Posts Tagged ‘Dick Kaufmann’

Grace Renewal
Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Dick Kaufmann my friend and mentor

One of the many things that I’ve loved about working with Harbor Church is their emphasis on grace. Pastor Dick Kaufmann when he started Harbor about 14 years ago sought to emphasize a gospel-centered and a grace centered movement of churches.

The outflow of that is that at most Harbor staff meetings and church planter meetings we tell grace renewal stories. Stories that show how God is working. Testimonies of his grace.

I felt like I should share a couple of wonderful grace renewal stories with you today.

God’s Work in Dawn’s Life
My lovely wife, Dawn with our beautiful daughter, Hannah

My lovely wife, Dawn with our beautiful daughter, Hannah. I give thanks to the Lord for both of them!

Dawn and I have asked you to pray for her sinus infection. The doctor told her last year that she was going to need a surgery to correct the problem she had with her sinuses. Since that time we’ve been praying for the Lord’s healing touch. Dawn has also used some alternative health remedies.

The prayer and the natural vitamins went on for close to a year. Yet, Dawn was still experiencing some of the same symptoms with her sinuses.

Finally, she just felt a peace that she had tried everything and that she should go back to the doctor to get a CAT scan. Initially we were discouraged, the CAT scan showed no change! The nurse talked to Dawn about when they could schedule the surgery.

This Tuesday we went to the doctor, because he needed to examine Dawn personally to see what the exact issues were, and to make sure she needed the surgery. I accompanied Dawn for that doctor visit. She was very nervous.

The doctor arrived in the room. He is very business like. His bedside manner could use some work, but he has a reputation as one of the best doctors in his field in the area. Anyway, he shows us the CAT scan. The doctor explains this is how a normal sinus should look, and then he shows us the pictures of Dawn’s sinus. They don’t look like a healthy sinus.

The doctor says he needs to look into Dawn’s sinus to see what’s going on and to check it first hand. He gets this long scope that sends my wife into some fear and panic. She weeps, and asks the nurse if she will hold her hand.

You Do NOT Need Surgery!

Then as the doctor is checking Dawn’s sinus, he asks “have you ever had surgery on your sinus before.” “No,” is the response. Then he says, “your sinus looks healthy, you will not need surgery.”

Wow! Even though we didn’t think the Lord had healed Dawn, he did!

I know that the Lord doesn’t always choose to heal, but it sure is exciting when he does.

The Father’s Good Gifts – Rejoice!
Sunset on the Pacific

Sunset on the Pacific reminds me of God’s grace and power

I love Jesus’ exhortation regarding prayer found in Matthew 7. This passage is also a great promise, and a wonderful reminder of how our loving Father wants to give us good things!

““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” —Matthew 7:7-11 ESV

Rejoice with us! Even though we doubted God answered.

Keep Praying

Since the Lord hears our prayers, and you play such an important part in that I wanted to ask you to pray for our church. I can’t go into the details, but the Hispanic ministry is experiencing a huge trial right now. We need wisdom and the Lord’s unifying peace.

In His Grip, Dave



God Gives Us Hope in the Darkness
Dawn & Dawn with one of the children, Hannah

Dawn & Dawn with Hannah

When we find ourselves in a difficult place we might wonder if God will truly rescue us. We might wonder if there is hope in the dark places.

Dawn and I have seen the Lord intervene in the trial we have been going through. We found ourselves in the hospital for many days. At first we resisted, but it was as if the light broke through.

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

The Lord not only rescued us, but he brought us hope. Dawn told me that God gave her a peace, and she even felt his joy as she visited and ministered in the hospital.

We saw amazing responses to the love of Christ. Numerous opportunities to share the gospel. New friends coming and asking to pray with us.

God’s spirit truly broke through in a very unexpected place. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

We Give Thanks for All the Love

Dawn and I have been so encouraged by all the loving support we’ve received over the last couple of weeks. That has been one of the things that God has used to lift our spirits.

We would have never chosen this trial, and at times it seems like it’s deterred from our work on the border. In spite of this we know that God has a greater plan, and that he will use it for his glory which is ultimately good for us.

Mentors and Friends Encourage Us
Dave with Dick Kaufmann

Dave with Dick Kaufmann

One of my mentors, Dick Kaufmann, who was featured recently with his wife, Liz in an article in byFaith The Online Magazine told me that when trials come that they start looking for the good things that God is going to do. The article is titled, Transforming Grace and it’s worth checking out.

Dick & Liz Kaufmann from

Dick & Liz Kaufmann from

Here’s an excerpt from the article where Dick and Liz “point to I Peter 4:12-13 to help explain the purpose in their pain: ‘Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.’ Dick says, ‘When God allows us to suffer for Jesus’ sake, we are advancing God’s kingdom. That gives me courage and confidence that God is going to turn the tables on evil and use it for good.'” (ByFaith The Online Magazine: Transforming Grace:Dick & Liz Kaufmann by Susan Fiske, March 12, 2014)

We are seeing God turn the tables on evil already. God is doing not only good, but some outstanding things! Our family is receiving healing, and we are feeling much better.

Thanks for praying, and for caring for us! That does help so much as we journey with you. We are not alone, and we are so thankful for that.

In His Grip, Dave

God Has Blessed us with Kingdom Partnerships

photo 1One of the many things that excites me about what God is doing on the border is the wonderful partners that God has given us to work alongside.

On the U.S. side of the border, Dawn and I have a strong and growing relationship with Harbor Presbyterian Church. In Tijuana the Lord has blessed us through our relationship with Daniel Nuñez and his network of churches called, Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat).

This past Sunday Harbor celebrated its 13th year, since they began. It’s super encouraging to see all the Lord has done through Harbor. The movement started with Dick and Liz Kauffman. Today Harbor has 8 sites, and Redeemer Presbyterian, which used to be Harbor North County.

The celebration this past Sunday was held at Redeemer Presbyterian church in Encinitas.

Praise the Lord for the many good works he has done!

A Testimony of God’s Rich Blessing

Here’s a short video that highlights how Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo have come together to see new churches planted South of the Border.

God Bless Your Church

May the Lord continue to bless San Diego – Tijuana through these strategic partnerships. O Lord, we pray that churches will multiply on the border as we work tougher for your glory!

In His Grip, Dave

Mobilizing in Charlotte
Mexican border fence

Mexican Border

On Thursday I presented our border ministry to seminary students at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m ringing the bell for the border with the hope that someone will hear.

As I visit schools and churches, I have the opportunity to let people know about the crushing needs on the border. I don’t always get the immediate response that I’d like, yet it is a great experience interacting with people and letting them know about what we are doing.

There is value in making people aware of the mission we are on. Dawn and I are praying for a team of workers to join us. It takes time. I’ve spoken with some of my friends who now have larger teams, and they remind me that it is a process.

Dream Big! Dig Deep! Start Small!

Dick Kauffman has been coaching and mentoring me and I am so grateful for his support. He is a very wise and godly man with a wealth of experience. He keeps reminding me, “it is good that you aren’t building your team too quickly. It gives you more time to know what your needs are.” I believe he’s right, but that’s not to say it’s easy to wait! 😉

When I mentioned to Dick recently that I thought my team was slow in coming together he reminded me of something that Pastor Frank Barker used to say, “Dream big! Dig deep! Start small!” Dick added, “sounds to me that you are doing just that.”

I pray that Dawn and I will dream God sized dreams, and patiently wait for his timing. One thing that does help as we wait is that the Lord has already given us wonderful partners to work with, and we do minister with them as a team.

Dave & Dawn on the Border

Dave & Dawn on the Border

Jesus told us to pray for workers, which means we have to ask God and make an appeal to others to go on mission with God together. The words of Jesus still ring true today:

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. —Matthew 9:37,38

I find it encouraging that it is his harvest. This is ultimately the Lord’s work, and he is the one that will raise up the workers. That is why I will keep ringing the bell for the border.

In His Grip, Dave

Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter’s meeting

Yesterday I met with two wonderful servants of the Lord. Pastor Lee de Leon, from Templo Cristiano in Santa Ana and pastor Dick Kaufmann from Harbor Presbyterian. It pumps me up when I’m able to meet and learn from such great men.

Pastor Lee de Leon is ministering at a bilingual Hispanic church of 5,000. They planted a number of Hispanic churches already. The church has also started a community development outreach that is having an influence on the city. It’s such a blessing to learn from and connect with someone who God is obviously blessing and using in a powerful way for the kingdom! I can’t wait for the next opportunity to get with Pastor de Leon!

Dick Kaufmann has had a long and successful ministry. I think he is a humble genius. He has a MBA from Harvard, and he’s been used of the Lord in organizing growth for the church. Dick was instrumental in the beginning of Redeemer Presbyterian’s growth in New York City. Over the last 12 years he has spearheaded the Harbor network.

Dave with Dick Kaufmann

Harbor has planted seven churches and they are in the process of planting the eighth. Dick along with his wife, Liz, have been used in a powerful way to see many lives changed and transformed through the power of the gospel. He is in the process of transitioning from directing Harbor to mentoring, coaching and writing. I meet with Dick about once a month to talk about strategies to reach Hispanics in San Diego – Tijuana.

We are looking for strategic partnerships. Pray with us that the Lord opens the doors and directs us where to look for good partners as we seek to carry forth the gospel message.

As I mentioned in my last post Harbor has 43 people who will be working with Daniel Nuñez this weekend and next weekend to build a new church in Rosarito, Mexico. Pray that the Lord uses the time to build into the lives of those that participate as well as to be a witness to the community laying a strong foundation for the church.

It is an exciting and even thrilling adventure to serve Jesus on the border! What a privilege to minister with and learn from these men of God.

In His Grip, Dave

Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez

Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez

In my last post I mentioned my friend, Daniel Nuñez, who serves in Tijuana. Daniel has a great vision for church planting, and caring for people.

His movement Lo Mejor Del Trigo has planted 11 churches in six years. They also feed up to 700 children breakfast every morning before they go to school. We had the privilege of ministering with them by bringing the Living in Grace seminar to them in November.

When we serve one another, and build relationships God open doors. I’ve always believed that ministry flows through relationship.

Harbor is another important partner the Lord has blessed us with. They are mainly working in San Diego, but they do have a vision to reach into Tijuana.

Over the last few months the relationship between Daniel Nuñez and Harbor has been growing. I invited Daniel to one of the Harbor church planters meetings in January. Daniel was able to talk to Dick Kaufmann, who is leading the Harbor movement. Daniel shared his vision to plant churches in TJ, and beyond with Dick. After Dick heard Daniel’s vision to see a movement started in TJ he said, “We’d like to help you start your next church.” Wow! It’s great to see to gospel-centered ministries come together for kingdom expansion.

Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Just this last week I met, Leo who is going to plant this new church. Leo shared a great story. His family has some land in Rosarito, Mexico that he inherited, but he had forgotten about it. One day he and his wife were driving by the area where the land is, and something reminded them about this land. This was right around the time they began to think about starting a new work in Rosarito. Leo’s had a desire to plant a church, so he thought, “we could use this land to build our new church!”

Isn’t it exciting to be on mission with God! This is the church plant that Harbor is going to help Lo Mejor Del Trigo start. We pray that it will be the first among many that they partner together on.

Daniel’s vision is to see 50 churches planted in 20 years. He’s a little more than 1/5 of the way there. We do pray for God’s rich blessing, in helping Daniel and Lo Mejor Del Trigo reach this goal.

In His Grip, Dave

Colorado Springs view while on my bike ride

Just returned from an invigorating bike ride, which is quite remarkable that the weather is so great this time of year! While biking around the beautiful city of Colorado Springs, I was given a chance to reflect while also getting in some exercise. As I mull over what God is doing I feel a sense of inspiration.

Tomorrow I will preach at Cheyenne Mountain Presbyterian Church, in Colorado Springs. I’m glad to have the chance to proclaim the Word of God, and to let friends know about our ministry. I would appreciate your prayers for my sermon, and our time at Cheyenne Mountain.

Stephen Phelan leading worship with Danny Kim in the background

After the service I will  fly out to the San Diego – Tijuana border. On Monday Ray Call and I will take part in an all day strategy meeting with Harbor Mid-City. Pastor Stephen Phelan will direct the leadership of Harbor Mid-City, Urban Life and our emerging BEAMM team through a time of prayer and planning as we look to the Lord for a powerful 2012.

We believe the gospel changes everything, and we look forward to being a part of what God is doing on the border. Thank you, Lord, for such great friends, such great partners to minister with!

One of the many great benefits of being able to make these trips to San Diego is I’m able to see our son, David Jr. It was hard to say good-bye to him when we left him at school a few weeks ago. It does make it easier knowing that he is thriving at school and he’s got some great friends.

Sometimes Dawn and I feel disappointed that it’s taking so long to sell our house. We can’t wait to move to the border! We love our friends in Colorado, and we will miss them dearly. Yet, we know that in His timing He is moving us on.

Even though we haven’t been able to move, it’s been so encouraging to see how God has connected us to some great people. He’s been using our team to see the gospel move forward. The trips that we have been able to make have opened some great doors for us.

Daniel Nuñez leading Lo Mejor Del Trigo

The last time I was there I invited Daniel Nuñez, pastor of Lo Mejor Del Trigo in Tijuana to Harbor’s church planters meeting. Daniel and Dick Kaufmann were able to connect during the meeting. As Daniel shared his vision, Dick said, “we’d like to help you plant your next church.” I thought, wow Lord! Even though we haven’t been able to move you are still moving, and you are using us to bring good gospel ministries together.

We believe one of the things that the Lord has called us to do is to build bridges between Hispanic ministries and our partners. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. My son, “Jonny Boy”, Jonathan helped me with some edit and ideas on this blog post!