Posts Tagged ‘Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén’

Skyview Returns!
The group from Skyview with some of the leaders from La Nueva Jerusalén

The group from Skyview in the summer of 2015 with some of the members from La Nueva Jerusalén

This week we are gearing up for the arrival of our friends from Denver, Skyview Presbyterian Church. This is the third summer in a row that they’ve come to work with us, and partner with the church in Ensenada.

The wonderful thing about when a church like Skyview makes a commitment to keep coming back and minister with the people is that they get to know each other. They grow to love each other!

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

I’ve enjoyed observing the relationship, and how it has grown. Tim and Kari Berglund, who lead the trips have developed a very close relationship with Petri and Yudy Petrikowski our leaders in Ensenada. Even though the Petrikowski’s don’t speak English and the Berglund’s aren’t fluent in Spanish they are able to communicate. They use Google translator to help them.

I must say that these computer translation tools have come a long ways. They do a good job and come pretty close to getting the translation right!

Skyview is bringing a group of 10 to work with La Nueva Jerusalén, and one of their mission churches. They will partner together to hold a VBS outreach.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray for us as we all make our final preparations for the week of outreach, which will start this Saturday, July 23 and go until the following Saturday.

Prayer is always a huge need and greatly appreciated!

In His Grip, Dave

MTW Redeemer Ensenada Medical Missions
Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalén

Christ’s love radiated through the medical team of 15 that came from Redeemer San Diego to the 96 patients that were treated in Ensenada, Mexico. The Lord gave us a beautiful day of outreach as we ministered with our good friends Castillo Fuerte and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church).

What an excellent experience! Three people prayed with us and gave their lives to Christ. We pray for many more to come to know the Father!

This Video Gives You a Glimpse Into our Day

Pray for Christ’s love to continue to shine forth in Ensenada, and that hearts will be transformed by the gospel in that city.

In His Grip, Dave

Flooded with God’s Blessings!
Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Group from Redeemer SD & La Nueva Jerusalen

Sometimes I feel like Dawn and I are working hard and we are not seeing much in the way of progress. Yet there are other times, when the dam breaks and God floods us with bountiful increase.

This weekend God broke through!

Redeemer San Diego brought down a medical team to work with the Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen (New Jerusalem church) and their mission church, Castillo Fuerte.

I was blown away by how the love of Christ was demonstrated in a practical way to all who attended the medical clinic. Our team consisted of 4 doctors and 3 dentists along with 8 other medical assistants. Those from the local church worked alongside the medical staff and reached out to all the people who came to receive care. Last Spring Redeemer brought down a team of 8 to reach out in the community for 4 days.

New Life in Christ!
Maria with her young child

Maria with her young child. God touched Maria and brought her to faith!

We were able to treat 96 people, which was incredible. The local church set up a prayer station and we prayed for every patient, and we shared the gospel with all of them. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was to see three people come to know the Lord on a personal level as they prayed to receive Christ.

As I shared the gospel with Ana Maria, Ulises and Maria I could see the Lord touch them, and minister to them. Maria and Ulises had tears in their eyes as they experienced God’s love.

The gospel gave them hope for a better tomorrow.

Pray for Ana Maria, Maria and Ulises that they will grow in their new found faith. We pray that the gospel penetrates deeply into their hearts and brings true life change. There are many things working against them, and we know the evil one is like a roaring lion prowling around seeking someone to devour.

Humble Servant Hearts
Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

Oriesa taking the vitals and getting background info for the patients that were treated

It touched me as the Lord gave me the privilege to bring this medical team down to Ensenada. They were willing to give up their Saturday to love and serve the needy. Redeemer San Diego is one of my favorite groups to work with. They come to serve with gentle and caring hearts. Each of them treated the patients with respect, and Christ shined brightly through them.

This morning (Sunday) while I was worshipping the Lord during the church service the Lord’s Spirit touched me and I was moved to tears. As I reflected on what was going on, I believe in part I was touched by being able to be a part of a powerful work of God the day before during the medical clinic.

Hannah’s Wilderness Camp
Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah’s life!

The other experience that moved me was that Hannah came home like a new person from her wilderness camping trip. Dawn and I prayed, and we asked you to pray. The Lord answered in a big way. Hannah is so excited about all that Jesus did through the camping experience. She grew closer to her Lord, and she gained a number of new friends! Yay Jesus!

Dawn and I look to the Lord for more breakthroughs as the gospel goes forth and touches and transforms the hearts of men, women and children.

In His Grip, Dave

God’s Work in and Through Oriesa in Ensenada
Oriesa ministering the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa sharing the love of Christ in Ensenada!

Oriesa Wiyono, a young medical student, who is currently working as paramedic in San Diego wrote a beautiful piece about what God did in and through her while she was in Ensenada, Mexico. I asked her if I could share what she wrote on my blog, and she agreed, so I’ve copied it below. You can check out her blog site here…

Dawn, Hannah and I had such a wonderful experience while we were in Ensenada with the team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church and La Nueva Jerusalen. I love reading how God used the trip to touch of the lives of those that went on the trip.

Oriesa’s Testimony
Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan, Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Oriesa with Christina Tan, Teresa Tan,
Patricia Lee & Tiffany Lu

Jose is this 5′0 foot, brown skin, hazel eyed man with this funny and bright infectious personality about him. When I had told him that I drive an ambulance in the states, he tells me that I should drive “rapido y furioso” like the Fast and Furious movie as he proceeds to make an artificial honk and wail siren sound. Jose lives with his wife, his daughter with down syndrome, he serves as an elder at his church and he currently attends school in order to obtain his high school degree in hopes that he may return to the seminary program he once was a part of. During our seafood dinner near the Ensenada Coast, he shared with me stories about misfortunes along with blessings in his life. While on the topic of medical missions, he proceeded to ask a question that would greatly impact my perspective during the trip.

“…would you rather share the gospel or provide medical care for the people in Ensenada?”

“Provide medical care,” I said, “I.. uh….it’s easier.”

As I answered, I felt a sheer rush of guilt that had gripped my heart. A team nurse on the trip named Patricia had shared with me that the one big thing that we are unable to do in heaven that we can do on earth is to share the gospel, but here I was, afraid, timid and worried about the sake of my comfort and embarrassment. I felt my cheeks go flush as they often did. I’d been exposed and made bare to a man who I barely knew, who barely knew me. I gritted my teeth and told Jose that I was scared to share the gospel because a rejection–to me feels as if someone was to reject my whole entire being and essentially everything that I live for. I mean… it took me 22 years to understand such a backwards paradigm of love, how am I to share it with someone in such a short period of time? But as I thought about it on the drive home, the concept of His love is so simple. It really is.

The past 22 years of my life has been Christ teaching me this one thing–Jesus loves me, but it is I that has rejected Him countless times, spat in His face, ran away, crucified Him, sought pleasures in worldly things and treasured His gifts more than I treasured my Savior. How selfish of me.. I took advantage of His love and I ran away like a shameless robber.

I then remembered that Jesus said in John 15:18-21:

If the world hates you, remember that is has hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.

Jose then told me that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. And because of that we have this mission to extend the same kind of grace and rejoice in the glory of Christ with believers as we all have a calling to bring one another and the wanderers back home with the different gifts and talents He has equipped us with. Fear is inevitable, but don’t use it as an excuse to not extend the gift of salvation to someone else. He further reminded me that rejection is normal because as one body and as siblings, we fight, reject one other, spew out venom without words, take each other for granted (the provision of free medical care), we take the toys we want from each other’s grasp and we run–much like how we all have done to Christ…

But all the more, this ought to point me to the big picture of the magnitude and grace of His love.

You know.. if I were in their shoes, if I was lost, wondering and searching, I think I would like to know this:

“Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son to make a simple point: never mind what you’ve done, just come home.” – Unka Glen

With that said, everything we have done in Mexico is up to the Lord. Despite being able to see 445 patients in 4 days and being able to say that 40 people came to Christ, our works and efforts through calling these people, inviting them out to church, providing medical care, praying for them and following up with them are futile without Him. So how many will actually come back, attend the church and further their relationship with their Savior? None of us will know for sure, but we know God is always good and in Him, all things are possible.

IMG_9440So as I sit here having done nothing to live such a privileged life, I realize that I would often think back to the degree of injustice and poverty and it makes me so angry. However, being able to hear stories like Jose’s and just being able to see such an impoverished city has definitely opened my eyes to the Lord’s heart of compassion for the sick, widows, orphans and those in need. Im learning to be thankful for every drop of clean running water that I have, paved roads, clean toilets, insulated housing etc.. but it’s so easy to get caught up in safety, security and all these little things that we have or don’t have when at the core of everything–Jesus is all you need. He loves you. He will sustain you. He is enough.

The past 4 days in Ensenada have been humbling to say the least. When I was able to see the provision of medical care alongside the sharing of the gospel, I was so touched and that’s when I understood the power of short term missions. When I had returned, a lot of people asked me the purpose of giving someone high BP meds for two weeks–but see, that misses the purpose entirely. The mission had always been and will always be to share the gospel. Medical treatment lasts for a while, but Jesus heals for a lifetime.

That’s all there is to it.


Dr. Christina Tan’s Missions Report
Dr. Christina Tan treating patients during the medical outreach

Dr. Christina Tan treating patients during the medical outreach

One of the doctors, Dr. Christina Tan, who went on our medical missions trip to Ensenada wrote a report of her experience. I asked her if I could share with you, she said yes, so here it is. Her story lifted me up, and I think you will enjoy hearing her point of view as well.

Joy Filled Ministry in Mexico!
Mexico was filled with joy, good friendships and rewarding work! Thanks for all your prayers for speedy border crossings, good health, and busy clinics!
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

Our team of 8 saw a total of 450 patients over 3 half days and 1 full day of clinic (Monday – 1/2 day at Ensenada church site, Tuesday – full day at a church plant on the outskirts of town, Wednesday – 1/2 day at the same site as Tuesday, Thursday – 1/2 day at a church plant among the farming community 1 hr away).

Everyone people were prayed for by our Mexican church partners, and about 50 prayed to receive Christ for the first time.
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

For the medically inclined, some of the interesting cases we saw were hypertensive urgency, poorly controlled diabetes, we were able to arrange follow up through a doctor at our partner Mexican church who may be able to see some of these patients for free. Many patients had their rotting teeth pulled by our dental expert, Sarah Oh.

Thursday evening, Teresa and I caught a flight to the bay area for some much needed time with family before getting back to work this week. One of the ways I was encouraged this time around was in seeing how God provided for our needs. As my Spanish vocabulary is limited to 5 words on a good day, having a good translator helps me out tremendously.


Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

On our second day of clinic, we were greeted by 7 bright eyed junior high students who were volunteering their spring break to translate for us. They were fantastic! (see 2nd pic)We were so blessed by your partnership, thank you so much for your prayers! Praying that God would bless you and provide for you needs here (Phil 4:13) and most fully in

His mercy and love toward us in the new heaven to come:
(Revelations 7: 16-17)
‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Your sister,
Christina Tan
What a wonderful testimony of God’s grace shining through and working in the lives of so many people! Thank you Jesus!
In His Grip, Dave
The team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

The team from Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego

Christ’s Love Shines Forth!

One of the many things I was impressed about last week during our medical missions trip was the love that our Redeemer Presbyterian San Diego showed. They demonstrated patience as they ministered to the many patients and showed them the love of Christ.

Their sacrificial service along with that of those from the host church La Nueva Jerusalén opened the door for the gospel to be experienced. The patients that came not only were prayed for and heard the gospel, but they also saw it lived out before them.

The Lord Brought The People
Maddie Smith working triage

Maddie Smith working triage

When we began the medical clinic I wondered how many people would come. It started slowly, but then the people started coming. Everyone pitched in and worked together so well.

The Beauty of the Gospel

It reminds me of the passage in Isaiah, which proclaims the beauty of the gospel.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” —Isaiah 52:7 (ESV)

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

Dr. Christina Tan taking a break & having some fun with Manuella

The more than 400 patients that came saw the beauty of the gospel through the witness of the two churches from different cultures coming together. More than 40 of them responded to the call of the gospel and prayed to receive Christ.

Many were unsure of their security in Christ. We took the opportunity to strengthen them in their faith, and to encourage them to connect to the church and grow in the love for Christ and understanding of the gospel.

Pray for Lasting Fruit
Nurse Practitioners, Patricia Lee caring for one of the little patients

Nurse Practitioners, Patricia Lee caring for one of the little patients

Pray that the seed that was planted will bear much fruit and that it will be rooted deeply into their lives. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to draw those that are on the fence that heard the gospel to himself. That the Lord will strengthen the local body of believers and grow his church.

Praise him with us for his mighty work!

In His Grip, Dave

The Medical Missions Outreach – A Huge Success
The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

The medical team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church with the translators

On the ride back to the church after our last day of the medical clinic our Mexican brothers and sisters were sharing how much the last four days had affected them. They said seeing so many people in need reminded them of how blessed they are. Then they commented on the even greater spiritual need. What a blessing it was to share the good news of the gospel with so many!

Their comments impressed me and it encouraged me.

The Gospel Touched Many Deeply
Two of our loving doctors in the blue, sisters, Christina & Teresa Tan

Two of our loving doctors in the blue, sisters, Christina & Teresa Tan

God broke through in a big way! Not only in the hearts and lives of the medical group that came down to minister, and those in the church, but also the more than 400 that received medical attention.

This was one of the best, if not the best short-term mission project that I’ve ever been apart of. My congratulations to the medical group from Redeemer Presbyterian Church that came down with such servant hearts.

Not only did the team of women work long and hard, but they didn’t have water where they were staying and they weren’t able to bathe. They did all this without complaining.

Sharing the gospel and ministering to the people through prayer

Sharing the gospel and ministering to the people through prayer

We ministered to 450 people in only four days. Each of the patients were prayed for and then attended to by an amazingly loving group of doctors and medical staff. As we prayed for the patients a team of us also shared the gospel with them. Over 40 gave their lives to Christ. We encouraged many others who were Christians to get involved in the life of the church and grow in their faith.

God is on The Move in Ensenada
Patricia Lee lovingly caring for an infant patient

Patricia Lee lovingly caring for an infant patient

God’s Spirit moved in a very powerful way!

The home church Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) did such a wonderful job promoting the medical clinic that we had more patients than we were able to attend to. One of the leaders from Redeemer San Diego said they felt like this was a true partnership in the way the two churches worked together. Both groups came together united in Christ to share the love of Christ in the three communities that we did the medical outreach in.

Another huge victory was that Dawn and Hannah were able to join me on the trip. It was such a blessing to have them with us, and to see them love on and interact with our friends.

God Heard Our Prayers!
Sarah Oh our wonderfully caring dentist

Sarah Oh our wonderfully caring dentist

Thank you so much for praying. When we do these intense weeks there is a lot of spiritual warfare that is going on. We sensed the pressure. But the Lord protected us, and he made the trip a big success.

Continue to pray that the many people who were touched by the gospel will be folded into the church and grow in their faith.

In His Grip, Dave

The Bittersweet Good-bye
The youth at the van with some of their young friends  that they made during the week

The youth at the van with some of their young friends that they made during the week

The setting was bittersweet when we all said good-bye this last Saturday.

It was bitter, because it was hard to say good-bye, but the reason for the tears was sweet. In just a weeks time people from two different cultures, who speak two different languages and who live a long ways from each other came to love each other.

In the serving together to pull off the VBS and the fellowship during meals and outings a bond was built. Thank you Jesus for your great and mighty work. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer.

The Unexpected Gift
Our last meal with our friends from the two churches - Skyview and La Nueva Jerusalén

Our last meal with our friends from the two churches – Skyview and La Nueva Jerusalén

I didn’t know what exactly to expect from this last week. I hadn’t spent a lot of time with the Nueva Jerusalén church, so it was a learning experience for me as well.

It encourages me not only that the ministry went well. Many kids heard the gospel. I’m also thrilled that those that served grew to love each other. The love of Christ shone brightly!

Dawn and I hope that this will lead to something greater. A furtherance of the kingdom through these relationships. The possibility of more churches started in Ensenada. O Lord, please do work. Hear our prayer and build on the foundation built this last week.

We also hope that those that came from Denver will be forever changed by the experience, even if it’s in a small way. We hope they will grow in their passion for missions, and the needs of our neighbors in Mexico.

Dave and Dawn with Jesus Petrikowski and his wife Yudi

Dave and Dawn with Jesus Petrikowski and his wife Yudi

There were many tears when we said good-bye. It was sad, but it encouraged me knowing that they connected in a significant way.

St. Paul’s Good-bye

It reminds me some of when Paul said good-bye to some of the churches he started. There was much weeping. That was a longer and stronger relationship, but we got a taste of what Paul experienced.

“And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.” —Acts‬ ‭20‬:‭36-38‬ ESV

One of the most difficult things about missions, even short-term missions is saying good-bye.

I pray the Lord will bless and encourage both of these churches as they continue to be faithful to serve the Lord. O Lord, give us the opportunity to serve you together again!

In His Grip, Dave


The Beauty of Ensenada!
A view of Ensenada at night

A view of Ensenada at night

Ensenada is a beautiful port city in Mexico. It’s about 70 miles South of the border. This week we’ve grown to know the beauty of the city and the people. Skyview Presbyterian from Denver, Colorado has been in this city all week loving on and encouraging the people.

It’s wonderful to see people from different cultures and languages come together to serve the Lord.

God Comes Through Again!
VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

Iglesia La Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church) has worked side by side with Skyview all week-long. Over 50 children have shown up for VBS.

One of the participants from Skyview said he didn’t feel like they were helping very much. Then a friend from the New Jerusalem Church said that the church didn’t hold VBS last year, so that Skyview’s presence gave them the boost they needed to get it done.

Many smiles and happy sounds are seen and heard around the church this week. The church is reaching children from families that aren’t part of the church. We pray that some of these families will soon come to Christ.

The Value of Short-term Groups
The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Dawn and I love short-term mission projects for a number of reasons. God used short-term mission trips to call both of us into missions, so we personally have benefited from them. We know God can use a trip like this to grab a person’s heart and change it forever for the good of his kingdom work.

When these trips are done well, they can also be a tremendous encouragement to the church receiving the team from the U.S.

The Lord is Opening Doors for Ministry Expansion

Our prayer is that the New Jerusalem church will grow to be even healthier and strong, and that we will be able to partner to see new churches planted in Ensenada. We already have some missionary candidates interested in serving here. The local church also has a vision for church planting.

Everything in Mexico happens through relationships, so trips like this are key to building and strengthening our relationship.

Enjoying fellowship in one of the house church groups

Enjoying fellowship in one of the house church groups

Our friends will head by to Denver tomorrow evening, but the work here continues. They will have left with new friendships and having strengthened and encouraged the church here as well as our missionary work.

We give thanks to the Lord for the work he is doing here and his faithfulness!

Thanks for praying for God’s care and the advance of the kingdom.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Please continue to pray for Pastor Leo and his wife, Gloria. He is in the hospital waiting for surgery to remove the cancer in his kidney.

Nothing Means Nothing in Ensenada
Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

Dave preaching at Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada

On Sunday Dawn and I had the wonderful opportunity to worship with Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada. I enjoy driving down to Ensenada. It’s a beautiful drive along the Pacific shoreline.

I preached on Romans 8, Nothing Means Nothing. The focus of my sermon was that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Paul starts off Romans 8 stating that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 8:1 ESV

What a wonderful promise!

The whole chapter is filled with grace and God’s amazing promises.

The Father’s Love – Abba, Father
Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Some of our friends from the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

Paul emphasizes the nearness of God. That he is our Abba, Father. He is our daddy. O Lord, work in my heart and help me to see you in this way. I pray that I will have a close relationship with you, and that I will grow in that relationship. I pray this will be true for those in my family and those that I’m close to as well.

The close and intimate relationship we can have with God is a demonstration of his great love for us.  Jonathan Edwards says, “Love is not just one of God’s attributes. It is the essence of God. God is love.”

Not only is God love, but Paul assures us that for those that are in Christ, that nothing can separate us from his love.

Where is Your Focus?
Dawn & Dave

Dawn & Dave

We tend to focus on how things are going in our life. The circumstances of life. Those are the barometers we often use to determine if God loves us, and how much he loves us. Yet Paul makes it clear that we will endure hardships in this life, and that none of those things can separate us from God love.

If you are in Christ there no condemnation, you are a co-heir with Christ adopted into his forever family. You are secure in Christ and regardless how bad the circumstances may be there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Nothing, Zero, Nada!

Rejoice my friend for Christ has overcome the world. There is victory in Jesus. You and I have the privilege of living in this victory with Christ.

Summer Short-term Missions Project in Ensenada
Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

My desire was to encourage the church in Ensenada. Many Christians live defeated lives as if there was no hope. Many wallow in the mud, when God has a whole ocean for us to enjoy and experience.

Some friends of ours from a church in Denver, Skyview, will be working with the church in Ensenada in July. We are excited about what God has in store. How the Lord will use that trip to build into the lives of all those that are involved as well minister to those in the community who do not yet know our Savior.

Pray for the Lord’s leading as we plan and organize this project.

In His Grip, Dave