Posts Tagged ‘Pastor Ivan and Rocio Casados’

Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
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Our last family photo with Hannah

When I look back over this last year there are a number of wonderful accomplishments that we’ve seen the Lord do. Unfortunately, all of these achievements are overshadowed by Hannah’s death. It makes me feel like we are ending 2016 on a down note. There have been plenty of down days since Hannah’s passing. Yet, I see the Lord picking each of us up, Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and me.

Yes, death is a terrible, even demonic and cruel thing. I believe and feel that this is true in a more intense way that I ever have. While I recognize the pain and the tragedy of death, and Hannah’s early homegoing I see the Lord lifting us up from the ashes. We are down, but not out. I believe our family has drawn closer to the Lord than we have ever been. In many ways I sense that God is not done with us, but just beginning. He is going to bring something beautiful out of our pain, even if we can’t see what that is yet.

We may be going through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” but this shadow has not completely snuffed out the light. Jesus did some amazing things in 2016 that we should celebrate.

Accomplishments by God’s Grace
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

This year by God’s grace we:

  • Helped start our 5th new church planting project with Ministerios Transformación since 2012. It was Ministerios Transformación’s 29th church!
  • Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah are off to a great start in this new church in Rosarito, just South of Tijuana.
  • Partnered with in planting, coaching and training Pastor Daniel Nuñez and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol who are seeing people come to Christ and lives transformed in the church plant they are serving at in Plan Libertador that we helped start in 2015. Every time I talk to Victor and Sol I come away encouraged.
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. They are making a difference as they are reaching out in Ribera del Bosque. We helped plant their church in 2014.
  • Coached and helped launch a new work called Renuevo in Ensenada. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are leading this new church planting project.
  • Led 1 medical missions brigade with Redeemer San Diego & La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada, Mexico. We ministered to more than 80 adults and children, and 9 of them gave their lives to Christ.
  • Led one summer VBS in Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian and La Nueva Jerusalén for 50 children and presented the gospel to them along with their families
  • Started a two-year incubator training for 10 church planters in Tijuana
  • Began a coaching network for pastors and their wives in Mexico
  • Began to coach pastors and train coaches in Cuba – this is a new and exciting ministry that the Lord is opening up for us.
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

I don’t fully know why we experienced such a huge loss this year, but I believe one reason is because our enemy is not happy with all that God is doing. He desires to discourage us and defeat us. Yet, our Lord lifts us up and gives us victory. All our many friends are praying for us, which sustains us. So I will praise Jesus. Hallelujah!

My family and I stand with Job in stating, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a)

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Praise God with us for sustaining us, and giving us so many victories in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Incubator Church Planting Training
Church planting incubator training

Church planting incubator training

Pastor Ivan and I met this week to work with on planning and preparing for the incubator church planting training. Next Thursday we start our second phase of the training with 11 men who are involved in different phases of planting a church.

We believe that this training is a huge step forward in seeing our leaders here on the border and in the Baja better equipped to lead their churches!

Ivan went through the incubator training with our partners at the Church Planting Center in Monterrey, Mexico. Now that Ivan’s finished the course he is helping us train others. It’s exciting to see his progression, and to have him as part of our training team.

New Life in a Funeral Home
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Ivan and Rocio and their son Brandon

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Ivan and Rocio and their son Brandon

After the meeting Ivan was sharing with me some wonderful stories of how the Lord is working in his church that he started 2 years ago. He told me about Orlando and Martha Castro and their daughter, Diana.

Ivan and Rocio met Diana a few years ago as they were ministering in another church, and although she is young she has a real love for the Lord. She prayed for her parents that the Lord would touch their hearts. Then about one month ago Orlando and Martha started attending the church. Diana cried with tears of joy when her parents came to the church.

Unfortunately, about a week ago Orlando’s father died. Ivan was concerned that Orlando might blame God and stop coming to church. He felt like he should go visit Orlando and his family, so Ivan and Rocio went to the funeral home to show their love and support to the family. While visiting the family and paying their respects, to Ivan’s surprise Orlando asked him if he wold preach at the funeral home.

Ivan shared the gospel, the love of Christ with all Orlando’s family and friends. After he preached about the hope that we have in Christ he invited them to place their faith in Christ, and eight of them prayed with Ivan and put their faith in Christ! Hallelujah!

God indeed does work in mysterious and marvelous ways. He’s always working, we just have to be sensitive and look for it.

Thank the Lord with me for the wonderful work he is doing through Ivan and Rocio Casados in Tijuana, Mexico!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mixups & Celebrations!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave & Pastor Ivan Casados

It seems that the last couple of weeks I’ve experienced a few mixups!

The exciting thing is that despite these minor challenges the churches are growing, communities are being changed and there is much to celebrate.

Last week Dawn, Hannah and I went to first year anniversary celebration with Ministerios Transformación in Plan Libertador. Unbeknownst to me the time of the service was changed, so that we arrived four hours early. Yesterday, we went to Ribera de Bosque’s second year anniversary. There were a few more mixups as pastor Ivan Casados and I had some trouble with our internet communication during the week. On a positive note, we did arrive at the service when it started this time.

Much Life & Much to Celebrate!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez

My family and I love our friends at Ministerios Transformación and it is so good to be able to celebrate their accomplishments!

There’s much life in these churches. Pastor Daniel Nuñez preached a grace filled and wonderfully challenging message. After the service he invited those who wanted prayer to come up to the front. Dawn, Hannah and I were able to join in and pray for some of those that asked for prayer. It’s so fulfilling to be able to minister as a family.

I love seeing the Lord work through Dawn and Hannah!

New Life in Christ
Celebrating finishing the roof on the church

Building the Ministerios Transformación Ribera de Bosque church two years ago

After the service Pastor Ivan asked me if I could share with some of the people that I prayed for. A brother and sister, Jose Luis and Rocio.

A family from the church invited them to come, and Jose Luis and Rocio just started coming to the church in the last few weeks. I asked them if they were to die today if they knew for sure that they would go to heaven? This opened the door to further discussion about how they could be sure.

The wonderful message of the grace and work of Jesus Christ. It’s a life changing message. After explaining the gospel, I asked them if they would like to place their faith in Christ, and they said yes! Alicia their friend who invited them to church came over with us.

Then we led them in prayer to give their lives to Christ.

A wonderful experience!

One of the things I love most about the ministry is leading people to Christ. It’s so exciting to see people’s eyes light up and come to faith. It was extra special that we could do it in their new church. Pastor Ivan and some of the others in the church came over and congratulated them and told them welcome into the family of God.

There is much new life in these churches, and it’s always a privilege for Dawn, Hannah and me when we can participate with them.

Celebrate with us! Pray that the gospel will continue to go forth in a mighty and powerful way in Tijuana, the Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Two Significant Achievements!
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Celebrating the first year anniversary at Plan Libertador in Rosarito

Today was two churches that we are connected with celebrated a significant achievement. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol celebrated the first year anniversary of their church in Rosarito. Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio celebrated the second anniversary of their church in Tijuana Ribera de Bosque.

Dawn and I take great joy in the growth of these two churches as we partnered with Ministerios Transformación to help plant them.

It’s a beautiful thing to see a church planted. To have the love of Christ invade a community where there was darkness.

Victor & Sol Bravo in Rosarito
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Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol with Pastor Daniel Nuñez & Yolanda

This morning Dawn, Hannah and I went to see Victor and Sol to celebrate with them. Unfortunately, we got the times mixed up and missed the celebration, but we had a wonderful time praying with and encouraging Victor and Sol as they ministered to us as well.

In the community of Plan Libertador in Rosarito where Victor and Sol’s church is planted just a year ago there was not a church to be found. The light of Christ has literally invaded the darkness. Many in the community have given their lives to Christ. God is on the move, and there is a sense of excitement.

Victor and Sol have an infectious enthusiasm. Their love for Christ and love for the people is readily apparent. I always come away encouraged after I’ve spent some time with them!

Ivan & Rocio Casados in Ribera de Bosque
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio and Aaron at a church we helped plant in 2014

Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio with Aaron & Dave

A similar story can be told about Ivan and Rocio in Ribera de Bosque. Ivan and Rocio are very caring and loving people. They make  good team, and the church loves them.

Ivan recently completed a two year incubator training for church planters. He is hungry to learn, and I see him implementing the things he is learning.

What a high privilege it is for Dawn and me to partner with such quality men and women. Both of these couples have a deep and growing love for Christ. We feel blessed to call them friends.

These churches are still at the beginning of their journey. The will go on to touch many more lives, and to shine the light of Christ ever so brightly in the communities that they serve in! Hallelujah!

Thanks for all your prayers and support that has helped make these ministries possible.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Starting New Churches to Expand the Kingdom
Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

Dave with Pastor Victor Bravo & Sol at one of the church plants we helped start in 2015

I enjoy most things about my job, which is a tremendous blessing. What an amazing privilege it is for me to be a catalyst for church planting on the Border and the Baja! I love the opportunity to help start new churches and support the pastors who lead them.

Yet if I’m honest, there are some challenges to doing this work. These churches are invading enemy territory, so there is backlash. There is a battle going on. My family has felt it, and at times suffered from it. The churches have endured it.

Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions that not everyone is in favor of. My desire is to honor the Lord, and to follow him. Dawn and I seek to pray, and to be sensitive to God’s leading. That’s not to say that we always get it right.

We depend on God’s grace, and seek to repent quickly when we hurt someone.

Prayer Support – Warfare Prayer
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio and Aaron at a church we helped plant in 2014

Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados & Rocio and Aaron at one of the church plants we helped start in 2014

All this reminds me of the huge need we have for prayer support. As we have served here now on the Border the Lord has brought some wonderful people in to our lives. They are people that are committed to pray for us. We’ve met some friends that are gifted in warfare prayer, and we’ve benefited greatly from them.

This week we find ourselves in a period where we need much prayer and discernment as we move forward. Join us in prayer as we interact with friends and colleagues about the church planting projects that we are getting ready to launch.

I find it interesting in the very verse that Jesus speaks of the abundant life he came to give us, that the verse begins with how the enemy attacks us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. —John 10:10 ESV

What a contrast! The enemy wants to destroy us, but we have this great promise in Christ. We can have an abundant life in the midst of the battle. Jesus defeated our foe on the cross and through his resurrection. That’s what we celebrate in Easter. Hallelujah!

Even though Christ secured victory for us the battle rages on. We have been given armor for this warfare, and prayer is also a means to protect us and to attack. James reminds us of the power of prayer and confession in James 5:16-18 ESV.

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

Sunset on the Pacific

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

What a wonderful reminder of how the Lord uses prayer to bring about healing and to change the course of nature! Do not grow faint as you labor in prayer. The part you play with us is huge!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Fountain of healing love!
Rocio, Hannah, Ivan and Aaron

Rocio, Hannah, Ivan and Aaron

This last week Hannah and I visited our Pastor Ivan and Rocio at their church in Ribera de Bosque. It is always a real joy to spend some time with these special friends, and to see what God is doing in their midst.

They are in the middle of building an upstairs room on their church, so that someone can stay their and take care of the property. Unfortunately, thieves have broken into the church stolen sound equipment among other items.

It’s sad when people will stoop to stealing from a church, but it does happen more than we’d like.

Aaron’s Story
Hannah & Dave

Hannah & Dave

Aaron one of the members on Ivan’s church was helping put shingles on the roof of the upstairs room.  Dawn and I had met Aaron before. Part of Aaron’s story is that he was involved in a terrible automobile accident when he was younger, and he seriously injured his foot.

He recently had skin graft surgery to take care of lesions on his foot. We have been praying for Aaron and God’s healing touch for about a year now.

When we saw Aaron last week, I asked him if it was okay for Hannah and me to pray for him. He said yes, so he came down from the roof.

I began and started praying for him, and then Hannah took over. The Lord has gifted Hannah in incredible ways. She has a tender heart of mercy and loves to pray for people.

As Hannah prayed and ministered to Aaron he began to cry. The Lord ministered to his spirit in a deep way. He shared some of his personal trials as we prayed.

Aaron mentioned that he was in pain, so we prayed for Aaron’s pain and that the Lord would heal his foot.  After Hannah prayed for a while Aaron said that the pain had diminished! He was feeling better.

Hallelujah! We pray for further and deeper healing in his life.

Christ in his mercy is doing a wonderful work in Hannah’s life. It’s so encouraging to see! Thank you Jesus! The Lord not only is transforming Hannah’s life, but he’s using her to bring healing to others.

Join Us In Prayer!

Join us in prayer for God’s continued healing work in Aaron’s life. Pray for the Lord’s protection over Hannah as she grows in faith and the Lord uses her to minister to those who are hurting.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Highs and Lows of 2014
The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

At this time of year we tend to reflect on the past year. I like to take time to consider all that the Lord did in and through us during the year.

Questions like, what were the highs and lows of the year? What did we accomplish? How did my family and I grow in our faith?

God Uses Our Pain

In reflecting on the year I realize that this has been one of the hardest years I’ve experienced in a while. Yet even in the trials and pain God has shown up. In many ways, it’s been a mind-blowing year even amidst the difficulties.

The Lord has been with me all along the way! I believe some of my lows are connected to some of my highs. God has drawn me closer to him during those dark moments. He’s strengthened my faith and my love for him. I’ve seen the Lord also do an amazing work in the life of my family.

The Lord’s Amazing Work!
Before and after with the whole group in front of the church before we left

Before and after with the whole group in front of the church in Ribera del Bosque

There have also been some wonderful accomplishments this past year. One of the highlights was helping start a new church plant in Tijuana with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Ribera del Bosque. Dawn and I have loved getting to know Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio.

God is also doing some amazing things through some of our other pastor friends that we minister with in Tijuana. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the Lo Mejor del Trigo, and he and his wife are special friends. It’s always a joy to be with them.

There’s not space to mention all the pastors we work with, but here are some of the those that we’ve worked most closely with are Pastor Abraham and Martha Velazquez, Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta, Pastor Jaime and Valentina Rodriguez and Pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez.

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

Dawn and I have loved getting to know our friends from the Nueva Jerusalén (the New Jerusalem) church in Ensenada. God richly blessed the VBS outreach we held with them and Skyview Presbyterian from Denver this last summer.

I also give thanks for the pastors working in Tijuana and all of Baja California with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

We are getting ready to launch a new church in La Paz, Baja California Sur. There are a number of great men and women represented in these churches.

Bridging Cultures at the Bridge Church
Baptism - the Lord's sign and seal is an element of being part of the family of God!

Baptism at Bridge Church

Dawn and I feel so blessed to minister with and to support the bi-lingual, multicultural Bridge Church and pastor Stephen Phelan north of the border. The church went through a difficult season this summer, but God is lifting us up and bringing healing. One exciting recent development is that one of the pastors from Lo Mejor Del Trigo, Jaime Rodriguez will be taking over as Spanish pastor for the Bridge church staring January 1st.

Giving Thanks for All the Lord has Done

I’m so grateful for all the Lord has done and is doing. He uses our brokenness. He doesn’t waste our pain. He lifts us up when we are down.

I look forward to an even better 2015!

You have played an important role in our 2014, as you’ve prayed for and encouraged us along the way. Dawn and I thank you for going on this journey with us.

Help Us to End 2014 Strong – There’s Still Time to Give

Since we are at Year-End, we are praying for the Lord to raise up the funds necessary to keep this ministry rolling.

DARK RED1 copyWould you consider a special year-end gift? You can give online here at donations.mw.org – select Diaso, David & Dawn, account #11717

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org