Archive for January, 2011

God’s Leading to the Border, Part 2

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Journey

Bill Iverson & Dave

One of the principle people God used to call me to serve in Mexico was Dr. William (Bill) Iverson. I learned a number of things while was in seminary from my peripatetic professor, mentor and friend. One of the learning experiences we had early on was to go into the city of San Bernardino to listen and learn. I went to a somewhat seedy cafe in an undesirable part of the city with Dr. Bill. As we enjoyed a cup of coffee I observed how Bill engaged the various people in the cafe. They seemed quite open, and interested in talking to Bill. He used questions to draw them out. He was able to steer the conversation towards the gospel. The questions were intended to wake them up. They were asleep. The Holy Spirit uses the questions to wake them up, and as He works they may eventually be convicted and converted. We see this progression with Jesus and the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John, chapter 4.

Bill Iverson (in the middle in blue) Dave (on the bottom in red) with students from the International School of Theology

Later I asked Bill, “How are you able to talk to people so easily, I always feel afraid to engage people I don’t know.” Bill responded, “Remember these people also are afraid, and you have something they don’t have, you have the Holy Spirit.” It was one of those aha moments for me. As I followed Bill around I become more bold, and more willing to share my faith. Sometimes we would go to a restaurant, and Bill would start a discussion with someone then he’d turn the discussion over to me. Then there came a point when he would just nudge me, and tell me to go for it. Those were uncomfortable learning on the job moments. I’m convinced this is how we learn best. Christ used this model with his disciples. God used those moments in a profound way in my life. I can’t say that I’m always as bold as I’d like to be, but I do have a passion for the gospel and seeing people come to Christ.

Another thing we did was walk in the neighborhoods to observe and pray for the people. God used this to give us a heart for the neighborhood, and see some of the needs. Jesus modeled this as he was going through the towns and villages preaching the good news, and “…he had compassion for the people, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

Dinner in Mexico with Mexican friends - Summer of 1985 it was a life changing trip!

Bill liked to talk about theology with skin on. Some of the ways we did that were: we spent the night in the LA Rescue Mission, and then went out on the streets of LA to share the gospel; we visited a church plant in Southern California to train the people in evangelism; we went to Mexico, which radically changed my life. I went from being afraid of Mexico to loving it, and its people. The Lord used the trip to tug at my heart as I saw the crying physical need, the warmth of the people, and their openness to the gospel. Later God brought Dawn into my life. She already felt called to missions, and as the Lord worked she came to love Mexico too!

In His Grip,


God’s leading to the Border

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Journey

Some of our friends have asked us how God has us led to work with Hispanics on the US/Mexico Border? An area that many see as a very dangerous place to live. Just pick up your newspaper, and almost everyday there is something unpleasant written about what is happening. They wonder why we would go there since I had been kidnapped in Mexico City, and I also had my car stolen at gun point? I can tell you those were not fun experiences!

There are several answers to these questions. One is that the Lord has done a tremendous healing work in our lives over the last 11 years, since we left Mexico. Second, God has put a special love in our heart for the Mexican people. This love was rekindled when we made a trip to Chula Vista in March of 2010. God brought together a number of things on that trip. One big happening is we were able to reconnect with our good friends, Issaid and Mie.

Issaid and Mie with Naoe, Ruben & Issaid's mom, Clementina in the middle

Issaid and his family were in the first church plant we started in Mexico City. He was just finishing up high school and starting college when I met him. At that time I was working with young people. I spent a lot of time at the Arechiga home with Issaid and his brothers, Sinuhe, and Jahaziel. We studied the Bible together, and we played together. They taught me how to play dominoes. I never was very good at it, but we had a great time. Then Issaid met and married Mie. Mie is from Japan. She came to Mexico to study Spanish. I guess you could say she got more than she bargained for.

Issaid has been a great friend and helped me with a lot of things in Mexico, such as painting my house, and driving my broken down car to the Border. He has been one of my closest friends, but I lost touch with Issaid when we moved to Colorado, and he and his family moved to Tijuana.

Well, about a year ago I found Issaid on Facebook (a wonderful tool for finding friends), and I asked him where he lived. He said, “National City.” I asked, “where is National City?” And he said “it’s right next to Chula Vista, about a ten minute drive.” So when we went out to visit Chula Vista to check out the ministry there we reconnected with Issaid and Mie. It was so good to see them again. This is something the Lord has done, and it’s just one of the many things He did to pave our way to the Border. It gave us a connection with someone close that we know from Mexico. My hope and prayer is that in some way Issaid and Mie will join us in our work on the Border.

In His Grip, Dave

Visit to Nogales

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Journey

Recently I was able to go to Nogales, Mexico for some meetings connected with

Street vendor with his blankets

the BEAMM ministry. I hadn’t been to Mexico for a long time. With all the notoriety of the border I must admit I did feel some fear as I crossed. I prayed against fear as I was to make my first steps into Mexico. I have no doubts that our enemy is fomenting the crime, drugs and murder going on along the border. Paul exhorts us to be prepared as we go into battle in Ephesians 6. He emphatically drives home his point that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Stand firm therefore! I also reminded myself of Paul’s encouragement to his disciple, Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7, that we have not been give a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.

I entered with some trepidation, but once I was in Nogales, and found my

La Policia

friends I had a wonderful time. I was quickly reminded of the things that I love, and had missed about Mexico. The wonderful people, great traditions and culture, and the unbelievable food. Even my Spanish kicked back in. Maybe the salsa loosened my tongue?

There are plenty of needs along the border, which is one of the reasons my wife, Dawn and I feel called to serve there. While I was in Nogales we dreamed about how we might see a transformed border as God works. There are tremendous needs on both sides of the border. I don’t believe we can effectively serve on just one side. There is a lot of interaction between the twin cities that straddle the border.

Dawn and I feel a strong call to Chula Vista, California which is just south of

Map of San Diego County

San Diego, and just north of Tijuana (see map). San Diego and Tijuana, or TJ as many call it, are the largest twin cities, two cities side by side in bordering countries in the world. The 2006 census reports that 56% of the population in Chula Vista is latino (for map and census report click here). There is plenty of work to do there, and that’s why we are on this journey. We plan to partner with Harbor Presbyterian Church Chula Vista. Harbor is one of the closer churches to the border. It provides a great partner, and a great launching point for the ministry!

In His Grip, Dave

Life on the Border Infobahn

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Journey
Mexico Border Crossing

Mexico Border Crossing

Having set up this blog, we’re looking for ways to engage with our readers. What’s on your mind, what would you like to see here?

Let us know.

In his loving grip,


My son, David is helping me to get this blog up and running. My hope is that it won’t take long to tweak it, and have most of the things we would like on it. Once we accomplish this it can be a great tool for communication with interested friends. We sure do realize that we can’t do this ministry without faithful friends standing with us.

Thank you for your interest in what is going on – in what God is doing in our lives! It is my prayer that we can grow together as we share some of life’s adventures.

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Diaso Family at Garden of the God's in Colorado Springs

We are just launching our blog about our journey to the border. We ministered with Mission to the World for 15 years, and lived in Mexico City for 10 years. Two of our children were born in Mexico City, and our oldest son, David Jr. was only four months old when we arrived. We enjoyed our time of ministry, and all the great people we met as we planted churches in Mexico. Unfortunately, during that time I (Dave) was kidnapped, and held up at gunpoint. This obviously was not the highlight of our experience.

We moved to Colorado Springs in December of 1999. While living in the Springs I’ve worked with the Center for Organizational and Ministry Development, and Greater Europe Mission. Now we feel the Lord is calling us back to the mission field – the U.S./Mexican border in Chula Vista, California. We are excited to be on this new journey. The border is a challenging place to go right now. We definitely need friends to stand with us in this venture.

My hope is to tell the story of our journey getting to the border, and ministering on the border. I hope you will join us on this adventure!