Posts Tagged ‘Pastor Daniel Nuñez’

Tragedy of Death and Hope in 2016
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Our last family photo with Hannah

When I look back over this last year there are a number of wonderful accomplishments that we’ve seen the Lord do. Unfortunately, all of these achievements are overshadowed by Hannah’s death. It makes me feel like we are ending 2016 on a down note. There have been plenty of down days since Hannah’s passing. Yet, I see the Lord picking each of us up, Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and me.

Yes, death is a terrible, even demonic and cruel thing. I believe and feel that this is true in a more intense way that I ever have. While I recognize the pain and the tragedy of death, and Hannah’s early homegoing I see the Lord lifting us up from the ashes. We are down, but not out. I believe our family has drawn closer to the Lord than we have ever been. In many ways I sense that God is not done with us, but just beginning. He is going to bring something beautiful out of our pain, even if we can’t see what that is yet.

We may be going through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” but this shadow has not completely snuffed out the light. Jesus did some amazing things in 2016 that we should celebrate.

Accomplishments by God’s Grace
The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

The inaugural service for Ministerios Transformación in Rosarito. Church #29

This year by God’s grace we:

  • Helped start our 5th new church planting project with Ministerios Transformación since 2012. It was Ministerios Transformación’s 29th church!
  • Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah are off to a great start in this new church in Rosarito, just South of Tijuana.
  • Partnered with in planting, coaching and training Pastor Daniel Nuñez and the ministry of Ministerios Transformación
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Victor Bravo and his wife, Sol who are seeing people come to Christ and lives transformed in the church plant they are serving at in Plan Libertador that we helped start in 2015. Every time I talk to Victor and Sol I come away encouraged.
  • Coached and partnered with Pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio. They are making a difference as they are reaching out in Ribera del Bosque. We helped plant their church in 2014.
  • Coached and helped launch a new work called Renuevo in Ensenada. Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy are leading this new church planting project.
  • Led 1 medical missions brigade with Redeemer San Diego & La Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada, Mexico. We ministered to more than 80 adults and children, and 9 of them gave their lives to Christ.
  • Led one summer VBS in Ensenada with Skyview Presbyterian and La Nueva Jerusalén for 50 children and presented the gospel to them along with their families
  • Started a two-year incubator training for 10 church planters in Tijuana
  • Began a coaching network for pastors and their wives in Mexico
  • Began to coach pastors and train coaches in Cuba – this is a new and exciting ministry that the Lord is opening up for us.
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

I don’t fully know why we experienced such a huge loss this year, but I believe one reason is because our enemy is not happy with all that God is doing. He desires to discourage us and defeat us. Yet, our Lord lifts us up and gives us victory. All our many friends are praying for us, which sustains us. So I will praise Jesus. Hallelujah!

My family and I stand with Job in stating, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a)

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Praise God with us for sustaining us, and giving us so many victories in Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Walls and Roof Are Up!
Our amazing group who came down to build the church with Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah on the right

Our amazing group who came down to build the church with Pastor Obed Lares and his wife Cesiah on the right

I’ll never cease to be amazed by how much work a group of well-coordinated people can get done in one day!

When we arrived on Saturday in Rosarito to build church number 29 with our friends from Ministerios Transformación only the foundation had been laid. Then by the time we left at the end of the day, all the walls were up and the roof was almost finished. A few stayed later to finish up the roof.

Pastor  Daniel Nuñez and his team had done a great deal of prep work before we arrived. They cut the wood and had it laid out for us, and the difficult pieces had already been put together. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see how quickly the church goes up in one day.

This last Saturday was a warm and sunny day, so everybody was worn out about mid-day. Our group isn’t used to hammering nails and lifting walls, siding and roofing. When we crossed the border at the end of the day I could see a sense of accomplishment in those that came. After a while as we drove back they got quiet. They were tired. They worked hard, and the Lord used them to help bring light to a new community.

A Labor of Love
Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave and Pastor Obed Lares

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave and Pastor Obed Lares

At the end of the day Pastor Obed Lares said the church would always remember the group through the pictures and be thankful for their labor of love that brought the light of Christ to the community.

Obed and his wife, Cesiah brought their children and their parents and they worked hard at making the midday meal for us and keeping us hydrated.

I always love these days even though I don’t have a background in construction. It lifts up my heart to see so many people come together to work on a lasting initiative. The building is just the beginning, but it gives the church a presence in the community.

Our son, David Jr. (far right) hard at work. He flew out to join us. It's a family affair

Our son, David Jr. (far right) hard at work. He flew out to join us. It’s a family affair

The Launch of a New Church

The work is not done. This coming Saturday I will lead another group down and we will put up all the drywall, doors, windows and shingles. Our goal is to finish the church by this coming Saturday the 15th, so they can hold their inaugural service on Sunday, October 16th.

Pastor Obed is thrilled to officially launch the church on the 16th, because on that day he also celebrates his birthday. A double celebration!

It will be a glorious day!

Jeff Sloan with the neighbor Roberto who will be the first church member along with his family

Jeff Sloan with the neighbor Roberto who will be the first church member along with his family

The building is just the beginning, but it’s a good and an important beginning to seeing lives transformed as those in the community encounter Christ.

The church is in a humble community, and the family that lives right next to the church were blessed to have their home built by another ministry, YWAM. I was able to meet the family, and Roberto the man of the house told me they were planning on being the first members of the church. The Lord touched me as I saw Roberto and his family pitch in and work with us in seeing the church built. They also let us use their electricity and their bathroom. Two essentials!

Pray for the advance of the kingdom in the community of Colonia Ramos in Rosarito. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A New Church is Being Born
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Pastor Obed Lares & Cesiah and their three children on the land where the church is being built

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Pastor Obed Lares & Cesiah and their three children on the land where the church is being built

This weekend is very exciting as we partner with our friends from Ministerios Transformación to build church #29. I will take a group down from San Diego to start this Saturday the 8th of October and then finish on the following Saturday, the 15th of October.

This is one of the highlights of the year for us to be involved in starting a new church. Every time we help plant a church I think of the lives that will be changed as a result of the ministry of these churches.

Obed & Cesiah Lares

Obed & Cesiah Lares

Pastor Obed Lares will be leading this church plant. Dawn and I have grown to love Obed and his wife, Cesiah over the last several months as we’ve gotten to know them. They have tremendous gifts and they love the Lord.

I can’t wait to see all that the Lord will do through them. I believe many lives will be transformed by the power of the gospel. The light of Christ is coming to this dark place, and it will shine brightly.

Pray with Us

Please pray for us as we are already experiencing some attack from the enemy. Pray for our family and the safety of all those that join us on the trip.

I asked  our son, David Jr. to come out and help us out. This is a special blessing for us. David loves building the churches, so he agreed to fly down, in order to be with us! It’s an added bonus.

Thank you Jesus for your marvelous work!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Foundation is Being Laid
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Pastor Daniel Nunez with Obed & Cesiah and family on the land where church #29 will be built

Daniel sent me an exciting message earlier today. He said, “we are putting in the foundation today.” He was referring to the foundation for church number 29 for Ministerios Transformación.

I’m working with pastor Daniel and coordinating a group of churches in San Diego that are part of the Harbor network to go down to Mexico on October 8th and 15th to help build the church. It’s a wonderful experience to bring people together to start something new, especially when it’s a new church that will bring the light of Christ into a community!

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The foundation of the church is being laid!

Of course, in order to be able to build the church, we need a strong foundation. I told Daniel to make sure he sent me a picture of the progress today.

On Tuesday night Dawn, Hannah and I met with pastor Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah. They are the church planters for this church. We’ve grown to love them over the months that we’ve met with them. They are a wonderful young couple, who love Jesus!

While we were together we studied the importance of developing discernment in ministry. I love how teachable Obed and Cesiah are. When we were about done Obed shared about some of the bad experiences they had in the past. He said, “we didn’t have the opportunity to study this when we ministered before.”

This demonstrated something positive to me that they are reflecting and learning from their past experiences. One of the many things that encourages me about Obed and Cesiah is while they are sensitive to the Lord, they also realize they have more to learn.

God Hears Our Prayers
Obed & Cesiah Lares

Obed & Cesiah Lares

I love being able to have Dawn and Hannah with me when they can join me. They are gifted in prayer. Obed shared that his back was bothering him, so Hannah led us in prayer, and Obed’s back began to feel better. By the way I just texted Obed before I sent this out, and he said his back still feels good. Thank you Jesus!

Also, while we were praying and just coming before the Lord, God’s Spirit began to work in Obed. Dawn noticed that tears came to his eyes, and she asked him what was going on. He shared that the Lord reminded him of his brother-in-law’s spiritual need.

His brother-in-law hasn’t been doing well and Obed believes the Lord is encouraging him to go talk to him.

It was so encouraging to see the Lord working through our family, but also in the lives of our friends. The church that Obed leads will be blessed to have him as a loving caring pastor who wants to seek the Lord in all he does.

Join us in prayer for our friends, and for the building and planting of this new church. We are in a battle, and we need warriors to stand with us in the battle.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Successful Launch!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez Commissioning Pastor Arturo Torres 

We are excited to announce the latest church to launch with Ministerios Transformación (MT) in Tijuana. Church number 28, Cielos Abiertos just celebrated their inaugural service on Sunday! Hallelujah.

We weren’t able to be there because, Dawn, Hannah and I are in Colorado for some friends’ weddings. We are also visiting ministry partners and friends. It’s a great opportunity for us, although even while we travel part of us is still in TJ!

Exciting news all around!
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Ministerios Transformación church #28 Cielos Abiertos

We give thanks to the Lord for Pastor Arturo Torres as he leads this new work. This is church number 28 for Ministerios Transformación. The church is called, Cielos Abiertos, which means Open Heavens.

I first got to know Arturo and his wife at the Discovery Center for church planters that MT held in February. Arturo is also a part of our incubator church planting training. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. He’s a humble man, who loves Jesus and has a heart for Tijuana. He wants to be a light for Christ in the community they are serving in.

The Lord fills me up as he ministers to my spirit through all my friends with MT. I love their vision to plant churches and to make a difference in the communities that these churches minister in.

Pastor Daniel Nuñez and his team of ministers have been such an encouragement to my family and me. They have become wonderful friends, and we are so grateful for such amazing ministry partners.

We look forward to seeing all that God will do through Pastor Arturo and this new church. Many lives will be changed forever as they receive new life in Christ.

Now that church #28 is officially launched we look forward to helping them build and launch their 29th church plant in October in Rosarito. Dawn and I have been meeting with Obed and his wife, Cesiah. They will be leading the next new church. They have tremendous gifts, and it’s a real joy to minister with them!

Wow! we continue to be blown away by God’s grace.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray for the ministry of MT as they continue to plant churches and help reach Tijuana and Rosarito for Christ. Also pray for Dawn, Hannah and me while we meet with churches and friends and share with them about our work on the border and in the Baja and beyond. We need a strong team standing with us in order for us to be effective and fruitful in ministry.

Thanks for the vital part you play!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Mixups & Celebrations!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez, Dave & Pastor Ivan Casados

It seems that the last couple of weeks I’ve experienced a few mixups!

The exciting thing is that despite these minor challenges the churches are growing, communities are being changed and there is much to celebrate.

Last week Dawn, Hannah and I went to first year anniversary celebration with Ministerios Transformación in Plan Libertador. Unbeknownst to me the time of the service was changed, so that we arrived four hours early. Yesterday, we went to Ribera de Bosque’s second year anniversary. There were a few more mixups as pastor Ivan Casados and I had some trouble with our internet communication during the week. On a positive note, we did arrive at the service when it started this time.

Much Life & Much to Celebrate!
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Pastor Daniel Nuñez

My family and I love our friends at Ministerios Transformación and it is so good to be able to celebrate their accomplishments!

There’s much life in these churches. Pastor Daniel Nuñez preached a grace filled and wonderfully challenging message. After the service he invited those who wanted prayer to come up to the front. Dawn, Hannah and I were able to join in and pray for some of those that asked for prayer. It’s so fulfilling to be able to minister as a family.

I love seeing the Lord work through Dawn and Hannah!

New Life in Christ
Celebrating finishing the roof on the church

Building the Ministerios Transformación Ribera de Bosque church two years ago

After the service Pastor Ivan asked me if I could share with some of the people that I prayed for. A brother and sister, Jose Luis and Rocio.

A family from the church invited them to come, and Jose Luis and Rocio just started coming to the church in the last few weeks. I asked them if they were to die today if they knew for sure that they would go to heaven? This opened the door to further discussion about how they could be sure.

The wonderful message of the grace and work of Jesus Christ. It’s a life changing message. After explaining the gospel, I asked them if they would like to place their faith in Christ, and they said yes! Alicia their friend who invited them to church came over with us.

Then we led them in prayer to give their lives to Christ.

A wonderful experience!

One of the things I love most about the ministry is leading people to Christ. It’s so exciting to see people’s eyes light up and come to faith. It was extra special that we could do it in their new church. Pastor Ivan and some of the others in the church came over and congratulated them and told them welcome into the family of God.

There is much new life in these churches, and it’s always a privilege for Dawn, Hannah and me when we can participate with them.

Celebrate with us! Pray that the gospel will continue to go forth in a mighty and powerful way in Tijuana, the Baja and Beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Church Planting Connection
JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

JD Pearring leading our church planters connection time

I’m driving back from Phoenix with Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Julio. We spent the day connecting with church planters. After talking about church planting, encouraging and praying for one another, which is so important we spent some time just having some fun at a Spring training baseball game.

It’s refreshing to connect with like-minded men and women. Often I’m able to get some great ideas as I share about some of the church planting projects I’m working on.

The Ensenada Project
Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

Our dear friends, Petri & Yudy

One of the biggest projects I’m working on right now is for Ensenada with Petri and Yudy Petrikowski. This Saturday I’m leading a medical outreach with Redeemer San Diego and our friends in Ensenada.

I’m excited about the medical clinic. We’ve found it to be one most effective ways to show people in the community the love of Christ. The doctors and staff are very loving as they treat the people. We also have a great opportunity to pray for each person and minister to their spiritual needs.

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

The Redeemer San Diego medical team hard at work

This particular time the outreach has been challenging. The enemy has opposed us as we began to take medical supplies to Ensenada.

Petri was stopped at the border! He had, and we had what I refer to as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We Need Your Prayers!

This experience serves as a reminder that we are in a battle, and the weapons of our Warfare  are spiritual. We need your prayers friends! Keep up the good work of holding up our hands in prayer as we seek to march forward.


“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We are weak left to our own devices, but strong in Christ! We have divine power. We are not defenseless, and we can destroy strongholds! Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

P.S. I wrote this post on my phone. I’ve never done the whole post on my phone! 😃

Discovery Center Assessment
The church planting candidates working through an exercise during the Discovery Center

The church planting candidates working through an exercise during the Discovery Center

Eleven candidates experienced two and a half days of adventure, learning and a level of stress. Hopefully, it was worth it. I think it was.

The reason they put themselves through an evaluation process where they are grilled by those of us assessing is because they are interested in planting a church. Even the assessors go through long days during the assessment process.

This evaluation process that we call the Discovery Center isn’t something easy to endure, but it is worth it. The goal is to do the best job we can as an assessment team to determine if the candidates have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and gifts necessary to plant a church. If we do a good job it can save those who don’t have the necessary gifts a lot of heartache, and it can also be a great source of encouragement and confirmation for those that are called to plant a church.

On the last day when we let the candidates know whether they received a green light or not I find it gratifying to see all the smiles. There are some who receive some news they weren’t hoping for, and of course in those cases there is disappointment. In this particular assessment there were a lot of smiles and even some tears of joy!

There is a huge need for new churches to be started. In fact, it’s the best way to reach nonbelievers.

Tim Keller says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. (“Why Plant Churches” article by Tim Keller, 2002)

Pray for a New Church Planting Project
Obed & Cesiah Lares

Obed & Cesiah Lares

One of the couples that came to the Discover Center Obed and Cesiah Lares are going to plant the next church that we are partnering with Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Ministerios Transformación to plant. What a wonderful opportunity to get to know them, and to see how the Lord is leading and guiding them.

We hope to be able to launch the new church plant with Obed and Cesiah in the next 6 months! Join us in prayer as the Lord brings all the loose ends together.

God is on the move in our midst. I love seeing God working in the hearts of men and women.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Church Marches Forward in TJ
Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez leading the missions service for Ministerios Transformación

As the church advances there is often opposition. Should we be surprised? I think Jesus even promised us that in this world we would encounter trouble. Then he goes on to say, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV)

Often with growth comes trials and tribulation. The church should be encouraged though, because we are on the winning side! There is victory in Jesus!

My friends at Ministerios Transformación are growing. They are going to be planting church #27 in March, and we are going to help them plant church #28 in June. It’s exciting to be connected to something that the Lord is blessing in such a powerful way. Yet, this ministry does encounter opposition along the way.

Worship & Missions
Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Praying for Jesus & Lucina Acosta

Last night (Saturday) I was able to be with them for their missions service. They bring all the churches together to worship and thank the Lord for what he is doing. Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Ministerios Transformación also challenged the churches to give towards the next church plant, which is already in process.

I love that the church is always thinking about multiplying as they work towards their goal of 50 churches.

We had the new church planters Jesus & Lucina Acosta come up in front of the church, and we prayed for them. All the pastors laid hands on them, and blessed them as they start this new endeavor. Jesus and Lucina went through our church planting assessment in November, so it’s wonderful to see them progressing towards the actual launch of the church.

Christ’s Promised Peace Even in Trials
The Sunset on the Pacific

The Sunset on the Pacific

Pastor Daniel gave me a chance to share for a few minutes during the meeting. I felt like I should seek to encourage them as I knew over the last couple months they had lost a few churches. They’ve been through a huge trial amidst the advance.

I shared something I heard a few years ago, that dogs don’t bark at park cars. When we are moving, when we are advancing for the kingdom of God we should be prepared for opposition.

In John 16:33 the same passage that I quoted above Jesus begins the verse saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” Christ promises us peace in him. He is the prince of peace. Yet we are in a war, and the prince of this world battles against us. He seeks to thwart the advance of the church.

We are more than conquerors in Christ. John writes, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, ESV)

The church continues to march forward into the battle. We are overcomers in Christ, more than conquerors!

I give thanks and praise to the Lord for the work he is doing in Tijuana and the growth of the church through Ministerios Transformación. Remember to hold them up in prayer. Pray for Jesus and Lucina Acosta as they start this new church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Band of Brothers and Sisters
Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor's church in Rosarito last year

Pastor David Feiser, Pastor Victor Bravo, Dave & Pastor Daniel Nuñez celebrating the opening of Victor’s church in Rosarito last year (What a great celebration it was!)

One of the things I love most about serving in ministry is the camaraderie that we share with such outstanding people here on the border. The Lord has gifted us with a wonderful group to work side by side with. What a rich blessing it is for me to serve with other men and women who truly love the Lord. They encourage me and my family in so many ways!

When Dawn and I where getting set up here on the border, God gave me a great mentor and coach in Dick Kaufmann. Dick told me, “when you look for ministry partners make sure that they are like minded.” That was invaluable advice as there are so many potential people that we could look to work with. God answered our prayer, and gave us some like minded people to work with who have become precious friends!

Walking Together on this Journey
All of our friends from Ministerios Transformación

All our friends from Ministerios Transformación

Pastor Daniel Nuñez, and the ministry he leads which just changed it’s name from Lo Mejor del Trigo to Ministerios Transformación have become some of our best ministry partners. Dawn and I truly do love serving alongside them.

I share some of my heaviest burdens with the pastors of Ministerios Transformación, and likewise they share their burdens with me. After all, isn’t than what Paul encourages us to do? “Bear one another’s burdens…” —Galatians 6:2 ESV

If you’ve followed our story at all, then you know that Dawn and I have travailed through some deep valleys. The Lord is bringing us out of the valley, but at times we wondered where and even if it would end.

In those times of darkness it gave us great comfort knowing that Dawn and I could share our hearts with the men and women associated with Ministerios Transformación. Our closest relationships are with the pastors and their wives. They’ve sent us encouraging notes, and they’ve asked their whole congregation to pray for us.

It lifted up our spirits knowing that whole congregations were praying for us. We know that this was going on in churches in the U.S. and some of the National Presbyterian Churches of Mexico in Baja California as well.

Thank you Jesus for These Special Friends
Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel's birthday!

Daniel & Yolanda Nuñez celebrating Daniel’s birthday!

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” —Psalm 133:1 ESV

Today (Sunday) I was able to go to the church in El Niño, Comunidad Cristiana. We celebrated Daniel Nuñez’s birthday. Even though it was a rainy and gloomy day there was much joy, life and light in the church as we celebrated.

I give thanks to the Lord for these special friends. They make my family and me feel very loved and we feel like we are part of them when we are together.

I say thank you Jesus for all of our friends in Mexico! Thank you for Ministerios Transformación! Thank you for pastor Daniel Nuñez and his family and all the pastors and leaders that are part of that ministry!

We give thanks for you, and recognize that it’s all for God’s glory! Praise Him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org