Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual warfare’

The Challenges & Opportunities of Life in Cuba

Our group of leaders with the Red de Multiplicación discussing church planting at Café La Habana in Mexico City

After I’ve spent time in Cuba with our dear friends, our familia Cubana, I always feel like I have so much I could share, so much I would like to write. It’s hard to capture it all in a short post. Yet I will attempt to give you a glimpse.

One of the things I learned on this trip is that my birthday, December 2nd is an important albeit sad day for Cuba. It is the day that Fidel arrived on the shores of Cuba from Mexico to overthrow the government and begin the revolution. When I told my Cuban friends when my birthday was they began to laugh because it is now an infamous day.

Interestingly enough I was just in Mexico City last week, and I had a breakfast meeting to discuss church planting. Our meeting was held at Café La Habana, which is where Castro met with others to plan out the revolution. The changes he brought have had devastating consequences on the people and the country. It breaks my heart to see how the people suffer.

This bus with all the metal bars on the windows and the metal seats made me feel like it was a bus for prisoners. This is the normal mode of transportation for Cubans. Usually, the bus is standing room only, but we rented this bus.

While I was there Cuba was experiencing a petroleum crisis, so it made it very difficult for the people to find transportation. The transportation isn’t very good to start with. The pastors often have to wait up to 5 hours or more to find available transportation when they are traveling to other cities for their ministry.

The petroleum crisis also means that the price of basic food goes up: chicken, rice, pork, cooking oil, eggs, etc. It’s so hard to see these precious servants of our Heavenly Father living on so little. Yet God is gracious and He is caring for His people. The Cubans I know are resilient and they have such strong faith that it strengthens my faith when I interact with them.

I share my experiences in Cuba to educate, but also with the hope that you will pray. God is doing a great work there. The church is growing. People are coming to faith. The Lord is healing people and providing in supernatural ways.

God is Growing His Church

Our church planting candidates and staff at the Discovery Center

While I was there our team which was made up of mostly Cuban leaders evaluated 10 individuals, 5 church planting couples. These church planters always leave our time together with glowing reports. I love the opportunity to meet and encourage these new leaders. Like I’ve shared before, I’m always struck by their commitment to serve the Lord and His church under such challenging circumstances.

Pastor Yeisel & Liannys Basulto
Pastor Yeisel and Liannys

One of the young couples I met there, Yeisel and Liannys who are my kids’ age, so I felt a special connection with them. They’ve only been serving at the church where they are, which is near Santi Spíritus for 10 months. The church has already grown from 9 to 50 people in that short time. They have tremendous potential as leaders.

The church is in an area where there are a number of witches and altars to foreign deities, which is common in Cuba. They live right next to a brick-making factory, and all the smoke is causing Liannys health problems. She’s had an allergic reaction which adversely affects her eyes. Pray for them as they endure such hardship, and serve so faithfully.

The group of church planters who joined us for a day and a half of training

The other event that I was involved in while I was in Cuba was helping to train church planters. We had 20 church planters join us for the training. The lack of transportation kept more from coming. It was such a rich time, and the Lord met us in a wonderful way. One of the highlights was as part of our time we spent time for praying for couples and individuals. We all felt the Lord’s presence, and we left strengthened.

Join Us in Prayer!

Yany, Rachel and Jorge leading worship in Cabaiguán

Join us in praying for all these wonderful church planters. The Lord is doing something very special in Cuba despite all the opposition. Just today I received an email from one of the church planting families, Mario, and Yany who live in Cabaiguán. They told us that one of their church planters, Pastor Jorge and his wife, Rachel are starting a new mission church. We pray for the Lord’s protection for our Cuban family, and the continued multiplication of the church there. Hallelujah for all that Jesus is doing!

God is Growing His Church

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Best Ministry Trip to Date!
Dave with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yany and their church in Cabaiguán

I just returned from a two week trip to Cuba. It was an outstanding trip, and the Lord showed up in some amazing ways. I’m not even sure where to start or how to communicate all that the Lord did while I was there!

This was my best ministry trip in 30 plus years of ministry!

Since I have been going to Cuba for a number of years now the relationships keep growing deeper, which opens the doors for more fruit. As I’ve mentioned before some of the Cubans refer to Dawn and me as mom and dad. They are a very relational and family oriented people.

Amazing Testimonies
Pastor Luis Jimenez leading the church in Sibanicú

Some of the highlights from the tip came from the testimonies about all that our awesome God is doing through our Cuban family. For example, Pastor Luis and his wife, May shared how the Lord used some of the prayers and promises that I sent them a few weeks ago. They read them out loud during one of their church services as they prayed and claimed God’s promises. As they cried out to the Lord they began to feel Jesus and the Spirit in a close and personal way. Hallelujah!

Another wonderful story. Our great and amazing God healed a woman who had cancer. Dawn and I sent Luis and May some prayers that we’ve found helpful as we minister in Latin America. They used these prayers to pray over Maria who had breast cancer. Unfortunately, Maria already had a mastectomy on one of her breasts. The doctors told her that she only had one living cell in her other breast. The church came together and prayed, and they believed that Jesus would minister to Maria and bring her healing.

When Maria went back to the doctor they didn’t find any cancer. The doctors not being believers got upset, and they told her that maybe the cancer had moved to her brain or her lungs. When they ran further tests they all came back clean. Maria was completely healed of cancer!

Freedom and Deliverance!
May praying with Maria and leading her to faith in Christ

Witchcraft, Santeria and other demonic practices are prevalent in Cuba. Many of my friends churches have witches, and altars to foreign deities near where they are ministering.

While I was with Pastor Luis and May they asked me to pray with them for a woman in the church, Fabiola who needed healing and deliverance. She had been involved in witchcraft in the past, and her ex mother-in-law was also a witch and she was putting curses on her. Fabiola is a beautiful young woman, and by looking at her you would never know what was going on. She told me that she had some terrible experiences with deliverance in the past, so she was a little nervous when she met with May and me. Fabiola said that although she was anxious she was also excited and hopeful, because she heard of how I helped another one of their leaders that last time I visited the church.

May and I spent about 3 hours praying with Fabiola and leading her to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it strengthened my faith to see Christ move in her heart, and bring Fabiola healing and freedom. It was a powerful time! We saw first hand how we are victorious in Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Fabiola was so thankful and she had a beautiful smile when we finished our time together!

God is Doing An Amazing Work Through the Challenges!
Pastor Justo (far left) and his wife Sara (3rd from the left) along with the house church leaders in Jatibonico. They have a vision to reach at least 1,000 people

There were many other opportunities that I had to pray for people and encourage them. The Lord is so faithful to meet us at our point of need! I especially enjoyed my time of ministry with the pastors and church planters. Such special and dear people who have made so many sacrifices to serve the Lord.

Every time I go to Cuba I leave feeling that my faith is strengthened. I feel this way, because of the testimony of my friends, many of whom have become like family to us. They have such deep faith in some of the most difficult circumstances that I’ver ever seen. Most of them have a profound commitment to prayer and fasting. They live off of $10 – $50 a month, and yet they continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Instead of letting the challenges stop them they use it as motivation to trust the Lord to provide.

God sees their affliction. He is near the brokenhearted and he delivers them as he promises to do.

So Close yet a World Apart!
Some of the modes of transportation in Cuba – Quite an adventure!

The Island of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Florida. It takes less than an hour to fly from Miami to most cities in Cuba, and yet it’s a whole different world! It’s truly mind boggling!

There are many more stories that I could tell of people coming to Christ, of the Lord bringing healing, freedom and comfort to our friends on the island of Cuba. I hope to share more in a future post.

Thank you so much for praying for me for this trip. I strongly believe one of the reasons that this was my best ministry trip ever was because of all the prayer. The Lord does indeed hear our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Two Monumental Events in One Day
The newlyweds – Jonathan & Hannah Diaso with, grandpa Ron Diaso, David Diaso, Dawn Diaso, grandma Alice Moore and David Diaso, Jr.

On Saturday, December 1st at least two monumental events took place. One our son, Jonathan married, Hannah Blanco. Now we have another daughter named Hannah. Interesting how the Lord works! The wedding was an amazing and wonderful celebration!

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Inauguration

The second monumental event that took place on December 1st is that Mexico inaugurated their new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The people use his initials and call him AMLO. He won the vote in historic fashion back in July. Those running against him were not even close.

As I read articles and talk to people about AMLO many see him as a type of savior for Mexico. This is partly due to all the crime and corruption in the previous administrations. AMLO appealed to the humble and the disenfranchised in the country, and Mexico has many people that fit that description.

My motivation here is not a political analysis, but more of raising some awareness of the change going on within Mexico, and call people to pray.

Herbs, Incense, and Purification

In AMLO’s attempt to reach out to the often overlooked indigenous people he invited them to participate in the inauguration. They performed a purification or a cleansing with incense and herbs.

On Sunday an article appeared in the L.A. Times titled, Herbs, incense, a wooden staff — Mexico’s indigenous cultures take the inaugural stage to purify the president.  In the article CECILIA SANCHEZ  and PATRICK J. MCDONNELL report:

“At one point, Lopez Obrador, who was sworn into office Saturday for a six-year term, dropped to his knees in a cloud of incense as indigenous healers performed a rite of purification, brushing him with bunches of herbs.”

LA Times by Cecilia Sanchez and Patrick J. Mcdonnell

I don’t know if the president knew what he was doing, but he invited the wrong gods into his presidency. Instead of submitting to the one true God to guide and lead him he invited evil in. AMLO dropped to his knees before the witch doctors!

Be Humble, Pray and Seek the Lord

This is in stark to contrast what the Lord promised to Solomon when he dedicated the temple to the Lord. The Lord said in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

The Lord calls us to humble ourselves and turn to him, to seek his face. I realize that neither the USA nor Mexico are Israel, but there are spiritual principles that the Lord has established. When we seek the Lord and look to him this invites his blessing. When we seek other gods it invites evil. The Lord does work in and through world leaders. I’d like to encourage you to join us in prayer for Mexico and for their new president AMLO. Pray that the president and the country will humble itself, pray and seek the Lord. I do believe God is at work in powerful ways in Mexico, and that is a big reason why opposition comes.

Dawn and I love Mexico and her people. We’ve given much of our lives to serving the Lord in Mexico. We pray for true and lasting change and transformation in our Querido Mexico.

I do thank the Lord that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. That greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world! Thank you, Jesus, for your mighty and great power. You defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross. We have victory in Christ! Pray for Mexico that the gospel will cover the land like the waters cover the sea.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

More Opportunities to Minister!

Today I begin a new adventure. I’m on my way to Oaxaca, Mexico to train fellow missionaries. This is my first time to this part of Mexico. I appreciate your prayers as we begin to prep for the training tomorrow.

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

In my last post, I wrote about what the Lord did when we were in Villahermosa, Mexico with Pastor Luis Alberto and his wife, Gina. That was such a good time of ministry, and I believe that it was just the beginning of what King Jesus wants to do. When I see the Lord at work it stokes the passion in me.

Pastor Luis has been following up on the people that Dawn and I had a chance to minister to while we were there. He asked me to pray for him and the people that he is reaching out to.

Freedom in Christ in Villahermosa

The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is pastor

The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is the pastor. The worship helped set the stage for the freedom that followed!

I mentioned in my last post how I had a chance to help set free someone that had been involved in witchcraft. Pastor Luis told Dawn and me that he knew of a number of people in the churches that were involved in witchcraft. It was disappointing to hear about that.

On Sunday night I shared with the men in the church, and I felt like I should talk to them about blessings and curses. I was careful to first explain the gospel of grace to them because I didn’t want them to be confused or to fall into legalism.

In summary, I shared how we need to be careful about what we allow into our lives. The Bible warns us not to give the enemy a foothold. I told them about different ways that we can open a door to evil, which included witchcraft.

We didn’t have as much time to cover the topic, but I felt like it was important to address it. I based that partly on the discussions we had with Pastor Luis during the week while we were driving around and getting to know one another.

After I taught about blessings and curses I asked them if they would pray with me. I led them in a prayer of confession and repentance. When we got to the part of the prayer where I paused so they could confess what they felt like they needed to confess to the Lord, I noticed a number of them were crying. When I tried to continue they weren’t ready, so I gave them more time.

Breakthrough and Freedom from Witchcraft

Then we continued through the prayer. Towards the end of the prayer, one man, in particular, started weeping, and it was noticeable. I finished the prayer with the group, and then I had a chance to talk to this man, we’ll call him Jose. Immediately after the prayer, Jose handed me a necklace with a figure on it. He said he had been involved in witchcraft, and he was having all kinds of problems with his wife and family.

All the other guys left, so I was alone with Jose, so I wanted to be careful and treat this seriously. I led him through some prayers of deliverance. As we prayed together I could see the peace of the Lord come over him. When he left he looked like a new man. It was sad that he had gotten involved in something evil, but it was exhilarating to see him set free.

Continue to Pray for Healing and Breakthrough

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

I talked to Pastor Luis and he told me that later in the week he went to visit Jose and he was doing much better. Jose said he felt peace and freedom.

There’s so much power in the blood of Christ! Jesus is the almighty God! Continue to pray for Jose as he walks out his freedom. Pray as well for Pastor Luis and his wife, Gina as they minister in a difficult place filled with darkness. Yet, we give thanks that we are overcomers in Christ! There’s so many more that need to experience this freedom. We look to the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Planting Connection

JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

I’m driving back from Phoenix with Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Julio. We spent the day connecting with church planters. After talking about church planting, encouraging and praying for one another, which is so important we spent some time just having some fun at a Spring training baseball game.

It’s refreshing to connect with like-minded men and women. Often I’m able to get some great ideas as I share about some of the church planting projects I’m working on.

The Ensenada Project

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

One of the biggest projects I’m working on right now is for Ensenada with Petri and Yudy Petrikowski. This Saturday I’m leading a medical outreach with Redeemer San Diego and our friends in Ensenada.

I’m excited about the medical clinic. We’ve found it to be one most effective ways to show people in the community the love of Christ. The doctors and staff are very loving as they treat the people. We also have a great opportunity to pray for each person and minister to their spiritual needs.

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

This particular time the outreach has been challenging. The enemy has opposed us as we began to take medical supplies to Ensenada.

Petri was stopped at the border! He had, and we had what I refer to as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We Need Your Prayers!

This experience serves as a reminder that we are in a battle, and the weapons of our Warfare  are spiritual. We need your prayers friends! Keep up the good work of holding up our hands in prayer as we seek to march forward.


“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We are weak left to our own devices, but strong in Christ! We have divine power. We are not defenseless, and we can destroy strongholds! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. I wrote this post on my phone. I’ve never done the whole post on my phone! 😃

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

Good Times in La Morita

Dave preaching at Ministerios Transformation in La Morita Tijuana

Dave preaching at Ministerios Transformation in La Morita Tijuana

Car problems, healing and friends that’s what made up our Sunday afternoon. Apart from the car problems it was an inspiring time.

Dawn, David Jr. and Hannah joined me in Tijuana as we ministered at Pastor Jaime Rodriguez’s church in La Morita. Jaime invited me to preach, and I loved the opportunity to have my family with me. Great prayer and moral support!

I loved the opportunity to preach on our identity in Christ. Too often Christians listen to the lies of the enemy.

Just as God loves us and has a wonderful plan and purpose for us, the devil hates us and has a horrible plan for our life. Therefore, as Paul says we need to stand firm and put on the armor of God.

Much of our battle is in the mind. The enemy of our soul is an accuser and he is the Father of lies. Remember the gospel – preach the gospel to yourself. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

As we engage in the battle and remember to repent often, and be quick to ask forgiveness God brings healing. I pray we will see more and more believers receiving the Lord’s healing touch.

Praying for God’s Healing Touch

Praying with and for our friends in La Morita

Praying with and for our friends in La Morita

After the sermon Dawn, Hannah and I had the opportunity to pray for a number of people in the church. It was so encouraging to see the Lord minister in a deep way to the people.

I love being able to minister with my family. It was especially gratifying to see Hannah jump right up and join Dawn and me in praying for the people. Many of them had tears in their eyes as they shared their needs and we led them in prayer. Thank you Jesus for unleashing your Spirit on us as we cried out to you!

Outstanding Friends & Car Troubles

On the way home our car started making these scary noises. I got out and looked, but I couldn’t see anything. The sound was metal scrapping on metal. It was somewhat nerve-wracking. I didn’t really know what to do.

I tried to call Jaime, but I wasn’t able to get through to him. I wondered who else I could call? Who else could help us? I decided to call a couple other pastor friends, Mario Perez and Abraham Velazquez. Both of them came to give us a hand.

It was so comforting to know that we have friends we can count on when we are in need. I mean we felt stuck. Not only wasn’t our car working, but I wondered how are we going to be able to cross the border and get back home.

We prayed and our friends checked the car out. After we prayed the metal scrapping dissipated. Abraham’s dad helped us look the car over and make sure that we could get back home safely. After driving the car around, and looking it over he felt like it was running well enough to make it. So we did literally make a run for the border.

We are victorious in Christ! The Lord gave us a wonderful time ministering at the church and he increased our faith through our friends and our car. Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org