Posts Tagged ‘grace renewal’

Victor & Sol’s Story of Grace
Victor & Sol Bravo

Victor & Sol Bravo

Dawn and I loved the time we spent this last week with Lo Mejor del Trigo’s newest church planting couple, Victor and Sol Bravo. They are a wonderful young couple with an amazing testimony.

Victor shared how he found himself in prison while he was working with recovering drug addicts. The police accused him of something he hadn’t done, because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time while helping rehabbing drug addicts.

The Pain of Prison

While Victor was in prison he was abused and the prison conditions were horrible. Meanwhile, the church Victor ministered at was faithfully praying for his release. Sol who had met Victor briefly at the church wrote him a letter to encourage him. They didn’t really know each other yet, but the letter was a great source of encouragement to Victor.

He faced the potential of being in prison 6 to 9 years! The church kept praying and fasting, and they had a lawyer working on the case.

Free At Last!

Finally, after much prayer and the work of the lawyers Victor was found innocent and released from prison. The Lord set Victor free!

Once he got out of prison he and Sol got to know one another through their church. Sol has a Masters in psychology. They seemed like an unlikely couple.  At the time Victor wasn’t working, he had just gotten out of prison and Sol had thought she would marry a doctor or someone who had a professional degree. Yet God has a way of surprising us!

The Lord doesn’t always work in conventional ways. Sol and Victor were married, and God is building into their lives and their family.

Free to Share the Good News of the Gospel
The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

God has already opened some amazing doors for them to minister. In March we will be helping them to start a new church in Rosarito, which is just south of Tijuana.

Victor and Sol are wonderful, choice servants of the Lord. Dawn and I feel privileged to be able to work with them. We can’t wait to see how the Lord will use them in this new church.

Pray with us as the Lord goes before us and brings this work together. We look forward to seeing the community radically transformed by the gospel.

Thank you Jesus for our friends, Victor and Sol Bravo! Thank you for your good and holy work.

In His Grip, Dave

A Transformed life!
Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados

Dave with Pastor Ivan Casados

God is on the move on the border in some amazing ways! I always come away encouraged after meeting with the pastors we are working with in Tijuana.

Pastor Ivan Casados shared with me how God is working and bringing transformation in the lives of people in his young church plant. One of the women in his church, we’ll call her Frida, has experienced life transformation as God has entered into her life.

Frida is the mother of four. She had been with four different men, similar to the Samaritan woman. Frida was not a good mother to her children. She would go out with men and leave her children to fend for themselves. Some days they would not have any food and she went out to dance and have fun with her lovers.

She felt like she needed these men, because they provided financial security and made her feel like somebody cared for her. Yet, these men were taking advantage of her, and she was neglecting her family.

Frida is Growing in Her Faith

God pursued Frida and she gave her life to Christ. She told the men to leave. It was hard for her, but now she is headed in the right direction.

Frida’s life was changed and she is now caring for her children. She’s growing in her faith in the Rivera del Bosque church that pastor Ivan Casados leads.

Ivan says that Frida has become an evangelist. She is  telling everyone she works with about Jesus and inviting them to church.

Isn’t it encouraging to see how Jesus changes lives?

In His Grip, Dave

Rocio & Ivan

Rocio & Ivan

New Life in Ribera del Bosque

Today I met with Ivan Casados and his wife Rocio. They are planting a church in Tijuana in Ribera del Bosque.

God is changing lives through the testimony of their church!

Ivan and Rocio shared with me how God is bringing life to their community. It was so encouraging to see the smiles on their faces as they told me all that God is doing in their church.

Joanna’s Story

Joanna and her husband Felipe were not getting along. Felipe got fed up with all the fighting, so he decided to walk out on the marriage. Joanna felt so down when Felipe left that she swallowed a whole bottle of pills in an attempt to take her life.

One of Joanna’s neighbors, Mari goes to the Lo Mejor del Trigo, Ribera del Bosque church. Mari found out what happened to Joanna and she began to love on her. She loved her with the love of Christ.

Joanna started coming to church and she heard the gospel message and she realized there was hope for life. She gave her life to Christ.

The story doesn’t end there. Felipe, Joanna’s husband came back home and now he’s started going to church. Ivan said that Felipe has not yet given his life to Christ, but he is showing great interest.

Felipe and Joanna also have a daughter who is coming to church with them.

Mari is growing and being used by the Lord as a faithful witness. Yet it wasn’t too long ago that Mari was angry and spiteful woman. Through the ministry of the church Mari came to Christ. The gospel is changing her. Ivan and Rocio told me that Mari is a leader, so they are encouraged to see God at work in their midst!

Join us in Prayer
  • Pray for Joanna and Felipe that God will bring healing to their marriage and that Felipe will soon come to Christ.
  • Pray for Ivan and Rocio as they minister in the church.
  • Pray for Dawn. She is having oral surgery today. Pray for her peace and a successful surgery.

In His Grip, Dave


Grace Renewal
Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Dick Kaufmann my friend and mentor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You Do NOT Need Surgery!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejoice with us! Even though we doubted God answered.

Keep Praying

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

In His Grip, Dave