Archive for October, 2013

Wow! What a Great Day in TJ
Christian Castro teaching a Bible Story for the children

Christian Castro teaching a Bible Story for the children

Thanks so much for praying for our Tijuana children’s outreach event. The Lord gave us an outstanding day!

This was one of my favorite events that we’ve done in TJ. We had a great team, which allowed everything to run very smoothly. Our team from Harbor worked very well with the Lo Mejor del Trigo church in Pípila.

It makes may heart glad to see all the children and those that are serving them enjoying themselves so much.

I loved seeing our people from Harbor working side by side with those from the Pípila church. The church is still building, so outreach events like this helps them to have a greater presence in the community. We pray with them that they will continue to grow as they share the love of Christ.

Much Fun – Many Smiles
David Diaso Jr. and Jenn English with some of the children in Pípila

David Diaso Jr. and Jenn English with some of the children in Pípila

We organized a number of fun activities for the children. They enjoyed songs, face painting, balloons, bubbles, painting a huge banner, making bracelets and games.

There were smiles all around.

Some of these children have started attending the church. It was encouraging to see some of the same children. They remember us and we get to know them.

Pray for the Pípila church

Continue to pray with us as Pastor Rodrigo Vallarta along with his wife, Nancy lead this church. Pray for wisdom and direction in building the church. This coming Sunday they will celebrating their first year anniversary at the church.

Another praise is that Rodrigo, who is a bi-vocational pastor had been out of work for over a month. His family was struggling to make it from week to week. Rodrigo found a job on Friday! That’s a huge answer for them, and it takes a lot of pressure off the family.

The children having fun playing!

The children having fun playing!

Thank you Lord, for giving us such a good day.

Many of those that came from Harbor told me when I saw them the next day, that they had a great experience. A number of them keep coming back every chance they get. It’s great to see others get excited about serving in a cross-cultural missions setting.

In His Grip, Dave

We are getting Ready for a Big Day in TJ
Having fun with bubbles

The children at one of our recent outreach events in TJ having fun with bubbles

This week we are busy getting ready to take 30 friends from Harbor Mid-City and Harbor West down to Tijuana.

The organizational logistics side of these trips does challenge some of my weaknesses, but I do love getting people involved in cross-cultural outreach.

I don’t enjoy organizing the trips nearly as much as I love seeing people serve in this way. I suppose the complete package, even though it’s a lot of work is one of my favorite things.

Since we’ve done a few of these trips now the Lord has blessed me with a good team to help me organize the trips. I’ve recruited to my weaknesses, and as a team we are strong. This enables us to have a much better experience in preparation for the trip as well as on the day of the trip.

God Uses Willing Hearts to Serve

The Lord encourages me as I see friends from our church in the U.S. meet friends in Mexico.

Magic happens when these two cultures collide for the kingdom. God somehow uses it.

My goal for these mission trips in Tijuana is for those from the U.S. to be stretched, and to serve our Mexican brothers and sisters. The goal on the Mexican side is two-fold. One we want to help the church in this case Lo Mejor del Trigo in Pípila reach out and bless their community. Secondly, we want to encourage those in the church in Pípila.

We Need Your Prayer
Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy at their church in Pípila

Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy at their church in Pípila

When we bring big groups into Mexico there is always a huge need for prayer. I don’t think the enemy likes what we are doing, so we have to pray for protection. We pray that he will guide and lead us as well as use us along with our Mexican brothers and sisters to be a loving witness in the community.

Pray especially for Pastor Rodrigo and his wife, Nancy. The church is coming up on its one year anniversary. They’ve seen slow, but steady growth. Our hope is that events like this might give them a boost, and move them forward some as they seek to make a difference for Christ in Pípila.

Thanks for standing with us on this journey, and keep us in praying leading up to the trip, and especially on Saturday.

I will be sure to report how things went, so stay tuned.

In His Grip, Dave

College and Missions at SDCC
Dawn, David Jr. and Dave enjoying our time together at San Diego Christian College's missions fair

Dawn, David Jr. and Dave enjoying our time together at San Diego Christian College’s missions fair

This last week was a good albeit super busy one. My days were filled with fruitful ministry activities, but it made it difficult to find the time to post anything. One of the highlights was participating in San Diego Christian College’s (SDCC) missions fair.

Dawn and I enjoy interacting with the college students at the school. What makes it even more enjoyable is our son, David Jr. is the student body president, so it was fun to get some time with him.

We are proud parents, and we love being with David and his friends.

SDCC’s Rich Heritage

Every year SDCC has a missions emphasis week. The school provides opportunities for short-term missions trips into Mexico during the school year, and other far away places like Thailand during the summer.

David Jr. & Dave cooking Carne Asada for the dinner at SDCC's missions fair

David Jr. & Dave cooking Carne Asada for the dinner at SDCC’s missions fair

God has used SDCC to send out literally hundreds of students into the mission field. It’s great to be part of a conference at a school with such a rich tradition.

I’ve heard reports that even with all the talk about being missional that the missions force in the U.S. is dwindling. God is raising up missionaries from other countries, which is a huge praise. Yet we pray the Lord will still continue to use our churches in the U.S. to send out laborers into the harvest field.

Pray for Workers!
David Jr. is proud of the time he spent as a child in Mexico

David Jr. is proud of the time he spent as a child in Mexico

Pray with us that in the Lord’s timing he will raise up missionaries to serve alongside us here on the border. I also pray that we can be creative to involve people we meet here in serving in missions.

This Saturday, October 26th Dawn and I will be taking a team of about 30 people from Harbor Mid-City and Harbor West to work with a church in Tijuana. We will be working with our friends, Pastor Rodrigo and Nancy and their church in Pípila. We plan on doing a children’s community outreach, and we are praying for at least 120 children to come.

Thanks for standing with us, and for joining us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

God is at Work in Tijuana
Dawn with Martha Velazquez

Dawn with Martha Velazquez

Dawn and I just returned (Monday night) from an encouraging meeting with some leaders associated with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Tijuana.

Daniel Nuñez led the meeting. He asked the pastors to share with one another about the highlights they were experiencing in their church, and in the region they were supervising. The good things that God is doing. Then they shared the struggles or challenges they are facing. I enjoyed being able to rub shoulders with them.

I love God’s kingdom, and it spurs me on to keep serving when I learn of the ways God is working.

Daniel showed me a short video of the one of the churches that he started a few years ago. They just completed the building and dedicated the church on October 6, 2013. The Mariners church in Orange County partnered with the church in the community of Rojo Gomez to put a lot of man power, love and resources into this project.

Our good friends Abraham and Martha Velazquez are leading this church.

Rojo Gomez Church – Community Center
Rejoice in the good work the Lord is doing on the border!

Join us in prayer for God’s kingdom to extend in Tijuana and beyond.

In His Grip, Dave

Hannah & Dave

Hannah & Dave

One of the benefits of my ministry meetings and preaching in Colorado this last weekend was that I was able to see my daughter. I praise the Lord for my daughter and the relationship we have.

We had such a good time together. She went with me on Sunday when I preached at Sky View Presbyterian. When she wasn’t working or in school we got some good father-daughter time in.

I remember when my daughter, Hannah was born that I was afraid to raise a girl. I grew up with two brothers and no sisters. My first two children were boys. I thought I had guys figured out, but I didn’t know what to do with a daughter.

Hannah as the baby in the family and my only daughter always has had a special place in my heart. She surprised me in that I realized what a joy it is to have a sweet little girl. Even though Hannah is now a grown young woman, she will always be my little daughter. I like to call her, my beautiful little daughter that I love!

My Beautiful Little Daughter that I Love, Hannah!

My Beautiful Little Daughter that I Love, Hannah!

One of the many things that gives me joy as Hannah matures is to see her tenderness towards others, and things of the Lord. She has a strong desire to know God better, and to grow in her relationship with him.

The only bummer is that Hannah lives in Colorado and we live in Southern California. It’s too far away, and I miss her dearly. I’m glad that the Lord provides opportunities for us to visit one another. I am so grateful that she loves Jesus!

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.                       Proverbs 31:30,31 (ESV)

It is so hard to say good-bye. I can’t wait to see her again.

In His Grip, Dave

Dave preaching at Skyview Presbyterian Church

Dave preaching at Skyview Presbyterian Church

I just returned from Colorado where I gave a report to a number of pastors and other leaders in the region about our ministry on the border. I left encouraged, because I know these leaders are praying for our work. They want to see the gospel advance. Their desire is to see the church grow in Mexico and among our Hispanic friends in San Diego.

On Sunday I went with my daughter, Hannah to Skyview Presbyterian Church in the Denver metro. I preached on Genesis 37, God Goes Before Us. A number of people after the service shared with me how the Lord used the sermon to touch them.

There is power in the gospel, and I’m privileged to be a messenger of the good news of Christ.

Skyview is a key partner church with us in the ministry on the border. They have a keen interest in what God is doing. I appreciate their frequent communication, asking how we are doing, and seeking to spur us on in the work. I loved this opportunity to connect with them, and through it we were able to encourage one another.

It lifts Dawn and me up knowing that we have friends in Denver, Colorado Springs and other places around the U.S., and even the world who are praying for us. People who stand with us in this ministry.

God is the one who supplies the increase, but it takes a team to serve effectively in ministry.

Hannah & Dave

Hannah & Dave

After the service Hannah and I had lunch with some friends who are on the church’s missions committee. Apart from enjoying a wonderful meal we talked about some possible projects that the church might bring a group down to serve on this next year.

We pray that the Lord will open the door and make the way for Skyview to be able to send a group down to join us in ministry in the summer of 2014.

Pray with us as we plan and prepare for future projects that strengthen our relationship with the churches we are getting to know here.

Over the next month Dawn and I will have numerous opportunities to promote our work on the border in colleges, churches and at Mission to the World’s (MTW) Global Missions Conference. We are praying for more workers, and for churches and individuals that will invest in our work here and partner with us in ministry.

Please join us in prayer as we prepare for and go out to present the good work that God is doing here!

In His Grip, Dave

A New Church in Valle Verde
Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church plant site

Earlier this week I met with Daniel Nuñez in Tijuana, and we visited a new site for a church plant. The site is in an area of the city called Valle de Verde, which means Green Valley. It’s not very green now ;).

We also met with the pastor that is already working on starting up this new work. Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. Pastor Ivan has started up a small group that will be the committed core for this church. A number of these people a from an area nearby called, Rivera del Bosque, which means brook of the forest, so they’d like to call the church Lo Mejor del Trigo – Rivera del Bosque.

I love the passion that Daniel and pastors he’s working with have for reaching lost people and starting churches to minister to them all throughout the city.

Praying for an Improved System for Church Planting

Daniel and I just came back from a vision trip to Monterrey, Mexico. We were both very encouraged to see the system that the Center for Church Planting has in place. They are doing a great job at assessing, coaching and training their church planters. We’d love to develop a stronger system to sustain the movement of church planting on the border.

Join Us in Prayer for This New Work
Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

While we were at the church planting site, we stopped to take some time to pray. We do want to lift up this new work, and ask the Lord to go before Pastor Ivan and his wife, Rocio to see many won to Christ and a strong church planted in the community of Valle Verde. O that this church would be a city set on a hill for this community!

Pray with us that God will work powerfully through Ivan and Rocio and all those involved in this project.

We also need wisdom as we work on bringing all the loose parts together to get this off the ground. Lord, enable us to do a better job of training and caring for our pastors, so we can do a better job of loving the city!

In His Grip, Dave