Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Freedom in Tijuana
Tijuana Discovery Center with Ministerios Transformación

After this last year with so many restrictions it was wonderful to participate in a Discovery Center with my friends and partners in Tijuana. Ministerios Transformación held a church planters ministry assessment. This is the first one that we’ve done in Mexico for more than a year.

I hadn’t seen some of our friends, some of the pastors that we work with in Tijuana for this last year, so it was so good to be reunited. It was refreshing to minister together again. Even though the Discovery Center creates some apprehension for the candidates, we all had a good time. We laughed a lot.

God has Blessed us with Like Minded Partners
Tijuana Discovery Center

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads Ministerios Transformación (Transformation Ministries) and they’ve planted over 40 churches in the last 15 years. When I first met Daniel about 11 years ago, they had only planted 7 churches. Dawn and I have loved partnering with them in ministry, and they have become like family to us.

We’ve helped them plant a number of these churches, and we’ve raised the funds to build 6 churches, and we are getting ready to build the 7th this summer.

When I first met Daniel Ministerios Transformación didn’t have a way to evaluate their church planting candidates. About 6 years ago they began the Discovery Centers in partnership with Excel Leadership Network. One of the many things I’ve enjoyed about ministering on the border is all the outstanding partners the Lord has given us.

Dawn and I prayed for the Lord to give us like minded partners as we prepared to move to the border to minister. One of my mentors Dick Kauffman, who started the Harbor church planting network in San Diego told me how important it was to be aligned and to work with like minded people. This has proved to be very wise advice.

Witnessing God’s Miraculous Wonders
Dave with Jorge at the Discovery Center

The Discovery Centers are very valuable tools in helping both the candidate and those evaluating to discover their strengths and weaknesses. It helps the candidates to know areas that they need to grow in. If the church planting candidate gets the green light it can also serve as an affirmation as to their calling.

The candidates are asked to share their testimonies and we have the opportunity to interview them and ask them questions. One of the candidates, Jorge told us that he was shot three times about ten years ago. The doctors told his mom that he was dead, and that only a miracle could save him. That’s exactly what happened a miracle! God brought him back to life! He was rescued from the brink of death. He wasn’t a believer during that time, nor was anyone in his family, but God in His tender mercy wasn’t finished with Jorge yet. He had a greater plan for him. This testimony deserves more time and space. I hope to write more about Jorge and how the Lord rescued him in a future post.

This was just one of the testimonies that I heard!

One of the things I enjoy the most is connecting with those involved in the Discovery Center both the staff and the candidates. I love being able to build into their lives, and to have the opportunity to speak into their lives as well. It’s also an amazing blessing to hear their stories of how the Lord has worked in their lives!

This Discovery Center was extra special, because I was able to see so many people that I hadn’t seen face to face for quite some time. The other thing that is special and that I love is we are helping these church planting candidates to extend the kingdom through starting new churches. I continue to pray that the Lord will allow me to be involved in helping plant at least 1,000 churches and this is one of the ways that I’m able to do that!

Pray with us as these new church planters begin their ministries. They are all bi-vocational which is not easy. They have a tremendous amount of commitment, which is one of the reasons I love being around them.

Extend Your Hands to Help – Donate Today!
Our familia on the Big Island – one of the young church planting families

Also pray for our familia on the Big Island as they battle to keep their families fed, and to continue to minister. Unfortunately, Basic needs and food prices are skyrocketing, while their pay has not increased. It’s not possible for them to support their family on what they are earning. Dawn and I remain committed to sending aid to the pastors and families each month. 

Give a donation today to the needs of the church and our familiaYour prayers and generosity will aid these families and the gospel in undeniable ways. Make a donation today by clicking on the link below!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

BeyondBordersLife.org

Announcing the Birth of Serafina Grace Diaso
Aunt Hannah & Uncle Jonathan meeting Serafina on FaceTime. Yes, we are obsessed!

We can’t get enough of our beautiful granddaughter, Serafina Grace Diaso. She was born to David, Jr. and Emily on April 29th. She’s a small baby at 6 lbs and 3 oz and 19 inches. David said that she would be considered a premie in size, but that all her organs are perfectly developed, so we thank the Lord for that.

Dawn and I are thrilled to be first time grandparents!

God’s Work of Restoration
Love seeing our son, David care for his daughter. He’s a good dad

The Bible is filled with stories of redemption and restoration. Dawn and I have prayed that our Papa God would bring our family healing, especially since our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. God is answering our prayers. He hears our cry!

Serafina was born in April the same month that both Dawn and Hannah have a birthday. We believe that’s a special gift from our Heavenly Father. It’s a kiss from heaven. God has big plans for Serafina, and the Lord is blessing our family through her. We give thanks for the Lord’s goodness and his redemptive work.

The Lord Turns Our Weeping into Laughter
Clockwise starting upper left: Hannah, Serafina, mom’s garden, Mom & Dad

Last year was a hard year for our family as both of my parents moved to heaven. My mom departed from this world on March 19, 2020 and my dad on May 26, 2020. We held the graveside service for mom on May 1 last year. It’s so good of God to turn our mourning into laughter.

This reminds me of Psalm 30:5b, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” The Lord used that passage to comfort me on many occasions as I mourned Hannah, Mom, and Dad. God is so good.

Hope Filled Promises from Joel
Enjoying some FaceTime with Serafina and David. Our friends from Ensenada, Petri, Yudy and Luz Angela are in the background

Just this morning I was reading Acts 2 where Peter quotes from the prophet Joel. Peter is preaching on Pentecost. The last days which Peter refers to began at Pentecost when he gave this sermon and shared this wonderful promise of God pouring out His Spirit on all believers. If we go back and look at the context of Joel 2, where this promise and prophetic word comes from we see that God is promising restoration to his people. Earlier in the chapter, Joel 2:13b, says, “for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” God’s promises never fail, and his mercies are new every morning.

Here is the prophecy from Joel that Peter refers to in his sermon on Pentecost. It’s filled with hope and promise for us today! I pray that each of us will grow in these ways as God’s Spirit works in us.

“‘In the last days, God says,

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

    your young men will see visions,

    your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,

    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

    and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the heavens above

    and signs on the earth below,

    blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness

    and the moon to blood

    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

21 And everyone who calls

    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Acts 2:17-21 NIV

Our Papa God’s love and desire to bring healing and restoration encourages us. Serafina is a gift to our family. She is a demonstration of God’s love for us, which gives us reason to rejoice. The timing of her birth reminds us of his care for us. His desire to bring restoration. We are hopeful for the even greater things to come.

Pray with us as David and Emily care for Serafina. Pray for her health as she grows in strength and wisdom.

Extend Your Hands to Help – Donate Today!
One of the young church planting couples that we are helping on the Big Island

Also, Dawn and I believe that it’s important for us to continue to ring the bell for Our Familia on the Big Island. We feel compelled by our love to keep bringing the needs of our familia before you. Basic needs and food prices are skyrocketing, while their pay stays the same. It’s not possible for them to support a family on what they are earning. We remain committed to sending aid to the pastors and families each month.

Give a donation today to the needs of the church and our familiaYour prayers and generosity will aid these families and the gospel in undeniable ways. Make a donation today by clicking on the link below!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Goodness of God!
This building was once used for witchcraft to worship idols – it is now being converted into a church! The white altar in the middle has been removed – it was used for their pagan ceremonies.

God is so good. He is a good Father, and it’s wonderful to be on mission with him. It’s not always an easy journey, it’s filled with twists and turns. We are on an adventure, and as we love and seek our Papa God there is joy and fulfillment.

A Life and a Church are Transformed by the Gospel
Dave on a video call with Lazara

Just a few days after wrote my last post, The Light Invades the Darkness, I met the woman that had been in involved in witchcraft on the Big Island. Her name is Lazara, and she and Pastor Nelson shared more of her story with me. She just recently gave her life to Jesus. I talked to Lazara on a video call (photo on the left). I was able to encourage her and pray for her. As I prayed, she began to cry. It was special to see God touch her over the phone and through the miles.

Lazara used to lead a group involved in spiritism and witchcraft. She has a building like a church where they met to hold their ceremonies. Now that she has come to Christ they are in the process of cleaning out the building of all the articles that were used to worship idols and demons. The white altar which was used for their ceremonies in the photo above has been removed. They put up a cross and they are placing the Ten Commandments and Bible passages on the walls of the building. What a glorious transformation!

Nelson wrote me this morning and said that the Lord is using Lazara to bring many to Christ. The building that was used to worship Satan is now being converted into a church! It reminds me of the Apostle Paul and his amazing conversion. God used him in a powerful way to bring many to Jesus.

This testimony is so rich, and it reminds me of the power of the gospel. We often pray for transformation. We pray for people to come out of the darkness and into the light, so it’s so good to see it happen right before our eyes.

Gospel Expansion
Sara, Justo’s wife discipling some of the women that recently came to Christ

One of the other pastors on the Big Island, Oniel told me about a wonderful story of grace renewal. He went with his leaders to the homes of two families that recently received Christ and they helped them destroy their idols that they used for witchcraft. The church also baptized 14 new believers in the past week!

Another special friend, Pastor Justo told me that their church had seen 20 people come to faith in the last month! God is on the move. Dawn and I are receiving a number of reports about people coming to faith and being released from the bondage of witchcraft. It’s exciting to be part of God’s kingdom work.

Please Extend Your Hands to Help!
Our Familia in Need on the Big Island

At the same time, because of the ongoing pandemic the economic situation continues to worsen. Pastor Jorge just wrote me this morning about how bad things are getting, and he asked us to pray. Jorge is one of the pastors that we’ve been sending financial aid to. I think the Lord is using the scarcity to cause people to see their need for Christ. Yet, the needs are very real, and it hurts our hearts to see our familia suffer.

Dawn and I want to continue to help, and do more so that we will reach even more families on the Big Island! Your prayers and generosity will aid these families and the gospel in undeniable ways. Click on the button below to give today. Extend your hands to provide food and basic necessities for a family in need!

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Give Thanks to the Lord
Give Thanks with a joyful heart!

Dawn and I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope and pray that the Lord gives you a great day with your family and friends, even though your celebration may be smaller this year.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend who’s had an especially hard year and as we talked and reflected on the year he reminded me of Habakkuk 3. It is a hope filled passage, which reminds us to give thanks regardless of our circumstances.

This is one of those years, where Habakkuk especially speaks to us.

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”

‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:17-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I want to encourage you to not look at your circumstances, which may get you down, but to remember that the Lord, is your strength. He is the joy of your salvation.

This passage reminds me of what Jesus told his disciples when he was comforting them and preparing them for his death and resurrection. He told them that they would experience hardship, but they can be of good cheer, because he had overcome the world.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.””

‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭ESV

There is much to be thankful for, despite our circumstances. We are on the winning side. We know how the story ends. It ends in victory!

Remember Those in Need this Thanksgiving

As we enjoy this Thanksgiving I’d like to encourage you to remember our familia on the Big Island. Those that are less fortunate than us. Our familia does not have the luxury of eating whatever they would like to, whenever they would like. In fact, This week Western Union closed, and they can no longer receive money transfers from family members. That affects thousands of families who depend on money sent from their families who live in the States.

The Lord has opened up a door for me to send aid through a different vehicle than Western Union. This Thanksgiving give thanks for the Lord’s many good gifts and give to the needs of families on the Big Island. You can give and help a family in need by clicking on the button below.

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Remembering the Needs of our Familia on Thanksgiving
We give thanks for our familia, and the good work that the Lord is doing on the Big Island!

As I’ve been in contact with our familia on the Big Island they’ve shared with me how things continue to get harder for them. The price of beans has tripled. It now costs $3 for a pound of beans when it used to cost $1. Also, as I mentioned in one of my recent posts bread is scarce. There wasn’t much, to begin with, and now there is less, and what they do have is more expensive.

We are coming upon Thanksgiving here. A time when we pause and reflect on all that we are thankful for. Even in this most unusual and difficult year, most of us still have plenty. There are many reasons to give thanks.

God’s Goodness in Crisis

I think even though I lost both of my parents this year, and I’ve not enjoyed the COVID-19 crisis or the social unrest I still can give thanks. I’m not saying that it’s been a good year or an easy year. In fact, Dawn and I recently came down with the infamous coronavirus and I must say that it wasn’t my idea of a fun time. Yet, the Lord keeps reminding me of His goodness, and His many good gifts.

Just this week in my devotional reading the Lord had me read Lamentations 3, and it was so encouraging!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,

    to the one who seeks him;

 it is good to wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV (emphasis mine)

The timing of reading that passage was just amazing! It was a demonstration of the Lord’s love for me, for His people as we endure this difficult season. And just to think that Jeremiah, who’s often referred to as the weeping prophet wrote this while his people were living in captivity. He did not write it during a time of abundance or prosperity.

God is so good to remind me of His love and care for me and my family. We have so much to be thankful for. Yet, I am concerned for our familia on the Big Island, because as difficult as life might be in the United States it is much more challenging there.

Concern for Our Familia
Some of the beautiful families that we’ve been able to help

That’s why it’s so important that you pray for them, and that you give. We’ve been able to help close to 1,000 people on the Big Island since March. We are sending aid on a monthly basis. This wasn’t something that I thought we’d be doing when the year began, but the coronavirus hit just as I returned from my trip with our familia in March. Then when I got back home I started hearing all the stories of the suffering, and Dawn and I felt like we had to do something to help!

We hoped that the scarcity wouldn’t have gone on as long as it has. Yet, the truth is it continues to affect our familia, and it’s important for us to extend our hands to help them.

Give Generously During Thanksgiving!
Our Hearts go out to these families in need

This seems like the perfect time as we head into Thanksgiving to give thanks and to help those in need. Our friends and familia are so grateful for the help that we’ve been able to give them. They constantly send us notes thanking us. God has used you to be a blessing to them.

Please take this opportunity to make a special Thanksgiving offering for our familia on the Big Island, but clicking on the button below. Thank you!

Click to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Happy Birthday Mom!
Mom, Virginia A Diaso

Today my mom would have celebrated her 85th birthday. She’s been in heaven for a little more than 7 months now. I miss my mom and my dad. They both moved to heaven within 67 days of each other.

Yesterday I had a dream and in this dream, I saw a big huge funeral processional. One like I had never seen before. There were beautiful colors and it reminded me of a parade. I thought this funeral must have been for someone of royalty. It was amazing. It appeared that this funeral was at the same place where my parents were buried.

Mom in the back center with her four sisters and her parents. We called them Vovoa and Vovoo

My mom’s dad, my grandfather who we called Vovoo was with me in the dream. We drove past the funeral/parade together in the car. And I remember we were by my grandparents’ home, which is near the cemetery where my parents are buried.

When I woke up and reflected on this dream the Lord gave me the sense that this is what the funeral of your mom looks like from heaven’s perspective. It is a celebration and a time that those loved by the Lord, in this case my mom and family members are welcomed into the His presence.

The Father’s Care for His Loved Ones
Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter
Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

The Lord had me read Psalm 116 in my regular devotional reading the day after we passed through the 4 year anniversary of when Hannah moved to heaven. Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (ESV). He keeps reminding me of His love for me and my family on these significant days.

Heavenly Kisses
I love this photo of Mom & Dad, makes me this of them dancing on the streets of gold.

When I think about a parade maybe there is a celebration in heaven for my mom’s birthday as well. I don’t know, but I found this encouraging. This dream was like a kiss from my Father, my Papa!

If I’m honest when Hannah died and then my parents I struggled some with calling their funeral service a celebration of life. I didn’t feel like celebrating. I was sad and heartbroken. It was a time of mourning. By calling it a celebration of life it made me feel like I shouldn’t mourn their loss. Intellectually I can understand the concept of celebration of life, but emotionally it’s not as easy to grasp.

Then the Lord gave me this dream, which encourages my heart. I am sure from heaven’s perspective everything looks so different. There is comfort and it ministers to my soul to look at the death of a believer from our Heavenly Father’s perspective.

I’m sure this is true about so many things in our lives and world, even with all the craziness going on in our own country. If we were truly able to see things from heaven’s perspective I’m sure we would have a totally different outlook. We would rejoice more fully in our hope!

Wow! That’s so encouraging. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Our Familia on the Big Island continues to live scrambling to provide for their family since the coronavirus crisis began. Prayerfully consider a gift today by clicking on the link below. Thank you for your generosity!

Click to donate…
Peace in La Paz
From upper left clockwise Benjamin & Blanca and Sofi; Dave, Alice, Blanca, Dawn, Sofi and Benjamin; Dawn and Dave; Peter and Jenny

Last week Dawn and I were in La Paz, Mexico which is on the Gulf of California side of the peninsula. We went there to get some time with our fellow missionaries, Peter and Jenny Boling, and our church planters, Benjamin and Blanca Romero.

It was our first ministry trip that we took where we had to get on a plane since the pandemic began.

La Paz, Baja California Sur

It’s always good to get some face to face time with those that we work closely with. Even though La Paz is on the same Peninsula as Tijuana it’s about 800 miles away.

Dawn and I get a lot of time with our church planters in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada, or at least we did until the COVID-19 restrictions began in March. Since these cities are close to where we live it makes it much easier to visit the church planters and encourage them.

Expansion Even in the Midst of the Pandemic
Some of the pastors with are working with throughout Mexico

Despite, the difficulties that the coronavirus restrictions have caused it has forced us to be creative, and in doing so we’ve been able to work with other church planters. In the last year, we’ve started funding, coaching, and training church planters in a number of other cities in Mexico: Neri and Karina in Tapachula, Chiapas; Manuel Santos in Durango, Durango; Roberto and Gabriela Mendoza in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora; Hector and Lulu Bautista in Hermosillo, Sonora; Eraclio and Amy Conde in Culiacán, Sinaloa; Jorge and Clara Izaguirre in Querétaro, Querétaro. And on top of that, there are all the church planters that we are supporting on the Big Island.

As I wrote the list of church planters we are working with I thought, “well it might not be all that exciting to read through that list, but if you consider the Apostle Paul and many of his letters he would end them greeting all the people he partnered with.” Part of the point is that we don’t do ministry alone. Too often church planters tell me, they feel alone and isolated. We are trying to change that. I’m encouraged by all the Lord is doing, and in the next few months, we are planning on partnering with even more church planters in other cities in Mexico.

That does encourage me! It represents kingdom expansion and that’s what we’ve been praying for.

Hard Times on the Big Island
Church that was torn down

Before I go I wanted to update you about some concerns on the Big Island. We just learned that the powers that be bulldozed a church. As you can see in the photos above the church was destroyed. This has all our familia there very concerned! They need our prayer. You can learn more about the tearing down of the church via this website: 14ymedio.com.

The Scarcity Continues
The Bread Shortage as reported by 14ymedio.com

Also, we’ve been getting more reports about the lack of basic needs like bread. And as I mentioned in my last post some church planters are not able to get the medicine they need. One of our pastors, Roberto has diabetes and he can’t get any insulin to help with his glucose levels.

Pray with us for these needs and give to help provide for these families. I wish that you would have the chance to talk to some of our familia, they are so grateful for the ways that we have helped them. Many of them call the help that they’ve received, “Friends Hands.” You are the friends that extend your hands to help them.

Pray and Extend Your Hands to Help our Friends, our Familia Today!

Make a donation today by clicking below.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ministry in This New Season
La Paz, Mexico at night

Dawn and I are on a flight to La Paz, Mexico to visit our missionary teammates and Mexican church planters. It’s our first ministry trip since the coronavirus restrictions began last March. As I write this I reminded what a strange and different season we’ve been living in. It’s not been an easy season to minister in. Yet, in spite of all the obstacles we see God at work.

In mayt ways our ministry has grown during this time. Just since last Saturday Dawn and I have had video calls with pastors and church planters on the Big Island, and in Mexico. The various pastors that we’ve talked to in Mexico represent more than 12 cities throughout the country. Since we’ve had to be more creative in the ways we’ve ministered it’s begun to open doors for us to influence leaders in cities that are new for us.

The Waymaker Brings the Increase
Pastor Roberto & Yolanda on the Big Island. Join us in praying for this wonderful couple and their family. We pray for the Lord’s healing touch on them.

It’s an answer to prayer, because we have been praying for increase. We’ve been praying that the Beyond part of our vision will grow, and that the Lord will make a way. He is the waymaker, as the popular Michael W. Smith song proclaims. It’s so good to see Jesus at work in the lives of men and women.

On Saturday Dawn and I spent over an hour praying with a pastor and his wife from the Big Island, *Roberto and *Yolanda (Not their real names). Roberto has diabetes and because of the ongoing crisis there is a shortage of so many things including medical items like insulin and antibiotics. We felt very concerned for Roberto when he told us that he was running out of insulin, and there wasn’t a way to get more, so we set up a time to met and pray with him and his wife. We prayed for healing and the Lord’s provision. Roberto and Yolanda were moved to tears as we prayed. When we were done Roberto said that he felt better, and as I’ve kept in touch with him this week he’s continued to improve!

Roberto and Yolanda just told us this morning that they don’t have anymore insulin! Prayer for healing and God’s provision is URGENT!

Please join us in prayer for Roberto and Yolanda and so many others who are hurting and having to go without on the Big Island. Send a gift today to help meet these needs, so that we can continue to send aid to our beautiful familia.

Outreach Through Alpha
Zoom meeting for Alpha training

Last night we had five church planters throughout Mexico who are taking an online Alpha class with us so that they can learn how to reach out in their communities even while they are faced with the limitations that we living with. Two more pastors told me today that they would also like to go through this training.

I must admit on the one hand I’m frustrated with all the Zoom meetings. At times life seems so busy, even though most of my meetings now take place on my computer in my home office. Yet, I also realize that I am connecting with pastors who live 100’s if not thousands of miles away in places in Mexico like Tapachula, Durango, Culiacán, Hermosillo and La Paz. And as I’ve already mentioned Dawn and I also have regular, even daily contact with our friends and familia on the Big Island.

The Lion is on the Move!
Outreach in Tijuana & Mexicali

God is on the move! There is a lot of swirl going on right now, with the coronavirus, the social unrest and political divide, but I believe there is breakthrough. There are things we can be excited about, but maybe we just have to look a little harder to find them!

Dawn and I continue to pray for, work for and trust the Lord for breakthrough. It is inevitable that the church will grow. His kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven! I hope that these words might encourage you. Both Dawn and I hope that the needs especially the lack on the Big Island will move you to be generous and give. Donate today! You can’t believe what a tremendous blessing your generosity is to our familia. The reports and testimonies we are receiving are heart warming.

Click here to donate…

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Special Friend, Who Has Become Much More

Five years ago the Lord blessed Dawn and me with a special friend in Monse Santiago. We first met Monse in Mexico City while she was ministering on the campus of UNAM with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). UNAM is one of the largest universities in the world with over 100,000 students.

Mexico City has held a special place in our heart since the first time I visited the city in the mid-’80s and later Dawn and I moved there in the ’90s. I remember on my first trip to Mexico I visited UNAM during a short-term mission trip in 1985.

So it felt like the Lord brought a number of things together when we first met Monse. To top it all off the other campus minister, Barush Sanchez is the son of, Fernando, who I worked very closely with in the late ’90s. It was like everything connected, our past, present, and future.

Our Daughter – (Mija) Monse
Dave with our friends Mario, Monse and Barush in Mexico City (I believe this was the day Monse told me she could be our daughter).

Dawn and I have enjoyed getting to know Barush and Monse over the last 5 years. Our relationship has been a real gift from the Lord!

On one of our visits three years ago, we decided to go to Mexico City for Dawn’s birthday and Hannah’s birthday just a few months after Hannah died, or as we like to say she moved to heaven. It seems less painful to say that she moved to heaven.

On that trip, we met with Monse and Barush, and I remember distinctly sharing with them the difficulties and challenges of losing our daughter. At the end of our time together Monse told me, “I can be your daughter.” And then right before we said goodbye she said again, “I’m being serious I can be your daughter.”

Since that time Dawn and I have kind of adopted Monse. Every time we visit Mexico City we make sure we can see her. She’s also been able to visit us here in Chula Vista for the past three years.

The Lord is Bringing Our Two World’s Together
Monse in front of her new school – Westminster Seminary

Monse is very intelligent. She loves to study and to learn new languages. She’s had an interest for some time in preparing herself further for ministry by going to seminary. We prayed with her that the Lord would guide her and lead her in this process.

Last December when she came to visit us right before Christmas we took advantage of the time to check out Westminister Seminary in Escondido. When we arrived at the parking lot we noticed that my car odometer read 111111. One is a number for new beginnings, and it made us wonder what the Lord was up to.

Monse submitted her application to Westminster Seminary and she was able to get an amazing scholarship. The coronavirus did make it harder for her to get her visa, but that eventually came through and she was able to move to Escondido earlier this month. RUF just entered into a partnership with Westminster, which made it easier and opened the door for Monse to be able to attend.

Dawn and I have enjoyed having her so close to us. She now only lives 40 minutes away, which is much closer than the 4-hour plane flight to Mexico City.

The Lord Lovingly Restores and Redeems
Dawn & Dave with Monse

Ever since Hannah moved to heaven we’ve been praying for the Lord to restore and redeem what we’ve lost. We know that no one can ever replace our daughter. We don’t expect that. Yet, we do believe our gracious God can bring us healing, and one of the ways he does that is through others. Monse holds a very special place in our hearts. Sometimes I call her Mija, which means my daughter in Spanish. Dawn has started calling her mi Monsita, which Monse loves.

The Lord is so good and so kind. There are a number of things that I don’t understand about life, about our daughter and her short life. But I do know that our Father, our Papa God loves us. He cares for us. He wraps his loving arms around us. He uses people to show us his love. We give thanks for Monse, and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for her!

Join Us In Prayer
Monse with some of the students she worked with in Mexico City

Join us in prayer for her while she adjusts to life in the USA. Pray that her studies go well and that the Lord provides for all her needs while she is her. If you would like to help her get started you can send a donation to Beyond Borders through the link below. You can also support the needs on the Big Island by giving by clicking on the donate link. Just let us know what your gift is for in the note section when you send in your gift! Thank you!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Evil on the Big Island

On Monday earlier this week, I received three interesting messages from three different families on the Big Island. All three of them wrote to me about witchcraft, spiritual warfare that each of them was experiencing in their ministry. Although witchcraft, Santeria, and voodoo are very common on the Big Island I choose not to focus on it in my posts.

This time I felt like I should let you know what is going on because there is a huge need for us to rally around our friends, our familia on the Big Island, and to pray for them. We know that we have victory in Christ, but the battle rages on. It seems to be increasing recently.

In one of the churches, someone who lives nearby who is involved in witchcraft tied a bag made of fabric just outside the church. The bag had black chicken feathers in it mixed another substance. The witches do this to curse or hex on the church.

Another minister who ministers in a different city told me that in the place they went to ministering there were a number of idols and other trinkets there. They said that they didn’t feel peace and they sensed evil in the area. The sense of evil was heavy. They reached out to Dawn and me and asked us to stand with them and pray!

The Power of the Gospel

These are places that the gospel is infiltrating. The church is growing! Thank God that there is power in the gospel. There is power in Christ to break through these strongholds, and as Paul said our weapons are spiritual because we are not fighting against flesh and blood. The battle is against powers and principalities. Paul exhorts the church of Ephesus to stand firm in the battle, and to put on the whole armor of God. The church in the city of Ephesus was in a place where they worshipped many foreign gods and idols.

Paul also tells the Corinthians that their battle is not against the flesh. I think this is true no matter where we live. It may be easier to spot in some places, but the enemy is sly so we have to be discerning, and aware of how he is working in a place.

In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul tells the church,

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (emphasis mine)
Christ Gives us Divine Power!

It’s important for us to realize that the Lord has not left us defenseless in this war. He has given us divine power in Christ to destroy strongholds. So we don’t need to fear the devil. We must be prepared. We must put on our armor, which includes the sword ⚔️, the Word of God, and prayer. The truth of God enables us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It makes me sad when I see all that our familia on the Big Island suffers. It’s not only physical suffering, but they experience attacks from evil. It’s crucial to encourage them in the battle and stand with them in prayer. I would like to ask you today to join us in praying for the Lord’s protection over them, and that they will stand firm in the battle.

When Paul speaks of the battle in Ephesians 6 it’s with the idea that the church, that Christians are standing side by side protecting one another and fighting in the battle together. I think that this is one of the reasons there is so much division in the church. Our enemy knows that if he can divide us we aren’t as effective.

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs on the Big Island. They need your generosity, and they need your fervent prayers. I’m so thankful that Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Hallelujah!

Extend Your Hands to Help
Some of the families that we’ve helped on the Big Island

You can extend your hands to help by giving a financial gift to help provide food and basic needs for the people. You can also extend your hands to help by praying for our familia. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will stand firm in the battle. We the church must stand together!

Please donate today by clicking on the link below!

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In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org