Archive for June, 2014

The church group with Jesus and his family with the completed home in the background

The church group with Jesus and his family with the completed home in the background

A New Home for the Doctor

One of the highlights this week was witnessing the completion and dedication of the home-built for a doctor that ministers with my friend, Daniel Nuñez and Lo Mejor del Trigo.

It may be a little corny, but you could say a new home is just what the doctor ordered! 😉

The Value of Interns

Our summer intern, Nicole Silva worked with the church from Ohio that came down to build the house. One of the positives for us when we have summer interns is that it enables us to extend our reach. Nicole is gaining some valuable ministry experience and she is helping us to further our relationship with our ministry partners.

Dawn and I enjoy being able to work with interns. We like the opportunity it gives us to build into their lives and to give them new experiences in ministry. Our hope is that these experiences will have a life lasting impact.

One of our hopes and prayers is for the Lord to grow our intern program over the years.

Nicole wasn’t able to be involved in building the home for the doctor for the whole week, but she was able to help them. She met some people from a different place, and ministered alongside them. She also touched the lives of some of the Mexican children that showed up while they were working on the project.

Joy in Medical Missions
Jesus and Dulce and their family inside their new home

Jesus and Dulce and their family inside their new home

What a joy to see the smile on the faces of the families that are in need that we build homes for. The awesome thing about this particular build is that Jesus is a doctor and he plans on helping Lo Mejor del Trigo with their outreach in the community. There are many needs the people have, and often they are unable to pay for the medical attention that they need.

You might remember last week we held a large medical clinic with a number of doctors, nurses and dentists coming down from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. I loved playing a part of that outreach. Many people come into the church through medical ministries.

We pray that this ministry will grow. I’m in conversation with two other churches right now that have an interest in bringing down medical professionals to minister in Tijuana.

One of the benefits about having Jesus and his family in a community near El Niño is that they will be continually connecting with the people. They will be able to love and minister to the people. Jesus’ wife, is named, Dulce, which means sweet. We pray that the sweetest of Christ and the gospel will emanate from this family and their ministry to the people.

Pray with the us that the Lord will continue to increase our borders as the gospel goes forth!

In His Grip, Dave

Medical Missions in TJ
The doctors and helpers at work caring for the people

The doctors and helpers at work caring for the people

On Saturday I helped with a medical missions clinic in Tijuana. I played a small part, because I do not have any medical training.

It was thrilling to be a part of this medical outreach. A number of doctors, dentists and nurses from a church in Orange County joined in on this outreach.

What a fascinating experience to watch the doctors and dentists treating all the people who came to have their medical needs addressed. Some that came from Orange County also led the children through some fun activities.

Present & Future Medical Outreaches
Sarah Oh, on the left, helping on the the patients

Sarah Oh, in the blue shirt on the left, helping with one of the dental patients

I brought a dentist from one of the San Diego churches, Redeemer. Sarah Oh, who is a young dentist participated on this project with many others. Sarah loves the Lord, and she loves to use the gifts that God has given her to serve others.

One of the main reasons that I took Sarah to work on this medical outreach is that her church, Redeemer San Diego would like to organize a similar ministry outreach in the future. There are some great needs and wonderful opportunities to show the love of Christ as we treat people’s physical needs.

I love being able to help even in small ways with projects like these. I enjoy seeing the Americans that come down show the love of Jesus to our neighbors in TJ. I think both groups benefited. The doctors and the patients were radiant, maybe the doctors more-so, since they are healthier. Yet, the patients were glad to see someone who could help them with their physical ailments.

May Jesus be praised as he brings healing to the people in El Niño!

In His Grip, Dave

Coaching Church Planters
Dr. Tom Wood leading us through a module on gospel coaching

Dr. Tom Wood leading us through a module on gospel coaching

I’m on a jet plane flying back home from Houston as this is going out. I’ve had a wonderful week at two events in this city. I started the week at a training event to learn how to do a better job coaching church planters. Then I ended the week at the PCA’s General Assembly, which is a huge church event for our denomination.

Dr. Tom Wood who is the founder and president of Church Multiplication Ministries led the training along with Tami Resch. Here’s some of the highlights on the training on coaching church planters. The coaching is gospel centered. I loved the strong emphasis on the gospel in coaching others.

Born to Coach

I enjoy coaching a great deal. I think it’s one of the areas I’m gifted in. A group of us started coaching church planters in Mexico in the mid 90’s. So I’ve been involved in coaching in one form or another for almost 20 years.

I must admit I was a little skeptical coming into the training. I wondered if I would get much new out of it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Bringing Coaching to Mexico
Having some fun in Texas with one of our Mexican partners Jorge Aleman

Having some fun in Texas with one of our Mexican partners, Jorge Aleman

Another highlight was the people I went through the training with – wonderful people. The main reason we are doing this is so that we can bring this training to Mexico and begin training and multiplying coaches for our church planters. I was able to bring two other Mexicans and one American who work with Mission to the World in Monterrey, Mexico.

It was outstanding to have them there, because we are beginning to form a team that can coach church planters and train others to do so.

I believe that this is one of the most important things that we are doing right now. It is a fact that church planters need a coach. They become much more effective with a coach. Bringing this training to Mexico and multiplying our coaches will aid us in seeing more effective church planters, which means there will be stronger churches.

The gospel emphasis is such a keystone to success in ministry. People need the gospel, and in many ways those in ministry need it most.

Please do pray for us as we work on bringing this training to Mexico. It’s going to take some time, but this will enable us to build a strong foundation.


Dave with Hector Guzman

Wonderful Connections with Friends

Another highlight was some of the other people who went through the training on coaching with us. I met Hector Guzman. He is now working as the Spanish pastor of a bilingual church plant in the Atlanta area. The last time I saw him he was a business man in Mexico City involved in the core group of a church plant that Dawn and I were working in there.

Pray for Jason & Kara Tippetts
I stoled this from Kara's blog: Mundane Faithfulness

Jason and Kara Tippetts. I stole this from Kara’s blog: Mundane Faithfulnes 

I spent some time with Jason and Kara Tippetts from Colorado Springs. They are planting a church there. They arrived in the Springs just as Dawn and I were leaving to move to the border. I know Jason through some of our church meetings, but I had never really met Kara.

Kara has stage four cancer. They are going through a difficult season as a family. She writes an outstanding blog that is an encouragement to many called: Mundane Faithfulness. In her blog she shares her journey through cancer, and how God in his grace shows up and is carrying her and her family through it. I’d urge you to check it out.

  • Pray for the Tippetts
  • Pray that I learn and that our team learns how to coach other church planters with a focus on the gospel
  • Pray that we will soon be able to train other coaches in Mexico
  • Pray for my energy – it’s been a long week!

In His Grip, Dave


The Church in Lazaro Cardenas
Pastor Jose Luis Rivera with his wife, Raquel

Pastor Jose Luis Rivera with his wife, Raquel

Last week Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez introduced us to pastor Jose Luis Rivera and his wife, Raquel. They are ministering in a church that has encountered more than it’s share of troubles in an area of Tijuana called, Lazaro Cardenas.

Jose Luis and Raquel have been ministering at this church for eight months. They’ve been seeking to restore the church, and love the community.

The church has gone into the surrounding neighborhood to evangelize. They have lovingly welcomed their neighbors to come to the church.

Unfortunately, despite all their efforts they haven’t found many open doors. Actually the people have been very closed.

The Evil Opposition

Pastor Jose Luis and Raquel are believing God for the best, but they do feel somewhat discouraged by the lack of fruit. They even shared that there is a witch that lives in the neighborhood, and she has been working to oppose the church. Even to scare people from coming.

This is the second time one of the pastors we are coming alongside has told us of opposition, and even witchcraft. I realize that this isn’t quite as common in the U.S., but it is something that can’t be ignored. The evil one is crafty and he will use whatever means he can to oppose the work of the gospel.

We Need Prayer!
Pastor Abraham Velazquez and Martha have also shared that they have faced opposition in Rojo Gomez

Pastor Abraham Velazquez and Martha have also shared that they have faced opposition in Rojo Gomez

Dawn and I want to ask you to provide prayer covering. Please pray for God’s protection and breakthrough in the community of Lazaro Cardenas. The church marches forward on her knees.

We hope to go into the community with Jose Luis and Raquel to pray, and to believe God. “Greater is he who is in me, than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4b). This is a spiritual battle, so our weapons must also be spiritual. Jesus is victorious! Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection. Rejoice! Rejoice with me!!!

In His Grip, Dave


Mi Querido Mexico!

Posted: June 13, 2014 in Christianity, Ministry, Tijuana
Tags: ,
Is the Love Mutual?
The Border Crossing into Tijuana, Mexico

The Border Crossing into Tijuana, Mexico

Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve loved Mexico, but that the love hasn’t been mutual. In part I say this in jest, but not entirely. You might remember that I was kidnapped when I lived in Mexico City. Then I was held up at gunpoint and I had my car stolen.

I also had my share of bad experiences with the police. One year I was stopped by them 12 times and they were all pretexts to get a bribe. I must say that wasn’t real enjoyable.

Despite some of these bad experiences I still love this country and it’s people. I’ve had some many more good experiences that outweigh the bad ones.

Mexican Flag

Mexican Flag

A Pleasant Surprise

Just yesterday the Lord gave me a pleasant surprise. I was pulled over by a policeman. I cannot tell a lie, I did something I shouldn’t have done. I made a u-turn where it was prohibited to do so. I disobeyed the law. Although I did argue my case with the policeman, because even though I didn’t obey the sign there was no clear direction on how to get where I wanted to go.

While I was engaged in discussion with the officer three other cars did the same thing I had done. The policeman pulled over one of them. To my surprise the policeman was very friendly. He was probably the friendliest policeman I’ve ever encountered in Mexico. He ended up just giving me a warning and he told me how to get to where I was going and sent me on my way.

Wow! Thank you Lord. I know that the Lord watches over me and protects me and my family.

Mi Querido Mexico!

In His Grip, Dave

Nothing Means Nothing in Ensenada
Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

On Sunday Dawn and I had the wonderful opportunity to worship with Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada. I enjoy driving down to Ensenada. It’s a beautiful drive along the Pacific shoreline.

I preached on Romans 8, Nothing Means Nothing. The focus of my sermon was that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Paul starts off Romans 8 stating that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 8:1 ESV

What a wonderful promise!

The whole chapter is filled with grace and God’s amazing promises.

The Father’s Love – Abba, Father
Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Paul emphasizes the nearness of God. That he is our Abba, Father. He is our daddy. O Lord, work in my heart and help me to see you in this way. I pray that I will have a close relationship with you, and that I will grow in that relationship. I pray this will be true for those in my family and those that I’m close to as well.

The close and intimate relationship we can have with God is a demonstration of his great love for us.  Jonathan Edwards says, “Love is not just one of God’s attributes. It is the essence of God. God is love.”

Not only is God love, but Paul assures us that for those that are in Christ, that nothing can separate us from his love.

Where is Your Focus?
Dawn & Dave

Dawn & Dave

We tend to focus on how things are going in our life. The circumstances of life. Those are the barometers we often use to determine if God loves us, and how much he loves us. Yet Paul makes it clear that we will endure hardships in this life, and that none of those things can separate us from God love.

If you are in Christ there no condemnation, you are a co-heir with Christ adopted into his forever family. You are secure in Christ and regardless how bad the circumstances may be there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Nothing, Zero, Nada!

Rejoice my friend for Christ has overcome the world. There is victory in Jesus. You and I have the privilege of living in this victory with Christ.

Summer Short-term Missions Project in Ensenada
Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

My desire was to encourage the church in Ensenada. Many Christians live defeated lives as if there was no hope. Many wallow in the mud, when God has a whole ocean for us to enjoy and experience.

Some friends of ours from a church in Denver, Skyview, will be working with the church in Ensenada in July. We are excited about what God has in store. How the Lord will use that trip to build into the lives of all those that are involved as well minister to those in the community who do not yet know our Savior.

Pray for the Lord’s leading as we plan and organize this project.

In His Grip, Dave


How Does Healing Work?

The Lord has been encouraging us through his grace over the last week. I shared about how God healed Dawn’s sinus infection in my last post.

God continues to amaze us!

The Arch in Cabo San Lucas

The Arch in Cabo San Lucas

I must admit that I still struggle with healing and how it all works. Why does it happen sometimes, and other times it doesn’t? I don’t understand that.

Nonetheless, I do know God heals. Maybe there would be more healing if we believed him and trusted, although I know it’s not dependent on our faith.

I want to be sensitive here, because we know a number of people who are sick, or who are suffering with something and they have prayed, but God has not chosen to heal them.

Our Friend Abraham
The Arch in Cabo San Lucas

Abraham & Martha, Dawn & Dave

Last week Dawn and I were with our good friends Pastor Abraham and his wife, Martha. We had a wonderful time encouraging one another and sharing together. At the end of our time we prayed for one another.

Abraham’s eye had been bothering him, so we prayed for him. We asked the Lord to bring healing. After we prayed we asked Abraham how he felt, and he said he felt better. It was like the pain moved to another part of his head. We prayed some more, and asked God to touch Abraham and to heal him.

Then we asked Abraham again how he felt, and he said much better. I’ve been texting him since then asking him how’s he’s been feeling, and he says he continues to feel better. Rejoice in God’s healing work in our friend, Abraham.

More Good News

Earlier in the year we incurred some substantial hospital bills. We had some concerns about how we were going to pay for them. One of our partner churches said they wanted to help. I thought they would help some, but that we would still end up having to pay $1,000 or so.

The church took the initiative to talk to the hospital and negotiate the bill down, and then they paid the balance. Wow! Thank you Jesus!

Unfortunately, Not Everything is Good
Sunset on the Pacific

Sunset on the Pacific

Our church is going through a difficult season. I’m in leadership at the church, so it’s especially painful. It involves close friends, who I love and cherish. We need your prayers.

Despite, this setback overall God is blessing our ministry on the border in some astounding ways. We are in awe at times of how the Lord works.

While we rejoice in our many blessings we recognize that our ministry funds are low. This is a huge distraction for us, and I would pray that the Lord will meet our needs as he promises. Lord, Help my unbelief. Please join us in prayer!

I’m so thankful for God’s grace and his faithfulness!

In His Grip, Dave