Posts Tagged ‘Pastor’

Training Off to a Great Start!
Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

How would you feel if you had to start a new job, and you received little if any training? Or if you were starting up a new business and you just had to wing it? Believe it or not, many church planters receive almost no training. Sadly, it’s a sink or swim scenario.

We are trying to stop that trend, and help church planters to be better prepared for the ministry the Lord has called them to. Last week we held our first incubator training for church planters in the Tijuana region.

God Gave Us a Great Group
Dave leading one of the sessions

Dave leading one of the sessions

Ten pastors attended the training, and began the process. The incubator is a year and a half of preparation for starting a new church.

Our Baja team partnered with MTW’s team from Monterrey to provide the training in Rosarito/Tijuana Mexico. The church planters came from the two groups we are working with, Ministerios Transformación and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

The Lord gave a great group of guys, who love the Lord and desire to see his named proclaimed in the communities they are serving in and beyond! Three of the men are starting up new church planting projects this Fall.

I’ve dreamed about providing church planting training for the pastors we work with since Dawn and I arrived on the border almost four years ago. I feel like it’s so important that we see men and women equipped to serve the Lord in the church. There are too many pastors who are struggling to survive and they don’t know where to turn.

A Network of Support
Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

I am thankful that we can train our friends so that they are better equipped to plant churches. My hope is that these pastors develop strong and enduring friendships so that they can encourage and support one another. Some of the pastors that came said they felt all alone. They don’t feel like they are receiving any support from the outside, or even within their own camp.

One of the challenges to providing the training and encouragement is manpower. We could use more workers. Yet, we are doing all we can to train and multiply coaches and mentors who can support leaders in ministry.

Pray with us for the Lord’s continued and ongoing encouragement for these pastors. That the Lord will raise up a mighty army of equipped leaders, who will be effective in ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fiesta for Jaime
Pastor Jaime with his wife, Valentina sharing his vision for the Hispanic ministry

Pastor Jaime with his wife, Valentina sharing his vision for the Hispanic ministry

On Sunday we had a fiesta after church for our new hispanic pastor, Jaime Rodriguez. Bridge church went through a tough stretch this last summer. We lost our hispanic pastor, which caused some upheaval in the church.

The church experienced a period of mourning. God proved himself faithful during that time. He brought healing, which continues.

Joy Comes in the Morning!
Dave with Pastor Jaime Rodriguez

Dave with Pastor Jaime Rodriguez

It reminds me of his promise in Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

My heart rejoices as I see the Lord answering our prayer through Pastor Jaime and his family. Jaime’s precious wife, Valentina and their two precious girls Eneida & Eunice.

Jaime is like a much-needed breath of fresh air to the church.

It was wonderful to see such a large group from Bridge come out to celebrate.

There’s still plenty of work to do. Now rebuilding and reaching out into the community to see the church grow for Christ. We pray that we will see those in the church strengthened in their faith, and that many who do not yet know Christ will turn to him.

A Special Partnership with LMT

What makes it extra-special is that Jaime comes from our friends and partners in Tijuana, Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). Jaime started a church in La Morita in TJ that has grown to over 120 while he’s been there.

We’ve helped Lo Mejor del Trigo plant four churches over the last four years. The Lord has blessed us so richly through our relationship with them.

Join Us in Prayer

We need your prayers for Pastor Jaime as he begins to minister at Bridge. Jaime and I are working on visiting those in the church. We are also beginning go out into the community to share the gospel. This Sunday we will have a group of 150 Latino students from Destino going out in the community with us to be witnesses for Christ. Pray for a good response, and for the growth of Christ’s church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

God’s Blessings in 2013
Roberto & Mana Shim with Dawn & Dave

Roberto & Mana Shim with Dawn & Dave

There are so many things to be thankful for as I think back on 2013! I shared some of the reasons I am grateful for God’s grace in the way he worked and used us this past year in my last post.

One of the ministries that encouraged my heart was mentoring and coaching pastors. Dawn and I just love to be able to love on the pastors and their wives. I suppose a big reason for this is the way God has wired us.

Loving Pastors and Their Wives

He’s given us a passion for coming alongside and encouraging pastors. I also think it is one of the most strategic things we can do, as it provides the opportunity for us to influence the leaders. Our prayer is to see a church planting movement spread along the San Diego – Tijuana border that will eventually fill all of Baja California. For that to happen we need a team of strong godly leaders.

Abraham and Martha with Dawn and Dave

Abraham and Martha with Dawn and Dave

The Lord gave us the opportunity to work with a number of pastors and their wives, but the one’s that we’ve gotten closest to are Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT), Roberto and Mana Shim at Harbor Mid-City, Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta at LMT Pípila, Abraham and Martha Velazquez at LMT Rojo Gomez, Cesar and Kristina Zavala at LMT Vida Abundante and Leo and Gloria Nevarez at LMT Rosarito. There are others that we are starting to get to know better and we look forward to ministering with them.

God is On The Move as the Gospel Goes Forth

It fills our heart with joy to see how the Lord is using these men and women, and how the Lord is blessing them as they serve him.

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

The churches these friends are leading are doing wonderful things. They are preaching the gospel and seeing families won to Christ and growing in their faith. They are feeding the hungry, ministering to homeless and those caught in a lifestyle of addiction.

I’m so thankful for all God is doing, and for the opportunity for Dawn and me to minister in our sweet spot. It also is further confirmation that we are in the right place, and doing the right things.

Thanks for praying for the expansion God’s kingdom on the border and beyond!

Happy New Year!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A New Church in Valle Verde
Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church plant site

Earlier this week I met with Daniel Nuñez in Tijuana, and we visited a new site for a church plant. The site is in an area of the city called Valle de Verde, which means Green Valley. It’s not very green now ;).

We also met with the pastor that is already working on starting up this new work. Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. Pastor Ivan has started up a small group that will be the committed core for this church. A number of these people a from an area nearby called, Rivera del Bosque, which means brook of the forest, so they’d like to call the church Lo Mejor del Trigo – Rivera del Bosque.

I love the passion that Daniel and pastors he’s working with have for reaching lost people and starting churches to minister to them all throughout the city.

Praying for an Improved System for Church Planting

Daniel and I just came back from a vision trip to Monterrey, Mexico. We were both very encouraged to see the system that the Center for Church Planting has in place. They are doing a great job at assessing, coaching and training their church planters. We’d love to develop a stronger system to sustain the movement of church planting on the border.

Join Us in Prayer for This New Work
Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

While we were at the church planting site, we stopped to take some time to pray. We do want to lift up this new work, and ask the Lord to go before Pastor Ivan and his wife, Rocio to see many won to Christ and a strong church planted in the community of Valle Verde. O that this church would be a city set on a hill for this community!

Pray with us that God will work powerfully through Ivan and Rocio and all those involved in this project.

We also need wisdom as we work on bringing all the loose parts together to get this off the ground. Lord, enable us to do a better job of training and caring for our pastors, so we can do a better job of loving the city!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Lo Mejor del Trigo – Pípila
Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Just the other day Dawn and I met with Rodrigo and Nancy Vallarta. Rodrigo pastors the Lo Mejor del Trigo Church in Tijuana in the community of Pípila.

Rodrigo was excited as he was sharing about a new family that started coming to the church in May. They came to Christ through the witness of the church, and they were baptized this last month. Our prayer is that the Lord will bring many more to the cross.

The church in Pípila is going to celebrate it’s one year anniversary on November 3rd. Just a year ago Harbor helped them to start the church. It’s encouraging to see all that the Lord has done in the last year!

Outreach to Children and Families
Festival Infantil - Outreach to Children in Tijuana

Festival Infantil – Outreach to Children in Tijuana

Harbor Mid-City continues to partner with the church and bring down groups to serve, and help with evangelistic outreach. In June over 120 children came to the “festival infantil”. We already have the next one planned for October 26th.

I love being able to bring together those in our church at Harbor to minister alongside our brothers and sisters in the Pípila church.

Having fun with bubbles

Having fun with bubbles

When I visited the church last month I recognized two of the children who had come to the children’s event, and they are now attending the church.

Rodrigo and Nancy tell us that bringing all the Americans down raises curiosity, so more children and families come.

It’s so good for our people to encounter some of the needs, and differences they see when they cross the border. I believe the Lord even uses the long border wait to get back into the U.S. to teach some valuable lessons about what many have to deal with daily.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray with us that the Lord continues to grow this church. Pray that he gives pastor Rodrigo and his wife, Nancy wisdom as they serve together and provide leadership for the church.

Dave with Daniel Nunez

Dave with Daniel Nunez

On a side note, Daniel Nuñez, the leader of the Lo Mejor del Trigo movement, and I are leaving for Monterrey, Mexico early today. We are going to visit the Church Planting Center with the hope of increasing our vision for church planting in Tijuana. I also believe it will be a great opportunity for our friends in Monterrey to meet Daniel and to learn about his vision and what he’s doing to accomplish it.

Pray that it is a fruitful and productive trip. Also pray for Dawn while I’m gone. She does get lonely, so it’s a sacrifice for her when I travel.

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Prayer Meeting That’s Lasted 21 Years
Prayer meeting in Ensenada

Prayer meeting in Ensenada

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a pastoral alliance prayer meeting in Ensenada, Mexico.

I wasn’t expecting much before I showed up. After all, prayer meetings are usually poorly attended, and frequently they aren’t organized all that well. This was definitely different! There were a number of pastors and leaders at this prayer meeting.

The prayer alliance meeting began 21 years ago, and the pastors meet weekly to pray for their city and the work of the gospel. That’s a wonderful testimony to the faithfulness of these men and women to come together and meet with God on behalf of Ensenada.

Worship & Prayer: The Celebrant Singers
The Celebrant Singers

The Celebrant Singers

The other surprise I received at this prayer meeting was that the Celebrant Singers were there performing. I could tell it was an American group, since they needed a translator. I asked them where they were from, and found out they came down from Visalia, California. Visalia is only about 45 miles from Fresno, where I grew up.

The church we met in for prayer was on a hill that overlooked the city. It reminded me of the church being a city set on a hill.

The view of Ensenada from the church site

The view of Ensenada from the church site

I do believe God honors the prayers for his people, and he loves it when believers and leaders and from different churches come together to cry out for the city.

I ask the Lord along with these pastors that God would give them Ensenada. That the gospel will go forth powerfully, and that the city will be transformed in Christ.

May God’s Spirit Move in Ensenada

These praying leaders reminded me of how the great preacher Charles Spurgeon used to have people praying for him before and while he preached. He called it his boiler room. I’m sure that it kept the place warm, and full of the Spirit.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Continues to Advance the Gospel in TJ
Abraham & Martha, Dawn, Cristina & Cesar (the pastors and their wives that Dawn and Dave were with this week)

Abraham & Martha, Dawn, Cristina & Cesar (the pastors and their wives that Dawn and Dave were with this week)

Dawn and I spent a wonderful afternoon on Tuesday with some pastor friends and their wives. It was wonderful, because we were able to encourage one another. We laughed. We shared heart to heart. We prayed for one another.

Even pastors need to be reminded of the gospel and grace. As Jack Miller and others have stated, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves.” Luther said, “we need to the beat the gospel into our heads.” Ministry can bring you to your knees, but God and the gospel lifts us up in due time. For some reason, we have a short memory and we tend to forget how desperately we need Christ and the gospel of our risen savior.

Christ-centered Preaching

In early May, Bill Yarbrough, Mission to the World’s Latin American International Director came to the border. While he was with us he was able to share with a number of pastors from the Lo Mejor del Trigo movement about Christ-centered preaching. Some of the guys told me they wanted more of the message of grace. Bill and I thought it would be helpful if we could encourage them to think through how to preach the gospel more powerfully in their churches.

I’ve been following up with the pastors. We are beginning to study together some of the principles of Christ-centered preaching. I can’t wait to see what changes this will bring to the pastors and those in their congregations.

Please Join us in Prayer

I believe as we move forward with the gospel that Satan seeks to disrupt and attack what we are doing, so we need major prayer. Pray that Christ will be lifted up in all that we do. Pray that God will bless and that the gospel will be powerfully proclaimed in San Diego and Tijuana as we minister on the border.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org