Archive for November, 2022

Give Thanks for the Lord’s Many Blessings & Remember Those in Need
Dawn and I (Dave) wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a great time of year to stop and give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us. Dawn and I give thanks for you, for our family, for all of our friends and for our latina familia.

As I take time to give thanks I can’t help, but think of those who lack, and do not enough. I think especially of our familia on the Big Island. The reports coming out from the Island are heartbreaking.

One of my missionary friends, Russell who has made more than 300 trips to the Big Island told me that he thought that they are going through their worst economic crisis in their history. News reports that I have read say that it’s the worst economic crisis in 30 years. Dawn and I are continuing to send aid, but the pastors and those in their congregation struggle to find food to buy. They are going without electricity for long periods each day, which causes their food to spoil.

I would like to share a testimony that one of our friends, Yolanda wrote us in the last couple of weeks. This will help give you an idea of what our familia is suffering through, and move you to pray for them. I translated it from Spanish, and the English is a little rough, but I hope it will serve to give you a better picture of what she and our familia are experiencing.

Yolanda’s Testimony
Our familia on the Big Island

Pastor God bless you. You don’t know how much good the reflection that you sent me about casting our burdens on the Lord has done for my walk with Christ. Now I would like to share with you what is going on with my family and me.

When I was recently converted, I used to carry a lot of burdens. When I prayed for people it was as if they were putting a very heavy sack on my back. I spent a lot of time feeling the weight of it until God took that feeling away from me. At that time I told my pastor that I did not know how to give my burdens to God, and he gave me some good advice.

In recent times I have tried to encourage others to rest in the Lord to give their burdens to him.

Here in Cuba we are experiencing a lot of pressure in terms of food, the high prices that everything costs and the scarcity. People are very burdened because instead of seeing improvement in the country, it is quite the opposite.  My husband, Rene is one of those who does not spend a day that he is not agitated and burdened. I pray a lot for him.

Typical transportation on the Big Island – a horse drawn carriage

He gets up every day at dawn and goes six kilometers in a horse carriage to work. There are moments when he arrives at work that he can’t even get anything done, because there is no electricity then when he returns home he is so frustrated. He says to me, “you tell me to rest in the Lord, but when you tell me that there is no rice for lunch and that our baby does not have even a snack to eat, how do expect me to respond when you tell me to rest in God.”

Today in the afternoon we were without power. I was sitting in the doorway with my baby. I was talking to God asking him to help my husband to rest in him, because he is working so hard to try to make sure that our family does not need, and that we have at least the basics. At times, I feel that as a family we have been neglected.

Rene arrives very late from the place where he works. Then after a day on the job he goes to the land where his mother lives to plant tomatoes and work some more. He does this so that we have food and to be able to make puree when the tomato is ready to be picked.

He comes home very late and that’s the way it is every day. I just try to pray for him and leave everything in God’s hands, because as his wife God has put me with him and I must support him. I know that Rene works hard. Please help me to pray for him.

Thank you for the good testimony that you shared with me about casting our burdens on the Lord. I sent it to every possible person I could think of, because of what you know that we are going through. 

Today at dawn I have asked God to help me not only believe these truths in my mind, but in my heart as well. This way by giving God my burdens he will take care of them and carry them and thus help me. May the Lord help me every day to depend on him

It is as Pablo says, “I have known how to live in abundance and in scarcity.” I only hope that God continues helping my life to always believe in him and to deposit my burdens on him, because I totally depend on his love and mercy. When the enemy wants to make me see all THE needs, and all that am I going through. I don’t want to lose my focus, because I confess to you that there are times when I lose strength, but God helps me and encourages me. Thank you for being one of those people who help my walk in Christ for good.

I send you a big hug Pastor from the depths of my heart for all your family.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need!
That laughter on the lips or the cackles set off by anything at all have disappeared from Cuban streets. (14ymedio)

Cubans tend to try to see the bright side and they like to laugh, but much of their optimistic spirit has disappeared, because of all the difficulties that they are having to live through. It’s sad to see how challenging every day living has become.

Dawn and I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift today to help our familia. Make a gift this Thanksgiving to help a family, like Yolanda’s. You can give by clicking on the link below.

Click to Donate…
Video: A Tale of Two Cities
Tale of Two Cities featuring Jessica’s prayer for toothpaste

Thank you for joining us in prayer, and for considering making a gift to help our precious familia.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja and Beyond
BeyondBordersLife.org

God is Answering Our Prayer for Restoration
These are just a few of the special friends that the Lord has brought into our life who have become like family to us.
From the top going clockwise: Yudy, Petri, Dawn, Dave, Roberto, Eliel, Jessica, Tirsa, Sarvia, Berenice, Mariel, Jose Luis, Blanca & Federico; Eliel & Jessica with Sarvia & Tirsa; Juan, Viki, Lucy, Jorge, Dave, Dawn, Blanca and Federico; Monse, Dawn, MiRae and Dave; Dave, Davis, Luz, Dawn, Ashley, Emi and Deivis.

Last Tuesday Dawn and I had lunch with a pastor’s wife from Moscow, Russia. She was telling us about her experience in Russia, and how although she was living in Russia she was actually from Ukraine, and her husband was Russian. It was interesting to hear her perspective on what was going on and how hard life is in Russia. She said that the people in Russia and Ukraine are used to suffering – in that they are used to having to live without things. Our new friend’s name is Tatiana. Dawn even met Tatiana’s daughter.

Dawn and I shared with Tatiana about our daughter, Hannah and how just a couple of weeks ago it was the 6th anniversary of when Hannah moved to heaven. Tatiana was very encouraging as she listened to our story. We told her that since Hannah died we have been praying for God’s restoration and redemption of what we’ve lost and suffered. One of the ways the Lord is answering this prayer is through all the young people that God has brought into our lives that we’ve adopted into our family. They’ve become like family to us. Special friends mainly from Mexico and Cuba. In the last year the Lord blessed us with a special friendship with a young woman from Korea. God is expanding our borders and our family.

We encourage and love on these special friends. They have told us how much they appreciate us, and many of them call us their, Padre and Madre, (Dad and Mom). This is more common in the Latin context, and we love the connection we have with them. The Lord has been wonderfully gracious to grow our family in this way. These relationships are some of the highlights of our ministry. Some of the fruit of our work and God’s work in us.

Our special friends from Ministerios Transformación (MT) led by Pastor Daniel Nuñez and his wife, Yolanda (photo middle left). Some of the church planters we are working with going through an orientation and training (top photo). Dawn praying with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol and their son, Abraham (middle right). Our sons David & Jonathan helping build one of MT’s churches in Rosarito (bottom right). Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados with Dawn and Dave (bottom left).

Someone said recently that a seed has to die and then it goes into the ground and it bears fruit. Although I must admit I don’t understand Hannah’s untimely death I do believe that God is restoring what we have lost. We are seeing increased fruit. I used to feel guilty when I would sense that we were somehow being blessed in someway since Hannah died. God is giving me more peace in this area, and I’m seeing God answering our prayer for restoration.

After we shared our story about Hannah and praying for restoration. Tatiana said she thought we should also start thanking God for answering our prayers. He is answering it through all these beautiful people, sons and daughters that he has brought into our family. God has even given us some additional grandchildren through these relationships.

As Tatiana was sharing with us and encouraging us my eyes began to tear up, as I sensed God’s love and grace.

Job’s Example of Perseverance in Suffering
Some of our familia from the Big Island – From upper left clockwise: Dunesky; Rene & Yarelis; Ernesto & Damara; Adnier & Mariesly (who are now in Dominican Republic); Oniel & Heidy; Mario, Dave, Sara & Yany; Sara, Dave & Justo; Luis & May with their family. What a great group!

The next day the Lord continued to confirm what he was saying to us through Tatiana. I was reading through my devotional and it led me to read about Job in James and in the book of Job.
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“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

James‬ ‭5‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.”
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Job‬ ‭42‬:‭10‬-‭12‬ ‭NIV (emphasis mine)

Even though I had read these passages before this time it hit me in a new way. The timing of when the Lord led me to read about Job’s life was amazing. God uses Job’s perseverance as an example in the New Testament. He was patient in the face of suffering. Job 42 speaks specifically about how God restored what he had lost. I especially love that it says, “The Lord blessed the latter par of Job’s life more than the former part.”

Wow! God is so good. He is full of wonderful kindness. It’s easy to miss if we only look at the pain and suffering. I thank the Lord for His love, and for the amazing ways that he has brought about restoration to our family. It’s an ongoing work, but I already see so much evidence of God’s restorative work!

I hope my reflections would be of encouragement to you. God is able and willing to restore what you have suffered.

Our daughter, Hannah loved the work that we do. She loved ministering with us. She prayed for the pastors we work with. We are raising funds right now to support our two church plants in Mexicali, and our church plant in Oaxaca. We continue to support our familia on the Big Island well.

Join us in Prayer & Extend Your Hands to Help Our Familia
Our last family photo taken in July of 2016

You can make a gift to support these works in memory of our daughter, Hannah by clicking on the link below.

Dawn and I invite you to join us through prayer and by giving a special gift today to help advance the kingdom through our church plants on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! Thank you for praying for our family and considering this request!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja and Beyond!
BeyondBordersLife.org

Choose to Celebrate Life Over Death
The Celebration of the Living in Oaxaca, Mexico

Pastor Eliel & Jessica Osorio decided to throw a party on Saturday. They called it, “Noche de Vivos” (Night of the Living). On November 1 and 2 the “Día los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Mexico. In the USA Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. Some of these traditions and celebrations have crossed borders and cultures over the years. There is much darkness associated with these days.

Eliel and Jessica decided to turn the tables and celebrate life instead of death. They promoted this event in the city of Oaxaca where they are planting their church. 90 people showed up to play games, have fun and hear about life in Christ. Our God is the God of the living!

The God of the Living
Pastor Eliel Osorio leading the church
Worship in Oaxaca at their new place on Sunday morning

I asked Eliel about their celebration, and he told me that, “during these days many people celebrate, and in some ways invoke death. They do this both consciously and subconsciously, which only adds to their misery.”

“Jesus taught us that we have a God of the living and not a God of the dead, therefore we live full of hope. The Master of Galilee also challenged us to be the light of the world, precisely in situations like these where there is much darkness.” Eliel went on to say, “our church is committed to being a light, even when there is the deep darkness.”

I love the creativity that Eliel and Jessica used to turn what can be a negative and dark time into a celebration of life. A message and an event filled with much hope. The fact that almost 100 people showed up to their church’s event shows they hit a nerve. People definitely resonate with a message of hope!

Join Us in Prayer!
Eliel & Jessica with their two girls Sarvia and Tirsa
  • Pray for Pastor Eliel and Jessica as they reach many young people in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Pray for wisdom as they build a team and disciple those that the Lord is bringing to them.
  • Thank the Lord that they found a good place to meet, and that they have access to this new location every day of the week.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision for this church plant, and other church planting projects that we are involved in.

Dawn and I invite you to join us through prayer and by giving a special gift today to help advance the kingdom through our church plant in Oaxaca and Beyond! Thank you for praying for this ministry and for considering this request!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja and Beyond!
BeyondBordersLife.org