Posts Tagged ‘Pastor Victor & Sol Bravo’

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

The Light of Christ Shines Brightly

Our new friends from Long Beach, Jason, David and Randy with Pastor Victor & Sol and some of the students they are showing the love of Christ to

One of our goals as we plant churches in communities is to bring the light of Christ to those that live there. As the light of Christ shines through the testimony of the church we pray for life change, transformation.

This last week I was able to visit some of my favorite people on the planet, Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol. I took some pastors and leaders from Christ Church in Long Beach into Mexico to introduce them to our ministry in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Victor & Sol’s Community Outreach in Rosarito

Victor & Sol with some of the elementary school boys that they are ministering to

Victor and Sol have become like family for us, so it’s always fun to see them. I love seeing them in action and hearing how the Lord is working through them. About three years ago I visited Victor and Sol and my daughter, Hannah was with us. Victor and Sol told us how they wanted to reach the community and to be able to offer tutoring and classes to the children in the community.

They asked me if I could help them raise some funds to build a classroom and to buy some chairs and desks for the children. The Lord graciously gave me a matching fund, and I found a church willing to give the other half. About a year and a half ago we were able to help them to build the classrooms.

One of the challenges is that a significant number of children in the community come from very poor families. They are malnourished and their parents aren’t able to help them with their school work. A number of children in the community don’t even attend school. Those that do attend are failing in their school work. They lack energy because they are not eating well in their homes.

Sol has an undergrad in Psychology and a Masters in Education. She worked for a number of years in the public school system in Mexico, but when they planted the church the Lord put it on her heart to leave her job so that she could minister to the children and families in the community.

Making a Difference in the life of the Children

Once they had the classroom Sol went to work. She works with 20 children daily Monday through Friday. She works with some of them before school and others after school. Sol has a beautiful smile, and she is a patient and loving teacher. The love of Christ shines through her as she works with the children.

While I was there with our friends from Long Beach this last week Victor and Sol shared with us that since Sol has begun working with the children their grades have gone up. Now they are getting A’s and B’s. They’ve also raised some funds and given out of their personal budget to feed the children.

Whereas, before the children had spots on their faces from malnutrition, now they look healthy and strong. When they come to the church one of the first things they ask Sol is, “what’s to eat today?”

Sol and Victor are making a difference in the life of these children and their families. They have the vision to train more teachers to help Sol so that they can minister to even more families. They told me that they also need to raise more funding to sponsor the children so that they can continue to provide them with meals.

New Life in Christ

Since Victor and Sol have begun this outreach some of the families have started attending the church. They told me of one particular family that joined the church, came to Christ and got baptized. Now they are beginning to take responsibility and become part of the leadership team.

Join Us in Prayer for Victor & Sol

Pray with us that the Lord raises up more pastors and leaders like Victor and Sol who are able to make a difference in their community. Pray for the Lord’s provision so that they can grow this ministry and continue to bring spiritual and material nutrition to the children. Pray that the Lord raises up the people to work with Sol to help tutor the children.

Thank you, Jesus, for your good work! You are a good God!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Cry of Our Heart!

Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

Pastor Victor and Sol with Sofia

One of the cries of our heart is for more of the Lord. A greater presence and power as we live and love. We have this confidence that the Lord hears our prayers. Dawn and I pray that this will not only be true of us but of those that we minister with. “O Lord, in your grace pour out your Spirit in a greater measure upon us and those we serve with.”

God’s Good Work Through Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Pastor Victor Bravo encouraging his congregation!

Recently I wrote about our good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife Sol. Dawn and I enjoy being with them, seeing and experiencing how God is moving among them. This last Sunday we worshipped with Victor and Sol and their congregation. We celebrated Victor’s birthday along with the church. Our Mexican friends love the fiesta, and we’ve grown to love it as well.

Pastor Victor and Sol are a part of a larger network of churches called, Ministerios Transformación. I’ve written about this ministry before. We’ve helped them plant 6 churches over the last 6 years, and we’ve also helped them in other ways through training, coaching, and encouragement.

The last church we planted in Mexicali, which we built in our daughter, Hannah’s memory is part of Ministerios Transformación.

A Big Vision – 50 Churches

Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

Pastor Daniel Nuñez praying for Pastor Victor

The lead pastor for Ministerios Transformación is Daniel Nuñez. Daniel was also at the church on Sunday and he preached a message from Hebrews on the importance of working with and supporting the pastor in the church. Daniel is a man of vision, and any time he has a chance to share with others he cast his vision to plant 50 churches. When I first met Daniel 8 years ago he had planted 7 churches, and in just a few weeks they will be planting number 37! Wow! That’s exciting! Thank you, Jesus!

Dawn and I enjoy the opportunity to partner with Daniel and Victor and Sol to help them make their dream, their vision a reality. Our prayer, as well as theirs, is that these churches aren’t just lifeless buildings, but vibrant centers of grace that bring light into communities. We realize to do that we all need much grace and a powerful move of God’s Spirit among the people.

Making a Difference in the Community

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol, who is a trained psychologist with years of experience working in some of the best schools in Rosarito and Tijuana is reaching out in the community by tutoring children. Sol loves what she does. She’s passionate about it. She was making a good salary working for the school system. Yet, she was willing to put all that aside to use her skills to love on needy children in the community. Dawn and I were able to visit Sol with her students recently, and it was fun to see her at work.

Lives are literally being changed as Victor and Sol along with the people in their church show the love of Christ in the community of Plan Libertador. Victor and Sol are an awesome representative of what the other churches in the network of Ministerios Transformación are doing. We give thanks for them, and for how the Lord is working. He truly does hear our prayer! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Making a Difference in Plan Libertador

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Sol seated on the right with some of the children she is working with.

Dawn and I are truly enriched to have such wonderful friends and partners that we minister alongside. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have blessed us in so many ways! We continually give thanks for them and lift them up in prayer.

Four years ago the Lord brought us together, and we helped Victor and Sol build and start their new church. The Lord has been working through them and the ministry of the church as they seek to make a difference in the community. Both of them have a lot of energy and they possess many gifts.

One of the ways the church is seeking to make a difference in the community of Plan Libertador is they are tutoring students after school. Sol is a trained psychologist and has worked for many years with children in the school system in Tijuana. Since they planted the church she’s wanted to give more time to outreach in the community. She is truly making a difference in the lives of these students and their families.

Dawn and I were able to visit Sol this week, and it filled our hearts to see the bright smiles on the face of each young person there.

Victor also is meeting with and working with the community leaders, so that the church has an active voice and influence in Plan Libertador. He just met with these leaders this week and planned to pray with them as they met. I love Victor and Sol’s boldness and enthusiasm for the gospel.

The Power of Prayer

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Mitchell

There’s also the powerful presence of the Lord in their church and those that they are ministering to. Some of the families in their church are going through some real tough trials. I’ve mentioned before 15-year-old Mitchell, who is battling with leukemia.

Mitchell has great faith for a young person going through such a trial. Every time we go to visit her in the hospital to pray with her, she has a beautiful smile on her face. Mitchell says that our visits and our prayers encourage her, and give her peace, but Dawn and I always leave astonished and strengthened by her faith. We are believing the Lord for her healing. We’ve seen the Lord work in her life and bring a measure of healing, but we are looking to Jesus for complete and total healing.

Mitchell was in the hospital in February when we first met her family. We prayed for her, and in a miraculous fashion, in just a few days she was able to leave the hospital. The doctor told Mitchell’s, parents, Miroslava and Salvador that they thought she was going to die in a few days. That was back in February. We were so encouraged when the Lord answered our prayers, and brought her a measure of healing, but battle rages on.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Pastor Victor & Sol with their son, Abraham

Join Mitchell’s parents, along with Victor and Sol and the church as we lift up Mitchell and her family in prayer. Mitchell is in the hospital again receiving treatment for her leukemia. We cry out to the Lord from whom our help comes from. He is our healer, our deliverer, and our strong tower!

Pray for Victor and Sol as they minister to those in their church, and as they love on and reach out in their community.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

An Exciting Time!

The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

The amazing group we took down to Mexicali to build the church in Hannah’s memory

This is an exciting time of year for us. A little over a week ago we finished building the church in Hannah’s memory in Mexicali, Mexico. That was a huge accomplishment for us, and we are so grateful the Lord provided the way and the people to pull that off! 34 people from the US joined us and another 30 from Mexico participated. Dawn, David, Jonathan and I are still in awe over all the love we were shown as we built this church. Thank you Jesus!

Pastor Mere and Edna

Pastor Mere and Edna

We are getting ready for the inauguration of the church with Pastor Mere Godinez and his wife, Edna on May 6th. Our family is so grateful for Pastor Mere and Edna. They are wonderful young ministers of the gospel. God is already working and moving in the community in Mexicali where we are planting this church.

Time to Celebrate

Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

Celebrating 3 years with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol. Wonderful friends!

This past Sunday we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of a church that we helped start with Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol have done an excellent job planting the church and reaching out in the community. They are creative and very active and the Lord is using them to make a difference. It was so good to celebrate with them. Victor and Sol along with the church honored the part that we played in helping to start the church by recognizing us during the service. It was an encouragement to receive their demonstration of love and appreciation.

The Mariachis leading worship

The Mariachis leading worship

I had the opportunity to preach at the church in Rosarito on Sunday. It was a special day. We rejoice in what the Lord is doing through this church. The church was filled with many joyous people. The worship leaders for the service was a Christian mariachi band. Mariachi music is traditional Mexican music that tends to be sung with a lot of energy and emotion. Viva Mexico! Gloria a Dios!

God’s Healing Work!

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

Dawn with Miroslava and her daughter, Michele

The time was also special because we met a 15 year old friend, Michele who had leukemia. We had been praying for Michele along with her family and the church. The last time we visited the church we prayed with her parents Salvador and Miroslava and the Lord broke through and began to heal Michele. I’d like to write more about what God did and is doing in the life of this family in the near future.

We pray for more. More Lord! Keep it coming. More people coming to Christ. More people growing in their faith. More hunger and growth. O Lord, hear our prayer and do your mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Stories of Grace Through the Camera

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Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol with their son, Abraham serving the Lord in Rosarito and Tijuana, Mexico

Last week a film crew came out to take photos and video shots of the ministry on the border and throughout our work in Mexico. It was an exhilarating time as we met with and interviewed our partners and church planters. We started out in Ensenada and we got some beautiful shots of the city and our church planters Petri & Yudy Petrikowski. Then we headed back up to Rosarito and Tijuana to interview Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol.

 

I wish I could take you with me to meet these wonderful friends. Every time I’m with them I come away encouraged. God fills me up because they are fun to be with, and also because of the way the Lord is transforming lives through their ministry.

God Breaks Through in Rosarito

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Victor and Sol shared with us about a ministry to an orphanage called Nueva Generación (New Generation). They formed a partnership relationship with Luis Salinas, who leads the orphanage a few years ago. The partnership has grown as their church has grown. Now on average 17 orphans attend their church every Sunday.

 

Sol is a psychologist and she has worked with the children and the parents. She ministers the love of Christ to these parents who are caught in addictions, prostitution, and poverty, which has kept them from being able to care for their children. The children experience the love of Christ and hear the good news of the gospel and they are transformed by God’s grace. The goal is also to see their parents break free from their addictions and destructive life style.

Brokenness and Healing

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Raul reunited with his two sons!

We met one of the father’s, his name is Raul. He has an amazing story. Sadly he was caught in a cycle of addiction, which led to poverty and an inability to take care of his children. Raul’s wife left him. Through the work of the orphanage and the love shown to him through Victor and Sol, he came to Christ. He eventually was set free of his addictions and began to work again. It took him more than 10 years to break free, and now he is back in his two boys life.

 

Raul shared through tears about his struggle with alcohol and drugs. He felt sad that he had let his boys down, and not been able to take care of them for so many years. But God broke through! This brought more tears as he reflected on the Lord’s great love and grace.

A life transformed!

A family reunited!

Wow! So good to see God’s grace set the captives free.

When we talk about planting churches we pray for transformed lives and transformed communities as the love of Christ shines brightly in dark places.

Unfortunately, there are many Raul’s in Tijuana and Rosarito. There is much work left to be done! Yet, we are seeing progress as the Lord works in and through the churches and ministries on the border. Thank you, Jesus!

I give thanks for faithful servants like Victor and Sol who are not content just to hold services on Sunday. They desire to see the gospel penetrate and make a difference in the community. My prayer is, our prayer is that the Lord will raise up an army of ministers like Pastor Victor and Sol. He is doing that through ministries like, Ministerios Transformación who have planted 31 churches in 11 years and have a vision to plant many more! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Kingdom is Advancing!

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Dave & Dawn – Thankful for all the good years that the Lord has given us!

Dawn and I have endured some heart ache over the last few months, but the Lord uses many avenues to lift us up. One of them is seeing the church grow. We love to see the Kingdom advance.

I remember when we were thinking about moving from Colorado to the border we dreamed about being involved in a church planting movement. We prayed that the Lord would connect us with like-minded godly men and women who had a heart to see God’s kingdom advance.

Wonderful Church Planters

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Dave & Dawn with Ivan and Rocio

Over the last few days we’ve met with and been in communication with a number of our church planting couples. Tonight we met with Ivan and Rocio Casados. We helped them plant their church with Ministerios Transformación (MT) three years ago. The church is growing, and they’ve just finished a building project so they have more room for the people who God is bringing to them.

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Obed & Cesiah with their family and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on Inauguration day

On Wednesday night we met with Obed and Cesiah Lares who we helped start a church with MT on October 16 last year. The first service was just two days before Hannah passed away. Obed and Cesiah shared how they are reaching out in the community and more families are starting to come to the church and grow in their faith.

Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor and Sol

Recently Dawn and I were with Victor and Sol Bravo who we helped launch their work with MT in March of 2015. Obed and Cesiah came out of their church. This church is not only growing and reaching out to orphans in the community, but they sent out a pastor and his wife to start a new church just a little over a year after they started their church.

Petri & Yudy’s New Work in Ensenada: Renuevo

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Renuevo’s First Service

Just last Sunday Petri and Yudy Petrikowski started their first service. Dawn and I were able to be with them and we helped commissioned them as they were sent out from their home church, La Nueva Jerusalén. Petri and Yudy are planting this church with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Every time Dawn and I are with them we come away encouraged and impressed by how the Lord is using them to reach out to their friends.

We Give Thanks for Our Valuable Partners in Ministry

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Dave and Dawn with two great friends and partners in ministry, JD Pearring and Daniel Nuñez

The three churches with Ministerios Transformación are reaching out in urban poor neighborhoods. MT has built homes for some of the needy people in the community. They are doing some amazing things to make a huge difference in people’s lives. The Ministerios Transformación network has started 30 churches in 10 years!

God is using them to bring about change in the communities where the churches are ministering. They are great partners and friends. Apart from helping them plant churches we’ve been able to partner with them on training church planters and coaches for ministry.

We have two church planting projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. One in La Paz, which is the capital of Southern Baja California, and the one in Ensenada Petri and Yudy are leading.

All these church planters that I’ve mentioned here as well as others like Pastor Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez are great friends. I don’t have space to mention all the wonderful pastors and friends that the Lord has given us.

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Dave training church planters

I just want to say that God is doing a work here. His Spirit is moving, and I believe that we are just beginning. We are going to see even greater things! 

This is happening, because of the hard work and the prayers of many people. You’ve played a part as you’ve prayed with us and for us. Dawn and I give thanks for you, and we pray that the Lord will bring even more to stand with us on this great journey of faith! For His honor and glory. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org