Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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

Open Doors on the Road
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

Dawn and I are often amazed by all that the Lord does when traveling and when we are here on the border ministering. We recently returned from a ministry trip to the Villahermosa area, which is in Southeastern Mexico. We went there to work with a team to train pastors and church planters, but God had much more in mind for us.

On the weekend we were supposed to go Coatzacoalcos to meet with some pastors there, but those plans fell through. That gave us a great opportunity to spend more time with Pastor Luis and his wife, Gina. Luis asked me to preach in one of the mission churches.

Prayer Brings Breakthrough
Worship at the mission church where I preached. Pastor Luis is leading the service

Worship at the mission church where I preached. Pastor Luis is leading the service

It was a celebration service as they were celebrating the anniversary of the mission. At the end of my sermon, I asked the people to stand and I led them through a prayer that I’ve found to be powerful in helping set people free. After the time of prayer, I told the congregation that Dawn and I would be willing to meet with anyone that needed prayer.

At first, no one asked for prayer, but during the meal after the service one of the women told me she would like to meet with us.

Dawn and I met with Patricia and her twelve-year-old son, Mauricio. We found out that Patricia’s husband had recently left her, and it was hard on her son. Mauricio was acting out and even threatened to kill her. After hearing their story we led them through some helpful and powerful prayers, and we explained the gospel to them.

New Life in Christ

We asked both Patricia and Mauricio if they would like to pray to receive Christ with us. They said yes, so Dawn and I led them in prayer. Immediately after the prayer, we could see a shift in Mauricio’s attitude. He was experiencing the peace of God.

Dawn and I realized that it was important for them to reconcile with God, but also to reconcile to one another. We helped them to pray and to ask for forgiveness. Mauricio asked his mom to forgive him and then he gave her a big hug! Patricia was in tears as they hugged. God is good!

There is still work to be done, but it was so good to see the power of God break through in that situation. Pastor Luis is following up with them, and working with them as they continue to grow in their faith.

Continue to Join us in Prayer!
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’d like to ask you to pray for Patricia and Mauricio and others like them who are in need. The battle is very real, and the enemy doesn’t play fair and he doesn’t give up easily. We trust the Lord and his promises as he tells us that we are more than conquerors in Christ! O that this will be true in their lives, and that they will begin to walk in victory as they seek and serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s.

Pastor Luis told me that there are many people in the churches who are involved in witchcraft in Villahermosa. They hide it, but they secretly get involved in these occult practices instead of trusting the power of God.

Later that evening I was able to minister to a man who has been involved in witchcraft. I’d like to write more about that experience soon. Sometimes it’s hard to get all of what God is doing down. That often is the case, the Lord is doing so much that it’s difficult to post it all. Let me say in closing, I believe one of the reasons the Lord is opening these doors for us to minister in this way is because of all the people praying for us. My blog isn’t just about getting the word out, but we earnestly need and desire prayer.

Thanks so much for joining us and for praying with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

Dave & Dawn on a journey together

God Leads Wherever We Go!

Dawn and I just returned from a road trip. I originally thought that I would be able to post while traveling, but our schedule ended up being more full than I anticipated. I haven’t been able to post anything for the last two weeks, which is unusual for me!

Our trip was amazing in many ways. We took some time to rest and visit family and friends. We also were able to connect with one of the churches that partner with us in ministry.

The first stop on our trip was Fresno. My parents, Ron and Virginia still live in Fresno. My brother John and his wife and family are in the process of moving from Fresno to Morro Bay.

While in Fresno I was able to preach at Sierra View Presbyterian Church. This is one of the first churches, if not the first church to start supporting our ministry. Actually, they started supporting me before Dawn and I were married, so they’ve been partnering with us since 1988. That’s amazing and they are one of the reasons that we’ve been able to serve in ministry in Mexico City, Colorado, Europe, Cuba and on the Border and Beyond for all these years. Thank you, Jesus!

Since I grew up in Fresno, it’s always good to go back “home”, although I can’t say that I enjoy the heat. 😉 I’m thankful that the Lord has been so faithful and cared for my parents and my family for all these years.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way in Portland

From Fresno, we headed North and ended up in Portland. We actually stayed in Vancouver, Washington while visiting some special friends in Portland.

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza and Hosea. A wonderful family!

Nathan & Barbi Carr with their three cute children, Annabella, Eliza, and Hosea. 

This visit was extra special, as we were able to spend time with Nathan and Barbi Carr and their family. Dawn and I first met Barbi when I worked at Greater Europe Mission in Colorado. We reconnected with Barbi and met her husband, Nathan after Hannah moved to heaven.

The Lord connected us, as something that Barbi wrote on Facebook caught my eye when I was flying back home from El Salvador. Dawn and I started communicating with them, and they’ve been a huge encouragement to us as we heal from the experience of our daughter’s early home going.

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

My beautiful flower in the rose garden

We’ve been wanting to visit them for a long time, so it was so good to finally be with them. I feel like it was healing in many ways to be with them and some of their friends. While we were with them we went to the rose garden, which is beautiful. I think it’s a little taste of heaven on earth, and every time we sense heaven it causes us to feel closer to Hannah. Thank you, Jesus, for your many surprises and good gifts.

As an added gift we also enjoyed some grandparent practice with their 3 cute children, and that was incredible! It makes me hope that my kids hurry, and give us some grandchildren soon! 🙂

Wonderful to End the Trip with My Brother and His family
John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

John & Treena with Dawn & Dave

Then on our drive back home we stopped in Morro Bay to visit my brother, John, his wife, Treena, and their daughter Baylee.

Morro Bay felt like a walk down memory lane. My family used to go there every summer to camp. It’s a beautiful little place with amazing surroundings, including the harbor and the beach which I’ve always loved. When I’m near the beach I feel more close to the Lord, and every time I go I think of it as my beach therapy.

Dawn and I have traveled a great deal for the ministry since Hannah moved to heaven, but almost all of our travels have been ministry related. Although we did have opportunities to minister on this trip as well, we had more time to decompress. It was also good to drive, and spend time together as a couple. This gave us time to pray, and to listen to some audiobooks along the way.

I thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to go on this trip, and to have the experiences that we had. God is good. He’s a good, good Father, and he takes care of his children.

Thank you so much, Jesus for your grace and your healing work in our lives. One of the things that Dawn and I are learning is that grief, mourning is a long experience. It’s also exhausting at times, it takes the wind out of our sails. Yet, I see our Father loving us, and caring for us on this journey. He promises to one day make all things new. I long for that day. I long to see my savior face to face and to be able to hug my daughter again. Yet, I do feel like the Lord still has more for me to do here so I will continue to love and serve him until He calls me home!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Power of the Gospel

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

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

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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

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

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave & Dawn in Bogotá Colombia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ringing the Bell for Missions
Dave at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dave at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dawn and I just returned from a whirlwind trip. We started our trek in the Hartford, Connecticut area to visit our son, David Jr., and to help him move. Then we drove down to Maryland for the weekend and spent some time visiting some wonderful friends and a new church that has just started partnering with us in ministry.

It’s been a number of years since Dawn and I were able to visit our churches and ministry partners on the east coast. We’ve been so focused on our ministry in Mexico it’s been hard to break away. Also, the difficulties we went through in the years leading up to Hannah’s early home going made traveling more of a challenge.

This trip was outstanding and it awakened in me not only the need but the desire to reconnect with many of those who partner with us in ministry. My only regret is that there were still a number of our friends and partners that we weren’t able to see, so we hope we can make a return trip in the near future.

Thankful for the Task the Lord has Entrusted us with
Dave sharing during Sunday School at Trinity Presbyterian Church

Dave sharing during Sunday School at Trinity Presbyterian Church

While we visited Trinity Presbyterian Church Dawn and I had the opportunity to share with them about what God is doing in Mexico. I love sharing about Mexico and the people we work with, such wonderful people. Our son, David was able to join us so that made it that much more enjoyable.

The people at the church were wonderful. What a privilege to share about the challenges as well as the victories we experience in ministry. I find it especially enjoyable to meet people who used to live on the field or the missionary kids who are now grown and living in the United States.

Pray with us for more partners and for Workers
Dave and Dawn with some of our wonderful friends - Jim & Leslie Wilkins and Dave and Cathy Rysak and our sone, David, Jr.

Dave and Dawn with some of our wonderful friends – Jim & Leslie Wilkins and Dave and Cathy Rysak and our son, David, Jr.

The older I get the more convinced I am of the necessity of working together in ministry. The importance for Dawn and me to have a loving team that surrounds us encourages us and prays for us. We seek to love, encourage and pray for our friends as well.

Not only do we need a team that comes around us in this way, but we need more workers. We are praying for more people who are called by God to leave the comfort of their own home to serve with us on mission with God in Mexico.

Please pray with us for the Lord to raise up more laborers. Jesus still needs men and women for the harvest. It’s one of the blazing truths of Christianity!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org