Posts Tagged ‘Mourning’

Remembering Hannah
Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

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

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

My Reflections About Hannah & Our Healing
Hannah & Dave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippians 1:21-26 NIV (emphasis mine)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaiah 6:1-3 NIV

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebration of Life: Dad & Mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 7:56 TPT

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

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

Donate: You Can Help!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concern for Dad’s Faith

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 4:14 (ESV)

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

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

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

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

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV, emphasis mine

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

Jesus comforts us with these words,

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

John 14:1,2 (NKJV)

Dad is no longer suffering – he is in glory!

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

Our grief and sadness is momentary in light of eternity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ brother,

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

John 11:25, 26 (ESV)

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

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

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

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Or you can make a check out to:

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

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Hardest Post
Ronald John Diaso 6/19/1935-5/26/2020

I feel like this is one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever had to write. It was hard to write about my daughter’s home going and my mom’s recent graduation as well. This is especially hard not only because my dad has departed from this world, but it’s the end of an era. On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, my dad moved to heaven. Both of my parents are now gone. I take comfort in knowing that they are with our Savior, but I ache for them. I miss them in ways that are impossible to put in words!

My dad was a man of few words, but he was always involved in my life. It didn’t come natural for him to tell me he loved me until he got older, but he showed his love through being there. He supported my family and me in every way he could.

Jesus Transformed Our Relationship
Dave & Dad at Jonathan and Hannah’s wedding

I remember when my dad and I hit a rough patch when I was a teenager. I frustrated him, because of my rebellious ways. Then I made it through that period of my life, and I gave my life to Christ. My life began to change and my relationship with dad improved. When I decided that I wanted to go to seminary to prepare myself for the ministry I asked my dad for his blessing. He told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “even though we may have different thoughts on religion, I will never knock what you believe, because it has changed your life 180 degrees.”

That was an encouraging confirmation in my life, of the transformative work that Christ had done.

Dad’s Love & Support
Dad and Mom with Hannah, Jonathan and David in Colorado Springs

Dad stood behind his word and he supported me and helped get me through seminary. He came to my graduation ceremony.

Both my parents visited us when our first son, David was born in Texas. They came to Mexico City to visit us when Jonathan was born. They flew out to Washington DC when Hannah was born. Dad was always there, and he made it clear that he wanted to be involved in our lives.

When he got older he still made the effort to show his love and support. He helped us when we moved from Colorado to the San Diego area. Last year at age 83 he flew out for both of our boys’ weddings. He was definitely an All-Star dad.

One of his most amazing acts of love was when he joined us when we went to Mexicali to build the church in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Dad was actually excited about being able to be us and show his love and support. I was surprised that he would want to go into Mexico, into the desert at the hot time of the year to help.

This all from a man who didn’t like to travel all that much. I have a lot of wonderful memories, because he did!

Christ’s Work in Dad’s Heart

One concern I had about dad was in the area of his faith. He didn’t show any or much evidence of faith in Christ. We prayed for years and years for dad. My mom prayed tirelessly for him.

Mom & Dad are dancing on the streets of gold now

Towards the end of his life he began to become softer and more open. We prayed together and I had some opportunities to share the gospel with him. The last week I spent with dad he cried with me almost every day as we talked about faith and mom. During my mom’s funeral on May 1, I led everyone in prayer to affirm our faith, and my dad prayed with us. I saw many evidences of Christ working in his life, which gave me hope.

I began to feel a peace about my dad’s relationship with Christ, but I continued to pray for a more clear and sure evidence of his faith. Then a little more than a week ago, just 3 days before dad moved to heaven my brother, John called me and told me that he had just shared the gospel with dad and they prayed together.

John asked dad, “if you died do you know for sure that you would go to heaven.” Dad said he wasn’t sure. John explained the importance of placing his faith in Christ and praying to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. John told him that mom always prayed and hoped that he would join her in heaven. Tears formed in dad’s eyes and he said, “I guess we better pray then.” John led my dad in prayer, and then dad asked, “is there anything else that I have to do?” John explained more about the gift of God’s grace.

Then just three days later, dad departed from this world and joined mom in heaven!

God Answers Prayer!
Dad is reunited with Hannah now!

God is so good to lovingly hear and answer our prayers. I miss my dad, and I’m sad because I won’t see him again on this earth. Yet, I have peace and I’m thankful for the assurance that he is with mom, Hannah, and his Heavenly Father!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15 ESV). I’m doing both as I go through this season of life. I am thankful that the Lord is with me and comforting my family and me all along the way! The Good Shepherd comforts me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Dad’s graveside service will be Monday, June 8th at 10 AM at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Fresno (space is limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions). A viewing will be held on Sunday, June 7th from 4 PM – 7 PM at Farewell Funeral Home. We are hoping to have a combined memorial service for Dad and Mom on June 27th at Riverpark Church (still to be confirmed).

If you’d like to make a gift in memory of my dad in lieu of flowers you can give to Beyond Borders by clicking on the button below.

click to give online

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Laying Mom to Rest

Mom’s graveside ceremony

On May 1st, two weeks ago today we laid my mom to rest. It wasn’t an easy day, but I did feel the peace of the Lord through the prayers of so many who were praying for us. I know that there were friends from Mexico, Cuba and throughout the USA praying for my family and me.

We definitely needed the prayer. Apart from the stress and sadness of the moment when we arrived at the cemetery they told us that we only had 15 minutes to perform the ceremony. By God’s grace they let us start early and end a little late. Yet, both my brother, John and I had to cut things we had planned on saying out of what we had prepared.

Virginia A Diaso – 11/5/1935 – 3/19/2020

When the service started I felt emotional. It was hard to get through the initial words that I wanted to share. I could feel the emotion welling up inside me as I moved along. The Lord gave me strength to get through that initial part, and I began to feel more peace.

The highlight of the service was when we all prayed together as a family to affirm and confirm our faith. It was especially gratifying to see my dad join us in prayer. I believe the Lord was at work, and that He was answering mom’s prayers. Prayers that she had lifted up for many years for our family.

It was not easy saying goodbye to my mom and laying her remains to rest. Yet, I know that the Lord was with me and he sustained me like he always has through all the difficult trials my family and I have gone through.

Strength of the Eagle

I’m so thankful for all the people that supported my family and me and prayed for us. One of my friends shared an amazing experience that he had as he prayed for me while he waited to get into Costco. I’d like to share it with you here.

My reminder to pray for you sounded about 15 mins before you were to start. I was waiting in queue on the sidewalk outside Costco, so I looked to the sky and began to pray. As soon as I looked up, a bald eagle came into sight riding high on the west to east wind. It soared an arrow-straight line overhead…never flapping a single time while it was in my sight. So, I felt the Lord calling me to pray from Isaiah 40 for you… to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. It was also very special that the Lord used it to remind me of your mom’s spirit being high above all the cares of this world…and that one day ours would too. What a privilege it was to be able to pray for you, and experience such a tangible benefit from it myself.

When I read this message from my friend, a fellow missionary it lifted my spirit. When I shared it with Dawn she said it gave her goosebumps.

The Lord is so good to care for me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He gives me strength!

“…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭ESV
Mom’s garden

My thanks to you for standing with us and praying for us. God hears our prayers and He moves through our prayers.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
My dad and me with my mom at my brother John’s wedding

Today we will commit my mom, Virginia Diaso’s remains to the earth. You can read my tribute to mom here…

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

That phrase doesn’t exude much hope. It’s the hard edge of death. We are separated from those we love. I believe that is one of the reasons why Jesus wept when his friend, Lazarus died. Even though there is hope there is a certain level of tragedy in death.

Think about it with me for a moment. If you go back to Genesis after each of the seven days that God created he said, “it was good.” There was no death in Eden’s garden. But the serpent deceived the man and told him that there was a better way. Thus, death entered into the world.

My mom and dad’s backyard with the beautiful garden

There’s a sense in which man has been trying to get back to the garden ever since. I’m sure it is one of the reasons we love beautifully manicured gardens. My mom enjoyed gardening. Actually as I write this I’m sitting in the back yard of my dad and mom’s house enjoying their garden.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 that all of creation groans with the pains of childbirth for the day of redemption. Thankfully even though we groan now, there is a day of redemption.

Papa’s Tender Love & Care

We give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation

I’ve seen the Lord’s tender love and care as he’s carried me through both my daughter’s early home going and now my mom’s departure.

I was in Cuba when my mom fell and fractured her pelvis which sent her to the hospital. I hoped that I could get back home and then to Fresno to see mom one last time. I arrived back home at midnight the night before my mom moved to heaven. Even though I made it back home, I wasn’t able to make it to Fresno in time.

I still saw the Lord’s grace and mercy in the valley of the shadow of death.

My brother John called me that morning and told me that mom wasn’t going to make it much longer, so he encouraged me to say goodbye to mom over the phone. To be honest, that was very awkward, but I’m glad for that opportunity. I was able to cry with her and tell her that I loved her one last time. Later in the day, I felt like I should call again as I was getting ready to leave for Fresno. I talked to my brother Greg this time. Right when I got off the phone my mom moved to heaven.

It was like my mom waited. She was always concerned for her family, and she wanted us to be safe. I know she prayed daily for our safety among other concerns that she lifted up to heaven.

God’s Kiss
God’s masterpiece – driving through the rainbow and beautiful sunset on our drive to Fresno on the day mom moved to heaven.

On March 19, we drove to Fresno from the San Diego area. This was when the restrictions were beginning to be set in place, so there wasn’t much traffic.

It was raining as we drove through LA, and for the first time in my life Dawn, Alice (Dawn’s mom) and I drove through a rainbow. It was like God’s kiss. A reminder of his love, and that he would take good care of my mom. Shortly after the rainbow we saw a beautiful sunset with the sun breaking through the clouds.

Our Heavenly Father, Papa God hugged me and comforted me as I drove to be with my family. He reminded me that my mom is now part of the cloud of witnesses. She is with her savior, and she is with her granddaughter, Hannah. I am sure that mom has the most amazing garden now!

Mom’s Legacy
Mom – Virginia Diaso

In the days since my mom died, I’ve sought to take extra time to pray while we are in this lockdown due to the coronavirus. One day as I was praying near our home the Lord reminded me of Elijah. I could see Elijah going up to heaven in his chariot while his mantle was falling on Elisha, his disciple.

In that time as I reflected and prayed I could see my mom’s mantle of prayer falling to me. Even as I write this I feel the Lord’s presence. I feel sentimental, but also I sense the Father’s confirmation.

My mom was a quiet woman, but she prayed. I think she was more powerful than she knew, because of her strong love and connection with God. When she moved to heaven at first I thought, “O no, I’ve lost my number one prayer supporter!” Then the Lord comforted me and showered me with His love. He showed me that mom’s passion and power in the secret place has fallen to me. I am truly blessed, as is my whole family!

Mom was ready for heaven. She had peace about going and she was anxious to get there!

Mom & Hannah reunited in heaven

I thank the Lord for the legacy of love and prayer that mom left. I look forward to carrying on her legacy.

Thank you for praying for my family and me during this time of mourning. I have peace, but it’s never easy to say goodbye to those we love!

The graveside service for mom is at 12 PM PDT on Friday, May 1. We hope to be able to record and hopefully livestream it as well. Thank you again for your loving support through your prayers.

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Life Well Lived
Virginia A Diaso – November 5, 1935 – March 19, 2020

I’m not quite sure how to start this tribute to my mom, Virginia A Diaso. How do you encapsulate a life of 84 years into just a few words? It’s not possible to capture it all, or to honor my mom and her memory in the way that she deserves, but I would like to share a few highlights from her life.

My mom was a quiet, unassuming, hard working woman who was dedicated to her family, and who loved her God. Those are probably the two most important aspects of my mom’s life, her two loves. Her family and her God.

Mom’s Faith Story

She was raised in a Catholic home, but she didn’t really come to understand what it meant to live for Christ until I was a teenager. I think she would have been in her late 30’s when she truly came to know Christ. She taught catechism classes at the church. I believe it was as she taught those classes that she met a nun who taught her what it meant to receive Christ as her Lord and savior. Mom went from trying to earn her way to heaven to receiving God’s grace. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior as St. Paul taught in Romans.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

At that point my mom, Virginia Diaso’s life began to change. She prayed for my brothers and I during our rough teenage years. All three of us, John, Greg and I struggled and rebelled in different ways during those years. I feel bad for what we put our parents through!

Mom with her mom and dad and her four sisters from left to right – Gloria, Theresa, Virginia, Georgina and Mary

My mom, who grew up on a ranch and learned how to work hard and the discipline of getting up early while she was young. Throughout her life she would start her days at 4 AM in quiet with her Savior.

I believe that in ways my mom prayed me into the kingdom and she did the same for my brothers. She gave me a Bible and she encouraged me to go to a Bible study while I was in college at Fresno State. It was there that I met Christ.

Mom and I

She was definitely the most significant person in my life especially when I was young in relationship to my spiritual development. My mom was quiet, but she prayed fervently, and she maintained that discipline throughout her life.

Mom on the far left when she was young with her mom and her two sisters, Mary and Georgina

When mom was a teenager she suffered from tuberculosis and she spent most of her teenage years in a sanatorium in the mountains outside of Fresno. She lived away from her family during those years. Unfortunately, she grew to not like the mountains, because of all the bad memories. All of our family vacations where at the beach. Mom never talked about her years in the sanatorium. They were painful years that she wanted to forget about.

Mom & Dad at my brother, John’s wedding

Mom was a beautiful lady, but I don’t think she ever saw herself in that way.

They took out part of mom’s lung and one of her ribs to treat her tuberculosis. It’s a miracle that mom lived as long as she did after having suffered as much as she did and living with a damaged lung. Over the last few years mom developed COPD, caused by the scar tissue in her lungs, and the smaller lung capacity.

When I think of my relationship with mom I feel grateful and I give thanks for her. I know it wasn’t easy for her or my dad for that matter to let me go to serve as a missionary in Mexico. Of course, there is a cost to go serve the Lord in another country, but it isn’t only the one who goes that is affected. The parents, the family also have to pay a price.

Mom was always concerned for us. I know she would admit that she struggled with worry, but I also know that she turned that concern into prayer. I’m sure it’s one of the things that motivated her to pray so fervently.

Virginia, my mom, was born and raised in Fresno, California. She was a good friend to many, and she developed a number of friends at her church. She also was involved in Bible Study Fellowship for a number of years, and she was a leader as well.

When mom’s health started declining over the last year she assured me on numerous occasions that she was ready to go to heaven. About 6 months ago when her health took a turn for the worse and she was hospitalized two times, she began to long for heaven.

Mom with John

A few days before she moved to heaven I was in Cuba, which made it difficult for me to be able to talk to mom. She called Dawn, my wife, and she asked her how I was doing and if I had come back from Cuba. I returned late Wednesday night on March 18. My brother, John, called me and told me that mom wasn’t doing well. I hoped that I could get home in time, and then make it up to Fresno to see her one last time. On Thursday morning on March 19th, John called again. He told me that it wouldn’t be long, so he put the phone up to mom’s ear. I told her I loved her, that she was a good mother, and that I will miss her. I also told her to give our daughter, Hannah a hug for us, and that I looked forward to seeing her again one day soon.

Later that afternoon I called my brother, Greg to see how things were going. We talked for a few minutes and right after I got off the phone with Greg my mom moved on to glory.

Mom & Greg
Goodby for Now

I wish I could have seen my mom one last time, but I’m glad that I was at least able to tell her how special she was and that I loved her. It was almost as if my mom waited to move to heaven until she knew I was safe and had returned from my trip. That would be very much like her. She was a mom till the end!

Bye for now, mom! I love you very much. I miss you, but I’m glad that you no longer have to suffer. I’m thankful that you are with your Savior face to face. It encourages me that you are with Hannah and all the saints that have gone before us.

I give thanks for the hope I have as I say goodbye to one of the most significant women in my life. Hope of the everlasting, and hope to see mom again! Hallelujah!

In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Virginia Diaso to Beyond Borders Ministries click here …

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

To Die is Gain, even in Our Pain

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the worst and longest day of my life. The day my daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso graduated, or as we like to say she moved to heaven.

When I think about it, I suppose it was the worst and the best day of Hannah’s life. Her last day on earth wasn’t a good day for her or for us. Yet she was immediately ushered to heaven where she saw Jesus face to face.

The Lord has been comforting me and reminding me this week of his true and amazing promises. I don’t think I could make it without his loving care and assurances.

Just as I began to write this he reminded me of Paul’s statement regarding life and death.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 ESV

It’s an amazing statement, but if we are honest, this is not the way most of us live. Death is a wake-up call. Dawn and I think about death differently now that Hannah moved to heaven. It’s caused us to think of heaven more frequently, and wonder what it is like there. Hannah went from suffering to experiencing pure joy in just a moment. It’s so hard to comprehend!

My Hate for Death!

Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Through my sweet daughter’s graduation to heaven, I’ve had to come to grips with death. It’s not an easy thing to do. I believe it’s a long process that I’m still going through in many ways.

I hate death and its effect on man. I never realized how horrible death was until my daughter died. God created the world without death. When man fell into sin death was waiting right at the doorstep. Ever since then all of creation has been groaning for the day of redemption.

I’m thankful for the life I’ve been given, but I long for redemption. I look for glimpses of my Heavenly Father’s redeeming love every day. When I see someone healed, or someone receive the gift of eternal life I believe this gives me a glimpse of redemption.

Again Paul gives us words of hope as we wait.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as son, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18-23 ESV emphasis mine

Our loving Papa is at work as we suffer in this world. He brings redemption and he gives us hope as we wait.

A Desire to Encourage Others

Both Dawn and I love to minister. We enjoy encouraging others and seeing them set free of whatever may be holding them back. Often our friends will make a comment to us that we’ve been able to encourage them and lift them up in the midst of our pain and mourning. I think at times they are surprised that we’ve been able to stay upright and maintain a positive attitude.

We do have our difficult and down days, but it encourages us as we love on and minister to others. We’ve seen a lot of grace during these moments. Part of the mystery is the grace flows two ways as we extend God’s goodness to others. It goes out to those we minister to, but it also comes back to us.

I must say that I believe everyone in my immediate family, Dawn, David jr., Jonathan and me have all grown deeper in our love for the Lord. It’s not because there is anything special about us. When you are hurting, you realize that you need to run into the loving arms of your Father. It’s a place of comfort and nourishment. Once you’ve tasted of his love you want more and more. O Lord, bring it on!

More of the Lord’s Loving Encouragement

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I found it interesting in my normal daily Bible reading this week, that the Lord had me read Psalm 116 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Amazing passages!

“I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:1,2 & 16 ESV

I still don’t fully understand death, and God’s ways, but I’m glad to know that the Lord does have it figured out. He has a plan for life and death. He even says that our days our numbered. At times all we can do is trust in his loving kindness. That’s what I choose to do.

From the moment Hannah moved to heaven one of the most helpful comforting verses in the Bible has been 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Often when I share my faith with nonbelievers I tell them that we are sad, but we have hope. The hope of heaven, the hope of redemption, the hope of a Savior sustains us. It takes away the sting of death. Christ conquered the grave.

“…what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”        1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 MSG

I thank the Lord for the work of Jesus through his death and resurrection. Because he conquered the grave we have hope!

I hate that our daughter is no longer with us physically on this earth, but I’m grateful for the promises. I’m grateful for the hope of the gospel. I will continue to love and serve with Dawn longing for and looking for glimpses of God’s redeeming love until the day of redemption. Then I will be reunited with Christ, Hannah and all the saints that have gone before me.

Thank you, Papa, for your loving care! Hannah, I look forward to seeing you again soon!

In His grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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Mourning for a Dear Friend

Our beautiful young friend Mitchell moved to heaven on October 1

Today my heart is heavy, because we lost a dear young friend. Our 15 year old friend, Mitchell was battling leukemia. Dawn and I were praying for her, and we truly believed the Lord was going to heal her. I envisioned writing a different post regarding Mitchell, about how the Lord miraculously healed her. There’s so much we don’t understand about life, but I have to go back to what I know to be true, that God is a God of love. He has a good plan for us, and not a plan for evil. He is in control, even when it seems that the world is out of control and that we are living in chaos.

Mitchell for me was a real hero!

Mitchell happy to receive her backpack for school

Each time Dawn and I saw her she had this big beautiful smile. She also had an amazingly positive attitude. It was hard to believe that she was so sick. It was difficult to comprehend that she was approaching death’s door.

She loved and she showed concern for the other patients and her doctors. She prayed for them and she shared the love of Christ with everyone she came in contact with in the hospital. It was impossible to miss her infectious, gentle and caring spirit. Mitchell was mature beyond her years!

One of her doctors was cold and hardened at times, and he shared with Mitchell and Miroslava that he didn’t believe in God. Yet, Mitchell and Miroslava lovingly shared with the doctor and he began to soften. Seed has been planted and the Lord has begun to work in his heart.

The last few times Dawn and I visited Mitchell in the hospital we had the opportunity to pray with one of the other young patients, Erwin. He joined with us as we prayed. Also, a young girl who was in the bed next to Mitchell was crying and weeping loudly from her pain. We could see the concern for her in Mitchell’s eyes. She was such a loving and gentle young woman.

Then Dawn went over to comfort the young girl. Dawn prayed with her and began to show her Christ’s love.

When we left the hospital on that day Mitchell was weak, but we didn’t think it would be the last time we’d see her on this side of heaven. The young girl next to Mitchell said as we left, “God is going to heal me.” We do pray that he will. I believe that the Lord was using all the prayer, as we know that Mitchell and her mom where praying day and night, to raise the level of hope in that hospital.

Mitchell’s Strong Faith

Mitchell loved to pray and on this day she prayed with us for Juan who has problems with his kidneys, and the Lord ministered to Juan through Mitchell

I admire Mitchell’s strong faith in the midst of such difficult circumstances. I told Mitchell that she was like Daniel in the Bible. Daniel was a young man taken into captivity when he was about 15 years old, the same age as Mitchell. Daniel maintained his strong faith, and became a man of influence in Babylon.

That’s why or one of the reasons Mitchell is my hero, and why I admire he so much!

God’s Comfort in Times of Pain

The last two days I was with Mitchell’s family: her dad, Salvador; her mom, Miroslava; her sister, Kenia along with other family and friends. It was so hard to see their tears. Their deep and painful sorrow as they mourn. I prayed with them and sought to encourage them in Christ.

Yesterday they brought Mitchell’s body to their home and in the evening they had the wake. My good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol minister at the church that Salvador and Miroslava attend. Victor and Sol have walked through this painful journey with the family. The whole church has been coming together weekly to pray for Mitchell’s healing. Both Victor and Sol shared the love of Christ at the funeral service. It was a message of hope. I’m proud of Victor and Sol for the important work they do in the community of Plan Libertador.

They gave me an opportunity to share as well. It was so hard, but I’m grateful for the Lord’s grace that sustains me and the hope we have in Christ. Sol told me that I could minister to them in a special way, because of what Dawn and I went through with Hannah. I’m grateful the Lord can redeem our experience in this way. It also brought up some painful memories for me as we approach our daughter, Hannah’s 2 year mark of her moving to heaven.

Mourning for Mitchell and her Family

They held the wake in the front of Salvador & Miroslava’s home in Rosarito

As I was leaving Salvador and Miroslava’s home I felt so sad and concerned for the family. Even though I wasn’t crying at the time, in some ways it was like an overwhelming hopeless feeling. Even as I write this the tears start to well up in my eyes as I think of this precious family and the journey before them. Dawn and I have grown to love this family. We are deeply concerned for their well being.

Dawn and I personally know the grief they are passing through. The pain of losing a child, and I think there’s nothing more painful for a parent to go through. And I realize our children aren’t “lost”, but at times it feels that way. As I mentioned we are coming up on two years with Hannah, and there are still days that I feel heavy as I miss her.

I felt for the family as I left. I wondered whether they would be able to bear the pain and to sustain their faith in the midst of this fiery trial. I wish there was something more I could do to spare them. At that moment the Lord gently reminded me that he was able and that he would sustain them. I felt His peace at that moment.

Thank you Lord for that assurance. You are truly a good God.

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Earlier that day, on Tuesday morning, the day after Mitchell moved to heaven the Lord directed me to read Psalm 118 and I found it very comforting. The words found there gave me hope, and reminded me of the Lord’s unfailing love.

In the first four verses of Psalm 118 the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever.” The Lord is encouraging his people his church to remember and to declare the truth that, “His steadfast love endures forever!” If God is for us who can be against us? We have victory in Christ. We are more than overcomers. This is all true for those in Christ, Hallelujah and Amen!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalms‬ ‭118:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org