Posts Tagged ‘BEAMM’

Iglesia Promesa de Vida in Juarez - Promise of Life Church

Iglesia Promesa de Vida in Juarez – Promise of Life Church

I just returned from my time in Juarez, Mexico. Our BEAMM team met there for two days. Larry Trotter, MTW‘s new Mexico director joined us. It was a great experience to meet with all my co-workers. We have a combination of Mexicans and Americans working on our team.

It’s so good to learn how God is working along the border! The border is a tough place. It’s been in the news mucho. And unfortunately, most of the news is bad. Yet, in reality the border is becoming much safer. The situation in Juarez, Tijuana and other border cities has improved dramatically! Praise God and we pray that it will continue to get better. I do believe God’s doing a healing work in Juarez.

One of our workers, Juan Antonio Garcia shared how their church, “Promesa de Vida” (Promise of Life) is growing in Juarez. They just started a second service. The Lord has opened a door to minister to the community through serving lunches to children two times a week. They’ve also just launched a new church plant, “Frontera y Gracia” (Border and Peace). The new church is located right near the border.

Juan Arjona and Dave in Juarez

Juan Arjona and Dave in Juarez

Juan Arjona, who is ministering in Escondido, California shared about his church plant and community outreach. Juan’s church has faced some struggles financially, but the Lord is providing. There are 20,000 people who live in one square mile around where his church, “Misión Nueva Vida,” (New Life Mission) meets. Most of these homes are run by single mothers. There is a high unemployment rate, and 75% of the income of those with work goes to rent. Misión Nueva Vida distributes five tons of food to 200 people every Saturday. They are being a light in a dark place. They are bringing hope to the hopeless.

It’s not easy to work on the border, but it’s so uplifting to see God’s hand at work. Sure we’d love to see even more, and we do pray that greater things are yet to come. Join us in prayer for God’s guiding hand!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. (I) Dave leave Saturday morning for Los Angeles. I will preach at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield on Sunday, then be in ministry meetings all week in San Diego next week. Pray for a fruitful trip!

Ray Call

This past Thursday my BEAMM teammate, Ray Call, and I went to Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California to meet with students. We had a wonderful opportunity to share about what our vision is for reaching out to Hispanics on the border. We provided pizza for lunch, which is definitely a draw to hungry seminarians.

We had a great time! I love to share the stories about how the Lord has led us to the border, and how He is already working and changing lives on the border. I get energized by the youth and enthusiasm of a younger crowd.

I find that it gives me great joy sharing about what we do, and the vision the Lord has given us for the bi-national city of San Diego – Tijuana border. It encourages my soul when new friends respond to what God is doing. I always enjoy sharing how God is working and how He’s called us. Usually I am doing it to raise funds for our ministry. It is a nice change to be able to share these same things to encourage and motivate people to serve with us.

I don’t know what God will do. I don’t know who He will call to join us, but I do know that Jesus told us to pray for workers. My wife likes to tell of a plaque her parents had that said, “pray, but row to shore.” I think that applies here. We pray for workers, but we also ask people to join us.

Emily Gryder

Emily Gryder one of our summer interns

Just in the last few weeks we’ve had one new intern, Emily Gryder decide to work with us from July to November. We also have an awesome young lady from Birmingham, Alabama that is beginning the process to come on with Mission to the World, and to join our team. Pray with us as she goes through this process that God will make His calling even more clear to her. The Lord is raising up workers. Praise Him!

Back to our experience at Westminster seminary. I was so encouraged to see how well Ray and I worked together, as we shared our stories. I love working on a team. Thank you, Jesus for raising up workers and building our team. It reminds me that He is ultimately the One that causes the increase.

In His Grip, Dave

Dave at Liberty Church

Dawn and I had a great time at Liberty Church in Owings Mills, Maryland, this past Sunday. Liberty is a great name, as we think of the liberty that we have in Christ! This church supported our ministry when we were in Mexico City. It’s thrilling to connect with them again! Thank you, Jesus.

It was a great encouragement to worship with them, and to share about what God is doing on the border. They expressed interest and enthusiasm about our ministry.

While at the church we met a college student who would like to explore a possible internship with us. Dawn and I got to know her better over dinner  and she has a neat heart for the Lord. She would be a wonderful addition to our team. Pray with us that the Lord will lead and guide her as she prays about and considers the possibility of working with us after she graduates.

Dawn and I are praying for the Lord to raise up many interns. Young workers that we can build into. We’d love to see them grow, and gain ministry experience with us. We would love for them to be thrust out into the mission field, including BEAMM San Diego – Tijuana, for long and short-term service. O Lord, hear our prayer!

We do have two interns that are already committed to working with us this summer, Zach Lutz. He is a student from Moody in Chicago. Our son, David is ministering with our partner, Harbor Mid-City. This summer we will put them to work to help us as we launch our BEAMM ministries.

Another huge need we have now is for somebody to head up our mercy ministries. There are so many needs and opportunities on the border – ESL, medical, food and clothing distribution, job training, etc. We need a person called by the Lord that can head this ministry up. This will enable us to mobilize friends to get involved in reaching out in the love of Christ to meet some of the physical and spiritual needs.

Dave & Dawn - with you on the journey!

Wow! I just received an email as I was writing this from a friend who has been considering working with us. She said  she has a strong interest in working with our team this summer. Thank you, Jesus! It’s possible that she could help us with mercy ministries. Could this be our answer to prayer for someone to lead mercy ministries? Stay tuned!.

We pray that liberty will ring on the border, and that the captives will be set free. Isaiah 61 speaks of proclaiming the gospel to the poor, and setting the captives free. That passage describes our hearts’ desire to see the gospel so fill the border that those living in San Diego and Tijuana are transformed in every way, socially, culturally and spiritually. Join us in prayer for a movement of the God’s Spirit on the border!

In His Grip, Dave

Stephen Phelan (center) leading our meeting

I enjoyed my time with friends from Harbor Mid-City, Urban Life, World Impact and BEAMM this past week. We all met together to pray and talk about strategy for 2012. Stephen Phelan did a wonderful job leading such a large and varied group of people.

One of the many moments that I enjoy about these meetings is the stories about how God is working and blessing. Grace renewal stories. God is moving and changing lives among the people. They shared about Rafael, who I wrote about earlier. Rafael gave his testimony, and it spoke to the kids who come from broken homes. It was a great example and encouragement to the teenagers and adults alike. As the Lord restores lives, it gives witness of His glory. These changed lives speak loudly to those that are seeking. To those that are making important decisions in their lives.

BEAMM teammate Ray Call with some of the other guys

We also talked about the process of starting a new Hispanic work. There are some challenges that we will face in having a strong enough mother church to birth a new work. Pray with us for wisdom, and for many new followers of Christ among the Hispanic work. There was talk of launching the new work in the summer of 2013, which seems ambitious. We do serve a God of the impossible, so we can believe Him for these ambitious goals. Thank you for faith, Lord!

Every time I’m with these friends on the border I see the Lord opening up new doors. There are many wonderful opportunities!

In His Grip, Dave

Rick & Kathleen Vasquez and their beautiful family

This Sunday I have the privilege of preaching at Skyview Presbyterian Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. A good friend of mine, Rick Vasquez is the pastor at Skyview. Dawn and I along with our kids have become good friends with Rick and Kathleen, and their family. They are great. We really love their family! We’ve also, been able to visit the church over the past years, and we have made friends with people in their church.

Skyview has a real interest in our ministry on the border, which is a great encouragement to us. One family in the church has an interest in checking out BEAMM in San Diego – Tijuana to see if the Lord might be calling them to work with us there. It’s hard to know at this point how long it might take for them to join us, if the Lord indeed is calling them. We look to Jesus for his perfect timing. We do pray for the Lord’s leading and direction, and continued blessing in our partnership with Skyview.

I will be preaching on Matthew 9:35-38 this Sunday. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “…The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” There is always a need for workers to labor in the Lord’s harvest field. The idea is not just that there is a lot of harvest (the harvest is plentiful), but that there is an urgency to harvest it. So we pray that the Lord will raise up workers to minister alongside us. We also pray that the Lord of the harvest would send them quickly.

We need you to pray with and for us in a similar manner. Recently I’ve met a number of people who might be interested in joining our ministry team. At this point, I’d say that they are interested in learning more about us, and checking us out. I wrote about the opportunity I had to recruit new workers at MTW’s vision retreat a few weeks ago. It’s been exciting to meet so many people who have a heart to serve. People who are seeking the Lord, and asking Him where He wants them.

Over the next two weeks we will be in San Diego and Tijuana. While we are there we have a friend who is coming to visit, and explore the possibility of joining our team. He would help us in administration and training, which are two huge needs that we have.

Edgardo, Mario, Dave, Dawn, Elizabeth, and Silvia (with child)

I talked to Mario Silva last night. They are still hoping and praying they will be able to join us soon. Silvia is due to give birth to their son on November 4th. Keep them in your prayers, as their family grows. We pray that the Lord will open the door for them to join us in 2012.

We see that the Lord is building our team, but we really have no idea of what it will look like in a year or two from now. We are praying, and dreaming about it though!

Our family also continues to wait on the Lord’s timing to sell our house, so that we can move to the border.

Thanks for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave sharing about BEAMM at CovCom

This morning I woke up to snow falling in the Springs. It’s hard to fathom, especially since I just returned from Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Most of the days I was there it was over a 100. One of the highlights of my trip was being able to visit Covenant Community Church. CovCom as many call it is one of our partnering churches, so it was a great opportunity to get to know them better and to share with them more about our ministry with BEAMM.

I’ve had a lot of opportunities lately to share about all the things God is doing on the border, and I find that our friends are extremely interested. They are concerned about all the violence, and other issues that affect the border. We are grateful that we have the answer in the gospel. That as my friends at Harbor and others have said, “the gospel changes everything”. The gospel gives us hope. So when I share about what God is doing, I’m sharing about the hope that we have. I’m encouraged as people respond to this message.

A friend recently told me that God was going to take me places I’ve never been before, and that I have to trust Him. If I look to my own strength, I’m going to realize how weak and feeble I am. Left to myself, I really am hopeless. Dawn and I along with our ministry team need to hope. Our eyes must be fixed on Christ, and our focus on the gospel of grace every day.

Friends during the service at CovCom

CovCom and other churches like it encourage us and strengthen us. This also gives us hope. It reminds us we are part of a greater Kingdom. His Kingdom. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Wow! What a blessing! What a privilege, to be part of God’s Kingdom, partnering with other like minded churches and individuals to bring the life changing message of the gospel to the border.

Thanks for strengthening us by standing with us! This too gives us hope.

In His Grip, Dave

Dave speaking at MTW vision retreat

Sunday night we started a vision retreat at the MTW office just outside of Atlanta. It’s an opportunity to get to know people who have a heart for the world. They are checking out MTW, and looking at some possible places to serve. I had the opportunity to share our story with them, and to take a crack at persuading them to join us in our work on the border.

There are 21 great people here. It’s a lot of fun to talk to people who love Jesus, and have a strong interest in serving in missions. We are praying that the Lord will build our team. We have Ray and Michele Call, and a single friend on our team. We are hoping, and praying that Mario and Silvia Silva will be able to join us soon.

We could really use somebody to help us with mercy ministries, but we also have other needs. I feel like we could always use people who are gifted in evangelism. It’s a great comfort knowing that the Lord goes before us, and He builds our team.

In His Grip, Dave

Gene Bowman @ V7

This past Sunday we had a BEAMM Launch Lunch. It was an opportunity to share with friends mostly from Village Seven Presbyterian Church about BEAMM, E4 teams, and our work on the border. We also raised some money to help launch us off to the border. Gene Bowman, BEAMM’s coordinator came up from El Paso to share in the event.

Gene spoke about the challenges we have on the border. Here are some of the stark statistics. There are 8,500 orphans, 30,000 abandoned homes, and an average of 8 people killed a day on the border. Yet as Gene shared there is hope, because of the transforming power of the Gospel. It is really the only true hope. A number of lives have already been transformed, and we are praying that we will see a spiritual tsunami that sweeps across the border.

We also need workers to see the gospel go forth on the border. We are recruiting E4 teams. The concept is based on Ephesians 4:11,12, which says, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ…” The idea is that we need people with different gifts to see the church equipped and grow, as the gospel goes forth.

Dave speaking at the BEAMM Launch Lunch

The Lord brought a good group of people to the lunch, and we had some great friends helping us to pull off the lunch. Just putting this lunch together was a good model of how the body of Christ works. Thank you Jesus, for good friends who are gifted, and willing to help! It was so encouraging for Dawn and me to have so many pitching in to pull the lunch off. It was also a huge blessing to have a such a good group come out to support us through the event!

The Lord keeps moving us closer to being on the border. We are still waiting for our house to sell, so we can move. Thanks for praying for our family, and for the sell of our home. We are confident it will come together in His good and perfect timing.

In His Grip, Dave

Mexican - U.S. border

Many people ask me this question, is the border safe? Well, according an article I recently read in the USA Today, it depends on what side you live on. The article is titled, “On the border, peaceful U.S. side is torn by Mexican strife.”  It describes the sharp contrast between the relative peace on the U.S. side of the border compared to all the violence on the Mexican side.

You can read the whole article here. As Dawn and I meet with friends, that question inevitably comes up, What about the security of living on the border. Obviously, it is a concern that we share.

After being kidnapped and held up at gun point while we lived in Mexico City, I’m not necessarily pining away to put myself in harms way. Nor do I want to put my family in any unnecessary risk. This is one of the reasons that we will be living on the U.S. side of the border.

Border Patrol

Dawn and I both feel called to serve on the border. I can assure you that I’m not dragging her to minister there with me. We are aware of the dangers of the border, and that our enemy is scheming to diminish our influence. Yet there is power in the gospel. The gospel is the only true hope for the border. The gospel does change everything.

The dangers of the border only emphasize our need for an army of friends standing with us in prayer. Holding up our hands as Aaron held up Moses’s hands as Joshua was engaged in the battle. Joshua was only able to defeat the enemy as Moses prayed and held up his hands imploring the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Please stand with us, and lift us up before the Lord! We will fail if we don’t have an army of prayer warriors standing with us.

We don’t go into this ministry unaware of some of the challenges that lie before us. Yet we go in confidence, knowing that the Lord has called us to this work, and He goes before us!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave sharing with the Lighthouse Community

Even though at times I feel like a traveling salesman when I’m traveling around the U.S., I’ve come to realize that although we need our friends who live in other cities around the nation, we also need a home base.

Home base for us over the last 11 + years has been Colorado Springs. Specifically, Village Seven Presbyterian Church has been a huge blessing. We have some key ministry partners at Village Seven, and the church itself has been one of our strongest supporters. Thank the Lord for this church!

When I’m in town, and it hasn’t felt like very often as of late, I try to share the vision of our ministry with friends at Village 7. I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months to share in several of Village Seven’s Sunday School Communities – Village X, Ambassadors and Lighthouse. We’ve received much encouragement as I’ve had the opportunity to share what God is doing on the border.

The Lighthouse Community at Village 7

One of my friends just the other day told me how he admired how I persevered, and kept at in regards to fund raising. He acknowledged that it’s not easy. I told him, “well it really helps me when I meet with friends like you that are excited about what we are doing. It keeps me going!”

I have some great friends at the church that are praying for us, and cheering us on. Some of them are meeting with me regularly to strengthen me through prayer, and come alongside with ideas on how to connect with more people in order to raise the funds needed so we can live and serve on the Border soon. This is invaluable help. Dawn has friends like this as well. That’s why the church, the home base is so important!

In His Grip, Dave