Archive for April, 2011

On Mission in Lancaster, PA

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Journey

Bill Massy & Dave

On Palm Sunday I had the privilege of being at Harvest Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA. Lancaster is mostly known for the Amish and Mennonite communities. I guess most would consider them behind the times, but it’s encouraging to see that the Lord is on the move in Lancaster. Harvest PC is a church plant. It was started by my good friends, Bill and Valerie Massey. Bill and I were roommates in seminary, so we’ve known each other for a long time.

Even though it hasn’t been that long since the  Massey’s started the church they are ready to move into a new church building this summer. I was able to go to the construction site, and see the building – it looks like it will be a beautiful church facility. The church is growing and the people there are friendly and excited to be on mission with God.

The Massey Family in front of the new church building

While I was there I was able to share during the Sunday School hour about our vision for our ministry on the border. It went well, and the Lord was really working. I did challenge the people to consider partnering with us in prayer and financially, so we can get on the field by this summer. After the service one of the members of the church came up to me, and said, “you’ve just found a new prayer partner, and a new giving partner!” She was very excited, and it really encouraged me. I prayed later, “Lord please raise up more people like this woman!” We need 30 more partners like her to reach our goal. God is blessing. God is on the move. Thanks for being on this journey with us.

William (in the middle) performing in play

On a side note. Bill and Valerie are wonderful parents. They have two great kids William, who is about 21 and has Down’s syndrome, and Ruth, who is 18 and getting ready to go off to Covenant College. On Saturday night, William was in a play and I was able to go to it. I really enjoyed seeing him act with other young adults you have Down’s, such a loving group of people. I must say one of the highlights for me when I visit the Massey’s is seeing their kids, and talking to William about all he is up to. Praise the Lord for His work in and through this family!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave speaking while on itineration last week

Recently while I was itinerating in the Baltimore area someone asked me about my devotional life. The question was something like, “what are you doing in your quiet time, or your devotional life.” The question did make me stop, and think about the journey that God has me on. Just like any Christian I have my ups and downs concerning my devotional life, and my walk with God. I’ve been praying that God would give me an increased love for His Word. That I would hunger and thirst after righteousness. Dawn and I have been praying for an increased love for the Word of God. Satan the enemy of our soul seeks to derail us. He wants to keep us from reading our Bibles, because he knows God’s Word does not return void. There is much power in Christ’s Words. They nourish our soul!

In the past year or so I’ve had a few friends that have read the Bible through in 90 days. That always intrigued me, but I was afraid to try it. I wasn’t sure I could keep up. On April 1st I decided to begin reading the Bible through in 90 days. I’m on day 24, and I’ve enjoyed it. I think there is great value in reading large portions of scripture in one sitting. Since most of the Bible was written as a narrative, it helps to read through the whole story, so it doesn’t get chopped up. I feel like the Lord has blessed, encouraged and challenged me as I’ve been on this journey. This may not be something for everyone, but it has helped draw me closer to Christ. I do believe that it’s important as we are on this Christian journey that we keep our relationship with Christ fresh. One way we can do that is by doing new things, and stretching ourselves in the process.

Pray that our love for Christ would never wane, that it would never grow cold, that each day we will draw nearer and closer to Him. This gospel we proclaim has the power to change lives! Hallelujah, He is Risen! Praise our Risen King!

In His Grip, Dave

Hidden Valley @ Salt Lake City

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Journey

The Temple in Salt Lake City

On the weekend of April 8 – 11, I was in Salt Lake City (Draper to be exact) for a missions conference at Hidden Valley Presbyterian Church. When I arrived pastor Lee Mashburn picked me up along with Paul and Sandy Kooistra (Paul is MTW’s president). It was snowy and cold, but we had a little time so went to Temple Square and walked around for a bit. Then we went in their huge conference center that holds 21,000 people. I was struck by the wealth of the Mormon church, and the tremendous oppression they hold over their people. SLC has the highest use of anti-depressants in the nation. They also have the highest suicide rate. Mormonism is a very legalistic religion. While people are smiling on the outside they are under tremendous pressure to live up to the demands of Mormonism.

Dr. Paul Kooistra speaking at Hidden Valley PC

While Salt Lake City is a beautiful city, it is an oppressive city. Hidden Valley Presbyterian Church is made up of warm and loving people that God is using to be salt and light in SLC. They are a city set on a hill to the community. With this backdrop we entered into the mission conference. Paul Kooistra did a great job Friday night sharing about the gains the church is making around the world in missions. It is encouraging to realize that there are many more Christians per capita today than we’ve had in past ages.

On Saturday I had two opportunities to share with two groups about what God is calling us to, and I was able to challenge these new friends to get involved through prayer, and supporting us financially. Many of them signed up to pray for us, and some have already given. Thank you Jesus!

Dave speaking at Hidden Valley PC

Sunday Paul preached from Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus proclaiming the good news of the gospel and healing people in need. He had compassion on the people as He saw them like sheep without a shepherd. Then He gave a charge to the disciples to pray for laborers, for the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Dr. Kooistra explained that it’s not just that there is a harvest, but that there is an urgency to harvest it. We need laborers! It made me think, even in our situation it is urgent for us to reach our financial goals in order that we can get to the field, and get to work. We are still praying that we will have all our funds by June 30th. We are a little behind on some of the targets that we had hoped to reach, but it doesn’t mean that it’s unattainable. Pray with us that it will happen. Pray for the Lord’s bountiful provision. Pray for more laborers. It is still true today that there is a need for more workers to work on harvesting the fields that the Lord has prepared for us.

In His Grip, Dave

A Wedding & Missions

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Journey

Brandon & Hayley exchanging vows

At the end of March Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and Hannah were all able to join me in Northern California. I picked the boys up in Southern California where we checked out three colleges, which is a big prayer request for us now. Then we drove up to my parents in Fresno. While we were there we were able to visit a lot of friends and family who are part of our ministry support team. The highlight of our time in Fresno was my nephew, Brandon Diaso’s wedding to Hayley Ripley. It was a wonderful outdoor wedding, even though it had rained all week and it was threatening to rain on the day of the wedding. Brandon is my brother, John’s oldest son. He is the first of his generation of the Diasos to get married. It was a lot of fun being able to celebrate the beginning of Brandon and Hayley’s marriage! Thanks to the Lord for that opportunity. Thanks for frequent flyer miles that helped us to be able to bring the whole family out for the occasion.

Dave speaking to Canyon Creek missions group

Another highlight of the trip, maybe not quite as festive, was the opportunity to speak to a group of young people from Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in San Ramon. They were preparing to go to Tecate, Mexico over Spring break to build homes for the poor. I enjoyed seeing the excitement of all of those that were going on the trip. Some of them had gone for more than one year, because they enjoyed the experience so much! Dawn and I hope to be able to hook up with churches like Canyon Creek as they come down to the Border to minister. That is one of the advantages that we have in working right on the Border.

Canyon Creek Missions Trip in Tecate Mexico

There are numerous opportunities to minister to people who have significant needs. We pray that the Lord will use the church to reach out in love to the many who are hurting.

In His Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn with my brother, John & Treena

More fun photos from the Wedding!

David, Jon & Hannah with their cousins, Serena & Tyler

Adventures in California

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Journey

I just returned from a trip to California. While I was there I was able to hook up with some great people. When I go on these trips, since I’m trying to raise funds by building our ministry support team I seek to minimize my expenses. One of the ways I do that is by staying with friends, and borrowing cars. It may be humbling in some ways to have to depend on other people, but it is a great blessing, because I am ministered to by those I stay with. I’m able to meet some outstanding people, and reconnect with old friends. I’d like to highlight three of them in this post.

The fun Steller family

Tom and Debbie Steller are new friends that Dawn and I met last year. They are both school teachers. They live in Chula Vista, and are connected to the Harbor Chula Vista Church. Tom and Debbie love sports, or at least Tom does and Debbie supports him and their two boys. Tom’s an avid baseball fan, which right away gives us a connection. He roots for the A’s, and I like the Giants, so we like to razz one another. Their boys, Andy and Alex are playing baseball in Little League right now. They just love it! It’s fun to watch their excitement. Tom and Debbie also have a heart for Hispanics. It’s just a lot of fun being with them. They really do minister to me!

Dan, Donna and Abby

Dan and Donna Morgigno are friends from way back. Dan and I went to high school together, and we really grew in our faith together in college at Fresno State. I was in Dan and Donna’s wedding, and Dan was in our wedding. Dan is a pilot for American Airlines, and he’s one of the best house remodeler, fix-it up guys that I know. I must say I’m jealous of all Dan’s talents. Donna is a wonderful cook, so I always eat well when I’m with them. It’s just a lot of fun catching up with them. On the last night I was with them my boys, David and Jonathan were able to be with us. We just had a great time together. They are definitely among my favorite people to be with.

Issaid & Mie with their kids

Issaid and Mie Arechiga, I first met them in Mexico. Issaid let me use his car, which was a huge help! Issaid knows all the good places to eat, so we had some “delicioso” tacos together. While I was on the border I was able to go to Tijuana to see the ministry of Daniel Nunez, and Issaid joined us. Issaid and Mie also went with me to Harbor Mid-City, and they really enjoyed it. It’s always fun being able to spend time with Issaid, and he helps me a lot as he tells me about his impressions of Mexico and the United States. I’m able to learn some valuable things from Issaid. I’m looking forward to living closer to him and his family. I think that they will be a blessing to us, and also get involved in our ministry.

The Lord ministers to us through friends. Thank you Lord for our friends!

In His Grip, Dave