Posts Tagged ‘Redeemer Presbyterian Church’

Transformed by the Gospel
Sharing the love of Christ through prayer and medical care

Sharing the love of Christ through prayer and medical care

Last Saturday when Hannah and I were ministering with Redeemer San Diego and La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada was definitely a highlight on the year. It filled my heart to see so many different people come together from different cultures to serve people in need.

Sarah Oh giving dental care

Sarah Oh giving dental care

Another reason it brought satisfaction to my soul was the special blessing of being able to minister with my daughter. What a high privilege to pray with people, and share the gospel with them. Then to see the Lord use my daughter to lead 7 people in prayer to receive Christ! Wow! Hallelujah and Amen!

Close to 80 people attended the medical clinic and each of them were shown the love of Christ in a real and tangible way through the medical team that treated them. I thank the Lord for such a loving and caring group of medical professionals and staff from both sides of the border!

Good News on Good Friday!
Sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way through the medical clinic

Sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way through the medical clinic

As I write this today on Good Friday I think of the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus Christ made for us on the cross. When Hannah and I shared the gospel with the people I found it ministered to my soul as we explained the importance of Christ death and resurrection. Of course, without his death, there would be no resurrection.

I don’t like the darkness of Friday, but I’m praising the Lord that the story didn’t end on Friday.

On Sunday Jesus Rose from the grave! He defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross! Hallelujah!

God’s Spirit spoke to me through the message of the gospel as I shared it with people who had not yet come to the savior. It was so encouraging to see their eyes light up as I explained the hope we have in Christ.

Our Sin Nailed to the Cross

I’m reminded of what’s become one of my favorite passages over the last year, which is found in Colossians 2.

And you (I was or We were), who were  dead in your (my – our) trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us (me) all our (my) trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us (me) with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Colossians 2:13-15 ESV (parenthesis is my personalization of the passage)

The late Jack Miller, founder of World Harvest Missions used to speak of preaching the gospel to ourselves. This passage helps us to do that, and when I share the gospel with others I’m reminded of the significance of Christ death and resurrection for my life. Christ died the death that I should have died, and he lived the life that I couldn’t but should have lived, so that I might have life everlasting.

Rejoice with me friends, even on this dark day when we stop to remember the sacrificial death of our savior!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Not a Good Day, but God Still Reigns!
The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

Do you remember the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst? We experienced a day like Alexander this week.

On Monday our good friend Jesus Petrikowski, who we call Petri came up for a meeting at Redeemer church in Encinitas. We originally had a meeting scheduled for 11 AM to go over some details for an upcoming medical missions trip. It was a very rainy day on Monday. When it rains in San Diego and Tijuana it’s like snow in other parts of the world. It just slows everything down.

It took Petri 3 hours to cross the border to get into the U.S.A. So we missed the meeting, and were an hour and a half late for our second meeting. Crazy!

Then we had a good meeting with Hunter Benson and Kathie Kim from Redeemer to prepare for the medical missions trip. On the way out they asked Petri if he could take some of the boxes of medical supplies. We ended up taking most of them.

When we got to my house we took out all the medicine that we could see, since we thought it would be best to take that in with the group.

The Fun Begins!
Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Petri left with his car loaded, but feeling confident that there was no problem with any of the things he was bringing back into Mexico. He drove to the border and he was promptly stopped by the Mexican customs agents. As they went through the boxes in his car they found some medicine in one of the boxes.

That’s where the fun began, or the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day began!

The customs agents detained Petri. He tried to explain to them that he was bringing the medical supplies in for a non-profit ministry in a poor area of Ensenada, but they had no compassion. He was told they had to figure out the value of the supplies and that he couldn’t leave until they figured it out.

All the while Petri was communicating with his wife, Yudy, me and some of his other friends. We were all very concerned for him as each hour went by and they kept saying a little longer. The customs agents ended up keeping Petri all night long, and they told him he couldn’t have any visitors.

The next morning Yudy couldn’t take it anymore, and she went with her brother to the border. When they arrived they were told that Petri couldn’t receive any visitors. Yudy explained that he hadn’t eaten, and she brought him food, so they let her see him. He was accompanied by a guard. It was a kind of house arrest.

Finally after about 14 hours of waiting they told Petri he needed to go to another office to find out how much the fine would be, and to pay the fine. Petri drove with Yudy and her brother, Fabio to the office. More waiting!

Not Only a Long Wait, But a Huge Fine

After a few more hours Petri learns the fine is going to be the equivalent of $800 USD. They go to the bank get the money to pay the fine.

Then they have to drive to another office not to far away to get the paperwork, so they could get the car back. More waiting!

I was able to meet up with them at this time. Petri had an amazingly positive attitude through it all! Yay Jesus!

It was an extremely stressful day and night for all of us. Today (Thursday) after the adrenaline and all wore off I realized how much emotional energy that took out of me, and I didn’t go through nearly all the hassle that Petri endured.

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

The light removes the darkness

We survived the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

I admit we made some mistakes. Nonetheless, it reminds me of the spiritual battle we are in, and how important it is that we don’t make light of this battle. We desperately need prayer protection.

Please join us in prayer as we cry out to God! Not only did they fine Petri $800, but they confiscated about $1,000 worth of medical equipment. Ask the Lord to work in the hearts of the men and women  in the Mexico customs office so that they will return this equipment to us.

Also pray for the upcoming medical clinic that will take place on Saturday, March 19.

Thank you for upholding us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work in and Through Oriesa in Ensenada
Oriesa ministering the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa sharing the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa Wiyono, a young medical student, who is currently working as paramedic in San Diego wrote a beautiful piece about what God did in and through her while she was in Ensenada, Mexico. I asked her if I could share what she wrote on my blog, and she agreed, so I’ve copied it below. You can check out her blog site here…

Dawn, Hannah and I had such a wonderful experience while we were in Ensenada with the team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church and La Nueva Jerusalen. I love reading how God used the trip to touch of the lives of those that went on the trip.

Oriesa’s Testimony
Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan, Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan,
Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Jose is this 5′0 foot, brown skin, hazel eyed man with this funny and bright infectious personality about him. When I had told him that I drive an ambulance in the states, he tells me that I should drive “rapido y furioso” like the Fast and Furious movie as he proceeds to make an artificial honk and wail siren sound. Jose lives with his wife, his daughter with down syndrome, he serves as an elder at his church and he currently attends school in order to obtain his high school degree in hopes that he may return to the seminary program he once was a part of. During our seafood dinner near the Ensenada Coast, he shared with me stories about misfortunes along with blessings in his life. While on the topic of medical missions, he proceeded to ask a question that would greatly impact my perspective during the trip.

“…would you rather share the gospel or provide medical care for the people in Ensenada?”

“Provide medical care,” I said, “I.. uh….it’s easier.”

As I answered, I felt a sheer rush of guilt that had gripped my heart. A team nurse on the trip named Patricia had shared with me that the one big thing that we are unable to do in heaven that we can do on earth is to share the gospel, but here I was, afraid, timid and worried about the sake of my comfort and embarrassment. I felt my cheeks go flush as they often did. I’d been exposed and made bare to a man who I barely knew, who barely knew me. I gritted my teeth and told Jose that I was scared to share the gospel because a rejection–to me feels as if someone was to reject my whole entire being and essentially everything that I live for. I mean… it took me 22 years to understand such a backwards paradigm of love, how am I to share it with someone in such a short period of time? But as I thought about it on the drive home, the concept of His love is so simple. It really is.

The past 22 years of my life has been Christ teaching me this one thing–Jesus loves me, but it is I that has rejected Him countless times, spat in His face, ran away, crucified Him, sought pleasures in worldly things and treasured His gifts more than I treasured my Savior. How selfish of me.. I took advantage of His love and I ran away like a shameless robber.

I then remembered that Jesus said in John 15:18-21:

If the world hates you, remember that is has hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.

Jose then told me that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. And because of that we have this mission to extend the same kind of grace and rejoice in the glory of Christ with believers as we all have a calling to bring one another and the wanderers back home with the different gifts and talents He has equipped us with. Fear is inevitable, but don’t use it as an excuse to not extend the gift of salvation to someone else. He further reminded me that rejection is normal because as one body and as siblings, we fight, reject one other, spew out venom without words, take each other for granted (the provision of free medical care), we take the toys we want from each other’s grasp and we run–much like how we all have done to Christ…

But all the more, this ought to point me to the big picture of the magnitude and grace of His love.

You know.. if I were in their shoes, if I was lost, wondering and searching, I think I would like to know this:

“Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son to make a simple point: never mind what you’ve done, just come home.” – Unka Glen

With that said, everything we have done in Mexico is up to the Lord. Despite being able to see 445 patients in 4 days and being able to say that 40 people came to Christ, our works and efforts through calling these people, inviting them out to church, providing medical care, praying for them and following up with them are futile without Him. So how many will actually come back, attend the church and further their relationship with their Savior? None of us will know for sure, but we know God is always good and in Him, all things are possible.

IMG_9440So as I sit here having done nothing to live such a privileged life, I realize that I would often think back to the degree of injustice and poverty and it makes me so angry. However, being able to hear stories like Jose’s and just being able to see such an impoverished city has definitely opened my eyes to the Lord’s heart of compassion for the sick, widows, orphans and those in need. Im learning to be thankful for every drop of clean running water that I have, paved roads, clean toilets, insulated housing etc.. but it’s so easy to get caught up in safety, security and all these little things that we have or don’t have when at the core of everything–Jesus is all you need. He loves you. He will sustain you. He is enough.

The past 4 days in Ensenada have been humbling to say the least. When I was able to see the provision of medical care alongside the sharing of the gospel, I was so touched and that’s when I understood the power of short term missions. When I had returned, a lot of people asked me the purpose of giving someone high BP meds for two weeks–but see, that misses the purpose entirely. The mission had always been and will always be to share the gospel. Medical treatment lasts for a while, but Jesus heals for a lifetime.

That’s all there is to it.

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Dr. Christina Tan’s Missions Report
Dr. Christina Tan treating patients during the medical outreach

Dr. Christina Tan treating patients during the medical outreach

One of the doctors, Dr. Christina Tan, who went on our medical missions trip to Ensenada wrote a report of her experience. I asked her if I could share with you, she said yes, so here it is. Her story lifted me up, and I think you will enjoy hearing her point of view as well.

Joy Filled Ministry in Mexico!
Mexico was filled with joy, good friendships and rewarding work! Thanks for all your prayers for speedy border crossings, good health, and busy clinics!
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

Our team of 8 saw a total of 450 patients over 3 half days and 1 full day of clinic (Monday – 1/2 day at Ensenada church site, Tuesday – full day at a church plant on the outskirts of town, Wednesday – 1/2 day at the same site as Tuesday, Thursday – 1/2 day at a church plant among the farming community 1 hr away).

Everyone people were prayed for by our Mexican church partners, and about 50 prayed to receive Christ for the first time.
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

For the medically inclined, some of the interesting cases we saw were hypertensive urgency, poorly controlled diabetes, we were able to arrange follow up through a doctor at our partner Mexican church who may be able to see some of these patients for free. Many patients had their rotting teeth pulled by our dental expert, Sarah Oh.

Thursday evening, Teresa and I caught a flight to the bay area for some much needed time with family before getting back to work this week. One of the ways I was encouraged this time around was in seeing how God provided for our needs. As my Spanish vocabulary is limited to 5 words on a good day, having a good translator helps me out tremendously.

 

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

On our second day of clinic, we were greeted by 7 bright eyed junior high students who were volunteering their spring break to translate for us. They were fantastic! (see 2nd pic)We were so blessed by your partnership, thank you so much for your prayers! Praying that God would bless you and provide for you needs here (Phil 4:13) and most fully in

His mercy and love toward us in the new heaven to come:
(Revelations 7: 16-17)
‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Your sister,
Christina Tan
What a wonderful testimony of God’s grace shining through and working in the lives of so many people! Thank you Jesus!
In His Grip, Dave
The team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

The team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

Christ’s Love Shines Forth!

One of the many things I was impressed about last week during our medical missions trip was the love that our Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego showed. They demonstrated patience as they ministered to the many patients and showed them the love of Christ.

Their sacrificial service along with that of those from the host church La Nueva Jerusalén opened the door for the gospel to be experienced. The patients that came not only were prayed for and heard the gospel, but they also saw it lived out before them.

The Lord Brought The People
Maddie Smith working triage

Maddie Smith working triage

When we began the medical clinic I wondered how many people would come. It started slowly, but then the people started coming. Everyone pitched in and worked together so well.

The Beauty of the Gospel

It reminds me of the passage in Isaiah, which proclaims the beauty of the gospel.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” —Isaiah 52:7 (ESV)

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

The more than 400 patients that came saw the beauty of the gospel through the witness of the two churches from different cultures coming together. More than 40 of them responded to the call of the gospel and prayed to receive Christ.

Many were unsure of their security in Christ. We took the opportunity to strengthen them in their faith, and to encourage them to connect to the church and grow in the love for Christ and understanding of the gospel.

Pray for Lasting Fruit
Nurse Practitioners, Patricia Lee caring for one of the little patients

Nurse Practitioners, Patricia Lee caring for one of the little patients

Pray that the seed that was planted will bear much fruit and that it will be rooted deeply into their lives. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to draw those that are on the fence that heard the gospel to himself. That the Lord will strengthen the local body of believers and grow his church.

Praise him with us for his mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Medical Missions Outreach – A Huge Success
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

On the ride back to the church after our last day of the medical clinic our Mexican brothers and sisters were sharing how much the last four days had affected them. They said seeing so many people in need reminded them of how blessed they are. Then they commented on the even greater spiritual need. What a blessing it was to share the good news of the gospel with so many!

Their comments impressed me and it encouraged me.

The Gospel Touched Many Deeply
Two of our loving doctors in the blue, sisters, Christina & Teresa Tan

Two of our loving doctors in the blue, sisters, Christina & Teresa Tan

God broke through in a big way! Not only in the hearts and lives of the medical group that came down to minister, and those in the church, but also the more than 400 that received medical attention.

This was one of the best, if not the best short-term mission project that I’ve ever been apart of. My congratulations to the medical group from Redeemer Presbyterian Church that came down with such servant hearts.

Not only did the team of women work long and hard, but they didn’t have water where they were staying and they weren’t able to bathe. They did all this without complaining.

Sharing the gospel and ministering to the people through prayer

Sharing the gospel and ministering to the people through prayer

We ministered to 450 people in only four days. Each of the patients were prayed for and then attended to by an amazingly loving group of doctors and medical staff. As we prayed for the patients a team of us also shared the gospel with them. Over 40 gave their lives to Christ. We encouraged many others who were Christians to get involved in the life of the church and grow in their faith.

God is on The Move in Ensenada
Patricia Lee lovingly caring for an infant patient

Patricia Lee lovingly caring for an infant patient

God’s Spirit moved in a very powerful way!

The home church Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) did such a wonderful job promoting the medical clinic that we had more patients than we were able to attend to. One of the leaders from Redeemer San Diego said they felt like this was a true partnership in the way the two churches worked together. Both groups came together united in Christ to share the love of Christ in the three communities that we did the medical outreach in.

Another huge victory was that Dawn and Hannah were able to join me on the trip. It was such a blessing to have them with us, and to see them love on and interact with our friends.

God Heard Our Prayers!
Sarah Oh our wonderfully caring dentist

Sarah Oh our wonderfully caring dentist

Thank you so much for praying. When we do these intense weeks there is a lot of spiritual warfare that is going on. We sensed the pressure. But the Lord protected us, and he made the trip a big success.

Continue to pray that the many people who were touched by the gospel will be folded into the church and grow in their faith.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed us with Kingdom Partnerships

photo 1One of the many things that excites me about what God is doing on the border is the wonderful partners that God has given us to work alongside.

On the U.S. side of the border, Dawn and I have a strong and growing relationship with Harbor Presbyterian Church. In Tijuana the Lord has blessed us through our relationship with Daniel Nuñez and his network of churches called, Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat).

This past Sunday Harbor celebrated its 13th year, since they began. It’s super encouraging to see all the Lord has done through Harbor. The movement started with Dick and Liz Kauffman. Today Harbor has 8 sites, and Redeemer Presbyterian, which used to be Harbor North County.

The celebration this past Sunday was held at Redeemer Presbyterian church in Encinitas.

Praise the Lord for the many good works he has done!

A Testimony of God’s Rich Blessing

Here’s a short video that highlights how Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo have come together to see new churches planted South of the Border.

God Bless Your Church

May the Lord continue to bless San Diego – Tijuana through these strategic partnerships. O Lord, we pray that churches will multiply on the border as we work tougher for your glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org