Posts Tagged ‘religion’

I Must Keep My Eyes on Jesus
A fun time at our Christmas posada with our friends - the day the music came back to life!

A fun time at our Christmas posada with our friends – the day the music came back to life!

Don Mclean’s song, American Pie, sings about the day the music died. The song uses poetry to tell a tale of sorts about the tragic day that Buddy Holly and Richie Valens died in a plane crash. The other day I listened to American Pie and thought about the day the music died for me when my sweet daughter moved to heaven. That was a sad and horrific day for each of us, David, Jonathan, Dawn and me. We have many friends and family that have mourned with us over this past year.

God is been so good to us this year, despite our sorrow. He has been so near to us and comforted us in so many ways. That’s not to say that it’s been easy. It’s been the hardest year of our lives, but the Lord carries us through it.

There are moments when I think I wish more had changed, that we would see even more redemption than we’ve seen. The Lord has reminded me that I must keep my eyes on him. That I walk by faith and not by sight. Even though we are walking in victory, it doesn’t always feel that way. God has a plan and purpose for us and it’s a good one.

What would I do without this hope? What would I do without the hope of eternity? What would I do without the hope of one day being reunited with Hannah?

I give thanks for the Lord’s nearness and his healing power.

Music and Laughter in Our Home Again!
David before and after the mordida!

David before and after the mordida with our friend Andy!

Last week we had more than 40 people in our home for a Christmas, Posada party. The night of the party it dawned on me that this was the first time we had had a party in our home since Hannah moved to heaven! I thought, Wow! That is a victory for us! That is progress.

The party was even more special because one of our son’s, David was able to be with us for the Posada. David loves the fiesta, and he is the Lord’s gift to us on Christmas, December 24th, which is his birthday. We were able to celebrate David’s birthday as well. One of the traditions that they have in Mexico is the “mordida”, which means a little bite of your birthday cake. Inevitably when the person being honored goes to take the “mordida” bite someone will lovingly shove his face into the cake. Since my children grew up in Mexico, they grew to love this tradition. Also, they still love to have fun!

Usually, it is a little push and a little bite, but this time David’s whole face got shoved into the cake. David loved it!

It was so good to hear laughter in our house again and to have so many friends enjoying the time and celebrating the season. You might say it was the day the music came back to life. The Lord continues to do his amazing healing work in our lives. It’s a long journey, much longer than I would like.

Remembering Hannah

 

I asked David Jr. to share one of his favorite photos of Hannah with me, and here it is.

I asked David Jr. to share one of his favorite photos of Hannah with me, and here it is.

Today David and I went to visit Hannah’s gravesite, which I like to do on occasion, although it tends to be a somber experience. We left the cemetery feeling sad and quiet. It’s a reminder we are not home yet. There is still pain in this world, and part of that pain is being separated from those we love. Even though it wasn’t an especially uplifting time, I’m glad I could share that moment with my son.

As I mentioned above I was hoping that we would have seen even more redemption of Hannah’s moving to heaven. It’s there, but I have my moments of doubt, and at those times I can get down. I’m thankful for my family and that we have so many friends holding us up.

Over the last few months, I’ve made it aware that one of the ways we are seeking to honor Hannah’s memory is by starting a new church in Mexico. We are in the process of raising $30,000 so we can build the church. We would like to build it in the Spring of 2018, and we are inviting all of our friends to join us by giving towards this church plant and to come and help us build it! This also a plays a part in the redemption of Hannah’s early homegoing.

Click to make a donation

Click to make a donation

You can give by clicking on this link

Thank you, dear friends, for standing with us. We pray that you will have an unbelievably fruitful and blessed 2018!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Church Planting Network in Mexico
Monterrey, Mexico

Monterrey, Mexico

God opened my eyes even wider as I was challenged to consider working with others to reach Northwestern Mexico for Christ. I found myself feeling encouraged and at times overwhelmed.

I felt overwhelmed, when I got my eyes off of the cross, and focused on my own efforts, and how I would be able to accomplish the task of seeing the gospel extend to other parts of Mexico. I was encouraged as I considered joining with others, and an already strong church planting network that is based in Monterrey, Mexico.

The Church Planting Center

The Centro para la Plantación de Iglesias (Church Planting Center) is a ministry of Mission to the World (MTW). Dawn and I played a small part in the beginnings of this effort. We served in Mexico City when the seeds for this work were being sown.

Not everything that MTW has done in Mexico has borne fruit, so it’s thrilling to see when God does put his finger of blessing on a work.

Connecting Movement Leaders
Andres Garza and Daniel Nuñez chatting over a wonderful Mexican meal

Andres Garza and Daniel Nuñez chatting over a wonderful Mexican meal

One of the most exciting things for me on this weekend was that I was able to introduce Daniel Nuñez from Tijuana and a movement leader in his own right to the group here. I’m not sure what God will do as a result of the connection that Daniel was able to make with Andres Garza, who leads the Church Planting Center, but it’s fun to watch.

I enjoy dreaming about what might be. What could be! That’s at least part of what vision is all about.

I dream of a day when San Diego and Tijuana will be an even bigger hub for the extension of God’s kingdom on the border, and in northwestern Mexico.

Andres Garza sharing about the dream of MTW for northern Mexico

Andres Garza sharing about the dream of MTW for northern Mexico

I learned this weekend that 96% of the Presbyterian churches in Mexico are in the southern Mexico. There is a huge need for the church to grow and be strengthened in northern Mexico, and even more so in the northwest.

Keep Praying

I believe that part of the reason the Lord is increasing our vision and in doing so our boundaries is because of so many of you lifting us up in prayer.

Tomorrow I leave for some meetings in the La Paz, Baja California where we will discuss the opening of a new church planting field in that city. La Paz is the capital of Lower Baja California, and we don’t have any churches there. It’s a strategic city with a huge need. Join us in prayer that the Lord will go before us and bless our time in La Paz.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT)

It’s so encouraging to see the gospel make a difference in the lives of our friends on both sides of the border.

Christ-centered preaching

This week Bill Yarbrough went with me to the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) pastors meeting. Bill gave a presentation on Christ-centered preaching. It warmed my heart to see the pastors smiling, laughing and enjoying learning about what for some of them would be a different emphasis in their preaching.

The pastors were laughing, because Bill has a good sense of humor, and he compared and contrasted what might be the opposite of Christ centered preaching. There is always the danger in preaching of placing burdens on people that they cannot bear. The problem is when we over emphasize our effort (moralism), and under emphasize Christ work for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

Moralism vs. the Gospel

Jesus spoke harshly to the scribes and the Pharisees for laying burdens on the people that they themselves could not bear. There is a danger when moralism is preached instead of the cross. I think most pastors, if they are honest, would admit that they have fallen into this trap before.

In Matthew 23:2-4 Jesus criticizes the religious leaders:

…For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and they lay them on the people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. —Matt. 23:3b-4 (ESV)

The Spirit gives life, but the law kills. The law isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t life giving. It can only warn us what not to do, or what we should do. Only the gospel gives us the power to live the life that God wants us to live.

Paul encourages the Corinthians to live in the new covenant that Christ brought:

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. —2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (ESV)

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Most people in ministry serve, because they love Jesus, and they want to help others. Yet if we are honest, we all struggle with a bit of Pharisaism. This is true of pastors as well as those that are attending the church.

If the church doesn’t preach the gospel, then people will get weighed down by burdens they were never meant to carry. They will eventually leave the church, or live a lifeless Christianity. The gospel is life giving. That’s why Christ centered preaching is so important.

Gospel Renewal

Our prayer is that the gospel would so permeate the San Diego – Tijuana border that the border is renewed and revived. It’s a work that only God can do. The Lord works through his church – his people!

Pray with us that Christ will be preached in such a powerful way on the border that we will see many lives transformed. O, that the light of Christ would shine brightly! O, that Christ will be lifted up and glorified in a powerful way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Pastor Leo & Gloria meeting with Janet Lambert at the YWAM center

Pastor Leo & Gloria meeting with Janet Lambert at the YWAM center

This week I introduced Christian and Liz Castro to Janet Lambert in Rosarito Mexico. While there we learned of a great story of redemption, a wonderful testimony of God’s mercy.

Homes of Hope

Janet shared more about their ministry called, Homes of Hope. Janet and her husband Sean head up the YWAM ministry in Tijuana. They have a burning passion for the poor.

While we were with Janet she shared through tears about one of the families that they built a home for. Eric & Josephina Ochoa not only were homeless, but they had to scrounge for food. They were digging through the garbage to find food, clothing and other items of value.

Can you imagine the humiliation and desperation of having to dig through garbage to live?

A Story of Redemption

The Ochoa family connected with Janet and the YWAM staff, and they put them on the Homes of Hope list. Eric and Josephina’s story was heartbreaking, and it touch those with YWAM. The Lord moved and now the family has a home. Janet said the last time she saw the family they were so happy and grateful for all that YWAM had done for them.

Eric & Josephina share their story in this video:

Paying it Forward

The Ochoa family are paying forward the blessing given to them.

After they got their new home they didn’t forget the families and children who were looking through the garbage with them. They wanted to care for them, and reach out with the love of Christ.

In a future post I will write about when the family actually received their home, and more about their response.

A Side Note: Leo & Gloria’s Ministry with YWAM

Since we introduced our friends, Leo and Gloria Nevarez to Janet last summer they have been ministering together. Every time I’m with them I come away encouraged by the ongoing story. Leo and Gloria go out each week with the YWAM staff to reach out to drug addicts and those caught in sex trafficking. The testimonies I hear from them are amazing. God is so good!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

ESL, English as a second or foreign language

One of our Growing ESL classes

Today we made a breakthrough. Something we’ve been working on for a while. We got approval to use a classroom at a local elementary school for our ESL class.

The Lord Brings the Increase

This all started as we were going in the streets and handing out flyers to promote our ESL classes. We were handing some of them out in front of Fay Elementary school when we met the school principal. She got so excited when she found out that we were offering free English classes that she suggested that we use one of the classrooms at her school.

Handing out flyers in front of Fay Elementary school

Handing out flyers in front of Fay Elementary school

Since that day we’ve planned and prayed for the opportunity to start a new class at the school. Now we have the teachers we need and a place to hold the class. We will start our third class on Wednesday, May 1st.

Answers to Our Prayers

I’m amazed that God has brought this to pass so quickly.

More students are starting to come, and we found someone to help us with childcare. Wow, Lord thanks for your mighty and continued work!

We could still use more help with childcare, and more teachers, but we are headed in the right direction. Thanks for standing with us in prayer. It’s exciting to be on this journey with a faithful team that prays for us, and an even more faithful God who hears our prayers!

I pray that we will be a blessing to Fay Elementary School, and that we will be a blessing to the community. Lord do be glorified as we seek and serve you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Worship at Harbor Mid-City

Worship at Harbor Mid-City

I’m so grateful for the wonderful partners in ministry that The Lord has given us. I love our friends at Harbor church, and I count it a privilege to walk beside them and serve with them.

We are not the same, but we serve our Lord and the city together. It pleases The Lord when his people dwell together in unity. Jesus prayed that his church would serve together as one.

A Word of Encouragement from a Key Partner

Pastor Stephen Phelan recently wrote a word of affirmation for our ministry.

MTW‘s San Diego – Tijuana team lead by Dave Diaso is a catalytic partner playing a critical role in empowering us to ignite a church planting movement that so fills the binational city of San Diego/Tijuana with the gospel that it is renewed in ever way–socially, spiritually, and culturally.  The San Diego – Tijuana team has enabled us to reach more Spanish-speakers through spearheading ESL classes and providing seasoned mentoring for young Spanish-speaking pastors and leaders.  Moreover, MTW is fostering relationships with Mexican movement leaders south of the border that is paving the way for more churches to be planted in Tijuana.  I praise God for our partnership with MTW and the Diasos!  We would not be where we are today without MTW’s San Diego-Tijuana team!

Prayer at one of our staff meetings - Thank the Lord for these friends!

Prayer at one of our staff meetings – Thank the Lord for these friends!

We have a mutual respect for Harbor led by pastor Stephen Phelan. It’s so good to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. I love ministering in partnership. I think when we do so it reflects the heart of The Lord.

O Lord, I do pray that you will continue to richly bless our partnerships and those that we serve with. Use the little that we have to offer to bring you honor and glory. Use it to see your kingdom expanded on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave presented at MTW's vision retreat

Dave presenting at MTW’s vision retreat

On Monday David, Jr., Dawn and I were at the Mission to the World (MTW) office in Lawrenceville just outside of Atlanta. We participated in MTW’s Vision Retreat. At this event those who are interested in pursuing missions come to learn more about what God is doing around the world.

It’s an enjoyable time for us as we meet new people who are exploring what the Lord has for them. We are also able to connect with friends and colleagues. For example, we got some time with Bill Goodman. I’ve known Bill for 27 years. I first met him when I was still single. He was our first team leader when we started serving in missions in Mexico City.

In the afternoon I had the privilege and opportunity to share about our work, and what God is doing on the border. Those that were in attendance responded well.

I must admit I get a little anxious at these events, since I’m trying to promote what we are doing, and wondering if I did well enough to persuade them to take a look at us. “O Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you.”

On Tuesday morning we are off to drive up to Covenant College to present our border ministry to the college students there.

Pray that the Lord blesses our efforts, and that he will bring those that he is calling to join us! I pray we will be patient and rest in Him.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org