Posts Tagged ‘outreach’

Renuevo – Renewal in Ensenada
Pastor Petri leading the church service

On Sunday Dawn and I went to Ensenada and worshipped with our church plant there, Renuevo. It’s a joy for us to connect with the people at the church. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are doing a wonderful job of leading this church. Both of them work in the public school system in Mexico. Petri is the superintendent of the middle schools in Tecate, and Yudy teaches at one of the schools there.

It’s no easy task being a bivocational church planter. Petri and Yudy aren’t able to give as much time to the church plant as they would if they were full-time in the ministry. On the positive side though it does help them and the church in other ways. It helps them to not be dependent on the church for their income. Although we’d love to see the church get to the point where it can support them, we’ve found that few churches are able to pull this off in Mexico.

The other benefit we’ve seen is that Petri and Yudy have a lot of connections in Ensenada, because of all their years working in the school system. Before they began working in Tecate they spent a number of years in both public and private schools in Ensenada. I’ve noticed that those that know them respect them, because they work hard and they are good at what they do.

A Church for All People
Pastor Victor & Sol. Sol leads tutoring for children that come from poor and underprivileged families in the community surrounding their church

A number of the other churches that we are helping to plant are among the urban poor, which is also an important group to reach for the gospel. Petri and Yudy are able to reach professionals, because of their education and background. We love the variety of churches that we work with, and that we help plant. There is a need for all kinds of churches that have the ability to reach different people in order to make a difference in a community.

Of the eleven churches that we’ve helped start since we moved to the border seven years ago. Seven of them target urban poor and four of them target professionals. Each of these pastors and the churches are unique and we’ve grown to love the pastors and their leadership team. They are among are closest friends.

Praying for Multiplication

Our prayer is that this is only the beginning and that we will begin to see even more rapid multiplication of church growth on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. We’ve also helped plant two churches in Cuba and we’ve ministered to more than 60 pastors there. Part of what excites me about Cuba is that some of our Mexican partners have been involved in ministry there with us.

God is doing something special between the relationship of the pastors from these two countries! As one of my friends told me recently we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we work towards multiplication! Hallelujah!

I enjoyed the opportunity to lead Eduardo & Norma with their son Ilai through baptism. They lost their first child soon after he was born. God is doing His healing work in them!

When Dawn and I were with Renuevo and Pastor Petri and Yudy on Sunday. I was able to lead the church in a baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It was a very special time, and I left feeling filled up as the Lord ministered to Dawn, me and all those in attendance.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Works in the Midst of Loss

Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Last week I experienced both heart wrenching and heartwarming emotions as I visited the areas that were hit the hardest by the Mexico earthquakes. It was heart wrenching to see the lost homes, churches and businesses. There were also lives that were lost.

Even in the midst of all the heartache and sorrow I heard stories of redemption that truly warmed my heart. It was so good to see first hand how the church was reaching out in the their community.

On September 19, 1985 a catastrophic earthquake hit Mexico City, and 10,000 lives were lost. Many of my friends lived through that tragedy, so the memories are still very real. With this new set of earthquakes that again fell in September one of them on the 19th and the other on the 7th in 2017, it not only caused a lot of damage, but it frayed nerves. I sensed while I was there that many were fearful that there may still be more earthquakes to come.

My friends told me how Mexico came together and united after these earthquakes. They all pitched in and helped those in need.

Total Loss in Jojutla

On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

One of the areas I visited was Jojutla which is about three hours from Mexico City in the State of Morelos. The church there, which is called Principe de Paz, “Prince of Peace,” was totally destroyed. There was nothing left, and they have had to start rebuilding from the foundation up.

Yet, even in the midst of their sadness and sorrow over their loss they began to reach out in the community. Donations came in and they were able to provide meals to people in need until December 15th. The love of Christ was displayed in a powerful way through the church. New families have come to Christ as a result of their loving outreach.

Rebuilding in Joquicingo

Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

In another town we visited Joquicingo in the State of Mexico, which was also about 3 hours from Mexico City close to Toluca. The church there was not destroyed, but the columns holding up the church were badly damaged, so they are having to rebuild and reinforce the church. They believe that it will take them a year to finish rebuilding.

Twenty two people in this church also lost their homes. Yet despite the loss and hardship sister churches rallied around them and sent them aid. The hospital in the city was damaged, so they were able to organize medical brigades as other churches came to their aid. They opened a farmacy in the church, since the hospital was not able to provide the medicine that many of the people needed. They said that there is still a shortage of insulin for those with diabetes, and they continue to help the people in the community.

Joquicingo, Mexico

Joquicingo, Mexico

The love shown by the church was attractive, and this church has also seen new people come into the church and come to faith.

I loved the opportunity to meet the people, and to encourage them and pray for them. When you are going through a trial, it helps to know that there are others who are concerned for your welfare.

My prayer for these two churches and these two communities is that the love of Christ would continue to shine as they rebuild again, and they climb out of the rubble all around them.

In my next post I will write about the churches and places we visited in the State of Oaxaca. That’s where many lives were lost, because they were so close to the epicenter.

Continue to pray with me for these dear friends who lost much, and who are seeking to show the love of Christ in communities that are hurting and in need of a Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org