Posts Tagged ‘encouraging pastors’

Faithful to Pray for Our Needs
Our familia loves to worship

Much to my chagrin, I found out recently that I need to have surgery on my prostate. Dawn and I told the pastors that we work with in the US, Mexico and Cuba and they all have been concerned for us. They are praying that God will heal me. Some of the pastors have called me and prayed for me via phone or video calls. It encourages us a great deal that so many people love us, and they show it through their faithful prayers.

Our friends in Cuba are some of our most faithful prayer warriors. They’ve had to live with so little. Every time I talk to them things are worse than the last time. Prices continue to climb, and they are often without electricity. They can go anywhere from 5 hours to 20 hours without electricity during these very hot summer months.

The Church is Growing and Lives are Being Transformed
Sharing the good news of the gospel in season and out of season

One of my friends, *Ernesto called me recently and he told me how they are faithfully praying and fasting. He shared some wonderful news about how the gospel is advancing. They have shared the gospel with more than 120 people and 34 of them have given their lives to Christ and they are now involved in discipleship.

One of the people that came to Christ is *Hilda. God brought Hilda out of witchcraft, which is very common on the Big Island. She was without hope until she found Christ. Her dad recently passed away, but God set her free and He is helping her get through this trial. Now she is faithfully worshipping the Lord and serving in the church.

God’s Faithfulness to Sustain His People
Pastor Ernesto with the piano that we helped them buy, bags of food for people in need, and the church benches

Another woman, *Diana was involved in a serious accident in her home, and her two year old son was completely burned. A few days after the accident he passed away. Instead of blaming God she’s looked to Him to strengthen her as she walks through the valley of the shadow of death. It is not easy, but the Lord is comforting Diana and He is strengthening her.

Ernesto thanked me for the financial support that we have sent them which allows for people in his church to buy food and basic needs. Last year they were able to buy a piano for their worship services. Before they worshipped without any musical instruments. They also bought nine benches so that people had a place to sit during their worship services. I always wish we could send more, but I’m encouraged by how the offerings that we are sending go so far in helping them.

Pray for Our Familia
Prayer in Camaguey. These people are warriors!

Prayer in one of the churches that we partner with.  Our familia is committed to pray!

One of the other pastors that we are working with on the Big Island, *Rolando said, “thank you very much for your prayer support for all of the challenges that we are facing. We pray that God will give us wisdom and strength to continue advancing the Kingdom of God on the Big Island. We also ask for protection for each pastor in our country, we know that the times are difficult. Another prayer need we have is to ask God to provide workers for the harvest. Every day it’s harder to find people willing to serve the Lord.”

“We want to deeply thank you for all the love and support for the advance of the Kingdom of God on the Big Island. God is using all of you who are praying and supporting us financially to participate in the good work of the gospel. You are participating in all that God is doing and will do in the future in our country.” Praise the Lord for His marvelous work!
*(The names have been changed for security reasons)

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 $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.

It is true that we will not be able to help the more than 11 million people on the Big Island. It is a nation with tremendous needs that are difficult to meet, but where your feet cannot reach, your prayers can reach! Your offerings of love can reach!

God is working on the Big Island. 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
A 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

The Heat is on as God is Building His Church
Pastor Federico and Blanca Muñoz ministering in the park

I just spoke to Pastor Federico Muñoz and he said that it’s been up to 122 degrees in Mexicali this summer. That’s hot 🥵! The church doesn’t have a building, so they are meeting outside in the park. They have started meeting a couple hours earlier during the summer to beat the heat, but it still has effected their attendance.

In spite of these obstacles the gospel is going forth and lives are being changed. Federico and Blanca are some of our most committed pastors. I’m always amazed by their faith and their willingness to make sacrifices so that the gospel might advance. Their faith is a great example to me and they encourage Dawn and me a great deal.

They wrote me this week and shared some testimonies from their ministry. I think these will lift you up as you read them.

Rene – Freed from Witchcraft
Rene far right worshipping the Lord

Rene, who is a boxer and the brother of one of the leaders in the church has been involved in witchcraft. He had made a vow with the saint of death, which is a thing in Mexico. He actually worshipped this “saint”.

Federico and Blanca prayed for him and through prayer they broke off the vows Rene had made so that he would be free. After they prayed, he felt peace and he started sleeping well at night after months of nightmares and fear. They continue discipling Rene and you can see the difference in him. He is very happy for the change that the power of God has brought in his life. Praise the Lord!

Katia – Freed from Drugs
Blanca praying with Katia

Katia, a single mother suffered greatly as she was addicted to drugs for a number of years. Some friends from the church, Anibel and Miriam were helping her care for her baby. They began to share with Katia about the love of God. She recently came to one of the church services so that Federico and Blanca could minister to her. As Blanca prayed for her, Katia began to cry. Blanca hugged her and told her that God wanted to strengthen her and heal her of all her wounds. She told her, “God loves you and your baby.” Katia is beginning to grow as she experiences of the love of the Father.

Alberto – Physical and Spiritual Healing
Blanca praying with Alberto

A little over a week ago Alberto’s brother was in a terrible accident. He was fighting for his life. Anibel and Miriam the same women that ministered to Katia and brought her to church are friends of Alberto and his family as well. Anibel y Miriam asked Federico and Blanca to pray for Alberto and his family. Last Sunday Alberto and his brother, Jonathan came to church to give thanks that their brother who was involved in the accident was doing much better and that he was no longer in danger of dying.

We can see in these testimonies that each of these people, Rene, Katia and Alberto are experiencing a real living God who has the power to change and transform lives. It’s thrilling to see the Father work through his children and his church.

Every week Federico and Blanca are seeing the fire 🔥 of God touch the lives of people in need. There’s a spiritual fire, the power of God as they worship in a place where there is much heat.

Join us in Prayer
From left to right: Daniel, Federico, Blanca, David, Damaris, Paola, Junior, Maykela and David

Pray with us for Pastor Federico and Blanca and their team as they continue to share the love of Christ in Mexicali. We are praying for a more permanent, cooler place for them to meet. Pray with us for the funds for a building or some land where we can build a church.

Video: New Life in Mexicali
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

My Heart is Saddened

I just got off the phone with one of the pastors from the Big Island. He told me that it’s getting more difficult by the day. Their electricity is being cut off anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day. That makes it hard to cook, and it’s very hot and humid there so they are going without air conditioning or even fans during all those hours.

Pastor Justin giving a bag a beans to one of the families in need

We are sending aid to a number of pastors and their families. Yet it seems like so little compared to the overwhelming need. It’s hard to imagine, but the conditions continue to worsen.

It saddens me to hear our friends, our familia share all that they are living through. I continue to pray, and hope that we can do even more than we are doing to help.

Pastor Justin told me that thousands of people are leaving the Big Island. Pastors are leaving their churches either for a higher paying job or to immigrate to other countries that offer more hope. Many churches are left without pastors, because of this.

Pray for Our Beautiful Familia
God is at work and the church is growing despite all the difficulties

Another one of my pastor friends, Rolando told me that he is traveling 650 miles on bus this week to visit and strengthen the churches that he is working with. I can assure that the buses and roads there are nothing like they are here. I’m concerned for the health of these pastors who are working such long hours. They are not able to eat a healthy diet, and when they get sick there are few medicines available to help them.

The people stand in long lines to get their food and other basic needs

The average salary on the Big Island is 25 USD per month, and the salaries have not increased even though beans, rice, chicken, cooking oil, soap and other basic needs have skyrocketed. To buy anything, they have to stand in long lines throughout the day (5 to 8 hours). To buy a liter of oil costs 10% of a monthly salary. The country is bankrupt, all that is very sad.

You can Help!
Some of the people and families that we are helping

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.

We are 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.

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…
Video: A Tale of Two Cities
A 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 Building His Church in Mexicali
Pastor Jorge and Lucy Alvarado

Pastor Jorge Alvarado and his wife Lucy just launched a new church in Mexicali, Mexico. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California. It’s an influential city on the border 2 1/2 hours east of Tijuana.

We are partnering with our good friends, Ministerios Transformación (Transformation Ministries) led by Pastor Daniel Nuñez, who has a God-given vision to plant 50 churches. Dawn and I have enjoyed our relationship with all the pastors and leaders with Ministerios Transformación. We give thanks to the Lord for opening the door for us to train and mentor many of them. It’s one of the most fruitful church planting ministries that we’ve partnered with in all of our years in missions.

We are thrilled to see how the light of Christ shines through this new church and the ministry of Jorge and Lucy. After being saved out of a life trapped in addictions, Jorge and Lucy want to help people break free of the chains of addiction through Christ.

Pastor Jorge and Lucy have an amazing testimony that I wrote about in three earlier posts: A New Birth!; A New Birth in Mexicali; Jesus Brings Beauty From Ashes.

Video: New Birth in Mexicali

We put together a short video about the ministry in Mexicali, which includes an interview with Pastor Daniel Nuñez as well as Pastor Jorge and Lucy. They have a great story, that we are sure you will enjoy.

Help Us to Complete Building This Church!

God is on the move in Mexicali! He is building His church. One of the challenges of ministering in Mexicali is that it is in the desert. It’s hot, and the temperature often exceeds 100.

We’ve raised enough funds to put up the walls and part of the roof, but we haven’t completed the project. There’s a big need to finish the roof and walls and to put in air conditioning as they head into the summer months, and the temperature rises. We are working on raising an additional $6,000 to finish building the church.

Would you prayerfully consider making a donation today to help us finish building this church? We are almost there! Please consider giving a gift of $50, $100, $250, $1,000, or more to plant a new church in Mexicali, Mexico. This will also encourage and help equip Pastor Jorge and Lucy who are bringing the love of Christ to their neighborhood, and this city. Dawn and I appreciate the pivotal role you play!

  • Join us in prayer for Jorge and Lucy
  • 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

Christ’s Love is Shining Brightly on the Big Island
The Church is growing and making a difference on the Big Island

This week I’d like to share the testimony from one of the pastors that we are working with on the Big Island. This will give you a taste of what the pastors we are partnering with are doing, and how the Lord is using the donations that you are sending through Beyond Borders.

Pastor Marco’s Testimony
Pastor Marco with one of th elderly couples the church is giving aid to

Hola my name is *Marco, and I am the pastor of the church in Cabaiguan in the center of the Big Island. Our goal is to develop the multiplication of new churches. My wife and I are ministering to more than 80 people, and we have 4 churches that we’ve started.

We have been able to help more than 60 families with food and toiletries. This includes 15 elderly families and 20 single mothers. These families have expressed immense gratitude for the donations of love that they have received.

An 18 year-old woman, *Diana who is 8 months pregnant, and also has a 4 year old daughter cried with joy when we visited her and shared the blessings and gifts we brought. Her husband is in prison, but she told us that she was confident that God would send her help in a similar way to how the Lord helped the prophet Elijah when He used the ravens to bring Elijah food. Now Diana’s faith is much stronger and she keeps looking to the Lord each day.

We were also able to help another young single mother, *Jacquelin finish building her house (photo above). She lives alone with her 2 children. She was in great need.

We thank God for the gifts that you have sent. God has done many great things in our ministry!

We would like to ask you to pray with us that we can complete the construction of a dining room for our church so that we can provide food to many poor families in the community who don’t have enough food to eat. We hope that God will open new doors and provide for this need.

In the last few months we have shared the gospel with 120 people. The Word of the Lord continues touching hearts. We ask you beloved brothers to continue to pray for the work of God on the Big Island.

Greetings and thanks to our mentors David and Lety (Dawn) for helping us in our ministry with love and peace.

DIOS LES BENDIGA Y RECOMPENSE ❤ God Bless You and Reward You ❤
*(The names have been changed for security reasons)

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need

Your prayers and your financial gifts are making a huge difference as we sow the seed of the gospel. An example of this is the testimony that pastor Marco shared with us above. Your donations enable us to send monthly aid to families on the Big Island. You can read more about the growth of the church and the challenges that our familia is facing on the Big Island here…

We would like to ask you to extend your hands to help those in need.  You play an important part in seeing the extension of the kingdom of God in Mexico and on the Big Island! 
Our familia is forever grateful for your generosity.

Click to Donate…
Video: A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities featuring Jessica’s prayer for toothpaste

In His Grip, Dave

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

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

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

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

Pastor Jorge & Lucy’s Story
Pastor Jorge and Lucy

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

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

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

A Miracle!
Jorge with his mom, Petra

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

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

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

A Restored Marriage
David & Dawn with Lucy and Jorge

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

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

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

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

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

You Can Help!
The Partially built church in Mexicali

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

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

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

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

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

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

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

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

God Rescued Pastor Jorge and Lucy

Pastor Jorge and Lucy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

Growth in Spite of the Suffering on the Big Island
The Church is Alive and Growing on the Big Island

Every day I receive messages from our familia on the Big Island. They are letting us know how they are doing, and how we can be praying for them. I like to send them short devotional messages and prayers with the hope that they will breathe life into their soul. Jesus uses these words to minister hope and encouragement to them. The isolation they live in from the rest of the world makes these words and the connection all the more important.

It’s the tale of two cities, because on the hand the church is growing. It’s growing in amazing ways! Thousands are coming to Christ and the Lord is moving powerfully through our familia. On the other hand the people suffer, because of the oppression and that the scarcity that they are forced to endure.

Many of our familia have health problems because of the lack of food medicine. It saddens our hearts to hear the stories of the families that we’ve come to love. Just today I received a message from Dairon one of the leaders in the church. He told me that his daughter, Jessica is seeing the doctor, because she has been battling with diabetes and hypertension. She’s very young to be dealing with these health issues. Jessica is featured in the video below that I’ve included in this post.

Dairon’s wife, Dayana (who is also featured in the video) had been experiencing some hemorrhaging and they feared that she might have cancer. The church prayed fervently and she’s been cleared, so we give thanks for that. We are also praying for Jessica’s health and healing.

Video: A Tale of Two Cities on the Big Island
God is doing an amazing work on the Big Island in spite of the hardships our familia is facing

One of the pastors, Jorge that we work closely with is often in ill health, because of the lack of protein in his diet. We are sending aid to these families, but it’s an ongoing struggle as the lack of food, basic needs and medicine is a ever present problem on the Big Island. Things that we never have to think about or worry about here in the USA are constant concerns for our familia. That’s why it’s so important that you pray.

Even with all these obstacles the pastors and leaders in these churches are committed to take the love of Christ to every man, woman and child. They are some of most powerful prayer warriors that I’ve ever met, which is one of the big reasons why the church is growing. God is on the move. Help us to pray for these wonderful friends, who have become our familia!

Join Us Prayer

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

Click to Donate…

In His Grip, Dave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV

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

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

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

Genesis‬ ‭50:20‬ ‭NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His Grip, Dave

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