Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

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

Thankful to be On the Road to Recovery
Dave & Dawn with Monse Santiago the night before my surgery celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day. Lower right Pastor Eliel & Jessica Osorio in Oaxaca. Lower left the celebration on the plaza in Mexico!

I’m grateful for all those that prayed for me this last week. On Friday, September 16, which is also Mexican Independence Day, I had my surgery. I stayed in the hospital overnight, and came home the next day. I’ve been home resting and recovering since then. I’m feeling much better now, so I give thanks to the Lord for His healing work, and for the prayers of his people.

Dawn and I had planned to be in Mexico City for a Discovery Center, our church planter evaluation. We were going to be part of the team to assess and evaluate the church planting candidates. Unfortunately, we missed the Discovery Center, but it went well without us. The only hiccup was an earthquake in Mexico City on the 19th. It wasn’t a major earthquake, but it did cause some fear. It’s interesting that this is the 3rd time since 1985 that there have been earthquakes in Mexico City on September 19th. The last two did cause a lot of damage.

God’s Work Continues to Advance!

Our church planters in Mexicali have been giving us some encouraging updates about how the Lord is working. We actually have a number of church plants going on in Mexicali right now. The two most recent start ups are being led by Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz and Pastor Jorge and Lucy Alvarado.

Every week they are sending me photos and encouraging testimonies.

Pastor Federico & Blanca: New Life in Mexicali
Blanca praying for Teresa

Federico and Blanca are still meeting in a park on Sundays. We are praying for a better more permanent place for them, but in the meantime they are faithfully sharing the love of Christ in the park. Blanca loves to send me photos of the church services and the people that they are ministering to. She has a heart to pray for those that come.

She recently told me that she was praying for the people in the park and one of the women that she ministered to is Teresa. She came with her son Fabricio, who is 10 years old. Teresa told Blanca that from the first time she saw them worshipping in the park, her son really wanted to come and participate. In fact, he was insisting that they go. Teresa shared with Blanca how the preaching that morning had touched her. She was very encouraged and she said that she will continue to attend, because she felt God minister to her life and to her son as well. Praise God! (See video below about how Jesus is bringing new life to Mexicali).

Pastor Federico and Blanca Bringing New Life to Mexicali
Pastor Jorge & Lucy: New Birth in Mexicali
Pastor Jorge & Lucy Alvarado

Jorge and Lucy our other church planters in Mexicali are working with a number of people that are being set free from a life of addictions. God has given them a special heart to reach out to people many of whom are living on the streets. It’s so exciting to see these lives that are transformed by the power of the gospel.

We are raising funds for Jorge and Lucy so that they can finish building their church. We only need $2,200 for the windows, doors and air conditioning. It’s great that we are getting so close to finishing! As I’ve mentioned before Mexicali is in the desert, so an air conditioner is essential. (See video below about the new birth in Mexicali.)

New Church led by Pastor Jorge and Lucy
Extend Your Hands to Help!
Dave & Dawn with Jorge and Lucy as their church is being built

Dawn and I are praying for these special friends who are like family to us. We are working on raising funds for their church planting projects. We need $2,200 to finish building the church for Pastor Jorge and Lucy. We are just beginning to raise funds for a building for Pastor Federico and Blanca, so we still need $30,000 for their project. God can do it! It’s exciting to be on this journey with Jesus.

Dawn and I invite you to join us through prayer and giving a special gift to help advance the kingdom in Mexicali and Beyond! We appreciate the pivotal role you play!

  • Join un in prayer for Pastor Jorge and Lucy Alvarado, and for Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz
  • Prayerfully consider making a gift today, by clicking on the link below
Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

A Wonderful Trip
Dave and Dawn with Jonathan and Hannah in PA

Dawn and I are returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. We were able to see our son, Jonathan and his wife, Hannah. The Lord also gave us the opportunity to see a few other friends and family who live in the area. We took advantage of the trip to visit two churches one in the Annapolis, Maryland area and one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

It was a great trip as we hadn’t see Jonathan and Hannah for a year. We loved the opportunity to update our friends in the churches about all that God is doing in Mexico and on the Big Island. When I think about our many friends at the churches that support the ministry, I’m reminded of the importance of prayer for the gospel to expand successfully in the places we are ministering. These friends are so kind and they do truly infuse us with renewed strength to carry on.

Encouraging One Another
Dave and Dawn with Pastor Eliel, Jessica and their two girls Sarvia and Tirsa

I love the interest that people show in what we are doing, and in what God is doing through us. Sometimes we forget the importance of these connections when we are separated.

We don’t always realize how important it is to have people in our lives that encourage us. Friends who stand with us in the battle.

Isaiah 35:3 mentions the importance of strengthening the hands of those who are weak. Paul in Galatians 6:2 writes about bearing one another’s burdens. Dawn and I seek to do strengthen the pastors and leaders we are working with.

Showing Concern for Those in Need
Ernesto sharing the aid that we send with a family in need

Just recently one of our friends, Anna from the Big Island wrote me and said, “You are an excellent pastor, always showing concern for others. This is not very common. I notice that there are fewer pastors and I believe it’s because many of them don’t have someone like you to encourage them.” When I read this I thought, wow! I don’t always realize how important it is to show care and concern for our leaders. I’m grateful the Lord is using both Dawn and me in this way to strengthen the hands of those who are weak, and to help bear others burdens.

Another friend wrote me today and said, “you have been a great blessing to my family and to me. You are to me, as I’ve told you on other occasions, like the apostle Paul. You encourage me and exhort me in the Word of God. God bless you!”

We all need someone to stand with us and to encourage and to exhort us along the way. I recently heard that many pastors in the USA have been leaving the ministry because of discouragement especially during this season that we’ve been living through. The circumstances are even more difficult in Mexico and on the Big Island, so we pray and we seek to strengthen our friends. Our desire is to see healthy ministers of the gospel, who have strong families.

Who Cares for the Pastors?
VBS at one of our churches on the Big Island

Who cares for the pastors? Often pastors and leaders feel lonely and isolated. They don’t know where to go for the support that they need.

I think we tend to underestimate the necessity of having friends and family in our corner who show concern for us. We desire to be those friends for the pastors and leaders that we are working with. We also give thanks for the many friends that help us along the way. I think that is one of the privileges that we have as missionaries. There are a lot of people who pray for us, and who are cheering us on.

Thank you for being one of those friends. You are very important to us. You play a pivotal role in our lives and ministry. We give thanks for you!

Extend Your Hands to Help Our Familia
From an article in the BBC, August 17 2022. You can read the article here…

As stated in the photo above our familia on the Big Island is facing their worst economic crisis in 30 years. Dawn and I are sending aid every month to help the pastors and families on the Big Island. Since the COVID-19 hit in March 2020, we’ve been able to help more than 2,000 people in 9 different cities.

Your gifts are making a difference in this nation with tremendous needs that are difficult to meet. God is using you, because even where your feet cannot reach, your prayers can reach! Your offerings of love can reach!

You can be part of a team in the hands of God, and TOGETHER we can make a difference! Pray with us and extend your hands to help our familia. Make a Donation Today.

Thank you for your prayers and for your support for this work on the Big Island!

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

Stories of God’s Goodness & Grace

Angel, Damaris, Sarah and Amelie

One of the joys that Dawn and I experience as we minister is the wonderful people we meet. We love hearing their stories. Many of them have amazing testimonies of God’s goodness and grace.

On our past trip to Oaxaca we met new friends. It was so good to get to know the team that Pastor Eliel and Jessica have assembled to work with them on their church plant. We enjoyed meeting them, and hearing all that God has done and is doing in their lives.

Angel and Damaris Ocampo – Leading Worship
Angel and Damaris

One of the special families that we met was Angel and Damaris. Eliel and Jessica recruited them to lead worship for the church. They have wonderful gifts in music, and their love for the Lord is evident. We loved worshiping the Lord with them.

After church on Sunday we went out for lunch with the leadership team which included Angel and Damaris. While we were eating our Tlayudas, which is like a Mexican pizza, we got to know them better. Dawn told Angel and Damaris that I was having some problems with my prostate and that my doctor wants to perform a surgery to improve my health. We asked them to pray for us, and specifically for God’s healing hand.

Damaris’s Amazing Testimony
Angel and Damaris leading worship in Oaxaca

When we finished our meal Damaris wanted to pray for us. She believes that God can heal my prostate. In the process she told us how God had healed her.

A few years ago Damaris had some fibroids growing in her uterus. The doctor felt like they needed to perform a surgery to take them out. when they went in to surgically remove her fibroids they discovered that the problem was bigger than they first thought. For this reason they had to take out Damaris’s uterus. The doctor told her that she would never be able to have children.

Damaris is short of stature, but she is mighty of faith. She believed that she would one day have children and she prayed for God to bless her in this way. Even when she recounted this story to us we could see the strength of her faith.

She never lost hope and Angel and Damaris prayed together. Damaris said that friends and some family members began to tell her that maybe she should accept the fact that she couldn’t have children by natural birth. Yet, Damaris was determined, she believe and she continued to pray.

After some time she thought that she might be pregnant. Damaris took the the pregnancy test and it came out positive. She went to the doctor, and told the doctor about her test. The doctor said, “that’s not possible, you don’t have a uterus.” Damaris insisted that the doctor check. Finally, they did an exam, and said in surprise, “we don’t know how, but you are pregnant!”

The doctor couldn’t believe it! He said, “it’s not possible since you don’t have a uterus!” When he performed the medical exam he noticed that her uterus was perfectly healthy. God does good work when he heals! Angel and Damaris had a little girl, who they named, Sarah. Since then the Lord has given them the gift of another little girl, Amelie.

Damaris’s testimony strengthened Dawn and my faith. We hope it might do the same for you! After she shared her testimony she prayed for us. She prayed that God would do a miraculous healing work in my life. As she prayed we felt the presence and power of God. God is so good! He does indeed hear and answer our prayers.

I did have my prostate checked this week, and I’m not healed yet. The doctor said that I need to have surgery in the next 6 weeks. We are praying for God’s healing touch, while realizing this might come through the doctor.

Damaris and Angel’s testimony encouraged us a great deal, and we hope it will strengthen and encourage you as well.

Join us in Prayer
Dawn in Oaxaca with Eliel, Jessica, Tirsa (she’s a little tired from the day out) and Sarvia
  • Pray for Angel & Damaris and they lead worship and minister with Pastor Eliel and Jessica.
  • Pray with us for Pastor Eliel, Jessica and their team as they plant the church in Oaxaca.
  • Pray for a more permanent place for them to meet where they can make the best impact.
  • Pray for more lives to be transformed by the gospel.
  • Pray that the Lord will provide the funding for the land and for this church planting project.
  • Please prayerfully consider making a donation today to help Pastor Eliel and Jessica reach Oaxaca for Christ.
Extend Your Hands to Help Our Familia
Some of the people and families that we are helping 

We are still sending funds every month to help the pastors and families on the Big Island. We would like to raise at least $18,000 this year to cover these needs.

Since the COVID-19 hit in March 2020, we’ve been able to help more than 2,000 people in 9 different cities, because of the generous gifts of many friends like you. Although we cannot help all 11 million people on the Big Island we can help some. It is a nation with tremendous needs. Where your feet cannot go, your prayers can go! Your offerings of love can go! You can extend your hands to bless these men, women and families who are waiting for a miracle every day.

Help us help the church and our familia! Will you join us? Please prayerfully consider partnering with us to help us bring aid to these beautiful people.

Thank you for your prayers and for your support for this work on the Big Island!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

The Church is on the Move in Oaxaca
Pastor Eliel, Jessica and their two girls, Sarvia and Tirsa

Dawn and I just returned from an amazing trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. We are thrilled with all that God is doing in this city through Pastor Eliel and Jessica Osorio.

Dawn and Dave in Oaxaca

Eliel and Jessica have raised up an amazingly talented young team that are helping them plant their church in the northern part of of the city. They began planting their church in the middle of the pandemic, which is no easy task. At first they were forced to meet remotely, but in September of 2021 they launched their services, and the church took off!

Every week they have new people coming to the church. Dawn and I enjoyed meeting a number of them while we were there. God is clearly on the move, and they’ve become our fastest growing church plant. On Easter Sunday 110 people showed up, and they’ve been averaging 82 since then. Pray for them as they reach young people for Christ.

A Birthday Celebration – A Changed Life
Celebrating Irving’s birthday with friends (he’s seated in the middle)

We attended a birthday celebration 🥳 at their house on Saturday evening. One of the young men, Irving celebrated his 20th birthday. When Irving’s mom asked him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday, he said that his friends at church had become like family to him, and that he wanted to have a party with them. The only problem was that Irving’s parents home isn’t big enough to host all the people. Eliel heard of Irving’s dilemma, and said why don’t you have the party at our house.

It was a great time, and so good to see all the happy faces at the fiesta, which included a piñata🪅!

Eliel and Jessica have done at outstanding job of creating a safe, friendly and fun community. The majority of their church is made up of young people in their 20’s and 30’s. This group is under reached in Mexico.

Eliel & Jessica’s Dream
Eliel leading Sunday worship

Pastor Eliel has a vision to create a community center that will be an attractive place for young people to come and hang out. Apart from being the gathering place for church on Sunday it will provide opportunities for outreach during the week. They can come for a cup of coffee with a friend, take music lessons, and play games.

Angel and Damaris are key leaders for the church, and they are gifted musically. They lead the worship, and have built a wonderful group to lead with them. Dawn and I throughly enjoyed worshipping with them. Angel and Damaris are also teaching music during the week, which is something they would like to be able to do at the church once they have a more permanent place to meet.

Eliel took us by one property that they are looking at the possibility of renting. This particular location is ideal as it is just a couple blocks away from a college. This would provide them with a wonderful opportunity to reach out with the love of Christ to the students. It may be possible to buy the property as the church grows.

Join us in Prayer
Dawn in Oaxaca with Eliel, Jessica, Tirsa (she’s a little tired from the day out) and Sarvia

  • Pray with us for Pastor Eliel, Jessica and their team as they plant the church in Oaxaca.
  • Pray for a more permanent place for them to meet where they can make the best impact.
  • Pray for more lives like Irving’s to be transformed by the gospel.
  • Pray that the Lord will provide the funding for the land and for this church planting project.
  • Please prayerfully consider making a donation today to help Pastor Eliel and Jessica reach Oaxaca for Christ.
Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

A Special Day for Our Family
Our family at David & Emily’s wedding – Jonathan, Hannah, Grandma Alice Moore, Dawn, David Jr., Emily, David Sr., Grandpa Ron Diaso

I’m getting this out late, because I was driving up to Fresno most of the day, but I wanted to get it out before I went to bed.

Today is a very special day for my family two years ago today my dad moved to heaven and three years ago today our son David married Emily. It’s their third anniversary.

This year especially God has been speaking to me and using the important dates of our biological and spiritual family. For example, our granddaughter, Serafina was born on April 29 and God gave me Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 4:29 – starting with verse with 26 to 30.

God’s Good 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

Today I feel like God is giving me Ephesians 5:26 and the verses surrounding it. This passage emphasizes the importance of being filled with the Spirit and it also speaks about marriage. The wife is to respect her husband and the husband needs to show love to his wife as Christ loves the church. This is a perfect love without blemish. The wife cannot be truly successful in respecting her husband well if she is not filled with the Spirit. The husband cannot show unconditional love to his wife if he is not filled with the Spirit.

The Spirit makes all the difference!

If I am honest even in my own life I know that there are things I can do better to love my beloved wife, Dawn in a way that honors Christ. I’d like to encourage each of you to be filled with the Spirit. Grow in the Spirit. For those who are married, love your spouse like Christ loves the church, show respect like Christ and even forgive like Christ that way you will be filled with joy in this life.

Ronald J. Diaso – Life in the Spirit
Ronald John Diaso – 6/19/1935-5/26/2020

I find it special that my dad affirmed his faith just before he moved to heaven. God made it clear to us that he was filled with the Spirit as he confessed his sins and prayed to receive Christ forgiveness just days before he parted this world. Another special memory is that David and Emily called my dad the day before he died and told him that they wanted to name their first daughter, Serafina. My great grandmother was also named Serafina. That brought tears to my dad’s eyes. God has blessed us with a beautiful granddaughter who was born in April 29 of 2021..

A Christ Centered Marriage

It’s also encouraging that this passage in Ephesians 5 that it speaks about a Christ centered and a Spirit filled marriage on David and Emily’s anniversary!

David & Emily – Married on 5/26/2019

I pray daily for David and Emily’s marriage. I do the same for Jonathan and Hannah’s marriage. I trust that God hears and he watches over them and protects them. Hallelujah! Amen!

Join us in prayer for our family!

Ephesians 5:18-30

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”

Ephesians‬ ‭5:18-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Help take the Gospel to the Border, the Baja and Beyond!
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In His Grip, Dave
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

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.