Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

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

Migrants in Need of Jesus
Some of the migrants outside the church

The migrants at the border seeking to cross into the perceived “promised land” of the US is a hot topic. It’s one of the issues that divides people. My purpose in this post isn’t to address the political issues pertaining to the border. Rather to focus on the opportunities that the crisis at the US/Mexico is providing.

I enjoy connecting with other ministries and exploring ways to partner with them. Even if we don’t end up working together we can at least encourage one another. Recently I learned about a church that was providing food and shelter for more than 1,000 migrant refugees. It peaked my interest, because I know some people from California that are going down to minister and to provide aid.

Jesus’s Ambassadors Making a Difference
The bunk beds inside the church

I was amazed to meet the pastor and see the ministry of Embajadores de Jesus (Jesus’s Ambassadors) in Tijuana. Pastor Gustavo told me that the church has been ministering to migrants for 11 years. There are a number of churches, and humanitarian groups that help to feed, house of clothe the refugees. The people are coming mainly from Haiti and Central America.

Anna’s Story
Anna with her 4 year old son

I talked to some them and asked them about their story. Anna told me that she came from Honduras with her two sons. She tried to cross the border into the USA with her boys. They allowed her 15 year old son to cross, but they turned her and her younger son back. She’s been in Tijuana for at least 9 months hoping that she can join her son, who now lives with a Anna’s brother in North Carolina.

I asked her why she decided to leave her country and make the dangerous trek to the USA. Anna said that she came for the dream of a better life. She had to pay the “coyote” $9,000 USD to bring her and her family to Tijuana. In my brief encounter with Anna I would say that she is a very pleasant young lady. She seemed to be at peace having found a good place where she and her son are cared for.

I think her story is quite common. Unfortunately, those that bring them to the border take advantage of the people that are fleeing bad situations. They charge a high price, and they promise that it will be easy. Yet when they arrive at the US/Mexico border there is another harsh reality that awaits them.

There are many similar sad stories of the people that make it to Embajadores de Jesus in Tijuana.

Many are Finding Christ!
Miguel from Guatemala shared his story. His now working and supporting his mom and brother in Tijuana

The light of Christ shines most brightly in the darkness. Thousands of refugees are finding Christ as they journey north. The church holds services and Bible Studies that the migrants must attend if they wish to stay. A new friend told me that they found some of the refugees praying and worshipping the Lord in the middle of the night. They’ve created a culture where the people love God and our hungry for a deeper relationship with Him.

God is at work. That’s what I find exciting.

The enemy of our soul always seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but God has a way of turning that around. He has a way of making what the evil one intended to harm us and making it be something good and helpful.

A Dream for Something Greater
Pastor Gustavo

Pastor Gustavo told me about his dream to build a small city center to minister to all the people. This center will include a hospital, school, stores, vocational training and the church will be at the center.

Since I’m just getting to know this ministry I don’t know what the Lord has in store, but I’m encouraged by what they are doing, and how Jesus is using them. The gospel is being proclaimed in the midst of darkness. Jesus is being lifted on high. The gospel and mercy are coming together.

It reminds me of Jesus word’s in Luke 4:18. Where Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy from Isaiah 61.

““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”

Luke 4:18 NIV (Emphasis mine)

Join Dawn and me in praying for Pastor Gustavo and his team as they minister to the migrant refugees. Pray for wisdom as I explore the opportunities.

Extend Your Hands to Help
The people standing in line for food and clothing

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 extend your hands to help those in need.

Your gift will help us to accomplish the God given vision to impact, Tijuana, Colima, Mexicali, Oaxaca, and Beyond to the Big Island 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. 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

BeyondBordersLife.org

Covid-19, Missing Mom & Feeling Down
Missing Mom

Early last week I was feeling a little down. It started sinking in more that my mom is gone, and that I won’t see her again until I join her in heaven. I think I’m still numb in some ways. I’ve found that grieving is a process, but being back home and trying to live life in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis it’s all hitting me at once.

Of course, it’s not an easy time for our nation or for most of the people around the globe. I don’t believe there’s been an event quite like this during our lifetime. And in the middle of this I’m grieving the loss of my mom.

The Need for Good News & Breakthrough
Our hope in Christ

I felt like I needed to look for some good news. Something to lift me up and give me some hope. It’s difficult to live without hope. In my search the Lord started directing me to some positive messages about what our Father is doing during this time. A number of people believe there is going to be a breakthrough this next week. God is going to bring breakthrough during Passover which starts on Wednesday, April 8. It’s interesting, because this year Passover connects with Holy Week.

In the first Passover the people of God, the Israelites were cloistered in their nuclear families as they took part in the Passover meal. They were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on their door post. They ate the meal in haste as they prepared for the Lord to deliver them, and to bring them out of slavery. He brought them out of slavery and into freedom and eventually into the promised land.

In a similar way during this time of Passover we will be secluded with our family. We also look to the Lord to rescue us.

I believe that God is at work, even though it might be hard to see. The devil seeks to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The enemy of our soul means this for evil, but God means it for good, and for the good for many.

A Creative Response to the Quarantine in Mexicali
Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz with their four children

I’ve been calling and sending notes to my church planters, pastors and leaders in Mexico and Cuba and seeking to encourage them. Many of them feel discouraged that they are so limited. I mean in Cuba they aren’t able to stream their messages online. Yet, as people in these countries have lost many of the things they usually entertain themselves with it causes them to realize their greatest need. Their spiritual need.

I’ve told my church planters and leaders be ready people are going to be hungry coming out of this!

These dear friends who are like family to us have appreciated the hope that I’ve shared with them. One couple, Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz got creative. They set up a microphone and loudspeaker in front of their house today (Sunday) and he began to share the good news.

Pastor Federico Muñoz sharing the good news in a time when it is desperately needed

Federico told them that this is the first Sunday that they are not able to go to church on Palm Sunday regardless of the church they belong to. Then he told them about our hope in Christ and that Federico and his wife were willing to pray for the people if they had a need. He gave out his number and said they could send their prayer request via WhatsApp. Federico also told them that if they needed a Bible that they would like to give them one.

Then they started receiving messages from their neighbors and other people nearby. Federico and Blanca were initially afraid that their neighbors were going to complain that they were being too loud, but instead their neighbors were thankful!

Some of the people even came out of their houses to sing the worship songs they played on the loudspeaker and they listened to what Federico shared. Many asked them when they were going to start their church services. Wow, amazing! God is so good!

They even had the opportunity to pray for some of the people while trying to practice social distancing.

Federico & Blanca praying for two women who asked for prayer and for Bibles

I was surprised when I received Federico and Blanca’s message about how they were sharing the gospel in their neighborhood. I was even more surprised when they told me that this method of sharing the gospel worked! Of course, this encouraged Federico and Blanca as they took this step of faith. They told me what I had shared with them during the week helped them and encouraged them to continue. Sometimes it’s these small steps of faith that lead to greater things.

Federico and Blanca who are planting a church in Mexicali and Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana and others have felt down, because they feel like they aren’t able to do anything during the quarantine. I feel like the Lord used the blessing, and encouragement He gave to me earlier in the week to be a spark to these wonderful partners in the gospel! We continue to pray for more, Lord!

Draw Near to the Lord in These Days
Dave & Dawn with Federico & Blanca and Luz & Davis

Even though it is a difficult time, God is still at work. Dawn & I am believing and praying for a breakthrough during this week of Passover.

This is a time for us to draw near to the Lord. A time to examine our lives and humble ourselves before the Lord. God promises to respond as we do so.

God says, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”‬‬

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭ESV

It’s important to note that God says my people, so it is the church that is to be humble before the Lord and pray and seek God’s face. Our Father also calls us to turn from our wicked ways, which is not only individually. We need to confess the sins of our land. God is good, and He is loving and He will respond as we humble ourselves and seek him.

I tried to cover a lot of ground in this brief post. Obviously, I’m only hitting on the surface of the these issues, but my hope is that you might be encouraged. There’s so much negative news today, and I don’t think it’s healthy to spend too much time focusing on all the doom and gloom. Lift up your eyes and remember where our help comes from. “My help comes from he Lord, who make heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2, ESV)

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Celebrating 31 years!
I give thanks for my wife, Dawn!

Today is a special day. Dawn and I celebrate our 31st anniversary today! As Proverbs 31 says, “an excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10). I do give thanks for Dawn and the wonderful journey that we have been on together. Our love for one another has grown through the good and the difficult times.

We have endured more trials than most. I was kidnapped in Mexico City and our car was stolen at gun point. Our daughter Hannah struggled with some tremendously difficult demons for close to three years. The hardest thing for us to endure was when Hannah moved to heaven. We are still dealing with that, which is hard because most don’t understand that grief doesn’t have an end point.

When I think about an excellent wife and this passage, the first two people who come to mind are Dawn and Hannah. I do give thanks for my beautiful wife, Dawn. Our love has grown over the years and she is truly my better half and far more precious than jewels.

Hannah – Our Virtuous Daughter
Our Beautiful Virtuous Daughter, Hannah

I think of Hannah as well. Hannah longed to find a man and be married before she moved to heaven. As one friend, Susanna Schuemann said at Hannah’s funeral that Hannah now is the bride to the perfect Husband.

When Hannah was younger she posted a video about the virtuous woman as described in Proverbs 31. She always wanted to be a positive influence on young women. She hoped to one day write and give encouraging talks. Now that I think about it, this is interesting, because the Lord has brought another beautiful young woman into our lives who was born on the same day as Hannah who does have a powerful ministry to young women. I believe it’s one of the ways the Lord is redeeming our pain and suffering. It’s like a kiss from our loving Father. A reminder that He loves us and that He will not leave us or forsake us. Our loving Papa, God!

Hannah’s video on the virtuous woman

Love Makes a Difference in Mexicali
The happy couples at the Valentine’s dinner

It seems appropriate on our anniversary to talk about love and how the Lord is using the theme of love in marriage to bring transformation to young couples in Mexicali.

One example of friends being touched by the love of Christ happened this past weekend in our church plant in Mexicali. Our church planters Federico and Blanca Muñoz wanted to take advantage of the month of love and friendship, the month of February. They invited some of their new friends that they’ve met over the last few months to a fun meal celebrating love and friendship. It was an event for couples with an eye towards strengthening marriages through the love of Christ.

Federico and Blanca did an excellent job organizing the event, and all the people who came had a great experience. Marriage isn’t easy, and many couples struggle to maintain their love for one another. There are so many things that mitigate against families today. Our friends need encouragement and help to grow in their marriage relationship.

Wonderful Testimonies of God’s Grace
All smiles – One of the young married couples enjoying the evening

Federico and Blanca shared that as part of the evening activities they encouraged the couples to forgive one another for past faults. The couples took advantage of the opportunity. It’s not an easy thing to admit you made a mistake and to ask someone to forgive you, but Jesus broke through!

One of the couples that came has been living together for 14 years. They expressed a desire to commit to the covenant of marriage before God! Wow! It’s heartwarming to see how the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel brings about change and transformation. It gives all of us hope!

I enjoy seeing people encounter Christ for the first time. It’s so good watching the Lord work in their hearts to bring about change. The gospel is truly good news! These gospel encounters happen frequently in the churches that we are planting. It’s one of the principle reasons we are so committed to starting new churches.

We know that Jesus makes all the difference! As the Spirit works in our lives and teaches us to love like Jesus relationships begin to change for the better.

Join Us in Prayer for Federico & Blanca and the Ministry in Mexicali
Federico & Blanco with their children, Junior, Damaris, David & Daniel (from left to right)

For many of the couples that came to the Valentine’s themed event, it was their first exposure to the gospel. It was a step in the right direction for them to see life transformation. We lift these couples up along with Federico and Blanca as they reach out to their friends. We join them in praying that they will come to Christ and grow in their faith. Lord, do continue your good work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Stories of Expansion
Dave right before going into surgery

Over the last week and a half I’ve been recovering from hernia surgery, which I must say isn’t fun. 😉 It has been a slower process than I envisioned. These days since I haven’t been able to be as mobile as I usually am have given me some time to reflect, and to encourage all those that we are partnering with in ministry.

Dawn and I moved to the San Diego-Tijuana border area 7 1/2 years ago. It’s beautiful to see how the Lord has grown the ministry. He has literally stretched out our tent, just as we prayed from Isaiah 54. I love the stories of the lives that are touched and transformed through those we minister alongside of. I’d like to share one of those wonderful stories with you!

Davis & Luz Pardo
Luz & Davis with their three cute children

You might remember that I asked you to pray for Davis and Luz Pardo, because they were looking for a home in Playas in Tijuana. They were having a terrible time finding an affordable home. God came through again, and provided in the last minute. Now they are getting settled in to their new place, which isn’t far from the beach (that what playas means, beach).

Davis and Luz are a gifted young couple. Luz means light or power. She has a radiant smile that communicates joy and love. Davis is a caring pastor, who is able to attract and encourage people that he ministers to. Together they make a great team.

Luz’s Love Shines in the Produce Section
Luz & Davis

God gave Luz the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ just a couple of days ago in the local grocery store. She told Davis she was going to the grocery store for 5 minutes to buy some oranges. Well those 5 minutes turned into 40, because she met someone in need.

Luz met Mary, and it was obvious that Mary was having a difficult time communicating with her daughter, and there were other family dynamics that caused tension. Luz took the opportunity to talk to Mary, and she shared how Jesus came to give us hope and give us life. After Luz showed compassion to Mary, she asked her if she could pray for her. Mary said yes! And Luz not only prayed for her, but she was able to lead her to Christ!

Luz said she had never prayed from someone in a grocery store before.

Pray for More Growth, More Fruit
Dawn and Dave with some of of our church planters from left to right, Federico & Blanca Muñoz in Mexicali; Luz & Davis Pardo in Tijuana

When Luz and Davis shared this story with me, it made my day. God is so good, and He’s active. Luz asked for prayer for Mary that they will be able to follow up with her and help her to grow in her new found faith.

We also can pray that there will be many more people who are open to the good news of Jesus, like Mary. Pray for all of our church planters that God will open doors for them. Some of them share that they get discouraged along the way. Church planting can be a lonely work, so they need much encouragement and prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Goodness Seen in Our Growing Family
Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs

As I write this I’m enjoying a cup coffee and taking in the views of the snow capped peaks in Colorado. It reminds me of God’s majesty. Dawn and I are thankful that we can visit our family in Colorado Springs this Christmas and take in the beauty of God’s handiwork.

I’ve been reflecting on God’s goodness and his wonderful work in our lives and throughout the world.

Dawn and I feel like our family keeps growing. Both David and Jonathan married wonderful young women in the last year for which we give much thanks. Also, the Lord has given us family in Latin America.

Giving Thanks for Our Partners
Pastors and Leaders in Cuba

A number of the pastors that we work with have become like family to us. We are in constant communication with them, praying for them, encouraging them and coaching them. At the end of Romans Paul wrote about a long list of people who ministered with him in the gospel. It is evident that Paul didn’t minister alone. The Lord gave him a team of people to work with.

In Philippians 1 the apostle gives thanks for the church and his partners in the gospel there.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In the same way Dawn and I give thanks for our friends, our family, our partners in the gospel. We rejoice in all that the Lord is doing through them.

The Church is Advancing
Yany lovingly leading the children in Cabaiguan

Our friends Mario & Yany, who live in Cabaiguan, Cuba wrote us this week and told us about the opportunity they had to show the love of Christ to 90 children. Mario and Yany are planting four churches in the Cabaiguan area. They are very special friends that Dawn and I have come to consider part of our family. I’ve written about them in other posts.

It’s so good to see the kingdom of God advancing in Cuba.

One of Pastor Justo & Sara’s house churches in Jatibonico. It’s busting at the seams!

Some of our other friends Justo and Sara also wrote us and told us about the outreach and the growth of the church in Jatibonico. Every time we hear from these friends and other partners we rejoice and give thanks.

Join Us In Prayer!
Our Cuban Family – Faithful to Pray

Dawn and I have prayed for years that we would be part of kingdom expansion on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! We are starting to see that prayer answered. God is growing his church on the Border and the Baja where we live and work. We are also seeing growth Beyond these areas, mainly in Cuba. We continue to pray for more. More of Jesus. More of the Spirit and more kingdom growth and expansion!

Thank you for praying with us. We know that we are not alone. The Lord has given us a wonderful team of partners like you who are interested in seeing the kingdom of God expand through this work. We recognize that prayer is the life blood of all that we do.

Pray with us as this year comes to a close, that we will finish the year strong, so that we start 2020 off well. Dawn and I are praying that we can start at least 3 new churches in Mexico and 3 new churches in Cuba in 2020. We also are training and coaching many more church planters and leaders, and seeking to expand that part of the ministry as well.

You can help us make that a reality by praying for us, and by giving a year-end gift. You can give online by clicking the donate link.

Thank you for helping us take the gospel to The Border, The Baja and Beyond!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave & Dawn
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Outstanding Church Planters we Minister With

One of the highlights of our ministry is connecting with our church planters. It’s not easy to start something new. There are great opportunities, and many challenges along the way. The church planters become great friends. They are like family to us.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been able to meet with church planters from three different cities: Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali. Each of them is at different stages in the process of starting the church.

Pastor Federico & Blanca Muñoz
Dave & Dawn with Junior, David, Daniel, Blanca, Federico & Damaris

Last week Dawn and I spent time with Pastor Federico and Blanco Muñoz who are starting a new church in Mexicali. Dawn and I prayed with them and encouraged them as they love their neighbors and reach out to the community.

We see the Lord’s hand on Federico and Blanca as they have already made some good connections and they have some friends in the Mexicali area who are helping them to share the love of Christ. These friends are going out with Federico and Blanca to invite the neighbors to a fun event that they are holding this Friday.

They bought 500 hot dogs and they are praying for 200 people to come. I love their vision to reach out broadly. They would like to make a number of contacts that they can follow-up with through this outreach. 

Federico and Blanca have a lovely family with four children ranging from 12 – 19. It seems like every time we see them someone is about to have a birthday, so we enjoy some dessert with them. Their children, Junior, Daniel, David, and Damaris are all committed to helping their parents. They love to worship and to lead worship.

The first person I met in their family was Junior as he came to a worship workshop that we held a year and a half ago. The Lord used that event and a mutual friend to connect us with Federico and Blanca. God is so good. I love how he brings people together for His kingdom purposes.

Changed Lives in Ensenada
Our fun group in Ensenada this past Sunday

The church in Ensenada led by Pastor Petri has already launched. This past Sunday Dawn and I worshipped in Ensenada. After church, a big group of us went out for a meal.

Over the course of the meal, I enjoyed talking to Arturo, Irlanda and their daughter, Barbara. They are a sweet young couple. They came to Christ and were baptized in the church this last year. It was encouraging to talk to them along with Petri, Yudy and the others about their journey. So good to see the Lord change lives, and bring about life transformation.

More Advance – We Pray for More!
Pastor Davis & Luz Pardo with their three children

We also have two other new church plants. One in Tijuana led by Davis & Luz Pardo and one in La Paz led by Jose Luis & Ana. The Lord is on the move and we give thanks for all that he is doing as he works through these couples and their ministry teams.

Please continue to pray for the advance of the kingdom on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! The church is growing, but we’d like to see more. We are hungry for more! Thank you, Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org 

Reconnecting with Dr. William T. Iverson

Dave with Dr. William T. Iverson

I’m writing this as I’m on my way back from a trip to the Philly area. While here I was in a few places in New Jersey, as well as Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Annapolis, Maryland. It was a fruitful trip that gave me the opportunity to tell of the wonders of the Lord and all he is doing on the Border, the Baja and Beyond!

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting my 91-year-old professor, mentor, spiritual father and friend, Dr. William “Bill” Iverson. I first met Bill when I was a 24-year-old seminary student at the International School of Theology (ISOT). ISOT is affiliated with Cru. At the time the school was at Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino, California.

A Spiritual Father & Mentor during My Formative Years

Bill when he was 15 years old seated on the far right with his family. Bill’s dad, Daniel Iverson was an influential pastor in Miami, Florida. He started Shenandoah Presbyterian Church

I came to Christ while I was in college at Fresno State. I believe I was 20 years old at the time, so when I went to seminary I was still a relatively young believer. I needed a lot of guidance. I remember I had my share of insecurities as I was growing in my faith and learning to lead.

Bill became an important father in my life during that time. He was a unique combination of being a bold intellect. He pushed me to study and learn from the church Father’s while I was in school. He’s also the boldest personal evangelist that I’ve ever met. We would often go into a restaurant and he would begin a conversation with someone and then he would open the door for me to step in and share the gospel. At that time I was timid and wet behind the ears, so I would stumble my way through sharing the gospel.

Today I share the gospel with strangers on a regular basis, and Dawn is even bolder than me in sharing her faith. That all had its beginnings with Dr. Bill.

I remember one specific conversation we had in an old greasy spoon in the downtown area of San Bernardino. Bill started up conversations that led to opportunities to share the gospel with two or three people while we were there.

After these conversations I told Bill that I felt timid or fearful to just talk to strangers like that. He told me something that has stuck with me to this day. He said, “remember that these people are afraid as well, but the difference is that you have the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you.”

Wow! That was a game-changer!

I can’t say that I all of the sudden became a bold evangelist, but it did set in motion my growth to becoming bolder and more committed to sharing the good news of the gospel.

The Beginnings of My Call to Mexico

Dr. Iverson (top middle in blue) & Dave (bottom right in red) with other ISOT students and professors on a retreat during the 1984/85 school year

Another huge way that Bill influenced me is that he led a group of 16 students from ISOT to Cuernavaca and Mexico City for six weeks in the summer of 1985. It was on this trip that the Lord gripped my heart and gave me a love for Mexico.

Dr. Iverson taught us, students, the importance of reading broadly to learn from other disciplines and to help us to engage with them and the world around us. He and the students I studied with made my seminary experience an excellent one!

Dawn used to live across the street from Bill before she moved into the city and became one of my neighbors. Bill likes to claim responsibility for Dawn and my relationship, which may be slightly exaggerated! Yet, he did know both of us when we were single and he definitely encouraged us in our relationship.

Dr. Iverson signing a book for me. He’s written 2 or 3 books (one of them is called, Jesus and the Ways of Socrates, which is available on Amazon). He always likes to give me books.

I give thanks to the Lord for Dr. Iverson, and for how the Lord used Bill in our lives! I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence of my mentor and spiritual father. Thankfully the Lord brought other mentors into my life over the years, like Dr. Thomas Graham. I see God’s goodness and love in how he gave me such good men to influence my life.

For all these reasons and more it was so good to be reunited with my gregarious, intellectual, ironic and bold professor.

One of my prayers is that I can be a spiritual father and mentor to the men and women that the Lord privileges us to work with. I believe that is taking place through the church planters and leaders that we work within Mexico, Cuba, and other countries. Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ministry & Family in Fresno & Bakersfield

My dad, Ron Diaso and I

I never grow tired of seeing the gospel bring about transformation, a changed life!

I’m writing this post just as I’m getting ready to leave Fresno and head back home to the Border lands.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my parents in Fresno. While I was in Fresno my dad had a hernia surgery. Thanks for praying for him. It’s a relief to get him through that, and on the road to recovery. I also was able to visit two churches. One in Fresno and one in Bakersfield to promote our missions work and especially the work of church planting on the Border and Beyond.

I’m grateful for a fruitful trip. We wouldn’t see new churches planted without faithful partners who pray for us and give to the ministry.

God’s Grace Shines in Ensenada

The team from Skyview and from Renuevo for our summer VBS in Ensenada

Today I’d like to highlight an experience that I had while the group from Skyview Church in Colorado was with us while we were ministering in Ensenada. Skyview is a valuable partner that has grown close to Renuevo church and their leadership as they’ve come to aid in leading VBS over the last six years.

A couple of weeks ago on Monday while Skyview was in Ensenada, we went to the local hospital in the afternoon to do some outreach and community service. We handed out over 100 sandwiches and burritos and handed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. This hospital services low-income families, so the people were grateful to receive this aid with along with a loving smile.

Jorge’s Open Heart

Jorge my new friend who found forgiveness in Christ

While our group ministered to the people in this way I took the opportunity to ask the people if they’d like prayer. The Lord gave me the opportunity to pray with a few of the people who came to visit and support their family in the hospital. One of the guys that I prayed for in particular stood out. His name is Jorge and I mentioned him in my last post.

There were a number of people waiting outside the hospital and at first I wasn’t sure if I should share with Jorge. I prayed and asked the Lord as I looked for someone to talk to. I approached Jorge, and he told me his sister was in the hospital and she had a problem with her kidneys. I told him that I’d like to pray for him and his sister, and as we talked he told me that he’s struggled with drugs and alcohol for a long time. He admitted that he was separated from his wife, and that he felt hurt and bitter in regards to his ex wife. He felt like his relationship with his wife, and his frustration with her pushed him towards the drugs and alcohol.

Jorge finds Forgiveness and New Life

I took the opportunity to let him know about the importance of forgiveness. I explained that when you don’t forgive and when you hold on to bitterness you are actually hurting yourself. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. I asked him if he was familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, and he said, “yes”. I told him in the Lord’s Prayer part of the prayer is, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In a sense when you are unwilling to forgive and we pray this prayer we are asking the Lord to do the same to us.

The light bulb came on for Jorge. It made sense to him.

I said “Jorge, I believe that God loves you. I could have talked to any number of other people here today, but he sent me to talk to you.” Then we prayed and I a gave him the opportunity to confess Christ as his Lord and Savior as well as confess his sins and to forgive those that had offended him. After we prayed I sought to encourage him more and remind him of God’s great love.

Jorge started to cry. Here was this big, tough looking guy and God broke through. The Lord touched his heart and Jorge found love in Christ that day.

Paul reminds us, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (Emphasis mine)

There were a number of highlights to our week in Ensenada as there always are, but this was definitely at the top of the list. I never tire of seeing the gospel touch someone’s life and bring about change that has eternal implications. Wow! God is so good! Thank you Jesus for leading me to Jorge and giving me the opportunity to share the good news, the love of Christ with him!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Week In The Wild – VBS

A week of fun learning through In The Wild VBS

Our week in Ensenada with Renuevo church and Skyview is always one of the highlights of the year. This is the 6th summer in a row that Skyview has come from Denver, Colorado to help with VBS. One of the beautiful things that the Lord is doing through all the years is bringing maturity and depth to the relationships.

God continues to amaze as the gospel goes forth. We were able to minister to 55 children this year. At the end of the week, one of the teachers gave each of the children a questionnaire and asked them if they would like to have a relationship with Christ. All of them said yes and they expressed interest in continuing to grow in their faith.

The Gospel Touches Families

Petri sharing with the parents about the importance of helping their children to learn about Jesus and the Gospel

We received a number of positive comments from the parents. One parent, in particular, said that their son was coming home and he didn’t want to talk about the games and the crafts so much, but he wanted to talk to his parents about what he was learning about Jesus. Another mother whose son, Tomas is deaf, told us how one of her children kept encouraging the family to go to church. It sounded like more than anyone in the family he hoped that they might all attend church to learn more about Christ.

There were also two students who came with disabilities. Tomas who is deaf, and another girl who has cerebral palsy. It was heartwarming to see the love that these children received, and it was obvious that they enjoyed themselves.

Growing in and Through the Relationship

More VBS Fun!

One of the many benefits of VBS is it brings us all together for this one intense week. It gives Renuevo an opportunity to grow together as they spend extra time together in prep for the week. The Lord works through relationships, so it so good to see these dear friends come together and grow in their love for one another. This includes the relationships with those from Skyview. Each year they anxiously await the time they spend together. The week always ends with a tearful goodbye. Which is descriptive of the love that they share.

Petri is the pastor of Renuevo and his wife is Yudy. They have a wonderful team that works with them, and they are all gifted teachers. In fact, a number of them work in the school system in Mexico. They do an excellent job at organizing the week, and the VBS in particular.

A Week of Outreach and Impact

I had a chance to pray with Jorge and share the love of Christ with him!

Apart from the VBS, there were other opportunities to minister. On Monday afternoon we went to one of the local hospitals that serve many low-income families. The family members and friends waiting outside are needy. We gave out more than 100 sandwiches and burritos. We also gave them toothpaste, toothbrushes, and soap. I was surprised by how many people thanked us for the toothbrush and toothpaste! That seemed to be a real need that they had.

We were able to pray for some of the people that were at the hospital. The Lord gave me a wonderful experience sharing the gospel and praying for one particular man named Jorge (photo above). God did an amazing work in Jorge’s life as we shared and prayed together.

Healing Through Testimonies of God’s Grace

Hannah Berglund leading the children in one of the classes during VBS

One other activity that I’d like to mention before I end this post is that we had a number of young people from Ensenada as well as from Denver, Colorado. Most of them were girls this year ranging from around 15 – 22. On Wednesday night I asked two of them to share a brief testimony. Hannah Berglund and Monica Vasquez shared. They were vulnerable about their own struggles, and how Christ and the gospel have carried them through the difficulties they’ve faced.

After Hannah and Monica shared I asked the group if anyone else would like to share, and then a number of them expressed the challenges they have faced or are facing. Almost everyone got involved in loving and encouraging one another, and it ended up being a beautiful time of healing and redemption. God is so good.

The days were long during the week, but it’s surprising how the time flew by. I think we experienced almost all the emotions, much laughter, and joy, some sadness, and sorrow. Overall it was a time of experiencing God’s loving grace which brought us joy and contentment.

Join us in Prayer

On the final night, we celebrated our week together with some Mariachis!

Pray for Pastor Petri and Yudy and the Renuevo team as they follow up all the families that they were able to reach out to. Pray that these families will come to have a true and living relationship with the Savior.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org