Archive for July, 2018

Smiles & Laughter!

Many Smiles and Fun at our Summer VBS in Ensenada

One of my favorite things about our summer VBS in Ensenada is all the big smiles and the laughter. It’s a joy to see the children enjoying themselves and having fun!

I love the fact that we have a cross cultural bi-lingual team as a group of friends from Skyview Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado has come to Ensenada again this summer. This is the 5th summer in a row that Skyview has sent a team from their church.

The group from Skyview led by Tim & Kari Berglund has formed a close and loving relationship with the church here. The Lord has used them and their relationship to help start a new church plant in Ensenada, which is called Renuevo. Dawn and I are thrilled with what the Lord is doing here!

Loving the Unchurched

Game On! is the theme for this Summer’s VBS

This VBS is different from many in that most of the children involved are coming from unchurched families. Since the church just began last year they are reaching out to their friends, and the VBS has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to love on these children and their families.

You can see the love of Jesus shining through the many smiles!

Learning about Jesus and Fun Activities at our Summer VBS

This year we have 70 children participating in the VBS. That’s a big group for this young and growing church. Renuevo means to renew or renewal. The church has a vision to see families, communities and the city renewed by the gospel.

They are reaching out to many young families, who are in need of hope and help as they raise their children.

Join Us in Prayer

Many Fun Activities that aid the Learning

We appreciate your prayers for this week. That many of these children will come to know the Savior, and that their families will also come to know Christ. Pray that the love of Christ shines brightly through all those involved in leading and serving the children and their families. We know that only Jesus and the message of the gospel can fill the emptiness and the needs that these families have.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Crossing New Frontiers

Dave with the new leadership of the NPCM at the General Assembly meeting

Even though Dawn and I have lived and ministered in Mexico there are still many places that neither one of us has visited. Well, Dawn didn’t join me on this trip, but now I can cross another city, Ciudad Valles off of my bucket list. I’ve come to Cd. Valles for the General Assembly meeting of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM). I’m here with 300 other pastors and leaders.

The mission that Dawn and I serve with Mission to the World (MTW) has partnered with the NPCM for the last 25 years to plant churches in the most unreached parts of Mexico. The Lord has accomplished a lot through our partnership over the years. New churches have been planted in Mexico City, Monterrey, Acapulco, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Durango, and Juarez. We are also starting new works in La Paz, Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali and other parts of Northern Mexico.

Partnering to See Life Transformation

Dave addressing the assembly of the NPCM in Cd. Valles

Today I had the opportunity to address the assembly and thank them for our partnership and speak of some of the projects that we’ve worked on and others that we are beginning. It was a blessing and a privilege for me to be able to share with the group.

It’s fun for me to be here, because I’m reconnecting with so many old friends from when Dawn and I served in Mexico City from 1990 – 2000. These relationships also open doors for potential future ministry. There’s such a huge need for more churches to be planted, and for more people to be reached for the kingdom. Our prayer, our cry is that communities will be transformed by the gospel as individuals and families have an encounter with Jesus. It’s a work that only Jesus can do.

Join Us in Prayer

Dave with a good friend, Fernando Sanchez

One of the things I’m reminded of when I’m here is the need for more workers. There’s more work than I, or even our whole MTW Mexico mission force can handle. We need continued and ongoing wisdom so we can best discern where to put our energy. Join us in praying for these needs, so that we will see greater kingdom expansion.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I have to take a bus for 3 1/2 hours to Tampico, and then I have two plane fights to get back home. I appreciate your prayers that my trip goes well. Then when I get home Dawn and I need to start getting ready for the group from Skyview Presbyterian Church in Colorado who will be coming to help lead VBS in Ensenada. It’s a fun week, but very busy. We need an extra boost of energy!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave with our new friends Nicolas and Alexander

Dave with our new friends Nicolas and Alexander

An Adventure with our Dog, Daisy

Recently Dawn and I took our dog, Daisy to the dog spa in Tijuana to get her hair groomed. I don’t know how much Daisy likes it, but she does look better after a good wash and the hair salon.🐩🤣

Dawn and I decided to go visit a new café near the beach in Tijuana while we waited for Daisy. On our way to the café I hit the median with our car’s tire, and just like that, we had a flat tire. It took me a block or two to realize the tire was flat. When I finally pulled over there were two guys standing nearby selling candy.

To be honest, at that point I was frustrated and trying to figure out what to do. I began getting the spare tire out of the trunk and trying to use the jack to lift the car up. I had some trouble getting the lug nuts off the tire.

God Opens Doors to the Gospel

In the meantime, Dawn started talking to the two guys, Alexander and Nicolas. They offered to help, which was very kind of them. Before you knew it with their help we changed the tire.

The two guys told us they were former addicts. One of them Nicolas was from New York, and he has been sober for four years. Alexander just recently had kicked the habit. They were both connected with a Christian rehab center. They just happened to be selling some candy there, right where our car stopped.

As we talked some more and began to encourage them in their faith, we asked Alexander if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said no. So Dawn and I shared the gospel with him and asked him if he would like to pray to receive with us. He said, “yes,” so I led him in prayer to ask Jesus to forgive him for his sins, and to come into his life as his Lord and Savior. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Encouragement for Nicolas
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

Then we turned our attention to Nicolas he is a young man around 30, but both of his parents have already passed away. He feels alone, and he wants his life to count, so he’s serving in the rehab center. Yet, sometimes he feels alone and forgotten. He believes that God has called him to something greater.

Tears started to form in Nicolas’ eyes as he shared his story with us. We told him that the Lord had a good plan for him, and he brought us together through our flat tire. Dawn and I told him about some ministries that we could connect him with so that he wasn’t all alone. This too brought tears to his eyes.

Then we prayed with Nicolas and Alexander, and the peace of Christ rested on all of us. It was a beautiful experience, and it all started with our dog, Daisy needing a haircut! Then a frustrating flat tire. God often works in mysterious ways. This is one more way we see the Lord working and redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early homegoing. The Lord brings us healing as we see Him ministering through us, as He works to bring about life transformation. Thank you, Jesus!

Dawn and I have noticed that the key is to pray for opportunities and then to be open and sensitive as He leads throughout the day. I may have missed this opportunity because initially I was so angry and stressed, but Dawn was sensitive to our surroundings and to the Lord’s leading.

Good used something that was stressful and frustrating for good. Praise him for his goodness!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Open Doors in Mexicali and Tijuana

On this journey of faith on the border, the Baja and Beyond Dawn and I enjoy connecting with all the pastors, church planters, and leaders that He brings our way. Our heart is to strengthen those we minister alongside so that they will be encouraged and more effective in ministry. We work and pray for more churches and healthier churches.

Over the last week, we met with a number of church planters and leaders in Tijuana and Mexicali. The day we went to Mexicali the temperature soared about 100 degrees! We managed to stay cool by going from one air-conditioned restaurant to another. It’s such a joy to spend time with these leaders and to get to know them.

Pastor Mere and Edna Godinez
 Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

Edna, Mere, Dawn and Dave in Mexicali

One of the couples we spent time with was Pastor Mere and Edna, who are leading the church we started in Hannah’s memory. They are both busy in their jobs, and school as they are ministering. This is the first church that they are leading, so they are learning as they go.

Dawn and I love Mere and Edna, they are very special to us. In part, because they are in front of the church that we put our heart and soul into since it was built to honor Hannah and to remember her. We love to listen to them talk about how they are growing, and their desire to reach the community for Christ. We are thankful for the opportunity to speak into their lives.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the church as they reach out in the community of Carranza, which is outside of Mexicali. As I mentioned before Cristina, who lives right next to the church prayed for three years that the Lord would build a church on that property. Her mom believed that the Lord would put a church their, even before Cristina began to pray for it.

The Lord is on the Move! Hallelujah!
The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The church in near Mexicali. Pastor Mere & Edna during the inaugural service with Pastor Daniel Nuñez who leads Ministerios Transformación.

The Lord is on the move in Mexicali. This is the first church that we’ve been directly connected to in this city, the capital city of Baja California. Now that the Lord has opened up the door to Mexicali through this church, we’ve begun to connect with Edna’s parents who are also leading a young church. Their names are Rafael and Diana. And we pray that both of these churches will grow for the glory of God.

There are also two other pastors that live in Mexicali. Dawn and I met with them last week as well to talk about the possibility of working together to start a new church in Mexicali. Just think in the next year we could have three or four new churches in the capital of Baja California when just a year ago we only had one.

The Ever-expanding Kingdom! What a Joy!
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I are seeking to share the love of Christ wherever we are, and whenever the Lord opens the door!

The Lord has also introduced us to a couple of new church planters for Tijuana. We would love to see more churches in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Mexicali, La Paz, Los Cabos and throughout Mexico. O Lord, hear our prayer! On earth, as it is in heaven!

Thanks for joining us on this wild ride. Dawn and I have suffered some real pain as we’ve served here, yet God is at work. The Lord is healing this land, and he is raising up a new generation and a people for Himself! Amen!

In His Grip, Dave