Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

Ministry & Family in Fresno & Bakersfield

My dad, Ron Diaso and I

I never grow tired of seeing the gospel bring about transformation, a changed life!

I’m writing this post just as I’m getting ready to leave Fresno and head back home to the Border lands.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my parents in Fresno. While I was in Fresno my dad had a hernia surgery. Thanks for praying for him. It’s a relief to get him through that, and on the road to recovery. I also was able to visit two churches. One in Fresno and one in Bakersfield to promote our missions work and especially the work of church planting on the Border and Beyond.

I’m grateful for a fruitful trip. We wouldn’t see new churches planted without faithful partners who pray for us and give to the ministry.

God’s Grace Shines in Ensenada

The team from Skyview and from Renuevo for our summer VBS in Ensenada

Today I’d like to highlight an experience that I had while the group from Skyview Church in Colorado was with us while we were ministering in Ensenada. Skyview is a valuable partner that has grown close to Renuevo church and their leadership as they’ve come to aid in leading VBS over the last six years.

A couple of weeks ago on Monday while Skyview was in Ensenada, we went to the local hospital in the afternoon to do some outreach and community service. We handed out over 100 sandwiches and burritos and handed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. This hospital services low-income families, so the people were grateful to receive this aid with along with a loving smile.

Jorge’s Open Heart

Jorge my new friend who found forgiveness in Christ

While our group ministered to the people in this way I took the opportunity to ask the people if they’d like prayer. The Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with a few of the people who came to visit and support their family in the hospital. One of the guys that I prayed for in particular stood out. His name is Jorge and I mentioned him in my last post.

There were a number of people waiting outside the hospital and at first I wasn’t sure if I should share with Jorge. I prayed and asked the Lord as I looked for someone to talk to. I approached Jorge, and he told me his sister was in the hospital and she had a problem with her kidneys. I told him that I’d like to pray for him and his sister, and as we talked he told me that he’s struggled with drugs and alcohol for a long time. He admitted that he was separated from his wife, and that he felt hurt and bitter in regards to his ex wife. He felt like his relationship with his wife, and his frustration with her pushed him towards the drugs and alcohol.

Jorge finds Forgiveness and New Life

I took the opportunity to let him know about the importance of forgiveness. I explained that when you don’t forgive and when you hold on to bitterness you are actually hurting yourself. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. I asked him if he was familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, and he said, “yes”. I told him in the Lord’s Prayer part of the prayer is, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In a sense when you are unwilling to forgive and we pray this prayer we are asking the Lord to do the same to us.

The light bulb came on for Jorge. It made sense to him.

I said “Jorge, I believe that God loves you. I could have talked to any number of other people here today, but he sent me to talk to you.” Then we prayed and I a gave him the opportunity to confess Christ as his Lord and Savior as well as confess his sins and to forgive those that had offended him. After we prayed I sought to encourage him more and remind him of God’s great love.

Jorge started to cry. Here was this big, tough looking guy and God broke through. The Lord touched his heart and Jorge found love in Christ that day.

Paul reminds us, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

There were a number of highlights to our week in Ensenada as there always are, but this was definitely at the top of the list. I never tire of seeing the gospel touch someone’s life and bring about change that has eternal implications. Wow! God is so good! Thank you Jesus for leading me to Jorge and giving me the opportunity to share the good news, the love of Christ with him!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fruitful Day of Ministry
IMG_1227.JPG

Our fun team from Redeemer San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico

I believe I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite ministries is our medical outreach. This is the third year now that we’ve taken a team down from Redeemer San Diego to minister to the needy in Ensenada. This year we went to Maneadero, which is just South of Ensenada.

The Love of Christ Exhibited
IMG_1164.jpg

Jennifer Lutes lovingly caring for one of the families that came to the clinic

We had our largest medical team, with 17 people coming from Redeemer and a sister church from Orange County. The medical team is made up of some of the most loving and caring people I know. The love of Christ just shines through them as they treat the patients.

The staff also is a tremendous witness to the translators who come from a middle school in Ensenada, Colegio Grecia. A number of the families involved in the school have an interest in being a part of the new church plant that Petri and Yudy are leading. The new church is called Renuevo.

Our medical team treated 50 patients while we were in Maneadero. We held the medical clinic in a mission church, called Gracia y Paz. This mission is led by Pastor Jose Zunun. Jose is also involved in our incubator church planting training as is Petri.

We are so excited by what the Lord is doing in and around Ensenada!

The Healing Work of the Gospel!
IMG_1185

Pastor Jose Zunun sharing the gospel with one of the families that came to the medical clinic

Jose and I prayed for and shared the gospel with every patient that came to the clinic. We let them know that we are not only concerned for their physical health, but also for their spiritual health. The people we cared for come from humble families, very few if any have vehicles, so it’s hard for them to go very far to go to church. That is one of the reasons we try to start a number of churches in a community, so the people can walk to them. One of the ladies that prayed with me to receive Christ, Maria de Jesus, told me she wanted to come to church, but it was too far for her family to walk to.

Pastor Jose doesn’t have a car either, so he’s not able to go pick them up. I pray that Maria can find a way to start coming to church, so that she will grow in her faith with her beautiful family.

The Lord blessed us as we shared the gospel with the people and eight of them prayed to receive Christ. We prayed for their health as well, and they sensed the Lord’s comfort and peace.

Remembering Hannah
IMG_1229.JPG

Hannah and her beautiful smile with our friends on the medical missions trip last year

The last time we did a medical outreach in Ensenada our daughter, Hannah was with us. I couldn’t help, but think about how she helped me to pray for the people. Last year Hannah led the people in prayer, and she led nine people to faith in Christ. One day those people will see Hannah in heaven, and I’m sure that they will thank her for sharing with them about the greatest news ever given. What a wonderful day that will be!

Our son, David, Jr. just started a memorial fund called: #AHANNAHPERCENT Hannah Diaso Memorial fund. The purpose is to raise money for a new church in Hannah’s memory, and to create a scholarship fund. Here’s the link, and please share it with your friends: www.youcaring.com/daviddiaso-830534

A Life Transforming Experience!

At the end of the day, we went to Colegio Grecia to present the translators with a certificate recognizing the good work they had done. It was gratifying to see the parents broad smiles as they were so proud of their children. The young translators shared how the experienced changed them as they were able to help people less fortunate than themselves. It’s a life transforming experience when these youth, who come from wealthy families interact with the poor. It opens their eyes. I think it opens all of our eyes, and gives us the eyes of Christ. That is our hope and prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

A Cross Border, Cross-cultural Encounter
img_6550

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
img_2016

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
img_6529

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.

tumblr_inline_nmlw9u7yqL1qb3257_1280