Archive for January, 2012

Dave preaching at Cheyenne Mountain

Our friends at partner churches encourage us a great deal. And as we visit churches to build a prayer team, raise funds for our ministry, and make people aware of the needs and challenges on the San Diego – Tijuana border we see the Lord opening doors.

On the weekend of January 22nd I had the opportunity to preach at Cheyenne Mountain Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. Then I taught in Sunday School class. It gives us such a boost as we share our story and the Lord’s work in our lives with friends in churches that have an interest in partnering with us.

Since the border is frequently in the news many are fascinated with it. There are some obvious challenges with all the violence that has been highly publicized. It’s probably not as bad as the media portrays it, but there are still concerns. It’s great to have friends from Cheyenne Mountain committed to praying for us as we make this move forward.

Yesterday we were with our friends at Skyview Presbyterian Church in Centennial, Colorado. They were celebrating the new church building that they just purchased. A permanent home for the church. The church invited many friends and neighbors of the church, and it was a joyous celebration.

Pastor Rick Vasquez preaching in Skyview's new church home

Hannah and Jonathan were able to drive up and visit the church with us. It was a great time. Pastor Rick Vasquez did a great job leading and preaching. Then after the service we had a special lunch together. We’ve gotten to know a number of the people at the church, and they are very friendly.

As we make connections at these churches often we see the Lord open new doors. Yesterday we spoke with a business professor from Colorado Christian University, and he asked me some good questions about our ministry plan. He said he’d be willing to give us some advice on our plan, maybe things we haven’t thought through yet. We also met a family that often travels to San Diego for work. They asked us if there might be a way to plug into the ministry while they are there. Wow! That’s exciting, we love to involve friends in ministry. There’s also a family in the church that is exploring the possibility of joining our BEAMM team on San Diego – Tijuana border.

Dave & Dawn with the San Diego Harbor in background

It is a somewhat long journey in getting to the border. It’s easy to take our eyes off the ball. These friends, and these great churches encourage us as they show interest in what we are doing, and as they pray.

On Friday, February 3rd, Dawn and I leave for a 10 day trip to DC/Baltimore/Lancaster. We will be at Liberty Presbyterian in Owings Mills this Sunday. Pray with us that the Lord continues to open doors, and brings encouragement and blessing as we visit many friends during the trip.

With you on the Journey – In His Grip, Dave

Stephen Phelan (center) leading our meeting

I enjoyed my time with friends from Harbor Mid-City, Urban Life, World Impact and BEAMM this past week. We all met together to pray and talk about strategy for 2012. Stephen Phelan did a wonderful job leading such a large and varied group of people.

One of the many moments that I enjoy about these meetings is the stories about how God is working and blessing. Grace renewal stories. God is moving and changing lives among the people. They shared about Rafael, who I wrote about earlier. Rafael gave his testimony, and it spoke to the kids who come from broken homes. It was a great example and encouragement to the teenagers and adults alike. As the Lord restores lives, it gives witness of His glory. These changed lives speak loudly to those that are seeking. To those that are making important decisions in their lives.

BEAMM teammate Ray Call with some of the other guys

We also talked about the process of starting a new Hispanic work. There are some challenges that we will face in having a strong enough mother church to birth a new work. Pray with us for wisdom, and for many new followers of Christ among the Hispanic work. There was talk of launching the new work in the summer of 2013, which seems ambitious. We do serve a God of the impossible, so we can believe Him for these ambitious goals. Thank you for faith, Lord!

Every time I’m with these friends on the border I see the Lord opening up new doors. There are many wonderful opportunities!

In His Grip, Dave

Colorado Springs view while on my bike ride

Just returned from an invigorating bike ride, which is quite remarkable that the weather is so great this time of year! While biking around the beautiful city of Colorado Springs, I was given a chance to reflect while also getting in some exercise. As I mull over what God is doing I feel a sense of inspiration.

Tomorrow I will preach at Cheyenne Mountain Presbyterian Church, in Colorado Springs. I’m glad to have the chance to proclaim the Word of God, and to let friends know about our ministry. I would appreciate your prayers for my sermon, and our time at Cheyenne Mountain.

Stephen Phelan leading worship with Danny Kim in the background

After the service I will  fly out to the San Diego – Tijuana border. On Monday Ray Call and I will take part in an all day strategy meeting with Harbor Mid-City. Pastor Stephen Phelan will direct the leadership of Harbor Mid-City, Urban Life and our emerging BEAMM team through a time of prayer and planning as we look to the Lord for a powerful 2012.

We believe the gospel changes everything, and we look forward to being a part of what God is doing on the border. Thank you, Lord, for such great friends, such great partners to minister with!

One of the many great benefits of being able to make these trips to San Diego is I’m able to see our son, David Jr. It was hard to say good-bye to him when we left him at school a few weeks ago. It does make it easier knowing that he is thriving at school and he’s got some great friends.

Sometimes Dawn and I feel disappointed that it’s taking so long to sell our house. We can’t wait to move to the border! We love our friends in Colorado, and we will miss them dearly. Yet, we know that in His timing He is moving us on.

Even though we haven’t been able to move, it’s been so encouraging to see how God has connected us to some great people. He’s been using our team to see the gospel move forward. The trips that we have been able to make have opened some great doors for us.

Daniel Nuñez leading Lo Mejor Del Trigo

The last time I was there I invited Daniel Nuñez, pastor of Lo Mejor Del Trigo in Tijuana to Harbor’s church planters meeting. Daniel and Dick Kaufmann were able to connect during the meeting. As Daniel shared his vision, Dick said, “we’d like to help you plant your next church.” I thought, wow Lord! Even though we haven’t been able to move you are still moving, and you are using us to bring good gospel ministries together.

We believe one of the things that the Lord has called us to do is to build bridges between Hispanic ministries and our partners. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. My son, “Jonny Boy”, Jonathan helped me with some edit and ideas on this blog post!

Ray and Michele Call

One of the goals I have for this year is that the Lord would raise up at least 200 friends who would pray regularly for our San Diego – Tijuana BEAMM team. My hope is that we will have people sign up to pray for us each day, and others who will pray with us at least once a week.

Ray and Michele Call are on this team with us, so we want to work together in asking all our friends to commit to praying for us. Another friend with Mission to the World, Jim DeWitt is helping us to recruit prayer partners as well as implementing a plan to let people know how they can pray for us.

Dave with Jim DeWitt in Tijuana

We not only want to share our prayer needs with you, but we want to celebrate what God is doing. In my last post I shared how the Lord is working in my friend, Issaid’s life. It makes me tear up when I think of God’s faithfulness to Issaid and his family. It also gets me super excited to see how the Lord is using our friend and ministry partner, Stephen Phelan in Issaid’s life.

I asked you to pray for Brian and Anna Peterson. Well, God answered! Anna is now home with her family. She came close to dying while she had complications giving birth. Then there were concerns about brain damage, but the Lord has intervened and shown his mercy to the Petersons in healing Anna. They could use your continued prayer as it will take some time for Anna to fully recover.

Here’s how you can help!

If you would be willing to commit to praying daily, weekly or monthly for us let me know. I first post on my blog, and then broadcast it on Facebook, Twitter and our Facebook group “Pray for the Diasos“. My plan is to use all these social media networks to send out updates, and let friends know how to pray for us.

You can let Dawn, me, Ray or Michele know that you would like to pray for us by sending us a note. We appreciate any and all type of prayer. If you could specify whether it’s a daily, weekly or other that would be a tremendous help.

You can find our prayer requests on the prayer page on this blog. I will also send out prayer requests on my posts, and email updates.

The border in some ways is like a war zone, at least on the Mexican side. We need friends to intercede on our behalf. Our enemy wants to discourage us, and distract us from doing our work.

Dave & Dawn at the San Diego Harbor

Please pray for both our family and the Calls as we have experienced constant trouble with our cars recently. We had two cars die in 2011. The Call’s had to replace their transmission while on a long trip in October. Since they’ve returned both of their cars have continually been in the shop. They also had a car accident over the holidays.

Thanks for joining us on the journey, and standing with us in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

Issaid & Mie with their children

It’s so encouraging to see how God works and doesn’t give up on our friends. Over twenty years ago I met Issaid Arechiga and his family in Mexico City. Issaid has been one of my best friends over the years. I wrote of him in an earlier post.

I used to meet regularly with Issaid to study the Bible and encourage him in his faith. Then Issaid married Mie, and Dawn and I discipled them. Mie was from Japan, and she had never studied the Bible or heard the gospel before. She came to faith through our ministry. Issaid was growing in his faith.

Then we moved back to the States, and Issaid and Mie moved to Tijuana. I lost touch with them until we began this ministry on the San Diego – Tijuana border. I first found Issaid on Facebook. Then when I figured out that they lived in National City, in the same area that we would be living and working in I couldn’t believe it! It was so good to reconnect with Issaid, Mie and their family.

Issaid had a bad experience in the church in Tijuana, which discouraged his involvement in the church. He stopped going to church which affected his spiritual life. He wasn’t as close to God.

Stephen Phelan leading worship at Harbor Mid-City

When Dawn and I started going to the border Issaid and Mie would always go to church with us when we were there. It was good to see their interest. Over the last few months Issaid and Mie have gone to Harbor Mid-City when we were able to attend, but they wouldn’t go when we didn’t. In November my good friend, pastor Stephen Phelan started meeting with Issaid. They are studying the Bible together. Issaid is starting to grow in his faith again. He’s been taking his family to church even when Dawn and I are not there!

Thank you Jesus for not giving up on my friend, Issaid! I’m so thrilled that God has brought Issaid and his family back into contact with us, and that they are now growing in their faith!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. I know a number of you have prayed for our friends, Brian and Anna Peterson in Fresno. Anna is still in the hospital, but she is doing better. Her mom said that Anna’s sister-in-law’s blog has received 27,000 hits, and there are over 600 that have subscribed to the “prayer for Anna” Facebook group. Thanks for keeping them in your prayers.

Dave with Daniel Martinez at Calvary Church

As I drove up to Calvary Church in Glendale this morning I was reminded that this was one of the churches I visited 24 years ago when I first came on with Mission to the World (MTW). Wow! Was it that long ago that I began this exciting adventure? I was single then. I guess, that’s why my hair is turning gray!

I first visited Calvary when I was still in seminary, and studying under my professor, Bill Iverson. I believe that was in 1984 or 85. Bill used to take us seminary students to churches to help them work on their evangelistic outreach. It’s a vague memory now, but those were good days.

It was great to be back. I met pastor, Philip George at a Harbor church planters meeting in San Diego in December. When he told me who he was, I said, “O, your church used to support our ministry with MTW.” He said, “well, we should support you again.” That was all I needed to hear. That’s how my first trip of 2012 began.

Last year I traveled more than I have at any time in my life. I hope to travel less this year. But if I have to travel this was a good start to the year.

While at the church I enjoyed the opportunity to share about our ministry on the border and to meet some of their people. One of the people I met was Daniel Martinez. He is from Mexico City. He’s lived in the Los Angeles for more than 20 years now. It’s always fun to meet Mexicans and other Latinos. I met a couple of people from Guatemala there as well.

Pray with us for a great 2012, and that the Lord raises up more ministry partners so that we will be fully funded. Another big request we have is for the sale of our house. Yes, we are still trying to sell our home!

With you on the Journey!

In His Grip, Dave

The Border Crossing into Tijuana, Mexico

Thank you Lord as we begin 2012. Praise you for your faithfulness and for so many faithful friends who uphold us in prayer, and through generous gifts!

We asked you to pray that the Lord would raise up $25,000 by December 31st, and it happened! We not only reached our goal we surpassed it! The Lord provided over $26,000 which is a huge boost as it helps launch our ministry on the border. Since many donations come in the last few days of December we still don’t know the final total. Yet we do know that we’ve exceeded $26,000!

Isn’t that encouraging! Praise the Lord with us. This gives us a huge boost as we begin 2012. What a great way to start the year!

We still need to raise more in regular monthly support to be fully funded, but these large special needs gifts will help cover our moving expenses, and ministry expenses as we launch our ministry.

Continue to pray with us that we will see the last 10% of our monthly support raised up.

In my next post, I’d like to talk about the power of prayer, and the huge need that we have for friends to pray for us. We will never be successful in this work without an army of people standing with us, and holding us up in prayer.

Speaking of prayer, I’d like to ask special prayer for our friends, Brian and Anna Peterson. Brian is the pastor of one of our supporting churches in Fresno, California, my hometown. Anna went into labor last Saturday, and had to have an emergency C-section, because of complications. She’s been in intensive care since Saturday. She is doing better, but it’s still a long and tough battle. Please lift up Brain and Anna and their family with us. You can find updates, and learn more from Anna’s sister-in-law’s blog: here…

Dave & Dawn at San Diego Harbor

Thanks for going on this journey with us!

In His Grip, Dave

Isaiah 40:6-8

I’ve found that reading the Bible consistently is one of the most important things that I do for my emotional and spiritual health. I’d like to motivate you to take some time each day to read the Word of God. The Bible promises that God’s Word does not return void. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever,” (Isaiah 40:8). It has the power to change your life. What a great way to get your year off on the right foot!

It’s not easy to stay on a Bible reading plan. To stay consistent throughout the year. But having a plan or a tool that aids with the process makes it easier. The best tool that I’ve found over the last year is

YouVersion is a Bible app that you can download on your smart phone, iPad or computer. It comes with a variety of languages, so it is a great tool for missionaries that work in other cultures as well as English speakers.

YouVersion - A Great Bible App

What do I like best about YouVersion?

  1. It’s free to use. All you need is internet access.
  2. I like that there are multiple translations and languages available
  3. If you sign up for an account on the internet, they offer a number of Bible reading plans
  4. There are plans to read the whole Bible in a year, or just the New Testament or many other options.
  5. The plans are adjustable, and it’s easy to catch up. If you start on January 5th or June 25th it’s not a problem. If you get behind there is a feature that will adjust the days, so that you are back up to date. This also helps diminish discouragement, so you don’t give up!

The hardest thing about any discipline is getting started. The new year is a natural time to try to start something like reading the Bible through in a year. I have found it helpful over the years to read different translations. It keeps it fresh. Right now I’m half way through the M’Cheyne one year reading plan in Spanish. I started it in the middle of the summer.

Happy New Year from the Diaso family

Happy New Year from the Diaso family

So I’d like to spur you on to join me in reading the Bible daily. In seeking to nourish the inner man, and grow in your faith this year. You won’t regret it!

Have a Happy and blessed 2012!

In His Grip, Dave