Archive for June, 2015

Growing Together - Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

Growing Together – Through the Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

God is Taking Us Deeper

Over the last two weeks God has drawn us deeper. Dawn, Hannah and I have been going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed Life. What’s made it extra special was that we were able to take our missionary colleagues Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. Four pastors from Tijuana and four church leaders from Ensenada also went with us.

2 Keys – Forgiveness & Repentance
Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Two of the keys we spent a lot of time focusing on were forgiveness and repentance. These are bedrock Christian disciplines. On the one hand, they are very basic to our faith. On the other hand, we often struggle to put them in practice.

We don’t like to admit that we are wrong. Our pride gets in the way. Yet forgiveness and repentance bring healing. God’s grace meets us at our place of weakness.

Luther said that all of life is repentance.

The Benefits of Confession

James speaks of the benefits of confession, even confessing to one another. A Christian practice that has mostly been lost on the church today.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭15-16‬ ESV)

I can’t say that it is easy to open up and share about areas where we are wounded, but it is freeing when accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.

Turn to the father. He promises to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. Learn of the father’s love for you.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he removes our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭8-13‬ ESV)

The Keys to a Transformed Life

Our Group – The Keys to a Transformed Life

It’s all part of the upside down kingdom. Where we see a flaunting of sin in the world, God calls us to repent. In many ways that word, repent, seems old an antiquated today. It sounds harsh, and yet it is what the Lord chooses to bring us healing and wholeness. God ministers to us through confession and repentance.

Also when we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we receive God’s healing touch. It is freeing to forgive. Jesus taught us to pray asking our Heavenly Father, “to forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15)

That may be a hard passage, but it’s a wonderful promise. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that the Lord offers us. Come and receive his many gifts!

In His Grip, Dave




Much to Give Thanks For
The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

These are some of the pastors that serve with Lo Mejor del Trigo

I’m so thankful for the wonderful men that I’m able to serve the Lord with here on the border. They are choice servants of the Lord and special friends. It also gives me great joy that Dawn and I can come alongside pastors and their wives.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream, since God has called us here. It’s not that we haven’t had more than our share of trials that can make the dream feel more like a nightmare.

Yet, despite the low times. Despite the valleys. There are also so many good things, so many things to give thanks for.

Wonderful Godly Partners
Jim DeWitt, Valentina & Jaime Rodriguez with Dave

Jim DeWitt, Valentina & Jaime Rodriguez with Dave

One of those things that I give thanks for is the people we partner with. They are not only wonderful partners in ministry, but they are outstanding friends.

Just this morning I had breakfast with Jim DeWitt with Mission to the World (MTW) and Jaime Rodriguez, pastor of Lo Mejor del Trigo La Morita and Bridge church. Jaime loves the Lord, and he loves to serve Christ. He is very sensitive to God’s leading and direction. I learn from him.

Valentina, Jaime’s wife is a jewel. Dawn and I feel privileged to minister with them.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez is another wonderful friend that I’ve enjoyed getting to know and serving with over the last 4 years. Daniel’s wife, Yolanda and their whole family have become very special to us.

God has blessed us with so many good people that we work alongside that I don’t have the space to mention all of them in this post, although if you follow my blog you will read about them if you haven’t already.

Growing Together in Christ!
Keys to a Transformed Life in San Antonio de las Minas

Keys to a Transformed Life in San Antonio de las Minas

This week I’m in San Antonio de las Minas going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed life and I have three pastors, and three missionaries here with Dawn, Hannah and me. Pastor Ivan Casados, Pastor Jaime Avila and Pastor Mario Perez. Fellow MTW missionaries Peter and Jenny Boling are here along with Jim DeWitt.

Last week Pastor Felipe Hernandez was with us along with his wife, Laura.

We also had 4 leaders from the Nueva Jerusalen church – Jesus & Yudy Petrikowski and Jorge & Luz Salazar.

Such special people! Thank you Jesus for our friends. O Lord, do meet them at their point of need. Do work in their hearts and draw each of them nearer to you. Use us for your glory and she your kingdom extended on the earth! Amen and Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

The Lord’s Amazing Work

Worship at Rojo Gomez

Worship at Rojo Gomez

God continues to amaze me with all he is doing here on the border. Sometimes we are on the edge watching and cheering on the forward march. At other times we a more directly involved, but it doesn’t seem to matter, God is doing something special here.

On Sunday we were able to celebrate with our dear friends from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). First, we celebrated LMT – Rojo Gomez’s 9th anniversary. The Spirit ministered to us as Pastor Abraham Velazquez led the growing church in worship. Then Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of the LMT movement in Mexico preached a wonderfully uplifting sermon.

Rojo Gomez is one of the first church that LMT started. The church is full of life and God’s presence is working in a powerful way.

Pastor Gilberto Garcia and his wife, Maribel with Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Pastor Gilberto Garcia and his wife, Maribel with Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Celebrating Church #25

Just about the time we ate our last bite of Birria we headed off for LMT’s – Torres de Matamoros inaugural service. Pastor Gilberto Garcia led a wonderful time worship. There were so many people in attendance some had to sit outside during the service.

A joyous celebration!
Installing Pastor Gilberto Garcia in the new church!

Installing Pastor Gilberto Garcia in the new church!

This church marks the 25th church that LMT has started. Daniel Nuñez vision is to plant 50 churches, so they are half way there. They are excited and we are thrilled to see God at work. This church is also special, because it was built in memory of Jacob Griffiths. Jacob passed away last year in a plane crash. His dad, Scott and his family have been very involved in Mexico. They are close friends and supporters of the work of Lo Mejor del Trigo.

God’s at Work in San Antonio de las Minas
The group we are growing with in San Antonio de las Minas

The group we are learning with and growing with in San Antonio de las Minas

Dawn, Hannah and I are presently in San Antonio de las Minas going through a course on life transformation. God has enriched us spiritually through our time here. It’s extra special, because we have some of our co-workers here: Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. We also have friends here from La Nueva Jerusalen church in Ensenada: Jesus & Yudy Petrikowski and Jorge & Luz Salazar. Friends from Tijuana also came, Pastor Felipe Hernandez and his wife, Laura.

It’s a busy time, but it’s a good time and we give thanks to the Lord for all his good work. Lord continue to do you amazing work on the border, the Baja and beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

God’s Work Through Victor & Sol
Pastor Victor, Sol & Abraham with Dave, Dawn and Hannah

Pastor Victor, Sol & Abraham with Dave, Dawn and Hannah

Dawn, Hannah and I had a wonderful evening with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol and their son, Abraham this past week. It is evident that the Lord’s hand is upon them as they are ministering in Plan Libertador, Lo Mejor del Trigo’s 24th church.

The church held its first service in March of this year. Victor and Sol have been very active in the community. They are handing out flyers to let their neighbor know about the new church. They are taking food to people in the hospital. They are organizing soccer games. They’ve even partnered with the San Diego – Baja YWAM team to build some homes for the poor.

Can New Believers Serve?
Pastor Victor and Sol

Pastor Victor and Sol

New people are coming into the church. They are encountering Christ for the first time and many of them are coming into a personal relationship with Jesus.

Victor said that many of the new couples are living in “union libre” (they are living together, but aren’t married).

Victor began to pray and ask God how to minister to so many people who were living together as if they were married, even though they weren’t.

God Comes Through – His Answer
Dave with Pastor Victor in front of the church

Dave with Pastor Victor in front of the church

God answered Victor’s plea. He reminded him that even though they didn’t have their lives all together they could still serve. They could take food to the hungry. They could help hand out flyers. They could visit the homeless.

As Victor and Sol have lovingly shared with these young believers many of them have started to ask them about getting married. They are talking about fixing the church up to make it look nicer for the weddings!

The gospel is changing families! God is bringing about life transformation! Praise be to God! Pray that this young church will continue to grow, and to share the love of Christ with those in the community of Plan Libertador and Beyond.

In His Grip, Dave

God Works Through Relationships
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

I feel the longer we are here the deeper our relationships grow, and the wider the ministry reaches. We’ve often prayed that the Lord would enlarge our borders. The journey has been much more crooked and with more lows than we could have ever imagined, but still God is on the move.

One of our believes is that ministry flows out of relationship. God’s Spirit seems to be unleashed as kingdom minded ministries work together.

The Lord brought this point home to me as I participated in a meeting with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) last week. It warmed my heart to rub shoulders with such wonderful servants of the Lord. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the group, and he and his family are special friends.

The Spirit Enlarges Our Borders – Praise Him!
Dave Preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo - Terrazas

Thankful for opportunities to share the Word with my friends from LMT

Later in the week I had the chance to preach at El Niño, the mother church for Lo Mejor del Trigo. Pastor Daniel was the pastor of this church, and he recently handed over the reins to his son, Pastor Turi Nuñez.

Dawn, Hannah and I also spent some time with some friends in Ensenada and San Antonio de las Minas, which is near Ensenada. God is opening up some doors for us in these places as well.

We rejoice in the breath of the Spirit. He moves in a powerful way. It’s so easy for relationships to go awry. We’ve seen some of that as well. Another motive for prayer.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray with us that Jesus will continue to deepen, strengthen and widen these relationships. We have some important ministry opportunities taking place over the summer.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate with Lo Mejor del Trigo in the inauguration of their 25th church. Half way there, in their goal to plant 50 churches! Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave

One Border – Two World’s

The border is a unique place. It’s a place where two very different world’s intersect. The fence that draws a line between the two the United States and Mexico is part of the story here.

Families and friends live on both sides. Some people are not able to cross to see their family members, so this creates some hardships.

A friend sent me a video of a creative way some people do to try to interact at the border fence not far from where we live. I thought you would enjoy it, so here it is for your enjoyment.

Video Border Fandango

The Lord calls us to have compassion on the resident alien among other oppressed people.

… do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3 ESV)

This is one among many reasons that the border needs the gospel. Jesus gives us hope. He offers an abundant life. O that many would come to know him! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave Preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo - Terrazas

Dave Preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo – Terrazas

Come to Me

One lesson the Lord keeps bringing to my attention is his invitation to come to him for rest. Too often I find myself anxious or weighed down with the difficulties of life, but Christ says come.

Since Jesus put this on my heart I decided to share this message at one of the churches we partner with in Tijuana. I find that many followers of Christ are worn out, and need the rest that only the Savior can give.

Jesus invites us to come to him for rest,

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This passage gives me hope. I love the invitation here. I love who is giving the invitation. I love the description of the one who is giving the invitation.

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Mario Perez and his wife, Mara

Dave & Dawn with Pastor Mario Perez and his wife, Mara

What is Your View of Christ?

Christ is gentle and lowly in heart. Do you see him in that way? That’s not always the image I have of Jesus. I need to adjust my thinking. What a wonderful savior we serve!

Our Lord cares for us. He cares for you when you are down, and when you feel defeated. He is gentle and humble.

God Breaks Through in a Powerful Way
Dawn ministering to two women through prayer

Dawn ministering to two women through prayer

After the service Dawn and I asked the people at the church if they wanted us to pray for them. Some came up and we shared an awesome time of prayer.

At the end of the day after enjoying some good fellowship, Dawn felt led to pray for two women. We saw God minister to them in a powerful way! It was such a faith building experience to see the Lord reach down and touch these women at their point of need.

God showed us in a tangible way how he ministers to his children. How he gives rest to the weary. How he loves to give us good gifts.

Rejoice with us, and I invite you to look to Jesus for rest. If you are looking to other things the rest will be fleeting. Only Christ can break through and lead the way for us. Only he offers an easy yoke and a light burden. I urge you dear friend to take him up on his offer!

In His Grip, Dave