Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

 

A Cross Border, Cross-cultural Encounter
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Redeemer SD youth group with Colegio Grecia youth in Ensenada

Last Saturday I took a youth group from Redeemer San Diego Church to Ensenada to connect with our friends Petri and Yudy. The Lord gave us an outstanding day.

Petri and Yudy invited youth from the school they work at Colegio Grecia to meet the youth from San Diego. They played soccer, basketball and volleyball together. Then we went for some savory tacos at one of the homes of the families represented. There were close to 40 youth from Colegio Grecia that showed up, and many of their parents came as well.

It was an all around fun day, and the event went a long ways towards creating a bridge between the two groups and it opened up the door for future opportunities.

Petri and Yudy are working hard at loving on their friends in Ensenada. They want to build bridges with their co-workers and their families and show them the love of Christ.

A Sentimental Trip
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Hannah with Yudy

This was the first time I had been back in Ensenada, since Hannah died. I couldn’t keep from reminiscing and remembering the good times we enjoyed in Ensenada with our beautiful daughter and our friends there. Hannah loved all our friends there and she had a special relationship with Yudy. I enjoyed the day, and I kept busy enough during our time together that I didn’t have too much time to over think the days gone by. Yet, there was still some sorrow that my daughter, our daughter couldn’t be with us.

Building Bridges for Today and the Future
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Both groups had a great time playing sports such as soccer

Even though this was the first time the youth had met each other, some of them were at the point of tears when they had to say goodbye. Young people somehow manage to  break through barriers and create bonds quickly. That was gratifying to see how the Lord used the event in their lives.

On the way home the youth from Redeemer shared how much they enjoyed the experience, and how they hope to see their new friends again soon. Even though we had to wait five hours to cross back into the U.S., because the border line was so long it didn’t seem to dampen the groups enthusiasm.

Petri shared with me after the trip that one of the mom’s from the group in Mexico told him, “thank you for organizing such a valuable event for the growth of our children. Count on us for other events that you hold, including the medical trips.” Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Get Ready for Take-off!
Petri & Dave at Redeemer San Diego's missions conference sharing about the Ensenada project with Sue Harris and pastor Paul Kim

Petri & Dave at Redeemer San Diego’s missions conference sharing about the Ensenada project with Sue Harris and pastor Paul Kim

This year is getting off to a rocket like start, and I feel like I’ve hardly had a chance to stop and catch my breath!

There are a number of good things going on. I’ll highlight a few of them here.

The biggest and most exciting development is that we are beginning to work on putting together a new church planting project in Ensenada. Ensenada has a population of over 500,000 and it lies 78 miles south of San Diego. There is only one small Presbyterian church in this city.

Our good friends Jesus “Petri” Petrikowsky and his wife, Yudy will be leading this church plant. They went through our church planting assessment center in November and they came through highly qualified to plant a church.

Petri & Yudy

Petri & Yudy

Please pray with us as I am working with the church in Mexico as well as supporting churches in the U.S. with the goal of getting this project off the ground towards the later half of this year. The project is off to a good start, but we still have a ways to go.

Dawn and I were at Redeemer San Diego’s missions conference this past weekend. Petri and Yudy attended the conference with us. We had the opportunity to meet a number of interested people, and to share about the vision of this church plant.

A New Church Plant in TJ!
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Ministerios Transformación and Victor Bravo (in the middle), one of our newest church planters with Dave.

I’m also excited about the next church plant we will partner with pastor Daniel Nuñez on. This church plant is also in the initial stages. I’m praying and working with pastor Daniel on raising the funds and looking for the right church planter. Join us in prayer for this wonderful opportunity as well.

One update on the network of churches formerly known as Lo Mejor del Trigo is that the name has changed to Ministerios Transformación (Transformation Ministries).

After some time of agonizing over this decision Daniel along with his leaders decided to change the name of their ministry. A new name, but the same vision and call.

Short-term Missions Opportunities
Maria with her young child

Maria with her young child. God touched Maria and brought her to faith during our last Medical outreach in Ensenada

The other ministry opportunities that are coming up soon are short-term outreach projects in Ensenada and Tijuana. We will be holding another medical outreach in Ensenada in early April. In March one or two groups of young adults are coming to Tijuana for outreach using sports and fun activities for children.

One of the reasons I’ve felt so busy is that even though we haven’t begun these projects yet there’s a lot of work and effort that goes into planning and preparing. If we don’t prepare well we will not be successful.

I am feeling the need to schedule in some space for extra time to pray, to think, to meditate and even to plan. Pray with me that I will be disciplined to set aside the time for that.

Thank you dear friends for standing with us as we seek to make advances for the kingdom!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder. org

Flooded with God’s Blessings!
Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Sometimes I feel like Dawn and I are working hard and we are not seeing much in the way of progress. Yet there are other times, when the dam breaks and God floods us with bountiful increase.

This weekend God broke through!

Redeemer San Diego brought down a medical team to work with the Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen (New Jerusalem church) and their mission church, Castillo Fuerte.

I was blown away by how the love of Christ was demonstrated in a practical way to all who attended the medical clinic. Our team consisted of 4 doctors and 3 dentists along with 8 other medical assistants. Those from the local church worked alongside the medical staff and reached out to all the people who came to receive care. Last Spring Redeemer brought down a team of 8 to reach out in the community for 4 days.

New Life in Christ!
Maria with her young child

Maria with her young child. God touched Maria and brought her to faith!

We were able to treat 96 people, which was incredible. The local church set up a prayer station and we prayed for every patient, and we shared the gospel with all of them. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was to see three people come to know the Lord on a personal level as they prayed to receive Christ.

As I shared the gospel with Ana Maria, Ulises and Maria I could see the Lord touch them, and minister to them. Maria and Ulises had tears in their eyes as they experienced God’s love.

The gospel gave them hope for a better tomorrow.

Pray for Ana Maria, Maria and Ulises that they will grow in their new found faith. We pray that the gospel penetrates deeply into their hearts and brings true life change. There are many things working against them, and we know the evil one is like a roaring lion prowling around seeking someone to devour.

Humble Servant Hearts
Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

It touched me as the Lord gave me the privilege to bring this medical team down to Ensenada. They were willing to give up their Saturday to love and serve the needy. Redeemer San Diego is one of my favorite groups to work with. They come to serve with gentle and caring hearts. Each of them treated the patients with respect, and Christ shined brightly through them.

This morning (Sunday) while I was worshipping the Lord during the church service the Lord’s Spirit touched me and I was moved to tears. As I reflected on what was going on, I believe in part I was touched by being able to be a part of a powerful work of God the day before during the medical clinic.

Hannah’s Wilderness Camp
Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah’s life!

The other experience that moved me was that Hannah came home like a new person from her wilderness camping trip. Dawn and I prayed, and we asked you to pray. The Lord answered in a big way. Hannah is so excited about all that Jesus did through the camping experience. She grew closer to her Lord, and she gained a number of new friends! Yay Jesus!

Dawn and I look to the Lord for more breakthroughs as the gospel goes forth and touches and transforms the hearts of men, women and children.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Spirit is on the Move
Dave and Larry Trotter with Pastors Cesar Santizo, Felipe Hernandez, Benjamin Romero & Victor Hugo Herrera

Dave and Larry Trotter with Pastors Cesar Santizo, Felipe Hernandez, Benjamin Romero & Victor Hugo Herrera – leaders of the Presbytery called Fronterizo Noroccidental (Northwestern border presbytery)

I sense Jesus among us as Dawn and I minister on the border. God is doing a number of marvelous works.

On Friday I met with the leaders who represent the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico on the border and throughout the Baja. We discussed candidates for our first ever church planting readiness evaluation in Tijuana for this group of churches! You might say this is a historic event for them.

I’ve grown to love these men who lead the churches on the border and the Baja. They are careful to make wise decisions, while willing to take a risk to try something new. God’s Spirit is blowing on the border, and we pray for even more of his presence. We want Jesus to be among us as we serve!

God moved and directed as we sought him.

We selected 8 candidates that we think have the potential to be good church planters. The assessment event will take place in the first week of November, so pray for the Lord’s continued guidance and leading as we move towards that week.

An Exciting Week Awaits
Skyview and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

Skyview’s group from last year and our friends from Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada – fun times await!

This morning Skyview Presbyterian Church from Denver, Colorado arrives. Then we will head down to Ensenada where we will serve with La Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem) church. This is the second summer in a row that Skyview has come. The churches know each other some, so we are glad to see this relationship continue.

Skyview will be collaborating with La Nueva Jerusalén to reach out in the community through a VBS program.

Can’t wait to see what God does!

This is another demonstration of Jesus among us.

Praise Him From the Highest

Friday morning, my dad, Ron Diaso had surgery on his carotid artery. He just turned 80 last month, so we had some concerns about the surgery. I’m thrilled to report that my dad made it, and he is now recovering. Thank you Jesus!

We see Jesus’ fingers prints all around us. Praise him, Praise him, join the hallelujah chorus.

Pray with us that Jesus’ presence will be felt in a powerful way as we minister in Ensenada. We are praying for a successful outreach and that those in the church will be strengthened in their faith. That those outside the church will come to a new and living faith as they meet the Savior!

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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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