Posts Tagged ‘the love of Christ’

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

More Loss in Oaxaca
These two ladies, Alicia and Laura lost their home in the Earthquake. They are standing on the foundation of what once was Laura’s home.

These two ladies, Alicia and Laura lost their home in the Earthquake. They are standing on the foundation of what once was Laura’s home.

Last week I wrote about the two cities I visited outside of Mexico City that suffered much loss during the earthquakes. One church in Jojutla that was totally destroyed. The shock waves that came from the quake caused major structural damage to the other church we visited in Joquicingo. I visited those two churches on the first two days.

The next two and a half days I visited the people in the State of Oaxaca. This part of Mexico was hit very hard by the earthquakes. Even the aftershocks were bad. The people told me one day the aftershocks started at 7 AM and they lasted all day until about 4 PM. This was after many had lost their homes, and endured the loss of loved ones.

Can you imagine the fear that would cause? The panic?

Thousands of Homes Destroyed
Some of the people I met in Ixtepec from one of the churches

Some of the people I met in Ixtepec from one of the churches

The first city we visited was Ixtepec. Our new friends told us that close to 2,000 homes were destroyed during the earthquake in this city. We met some of the people who lost their homes. They are having to make due until they can rebuild. One of them Laura is staying with some friends. The government is helping many people rebuild, but Laura was denied government assistance, because of the way her home was built.

Wow! I felt horrible for the people there. The earthquake causes lasting damage, and it takes people a long time to climb out of the hole they find themselves in.

Laura is not the only person that was left without a home and without help. While we were visiting a number of disgruntled citizens organized a protest and they were blocking the highway because they wanted the government to do another assessment of the damage done. They felt like they needed more help, and I’m sure that many of them do.

The Church – A Place of Refuge

Later that evening we went to Tehuantepec and visited a church there, Jesus of Nazareth church. This church was damaged, but not nearly as severely as the churches I visited the previous day. The interesting thing about this church is they became a center for other churches and organizations to send aid, and they began to distribute food and other necessities in the surrounding area. Always good to see the light of Christ shine in the midst of dark and difficult places.

Horrible to Think of the Loss of so Many Lives!
Juchitán is close to the epicenter and the city suffered much loss

Juchitán is close to the epicenter and the city suffered much loss

The next day we visited a few more cities, and one of the cities we saw was Juchitan. 300 people died during the earthquake in Juchitan. My friends, who were from the church that had helped with outreach said that it was like a large funeral as so many people in the city were mourning their loved ones. As we walked through the city we could see piles of debris from all the fallen homes and buildings.

A government building on the town square of Juchitán that was damaged

A government building on the town square of Juchitán that was damaged

It was shocking, and it saddened my heart to think of all the loss. I mean my family knows loss since our daughter recently moved to heaven. Yet I can’t imagine losing so many people at the same time, plus losing the comfort of your home. What do you do? Where do you go?

The Light of Christ Shines Brightly in the Darkness

Thankfully the church was there in the time of need, and they are still doing what they can to help and to share the love of Christ.

I’ve learned we don’t always have all the answers to life’s hard questions. We don’t always know why? Yet, God is there. The Lord demonstrates His love through His people. We rejoice in His good work.

Continue to pray with me for these dear people who suffered so much loss. Many of them still do not know Jesus. We pray that their eyes will be opened!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Works in the Midst of Loss
Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Dave with Pastor Adolfo Arias, Mario Silva and Pastor Amador Lopez in front of the church that is being rebuilt in Jojutla

Last week I experienced both heart wrenching and heartwarming emotions as I visited the areas that were hit the hardest by the Mexico earthquakes. It was heart wrenching to see the lost homes, churches and businesses. There were also lives that were lost.

Even in the midst of all the heartache and sorrow I heard stories of redemption that truly warmed my heart. It was so good to see first hand how the church was reaching out in the their community.

On September 19, 1985 a catastrophic earthquake hit Mexico City, and 10,000 lives were lost. Many of my friends lived through that tragedy, so the memories are still very real. With this new set of earthquakes that again fell in September one of them on the 19th and the other on the 7th in 2017, it not only caused a lot of damage, but it frayed nerves. I sensed while I was there that many were fearful that there may still be more earthquakes to come.

My friends told me how Mexico came together and united after these earthquakes. They all pitched in and helped those in need.

Total Loss in Jojutla
On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

On February 25th they laid the cornerstone and inaugurated the new church they are building in Jojutla

One of the areas I visited was Jojutla which is about three hours from Mexico City in the State of Morelos. The church there, which is called Principe de Paz, “Prince of Peace,” was totally destroyed. There was nothing left, and they have had to start rebuilding from the foundation up.

Yet, even in the midst of their sadness and sorrow over their loss they began to reach out in the community. Donations came in and they were able to provide meals to people in need until December 15th. The love of Christ was displayed in a powerful way through the church. New families have come to Christ as a result of their loving outreach.

Rebuilding in Joquicingo
Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

Some of the damage to the church caused by the earthquake in Joquicingo

In another town we visited Joquicingo in the State of Mexico, which was also about 3 hours from Mexico City close to Toluca. The church there was not destroyed, but the columns holding up the church were badly damaged, so they are having to rebuild and reinforce the church. They believe that it will take them a year to finish rebuilding.

Twenty two people in this church also lost their homes. Yet despite the loss and hardship sister churches rallied around them and sent them aid. The hospital in the city was damaged, so they were able to organize medical brigades as other churches came to their aid. They opened a farmacy in the church, since the hospital was not able to provide the medicine that many of the people needed. They said that there is still a shortage of insulin for those with diabetes, and they continue to help the people in the community.

Joquicingo, Mexico

Joquicingo, Mexico

The love shown by the church was attractive, and this church has also seen new people come into the church and come to faith.

I loved the opportunity to meet the people, and to encourage them and pray for them. When you are going through a trial, it helps to know that there are others who are concerned for your welfare.

My prayer for these two churches and these two communities is that the love of Christ would continue to shine as they rebuild again, and they climb out of the rubble all around them.

In my next post I will write about the churches and places we visited in the State of Oaxaca. That’s where many lives were lost, because they were so close to the epicenter.

Continue to pray with me for these dear friends who lost much, and who are seeking to show the love of Christ in communities that are hurting and in need of a Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Spirit is on the Move in Mexico City
Mario & Silvia with their son, Daniel

Mario & Silvia with their son, Daniel

Dawn and I are seeking to grow in being more sensitive to the Spirit as we go through the day. We are realizing more and more that much of ministry happens in the unplanned moments as we go through our day.

I’m in Mexico City this week! I love this city, because of all our friends here and the many years we lived here.

On Friday Mario Silva and I went out for breakfast at the local VIPS so we could talk. Well, we ordered and just began to eat our breakfast when I noticed a woman sitting at a table near us, and she was crying. I asked her if she was okay, and she said that she was going through a really hard time. Mario and I invited her to sit with us.

We soon found out that her name was Gaby. When we asked her what was going on, through tears she shared, that her husband who is a successful doctor has been sleeping around. Gaby went on to say that she found out recently that he was using Cocaine.

She was broken.

The Love of Christ Lifts Us Out of the Pit

4A5A59BE-5936-4084-8D85-1694D35DE032Mario and I began to share with her how much God loved her, and that was part of the reason she sat near us that morning. It was in the Lord’s loving plan for her to meet us, so we could share the love of Christ with her, and give her hope.

Then after we spent some time with her encouraging her, we also shared the gospel with her, and we told her the only way to fix her life was to let Christ into it. That’s where it all begins!

We asked Gaby if she would like to pray with us to receive Christ and she said yes! I had the privilege along with Mario to lead her in prayer to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior!

Pray for Gaby’s Spiritual Growth & More Divine Appointments

Mario’s wife, Silvia is a very godly and committed follower of Jesus, so we told Gaby we’d like to connect her with Silvia so she could help her grow in her new found faith, and give her some wise counsel as Gaby seeks to navigate some of the challenges she is facing in her life.

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

Dawn is usually the one to meet people in restaurants and share the gospel with them. She’s been a good example for me. I’d say on average Dawn shares her faith with at least one person every time we go to a restaurant and often with even more people. It was encouraging that even though my extroverted wife wasn’t with me that the Lord opened this door for us. Can you say, “Divine Appointment”?

Thanking Jesus! Every time something like this happens I believe it’s one more way that the Lord is redeeming our daughter’s early home going. It’s made Dawn and me even more bold to share the love of Christ with a lost and hurting world. Yay Jesus! 😃

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Nothing Means Nothing in Ensenada
Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

On Sunday Dawn and I had the wonderful opportunity to worship with Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada. I enjoy driving down to Ensenada. It’s a beautiful drive along the Pacific shoreline.

I preached on Romans 8, Nothing Means Nothing. The focus of my sermon was that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Paul starts off Romans 8 stating that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

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

What a wonderful promise!

The whole chapter is filled with grace and God’s amazing promises.

The Father’s Love – Abba, Father
Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Paul emphasizes the nearness of God. That he is our Abba, Father. He is our daddy. O Lord, work in my heart and help me to see you in this way. I pray that I will have a close relationship with you, and that I will grow in that relationship. I pray this will be true for those in my family and those that I’m close to as well.

The close and intimate relationship we can have with God is a demonstration of his great love for us.  Jonathan Edwards says, “Love is not just one of God’s attributes. It is the essence of God. God is love.”

Not only is God love, but Paul assures us that for those that are in Christ, that nothing can separate us from his love.

Where is Your Focus?
Dawn & Dave

Dawn & Dave

We tend to focus on how things are going in our life. The circumstances of life. Those are the barometers we often use to determine if God loves us, and how much he loves us. Yet Paul makes it clear that we will endure hardships in this life, and that none of those things can separate us from God love.

If you are in Christ there no condemnation, you are a co-heir with Christ adopted into his forever family. You are secure in Christ and regardless how bad the circumstances may be there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Nothing, Zero, Nada!

Rejoice my friend for Christ has overcome the world. There is victory in Jesus. You and I have the privilege of living in this victory with Christ.

Summer Short-term Missions Project in Ensenada
Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

My desire was to encourage the church in Ensenada. Many Christians live defeated lives as if there was no hope. Many wallow in the mud, when God has a whole ocean for us to enjoy and experience.

Some friends of ours from a church in Denver, Skyview, will be working with the church in Ensenada in July. We are excited about what God has in store. How the Lord will use that trip to build into the lives of all those that are involved as well minister to those in the community who do not yet know our Savior.

Pray for the Lord’s leading as we plan and organize this project.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org