Archive for February, 2015

Where Will This End?
Hannah with her Grandpa

Hannah with her Grandpa

We feel like we’ve been in a marathon without knowing where the finish line will be. It’s exhausting at times, but the Lord sustains us! He gives us hope.

Many have asked about Hannah, others are wondering what is going on. Dawn and I have sought to be discreet in what we share. We believe it’s important to maintain Hannah’s privacy, and even that of our family.

Now I realize that we’ve published this out on a number of public forums.  We’ve done that, because we believe that prayer is so important. We are trying to walk a line between getting the word out, while not sharing too much.

I hope that makes some sense.

An Outpouring of Prayer & Love

Our family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayer. I believe that is one of the things the Lord has used to keep us strong and to keep us going.

Thank you! We need continued and ongoing prayer and support as we walk on this journey. We are praying that Hannah will be healed soon, even today. Join with us in believing God for his healing touch.

As I prayed this morning the Lord reminded me of the good he was doing through this trial. Paul encourages us to rejoice, because of the fruit that is produced through the difficulties of life.

… but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5, ESV)

Endurance – Ernest Shackleton’s Adventure
Hannah, Dawn and Dave

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

I finished my book on Ernest Shackleton and his crew, who were shipwrecked on Antarctica in 1915. They survived for more than a year in freezing temperatures in a very hostile environment.

I was impressed by how they endured. They chose not to give up, even though they were extremely tired and cold. When they finally made it to the Island where there were other people that could help them. They were on the wrong side of the Island, so three of them had to hike across the Island. No one hand ever done that before. This was after already surviving for a year in the icy climate.

As they hiked across the Island, they came to glaciers, cliffs where they couldn’t cross. They had to turn around and backtrack. I just can’t imagine all the pain and suffering, but they kept going. They finally made it, and they were able to rescue the whole crew. No one was lost.

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
The Sunset at Imperial Beach

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

The Lord has been reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus. My family and I need to keep trusting, and to keep believing. God will hold us up. He will get us through this, even though we don’t know where the end is, he does! God knows and he goes before us!

He promises that he will not forget us and that we are tattooed to the Psalm of his hand in Isaiah 49. That encourages me. It gives me hope. I hope that it might be a blessing to you as well.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Kingdom Advance
JD Pearring & Daniel Nuñez leading the Discovery Center

JD Pearring & Daniel Nuñez leading the Discovery Center

This has been a huge week as we seek to see gospel expansion on the border, the Baja and Beyond.

In Tijuana Lo Mejor del Trigo is partnering with Transformation Ministries to conduct a Discovery Center (church planter’s assessment) for five church planting candidate couples. I was able to be with them on the first day of the Discovery Center, and there was some excitement in the air as it got underway.

This assessment an important tool to evaluate whether the church planting candidates have the gifts, calling and skills to be church planters. It can save them much heartache if they are not right for the job. It also can be a real boost, and a great opportunity to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses if they called to plant a church. Church planting is not for the faint of heart!

Training Church Planters
Church planting incubator

Church planting incubator training

After we determine that they are called to be church planters, it’s critical that they receive training and support.

This week we are partnering with our MTW team in Monterrey, Mexico to provide training for church planters. Pastor Ivan Casados who is planting a church in a community called Ribera del Bosque in Tijuana is going through this training, and he is in Monterrey this week.

Our hope is to strengthen and further develop our selection process and our training for all the church planters that we are partnering with. Lo Mejor del Trigo has been such a valuable partner, and we love being able to work with them with the hope of helping them to reach their goal of planting 50 or more churches in Tijuana and beyond.

We are also working with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Soon we will be launching a new church planting project with them in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The lead church planter is also in Monterrey going through the church planting training.

A New Work in Tijuana

While we are busy evaluating and training church planters we are also ramping up for the new church plant that we will starting with LMT in March. I saw pastor Victor Bravo this week, and he is chomping at the bit to start this new work. Victor and his wife, Sol are already holding outreach events in the community to share the love of Christ.

Join Us In Prayer for the Church & Our Family
Hannah with her Grandpa

Hannah with her Grandpa

Your prayer is so important to us. The Lord is the one that builds the church. We look to him and trust him. We ask him to guide and lead us along the way.

Thanks so much for your ongoing prayer for Hannah and for our family. It has been a long trial. Our hope is in the Lord and in his faithfulness. We are so encouraged by the outpouring of prayer by our friends.

As this trial has gone on more and more people are asking us what is going on. I’m purposefully being discreet about how much I share. While we need the prayer and a lot of it, I believe it’s important to protect Hannah’s privacy by not sharing too much. It’s a fine balance to try to maintain.

We know that the Lord hears your prayers, and he knows how to intercede for us even when we don’t know quite how to pray. He is answering and sustaining us through you!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

My Weakness His Strength
Father & Daughter, Hannah & Dave

Father & Daughter – Hannah & Dave

I find as we are going through this trial with our daughter, Hannah and trying to balance out life and ministry there are times I feel the weight of it all. It seems like too much to bear!

I have to keep reminding myself of God’s promises. His promises are all true in Christ Jesus.

I feel weak today. One of our good friends, pastor Stephen Phelan visited us in the hospital and he shared one of things that he reminds himself of when he feels weak is, “I can’t, but he can.” Our family has claimed that, and we keep reminding ourselves and Hannah of this truth.

2 Corinthians 12 speaks of God’s strength that is made perfect in our weakness.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV – emphasis mine)

Mother & Daughter - Hannah & Dawn with Daisy

Mother & Daughter – Hannah & Dawn with Daisy

This difficult season serves to show us our weakness in Technicolor. It is not enjoyable, but I know the Lord uses it and he has a purpose in it. We seek to trust him.

Today I woke up feeling very weak. I just posted on my blog yesterday,  A Call to Prayer – Update on Hannah and I sent out an email update. I asked for increased prayer for a breakthrough for Hannah. Since I sent those appeals out I’ve felt attacked, so I realize that our family also needs prayer protection.

Enduring Hope & Renewed Strength

I mentioned Ernest Shackleton maintaining hope among his crew for a year while they were ship-wreaked and stranded in Antarctica. They faced insurmountable odds. I think the longer this goes for us, our hope gets clouded. There’s a fog blocking our sight. So today in Christ’s strength I choose to lift up my eyes to hills from where my help comes. The Lord is my rock and my refuge.

Dawn and I are claiming God’s promises for our family and praying for the renewed strength like the eagle from Isaiah 40.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭29-31‬ ESV – emphasis mine)

We Need Jesus & We Need You
Dave at the U.S. Mexico border - Life on the Border

Dave at the U.S. Mexico border – Life on the Border

Thanks for joining us on this journey. We can’t got it alone. We need Jesus, and we need a band of brothers and sisters – faithful friends who hold us up! We are thankful that each day Hannah is improving.

One thing I would ask prayer for besides Hannah’s total and complete healing is wisdom as Dawn and I daily try to figure out what we can realistically do, and to be content with that.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Thanks for the Loving Support
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our family has felt very loved through the prayers and encouragement of all of our friends. This has been hard. This painful journey with our daughter, Hannah. The healing has come slower than we’d like, but it is coming!

Two weeks ago the doctor was very concerned about Hannah’s lack of progress. We sent out an appeal. The first call to prayer that I posted. We also called, sent out texts, tweets and Facebook posts. The response was overwhelming. God is using your prayers and support to sustain us.

God Breaking Through

Also, after we sent out this call to prayer through the various media we saw a breakthrough. The Lord answered, and Hannah started showing progress. Since then I’d say the progress has been relatively steady, although slow.

Hannah had her best day yet yesterday. We keep looking to Jesus, just really hanging on to him and his promises. There are hills and valleys on this journey. The Lord holds us in his firm and loving grip, and we have an army of friends who stand with us. An army who are traveling with us on this journey. For that we are truly grateful.

A Story of Enduring Hope
A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house

A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house. A reminder of God’s peace.

I’ve been reading a book about a group that were stranded on Antarctica in 1915 and 1916, and how they survived for about a year against insurmountable odds and opposition. The book is titled, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. One of the most important things that kept them alive was their attitude. Ernest Shackleton, the leader, whom they called boss, made sure they didn’t get down, and that they believed there was hope.

This reminds me of Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 4, and it’s been something that we’ve had to remind Hannah of.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
Paul reminds us to think about good things, things of excellence. There are many excellent and encouraging thoughts found in the Bible. Those also sustain us. Here are a few of those promises:
For We know the thoughts and plans that our God has for us, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)
We will not die but live, and we will declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17 AMP)
No weapon that is fashioned against us shall succeed, and we will refute every tongue that rises against us in judgment. This is our heritage as servants of the Lord and our vindication from you, our Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 ESV)
Keep Storming Heaven in Prayer
Hannah, Dawn and Dave

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

We long to see another breakthrough for Hannah. We’d love to see her completely healed, so please continue to storm heaven with us.

I’m sending out more frequent updates on Hannah via my Twitter feed: @ddiaso and on our Facebook page Diaso Life on the Border. My twitter feed is also on the left side of this blog page.
Thanks so much dear friends!
In His Grip, Dave
Faithful Friends
Hannah with her brothers, David Jr. & Jon

Hannah with her brothers, David Jr. & Jon

One of the things that gives me buoyancy as our family endures this trial is all of the faithful friends that God has given us. We are truly blessed by so many people who love us and have showered us with words of affirmation as well as prayer.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez is one of those friends. Pastor Nuñez leads the ministry of Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) in Tijuana. We are getting ready to help Daniel and LMT plant their 24th church.

A Common Vision
Pastor Daniel Nuñez sharing how God is renewing Tijuana

Pastor Daniel Nuñez sharing how God is renewing Tijuana

The vision to see a transformed city through a church planting movement is what brought Daniel and me together. Through our partnership we have become great friends. Our families have grown to love one another over the past four plus years.

Pastor Daniel and his family along with most of the pastors and churches with Lo Mejor del Trigo have been praying for us and for our daughter, Hannah. They send us notes via Facebook and texts letting us know they are concerned about us and they are praying for us.

One of the pastors, Abraham Velazquez devoted an evening of prayer at their church in Rojo Gomez for Hannah and our family. Many of the other pastors have told us that their church is praying for us. We feel very loved!

Recently, Pastor Nuñez came to our main partner church, Bridge to share all that God is doing in Tijuana and to get everyone excited about participating in the construction of the new church plant in March. The people at Bridge applauded Daniel’s testimony after he shared how God is working in Tijuana.

Then he had the opportunity to preach on how God works through the church to bring about growth. There are many examples of this in Acts. We pray the church will expand in marvelous ways on both sides of the border. Dawn and I give thanks for such wonderful friends, such wonderful partners in ministry.

Your Prayers Lift Us Up!
A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house

A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house

Thank you for all your prayers and uplifting words for our family. They do help! I can’t say we don’t get down, but the loving support keeps us going. It lifts us up! We see Hannah getting better even if it’s slower than we’d like.

This weekend we noticed a dove nesting at the entrance to our home. We’ve been praying that our home will be a haven of peace. The dove is a sign of peace and of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has used it as a still small voice reminding us that he hears our prayers and that he doesn’t abandon us. Thank you so much dear Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

The Simple Truths
Hannah & Dawn enjoying a tea party

Hannah & Dawn enjoying a tea party

Today as I was praying for Hannah, my family and life in general, God met me. He reminded me of some simple things. Truth he had given me before. Much of it I’ve already shared through my scribbling on these posts.

The Lord reminded me that I shouldn’t doubt in the dark, what he has already shown me in the light. When I go through deep valleys, and experience pain God meets me there, but sometimes I doubt. I wonder why? Why Lord?

God doesn’t always respond as I’d like, but if I truly seek him I will find him. He is there with me as I pass through the night.

God Will Not Forget You

This past summer as I was praying for my children the Lord reminded me of a passage of scripture in Isaiah 49.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭49‬:‭15,16‬ ESV)

This passage reminded me of the Lord’s care for us. He will not forget his children. He will not forget my children. They are tattooed to his hand. I can trust him for that, even in these troublesome days.

Update on Hannah & Prayer

On a positive note, Hannah’s doctor told us that she might be able to come home in a couple of days! We pray for the Lord’s intervening work to bring healing to Hannah. Continue to stand with us in prayer and to storm heaven for Hannah!

In His Grip, Dave

The Blessing of Your Prayers
Hannah with her brothers, David Jr. & Jon

Hannah with her brothers, David Jr. & Jon

Yesterday I told my mom that Hannah was doing better, that we saw improvement. She responded by saying, there are so many praying, so heaven is being stormed with prayers for Hannah. To God be the glory! The thought of heaven being stormed with prayer encouraged me. It probably isn’t a surprise when I say my family and I could use all the encouragement we can get right now.

The Lord is hearing our prayers!

Wow! It has filled our hearts to see the overwhelming response on Facebook, on this blog and through the many texts and phone calls. Yesterday Hannah had 15 visitors! Friends who came by to love on Hannah and pray for her.

I can’t mention all the visitors, but some of them were three pastors, Stephen Phelan, Danny Kim and Jaime Rodriguez from our partner church, Bridge. A pastor’s wife, Liz Castro from another partner church, Grace Renewal. One of Hannah’s closest friends and mentor, Heather Stevenson. Heather brought a friend of hers, Kate. Kate brought her guitar, and they were singing and worshipping with Hannah. When we went to see Hannah after their visit, it was the best we’ve seen her since she entered the hospital!

God is doing an amazing Work!

Keep Praying – The Battle Continues

Yet the work is not finished. Hannah needs to keep improving, to keep getting better so she can be healed and come home. Please do keep storming the heavens with your prayers.

Our family also needs your prayer of your loving support. Dawn has been spending long hours at the hospital every day, and it is physically and emotionally exhausting. David Jr. and I are tired from trying to juggle work and visiting Hannah. It’s also hard on Jon, being so far away while his sister struggles.

I’ve just been through three of the heaviest ministry weeks I’ve had in a while. I feel spent today, but the fact that Hannah is doing better does lift me up. It gives me hope!

Thank You for Your Love

I speak for our whole family when I say thank you for the outpouring of love and prayers. It’s an emotional time. Sometimes the tears come. We at times are afraid. We keep running to our Father’s arms. He holds them open wide, and he comforts us. He meets us where only he can. He also brings tangible expressions of love through you – through your texts, your messages on social media, your hugs and your prayers!

Thank you so much and to God be with glory!

Hannah with her mom and one of her friends, Hilary Salinas

Hannah with her mom and one of her friends, Hilary Salinas

One of Hannah’s favorite verses is found in is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

…”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ rest upon me.

We are weak, but God is strong. Like the simple children’s song goes, “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong.” And Psalm 56:3 reminds us what to do when we are afraid. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Wonderful promises of God’s grace and rescue in our time of need.

Continue to approach the throne of God, and storm the heavens with your prayers for Hannah!

In His Grip, Dave

Join Us in Prayer for Hannah
Our beautiful daughter, Hannah!

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah!

We need the Lord’s people to join us in lifting up our family, and especially our daughter in prayer. Hannah is in ICU at the hospital, and she isn’t responding as well as hoped to the medications. Her doctor is very concerned that she hasn’t made more progress.

Call out to the Lord of heaven and earth for his healing touch. He hears our prayers. They are a sweet incense to him.

I have been reminded of the wonderful promises of God during this time.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 ESV)

We need to take God at his word and believe that he will indeed do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think! Isn’t that a wonderful promise? Not only more than we can ask, but even more than we can think to ask. Wow!

Ask Boldly, Pray in Faith
Dawn & Hannah

Dawn & Hannah

Here’s another promise that I love.

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭13-14‬ ESV)

Since we know God’s Word is true it’s important to remember, and to claim his promises. He says that all his promises are yes in Christ Jesus!

We know that the Lord has a purpose in these trials, so we thank him for the work he is doing. He is such a great an awesome God, and he is mighty to save!

Grant us Wisdom

One other prayer and promise comes to mind, because we need wisdom as do the doctors.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5 ESV)

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

Of course there are plenty more promises and words of encouragement to be found in the Bible. Dawn and I are seeking to lean on the Lord, but at times we are afraid. In those times we need to especially cry out and trust in the Lord.

O Lord, hear our prayer and bring quick and complete healing to Hannah. Show her your tender-mercies. Your mercies are new every morning. Thank you Lord Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

West Coast Missions Conference
The West Coast Missions Conference

The West Coast Missions Conference

This weekend was a blast! Mission to the World (MTW) held their first ever West Coast Missions Conference at one of our favorite churches, Redeemer San Diego.

Dawn and I enjoyed connecting with all the people and telling them about what God is doing on the border and the Baja. We love to tell the story, It makes it extra special when those listening have an interest in missions.

I find that I get challenged in a good way by the other missionaries and those that speak at these conferences.

We loved having our colleagues from the MTW office out on the West coast as well as fellow missionaries. God has blessed us with some outstanding people who are committed to the great commission. What a huge encouragement to serve along the choice servants the Lord has privileged us to work with.

Thankful for Our Team Members & Partners
Jay Kyle, Jim DeWitt, Dave & Dawn, Alina & Verne Marshall at the West Coast Missions Conference

Jay Kyle, Jim DeWitt, Dave & Dawn, Alina & Verne Marshall at the West Coast Missions Conference

Also, two of our team members came for the conference and they will be staying on this week, so we can get some time to pray and plan together. Jim DeWitt and Peter Boling, who are part of our team are here with us now.

Daniel Nuñez from Lo Mejor del Trigo was also able to accompanying us. We are getting ready to work with Daniel and LMT to start their 24th church. Redeemer in San Diego, who hosted the conference will be involved in the building of the new church which is planned for mid-March. Everyone enjoyed getting to know Daniel, which gives me a lot of joy!

Trials & Prayer

The timing of this conference was both good and difficult. It was good, because we the Lord encouraged us as we interacted with new and old friends. It was difficult, because we are in the middle of a painful trial.

I don’t want to say too much on this forum, but our daughter is going through a rough time. It weighs heavy on our hearts. We appreciate your prayers we definitely need them.

In His Grip, Dave