Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

Stories of Grace Through the Camera
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Pastor Victor and his wife, Sol with their son, Abraham serving the Lord in Rosarito and Tijuana, Mexico

Last week a film crew came out to take photos and video shots of the ministry on the border and throughout our work in Mexico. It was an exhilarating time as we met with and interviewed our partners and church planters. We started out in Ensenada and we got some beautiful shots of the city and our church planters Petri & Yudy Petrikowski. Then we headed back up to Rosarito and Tijuana to interview Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol.

 

I wish I could take you with me to meet these wonderful friends. Every time I’m with them I come away encouraged. God fills me up because they are fun to be with, and also because of the way the Lord is transforming lives through their ministry.

God Breaks Through in Rosarito
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Victor and Sol shared with us about a ministry to an orphanage called Nueva Generación (New Generation). They formed a partnership relationship with Luis Salinas, who leads the orphanage a few years ago. The partnership has grown as their church has grown. Now on average 17 orphans attend their church every Sunday.

 

Sol is a psychologist and she has worked with the children and the parents. She ministers the love of Christ to these parents who are caught in addictions, prostitution, and poverty, which has kept them from being able to care for their children. The children experience the love of Christ and hear the good news of the gospel and they are transformed by God’s grace. The goal is also to see their parents break free from their addictions and destructive life style.

Brokenness and Healing
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Raul reunited with his two sons!

We met one of the father’s, his name is Raul. He has an amazing story. Sadly he was caught in a cycle of addiction, which led to poverty and an inability to take care of his children. Raul’s wife left him. Through the work of the orphanage and the love shown to him through Victor and Sol, he came to Christ. He eventually was set free of his addictions and began to work again. It took him more than 10 years to break free, and now he is back in his two boys life.

 

Raul shared through tears about his struggle with alcohol and drugs. He felt sad that he had let his boys down, and not been able to take care of them for so many years. But God broke through! This brought more tears as he reflected on the Lord’s great love and grace.

A life transformed!

A family reunited!

Wow! So good to see God’s grace set the captives free.

When we talk about planting churches we pray for transformed lives and transformed communities as the love of Christ shines brightly in dark places.

Unfortunately, there are many Raul’s in Tijuana and Rosarito. There is much work left to be done! Yet, we are seeing progress as the Lord works in and through the churches and ministries on the border. Thank you, Jesus!

I give thanks for faithful servants like Victor and Sol who are not content just to hold services on Sunday. They desire to see the gospel penetrate and make a difference in the community. My prayer is, our prayer is that the Lord will raise up an army of ministers like Pastor Victor and Sol. He is doing that through ministries like, Ministerios Transformación who have planted 31 churches in 11 years and have a vision to plant many more! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Enjoying The Beauty of God’s Work
La Paz

La Paz

One of the many wonderful things that we enjoy about our ministry is that we get to travel to see those that we partner with. The Lord is doing a marvelous work through our friends in and around Mexico. An added bonus to all our travels is that we’ve found that it really helps us as we grieve Hannah’s loss. It helps us to not think about it as much, but also the people we connect with are very loving and encouraging to us.

Recently, Dawn and I visited Peter and Jenny Boling who are serving in La Paz, which is in Southern Baja California. La Paz is a beautiful peaceful city, and it is also the capital of the State. La Paz means the peace, so it is appropriately named.

A Place to Pray for Peace
Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter & Jenny Boling

Peter and Jenny have rented some space downtown for a prayer center. This gives them a presence in the city and the opportunity to meet people, and to share the love of Christ. Our goal is to form a beachhead to see the community transformed as we start new churches. The Boling’s just moved to La Paz last September, and they’ve made great progress.

Pray with us for a breakthrough in La Paz. We are also looking for a national church planter who can partner with them. Even though La Paz is a beautiful city, there are great needs in the community. The prayer center is a way to open doors. Peter and Jenny have already had some wonderful conversations and opportunities to pray with people who are curious and seeking.

Praying for Transformed Lives

While we were there Peter showed me a building a stone’s throw away from their prayer center that would make for a great church facility down the road. We have a vision for the future and for a better tomorrow. We know that God’s heart is to see lives transformed and for entire communities to experience his saving love.

Thank you for standing with us on this journey of faith!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. Pray for Dawn’s dad, Al. He has cancer and is not doing well. It’s tough that it’s so close to losing Hannah, and that my dad also has cancer.

Thrilled by the Growth of the Gospel
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Prayer & Planning Meeting in Monterrey, Mexico 

The church is growing in Mexico, and we are thrilled to be a part of that. When we moved to the border almost 5 years ago, and even before that we prayed and dreamed about what we hoped the Lord would do in Mexico. We asked the Lord to use us to see His church grow and flourish.

Last week we had the wonderful privilege of meeting together as leaders and ministers with Mission to the World in Mexico. Leaders from our various teams came: Monterrey, Guadalajara, El Paso/Juarez, McAllen/Reynosa, Baja. It was a great time to pray, hear testimonies and celebrate what the Lord is doing through our teams in Mexico. The church is growing, and the gospel is going forth.

More of Jesus, More Transformed Lives!

One of my great desires is that we will come together as a larger team in Mexico for prayer and to join forces as we seek to partner with the church in Mexico to see many people won for Christ, and to see lives transformed. This was the first time we had a meeting like this in Mexico in a number of years. We want more of Jesus, and more of his Spirit. O Lord, do your mighty work in and among us. We want to see the church expand all across the country.

God is already doing some very encouraging works through our missionaries and our partners, but we long for more. We don’t want to be satisfied, because there is still much work to do. Content in all things, but yet striving for more and for all that the Lord has for us.

Join Us in Prayer!

Please join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to continue his mighty work, and that we will see even greater works of the Lord.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Learning From a Pioneer, Dr. Allen Thompson
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Dr. Allen Thompson, The Master at Work

I was blown away by all that the Lord is doing in Cuba. Fortunately, I ended up arriving in Havana one day before we began the training. This gave me some time to interact with Dr. Allen Thompson, a long time missionary to Cuba. Allen’s parents first came to Cuba as missionaries, and they helped start the Los Pinos Nuevos Seminary.

Dr. Thompson served in Cuba as a missionary, but he was forced to leave when the revolution began in 1960. Allen is now in his 80’s, but you can’t tell when you are around him. He has so much life and energy, and he is still going strong. I pray that the Lord will still use me in a similar way when I am in my 80’s.

Allen and his family have such deep relationships in Cuba, and they’ve stayed connected to their many friends over the years. This foundation laid years ago led one of the leaders to call Dr. Thompson five years ago. Pastor Pachy, who is now leads Los Pinos Nuevos called Allen and asked for help. Allen had been working with Redeemer New York’s City to City worldwide outreach, but when Pachy called he came to help.

The Explosive Growth of the Church
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Interaction during the training

The people had a foundation from the seminary, but many of them were legalistic, so Allen and the people he brought in to help began to teach and preach the gospel. This brought about transformation and a hunger for more.

The fact that the people are very isolated, and even bored because of the lack of entertainment gave the people a greater hunger to study and to learn. That’s how the church began to grow.

Pastor Pachy says he doesn’t know exactly how many churches they have, but he estimates that they have about 40,000! I mean that is amazing and explosive growth. It sounds similar to the type of things that happened through the house church in China.

The Fuel of Prayer & Training
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The Students enjoying themselves while learning.

As I interacted more with Dr. Thompson I realized that prayer played a big part in the movement. They believed in it. They taught it, and they practiced it.

Another important component was gospel centered training. Allen said they use non formal training, which means that they don’t give certificates of completion, and the lessons are adjusted to the culture and the level of the students education.

One of the principle ways that they measure success is that they ask those taking the training if they are sharing the material with others. Most of them are. They encourage them to share the material as soon as they’ve taken the class.

That’s how multiplication happens!

While I was there I began to dream. I began to wonder how could we use this in Mexico. We don’t have all the same circumstances in Mexico, but surely parts of this model would work. I think it’s a brilliant idea to encourage the students to share what they’ve learned with others as soon as they can.

Pray with us that the Lord will guide and lead us and show us the way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Keys to Transformation
Growing and learning together - Keys for a Transformed Life

Growing and learning together – Keys for a Transformed Life

This last week was tremendously gratifying as the Lord brought together a dream that Dawn and I have been working on for two years. Our friends from Ministerios Fuente de Gracia (Fountain of Grace Ministry) came and led a training seminar in Tijuana on Keys for a Transformed Life. We held the course at the Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) El Niño church.

I’ve written a lot about LMT in the past and the leader of this church planting movement, pastor Daniel Nuñez. Daniel, the pastors and leaders of the 25 churches they have planted are wonderful friends and partners in ministry. We often stop and give thanks for them!

This Spring Pastor Daniel went to San Antonio de Las Minas, near Ensenada with me. We took seven pastors from LMT, and God used that time to minister to them in a deep and profound way.

While we were in San Antonio de las Minas we began to think through and plan on bringing the teaching to Tijuana so more pastors and church leaders could attend.

The Basics – Faith & Repentance
One of the learning activities during the course

One of the learning activities during the course

More than 50 people attended the course last week. We dealt with some basic and deep foundational issues. The people heard about the importance of practicing forgiveness and repentance in their Christian life. They learned what it means to be sons and daughters of God. Then as we soaked up these basic principles there was opportunity at the end of the session for us to meet in small groups to practice what we were learning.

It’s beautiful to see the Spirit break through. Many wept as they shared, because of the pain involved in the root causes. With the tears there is a release and as people confess to one another and to God, He shows up and brings comfort and healing.

Dawn and I feel like this is, as the name implies, one of the most transformational courses we’ve been through. Also, as we’ve been able to share the teaching with others we’ve seen God change people from the inside out.

Healing in the Lives of Pastors and Leaders
The group that completed the course

The group that completed the course

A number of the pastors and leaders we work with have deep wounds that they’ve never been able to deal with, because they haven’t had the opportunity to do so. They are in a difficult situation, because many people in the church look up to them, so they don’t know where to turn for help. They are stuck.

The leaders in the churches feel afraid to open up, so they go on limping along not knowing how to be set free. It’s a process to be sure, but it’s amazing to see the process begin and to play a part in that!

On the final night of the course everyone had an opportunity to give a short testimony on how God had used the teaching in their lives. It was gratifying to hear so many positive reports of how the Lord had met them during the week.

Dawn and I pray that the Lord will continue to heal and to bring  transformation in the hearts of men and women on the border and the Baja! Thanks for the part you play in seeing this become a reality.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Growing Together - Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

Growing Together – Through the Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

God is Taking Us Deeper

Over the last two weeks God has drawn us deeper. Dawn, Hannah and I have been going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed Life. What’s made it extra special was that we were able to take our missionary colleagues Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. Four pastors from Tijuana and four church leaders from Ensenada also went with us.

2 Keys – Forgiveness & Repentance
Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Two of the keys we spent a lot of time focusing on were forgiveness and repentance. These are bedrock Christian disciplines. On the one hand, they are very basic to our faith. On the other hand, we often struggle to put them in practice.

We don’t like to admit that we are wrong. Our pride gets in the way. Yet forgiveness and repentance bring healing. God’s grace meets us at our place of weakness.

Luther said that all of life is repentance.

The Benefits of Confession

James speaks of the benefits of confession, even confessing to one another. A Christian practice that has mostly been lost on the church today.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭15-16‬ ESV)

I can’t say that it is easy to open up and share about areas where we are wounded, but it is freeing when accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.

Turn to the father. He promises to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. Learn of the father’s love for you.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he removes our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭8-13‬ ESV)

The Keys to a Transformed Life

Our Group – The Keys to a Transformed Life

It’s all part of the upside down kingdom. Where we see a flaunting of sin in the world, God calls us to repent. In many ways that word, repent, seems old an antiquated today. It sounds harsh, and yet it is what the Lord chooses to bring us healing and wholeness. God ministers to us through confession and repentance.

Also when we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we receive God’s healing touch. It is freeing to forgive. Jesus taught us to pray asking our Heavenly Father, “to forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15)

That may be a hard passage, but it’s a wonderful promise. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that the Lord offers us. Come and receive his many gifts!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

 

Dawn and I accomplished a first on Tuesday. We are in a small village San Antonio de las Minas near Ensenada, Mexico for the first time. The other thing I’m doing for the first time is writing this post using my iPad mini (It’s doable, but a little more challenging!)

Our journey to grow deeper, to learn more about inner healing and to connect with kingdom minded ministries brought us here. This is borne out of a desire to help others and to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

While connecting with our new friends here we’ve been discussing and learning about the keys for a transformed life!

One of the things that we talked about last night was our standing before God. Paul refers to those in Christ as sons and daughters of God. Yet we often think of ourselves as slaves.

Our Sonship is at the Heart of the Gospel

It is an amazing thing to realize that we can have such an intimate relationship with God. Romans, Galatians and Ephesians among other books in the New Testament demonstrate that those in Christ are children of God and are part of the family of God.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15, 16, ESV)

…to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” so you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:5-7, ESV)

Dawn and Dave are grateful for our grown children - I (Dave) feel privileged that my children call me daddy, at least sometimes ;)

Dawn and Dave are grateful for our grown children – I (Dave) feel privileged that my children call me daddy, at least sometimes 😉

What wonderful promises that God gives us. If we stop and think of the intimate relationship we can have with God it is mind blowing. In both of these passages Paul adresses God as Abba! Father! Like calling God daddy or papi in Spanish.

Do you see the Lord as being close to you? Can you relate to him as your daddy? All my kids call me daddy from time to time. My daughter, Hannah does it the most, and I love it, because it expresses a close and special relationship that we have.

God loves us enough that he is not only our Father, he is our daddy!

Oh, that we would all grow deeper in our love and understanding of the special relationship that we have with God. He is our daddy, and he will protect us and fight our battles. Lean on him. Look to him! Love him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org