Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

An Exciting Day – Building a New Church
Building the new church in Mexicali

Last Monday, the day after Easter was a wonderful day. I got up and I drove 2 1/2 hours east to Mexicali. Once I arrived at the church site, I noticed that the walls were already up for the new church. I count it a privilege to be involved in starting new churches. This particular church is being led by Pastor Jorge Alvarado along with his wife, Lucy.

I wrote about Jorge and Lucy in my last post. They have an amazing testimony that reminds me of God’s love and how He pursues prodigals. Our God transforms lives in the most astounding ways.

Pastor Jorge & Lucy’s Story
Pastor Jorge and Lucy

On this trip I not only was able to witness the construction of this new life giving church, but I was able to met Jorge’s mom, Petra and others to learn more about their story.

If you remember from my last post Jorge was caught in life of drugs and addiction for a number of years. He was so bad that he said that he would wear shoes that didn’t match in public, and his hair was a mess. People in the community where he lived disliked him, some even hated him. He and his wife Lucy were separated and she moved to another city a long ways away.

While Jorge was on crystal meth and involved with the wrong people he was shot three times. Once in each leg and once in his stomach. He was in the hospital for 50 days, and in a coma for 3 of those days. There was a point were the doctors took Petra outside of the room where he was being treated, and they said he was dying and that there wasn’t anything else that they could do. While they were outside giving Jorge’s mom that devastating news, Jorge cried out, “Madre!” (Mom!).

A Miracle!
Jorge with his mom, Petra

The medical staff rushed back into the room. Petra said when she walked backed into the room that all eight of the people on the medical staff had gotten on their knees and they said it’s a miracle.

One of the amazing pieces to this story is that neither Jorge nor his mom were believers at the time. Yet, God decided that He had a better plan for Jorge.

After this incident Jorge got into a Christian based drug rehab center where he gave his life to Christ.

A Restored Marriage
David & Dawn with Lucy and Jorge

His wife, Lucy was living in another part of Mexico with their daughter. They were not yet believers either. Their daughter found Jorge on Facebook, and told Lucy that she wanted to go back to Mexicali to be with her dad. God brought them back together and restored their marriage and gave them new life in Christ.

That’s just amazing! It warms my heart when I hear their testimony. I found that when I’m with Jorge and Lucy and we are sharing and encouraging one another one of us if not all of are crying.

Jesus Light Is Shining in Mexicali
Dave with Pastor Jorge, Pastor Juan Huape and Pastor Daniel Nuñez, who are all part of Ministerios Transformación (Transformation Ministries)

They not only came to Christ, but now we are partnering with them to build a church and shine the light of Christ in the community where they now live. This is the same community that laughed at Jorge. No one liked him, but God changed all of that. Now he is respected and God is using him to bring the good news of the gospel to the people. Many others who were or are caught in addiction are finding Christ through this church.

I’m so thankful for the life and testimony of Jorge and Lucy. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s grace and His power to bring life transformation. I give thanks that we can partner with them to start this new church.

You Can Help!
The Partially built church in Mexicali

Last week we had enough funds to frame the walls and put up some of the roof, but we weren’t able to finish. We still need $6,000 to finish building the church. That’s where you come in.

First, pray for Jorge and Lucy and this vital ministry.
Second, prayerfully consider making a gift today.

Mexicali is in the desert. It’s hot, and the temperature often exceeds 100. The church needs a finished roof and walls and air conditioning as they head into the summer months.

Dawn and I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider making a donation today to help us finish building this church. We are almost there! Please consider giving a gift of $50, $100, $250, $1,000, or more to plant a new church in Mexicali, Mexico. Dawn and I appreciate the critical role you play in bringing the light of the gospel to Mexicali and Beyond!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

God is Building His Church in Mexicali
Pastor Daniel & Yoli with Pastor Jorge & Lucy on the property where the church will be built

Next Monday, April 18th the day after Easter we are building a church in Mexicali, Mexico. We are partnering with our good friends, Ministerios Transformación (Transformation Ministries) to begin construction for a new church plant. Pastor Daniel Nuñoz who leads Ministerios Transformación has a God given vision to plant 50 churches. Pastor Daniel has almost accomplished this goal. This will be the 45th church that he’s started.

Dawn and I love the friendship that we have with Daniel and his wife, Yoli. They’ve become some of our closest friends. This is the 8th church that we’ve help them start. God has enabled us to raise funds to expand the ministry of 7 of their other churches as well. Dawn and I have enjoyed our relationship with all the pastors and leaders with Ministerios Transformación. We give thanks to the Lord for opening the door for us to train and mentor many of them. It’s one of the most fruitful church planting ministries that we’ve partnered with in all of our years in missions.

God Rescued Pastor Jorge and Lucy

Pastor Jorge and Lucy

The church in Mexicali will be lead by Pastor Jorge Alvarado and his wife, Lucy. Jorge has an amazing testimony. He was enslaved to drugs for many years. God rescued him from this life, and now he is serving as a pastor. After being saved from a destructive lifestyle, God has given Pastor Jorge a heart to help men who are stuck in addictions. His dream is to someday be able to open a drug rehab center as a ministry of his church.

Jorge had a near death experience before he came to Christ. He was shot 3 times in a drug related shooting. While he was in the hospital he laid in a coma for three days. The doctors told his mom that he was was going to die, and it would take a miracle for him to survive. Jesus showed up and miraculously healed Jorge. God had a different plan, a better destiny for Pastor Jorge.

When Jorge told me his story it brought tears to my eyes. It made me think of my daughter, Hannah. God’s plans and purposes are mysterious in many ways, but I love redemptive stories, like Jorge’s.

Dawn and I went to see the site where we are going to build the church for Pastor Jorge and Lucy. It’s a simple place in a poor neighborhood. We have been impressed by their commitment to serve the Lord and to sacrifice for Christ.

Jorge and Lucy set up a canopy for shade and have started holding services. The church is growing even though they don’t have a building! People are coming to know Jesus!

We are so excited by what God is doing, and how He is building His church.

Extend Your Hands to Help Us Finish Building This Church
Dave & Dawn with Lucy & Jorge

Even though we are starting to build the church this coming Monday we still don’t have all the funds we need to finish the church. We will begin construction, but we need to raise $6,000 more to complete the project.

Dawn and I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider making a donation today to help us finish building this church. We are almost there. Please consider giving a gift of $50, $100, $250, $1,000, or more to plant a new church in Mexicali, Mexico. Dawn and I appreciate the critical role in play in bringing the light of the gospel to Mexicali and Beyond!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

Mom and Jayson Kyle – March 19th
Jay Kyle: photo credit to City to City, Tim Keller’s Tribute to Jay Kyle

Saturday, March 19 marked the second year, since my mom, Virginia A. Diaso moved to heaven. It also was the first day a close friend and mentor, Jayson Kyle moved to heaven. It’s interesting to me that both my mom and now Jay share this same date when they entered into the Father’s presence.

It was a shock for me and all that knew Jay that it all happened so quickly. He had a massive stroke on March 7th, and his brain hemorrhaged. Thousands of people from around the world prayed for Jay over the last two weeks, but it was his time to meet his Savior face to face.

Jay served Christ tirelessly in missions work in Latin America and Asia for close to 50 years. He also grew up on the mission field as his parents were missionaries with Wycliffe.

Jay: a Wonderful Leader and Friend
From upper left clock wise: Jay with Jim DeWitt and Dave; Jay with Jim, Dave, Dawn, Verne & Alina Marshall; Jay having fun in the white shirt with City to City Latin America colleagues; Jay with his wife, Maureen

I first met Jay in 1985 when I was a young seminary student. I had just returned from my first short-term missions trip to Mexico, and he was recruiting a team of missionaries to go to Mexico City. I was one of many leaders that Jay found. He had an amazing gift of connecting with people. Dawn and I served in Mexico City with Jay and Maureen Kyle in the 90’s. Those were very formative years for us in ministry, and God used Jay and Bill Goodman to build into us and grow us.

Even after we left Mexico City and Mission to the World (MTW) Jay continued to mentor me. He gave me wonderful advice and was always willing to connect me to others that he knew. When Dawn and I were still living in Colorado Springs and looking for another ministry I called Jay. He connected us with Dick Kaufmann and the Harbor Church planting network in San Diego. This opened the door to a great partnership with the Harbor churches, which also launched us in ministry. Dick later told me that “since Jay recommended you I knew that you were someone that we should seek to partner with.”

Jay was also one of the best fund raisers I knew. He gave me some great advice regarding fund raising. His brother, Marc also encouraged me in this area as this gift of raising funds runs in the family.

I feel privileged to be able to say that Jay was my friend. The Lord blessed Dawn and me greatly to have him in our lives, and that’s a big reason why it is so hard to say good-bye to our friend.

Dr. Timothy Keller, former pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City and best selling author, wrote an impressive tribute to Jay. Tim and Jay knew each other for a long time, and Jay worked with Tim through City to City.

Dr. Keller wrote, “Jay worked in Asia and Latin America (two places he had lived) while his co-pioneer Al Barth took Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The remarkable global network of City to City, which has produced hundreds of new urban churches around the world, grew from the personal mission work of Jay and Al. Their accomplishment is astonishing and largely unsung.

Jay was famous for his relational skills. He had a supernatural gift of encouragement, of which everyone in my family at one time or another was a recipient. This week, one of my sons said that Jay was the kindest and most affirming man he’d ever met.” Read rest of the tribute here…

When I think of Jay, I do feel sad that he is no longer with us as he was a great man and a great friend. It feels like he left too suddenly before we were ready to say goodbye. My heart goes out to his family. Dawn and I are praying for them often during these last weeks. Join us in lifting them up in prayer.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have known Jay and to work alongside him for a number of years. He fought the good fight, and he finished the race. He’s a wonderful example for all of us to follow.

I can’t help but think that after Jay was greeted by his savior and his family that my mom and my daughter were also standing in line to welcome him to heaven. That makes me feel sentimental, but I do give thanks for the wonderful hope that we have beyond this life. I look forward to one day joining them, and when that day arrives, I will thank Jay for being such a great encouragement and help to my family and me!

In His Grip, Dave
P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

BeyondBordersLife.org

A Mentor’s Heart
Some of our familia – Pastors we are mentoring on the Big Island

The Lord has given us a heart to mentor and come alongside pastors and leaders. Dawn and I feel the Lord’s pleasure when we encourage others. He’s gifted both of us in this way, and in this season of our lives we’ve seen our influence grow. It’s a privilege for us to be spiritual parents to our friends, that we like to call our familia. God continues to bless with a special relationship with each of them.

Our experiences in life, including how we’ve suffered through our daughter moving to heaven when she was only 22 years old has created a platform for us to minister from. I believe that this is one way the Lord is bringing redemption and restoration to us for what we have suffered.

God Uses Our Experiences – Including Our Pain
Pastor Ivan & Rocio Casados with Dawn & Dave – planting a church in Tijuana (Ivan and Rocio were very close to our daughter, Hannah)

I must admit that I don’t understand fully why our daughter had to die at such a young age. It’s something that I don’t think will ever make sense this side of heaven. Yet, I believe in God’s promises.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV

God has a good plan for my family and me, even when I don’t fully understand. He also has a way of turning evil around. He uses things for our good that were intended by the enemy to harm us. The harm, the evil and the suffering that we experience in life are part of living in a fallen world.

‭‭‬Joseph understood God’s goodness and His plan, and how the Lord has a way of turning things around. He became one of the most powerful people in the world, yet that journey began with him being sold into slavery by his brothers. God worked in Joseph’s heart and gave him a new perspective, which allowed him to say to his brothers.

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Genesis‬ ‭50:20‬ ‭NKJV

Dawn and I see how the Lord has used even the difficult things in our lives to increase our faith, and to broaden our influence. We give thanks for God’s mighty work in expanding His kingdom and for allowing us to be a part of that.

Mentoring as Padre and Madre
Dawn and Dave with Jessica and Pastor Eliel (They are planting a church in Oaxaca, Mexico)

We love the relationships that we have with the pastors and leaders that we work with. Many of them call us Padre and Madre (Dad and Mom). This is more common among Latinos, because they are very family oriented. It speaks of more than just a business or working relationship – something much deeper, which is life giving.

Even today one of the leaders that we are partnering with told me that she did not have a good relationship with her dad, because her dad left her family when she was young. She said that the Lord has blessed her through our relationship, and she often calls me Papá or Daddy. Dawn has similar relationships with many of the young men and women that we minister with.

A Mentor Strengthens and Encourages
Pastor Jose Luis and Mariel – they are replanting a church in Colima, Mexico

It’s a unique ministry in a sense, because most pastors don’t have someone to mentor them and because of that they often feel isolated and alone. I love this passage in Acts 14, which speaks of Paul and Barnabas as they are traveling and visiting the churches they helped start. Acts 14:22 says Paul and Barnabus were “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.”

That passage speaks to the heart of what Dawn and I do in ministry. We are strengthening and encouraging pastors and leaders. As we do so they are growing in their faith and maturity, so that they are better equipped to lead. It’s not been easy to lead and plant churches especially during these last two years. The COVID crisis which we’ve all grown tired of by now has increased the challenges for leaders and ministries.

We give thanks to the Lord for using our gifts and experiences in these ways. It is a privilege for us to serve to Lord to strengthen and better equip others.

Join us in Prayer
Dave & Dawn with the Muñoz family – front row: Junior and Paola; back row: Damaris, Dave, Daniel, Federico, Blanca, David, Dawn.
Pastor Federico and his wife Blanca are planting a church in Mexicali, Mexico

We appreciate your prayers for us, as we mentor the pastors and leaders we are partnering with. Pray that the Lord’s kingdom will be expanded through these relationships.

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBordersLife.org

Migrants in Need of Jesus
Some of the migrants outside the church

The migrants at the border seeking to cross into the perceived “promised land” of the US is a hot topic. It’s one of the issues that divides people. My purpose in this post isn’t to address the political issues pertaining to the border. Rather to focus on the opportunities that the crisis at the US/Mexico is providing.

I enjoy connecting with other ministries and exploring ways to partner with them. Even if we don’t end up working together we can at least encourage one another. Recently I learned about a church that was providing food and shelter for more than 1,000 migrant refugees. It peaked my interest, because I know some people from California that are going down to minister and to provide aid.

Jesus’s Ambassadors Making a Difference
The bunk beds inside the church

I was amazed to meet the pastor and see the ministry of Embajadores de Jesus (Jesus’s Ambassadors) in Tijuana. Pastor Gustavo told me that the church has been ministering to migrants for 11 years. There are a number of churches, and humanitarian groups that help to feed, house of clothe the refugees. The people are coming mainly from Haiti and Central America.

Anna’s Story
Anna with her 4 year old son

I talked to some them and asked them about their story. Anna told me that she came from Honduras with her two sons. She tried to cross the border into the USA with her boys. They allowed her 15 year old son to cross, but they turned her and her younger son back. She’s been in Tijuana for at least 9 months hoping that she can join her son, who now lives with a Anna’s brother in North Carolina.

I asked her why she decided to leave her country and make the dangerous trek to the USA. Anna said that she came for the dream of a better life. She had to pay the “coyote” $9,000 USD to bring her and her family to Tijuana. In my brief encounter with Anna I would say that she is a very pleasant young lady. She seemed to be at peace having found a good place where she and her son are cared for.

I think her story is quite common. Unfortunately, those that bring them to the border take advantage of the people that are fleeing bad situations. They charge a high price, and they promise that it will be easy. Yet when they arrive at the US/Mexico border there is another harsh reality that awaits them.

There are many similar sad stories of the people that make it to Embajadores de Jesus in Tijuana.

Many are Finding Christ!
Miguel from Guatemala shared his story. His now working and supporting his mom and brother in Tijuana

The light of Christ shines most brightly in the darkness. Thousands of refugees are finding Christ as they journey north. The church holds services and Bible Studies that the migrants must attend if they wish to stay. A new friend told me that they found some of the refugees praying and worshipping the Lord in the middle of the night. They’ve created a culture where the people love God and our hungry for a deeper relationship with Him.

God is at work. That’s what I find exciting.

The enemy of our soul always seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but God has a way of turning that around. He has a way of making what the evil one intended to harm us and making it be something good and helpful.

A Dream for Something Greater
Pastor Gustavo

Pastor Gustavo told me about his dream to build a small city center to minister to all the people. This center will include a hospital, school, stores, vocational training and the church will be at the center.

Since I’m just getting to know this ministry I don’t know what the Lord has in store, but I’m encouraged by what they are doing, and how Jesus is using them. The gospel is being proclaimed in the midst of darkness. Jesus is being lifted on high. The gospel and mercy are coming together.

It reminds me of Jesus word’s in Luke 4:18. Where Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy from Isaiah 61.

““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”

Luke 4:18 NIV (Emphasis mine)

Join Dawn and me in praying for Pastor Gustavo and his team as they minister to the migrant refugees. Pray for wisdom as I explore the opportunities.

Extend Your Hands to Help
The people standing in line for food and clothing

Dawn and I appreciate you and the pivotal role you play through your prayers and financial gifts. You are helping extend the loving arms of the Father to bring the living water, the spring of eternal life to the Border, the Baja and Beyond! 

We’d like to ask you to extend your hands to help those in need.

Your gift will help us to accomplish the God given vision to impact, Tijuana, Colima, Mexicali, Oaxaca, and Beyond to the Big Island for generations to come. Our familia on the Big Island is still dealing with staggering needs. Sadly, the crisis is ongoing and it has only gotten worse as time has gone on. We are thankful that we can be an instrument to bless others, and we’d love for you to join us in this effort.

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBordersLife.org

God is Expanding His Church
Joy filled churches on the Big Island

In my last post I mentioned that Dawn and I are in awe of how the Lord is growing the church on the Big Island. The church is multiplying at such a rate in some parts of the Big Island that it’s hard to fathom that it can be true. In all our years of ministry, over 30 years, we’ve never experienced this kind of breakthrough before!

Last year in 2021 almost 13,000 people came to Christ. The churches we are partnering with reported a total of 12,782 people responding to the gospel message. The pastors that we partner with, our familia always surprise us with their amazing faith, perseverance and dedication. They serve under some of the most difficult circumstances.

Growth in the Midst of Trials and Difficulties
One of the families we are helping

One of the pastors we work with Ronaldo sent me a message recently. He said, “in these days on the Big Island it is very difficult to minister in the depressing and discouraging conditions that we are experiencing. We are praying for the strength and courage to continue to minister in adversity, poverty and discouragement. In the power of the gospel and in the power of the Holy Spirit we can preach the Word and encourage the brothers and sisters to live for the glory of God and to fight for the extension of the kingdom of God. We always appreciate your prayers, and we thank you for the love that unites us.”

Ronaldo’s comments sheds some light on the difficult circumstances that our familia is enduring. It’s sad to think about what they are growing through. Our love for them motivates us to encourage them and to raise funds so that we can aid them as they live and minister under these trying conditions.

Obviously there are some tremendous challenges that our pastors and their families are facing. I realize that the church often grows under pressure, yet I’m still amazed by the commitment of our familia to continue.

Many are Responding to the Gospel!
Our familia has a tremendous commitment to pray with fervor

The pastors that we are working most closely with reported that they shared the gospel with 23,589 people and that 12,782 came to Christ in 2021. 98 new churches were started last year, and they have a total of at least 314 churches. We sent aid that helped support 887 people, on a monthly basis. We also were able to raise funds to help buy music equipment, mattresses, a roof, an air conditioner, a bicycle, building materials to help pastoral families and expand ministries.

It brings tears to my eyes when I think of what our familia has to suffer through. I also tear up when I think of God’s goodness to provide through you so that we can send monthly aid to these dear friends who have become like family. It was almost two years ago when COVID began, and Dawn and I felt like we had to do something. We needed to raise funds so that we could help these families. I originally thought we would only need to help them in this way for a few months, but the need has actually grown over these last two years.

On the positive side the gospel ministry is also expanding. It’s just amazing to think about almost 13,000 people coming to Christ in one year. I can’t wait to see what the Lord will do in 2022!

We’ve prayed for a move of God like this for a long time. It’s wonderful to see Jesus respond to our petitions. We would love to see this type of fruit in all the places we are working in!

Extend Your Hands to Help!
Some of the families that have received aid

Your prayers and your financial gifts are pivotal and they are making a huge difference in the lives of these families. We’d like to ask you to extend your hands to help those in need. You play an important part in seeing the extension of the kingdom of God in Mexico and on the Big Island!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBorderLife.org

Announcing a Website Upgrade in Progress
Dave and Dawn thankful for the Lord’s Good Work and Many Blessings!

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of January. It seems like just a few days ago the new year was starting!

I just realized that this month marks 11 years since I began this website/blog. That’s amazing!

I’m in the process of giving my website an upgrade, which has made it harder to post anything lately. In the near future, this site will look different. I believe you will enjoy the changes. Over the last few days if you’ve tried to access this site you may have received a message saying that it was a private site, and I apologize for that. There also may be a few other bugs as we work on the upgrade. Thanks for your patience.

In Awe of God’s Goodness and the Growth of the Church
Pastor Esteban and Cinthya Martinez leading the new church in Rosarito, Mexico

Today I’d like to share a video that highlights some of the ways the Lord blessed us in 2021. Last year wasn’t an easy year for many of us. We hoped for better, but the year presented a number of challenges. Despite these challenges the church grew on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

Dawn and I are in awe of how the Lord is growing the church on the Big Island. The church is growing by so much in some areas, that it is hard to believe what is happening. We are so impressed by the faithfulness of our God, and the commitment and dedication of our familia. In my next post I would like share about how more than 12,000 people came to Christ this last 2021.

Here’s a link to a testimony from Pastor Omar that we think you will enjoy as he shares about what God is doing on the Big Island.

The church didn’t grow at the same pace in Mexico, but it is growing. In this video I share more about the church that we built and helped plant in Rosarito Mexico, as well what God is doing on the Big Island.

Video Highlights of Ministry from 2021
Extend Your Hands to Help

Dawn and I appreciate you and the pivotal role you play through your prayers and financial gifts. You are helping extend the loving arms of the Father to bring the living water, the spring of eternal life to the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

We’d like to ask you to prayerfully consider joining us this year in prayer and through a financial gift to support church planting in Mexico and on the Big Island.

Your gift will help us to accomplish the God given vision to impact, Tijuana, Colima, Mexicali, Oaxaca, the Big Island and Beyond for generations to come. Our familia on the Big Island is still dealing with staggering needs. Sadly, the crisis is ongoing and it has only gotten worse as time has gone on. Not only is there a lack of food and basic goods, but the prices are skyrocketing and they are having to stand in long lines for hours at a time to get the little food that is available. We are thankful that we can be an instrument to bless others, and we’d love for you to join us in this effort.

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

Some Reflections on the Past Year, and Hope for 2022
One of our highlights for 2021 is our beautiful granddaughter

I think for many of us as we start the new year it’s a good opportunity to reflect back on the highs and lows of the past year, as well as look forward to what we hope to do this year. I have spent some time praying and reflecting these last few weeks. It’s fun to remember the highlights. The positive things that the Lord did. And although it’s not as enjoyable to ponder the lowlights, it’s necessary especially if I don’t want to repeat them.

As others have said, It’s not wise to keep doing the same thing if it’s not working and expect a different result.

Contending for Breakthrough & Revival
Some of the Mexican pastors and families that we have the privilege of serving with

Dawn and I continue to pray for fruit in our lives and in our ministry. We pray for breakthrough and revival. It is something that we long for.

When we first felt called to the border over 10 years ago, the Lord gave us Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…

Isaiah 61:1,2 ESV (emphasis mine)

This is a beautiful passage filled with hope and redemption. Jesus read from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue when he began his ministry, Luke 4:18-19. It’s always a good idea to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. On the border and in the other places where we minister there is much brokenness and many people are held captive, but Jesus brings hope. He brings redemption to the lost and the hurting. Only He can truly set the captives free.

As we work to see the Lord bring transformation to individuals, communities, and cities we recognize the need for the Spirit to work in the lives of the people we minister with. I have to admit this is not easy and sometimes I get frustrated and I start striving. In those moments it feels like I’m doing the ministry in my own strength instead of in the power of the Spirit.

The Lord has reminded me over and over again to, “cease striving, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10. I guess I’m a slow learner. 🙂 I can’t do it in my own strength. As He says in Zechariah 4:6, it’s “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.”

A Reminder to Serve in His Presence & in Joy
Joy filled churches on the Big Island

Recently I shared some of my goals and desires with a friend of mine. I told him that we are contending for revival in the churches and communities that we are serving in. He aided me in my journey, and he has prayed with me. One of the other ways he has helped me has been by asking me good questions. He asked me, “Where is your joy when you are contending for revival?” He said, “If there isn’t joy your contending could lead to burnout.” That made me stop and think because I have to admit that the joy is not always there.

I don’t always stop long enough to thank God for all the amazing work He is doing. That is one of the reasons that I started this blog. I like writing to highlight positive news. I’ve found that it helps me to reflect on the good that God is doing. The good news lifts me up and I hope it does the same for others as well.

As I reflected on the need for joy in my life, the Lord led me to some passages in the Bible that speak about that topic. The Psalmist said, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11, ESV). Jesus also speaks of the importance of joy. In John 15:11 he says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

I believe one of the things the Lord is calling me to do this year as Dawn and I contend for revival on the Border, the Baja, and Beyond is to serve with joy. I love that joy is found in God’s presence.

Join Us in Prayer!
Pastors, leaders, and families that we are helping on the Big Island

Join me in praying that I will grow in living and serving in God’s presence and that I would experience more joy in 2022. I will pray the same for you as the Lord works in your life.

Pray as well for those we are ministering with that they will experience joy and see even more fruit this year. We pray for the Lord’s bountiful provision for the church planters and their families in Mexico and on the Big Island.

Extend your hands to help provide for the families in need on the Big Island and to see the church grow on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! Thank you so much for praying for us and with us!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBordersLife.org

P.S. I’m trying a few new plugins to see how they work. I included a feedback button if you’d like to share any thoughts I’d love to hear from you.

Pastor Omar’s Visit
Pastor Omar sharing his story at a pastor’s gathering

Earlier this month one of our friends, our familia from the Big Island was here with us. Pastor Omar has played a key role in the expansion of the church on the Big Island. He has an interesting story, and much to tell, so we loved getting some time with him.

I took advantage of his visit and recorded some video of his first hand view of what is happening on the Big Island. I just uploaded Pastor Omar’s account of the triumphs and the challenges that the church and the people are facing. I’ve included the video in this post.

Dawn, Omar and Dave

Dawn and I loved having Omar visit us. It was the first time that someone from the Big Island has been able to come see us. The Lord used our time together in many ways. We were able to encourage one another, and pray for one another. In some ways it was like a healing balm for all of us. It helped Dawn and me to feel closer to our familia. We haven’t been able to visit them, because of all the COVID restrictions for almost two years. We’ve missed Omar and all the beautiful people in the churches there. They truly have grown to be our precious familia.

Pastor Omar – The Triumph & Challenges on the Big Island
Pastor Omar
Help us End the Year Strong

Omar tells the story of the challenges that the people on the Big Island are facing just to feed their families. We’d like to ask you to consider a generous gift today to help these families. They are families just like yours, with one big difference they don’t have all the opportunities that your family has. They live with lack every day. One of the pastors told me recently that his wife is so generous. We are sending them donations every month to help them, but she gives so much away to others in the church that are in need that their family doesn’t have anything left at the end of the month for themselves. These are the types of sacrifices our leaders are making. The churches are growing. We give thanks for that, but the needs are also very real, and we believe that we must continue to extend our hands to help! Please join us by clicking on the button below.

Click to Donate…

Happy New Year!
In His Grip, Dave
P.S. You can also give via check to:
Beyond Borders
665 Crescent Dr.
Chula Vista, CA 91911

BeyondBordersLife.org

The Good News of New Life
Our familia on the Big Island – a growing church

Dawn and I have been praying and contending for breakthrough here on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. We are amazed by how the Lord is working through our familia on the Big Island. One of the churches we are working with has shared the gospel with more than 12,000 and seen more than 7,000 respond to the good news of Jesus. I know I’ve written about this in the past. It’s such good news! It’s worth repeating.

There are good things happening in Mexico as well. The church is growing, but I feel like it’s been harder to see the growth. I’ve been praying that the Lord will use the Coronavirus to cause a greater openness to the gospel. Yet, so far it’s mostly slowed down our churches.

God is Faithful to Build His Church
Pastor Jose Luis & Mariel Rodriguez

We are seeing unbelievable growth in one place we are working, the Big Island, and more measured growth in Mexico. Some of our church plants have shared some encouraging news about what God is doing in cities like Tijuana and Colima. Just today our church planter in Colima, Jose Luis Rodriguez sent me a message and said that four new people came to an event they held on Saturday. On Sunday he met a new family and Pastor Jose Luis was able to lead all six of them to Christ. That is good news!

Dave & Dawn having some fun with Pastor Davis and Luz and their three children: Deivis, Ashley and Emi

Dawn and I met with Pastor Davis and his wife, Luz last week. They are planting a church in the community of Playas in Tijuana. They’ve held some well attended outreach events over the last several months. Luz shared with much excitement about the 15 women that came to a breakfast that she organized. She said all of those that attended were either new Christians that Luz led to Christ or women who have not yet come to Jesus.

Luz on the left with some of the women that came to the breakfast

The theme of the breakfast was “Woman be Free”. It was based on the women who had hemorrhaging for 12 years. She was healed when she touched Jesus’ tunic. Some of the women were moved to tears as they reflected on Jesus’ power to heal.

We give thanks for how the Lord is moving and drawing people to himself. He is faithful to do so. Thanks so much for praying. We recognize that prayer key to seeing the church advance.

Extend Your Hands to Help
Our familia – some of the wonderful pastors and churches we are working with

Help us to end the year strong! Dawn and I appreciate you and the pivotal role you play. You are helping extend the love arms of the Father to bring the living water, the spring of eternal life to the Border, the Baja and Beyond! You can help through prayer and through a financial gift to support church planting in Mexico and on the Big Island.

We ask you to prayerfully consider joining us by giving an extra gift this year.

Your gift will help us to accomplish the God given vision to impact, Tijuana, Colima, the Big Island and Beyond for generations to come. Our familia on the Big Island is still dealing with staggering needs. Sadly, the crisis is ongoing and it has only gotten worse as time has gone on. Not only is there a lack of food and basic goods, but the prices are skyrocketing and they are having to stand in long lines for hours at a time to get the little food that is available. We are thankful that we can be an instrument to bless others, and we’d love for you to join us in this effort of offering food to the hungry, and drink to the thirsty.

Click to Donate…

Merry Christmas!

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBordersLife.org