christ as we live and serve. This type of church is authentic Christianity and it is attractive to the watching world.

Join us in Prayer

Join us in prayer for these special friends who are chosen by God to serve him and to see the kingdom of God extended on the earth. We continue to pray that it will be on earth as it is in heaven. We know there is love and not hatred, jealousy and unkindness in heaven, so we pray that we will live out and experience this type of love on the earth.

There are two big requests that we have as we ask for prayer. One is that these couples get set up for healthy living situations, so that they can minister and reach out in the community. The other is for the provision that we still need in order to fund these church plants. Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Kingdom Expansion

The Red de Multiplicación conference in Mexico City

I was in Mexico City in May for a big conference with a number of different denominations and churches involved in church planting. There were church planters and leaders from throughout Latin America as well as a few from Europe and Africa. It’s exciting when groups come together from different traditions within Christianity for the cause of seeing the Kingdom of God extended.

The conference is sponsored every Spring by Red de MultiplicaciónMultiplication Network“. The conference location goes from South America to Northern Latin America. Last year it was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, and this year Mexico City.

Lord, Increase Our Borders

Our church plant in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy

Dawn and I had been praying for the Lord to increase our borders, and for an opportunity to network with others to see more churches planted. We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Red de Multiplicación. We believe that our relationship with them not only extends our reach, but it also helps us here.

Dawn and I are excited to see all the Lord is doing and to serve here on the U.S. Mexico border on the Baja and Beyond. We are starting to see movement, there are more churches being planted. We helped launch a new church plant last year in Mexicali with Ministerios Transformación. That’s a very special church for us, because we built it in Hannah’s memory. Two years ago we launched a new church in Ensenada. Now we are praying for and working towards getting three churches off the ground. One of them is in La Paz, Southern Baja California. One is in Mexicali and the other one is in Tijuana.

The Church in Mexicali

The church in Mexicali will be planted by Federico and Blanca Muñoz. We are excited for them. They’ve faced some huge challenges in getting to this point, but the Lord is so faithful and he has carried them through. When they first moved to Mexicali about 4 years ago, they didn’t have any furniture and they were sleeping on the floor for almost two years. I don’t know how they made it through that time.

Federico graduated from seminary in early May, and they just found a place to rent in the community in Mexicali where they would like to plant their church. Again we are praying for the Lord’s provision for them. They still have almost no furniture, and it’s very hot this time of year in Mexicali. We need the Lord to come through for them, and we know he will, we just don’t know how yet.

More Growth in Tijuana

David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

The other church planting project that we are just starting is in Tijuana with Davis & Luz Pardo. They are in a similar situation where they are looking for a place to live, and their income is limited right now. We are actually working with them on the possibility of helping to be involved in a business which would help them to earn an income and to support them.

These are faith building experiences. I’m working on raising funds for them, and at the same time praying and seeking the Lord so we can find creative ways to support them and provide for their needs. I think ministry is challenging any where. The battles one faces may be slightly different, but they are still there. In this case in Mexico it’s funding the church plant and getting it to a point where it’s a fully self sustaining church.

Join Us in Prayer

Dawn and I appreciate your interest and your desire to pray with us and even support this wonderful work of the Lord. Pray with us for the Lord’s provision for Federico & Blanca and Davis & Luz. Pray that the Lord will lead them to the right people and community where the light of Christ will shine forth with power.

These projects are impossible for us to do in our own strength. We will not succeed without the Lord being at the very center of what we are doing. We also desperately need friends to be standing with us in prayer. Friends that are willing to to in battle with us for the kingdom!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating the Church we Started in Memory of Hannah

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

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

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

A Life-Giving Community of Hope

Pastor Mere leading the church

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

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

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

The Lord’s Hand is on This Church

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

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

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

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

God works in Mysterious Ways

Our day of celebration at the church in Mexicali

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

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

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

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Kingdom Growth along the Border and Beyond!
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit two or our church planters in two different cities. One in Ensenada, which is 1 1/2 hours from us. The other one is in Mexicali, which is about 2 1/2 hours from our home. So I had a lot of time in the car, but I also had a great time encouraging and connecting with our church planters and their team. God is on the move in these cities!

Renuevo in Ensenada – Pastor Petri & Yudy

On Sunday I was with Petri, his wife, Yudy and their church plant called Renuevo. They meet in Ensenada, which is a beautiful port city south of border. It is known as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential. Yet, below the beauty, many people are huring and have deep spiritual needs.

Petri and his team are reaching out to professionals on the North side of the city. One of the things that excites me about their project is that there are literally no churches in the area of the city that they are planting in.

There’s a huge need, especially in the part of the city where the church plant is located. Petri is a bi-vocational church planter. He is the supervisor of the school district in Tecate, which is an hour north of Ensenada. Petri’s wife Yudy, is a teacher in this same school disctrict. It is not easy working a full time job in another city, and planting a church. Yet, the advantage is that Petri and Yudy have lived and worked in Ensenada for a number of years so they have deep roots in city. They still live in Ensenada even though they work in Tecate.

One of the things I enjoy about visiting the church is that Petri is an excellent teacher, and he does a great job of explaining and sharing the gospel each Sunday. There’s still much work to be done in Ensenada, but they are off to a good start. Pray that the Lord continues to open doors for them to share the gospel and that more and more people will come to Christ and become a part of the church.

A New Ministry in Mexicali

The other church planters that I visited are just beginning their work in Mexicali. Federico is a seminary student who will be graduating this May. He and his wife, Blanca went through our church planting discovery center in Mexico City in January. They were evaluated and approved as church planters.

Now comes the hard work. I’m partnering with them and the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico to raise the funds to start a new church planting project in Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and it is an important city for the State and for the country of Mexico.

You might remember that we started a new church that we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah in the outskirts of Mexicali. Now we would like to start another church towards the city’s center.

Join us in Prayer!

Since we are just beginning this project there are many things that still have to come togethter for this church plant to get moving forwar. We do have some traction. The wheels are starting to turn. We know that one of the most important needs that we have now is to bathe this project in prayer. Actually we need major prayer for both works. Please join us in lifting these needs before our Heavenly Father. Lift up Petri and Yudy and their team as well as Federico and Blanca.

Thanks so much dear friends for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org