Archive for May, 2016

David’s Big Adventure
David in front of his new pad in Fairfield

David in front of his new pad in Fairfield

I’m in the process of helping my oldest son, David Jr. move to Fairfield, California. Fairfield is in Northern California between Sacramento and the Bay Area. It’s just south of Napa Valley.

My travels with my son have taken me off the grid some. It’s harder to stay up on my posts while I’m traveling, which I’ve been doing a lot lately.

Dawn and I are very proud of our son as he starts his new adventure, which will give him some awesome opportunities to learn and take him all over the United States over the next two years.

It’s a bittersweet time. We are thankful that David has this job, it’s a tremendous opportunity for him. Yet we will miss him! Our family is going through some changes and transitions. At times like this we need to remember that God is on the throne and in control of all things.

Join Us In Prayer!
Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

Pray for Dawn and Hannah. We are excited about all that God is doing in Hannah’s life!

We’d appreciate your prayers for David and our family. Pray that David adjusts to his new job and new environment well. Pray that Dawn, Hannah and I adjust to not having our oldest son, and Hannah’s big brother around.

Hannah is beginning a 5 day retreat with IMPACT 195 today. Pray that the Lord ministers to her in a deep way, and brings her even more healing. Dawn is off to Pennsylvannia today to visit her parents and her brother. We are scattered out this week, and we will be reunited next weekend.

Thanks for praying for our family during this week as we all go through these transitions of life.

In His Grip, Dave

Our Vision for Growth on the Border, The Baja & Beyond!
The view towards the Pacific from the church plant in Rosarito

The view towards the Pacific from the church plant in Rosarito

Our vision for the Border, the Baja and Beyond is to see church planting movements ignited and flourishing. Some of the ways we’ve envisioned doing this is through partnering with like-minded ministries, to enlist, engage and equip leaders.

One of our important partnerships is with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM). When I was in Mexico City last week I was able to meet with the president, secretary and treasurer of the NPCM. I felt encouraged as we discussed the importance of planting churches and reaching Northern Mexico. You can pray with us that the relationship grows, so that we can see a Spirit filled move of God.

Presently, we have two main projects with them in our region. One new project in La Paz that we started in May of 2015, and one in Ensenada that we are getting ready to start this Fall.

A New Project in Rosarito

Pastor Davis Pardo & and his wife, Luz leading the church in worship

Recently, I’ve started developing a relationship with a new church planter that is working in Rosarito. Davis & Luz Pardo went through our discovery center last November and they are beginning a new work in Rosarito.

This past weekend I visited the church site. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a great experience. I met some people from a group of churches from San Diego that are interested in supporting this church planting project and helping it get off of the ground.

God has blessed Davis and the church with a great location for a church. It’s set on a hill in the middle of a community that doesn’t have any churches. Since Rosarito is not far from the ocean, and the church is set on a hill it has a beautiful view of the Pacific.

I’ve invited Davis to go through our church planting training that we will be starting up in June. This is a two-year training program, called the incubator, that equips pastors to plant their church.

Join Us in Prayer

Pray with us that the Lord will guide and lead us in these strategic partnership relationships. Pray for Davis and Luz as they lead the core group that they’ve raised up in Rosarito. Pray for Victor and Fanny Gonzalez, who are planting the church in La Paz, and for Petri & Yudy who are planting the church in Ensenada.

Dawn and I are also excited about our partnership with our friends from Ministerios Transformación led by Pastor Daniel Nuñez. We are getting ready to plant a new church with them in Tijuana this Fall, led by Obed & Cesiah Lares.

The church is growing! God is at work! Hallelujah! Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave


Mexico City – Ciudad de México

Reminiscing & Reacquainting

Dave sharing the gospel in Mexico City with Isabel Cisneros

Dave sharing the gospel in Mexico City at UNAM with Isabel Cisneros in 1986

Dawn, Hannah and I made it home from our wonderful trip to the big city of Mexico.

This trip reminded me of why God called me to serve in Mexico those many years ago. I still remember how the Lord stirred my soul as I first met and interacted with the people. Even with my limited Spanish on my first trip I fell in love with the people and the country.

I realize that all these years later that love is still there, and that my family shares this affection.

God gave me the great privilege of attending seminary at the International School of Theology (ISOT) affiliated with Cru, at that time Campus Crusade for Christ.


Enjoying some tacos with the Silva family

While I was at the seminary one of the requirements was that we go on a cross-cultural missions trip. A group of about sixteen of us, led by Dr. William Iverson chose to go to Mexico in the summer of 1985.

God gripped my heart way back then. That’s how it began, but I’m glad that I’m not the only one in my family that loves Mexico. It was fun to watch Dawn and Hannah connect with old friends and rediscover the city.

When we lived in Mexico the city was referred to as D.F. or the Distrito Federal, now it’s called Ciudad de Mexico. There are signs all around the city that have an abbreviated CDMX for Ciudad de Mexico.

Reconnecting & Dreaming


Dave with Barush & Monse two university ministry workers at UNAM. Do you notice any differences from the photo taken above?  🙂 

As Dawn, Hannah and I reconnected not only with the city, but with many friends from days gone by I felt the Lord tugging at my heart. It warmed my heart to be with such wonderful and loving friends again.

My time connecting with old friends and some new one’s as well caused me to begin to dream and wonder how we could minister and encourage our friends who live here? I’m not sure what the Lord has in store for us, but there are so many needs in Mexico City, so many opportunities I would love to have a stronger connection with the people.

You can pray that the Lord will guide and lead us. There is still so much work to be done on the border and in the Baja that I can’t let up on that. Our tag line for our ministry is the Border, the Baja and Beyond, and Mexico City is part of that beyond! We so long to see the gospel extending out throughout the whole country of Mexico.

O Lord, continue to lead us and show us the way! Thank you for this wonderful trip and for your tug at our hearts. Strengthen the hands of those that our weak. Be glorified in this great city, and this great country! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave


Mexico Dear to Our Hearts

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Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros Family

Our time in Mexico City after so many years has been special in so many ways. Dawn, Hannah and I (wish David & Jonathan could be here with us 🙂 ) have so many good memories of our time here. It’s been healing to reconnect with the city and the people.

It reminds me some of the first time we visited Chula Vista about 6 years ago. The visit reawakened something in us. I think in part our love for Mexico and her people. The time in Mexico City has been good in so many ways. It reminds me of God’s love for us and for the people here.

As I get older I find myself growing more sentimental. When we first saw some of our friends here after so many years I began to get emotional. I feel like the Spirit is doing a work in my heart.

A Sweet Reunion


Dave & Angel share a tender embrace

This last Wednesday, Dawn and I were able to meet with the Cisneros family. They are the first family that I really got to know when I came to Mexico the first time in 1985. I was single at the time. The Cisneros family is a very loving family and they have a deep commitment to serve the Lord. They’ve embraced Dawn, our family and me.

They’ve served with Campus Crusade, Operation Mobilization and other ministries.

When I walked in the door and saw Angel we embraced and as I greeted the others I had to hold back the tears of joy. It ministered to my soul in ways that only God can do. There is something special about being reunited with a family that I’ve known for such a long time and we’ve passed through a lot together.

Dawn and I felt very loved by them the moment we walked in the door.

Encouragement and Tears

Dave sharing the gospel in Mexico City with Isabel Cisneros

Dave with Feli Cisneros at UNAM in 1986

Before we left I wanted to encourage them from the Word about some things that the Lord has been teaching me. As I shared more, and begin to tell them about some of the trials our family has passed through I began to cry. I don’t cry a lot, but I am becoming a little more tender.

I think I cried in part because, yes we’ve been through some very painful experiences. Also, the Spirit was working in me, and I wanted to be able to encourage them from my heart.

Well anyway, before long most if not all of us were crying even the guys. Dawn says she was surprised, she couldn’t remember a time when she was in a group and all the men were crying.

God was in our midst. He was strengthening and encouraging us in a very significant way.

Then we spent some time in prayer, and we all left feeling lifted up. Wow! I long for more times like that in my life!

Those that are part of the Cisneros family are heroes to me! God has used them in a significant way in my life, and I know in the life of many others. May the Lord continue to bless them and increase their fold. Also, may the Lord allow us to see each other more frequently. I know that I need it! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave


Mexico City, Mexico, source: prind1m


Mexico City: An Amazing Place!
Hannah & Chivis in Mexico City

Hannah & Chivis in Mexico City a few years ago!

I can’t believe that Dawn, Hannah and I are in Mexico City again!

We called this city home for almost 10 years from 1990 to 2000. Jonathan and Hannah were born here. Our guero, mexicanos. David Jr. was only 5 months old when we moved to the big city.

Mexico City is an amazing place. A sprawling metropolitan of over 25 million. The city was huge when we lived here, and somehow it’s continued to grow.

We still have many good friends here, and it’s wonderful to be able to visit them while we are here. This is the first time that Dawn and Hannah have been back since we left. Hannah was only about 6 years old at the time. Wow! Where does the time go?

Missions & Mexico

Zócalo Mexico City 

At one time the mission we minister with Mission to the World (MTW) had more missionaries in Mexico than any other field in the world. Today Japan hosts the most MTW missionaries. MTW no longer has any missionaries that are serving in Mexico City. We do have some church plants and ministries that we have a strong relationship with.

That’s not to say that there aren’t needs here. There are many.

I do hope by God’s grace we will see a move of the Lord in this city and in this country, and that we can be a part of that. Lord, hear our prayer!

Remember to Pray for Mexico

Join us in prayer for the Lord to move in the heart of men, women and children in the Mexico City, and in Mexico. The Border, The Baja and Beyond! That God will be glorified and lifted up here. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14, ESV)

In His Grip, Dave


Learning From a Pioneer, Dr. Allen Thompson

Dr. Allen Thompson, The Master at Work

I was blown away by all that the Lord is doing in Cuba. Fortunately, I ended up arriving in Havana one day before we began the training. This gave me some time to interact with Dr. Allen Thompson, a long time missionary to Cuba. Allen’s parents first came to Cuba as missionaries, and they helped start the Los Pinos Nuevos Seminary.

Dr. Thompson served in Cuba as a missionary, but he was forced to leave when the revolution began in 1960. Allen is now in his 80’s, but you can’t tell when you are around him. He has so much life and energy, and he is still going strong. I pray that the Lord will still use me in a similar way when I am in my 80’s.

Allen and his family have such deep relationships in Cuba, and they’ve stayed connected to their many friends over the years. This foundation laid years ago led one of the leaders to call Dr. Thompson five years ago. Pastor Pachy, who is now leads Los Pinos Nuevos called Allen and asked for help. Allen had been working with Redeemer New York’s City to City worldwide outreach, but when Pachy called he came to help.

The Explosive Growth of the Church

Interaction during the training

The people had a foundation from the seminary, but many of them were legalistic, so Allen and the people he brought in to help began to teach and preach the gospel. This brought about transformation and a hunger for more.

The fact that the people are very isolated, and even bored because of the lack of entertainment gave the people a greater hunger to study and to learn. That’s how the church began to grow.

Pastor Pachy says he doesn’t know exactly how many churches they have, but he estimates that they have about 40,000! I mean that is amazing and explosive growth. It sounds similar to the type of things that happened through the house church in China.

The Fuel of Prayer & Training

The Students enjoying themselves while learning.

As I interacted more with Dr. Thompson I realized that prayer played a big part in the movement. They believed in it. They taught it, and they practiced it.

Another important component was gospel centered training. Allen said they use non formal training, which means that they don’t give certificates of completion, and the lessons are adjusted to the culture and the level of the students education.

One of the principle ways that they measure success is that they ask those taking the training if they are sharing the material with others. Most of them are. They encourage them to share the material as soon as they’ve taken the class.

That’s how multiplication happens!

While I was there I began to dream. I began to wonder how could we use this in Mexico. We don’t have all the same circumstances in Mexico, but surely parts of this model would work. I think it’s a brilliant idea to encourage the students to share what they’ve learned with others as soon as they can.

Pray with us that the Lord will guide and lead us and show us the way!

In His Grip, Dave

Not What I Expected


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Cuba. I had heard about the poverty, and the oppression, but I didn’t know what I would encounter. It broke my heart to see how much the people have suffered, as I listened to their stories. Despite the pain many have found Christ, which has given them hope to overcome their circumstances.

Cuba is a tale of two cities. There is plenty of natural beauty in the country. Yet there is also much darkness and pain. In Havana many homes and surrounding buildings were built more than 100 years ago. What wonderful architecture! It reminded me of some of the cities I’ve been to in Europe. Sadly, many of the buildings are crumbling. They are not able to maintain them. Most of them are in need of a paint job and more.

The Amazing Growth of the Church

Allen Thompson & Jim Moon Jr. who led the training team

There’s much more to the story as the church is busting at the seams. Wow! So exciting to see God at work. The government doesn’t allow them to build new churches, so they have to meet in houses.

The people do not have many options for entertainment. Internet access is very limited. The TV is controlled by the government, so not much in the way of interesting shows to watch. They also don’t have many movie theaters.

This leaves the people with a lot of time. They are relational. The leaders of the churches build relationships with people in their neighborhood. Then they invite them to study the Bible. There is much spiritual hunger, so the people come. They encounter Christ in the gospel, and the church grows.

One of the missionaries, Allen Thompson, that I spoke to said that it was like the people were living in a prison. Then he added that he hoped that the country doesn’t open up too soon, because the Lord is using all the oppression to make the people hungry, and the church is multiplying like never before!

Pastor Pachy told us he thought there were 40,000 churches or more in their network. The network he leads, Los Pinos Nuevos is just one of the networks in the country.

Such Beautiful People
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Dave with some of my new Cubans friends Frank, Ariadna & Melissa

I loved the opportunity to connect with the Cubans that we worked with over the week. That was definitely a highlight for me. They are beautiful people. The light of Christ shines through them. They’ve been through so much! Yet they aren’t depressed and down. They are a people of hope, and it is clear that the gospel has gripped their hearts.

As we got to know each other during the week they began to joke with me. We had fun interacting with one another. They also shared their stories, and their perspective on Cuba. Truly amazing!

God gripped my heart, and gave me a burden for my new friends and their country. I hope to be able to build on these relationships, and encourage them in their faith.

I went to Cuba to help with the mentor/coach training, but I came away with much more than I gave. I learned many valuable things while I was in Cuba that I hope to be able to implement in our ministry in Mexico. I will post more about my trip and the  insights later this week.

Thanks for Standing With Us In Prayer

Thanks so much for praying for my family and me. Dawn, Hannah and David Jr. did well while I was gone. Jonathan is in Colorado, and we see the Lord’s hand of favor and protection over him as well. God answered in many ways as he cared for my family, and gave me such a wonderful experience. We are more than conquerors in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave