Posts Tagged ‘Mexico City’

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!

Dawn and I just celebrated our anniversary yesterday, March 5. We hit an amazing milestone of 30 years of marital bliss. I can’t say that it’s always blissful, but it’s defintely worth working through those difficult days.

It’s Been Quite a Journey
Our family as we served in Mexico City
Our family in the early days as we served in Mexico City

We’ve endured more than most couples. Our first year of marriage we lived in Fresno, California. Then our second year we lived in three different cities in three different States: Fresno, California; Detroit, Michigan; McAllen, Texas. Our first son, David Jr. was born in McAllen.

When David was 5 months old in April of 1991 we moved to Mexico City where we lived for the next 3 plus years. While in Mexico City both Jonathan and Hannah were born. When Hannah was about one month old we drove from Mexico to McLean, Virginia. That was quite an adventure. Three children in diapers traveling across Mexico and then onto the US. After about 6 months in Virginia we drove across country to Fresno.

Sometimes, when I look back on it all, I wonder what we were thinking!!! We were very driven, and we had more energy back then!

After about 6 months in Fresno, I drove with my dad and David jr. back to Mexico City, while Dawn flew to Mexico with Jonathan and Hannah. When we arrived the house we thought we had rented fell through, so we didn’t have a place to live. I don’t remember how long it took us to find a home, but we did eventually find a great place to live and serve.

On our second term in Mexico City, I was kidnapped. You can read the full story by clicking here: kidnapped 1 &, kidnapped 2. Then about a year and a half later I was held up at gunpoint and had my car stolen. They took me on a short joy ride during that robbery as well. I also wrote about that and you can read that story by clicking on this link: kidnapped 3.

From Mexico City to Colorado
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven

From Mexico City we moved to Colorado Springs. Those years were relatively calm compared to our first 10 years of marriage. Of course, we did raise three teenagers in Colorado Springs which is never easy.

Then just over six years ago we moved from Colorado to where we are now serving on the San Diego – Tijuana border and beyond. I like to add beyond, because we travel and work throughout Mexico and in other Latin American countries. It’s an amazing and growing ministry!

Our Life on the Border and Beyond!
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah, Jonathan, Dawn and Dave
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah (Jonathan’s wife & our new daughter), Jonathan, Dawn and Dave

We love living and serving on the border, yet it hasn’t been easy. As most of you know if you’ve been following us that two years ago our beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. That’s not something you necessarily get over. In fact this last week I’ve especially been missing Hannah. Sometimes I feel sad, and sometimes I feel frustrated and upset. It’s extremely hard on Dawn as well. This is an area we can always use prayer for as we mourn our daughter’s early home going.

When I began writing this post I was going to go a different direction with it, but I trust the Lord led me to write a summary of our lives and some of the trials and adventures we’ve been on. Of course, there have been many wonderful moments and seasons as well.

Giving Thanks for the Gift Dawn has been to Me
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together
Dawn and I are seeking to show and share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

I guess, my main point here is that I chose well and that the Lord has blessed me in many ways by giving me Dawn. I don’t think that too many women could have survived all that we’ve been through. Unfortunately, many marriages don’t stand the test of time. By God’s grace, in spite of all that we’ve been through our love for one another has grown over the years. We are still growing. You don’t stop. We are still striving to have a greater love and passion for the Lord and for one another.

I give thanks today for the gift that my wife is to me, and to my children. We are stronger together, and it’s so encouraging to see where the Lord is taking us and the doors he is opening for us! Thank you for following us and praying for us. We couldn’t do it without the support and prayers of faithful friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Ministry Orientation Workshop in Mexico City

The Ministry Orientation Workshop with church planting candidates and evaluators

I’m writing this post from Quito, Ecuador which is exciting, because it fits in with the vision the Lord gave me last year for church planting. Before I write about my time in Quito I’d like to talk with you about the Ministry Orientation Workshop that I was involved in last week in Mexico City.

Dawn and I love Mexico City. We have dear friends in this huge city where we lived for many years, so it’s always fun to visit.

The Ministry Orientation Workshop is an evaluation process we use to confirm the calling, gifting and competencies of candidates for church planting. Whenever I’m involved in this assessment process I’m reminded of all the challenges involved in planting a church. We put the candidates through a number of scenarios so that we can have the best opportunity to effectively evaluate whether the Lord is truly calling them to plant a church.

I’m thankful for a Good Mentor in Dr. Thomas Graham

Pastor Rafael Rodríguez giving some instructions to the group

My mentor Dr. Thomas Graham developed the first church planting assessment centers about 40 years ago. It’s wonderful to see so many church groups and missions using the process that he started all those years ago. Tom told me that he first developed this process for the Peace Core. He said that before they started using this process it seemed like all they needed was a warm handshake to approve you.

I studied my doctorate under Dr. Graham, and I also worked for him for a few years. I’m forever grateful for all the time he gave me and how he built into my life so that I could more effectively help others to be successful in church planting. Tom is definitely one of my heroes.

Evaluating the Call and Gifting of Potential Church Planters

The group working on one of the exercises that we assigned them

We had five couples and two single people go through our church planters workshop last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them personally and to hear their stories. It’s always thrilling for me to learn about all that the Lord has done in the lives of others to get them to where they are now. It’s not easy to plant a church, so although the process we put the candidates through can be pressure packed it’s an important time. This aids us to get to know them and to help to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to determine whether we believe they have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts needed to plant a church.

Praying for More Churches in Mexicali and Beyond!

Dave the tall one in the middle with Blanca & Federico

I had one couple, Federico & Blanca Muñoz go through the church planters workshop. I’d love to see them plant a church in Mexicali, Mexico. This church plant will be in partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Our prayer is that we can start a church plant in Mexicali later this year. I’m grateful that Federico & Blanca were approved by our group of assessors.

Please continue to join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to start a church planting movement on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! That is why I am in Quito for some meetings on promoting and training leaders in Latin America so that more churches will be planted and that we will also have healthier churches. The Lord gave me a vision last year to trust him to see at least 1,000 churches planted. It’s an impossible goal that only our Lord Jesus can accomplish! Thank you Jesus for this great opportunity and that I can trust and believe in you for the impossible!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thankful for Kingdom Activity
Incubator Church planting training

Incubator Church planting training

We started the new year off running with our church planting incubator training. The activity hasn’t stopped since as I was in Monterrey, Mexico last week to pray and plan about how we can partner and collaborate with other like-minded ministries to reach Mexico with the gospel.

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico City

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico

The last few days Dawn and I have been in Mexico City, which brings to our roots in ministry. We had only been married a little over a year when we first moved here. What we’ve found when we are in this huge city is the Lord always has some surprises for us and some amazing opportunities for us to minister here. One of my goals is that #MTWMEXICO (MTW) will have a greater presence in Mexico City. I’m praying for more workers and more opportunities to partner.

In all of the training and meetings I’ve had it’s with one purpose to see the kingdom of God extended in Mexico and beyond.

Thankful for our Partners & For All That God is Doing!

Enjoying a meal with the Cisneros family. Dave met them the first time in 1985 on his initial trip to Mexico. Thankful for Special memories!

Today I met with the national leadership of the Presbyterian Church in Mexico. We discussed the progress of some of the projects we are working on together as well as dreams for the future. I felt encouraged as they shared how a donation we gave them from MTW helped three churches in three different regions in Mexico that were damaged by the earthquakes in December. It bothered me when I first learned of all the damaged caused by the earthquakes. Now that Dawn and I are here many of our friends have shared how much it scared them when the earth shook so violently in and around Mexico City.

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

When Dawn and I go on these trips the Lord does so much in our midst that I find it hard to capture it all. I feel like I need a way to share those stories as well. Part of the challenge is the long days don’t leave me much time to write it down.

Next Stop Cuba

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Dawn and I are off to Havana, Cuba, which also promises to be an amazing time. Please pray that the Lord opens many doors for us to minister and love on the people while we are in Cuba.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining us on this journey of faith.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Earth Shakes Again
The Devastation caused by the earthquake

The Devastation caused by the earthquake

Amazingly 32 years to the day since the big earthquake of 1985 struck in Mexico City, another earthquake hit Mexico. The earth shook again on September 19, causing much damage in Mexico City and the surrounding areas. More than 300 people perished in this natural disaster.

Dawn and I lived in Mexico City from 1990 – 2000. Two of our children, Jonathan and Hannah were born there. We have many friends there who were affected by the fallen buildings. Yesterday some of our good friends, the Cisneros family told me that they have been without water for 6 days. I spoke to a pastor friend today, and he told me that surrounding his church many buildings had crumbled as the earth shook. They are mobilizing to provide relief to the families that were affected.

Sad to See Friends Suffer – A Startling Video!

 

It saddens us to see our friends suffer. The first time I visited Mexico City was in the summer of 1985. I was there with a group of seminary students just a month before the big earthquake hit. 10,000 people died due to the damage caused by that quake. I remember visiting the following summer and seeing all the fallen buildings. The buildings that had been damaged as the earth shook.

It was during the summer of 1985 that I first met my friends, the Cisneros family. They are a wonderful family. They love the Lord and have been true friends over the year. God used them to minister to us since Hannah passed away. Our heart goes out to them as they live through this trying time.

Pray for Mexico
Praying for Mexico!

Praying for Mexico!

Please join us in prayer for the many people who lost loved ones, and others who are without basic services and needs. I’d also like prayer for wisdom regarding a visit to Mexico City and Morelos to see the damage that was done, and to explore what more we can do to help.

Mission to the World (MTW) has sent a donation of $10,000 to aid the families and ministries that suffered loss. If you would like to make a gift towards the relief effort you can give to the MTW Compassion-Global Disaster Relief Account #40043 and earmark for Mexico relief.

Thank you, friends, for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mexico City Feels Like Home
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Dave and Dawn with special friends, Mario & Silvia Silva, Monse Santiago & Barush Sanchez 

I feel in some ways like every time Dawn and I return to Mexico City it’s like going to our second home. A place where we lived for almost ten years, and both Jonathan and Hannah were born there. We still have many friends that we love and care for that live there. Special friends that we partner with in ministry.

Two of those special friends are Barush Sanchez and Monse Santiago they are the RUF-CUR campus ministers at UNAM one of the world’s largest universities. I always come away encouraged after I’m with them, and learn how the Lord is moving on the campus.

God’s Amazing Grace in Monse’s Life
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Monse Santiago

I asked Monse if she would share her story with us, and she told us how she came from a background where she was involved in a mixture of New Age religions, and she even tried on Marxism. Then while at the campus she joined an English club led by our RUF-CUR workers. At first she didn’t even know that they were Christians, but she was drawn to them. They were friendly and loving people. She went on a retreat with them, and it was there that she heard about grace for the first time. That confused her at first, because she had believed in Karma. You get what you give, and she only understood the works of trying to do good. The idea of receiving something she didn’t earn or work for did not make sense to her.

After about six more months of learning and asking many questions she gave her life to Christ. She said that the campus minister that spent so much time with her was very patient and loving. Monse is a very committed and passionate young woman. She ended up joining staff a few years later.

Monse also told us how she prayed for and shared the gospel with her family. Her sister and mom have also come to Christ. It moved me to tears to hear her tell of how God has begin to work in her family. Her sister is now leading a group on another campus, and her mom is helping with worship by playing the piano for the church.

She asked for prayer for her dad and her other siblings who have not yet come to faith. Her dad especially has been very resistant.

Pray for Monse’s Family and the Campus Ministry

It lifted Dawn and my spirit to hear first hand how the Lord is moving on the campus and in Monse’s family. We enjoyed being able to encourage Monse and Barush as they so faithfully serve.

Reconnecting with a Wonderful Friend
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Dave with Fernando Sanchez

To top off our wonderful time together, Barush’s dad, Fernando joined us. I first met Fernando about 24 years ago. When I was training youth leaders in Mexico. It was a special time to be able to reminisce and remind one another of the Lord’s faithfulness over the years. Fernando has been pastoring a church for the last 18 years, and both of his sons are ministers. He said that Dawn and I had left an imprint on their lives. They have left a huge imprint on our lives as well, which is one of the reasons I love Mexico City.

I pray for a breakthrough in the city. Barush and Monse told us they were going to be participating in an evangelistic campaign the next day with a number of youth and churches from around the city. The goal was to share the gospel with One Million people in one day, which takes a lot of prayer and coordination to pull off. Can’t wait to hear all the stories of how God showed up.

Thank you Jesus for all you are doing in the Big City of Mexico!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Excited to See the Church Grow

 

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Dawn with Pastor Ivan and his wife Rocio

Today Dawn and I are off to Mexico City. Then on Saturday, I will be going to Cuba to minister with our friends from Los Pinos. Before I talk about these trips I’d like to highlight one of the ministries that we work closely with on the border.

 

Just over three years ago, we helped Ministerios Transformación plant a church in Ribera del Bosque, which is a community in Tijuana. Our good friends, Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio lead this church. It’s been exciting for us to watch them grow as leaders as the church has grown.

Choice Servants – Ivan and Rocio Casados

 

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Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio in front of their church

Ivan and Rocio love our family. They were deeply moved when they heard that Hannah had passed away. When I told Ivan he started to cry, which meant a great deal to me, because I knew he loved Hannah and our family.

 

We give thanks to the Lord for such special and dear friends. I remember not long after we helped build Ivan’s church, that he had the vision to see the church grow. He wanted to build a second floor so that they could use the bottom floor for fellowship and outreach to children. Dawn and I visited the church last week, and it filled our hearts to see the realization of Ivan’s dream. They just recently added a second floor.

They are still working towards putting in a kitchen and developing a breakfast program for children in the neighborhood. One of the many things I love about Ivan and Rocio and all my friends at Ministerios Transformación is that they have a deep desire to make a difference in the community. They are always looking for ways to minister to those in need. The church is truly a light in a dark place. Hallelujah!

As Dawn and I visited with Ivan and Rocio they shared about a friend in the church named Aaron. Aaron has a serious injury to his foot, which has partially crippled him. Hannah and Dawn prayed for Aaron over the past two years. They prayed for healing.

Aaron gave a testimony in church recently about how the Lord was healing his foot, and how it felt so much better. He remembered the prayers of Hannah and Dawn and he gave thanks for them. That news filled our hearts. Thank you, Jesus!

Pray With Us!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they seek to make a difference in Ribera del Bosque.

 

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Dave with some of our friends that we work with in Cuba: Frank, Ariadna & Melissa

Dawn and I would like to ask prayer for our time in Mexico City, and my time in Cuba. We will be visiting our campus ministers right after we land today. Then I will leave for Cuba on the 17th, and Dawn will stay in Mexico City during that time. I will be working with the leaders in Habana. Many of them are growing as coaches, and I’m ministering with a team to train them further in their coaching skills. It’s always a rich blessing for me to be with our brothers and sisters in Cuba. They have such a warm and loving spirit.

 

I do give thanks to the Lord for all the good things that He has done!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed Us With Some Amazing Friends
Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Some of my favorite friends are the Cisneros family. I first met them when I was a young, fledgling seminary student in 1985. I came down to Mexico City with Dr. William Iverson and 16 other students and professors. That was a life changing trip for me, because it was there that the Lord first called me to serve in Mexico.

Through the years Dawn and I have been able to stay in touch with the Cisneros’s. We’ve prayed for each other, and encouraged one another. They are a family that is deeply committed to Christ. I first met them, because of they were serving with Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru. Then later they began to work with Operation Mobilization. They continue to serve in missions in Mexico, and other countries.

They are like family to Dawn and me, and we have a strong love for one another.

The Impact of Hannah’s Life!
Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel's home

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel’s home

This reunion was special in many ways, as it was the first time Dawn and I have seen them since Hannah passed away. They made a special effort to love on us and encourage us.

Angel's daughter, Ana Rut

Angel’s daughter, Ana Rut

Angel Cisneros who is now like the patriarch of the family had three of his children with us. All of them were sharing how Hannah’s life and death impacted them. One of them, Ana Rut said she remembered Hannah being happy as a small child, and she saw how she grew to love Christ as she became a young woman. She said that Hannah’s death really impacted her, and made her think about her own life and her own devotion to Christ. She shared this through her tears, which brought Dawn and me to tears.

They were healthy, cleansing tears, and we felt so much better after we had cried together. One of my prayers has been and continues to be that Hannah’s death was not in vain. I suppose I know in the grand scheme of things God uses even death, so it’s not in vain, but I want to see an impact left by my beautiful daughter’s life. Ana Rut’s story was an answer to this longing that I’ve had. She told me as well as the family told both Dawn and me that Hannah’s life and example touch many people’s lives.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way

After a wonderful meal we were able to sing together, and then pray together. They asked us if we would pray for them and pray over them, and it was a very special time. We all sensed the presence of the Lord as he ministered in us and through us. Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for the Cisneros family. Wonderful servants of yours, and we do pray your rich and bountiful blessing over them.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org