Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Peace in La Paz
From upper left clockwise Benjamin & Blanca and Sofi; Dave, Alice, Blanca, Dawn, Sofi and Benjamin; Dawn and Dave; Peter and Jenny

Last week Dawn and I were in La Paz, Mexico which is on the Gulf of California side of the peninsula. We went there to get some time with our fellow missionaries, Peter and Jenny Boling, and our church planters, Benjamin and Blanca Romero.

It was our first ministry trip that we took where we had to get on a plane since the pandemic began.

La Paz, Baja California Sur

It’s always good to get some face to face time with those that we work closely with. Even though La Paz is on the same Peninsula as Tijuana it’s about 800 miles away.

Dawn and I get a lot of time with our church planters in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada, or at least we did until the COVID-19 restrictions began in March. Since these cities are close to where we live it makes it much easier to visit the church planters and encourage them.

Expansion Even in the Midst of the Pandemic
Some of the pastors with are working with throughout Mexico

Despite, the difficulties that the coronavirus restrictions have caused it has forced us to be creative, and in doing so we’ve been able to work with other church planters. In the last year, we’ve started funding, coaching, and training church planters in a number of other cities in Mexico: Neri and Karina in Tapachula, Chiapas; Manuel Santos in Durango, Durango; Roberto and Gabriela Mendoza in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora; Hector and Lulu Bautista in Hermosillo, Sonora; Eraclio and Amy Conde in Culiacán, Sinaloa; Jorge and Clara Izaguirre in Querétaro, Querétaro. And on top of that, there are all the church planters that we are supporting on the Big Island.

As I wrote the list of church planters we are working with I thought, “well it might not be all that exciting to read through that list, but if you consider the Apostle Paul and many of his letters he would end them greeting all the people he partnered with.” Part of the point is that we don’t do ministry alone. Too often church planters tell me, they feel alone and isolated. We are trying to change that. I’m encouraged by all the Lord is doing, and in the next few months, we are planning on partnering with even more church planters in other cities in Mexico.

That does encourage me! It represents kingdom expansion and that’s what we’ve been praying for.

Hard Times on the Big Island
Church that was torn down

Before I go I wanted to update you about some concerns on the Big Island. We just learned that the powers that be bulldozed a church. As you can see in the photos above the church was destroyed. This has all our familia there very concerned! They need our prayer. You can learn more about the tearing down of the church via this website: 14ymedio.com.

The Scarcity Continues
The Bread Shortage as reported by 14ymedio.com

Also, we’ve been getting more reports about the lack of basic needs like bread. And as I mentioned in my last post some church planters are not able to get the medicine they need. One of our pastors, Roberto has diabetes and he can’t get any insulin to help with his glucose levels.

Pray with us for these needs and give to help provide for these families. I wish that you would have the chance to talk to some of our familia, they are so grateful for the ways that we have helped them. Many of them call the help that they’ve received, “Friends Hands.” You are the friends that extend your hands to help them.

Pray and Extend Your Hands to Help our Friends, our Familia Today!

Make a donation today by clicking below.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ministry in This New Season
La Paz, Mexico at night

Dawn and I are on a flight to La Paz, Mexico to visit our missionary teammates and Mexican church planters. It’s our first ministry trip since the coronavirus restrictions began last March. As I write this I reminded what a strange and different season we’ve been living in. It’s not been an easy season to minister in. Yet, in spite of all the obstacles we see God at work.

In mayt ways our ministry has grown during this time. Just since last Saturday Dawn and I have had video calls with pastors and church planters on the Big Island, and in Mexico. The various pastors that we’ve talked to in Mexico represent more than 12 cities throughout the country. Since we’ve had to be more creative in the ways we’ve ministered it’s begun to open doors for us to influence leaders in cities that are new for us.

The Waymaker Brings the Increase
Pastor Roberto & Yolanda on the Big Island. Join us in praying for this wonderful couple and their family. We pray for the Lord’s healing touch on them.

It’s an answer to prayer, because we have been praying for increase. We’ve been praying that the Beyond part of our vision will grow, and that the Lord will make a way. He is the waymaker, as the popular Michael W. Smith song proclaims. It’s so good to see Jesus at work in the lives of men and women.

On Saturday Dawn and I spent over an hour praying with a pastor and his wife from the Big Island, *Roberto and *Yolanda (Not their real names). Roberto has diabetes and because of the ongoing crisis there is a shortage of so many things including medical items like insulin and antibiotics. We felt very concerned for Roberto when he told us that he was running out of insulin, and there wasn’t a way to get more, so we set up a time to met and pray with him and his wife. We prayed for healing and the Lord’s provision. Roberto and Yolanda were moved to tears as we prayed. When we were done Roberto said that he felt better, and as I’ve kept in touch with him this week he’s continued to improve!

Roberto and Yolanda just told us this morning that they don’t have anymore insulin! Prayer for healing and God’s provision is URGENT!

Please join us in prayer for Roberto and Yolanda and so many others who are hurting and having to go without on the Big Island. Send a gift today to help meet these needs, so that we can continue to send aid to our beautiful familia.

Outreach Through Alpha
Zoom meeting for Alpha training

Last night we had five church planters throughout Mexico who are taking an online Alpha class with us so that they can learn how to reach out in their communities even while they are faced with the limitations that we living with. Two more pastors told me today that they would also like to go through this training.

I must admit on the one hand I’m frustrated with all the Zoom meetings. At times life seems so busy, even though most of my meetings now take place on my computer in my home office. Yet, I also realize that I am connecting with pastors who live 100’s if not thousands of miles away in places in Mexico like Tapachula, Durango, Culiacán, Hermosillo and La Paz. And as I’ve already mentioned Dawn and I also have regular, even daily contact with our friends and familia on the Big Island.

The Lion is on the Move!
Outreach in Tijuana & Mexicali

God is on the move! There is a lot of swirl going on right now, with the coronavirus, the social unrest and political divide, but I believe there is breakthrough. There are things we can be excited about, but maybe we just have to look a little harder to find them!

Dawn and I continue to pray for, work for and trust the Lord for breakthrough. It is inevitable that the church will grow. His kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven! I hope that these words might encourage you. Both Dawn and I hope that the needs especially the lack on the Big Island will move you to be generous and give. Donate today! You can’t believe what a tremendous blessing your generosity is to our familia. The reports and testimonies we are receiving are heart warming.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Travel in this New Era

Dawn and I traveled to the East Coast last week. It was the first time we’ve been on a plane since March. The plane ride wasn’t all that enjoyable wearing a mask the whole way, but it has been good to visit Dawn’s brother and family as well as some friends in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Although we weren’t able to visit as many friends as we would have liked to because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

VBS at New Life in Escondido

One of our partner churches, New Life in Escondido put together a fun video for their VBS featuring our ministry. It’s a lively, upbeat video that I thought you would enjoy seeing. There are some great aerial shots that will give you an idea of some of the places where we are ministering and planting churches. Also, they used some entertaining Latino music that I think you will enjoy!

Join Us in Prayer!

Please pray for our church planters who have a tough job of reaching out during a time when people are afraid, because of the coronavirus. Pray that the Lord will give them the wisdom to connect with people in creative ways. Pray for the tremendous needs that continue to plague those who live on the Big Island. We just received a message this week from one of our church planters on the Big Island telling us that he was being told that his church could no longer meet because they meet in an apartment complex. Pray for the Lord’s care and protection for our familia.

Extend Your Hands to Help!
Some of the families that we’ve extended our hands to help!

Extend your hands to give to the needs and help feed families on the Big Island. The scarcity is heartbreaking, and many of our friends are suffering ill-health as a result of the lack of food. Give through the link below!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Our Road Trip to Colorado
Lake Mead – Unfortunately, Hoover Dam was closed, but we were able to stop and see Lake Mead

Dawn and I just returned from a road trip to Colorado to visit our family, David & Emily, and Jonathan & Hannah. It’s always such a joy for us to see our boys with their lovely wives. We wish we could see them more frequently, yet we give thanks for the time that we do have with them.

This summer we especially felt like we needed a break, since both of my parents died in the last few months. I’ve felt heavy at times, and the COVID-19 crisis and all the riots haven’t made it any easier. In some ways it was like breathing a breath of fresh air. It was a time to be refreshed and unwind.

We decided to drive to give us a little more time alone, and to enjoy the scenery. It was a beautiful trip, and although we are worn out now that we are back home it was well worth it.

A Time to Celebrate! 🎉
Jonathan’s graduation celebration. Jonathan with Rich & Liz Blanco (top left); Jonathan & Hannah (top right); Jonathan with David & Emily (bottom right); Jonathan with Dave & Dawn (bottom left).

While we were in Colorado we celebrated Jonathan’s graduation from Grand Canyon University. We are proud of Jonathan for completing his degree while working full time, and getting married. He’s always been a very hard worker, and he showed a lot of perseverance by sticking with it, and finishing his undergrad studies.

Jonathan’s birthday celebration! On the bottom left Dave and Jonathan from a few years ago

Another milestone we celebrated with Jonathan was his 28th birthday on August 8th. Jonathan and Hannah planned out a full day of fun which included, golf, breakfast, BBQ and we ended the night with guys volleyball followed by a delicious birthday cookie.

Apart from the wonderful time with our family we also enjoyed seeing some of our friends. We always wish we could see even more friends. Since we lived in Colorado for 12 years we have a number of amazing friends that we love in the State of the Rockies.

Promoting the Lord’s Good Work
Pastor Federico Muñoz – planting a church with his wife Blanca in Mexicali, Mexico 🇲🇽

I also had the opportunity to meet with some our pastor friends to give an update about the ministry and all that the Lord is doing. Dawn and I are continuing to promote and raise funds for church planting and for the tremendous needs on the Border, the Baja and Beyond which includes the Big Island.

We are so grateful for the generous gifts that have been given. The needs are ongoing. In our communication with our pastor friends the needs for food and basic needs continue on the Big Island. Tourism is one of the main attractions which generates funds for the Island, but the coronavirus has kept the tourist away. Flights into the country are very limited.

Extend Your Hands to Give
One of the pastoral families that we are helping. They have planted 9 churches this year!

Please pray with us for these dear friends and give to help feed these families in need. We’ve now been able to help more than 750 people on the Big Island. We give thanks for that! We couldn’t have done it without your help. Extend your hands to help these wonderful friends.

Click Here to Donate…

In His Grip, David

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Tough Transition Back Home
Virginia Diaso – November 5, 1935 – March 19, 2020

Life has been both difficult and crazy since I returned from Cuba. I saw a lot of fruit while I was with my friends on the big island, but I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting on the other side of my trip. I returned close to midnight on Wednesday, March 18. Communication with my family isn’t easy when I’m in Cuba, because there is very little access to the internet. Finally, on my way home, I was able to talk to my brother, John and I found out that my mom didn’t have much time to live.

I hoped and prayed that I could get to Fresno before my mom moved to heaven, but I wasn’t able to make it in time. Thankfully John called me in the morning on Thursday and suggested that I talk while he put the phone up to mom’s ear and I was able to tell her of my love and say good-bye. I’m grateful for that opportunity. Later in the day I called back and talked to my other brother, Greg and right when I got off the phone with him my mom moved to heaven.

Then as everyone knows we’ve had this pandemic Coronavirus going on which has made it challenging to do basic things that we’ve all come to expect. We still haven’t been able to have a graveside service for my mom, because of the all of the restrictions. It’s an odd time, and we definitely appreciate your prayers during this season of our lives.

I wrote a tribute to mom in the last post and you can read it here…

An Amazing Time with Mi familia Cubana
One of the groups of church planters that we trained in Camaguey

My time in Cuba was amazing, and I find that often when the Lord is working through us in a dark place that there is opposition. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore.

When I was in Cuba last September I was able to train a number of church planters, and I learned that it would be better to train them in cities closer to where they live. This time we held four training events in four different cities and we had 102 church planters attend. One of the most exciting things is that the Cuban leaders did most of the training. This alone is reason to celebrate, because now they can continue with the work even when I’m not there. Another important consideration is that I’m limited in what I’m allowed to do and I desire to be wise and careful while I’m in the country.

These pastors, many of them lay leaders are such quality people that love the Lord. Most of them have such a deep commitment to the Lord that it motivates me to have more faith and devotion to follow Jesus.

The Church is Growing!
One of the group activities during the training

In one of the cities where I was we worked with a group that has started 16 churches in the last year, and their goal is start 30 by the end of 2020. That’s one of the reasons I come back home so stoked! King Jesus is doing a great work on the big Island despite all the obstacles.

Pray for Us & Our Cuban Familia
Our Cuban familia

I’d appreciate your prayers for our familia. Even when things are normal in Cuba life is difficult. Long lines for basic needs are common. What the US is going through now still doesn’t match what the average Cuban experiences on daily basis. Yet, God in his marvelous mercy is at work.

The churches can only meet in very small groups now with the Coronavirus and they don’t have the same access to the internet that we have. Pray for the Lord’s care and provision for them during this time. Many of our friends have asked us to pray them as they’ve shared their growing struggles, and how the quarantine has made things worse.

Look to the Father in this Season
Dave & Dawn

I feel like the Lord wants to wake the church up during this season. My prayer is that we will use this time to strengthen our families and to spend more time with the Lord. Grow in your intimacy with the Father. He is calling all of us to the secret place!

He will care for you as he promises to do.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'”

Psalm 91:1,2 ESV

Thanks so much for joining Dawn and me on this journey of faith. I would like to write more about my time in Cuba in my next post. There are many magnificent stories to tell.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Trip to Cuba
Dave with Mario & Yany

I’m on my way to Cuba to encourage our growing familia. They are people that Dawn and I have come to love. Every time we are on this big island we see the Spirit breakthrough! So I go expectantly.

Dawn is not able to join me on this trip. She is staying home to care for her mom. It’s been a new season for us since Dawn’s mom, Alice has come to live with us. Dawn isn’t able to travel with me as much.

The Lord is opening of some doors and ways for Dawn to join me on some my upcoming trips. We are also praying about the possibility of both them joining me on my next trip to Cuba in June. You can help us by praying that the Lord will show us the way, and make it clear to us. I think it could be a wonderful opportunity! Dawn’s mom still has an adventurous spirit after living in the Ukraine for 20 years.

I’d also appreciate prayer for my time with our familia in Cuba. I will be in four different cities after I land in Havana. First I will go to Sibanicu and Camaguey with Luis and May. Then I will go to Cabaiguan with Mario and Yany. I will end my trip in Jatibonico with Justo and Sara. While there I will have the opportunity to see and encourage a number of our friends.

Join us in Prayer
Dave & Dawn on this journey together
  • Pray for Dawn and her mom, Alice while I’m away.
  • Pray for our family including David and Emily, Jonathan and Hannah and my parents Ron and Virginia.
  • Our son David has had some health issues recently that we are concerned about, and we would ask prayer for his health and healing.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection while I’m in Cuba.
  • Pray for His Spirit to breakthrough and to minister and encourage our Cuban family and friends.
  • I will be in Cuba until March 18th, and I usually have little to no internet access while there, which makes communication sparse.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Trip to Cd. Obregon & Hermosillo
The country side on the road from Cd. Obregon to Hermosillo

In my last post I wrote about my trip to Northwestern Mexico. such a great encouragement to see how the church is growing. On that trip I also connected with two church planting couples that are just beginning their work.

I went to Cd. Obregon and Hermosillo to learn more about how the church is growing and reproducing. As I was preparing for the trip the Lord reminded me that I knew a church planter in Cd. Obregon and that there was a new church plant starting up in Hermosillo. I was able to get some good time with these two pastoral couples.

Cd. Obregon: Pastor Roberto & Gabriela
Dave with Pastor Roberto & Gabriela Mendoza and their family

Pastor Roberto Mendoza and his wife Gabriela are starting a church in Cd. Obregon. I met Roberto a few years ago, but I had never met his wife, or his family. It was a joy to meet them. It’s so good when Jesus orchestrates and brings things together!

Roberto and Gabriela have been working on the church plant for two and a half years. They are at a point where they are doing well, but they also need some encouragement. Roberto shared how lonely it can be to plant a church. My heart goes out to him. It was so clear that our loving Father arranged this time.

One of the wonderful things about connecting in this way, and spending some good time together is that it opens the doors for future ministry. It makes it easier for me to know what some of their needs are, and how I might spur them on and strengthen them along the way.

Pray with us for Roberto and Gabriela. They are doing an important work in establishing a beachhead in Ciudad Obregon. Pastor Roberto has a vision to start more churches in the area and to educate future ministers of the gospel! So good! Lord, grant them the desire of their hearts for your honor and glory.

Hermosillo: Hector & Lulu
Dave with Pastor Hector & Lulu Bautista

From Ciudad Obregon I took the bus to Hermosillo. I just happened to be there the same week that a new church planting couple, Hector and Lulu Bautista were there looking for a house. They are moving from Jalapa, Veracruz to Hermosillo. That is a long move!

They’ve never lived in Northern Mexico before, and there is a huge difference between northern and southern Mexico. One of the main differences is there aren’t as many churches in Northern Mexico.

I had never met Pastor Hector and Lulu, so again Jesus brought everything together at just the right time. Hallelujah!

Hector asked me if he could stay in contact with me so I could mentor him and encourage him as he starts this church from scratch. They told me they are starting from zero. They don’t know anyone in Hermosillo. That is definitely the hardest way to start a church. Of course, nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but it is important to understand some of the challenges they will face. Also it’s super important for them that they don’t feel alone.

Join us in Prayer!
Dave & Dawn – Thanks for joining us on this journey and for praying with us

Dawn and I are praying that the Lord uses us to help plant 1,000 churches over the next 15 – 20 years. When I see Jesus open doors like this I know he’s at work. It’s the Lord’s desire to see his church grow and multiply.

Pray with us for these two couples, Roberto and Gabriela, and Hector and Lulu. They need wisdom from above and boldness as they share the gospel in the communities that the Lord has called them to. All of our church planters could use similar type of prayer. These are some of the other church planters we are working with Federico and Blanca, Mere and Edna in Mexicali, Davis and Luz in Tijuana, Petri and Yudy in Ensenada, Jose Luis and Ana in La Paz. There are others, but these are some of our newer church plants. Evangelism and new contacts is key when they are starting out.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church Multiplication
Dave with pastors Samuel, Francisco, Roberto & Raul

On the road in Northwestern Mexico. This week I’ve traveled to some places in Northern Mexico that I’ve never been to, Ciudad Obregón and Hermosillo. I’m meeting with pastors and church planters. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get to know these outstanding men and women and to learn about their work. Such wonderful people who have made great sacrifices for the gospel.

One of the main questions I’m asking as I meet with them is if their church has reproduced? Have they not only successfully planted their church, but also started other churches?

Most of the pastors I talked to have already started other churches. One of them has started 3 churches in just a few years time. So encouraging!

We Long for More!

Dawn and I keep praying for more, and we are praying that we can help plant more churches throughout Mexico and Beyond. I like to say igniting church-planting movements on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! One of the principle places where we are seeing multiplication is in Cuba, but it is happening in Mexico as well. It’s so good to see the church grow.

I feel like one of the great advantages that I have when I meet with these pastors and learn from them is it also allows me to pray for them and to encourage them. The Lord has given me a love and a compassion for them, and we connect deeply in relatively brief period of time.

The Battle Rages On
Some of our Cuban prayer warrior friends. They know how to pray!

One of the pastors, Samuel told me that where he is planting his churches there is a lot of witchcraft going on, which is increasing in Mexico. He said because of that the people battle with more sickness. Samuel said his leaders have helped train them in how to pray and deal with the attacks of the enemy, but he also felt like they needed more help. We’ve found that witchcraft is a serious problem in Cuba and most of the other countries we work in. I believe that it’s on the rise in the US as well.

These pastors are right on the front of the battle lines, and they need encouragement and prayer support. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities, Ephesians 6:12.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 ESV

Even with these obstacles the church is growing. The church is multiplying!

Join Us in Prayer !

Dawn & I are glad to be on this journey with you

I celebrate this growth, and at the same time I long for more. Join with us in the battle. Pray with us and for us. Pray also for these pastors that are in the trenches seeing people freed from darkness through the light of the gospel! The battle rages on, but we have victory in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Grateful for the Opportunity to Give Testimony of All That God is Doing

At times Dawn and I travel to promote all that the Lord is doing on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. I love the opportunity to give testimony to God’s marvelous work where we are ministering. Over the past two months we’ve been visiting friends and churches in what seems like all over the place.

Colorado: Bringing Mexico, the Church & Family Together
Adolfo Josue, Pastor Adolfo and Porfirio at Garden of the Gods

Dawn and I went to Colorado together where we hosted the president of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, Pastor Adolfo Arias and his son, Adolfo Josue. The director of the Instituto Juarez, a private Presbyterian school in Mexico City, Porfirio Camarillo also came. We had a wondeful weekend introducing them to Colorado and Village Seven Presbyterian Church. It was the first time that Adolfo Josue visited the USA.

The added blessing for us is could take advantage of the trip to visit our two boys, David and Jonathan and their wives, Emily and Hannah. The Lord encouraged us in many ways through this trip. When our kids were younger we always tried to include them in the ministry, and they grew up loving Mexico and our friends. It was so good to be able to introduce them to these friends. It fills my heart up when I see my boys and their wives enjoying getting to know ministry partners and friends in this way.

Our fun evening out for dinner with the family and our friends from Mexico

Saturday night we had the opportunity to go out to dinner with Aldofo, Josue and Porfirio. Our whole clan joined us including Hannah’s parents, Rich and Liz Blanco. We ate some good barbecue, which is something difficult to find in Mexico and had an amazing time together. Our mexican friends don’t speak much English, so Dawn and I had to help with translation. It also gave David and Jonathan an opportunity to work on their Spanish.

On Sunday after church we had a great lunch meeting with some friends on missions committee at Village Seven as well as Pastor Mark Bates and his wife, Tricia and Pastor Page Clark and his wife, Sarah. I enjoyed translating and helping Adolfo and Porfirio share about the vision to see the church in Mexico reach the next generation.

More Opportunities in Pennsylvania and Maryland
Dave sharing at Harvest Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

After we left Colorado I had a couple more trips. I went to the Philadelphia area, where Dawn’s brother, Ted and his family live. While there I visited a church in Lancaster, Harvest Church. I also visited a group from Trinity Church in Annapolis area. I drove up to New Jersey as well to see Dr. William Iverson. In my last post I wrote about the special visit with my friend and mentor Dr. Bill Iverson. It was a busy few days!

One of the things I enjoy about sharing our story and the testimony of all that the Lord is doing is the positive reaction from those that I go to visit. I always seek to encourage them and let them know that Dawn and I couldn’t do this work without friends like them standing with us.

Road Trip to Northern California
Church planter connection event in San Jose, California

After I trip back East I made a trip to Long Beach, Fresno and San Jose to promote our work and to connect with some fellow church planters. This trip involved a lot of time in the car, and driving through LA, which I don’t enjoy. I don’t mind driving long distances, but I don’t like LA traffic. I’m not sure who does?

Pray for My Parents

My parents live in Fresno, and my mom hasn’t been feeling well over the last month. She was in the hospital for more than 3 weeks. It’s hard to see my mom struggling to breath. She has COPD, and recently she’s had a harder time, which has caused her to need hospital care. My mom just came home from the hospital last Thursday, November 14. She’s receiving home care now. Please pray for both my mom and dad for their health and the Lord’s peace. He promises to give us a peace that passes all understanding.

God’s faithfulness through it all

I feel like I skipped over a lot in an effort to keep this post shorter, but you can see we’ve got a lot going on. There are periods when we travel often. Usually I travel alone, since Dawn’s mom is living with us it’s hard for us to all travel together.

As I mentioned above I do enjoy being able to share all the testimonies of what God is doing among us. I’ve noticed as we have opportunity to encourage others it strengthens our faith also. For the most part I enjoy traveling, although I do need time at home and there is ministry here close by as well, so I need to keep that in balance.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue on this exciting journey of faith. Next week, Dawn, her mom and I will be heading to Colorado for Thanksgiving to be with our boys and their wives, which should be a good time. We pray that the Lord richly blesses you as you celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and loved ones!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Reconnecting with Dr. William T. Iverson

Dave with Dr. William T. Iverson

I’m writing this as I’m on my way back from a trip to the Philly area. While here I was in a few places in New Jersey, as well as Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Annapolis, Maryland. It was a fruitful trip that gave me the opportunity to tell of the wonders of the Lord and all he is doing on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting my 91-year-old professor, mentor, spiritual father and friend, Dr. William “Bill” Iverson. I first met Bill when I was a 24-year-old seminary student at the International School of Theology (ISOT). ISOT is affiliated with Cru. At the time the school was at Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino, California.

A Spiritual Father & Mentor during My Formative Years

Bill when he was 15 years old seated on the far right with his family. Bill’s dad, Daniel Iverson was an influential pastor in Miami, Florida. He started Shenandoah Presbyterian Church

I came to Christ while I was in college at Fresno State. I believe I was 20 years old at the time, so when I went to seminary I was still a relatively young believer. I needed a lot of guidance. I remember I had my share of insecurities as I was growing in my faith and learning to lead.

Bill became an important father in my life during that time. He was a unique combination of being a bold intellect. He pushed me to study and learn from the church Father’s while I was in school. He’s also the boldest personal evangelist that I’ve ever met. We would often go into a restaurant and he would begin a conversation with someone and then he would open the door for me to step in and share the gospel. At that time I was timid and wet behind the ears, so I would stumble my way through sharing the gospel.

Today I share the gospel with strangers on a regular basis, and Dawn is even bolder than me in sharing her faith. That all had its beginnings with Dr. Bill.

I remember one specific conversation we had in an old greasy spoon in the downtown area of San Bernardino. Bill started up conversations that led to opportunities to share the gospel with two or three people while we were there.

After these conversations I told Bill that I felt timid or fearful to just talk to strangers like that. He told me something that has stuck with me to this day. He said, “remember that these people are afraid as well, but the difference is that you have the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you.”

Wow! That was a game-changer!

I can’t say that I all of the sudden became a bold evangelist, but it did set in motion my growth to becoming bolder and more committed to sharing the good news of the gospel.

The Beginnings of My Call to Mexico

Dr. Iverson (top middle in blue) & Dave (bottom right in red) with other ISOT students and professors on a retreat during the 1984/85 school year

Another huge way that Bill influenced me is that he led a group of 16 students from ISOT to Cuernavaca and Mexico City for six weeks in the summer of 1985. It was on this trip that the Lord gripped my heart and gave me a love for Mexico.

Dr. Iverson taught us, students, the importance of reading broadly to learn from other disciplines and to help us to engage with them and the world around us. He and the students I studied with made my seminary experience an excellent one!

Dawn used to live across the street from Bill before she moved into the city and became one of my neighbors. Bill likes to claim responsibility for Dawn and my relationship, which may be slightly exaggerated! Yet, he did know both of us when we were single and he definitely encouraged us in our relationship.

Dr. Iverson signing a book for me. He’s written 2 or 3 books (one of them is called, Jesus and the Ways of Socrates, which is available on Amazon). He always likes to give me books.

I give thanks to the Lord for Dr. Iverson, and for how the Lord used Bill in our lives! I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence of my mentor and spiritual father. Thankfully the Lord brought other mentors into my life over the years, like Dr. Thomas Graham. I see God’s goodness and love in how he gave me such good men to influence my life.

For all these reasons and more it was so good to be reunited with my gregarious, intellectual, ironic and bold professor.

One of my prayers is that I can be a spiritual father and mentor to the men and women that the Lord privileges us to work with. I believe that is taking place through the church planters and leaders that we work within Mexico, Cuba, and other countries. Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

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