Posts Tagged ‘Pastor Abraham Velazquez’

Renuevo – Renewal in Ensenada
Pastor Petri leading the church service

On Sunday Dawn and I went to Ensenada and worshipped with our church plant there, Renuevo. It’s a joy for us to connect with the people at the church. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are doing a wonderful job of leading this church. Both of them work in the public school system in Mexico. Petri is the superintendent of the middle schools in Tecate, and Yudy teaches at one of the schools there.

It’s no easy task being a bivocational church planter. Petri and Yudy aren’t able to give as much time to the church plant as they would if they were full-time in the ministry. On the positive side though it does help them and the church in other ways. It helps them to not be dependent on the church for their income. Although we’d love to see the church get to the point where it can support them, we’ve found that few churches are able to pull this off in Mexico.

The other benefit we’ve seen is that Petri and Yudy have a lot of connections in Ensenada, because of all their years working in the school system. Before they began working in Tecate they spent a number of years in both public and private schools in Ensenada. I’ve noticed that those that know them respect them, because they work hard and they are good at what they do.

A Church for All People
Pastor Victor & Sol. Sol leads tutoring for children that come from poor and underprivileged families in the community surrounding their church

A number of the other churches that we are helping to plant are among the urban poor, which is also an important group to reach for the gospel. Petri and Yudy are able to reach professionals, because of their education and background. We love the variety of churches that we work with, and that we help plant. There is a need for all kinds of churches that have the ability to reach different people in order to make a difference in a community.

Of the eleven churches that we’ve helped start since we moved to the border seven years ago. Seven of them target urban poor and four of them target professionals. Each of these pastors and the churches are unique and we’ve grown to love the pastors and their leadership team. They are among are closest friends.

Praying for Multiplication

Our prayer is that this is only the beginning and that we will begin to see even more rapid multiplication of church growth on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. We’ve also helped plant two churches in Cuba and we’ve ministered to more than 60 pastors there. Part of what excites me about Cuba is that some of our Mexican partners have been involved in ministry there with us.

God is doing something special between the relationship of the pastors from these two countries! As one of my friends told me recently we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we work towards multiplication! Hallelujah!

I enjoyed the opportunity to lead Eduardo & Norma with their son Ilai through baptism. They lost their first child soon after he was born. God is doing His healing work in them!

When Dawn and I were with Renuevo and Pastor Petri and Yudy on Sunday. I was able to lead the church in a baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It was a very special time, and I left feeling filled up as the Lord ministered to Dawn, me and all those in attendance.

In His Grip, Dave

Red de Multiplicación – Multiplication Network in El Salvador

IMG_1145Over 300 people from 19 Latin American countries gathered this week in El Salvador to promote more churches and healthier churches in the Spanish speaking world. One of the most exciting things for me was to see people from so many different cultures and denominational traditions coming together for the Kingdom of God.

I believe it glorifies God when his people come together and when they lay aside some of their differences for the advance of the church. The ministry that organized this event is called Multiplication Network or Red de Multiplicación in Spanish. Their slogan is more churches, healthier churches.

The Church in Growing in Latin America

Reports were given by various leaders about how many churches have been started, how many people have come to Christ, been baptized and other areas which demonstrate growth and health. With all the bad news going on in the world it does lift up my soul to see how God’s Spirit is moving and bringing about transformation in Latin American.

The main focus at the conference was on discipleship and life transformation. This is a much needed area in the church. The trends are showing that while the church is growing in Latin America, that many Christians are becoming nominal. Their faith is shallow, and therefore their influence on the culture is minimal.

We can’t be satisfied with just getting people in the door of the church. O Lord, do wake up the church and bring about true transformation that will rock the nations!

Collaborating with Friends & Colleagues


Pastor Edson Martinez, David Diaso (Me), Pastor Abraham Velazquez and MTW Missionary Peter Boling

Another highlight for me was that some of my friends and colleagues in ministry were able to join me at the conference. Peter Boling who works with me in the Baja was able to attend. Also, two pastors from Ministerios Transformación attended, Pastor Abraham Velazquez and Pastor Edson Martinez.

On the last night we had a little time available to explore San Salvador and we saw some of the city together and enjoyed pupusas, which is one of the delicious El Salvadoran meals.

My ongoing prayer has been for breakthrough. I long to see breakthrough where we are locally on the border and The Baja. I also long to see breakthrough in other parts of México, in the great cities of Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, etc. I pray that the Lord’s Spirit will move in such an amazing way in Mexico and that it will spill over into other countries in Latin America. My desire is to be a part of what God is doing. This desire, this dream is not too big for the Lord. O Lord, do you mighty and awesome work on the earth as it is in heaven!

In His Grip, Dave

The Lord’s Amazing Work

Worship at Rojo Gomez

Worship at Rojo Gomez

God continues to amaze me with all he is doing here on the border. Sometimes we are on the edge watching and cheering on the forward march. At other times we a more directly involved, but it doesn’t seem to matter, God is doing something special here.

On Sunday we were able to celebrate with our dear friends from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). First, we celebrated LMT – Rojo Gomez’s 9th anniversary. The Spirit ministered to us as Pastor Abraham Velazquez led the growing church in worship. Then Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of the LMT movement in Mexico preached a wonderfully uplifting sermon.

Rojo Gomez is one of the first church that LMT started. The church is full of life and God’s presence is working in a powerful way.

Pastor Gilberto Garcia and his wife, Maribel with Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Pastor Gilberto Garcia and his wife, Maribel with Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Celebrating Church #25

Just about the time we ate our last bite of Birria we headed off for LMT’s – Torres de Matamoros inaugural service. Pastor Gilberto Garcia led a wonderful time worship. There were so many people in attendance some had to sit outside during the service.

A joyous celebration!

Installing Pastor Gilberto Garcia in the new church!

Installing Pastor Gilberto Garcia in the new church!

This church marks the 25th church that LMT has started. Daniel Nuñez vision is to plant 50 churches, so they are half way there. They are excited and we are thrilled to see God at work. This church is also special, because it was built in memory of Jacob Griffiths. Jacob passed away last year in a plane crash. His dad, Scott and his family have been very involved in Mexico. They are close friends and supporters of the work of Lo Mejor del Trigo.

God’s at Work in San Antonio de las Minas

The group we are growing with in San Antonio de las Minas

The group we are learning with and growing with in San Antonio de las Minas

Dawn, Hannah and I are presently in San Antonio de las Minas going through a course on life transformation. God has enriched us spiritually through our time here. It’s extra special, because we have some of our co-workers here: Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. We also have friends here from La Nueva Jerusalen church in Ensenada: Jesus & Yudy Petrikowski and Jorge & Luz Salazar. Friends from Tijuana also came, Pastor Felipe Hernandez and his wife, Laura.

It’s a busy time, but it’s a good time and we give thanks to the Lord for all his good work. Lord continue to do you amazing work on the border, the Baja and beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

Daniel Nuñez with the pastors of Lo Mejor Del Trigo

Daniel Nuñez with the pastors of Lo Mejor Del Trigo

God’s Amazing Work in TJ

I see God doing an amazing work in Tijuana, and it’s fun to be a part of it. There’s so much bad news in the world it’s refreshing to receive good news.

The Lord has blessed me with some wonderful pastors to work with in Tijuana. Last week I was especially encouraged!

On Sunday I preached at the church we helped start. Such a great group of people! The church responded well to my message. They blessed Dawn and me, and we felt we were able to love on and minister to them. God is using pastor Rodrigo and his wife, Nancy to build the church.

Then on Monday Bill Yarbrough and I were able to be with Daniel Nuñez and all the pastors with Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat). Bill spoke on Christ centered preaching, and they loved it. It’s wonderful to see the gospel influence the influencers of a church planting movement.

Coaching and Encouraging Pastors

Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right) pastors, ministers, pastors wives

Rodrigo & Nancy Vallarta, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham Velazquez (from left to right)

Later in the week I met with some of the pastors that I’m coaching and encouraging in their ministries. I had a great time with pastor Abraham Velazquez. He shared with me how he is preaching the gospel in his church, and how God is using it in people’s lives. Some of the things Bill and I have shared with him he is passing on. Wow, that thrilled my heart to hear!

I do believe God is winning in Tijuana!

Abraham has a wonderful family. Dawn and I love Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are quickly becoming some of our favorite people in Tijuana. The Lord is doing an amazing work in their family and through their ministry at the church.

Praise Jesus for His Good Work

I praise the Lord that he is using our efforts to bring positive change in Tijuana.

Thanks for standing with us on this journey of faith for Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

God’s Math in Tijuana is the same as it is anywhere else around the world. The Gospel + nothing = everything!

On Sunday I spoke at one of the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) churches in Rojo Gomez, which is an area in eastern Tijuana.

It was so encouraging, because there was a great group of people. Pastor Abraham Velazquez asked them to invite their friends and family to the service. They did just that!

The Message of Grace

I preached on Galatians 1:1-9. I love this passage. Paul speaks somewhat harshly to the Galatians, because they are turning to a different gospel. Then he adds, not that there is another one. If you change even the smallest part of the gospel you lose it all together. The gospel of Christ, is that Jesus is the only way. It is through Christ’s sacrifice and his resurrection that we receive the grace of God. We can’t add to the perfect work that Christ has already done for us.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  —Galatians 1:6-9, ESV

The simple message of the gospel is that in Christ alone are we saved, by grace alone, through faith alone. It’s elementary math, but unfortunately we often like to add to this formula that God has laid out for us.

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

My good friend, pastor Abraham told me that he’s been preparing his people and preaching about grace. At first they resisted the message of grace. They thought he was teaching that it didn’t matter how they lived, but that is not the point. If you believe that you can live in sin you’ve missed it altogether. It’s just that we don’t get to God through our good works.

Another big part of the teaching of grace is that only the gospel can truly change us from the inside out.

Through Abraham’s preaching and the work of the Spirit the Lord had prepared the heart of the people. They were ripe to receive the message.

A Wonderful Response to the Gospel

David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time

David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time – pray for God’s continued work in their lives.

After the message I asked people to come up for prayer if they felt they had a need in their life. Many came up! Then I wondered how we were going to pray for them all, but little by little Dawn, Martha, Abraham and I prayed for them.

One woman, Rosa gave her life to Christ. A young couple who came for the first time asked prayer for their marriage. They came with many needs, and I believe the Lord’s Spirit touched them and brought healing to their broken places!

Pray for pastor Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are a beautiful young couple who love and serve the Lord. God has given them many gifts, and he is blessing them as they serve at the church in Rojo Gomez.

Thank you Lord, for giving me and my family the opportunity to minister to these dear friends.

In His Grip, Dave