Posts Tagged ‘San Diego–Tijuana’

Good News about TJ

Tijuana

I love finding positive news about Tijuana!

The news about this border city just keeps getting better. I think TJ gets a bad rap, because of the past. It takes time for perception to change, even if the city is on an upward swing.

An article titled, The Rebirth of Tijuana appeared in The New York Times Opinion section on Sunday.  Author Sam Quinones writes a realistic view of Tijuana.

Tijuana is not pretty. A city of 1.3 million people, it is chaotic, grimy, unplanned, loud, and it smells bad. It possesses none of the colonial architecture or history of Morelia, Oaxaca City or Zacatecas, across Mexico’s interior. On the contrary, most of its neighborhoods, stacked across alarmingly steep hills, are less than 40 years old.

But Tijuana’s beauty lies deeper, and has to do with why the town is flourishing now.

The Welcome Arch in the Tourist area in Tijuana

The Welcome Arch in the Tourist area in Tijuana, near the border crossing

Quinones believes part of the appeal of Tijuana, and part of what makes it a special place is how far it is from Mexico City. Tijuana is the furthest city in Mexico from Mexico City.

I think it was one of Mexico’s poets, Octavio Paz who said, “poor Mexico so far from God and so close to the United States.” Quinones posits another saying, “Farther from Mexico City, the closer to God.”

Since we lived in Mexico City, it’s an interesting take on the power and influence that the capital city has over the nation and it’s people.

There’s Hope for TJ

Tijuana has survived much of its troublesome past and its beginning to thrive as it makes some positive strides forward.

Quinones finishes his article saying,

Decades after rising from the coastal desert, Tijuana finally has something like a history. More important, it has emerged from its darkest days to return to its roots as that rare place within Mexico where poor people like Mari can find refuge and a future.

We pray that the gospel will further invade this border town and that they will truly draw near to God! O Lord, hear our prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Expansion of the Church into Baja
Peter and Jenny Boling are in the middle with Dawn and Dave and Yolanda's mom on the left and Sophie (our intern), Yolanda and Daniel and Camila Nuñez on the right

Peter and Jenny Boling (middle) with Dawn and Dave and Yolanda’s mom (left) and Sophie (our summer intern – middle right), Yolanda and Daniel and Camila Nuñez (right)

One of the things that I’m most excited about as I look back on 2013 is the expansion of our team and missions presence. The Lord opened the door for us to begin working with Peter and Jenny Boling!

They are missionaries with Mission to the World (MTW). Peter and Jenny were ministering in Bogotá, Colombia, but they felt God tugging at their hearts and calling them to Los Cabos in Baja California.

Dawn and I are thrilled to work alongside the Bolings, and have them join our team. The only complication I’ve had is that I’ve called our team the San Diego-Tijuana team, so now we have to adjust some 🙂 . Although I always thought of it as San Diego-Tijuana and beyond!

God’s Answer for More Workers and Ministry Expansion
A map of Baja California Sur Municipalities hi...

A map of Baja California Sur Municipalities highlighting Los Cabos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s thrilling to have more workers, which is one of the answers to prayer that we’ve seen this past year. We are so excited to see our missionary force expanding! Lord, please continue your work and send even more laborers.

Peter and Jenny moved to Los Cabos in September, and they are already connecting with ministries at the tip of Baja. The Bolings are caring and loving servants, who are full of grace. I believe that the Lord will use them in a powerful way in 2014 and into the future.

Peter was saved out of a gangs and a wayward life. This has given him a tremendous platform to minister to those that are caught up in a lifestyle of drug addiction, alcohol and gang warfare. One of the ministries that Peter has connected with has an effective outreach to those in gangs. Many gang members are coming to Christ and growing in their faith.

The Lord set the Bolings up in 2013, which allows us to be in prime position to start a new church planting project in La Paz in mid-2014. It’s amazing to see how the Lord brings things together.

Join Us In Prayer for the Bolings & the New Church Plant
Peter Boling sharing his testimony at Fuente de Vida mission

Peter Boling sharing his testimony at Fuente de Vida mission

We appreciate your prayers for Peter and Jenny as we begin to work on this new project. The Bolings are still in the process of getting rolling themselves. One of the things we still need is a Mexican National church planter to lead the project. We hope to identify one by the end of March.

Pray that the Lord will bring all the loose pieces together. Our desire is to honor him and see people won to Christ through this new church. Those that come into the church will become mature followers of Jesus, and as the Lord brings the increase we will see more churches started.

I feel that we need a lot of wisdom as we set the church plant up. There are a number of things that still need to fall in place.

Please join us in lifting these needs up to the Lord!

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

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with his wife, Yolanda (Daniel is the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo)

As 2013 draws to a close, it causes me to reflect on all the wonderful works our Lord has done in the past year.

I believe this has been one of the most fruitful and most fulfilling years for Dawn and me in our 25 years of marriage. We couldn’t wait to move to the border, and dig into the ministry on the San Diego – Tijuana border.

It’s been even better than we imagined!

Not everything has been perfect. We’ve experienced some challenges and setbacks as well, but overall it’s been an outstanding time of ministry.

Rejoicing with our Wonderful Partners
Worship at Christmas in City Heights

Worship at Harbor Mid-Cities, Christmas in City Heights

God has given us wonderful partners to serve with here. We love working with Harbor and it’s network of churches north of the border. South of the Border we have a great and growing relationship with Lo Mejor del Trigo and their network of churches. The Lord has opened up some new doors for us as well with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

Rejoicing in the Fruit God has Given
feeding the homeless at El Bordo

feeding the homeless at El Bordo with Pastor Leo and his wife Gloria

Through our partnership with these ministries we’ve seen more than 100 come to Christ in the churches we are directly involved with. Untold hundreds of homeless have been fed and cared for. The poor and unfortunate families have been given hot meals in the name of Christ. Those that were once addicted to drugs have found a Christ-centered drug rehab, and they are healing.

One of the exciting things is that these ministries will only get stronger in 2014. The Lord will extend the reach of the church through his people.

What a privilege it is for Dawn and me to be a part of all that God is doing. That is why we are rejoicing in God’s grace.

In my upcoming posts I’d like to highlight in some more specific ways that we’ve seen God work in 2013. Today I wanted to cast the vision, and give an overview of our Lord’s mighty deeds. We truly see his heart for the border as we live and serve here.

Dave and Dawn - thankful for the Lord's renewing work on the border

Dave and Dawn – thankful for the Lord’s renewing work on the border

Rejoicing in Christ’s Call

Thank you Jesus for calling us to serve you here, and for moving in such a powerful way. We do cry  out and ask you to continue to touch the hearts of men, women and children so that we will see your kingdom extended on the earth.

Consider a Year-End Gift

If you are looking for a fantastic way to give, please consider making a year-end gift to our ministry on the border. You can give online by clicking on this link: https://donations.mtw.org/donate/AddDesignation.aspx?No=11717

In His Grace, 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

English: Traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Ent...

Traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego-Tijuana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this past week I was in Tijuana for a pastors’ meeting. On the way back home I stopped at a PEMEX gas station in TJ to get some gas. The woman who was attending my car’s needs (in Mexico they still have gas attendants to fill up your tank for you!) was very friendly.

When she finished filling the car up, I paid her and she asked me if I wanted a receipt. I said, yes. Then she gave me a compliment. She said, “you speak Spanish well.”

I found that to be very encouraging. I guess, in part because even though I’ve spoken Spanish for over 20 years, I feel a little rusty. When I lived in Colorado I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to speak Spanish.

As I drove away from my encounter with the gas station attendant, who I may never meet again, my spirit was lifted. It made me think about the power of a good word. Even when we speak a positive word of encouragement to those we don’t know, the Lord can use it to lift them up.

pastors, Daniel Nuñez, Lo Mejor del Trigo, Tijuana

Pastors’ meeting with Daniel Nuñez at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Tijuana

Since I’ve moved to the San Diego – Tijuana border I’ve met with a number of pastors and Christian workers, and some of them are discouraged. All of them need encouragement along the way.

Even as I read other people’s blog posts I notice that many share how they are discouraged. Some feel they have to defend themselves, because of the negative words of others.

I was surprised and disheartened to see an example of this the other day on a very good and popular blog site: Bucket List Publications. The author of this site, Lesley, has encouraged me along the way, so it’s disappointing to learn that she is getting some negative feedback.

Many are weighed down by the worries this world brings upon them. God can use us to lift the load, and to carry one another’s burdens. Yes, there is power in the words that we speak! Power for good or evil.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” —Proverbs 12:25 (ESV)

“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” —Proverbs 15:23 (ESV)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” —Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

—emphasis mine!

Why not choose to be a blessing to others? Why not bring words of healing and hope?

Pemex, gas station attendant, Mexico

Pemex gas station attendant in Mexico (photo credit: legacy.utsandiego.com)

If something as simple as a gas station attendant complimenting me on my Spanish could lift me up, just think how the Lord can use you if you are intentional and listening to him. Seek to speak words of healing and hope today!

I so appreciate all those that like my posts, and those that take the time to write an encouraging comment! A heartfelt shout out to you!

Hey – if you have an encouraging story to tell, I’d love to hear it!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Crossing back in the U.S.

Crossing back in the U.S.

I love living on the border, and the interaction we have with such wonderful friends in Tijuana and San Diego. One of the many things I appreciate is being able to see Tijuana every day. It helps me pray for the needs there. Since we live so close it makes it easy to go into Mexico frequently.

Dawn and I just received our Sentri (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) pass, which allows us to cross the border in much less time. We can now go in the fast lane. In December for example, I waited for more than five hours to cross back into the U.S., while friends of mine who have the Sentri pass crossed in 15 minutes. Wow! What a difference.

There are many things you can think about and do in five hours. One of the things I’ve reflected on is how many people wish they could be in that line, and cross legally into the US. There are many others who have to cross back and forth each day for work. Amazing! I wonder how they are able to persevere?

Tijuana at the San Ysidro Border crossing

Tijuana at the San Ysidro Border crossing

The San Diego – Tijuana border crossing is the most land crossed border crossing in the world. We are thrilled that we can now cross back and forth more easily. It makes it much more reasonable to live and work on both sides of the border.

My wife and I are excited as we start this new year. We see God opening more doors the longer we are here.

I’m praying about and working on putting together goals for 2013. Please join me in prayer, that the Lord will guide, lead and direct. One of the things I’m asking the Lord for is that I will become more sensitive to his voice and his leading.

Thanks for joining us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org