Archive for July, 2011

Dave with Jim Burke (far right) & friends from First Baptist

One of the huge benefits of traveling around and telling people our story is that many people pray for us. Some like you are praying for us from afar, but some pray for us when we are with them. It’s a great blessing and encouragement to us.

Last Saturday I was with my good friend, Jim Burke. Jim introduced me to some of his friends at the First Baptist Church in Rockville, MD. I was able to share with them about our ministry, and give them some specific prayer requests. After I finished they gathered around in a big circle and prayed for me and my family. It was especially encouraging as new friends from Indonesia, Malaysia prayed for us. I felt strengthened in my spirit as I walked out the that meeting! Thanks to Jim Burke, another of my champions, who introduced me to his friends.

John & Gwen Cicone - More Champions!

Then on Sunday I was with Aisquith Presbyterian in Baltimore. John and Gwen Cicone introduced me to their church. I was able to share in Sunday School and the church service. It was a great blessing to be with them, and the timing couldn’t have been better. A group of them had just returned from a missions trip to Guadalajara, so they have a vested interest in what’s going on in Mexico.

Whenever I visit these groups I ask them to pray for us, and if they would be interested in signing up to receive our email prayer updates. (If you haven’t already you can sign up to receive our newsletter and our blog posts on the left side of this page.) I often ask them to prayerfully consider coming on our financial support team as well. God does answer prayer! There is tremendous value having an army of people standing with us in prayer. I have a prayer page, that I try to keep updated on this blog. It’s a good place to go for our most recent prayer requests.

Dave speaking at Aisquith Church

Here’s a few things you can be praying for us about:

  • Follow up on the people, and churches that are considering coming on our financial support team.
  • We are pushing past 80%, and moving towards 90% of our monthly financial support needs. Pray that many will come on our team, and move us to 90% and ultimately to 100%!
  • The sell of our house
  • School for our children: David Jr. starts at San Diego Christian August 19. Jonathan will be at Pikes Peak Community College, and starts August 22. Hannah we are thinking of homeschooling her this year, since we’ve got so much in the air with the move. Pray for God’s provision and wisdom!
In His Grip, Dave

Mark Jekel with Amy and Anne

Mark Jekel and his wife along with their two girls, Amy and Anne are a lot of fun to be with. They are some more of our vital champions, our partners. The Jekel family were awesome hosts the last couple of days. We often enjoy sitting around the table and having an intriguing discussion. They live in Gaithersburg, Maryland. They have been on our support team for more than 15 years, and the Lord has used them to encourage us in many ways. We first met them through Andrea Ruggeri. Andrea was a single missionary (Andrea Reichel), who served with us in Mexico City. She is from Timonium, Maryland, and that’s where we first met the Jekels. They were involved in Timonium Presbyterian Church at the time. Now they are involved in Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg.

God has used Andrea in some amazing ways to introduce us to friends who now support us and partner with us in ministry. I wasn’t able to see her on this trip, but being with Mark and family reminded me of her. It’s just another reminder of how important the body of Christ is to our ministry. God uses so many friends, in many different ways to raise up an army of people that stand with us in prayer, and through financial support.

Dave with the Jekels and their friends

Dawn and I are working hard on raising up new support, so that we will be fully funded, and be able to move to the field to start our ministry in San Diego-Tijuana. While I was with the Jekels they hosted a support party for us. It was really great to meet their friends, and have the opportunity to share with them about what the Lord is doing on the Border. Thank the Lord for Mark and family. May the Lord bless them, and increase their tribe!

I also connected with another champion, Jim Burke, who I’ll try to write about in my next post. Sunday morning, July 24 I will be at Aisquith Presbyterian Church to present our ministry. John and Gwen Cicone have helped me connect with the Aisquith church. Pray for receptive hearts, and that the Lord will open doors and provide new partners – new champions for the cause of Christ on the Border.

In His Grip, Dave

August & Carla Hein with Susanna at Grace Evangelical

Yesterday I was able to speak at two churches – Cedar Grove United Methodist, and Grace Evangelical Presbyterian. Both of these churches are in the Annapolis area. While there I stayed with Roy and Diane Karkosh, and I saw August and Carla Hein. It made me think of our champions. Friends who not only support our ministry, but help us connect to other friends, and ministries.

Carla first started supporting Dawn when they were both single, and Dawn was with Campus Crusade for Christ. That was about 25 years ago. Then when Dawn and I got married, Carla continued to support our ministry. Later she got married to August, and they both have been a great source of encouragement. Through the Heins we’ve gotten to know both Cedar Grove and Grace Evangelical. Carla and August have a real heart for missions. They are working towards serving in missions themselves in Africa. When I think of friends like the Heins it reminds me of how we are not in this ministry alone. We have many friends that stand with us. Many champions! Through these champions we meet others who engage and partner with us in reaching the lost for Christ. 

Dave at Cedar Grove

Carla introduced me to Diane Karkosh, who represents us on the missions committee at Cedar Grove Church. Diane too has been a great encouragement, and on this trip Roy and Diane are not only hosting me for a few nights, they are also letting me use their cool convertible Mustang. Wow, that’s fun to drive! God does encourage and bless us through friends like the Heins and the Karkoshs. Thank the Lord for going before us, and providing for us. As we near our goal of being fully funded, so that we can serve on the border, and glorify God on mission, we are reminded once again that we cannot do this work without God’s people standing with us. Our prayer is that the Lord continues to bless, continues to provide, continues to work through friends like Carla & August and Roy & Diane. Thanks for being one of those friends!

In His Grip, Dave

Wanted to get out a quick note, and ask for prayer for my trip.

  1. Dave & Dawn

    I fly to Baltimore later today, July 16.

  2. On Sunday I will be speaking in two churches that are near Annapolis – Cedar Grove United Methodist and Grace Evangelical Presbyterian.
  3. Then later Sunday afternoon I will be driving up to Bucks county near Philadelphia. I will be working with the Center for Organizational and Ministry Development to do an evaluation for cross-cultural missions for World Team candidates. The evaluation process goes from Monday to Thursday.
  4. On Thursday I drive to the DC area to visit some other churches and individuals. I will be with Mark Jekel and family on Thursday and Friday night, and then with Jim and Leslie Wilkins on Saturday and Sunday.
  5. The Jekels are hosting a support party for me on Friday night. Pray that we get two or three couples to join us, and that they are receptive to what God is doing on the border.
  6. On Sunday I will be at Aisquith Presbyterian, and speaking in the service and Sunday School.
  7. Then I fly home on Monday, July 25.
  8. Pray that the Lord uses this trip, and these appointments to raise up more prayer and financial partners. We are still at about 80% – we are working and praying that we will be fully funded soon. August 31st would be great – it’s in God’s hands.
  9. I’m still working on setting up a few more appointments – pray that I can fill my time up with good, fruitful appointments.
  10. Our house is on the market – pray that it sells quickly.
Thanks for standing with us in prayer. We know we will fail without prayer.
In His Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn with Ray & Michele Call and family

Two weeks ago I was able to finish reading through the Bible in 90 days. My desire here isn’t to boast in my accomplishment, but to reflect on some lessons learned. Initially I was afraid that it would be too much, or that I wouldn’t be able to stay up with all the reading. It was challenging as it took on average an hour a day to read about 12 chapters a day. Any amount of time in God’s Word is a blessing, and beneficial. 1 Peter 1:24-25, “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever…” This is an enduring truth.

I suppose one of the reasons we don’t read more of the Bible, is that we are uber-busy. It takes discipline to slow down, and be with God. I’ve been reading the book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The author speaks about the need to slow down, and just be with God. This benefits our spiritual growth, which affects our emotional health and maturity. The Bible was not given just to increase our knowledge, but to radically change our lives. One of my friends who has been coaching me, Dick Gascho, has said, “the reason it’s called a discipline is because it’s not easy to do.” It’s kind of a simple way to state the obvious. Slowing down to be with God is of great value. The Psalms say, “Be still and know that I am God,” (Ps. 46:10). Let me encourage you in this crazy fast paced world we live in to take some time each day to slow down, and just be with the Lord.

As I think about our ministry on the border – I recognize as Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” There is power in God’s Word – in this gospel we proclaim. Our prayer is that as the gospel is faithfully proclaimed that many on the border will come to Christ, and that God’s glory will fill the San Diego-Tijuana border. 

Dave speaking at Skyview Presbyterian Church

Join with Dawn and me in this prayer that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “…brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one,” (2 Thes. 3:1-3).

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave with Pastor Dick Kaufmann

As I reflect back over the past 11 years of our lives, since we left Mexico, I’m amazed. God’s timing is perfect. It doesn’t always seem so, but it is true nonetheless.

I remember when Dawn and I left Mexico City, and realized that we weren’t going back, we began to consider, “okay, what’s next?” Two ministries we explored during that time were working with Mission to the World’s, Border Evangelism and Mercy Ministries (BEAMM), and we talked to Dick Kaufmann as he was just getting the Harbor church planting network started. At that time, we didn’t believe the Lord was leading us to work with those ministries. God had something else in store for us. He wanted to teach us, grow us and heal us through other ministries and experiences. I can’t say that it’s all been easy, what we’ve gone through all these years, but I’m confident the Lord has had a purpose in it all.

Now we are working with Mission to the World and BEAMM, and in doing so God has opened up some outstanding opportunities to partner with Harbor, which Dick Kaufmann leads. Dawn and I are so excited that we have partner ministries that we can work with as we seek to reach many lost Hispanics on the border.

Dick Kaufmann leading the church planters meeting

Dick just sent out a prayer update. In it he listed some of the goals that Harbor has had, and how the Lord is answering. It was an invigorating update. Here’s an excerpt, “Build more relationships with gospel positive and city positive churches. In 2000, Harbor started having monthly church planting meetings.  In 2003, leaders from another church began attending our meetings.  They adopted the multi-site model and became our first “Like-Minded Church Planting Movement Leader”.  Dick now meets monthly with seven “LMCPMLs” – together we comprise over 30 church planting churches in San Diego.

Dave with Daniel Nunez

Update: Recently two more “LMCPMLs” have joined our group.  David Diaso will be working with Harbor to plant Spanish speaking churches both in San Diego and in Tijuana.  And Daniel Nunez, who has planted 10 churches in Tijuana, will be a great help to us in connecting with church planters south of the border.

Pray: Praise God for these men.  They represent a great advance in our efforts to be a blessing to Tijuana.  Pray that many Spanish speaking churches would be planted in San Diego and Tijuana. And pray for unity among our group of movement leaders.”

Dick also encouraged us through another note stating, “As the Senior Pastor of Harbor Presbyterian Church (PCA), I am excited that Dave and Dawn Diaso will be working with Harbor and other like-minded churches in San Diego and Tijuana, to so fill this great bi-national city with gospel-centered churches, so that the whole region is transformed spiritually, socially, and culturally.

Mission leaders, whom I respect, have told me of the great work the Diasos have done over the past twenty years.  In several meetings with Dave and Dawn, it is evident to me that they have a clear sense of calling and exceptional gifts in the area of training, coaching, and mentoring.  I am excited to be partnering with them in this great mission.  I invite you to partner with the Diasos and help us together bring gospel transformation to San Diego and Tijuana.”

Dr. Richard P. Kaufmann

I’m blown away by how God brings things together in his good and perfect timing for his own glory. Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave

4th of July Fireworks at SkySox Field

As we celebrate the many privileges and the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.A., I’m reminded of the liberty Christ has attained for us. Just as the freedom that we enjoy in this country is not without cost, Christ sacrificed His life that we might be set free of the bondage that we were under. In Galatians 5:1, Paul says, “For freedom Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” We are incapable of making it to Christ by obeying God’s law, because God demands perfection. Christ perfectly obeyed the law, and he paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. He defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His death and resurrection. He set us free that we might have life.

Dave with Pastor Edgardo Avila, who is proclaiming liberty to captives on the Border

This freedom gives us hope. Let us live and grow in this liberty that Christ has secured on our behalf. We are no longer to live as slaves to the law, when we’ve been set free from it. Paul later says in Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Love, freedom and service. Sounds a little like the Hard Rock cafe! Even the Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” Of course, the Bible speaks of a very different radical love, but there is an element of truth in the song. Romans 2:14,15 speaks of Gentiles or unbelievers, “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. This shows that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness…” In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not an easy thing to love our neighbor. It’s only in Christ, that we can do the things that our God requires of us, and even in that we do it imperfectly. Our hope is in Christ. He has set us free from our slavery to the Law. Let freedom ring from the mountaintops! All mankind desires freedom. It is truly a message of hope that we proclaim. This gives us great hope as we bring the good news of the gospel to the Border! Praise God!

In His Grip, Dave