Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Our Trip to Colorado
Our growing family - Jonathan & Hannah's wedding. David & Emily's wedding shower

Our growing family – Jonathan & Hannah’s wedding. David & Emily’s wedding shower

Last week Dawn and I were in Colorado to visit our growing family. Jonathan married Hannah on December 1st of last year, and David is soon to be married to Emily Tenison on May 26th. We had a couples wedding shower for David and Emily which was a lot of fun, and we met Emily’s mom, Libby, for the first time.

Our trip to Colorado was packed full, so although we saw a few friends we didn’t see everybody we would have liked to see. One thing we did do that was super encouraging was we met with a small group of prayer warriors. They are gifted in prayer. We spent about an hour and a half with them as they prayed for us and spoke words of encouragement over us.

Colorado Dreaming!

I find that when I’m around people that have a close walk with the Lord that it seems to spark something in me. Both Dawn and I just love when we feel in a strong way the Lord’s presence. It ministers to our soul.

After our time of prayer, I had a dream that night about some missionaries. I didn’t know one of the missionaries, but I heard his name in the dream, so I had to do a little searching to figure out who he was. Since this particular dream was so clear I felt like the Lord wanted to communicate something to me. So when we got back home I began to pray, and the Lord opened my eyes and helped me to see.

Affirmation of the Father’s Love
Warrior Angel at the prayer center at Every Home for Christ in Colorado Springs

Warrior Angel at the prayer center in Every Home for Christ in Colorado Springs

I decided to send the missionaries a note just letting them know how I sensed the Lord wanted to encourage them. I felt like it was a risk to share with them, especially with the guy who I didn’t know. They responded to my message after a few days, and one of them told me, “you hit the nail on the head.” That strengthens my faith, and it lifted my spirit.

I prayed some more and as I prayed especially for one of the missionaries I felt the overwhelming love of the Father. The sense I felt was so strong that I almost started crying while I was walking my dog, Daisy and praying in the park. After that experience, I decided that I should share more with my missionary friend. The Lord used that to build my faith.

Encouragement Multiplied

Then on the next day, while I was praying for a number of pastors and leaders in Cuba, Mexico and Colombia that we partner with I decided this message would be encouraging for them as well. I sent the note of encouragement to them, and a number of them responded and told me how the Lord had used it to encourage them in some amazing ways!

Yesterday I started thinking I should write about this and post it so more friends can read it and be blessed by it. This is part of what I said in the message I sent out:

After I received your message I was able to go on a walk to think and pray. While walking I had this overwhelming sense of the Father’s love. I sensed that the Father wants you to know how deeply he loves you. He wants you to grow in that love, to bask in it. His love is not based on you being a missionary or based on your success. He just loves you and he wants you to know and experience his love in a deeper and fuller way.

If you are able listen to Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin I think it will minster to you.

I pray that the Lord might encourage you today through these words of comfort. Learn to bask in the Father’s love. This reminds me of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter 3 starting in verse 16.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Lord does hear our prayers and he desires a deep relationship with us. I pray that you might be encouraged by this message and that you might experience the Father’s love in a new and fresh way as he ministers to you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Kingdom Growth along the Border and Beyond!
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church
Petri preaching in Ensenada at Renuevo church

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit two or our church planters in two different cities. One in Ensenada, which is 1 1/2 hours from us. The other one is in Mexicali, which is about 2 1/2 hours from our home. So I had a lot of time in the car, but I also had a great time encouraging and connecting with our church planters and their team. God is on the move in these cities!

Renuevo in Ensenada – Pastor Petri & Yudy

On Sunday I was with Petri, his wife, Yudy and their church plant called Renuevo. They meet in Ensenada, which is a beautiful port city south of border. It is known as the Cinderella of the Pacific, because of its raw beauty and emerging potential. Yet, below the beauty, many people are huring and have deep spiritual needs.

Petri and his team are reaching out to professionals on the North side of the city. One of the things that excites me about their project is that there are literally no churches in the area of the city that they are planting in.

There’s a huge need, especially in the part of the city where the church plant is located. Petri is a bi-vocational church planter. He is the supervisor of the school district in Tecate, which is an hour north of Ensenada. Petri’s wife Yudy, is a teacher in this same school disctrict. It is not easy working a full time job in another city, and planting a church. Yet, the advantage is that Petri and Yudy have lived and worked in Ensenada for a number of years so they have deep roots in city. They still live in Ensenada even though they work in Tecate.

One of the things I enjoy about visiting the church is that Petri is an excellent teacher, and he does a great job of explaining and sharing the gospel each Sunday. There’s still much work to be done in Ensenada, but they are off to a good start. Pray that the Lord continues to open doors for them to share the gospel and that more and more people will come to Christ and become a part of the church.

A New Ministry in Mexicali

The other church planters that I visited are just beginning their work in Mexicali. Federico is a seminary student who will be graduating this May. He and his wife, Blanca went through our church planting discovery center in Mexico City in January. They were evaluated and approved as church planters.

Now comes the hard work. I’m partnering with them and the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico to raise the funds to start a new church planting project in Mexicali. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and it is an important city for the State and for the country of Mexico.

You might remember that we started a new church that we built in memory of our daughter, Hannah in the outskirts of Mexicali. Now we would like to start another church towards the city’s center.

Join us in Prayer!

Since we are just beginning this project there are many things that still have to come togethter for this church plant to get moving forwar. We do have some traction. The wheels are starting to turn. We know that one of the most important needs that we have now is to bathe this project in prayer. Actually we need major prayer for both works. Please join us in lifting these needs before our Heavenly Father. Lift up Petri and Yudy and their team as well as Federico and Blanca.

Thanks so much dear friends for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!
Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!

Dawn and I just celebrated our anniversary yesterday, March 5. We hit an amazing milestone of 30 years of marital bliss. I can’t say that it’s always blissful, but it’s defintely worth working through those difficult days.

It’s Been Quite a Journey
Our family as we served in Mexico City
Our family in the early days as we served in Mexico City

We’ve endured more than most couples. Our first year of marriage we lived in Fresno, California. Then our second year we lived in three different cities in three different States: Fresno, California; Detroit, Michigan; McAllen, Texas. Our first son, David Jr. was born in McAllen.

When David was 5 months old in April of 1991 we moved to Mexico City where we lived for the next 3 plus years. While in Mexico City both Jonathan and Hannah were born. When Hannah was about one month old we drove from Mexico to McLean, Virginia. That was quite an adventure. Three children in diapers traveling across Mexico and then onto the US. After about 6 months in Virginia we drove across country to Fresno.

Sometimes, when I look back on it all, I wonder what we were thinking!!! We were very driven, and we had more energy back then!

After about 6 months in Fresno, I drove with my dad and David jr. back to Mexico City, while Dawn flew to Mexico with Jonathan and Hannah. When we arrived the house we thought we had rented fell through, so we didn’t have a place to live. I don’t remember how long it took us to find a home, but we did eventually find a great place to live and serve.

On our second term in Mexico City, I was kidnapped. You can read the full story by clicking here: kidnapped 1 &, kidnapped 2. Then about a year and a half later I was held up at gunpoint and had my car stolen. They took me on a short joy ride during that robbery as well. I also wrote about that and you can read that story by clicking on this link: kidnapped 3.

From Mexico City to Colorado
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven
The last picture we have of our family together before Hannah moved to heaven

From Mexico City we moved to Colorado Springs. Those years were relatively calm compared to our first 10 years of marriage. Of course, we did raise three teenagers in Colorado Springs which is never easy.

Then just over six years ago we moved from Colorado to where we are now serving on the San Diego – Tijuana border and beyond. I like to add beyond, because we travel and work throughout Mexico and in other Latin American countries. It’s an amazing and growing ministry!

Our Life on the Border and Beyond!
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah, Jonathan, Dawn and Dave
Our growing family: David jr., Hannah (Jonathan’s wife & our new daughter), Jonathan, Dawn and Dave

We love living and serving on the border, yet it hasn’t been easy. As most of you know if you’ve been following us that two years ago our beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. That’s not something you necessarily get over. In fact this last week I’ve especially been missing Hannah. Sometimes I feel sad, and sometimes I feel frustrated and upset. It’s extremely hard on Dawn as well. This is an area we can always use prayer for as we mourn our daughter’s early home going.

When I began writing this post I was going to go a different direction with it, but I trust the Lord led me to write a summary of our lives and some of the trials and adventures we’ve been on. Of course, there have been many wonderful moments and seasons as well.

Giving Thanks for the Gift Dawn has been to Me
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together
Dawn and I are seeking to show and share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

I guess, my main point here is that I chose well and that the Lord has blessed me in many ways by giving me Dawn. I don’t think that too many women could have survived all that we’ve been through. Unfortunately, many marriages don’t stand the test of time. By God’s grace, in spite of all that we’ve been through our love for one another has grown over the years. We are still growing. You don’t stop. We are still striving to have a greater love and passion for the Lord and for one another.

I give thanks today for the gift that my wife is to me, and to my children. We are stronger together, and it’s so encouraging to see where the Lord is taking us and the doors he is opening for us! Thank you for following us and praying for us. We couldn’t do it without the support and prayers of faithful friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our group with the church planters in Havana
Our group with the church planters in Havana

This morning I drank my coffee from a cup that a friend from Cuba, Ailyn gave me that says I ❤️ Cuba. I just returned from this Carribean Island last Wednesday night. I thought I would never love a people as much as I love my Mexican hermanos, where Dawn and I have lived and served over the last 30 years. Yet, I must admit our Cuban friends have stolen our hearts! And as Dawn and I travel especially in Latin America we are finding a growing love for those we meet and minister with there also. God is on the move and it’s fun to be part of what he is doing!

Hannah, Havana and Beyond!

The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

The church planters doing an exercise during the Discovery Center in Havana

Still to this day I’m not sure how to reconcile my daughter, Hannah’s early homegoing. God is bringing us healing along the journey, but there’s so much we don’t understand! Why do I mention this here, after writing my first paragraph about my growing love for Cuba? Well, just before Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I began to pray that the Lord would increase our reach, and extend our borders.

On January 1 of 2017, just 2 months after Hannah moved to heaven Dawn and I were with our two sons, David and Jonathan and we heard a sermon on Isaiah 54, which speaks of how God is going to enlarge the tent of the barren woman. It addresses loss, the inability to have children, and the Lord’s wonderful promise for redemption and an increase! We claimed that passage as a promise for our family and our ministry, and we prayed for a breakthrough.

“”Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”

Isaiah‬ ‭54:1-3‬ ‭ESV (emphasis mine)

Enlarging Our Reach!

Since that time we’ve been able to minister in Cuba, El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, and Ecuador. It’s not just geographically that we’ve seen an increase, but also in the depth or our ministry. The Lord has connected us with some wonderful people in these countries. The place that especially stands out apart from Mexico is Cuba.

Our Growing Family!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!
Our dear friends and growing family in Cuba!

Dawn and I are amazed at the depth of relationship the Lord has given us in Cuba. It’s amazing, because despite only being able to go to Cuba once or twice a year, through email and WhatsApp we’ve been able to communicate and stay in touch with our unbelievable friends there. Some of them have become like family to us.

The Call to be a Spiritual Father & Mother
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Some of the couples now call us their parents. People need to be loved and encouraged all over the world, but especially those who live in a country that makes internet access and communication so difficult. One particular pastor Luis and his wife, May told me while I was there on this last trip, that there has been a marked difference in their ministry since they met Dawn and me last year. Luis and May are very gifted, and the Lord is using them in remarkable ways. So it’s surprising for me to learn that they feel there has been an increase in their effectiveness in ministry over the last year!

They’ve suffered much as they’ve ministered over the years. I don’t know if I’ve personally ever met people who have sacrificed as much for the gospel as our friends in Cuba. They’ve gone without food. They’ve walked for hours in the hot sun each day to reach an unreached community. Now they have sun spots, sun damaged skin from being in the sun so long without the ability to purchase sunscreen to protect themselves. These friends and others call us their parents, which is a real privilege for us. They have truly stolen our hearts.

Mario & Yani Ministering in Cabaiguan
Mario & Yani with their team of church planters
Mario & Yany with their team of church planters. From top left clockwise: Junior & Kendra with Yany & Mario, Jorge & Rachel with Dave, Dave with Mario & Yany, Dave next to Yoiset & Osmeiki

One of the other young couples who live and minister in Cabaiguan, Mario and Yany are doing a wonderful job in their community. They are leading a team of four young church planting couples. Dawn and I first met Mario and Yany less than two months after Hannah moved to heaven. Yany was only 20 years old then. When Dawn first met Yany, tears streamed down Dawn’s face as meeting Yany reminded her of our daughter and what could have been, as Hannah had a growing interest in ministry. We’ve grown to love Mario and Yany, and it’s such a joy to be able to encourage them in their work.

Dave with Mario & Yani and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train others to plant churches in Cuba!
Dave with Mario & Yany and Sara who is married to Pastor Justo. Justo and Sara are also great friends who train church planters and leaders to plant churches in Cuba!

A little over a year ago Yany’s mom died of cancer leaving Yany without a mom at a young age. Dawn and Yany have bonded over the loss of a mother and a daughter. The two of them have come together to encourage and love one another even as they mourn.

Join Us in Prayer for Cuba and Beyond!

There are other friends in Cuba who we also feel close to, and every year we go back we meet new friends. Our Cuban family continues to grow and we get to know all our friends there better. What a wonderful gift the Lord has given us. This is part of the answer to our hearts cry. Part of the answer to our prayers that the Lord would enlarge our tent! Thank you so much for praying with us. God does indeed hear our prayers. He is concerned about the longings our heart. He does bring healing even in the valley of the shadow of death. Praise be to Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Journey Continues!
Dave in Quito - The Middle of the World
Dave in Quito – The Middle of the World

The above statement has been our prayer, especially since our daughter Hannah moved to heaven. God is graciously answering our prayer! I’m heading out today (Thursday) for Colorado then to Cuba, so I wanted to get something out before I took off. This year has started with a bang, as I’ve already gone on ministry trips to Mexico City and Quito, Ecuador. Not much time to rest, and we’ve had the added adventure of taking care of Dawn’s mom, Alice.

It’s a new season for us, and we are just taking one day at a time as we seek to keep our eyes on Jesus. I prefer having Dawn join me on our trips. She is a catalyst in many ways, as she meets so many people in the most unusual ways. You could say, this is a time of growth for both of us. The Lord is teaching us new things as he is so faithful to do.

We do enjoy having Dawn’s mom with us. They are both extroverted so they meet many people in their endeavors. Dawn and I both like to use of our home to minister to others, family and friends.

Giving Thanks for the Lord’s Good Gifts!
The Newlyweds – Jonathan and Hannah with David, Jr., Dawn and Dave

I feel excited about these trips. I’ll be in Colorado Springs for a missions conference, but there’s the added bonus of being able to see my boys and our growing family. This season has been wonderful! Jonathan just married, Hannah and David is engaged to Emily! Many fun celebrations after our time of mourning. It’s not like the mourning completely leaves, but it is so good to receive the Lord’s healing touch through the wonderful young women that Jesus has brought into our family.

Family in Cuba
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Mario and his wife, Yanny

After I’m in Colorado I leave for Cuba and I’ll be there for 11 days. Dawn and I have grown to love our friends in Cuba. Some of the pastors we minister to there call us dad and mom. That’s a huge encouragement to us, and it gives us much joy to stay in contact with them and to strengthen the pastors there. They are amazing people who have gone through so much. They are still cut off from much of the rest of the world. Internet access is expensive, so it makes it difficult to communicate.

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May
Dave & Dawn with Pastor Luis and his wife, May

We are thankful that over this last year the internet presence in Cuba is slowly growing, and it’s becoming easier to communicate with our friends. The government restrictions make it challenging to travel to Cuba, but the Lord has used some of these difficulties to make the people hungry for the gospel. The Cubans we have met are good natured and fun loving people. It seems like they’ve had to learn to laugh in spite of their circumstances.

Join Us in Prayer!

Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers as I’m traveling and Dawn is at home with her mom. I need prayer covering especially for my time in Cuba. That the Lord will protect me both physically and spiritually while I’m there. Also, that we will see a breakthrough, that the Lord will do a mighty work in our friends and with those they minister to. Thank you so much for joining us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Training Translators in Mitla, Oaxaca

Dave leading a training session with SIL missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico

This week I have the privilege of training the Summer of Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico. Mitla is known as the city of the dead. Wikipedia states, “The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlán, which was the place of the dead or underworld.” In the spiritual sense it doesn’t have the greatest history, and there is much need in this area.

There are a number of indigenous groups in the state of Oaxaca that do not have the Bible in their own language. It’s amazing to me as I talk to the SIL missionaries about their translation work. Some of them travel back and forth to small and isolated villages. They’ve put in years of hard work in seeking to bring the Bible into the native tongue of the many tribal groups that live in this part of Mexico.

The Amazing Work of SIL Missionaries

A fun and active training session

No one can question the commitment these missionaries have to bringing the Word of God the gospel to lost and hurting people. One particular woman I met has spent 32 years working on translation for one particular tribal group. Usually it doesn’t take that long to translate the Bible, but sometimes it does. I met others who’ve spent 16 years working with a team to translate the Bible. The work of translation is a long and laborious ministry of love.

Another thing that impresses me about the SIL missionaries is that they are extremely intelligent. Can you imagine all the work and training involved in learning how to translate the Bible into another language. It’s complicated and strenuous work.

Jim DeWitt leading the training at the SIL center in Mitla

My good friend and colleague Jim DeWitt invited to join him and to be part of the training team as we train the SIL missionaries in train the trainer material. It’s an excellent resource for them, and I wonderful for me to serve in this way. Jim grew up as an MK, missionary kid in Mexico. His parents served with Wycliffe in Mexico, so he has deep roots here.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray for Mitla and the many Unreached indigenous groups in Oaxaca, Mexico

Pray with us that the Lord will use our team as we minister to these missionaries this week. It’s a great opportunity to influence them and be used to help them improve in the very important work they are doing!

Thank you so much for standing with us and for praying for us!

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