Posts Tagged ‘The Gospel’

Mourning for a Dear Friend

Our beautiful young friend Mitchell moved to heaven on October 1

Today my heart is heavy, because we lost a dear young friend. Our 15 year old friend, Mitchell was battling leukemia. Dawn and I were praying for her, and we truly believed the Lord was going to heal her. I envisioned writing a different post regarding Mitchell, about how the Lord miraculously healed her. There’s so much we don’t understand about life, but I have to go back to what I know to be true, that God is a God of love. He has a good plan for us, and not a plan for evil. He is in control, even when it seems that the world is out of control and that we are living in chaos.

Mitchell for me was a real hero!

Mitchell happy to receive her backpack for school

Each time Dawn and I saw her she had this big beautiful smile. She also had an amazingly positive attitude. It was hard to believe that she was so sick. It was difficult to comprehend that she was approaching death’s door.

She loved and she showed concern for the other patients and her doctors. She prayed for them and she shared the love of Christ with everyone she came in contact with in the hospital. It was impossible to miss her infectious, gentle and caring spirit. Mitchell was mature beyond her years!

One of her doctors was cold and hardened at times, and he shared with Mitchell and Miroslava that he didn’t believe in God. Yet, Mitchell and Miroslava lovingly shared with the doctor and he began to soften. Seed has been planted and the Lord has begun to work in his heart.

The last few times Dawn and I visited Mitchell in the hospital we had the opportunity to pray with one of the other young patients, Erwin. He joined with us as we prayed. Also, a young girl who was in the bed next to Mitchell was crying and weeping loudly from her pain. We could see the concern for her in Mitchell’s eyes. She was such a loving and gentle young woman.

Then Dawn went over to comfort the young girl. Dawn prayed with her and began to show her Christ’s love.

When we left the hospital on that day Mitchell was weak, but we didn’t think it would be the last time we’d see her on this side of heaven. The young girl next to Mitchell said as we left, “God is going to heal me.” We do pray that he will. I believe that the Lord was using all the prayer, as we know that Mitchell and her mom where praying day and night, to raise the level of hope in that hospital.

Mitchell’s Strong Faith

Mitchell loved to pray and on this day she prayed with us for Juan who has problems with his kidneys, and the Lord ministered to Juan through Mitchell

I admire Mitchell’s strong faith in the midst of such difficult circumstances. I told Mitchell that she was like Daniel in the Bible. Daniel was a young man taken into captivity when he was about 15 years old, the same age as Mitchell. Daniel maintained his strong faith, and became a man of influence in Babylon.

That’s why or one of the reasons Mitchell is my hero, and why I admire he so much!

God’s Comfort in Times of Pain

The last two days I was with Mitchell’s family: her dad, Salvador; her mom, Miroslava; her sister, Kenia along with other family and friends. It was so hard to see their tears. Their deep and painful sorrow as they mourn. I prayed with them and sought to encourage them in Christ.

Yesterday they brought Mitchell’s body to their home and in the evening they had the wake. My good friends, Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol minister at the church that Salvador and Miroslava attend. Victor and Sol have walked through this painful journey with the family. The whole church has been coming together weekly to pray for Mitchell’s healing. Both Victor and Sol shared the love of Christ at the funeral service. It was a message of hope. I’m proud of Victor and Sol for the important work they do in the community of Plan Libertador.

They gave me an opportunity to share as well. It was so hard, but I’m grateful for the Lord’s grace that sustains me and the hope we have in Christ. Sol told me that I could minister to them in a special way, because of what Dawn and I went through with Hannah. I’m grateful the Lord can redeem our experience in this way. It also brought up some painful memories for me as we approach our daughter, Hannah’s 2 year mark of her moving to heaven.

Mourning for Mitchell and her Family

They held the wake in the front of Salvador & Miroslava’s home in Rosarito

As I was leaving Salvador and Miroslava’s home I felt so sad and concerned for the family. Even though I wasn’t crying at the time, in some ways it was like an overwhelming hopeless feeling. Even as I write this the tears start to well up in my eyes as I think of this precious family and the journey before them. Dawn and I have grown to love this family. We are deeply concerned for their well being.

Dawn and I personally know the grief they are passing through. The pain of losing a child, and I think there’s nothing more painful for a parent to go through. And I realize our children aren’t “lost”, but at times it feels that way. As I mentioned we are coming up on two years with Hannah, and there are still days that I feel heavy as I miss her.

I felt for the family as I left. I wondered whether they would be able to bear the pain and to sustain their faith in the midst of this fiery trial. I wish there was something more I could do to spare them. At that moment the Lord gently reminded me that he was able and that he would sustain them. I felt His peace at that moment.

Thank you Lord for that assurance. You are truly a good God.

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Earlier that day, on Tuesday morning, the day after Mitchell moved to heaven the Lord directed me to read Psalm 118 and I found it very comforting. The words found there gave me hope, and reminded me of the Lord’s unfailing love.

In the first four verses of Psalm 118 the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever.” The Lord is encouraging his people his church to remember and to declare the truth that, “His steadfast love endures forever!” If God is for us who can be against us? We have victory in Christ. We are more than overcomers. This is all true for those in Christ, Hallelujah and Amen!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalms‬ ‭118:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of a Changed Life!

Pastor Ivan with the people from the church who were baptized

On Sunday, September 16th Mexico celebrated their independence. The church also celebrated our liberty. Christ makes us free!

One of the most gratifying things in life and ministry is seeing a life transformed. This Sunday Dawn and I joined our good friends Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados and their church for a special day of celebration. While we were with them we heard the testimony of eight people who had given their lives to Christ. Then we saw their joy and excitement as they were baptized.

God in his grace and mercy had touched each of these new believers with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Margarito and Lizet’s Testimony

Margarito and Lizet

Ivan introduced Dawn and me to Margarito and Lizet. The Lord brought them to the church 6 months ago. They were walking along the road and they noticed a group building a home on a hill in the neighborhood. The group was very friendly and they asked Margarito and Lizet if they would like some tacos. They said, “sure.”

The friendliness of the group was attractive to Margarito and Lizet, so when they invited them to visit their church they agreed to come. Ivan didn’t know it at the time, but his new friends were going through tremendous struggles. They were constantly fighting, and getting on each other’s nerves. They were also very poor, and they were having a hard time staying in business selling their products. It’s seemed like everything was stacked against them.

Margarito and Lizet decided to give the church a try. When they visited the church they found a loving group of people. As Ivan and Rocio begin to minister to the couple they noticed the problems they were going through, but they knew that Christ has the power to restore. Ivan and Rocio sowed the seed of the gospel and Margarito and Lizet were ripe for the gospel.

When Dawn and I talked to Margarito and Lizet they were smiling and seemed to be genuinely happy and in love. They told us how much they used to fight, and how the Lord had graciously delivered them.

God’s Grace Brings About Change!

Pastor Ivan sharing the good news of Christ!

The other people that were being baptized also had inspiring testimonies. God is on the move in this church and beyond!

This is the reason we plant churches. It’s not to have a nice building, but because these churches are sharing the love of Christ, which is creating real life transformation. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your faithfulness!

Continue to pray for Ivan and Rocio as they reach out in the community of Valle Verde and Bosque de Ribera.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of Serving Jesus!
The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

The View from Monte Sinai church and the people worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

One of the principle joys that Dawn and I share in our ministry on the Border and Beyond is all the pastors and wonderful leaders we meet and get to work with. It’s humbling for us to come alongside so many servants of God who love and suffer for the work of Christ.

They may not have a big and bustling ministry, but the Lord is there and He is working through His people. These ministers and their churches are making an impact in the communities they serve in. We love ministering with these friends.

This last week Dawn and I visited a church on a hill on the outskirts of Tijuana. The church, Monte Sinai has a beautiful view of the city. It reminded me of the verse that says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV).

Pastor Deivis Pardo and Luz
David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

David & Dawn with Luz and Deivis. Wonderful friends and ministers of the gospel

Our friends Pastor Deivis Pardo and his wife, Luz are serving at this church. I enjoyed watching them in action. The church has a number of young people who are very active and involved in the life of the church. Some of them attended the worship workshop that we held in June. Dawn and I loved being able to worship with them, and we felt the presence of the Spirit as we worshipped.

Pastor Deivis invited me to preach. I love encouraging people to grow and to live out their faith as I share with them. I felt like they responded well to my message, which is wonderful. It’s so good to see the Lord work in His church!

Ministering Through the Word and Prayer
Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

Dave preaching at Monte Sinai Church in Tijuana

After the service, I invited the people to pray. First, I asked them to all join me in prayer, and then I told them if they’d like any more special prayer that Dawn and I would like to pray with them. It’s often during this time that we see God breakthrough in a person’s life.

This service was no different as we prayed and ministered to some of our new friends that came to us with their needs. I won’t share here all that they told us and asked us to pray for, but I would like to share part of what we experienced. After we spent some time praying with one of the lovely young women she told us that she felt like her heart was being tickled. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say anything quite like that before, but it sounds good!

I pray that more people will feel like their heart is being tickled after we pray for them. We pray for more! A greater outpouring on us and on those that we minister to. We pray that this church will truly be like a city set on a hill. A Church where people know that Jesus’ love emanates.

Thank you, Lord for the Joy of serving you, and the wonderful people that we serve with.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fun-filled Week of VBS
Many smiles - a fun filled week on VBS in Ensenada

Many smiles – a fun-filled week on VBS in Ensenada

One of the favorite parts of our summer for the last 5 years in a row has been when the group from Skyview comes from Colorado to help us run VBS in Ensenada, Mexico. It’s a super busy week for us, but it’s a great time. The thing I most enjoy from the week are the stories. The stories of grace as I hear from the teachers and those leading the VBS how the Lord is working in the life of the children and their families.

A Changed Life!
Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

Aideliz on the far right with her group of students

One of our teacher’s this year, Aideliz shared with me what became my favorite story of grace from this year’s VBS. Aideliz told me that on the first day she asked the students to write down some words on a banner to describe who God is. One of the children, Adrian didn’t write anything. Aideliz asked Adrian why he hadn’t written anything down. He responded by saying, “I don’t believe in God, so there is nothing to write down.”

Aideliz prayed for Adrian and showed him and the other children in her class the love of Christ during the week. All of those involved, the group from Denver as well as those from the local church, are very loving.

The end of the week came and Aideliz asked Adrian what he thought about God. He said, “Now I believe.” Then Aideliz went on to tell Adrian how much God loved him, and how he gave his life for him. Adrian was just one of many children who were literally transformed by the gospel during the week.

The Love of Christ Taught and Lived Out
Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

Our group of teachers and volunteers that ran the VBS

It’s not just the lessons that were taught about Jesus, but also the love that Aideliz and the other teachers and volunteers showed to Adrian and the rest of the children.

Since Renuevo is a new church plant they are reaching families that are unchurched, so many of the children that come to the VBS either don’t believe or they just haven’t had much of an opportunity to hear the good news.

On the final night of the VBS, we had a meeting with the parents, and a number of parents came. Petri, who is the pastor of the church explained to the parents what they were teaching during the week, as well as thanking the parents for entrusting their children to Petri and the team. After the meeting, some of the those that came expressed interest in attending the church the following Sunday. That’s part of our goal to show the love of Jesus to the people and to create a bridge for the gospel.

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

One of the many fun games that the children enjoyed!

Continue to Pray for Bridges for the Gospel in Ensenada

Thank you for praying with us for Pastor Petri, his wife Yudy and his team from Renuevo. Pray that the Lord will continue to open doors and create bridges for the gospel in Ensenada. God is on the move!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Coffee with Special Friends in Colombia!
Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

I loved the wonderful coffee in Colombia, and as wonderful as the coffee was there was much more for us to experience in Colombia. We spent the first part of our time in Colombia in Bogotá where we saw many of our MTW missionary colleagues, including Joe and Becky Harrell. We first met the Harrell’s when we served together with them MTW in Mexico City. From Bogotá, we went to Manizales.

Manizales is not far from Bogotá. It’s only about an hour by plane. Manizales is near coffee country. Dawn and I spent a few days with a young couple, Luis and Kerly who we first met in Ensenada where Luis was studying for his doctorate. They are a gifted and loving couple, and they love Jesus.

Something New in Manizales
Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly's home

Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly’s home

Luis and Kerly wanted to start up a cell group in their home and they were praying for a good time for them to start it up. They felt like the Lord was leading them to start it while we were there, and they wanted us to help them kick it off. Luis and Kerly asked us to share with the group some of the things that the Lord had put on our hearts.

Dawn and I had a wonderful time with the group, and we enjoyed sharing with them and leading them in prayer. Those who came responded really well to what we shared, and they told us that it helped them and it encouraged them. One particular couple wanted us to come to their house the next day.

Freedom & Forgiveness in Christ
Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. Kerly is due with their second child any day now

Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. She is due with their second child any day now. They opened doors for us to minister to their friends!

So on Saturday Dawn and I went to David and Maria’s house. After we shared a meal together we all went into their living room. Their two grown children and Maria’s mother also joined us. Dawn and I lead them in prayer, and as we prayed we discovered that Maria was carrying a lot of fear and guilt. She was very open with us and told us that when she was 17 years old she got pregnant and she was afraid and didn’t know what to do. Maria didn’t want to tell her parents so she decided to take some herbs that she thought would cause the baby to abort. She also got up on a chair and jumped down hoping that would cause the baby to be aborted.

She was still carrying tremendous guilt because of her attempt at aborting her baby!

In God’s grace, she wasn’t successful in aborting her child. And her son, Jorge was in the room with us and he was praying with us.

We lead Maria with the support of her family through some prayers to cut off the guilt and shame that she was carrying. We reminded her of God’s promises in Romans 8:1.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God promises to forgive those who are in Christ. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

Dawn and I encouraged Maria to ask Jorge to forgive her for trying to abort him. It was such a beautiful moment. I wish you could have been there to experience it with us. Maria and Jorge were crying as they asked for forgiveness, and we all began to cry with them as we saw God move and bring healing.

Maria told us she felt the peace of Christ after our time of prayer! It was so good!😊 Thank you, Jesus!

The Power of the Gospel

After our time of prayer, we learned that Jorge was not following Christ and hadn’t yet given his life to Jesus. Yet he was there praying with us through the whole time, and he was so loving to his mom when she asked him for forgiveness. So I asked Jorge if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said, “no.” I asked him if he would like to give his life to Christ, and he said, “yes!”

I took some time to explain the gospel message to him. How Christ died for his sins. Christ died the death that we should have died. He lived the life that we should have lived. He paid the penalty for us. Christ defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection. I went on to explain the importance in placing our faith in Christ in trusting His work and in calling on His name so that he might be saved from his sin.

“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

After I shared these truths with Jorge I asked him again if he would like to pray to receive Christ, and he said, “yes.” Then I had the privilege of leading Jorge in prayer to repent of his sins and to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. His family joined us in prayer. We were all rejoicing after that seeing God’s mighty hand.

David and Maria and their family are such sweet people. Just like our friends Luis and Kerly. It’s like the Lord just knit our hearts together, and the Lord continues to grow our family. It’s one more way that I see the Lord redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early home going. So painful, yet our Papa loves us and he brings healing and hope!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Many Opportunities to Minister as We Traveled
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road on mission with the Lord. Seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

We began our trip to South America in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I wrote in my last post we believe it was an advance for us attending the Red de Multiplicación conference. So good to see various church traditions coming together for the cause of Christ in the Latin world!

After our time in Uruguay, Dawn and I flew to Bogotá, Colombia. Dawn loves to share her faith, and she boldly does it while we travel. It’s amazing to watch how the Lord prepares the people that we meet.

Ripe for the Harvest
The love of Christ can and does change people hearts!

The love of Christ can and does change people’s  hearts!

On the flight from Montevideo to Bogotá, a young woman, Veronica sat next to Dawn on the plane. We were all tired when we first boarded the plane as it was an early morning flight. When they brought us a meal a little later, Dawn began to interact with Veronica. As the two of them talked about their family background when Dawn told her that our daughter, Hannah had moved to heaven Veronica began to cry. She is a very tender and caring person.

She told Dawn about some of the trouble she had experienced with her boyfriend and her family. One thing we learned on our trip is how common it is in both Uruguay and Colombia for couples to live together and not get married. Colombia has one of the highest rates in the world at 80%.

As Dawn and Veronica continued their conversation she told Dawn that her grandmother had been praying for her. She was running away from her troubles, but she felt like God was trying to get her attention.

Dawn shared more with her and told her about Jesus love for her, and the gift of eternal life that Christ came to give us through his death and resurrection. Veronica was ripe. The Lord had been working in her heart. Dawn prayed for her, and Veronica cried some more as she felt the Lord’s peace and presence.

After Dawn explained the message of the gospel to Veronica she led Veronica in prayer to receive the greatest gift ever given. The gift of eternal life in Christ. The Lord’s peace filled Veronica’s heart.

The Gospel Does Bring Change & Transformation!
Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

I’m thankful for Dawn’s boldness to share the love of Christ wherever we are. We don’t always have a whole flight to share with the people we meet.

As we were getting ready for another flight Dawn felt led to give a woman a Bible tract, and she explained briefly what the tract contained. The lady told Dawn that she thought God was trying to get her attention because she had just sat next to a Christian woman on her previous flight. Wow! Amazing how the Lord works!

One more airplane gospel story. We had a long layover in Bogotá before we flew home, so we went to a restaurant to hang out and wait for our flight. Dawn noticed the woman sitting next to us had been on our previous flight, so she felt like she should take the opportunity to share with her.

When Dawn and I share with people we often weave in the story of our family and how our daughter moved to heaven. We talk to them about the importance of having faith in Christ. That’s what has sustained us since Hannah’s early homegoing.

Dawn told the young woman that she recognized her from our previous flight. She began to tell her some about our family and God’s plan. The woman was surprisingly open and she told us she had just prayed in the morning that the Lord would guide her. She is from Manizales, Colombia where we had just come from so we gave her the contact info for our friends that live there. Amazing in just that short time the gospel connection that we were able to make. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for More Open Doors, More Fruit
Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

Luis, Kerly and their son David. Our friends from Manizales, Colombia

It’s so important to sow the seed of the gospel. It doesn’t always land on fertile ground, but it is surprising as we pray to see how the Lord often leads us to people who are open and ready. Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to open the doors for us, and we will see more and more people come to Christ as we sow the seed.

There are many other exciting experiences we had as we ministered in Uruguay and Colombia. I hope to continue to share more about our trip in my next post.

Please join us as we pray and minister wherever the Lord takes us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Inaugural Church Service
Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. It was a special time!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading us in a time of prayer and commissioning for Mere & Edna. 

On Sunday Dawn and I had the great joy of participating in the inaugural service of the new church in Mexicali that was built in Hannah’s memory. This church holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons. The more obvious reason is that we built it as a living memorial for our daughter, Hannah! It’s also special, because of all the friends and churches that pitched in to make this a reality. There were well over 50 that helped from the US and some more that gave in Mexico.

The Lord has raised up a special couple to lead this church, Pastor Mere and his wife, Edna. We didn’t really know them before we began this project, but we’ve quickly grown to love them. They are a gifted young couple, and they have a deep love for the Lord.

The Lord Brings All the Loose Ends Together
Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

Pastor Mere & Edna sharing at their first church service!

I found it interesting that when Mere was young he attended church with his good friend Abraham Velazquez. Abraham’s father was the pastor of this church. Then as they got older they both attended a church started by Ministerios Transformación and pastored by our good friend, Jaime Rodriguez. From there Abraham who is a gifted worship leader and pastor began to minister with Pastor Daniel Nuñez.

Eventually, Abraham and his wife Martha began to lead the church in Rojo Gomez. This church has grown significantly and is one of the few churches in Tijuana that has a second service. They are making a huge difference in the community.

Wow! It’s so wonderful to see all these connections. Each one of these people is very special to us. All of these friends were able to be there on Sunday, except for Pastor Abraham.

A Special Service – The First Service!
The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

The new church built as a Memorial to the life of Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Mexicali starts getting hot in April and May, and it was 105 on Sunday. That is hot! We prayed that the air conditioning would be installed by Sunday, and the Lord graciously answered our request.

The first service is always special since there is only one first and it’s the start of something new and exciting. I love being a part of bringing the gospel through the bride of Christ, his church to a new community. Dawn and I pray that there will be many more churches that we can play a part in planting not only along the border but throughout Mexico and beyond.

Of course, now there is much work to be done in this new community. Pray with us for Pastor Mere and Edna. They need wisdom, encouragement, and stamina as the Lord works through them. We’ve seen time and time again that servants of God going into new territory become targets. The enemy attacks and they need much prayer covering for protection. We want them to stay strong as a couple and as a family.

Thanks for Standing With Us!
Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family

Elissa and Dawn along with other friends and family from when we built the church

We give thanks for all of you who have prayed, given and cheered on along the way! We give thanks to the Lord for this living memorial for Hannah. I was feeling down the other day, missing my daughter and a friend reminded me that this church is a living memorial and it represents what was important to her and that the Lord will use it for His glory to impact the lives of others.

One my ongoing prayers since Hannah moved to heaven is that her death wouldn’t be in vain, and I understand that it isn’t because of all of the Lord’s wonderful promises. Yet, I wanted to see some tangible evidence. This is one of those things, and I believe there will many more.

Thank you for standing with us on this long, joyous and sometimes painful journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org