Posts Tagged ‘Pastor Ivan Casados’

Rosarito Church Plant
The new church in Rosarito!

The new church in Rosarito!

Today we are headed down to Rosarito, Mexico to finish up the church that we started last week. I’m thrilled, those that are going down to build the church are excited, and pastor Victor and his wife, Sol can’t wait.

We have a big group of 50 joining us to finish up this project. We will put up the dry wall, shingle the roof, and put in the electric sockets.

Some of the people from our group will also go out in the community to invite the people to the inaugural service that will be held on Sunday, March 29th.

Pray For God’s Loving Care
Pastor Victor Bravo and Sol

Pastor Victor Bravo and Sol

Pray with us that the Lord cares for our group, and gives us a wonderful day. Last week we saw God come through in giving Hannah and Dawn a good day while David and I were in Mexico. Pray that Hannah and Dawn will have another awesome day today!

Pray for Victor and Sol as they lead this new church. I spoke with Victor a couple of days ago, and he’s so encouraged. It’s a dream come true for both Sol and him. They had tear filled eyes last week when they saw the building standing.

The Lord Lifts Us UP!

Dawn and I have been walking through a deep valley over the last two months, so we are so grateful to see something like this happening. Even in the darkness there is light. Because of all a church represents – the changed lives, the gospel going forth, the kingdom expanding, etc. it’s one of the highlights of the year for us.

Last week I wrote about my fears, and some of the struggles I was going through, but God lifted us up this week. The Lord continues to come through for us, and show up even as journey on this long and winding road.

Kingdom Advance in Tijuana
Jeff Sloan, Pastor Ivan Casados & David Jr. - they all worked on the church last week

Jeff Sloan, Pastor Ivan Casados & David Jr. – they all worked on the church last week

Another thing that lifted me out of the pit this week was the time I spent with pastor Ivan Casados. Last year at this time we were building the church for Ivan. Now every time I’m with him he shares how God is blessing and how the church is growing and reaching out.

Ivan told me about a couple in the community that recently gave their lives to Christ. Now they are growing in their faith. God is good!

The church has also started going to El Bordo, where many homeless people live on the border. They are taking food to the people and sharing the love of Christ with them. One of the men who’s struggled with addictions dedicated his life to our savior, and now he is in a rehab center near Ivan’s church.

Rejoice with me, for the good work our Lord is doing on the border and beyond!

In His Grip, Dave

Kingdom Advance
JD Pearring & Daniel Nuñez leading the Discovery Center

JD Pearring & Daniel Nuñez leading the Discovery Center

This has been a huge week as we seek to see gospel expansion on the border, the Baja and Beyond.

In Tijuana Lo Mejor del Trigo is partnering with Transformation Ministries to conduct a Discovery Center (church planter’s assessment) for five church planting candidate couples. I was able to be with them on the first day of the Discovery Center, and there was some excitement in the air as it got underway.

This assessment an important tool to evaluate whether the church planting candidates have the gifts, calling and skills to be church planters. It can save them much heartache if they are not right for the job. It also can be a real boost, and a great opportunity to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses if they called to plant a church. Church planting is not for the faint of heart!

Training Church Planters
Church planting incubator

Church planting incubator training

After we determine that they are called to be church planters, it’s critical that they receive training and support.

This week we are partnering with our MTW team in Monterrey, Mexico to provide training for church planters. Pastor Ivan Casados who is planting a church in a community called Ribera del Bosque in Tijuana is going through this training, and he is in Monterrey this week.

Our hope is to strengthen and further develop our selection process and our training for all the church planters that we are partnering with. Lo Mejor del Trigo has been such a valuable partner, and we love being able to work with them with the hope of helping them to reach their goal of planting 50 or more churches in Tijuana and beyond.

We are also working with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Soon we will be launching a new church planting project with them in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The lead church planter is also in Monterrey going through the church planting training.

A New Work in Tijuana

While we are busy evaluating and training church planters we are also ramping up for the new church plant that we will starting with LMT in March. I saw pastor Victor Bravo this week, and he is chomping at the bit to start this new work. Victor and his wife, Sol are already holding outreach events in the community to share the love of Christ.

Join Us In Prayer for the Church & Our Family
Hannah with her Grandpa

Hannah with her Grandpa

Your prayer is so important to us. The Lord is the one that builds the church. We look to him and trust him. We ask him to guide and lead us along the way.

Thanks so much for your ongoing prayer for Hannah and for our family. It has been a long trial. Our hope is in the Lord and in his faithfulness. We are so encouraged by the outpouring of prayer by our friends.

As this trial has gone on more and more people are asking us what is going on. I’m purposefully being discreet about how much I share. While we need the prayer and a lot of it, I believe it’s important to protect Hannah’s privacy by not sharing too much. It’s a fine balance to try to maintain.

We know that the Lord hears your prayers, and he knows how to intercede for us even when we don’t know quite how to pray. He is answering and sustaining us through you!

In His Loving 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

Church planting incubator

Church planting incubator

Last week I was in Monterrey, Mexico with pastor Ivan Casados from Tijuana and MTW colleague, Jim DeWitt among others. It was an exciting time going through the church planting incubator.

I felt like it was the beginning of the realization of a dream that I’ve had for the Border and the Baja. I desire to work with our team to see church planters trained and equipped so that they are better prepared to plant a church.

What a thrill to have the most recent church planter that we’ve partnered with Ivan Casados going through the training. We hope to be able to bring this training to other church planters we are working with in Tijuana, but this was a wonderful first step!

I’m so thankful for our partners with Lo Mejor del Trigo. God is blessing their efforts and our partnership as they work towards planting 50 churches.

While we were in Monterrey Jim DeWitt put together a video with the help of one of our other colleagues Jarett Hall. Here it is for your enjoyment.

God is doing wonderful things on the Border, the Baja and Beyond! Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave

Training for Church Planters
Dave with Pastor Ivan

Dave with Pastor Ivan on the foundation for the new church plant – taken before we built the church

Pastor Ivan Casados and I are in Monterrey, Mexico for church planting training with other Mexican church planters. I’m grateful that Ivan can go through this training, and that I can be here with him. The Lord has given us an opportunity to learn together.

Our hope is that through this training Ivan will be better equipped to plant his church with Lo Mejor del Trigo in Ribera del Bosque. Ivan and his wife, Rocio are off to a good start. They have doubled in size growing from 30 to 60 since April.

We praise the Lord for his good work through them!

A Great Opportunity!

It is a great opportunity for us to work with Mission to the World’s (MTW) Monterrey team. The Church Planting Center, which are Monterrey team operates is a great resource for us. The team here is more advanced in some areas than we are on the border, so I want to learn from them and collaborate with them.

As we work with the team in Monterrey our ministry on the border and the Baja will be able to advance in providing training for church planters. I’m also partnering with the Monterrey team to develop mentoring/coaching for our church planters.

Coming Alongside Our Church Planters
Monterrey, Mexico

Monterrey, Mexico

Our church planters are great people who love the Lord, but they need support. Most people who are starting new churches flounder if they don’t have any type of training or coaching, We desire to see our churches and the leaders of our churches thrive.

One of the things I’ve learned in my years of ministry is that it is not easy to work in partnership with other ministries. It seems that there are many obstacles, and one of the principle ones can be our ego.

On the other hand, it is powerful when God’s people come together for the kingdom. I believe this is one of the reasons it’s so hard to pull it off. The enemy seeks to derail kingdom work.

Join Us In Prayer

Dawn and I covet your prayers as we attempt to develop this training for our work on the border and the Baja. We realize we are a target. We need for the Lord to guide us and protect as we seek to see the advance of the kingdom. Ultimately we want to see the church grow for the glory of God. We pray that many will call on the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Grip, Dave


Connecting Pastor Paul Kim and Family in TJ
Paul and Linda Kim and family standing in front of the last church we helped build - the Lo Mejor del Trigo Church in Ribera del Bosque

Paul and Linda Kim and family standing in front of the last church we helped build – the Lo Mejor del Trigo Church in Ribera de Bosque

One of the many things that I love about what I do is introducing others to Mexico and the work we are doing there. Earlier this week I was able to take Pastor Paul Kim, his wife, Linda and their three children into Tijuana. They got to know Tijuana some and the partners we work with.

Pastor Kim is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in San Diego. Redeemer has brought down groups to build a house, to build a church and to do community outreach. They are valuable partners, and I appreciate their ministry with us in Tijuana.

An Uplifting Time!

It was wonderful to be able to introduce Paul and Linda Kim to the pastors we are working with from Lo Mejor del Trigo. God used the trip to touch the hearts of the Kims, and it gave them an opportunity to minister and encourage some of the pastors.

Daniel Nuñez along with four other pastors joined us. They shared stories about what God is doing in their community and through their church. We visited two churches, one in Ribera de Bosque and one in Rojo Gomez. It was an uplifting time.

Praying for and Encouraging Pastors
Paul and Linda Kim with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Paul and Linda Kim with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Some of the things that I most enjoyed about our time was being able to pray together for the pastors and their work. The other time that was especially encouraging was sharing a meal together and sharing in the interaction that went on between the Kims and the pastors present. They asked some wonderful questions.

I pray that God will use this trip to make a lasting imprint on Paul and Linda Kim and their family and the pastors that they met. I also pray that God will use it to aid our partnership with Redeemer and the connection between Redeemer and Lo Mejor del Trigo.

God works in powerful ways as churches and ministries come together and join forces for the kingdom.

In His Grip, Dave

Excited About the Church in Valle Verde
Ivan and Dave at the church site surrounded by all the building materials

Ivan and Dave at the church site surrounded by all the building materials

I think it’s fun to be involved in the start of something new. There is so much potential for good things to happen. This is definitely the case with the start of the new church in Valle Verde.

Today (Thursday) I went to see pastor Ivan at the church site. It was exhilarating to see the materials at the site, and all the prep work that has been done for the church build. Ivan is excited to begin the work on his new church.

Eleven people including the following pastors, Ivan Casados, Daniel Nuñez and Rodrigo Vallarta all worked on preparing the church to be ready for our group when we descend on Tijuana in Valle Verde this Saturday. We have 40 people who will be coming down to build the church this Saturday. Then on April 12th we have another 50 people ready to finish up the work.

Ivan and his brother are spending the night to watch over all the materials to make sure that no one takes it, since it is out in the open. I feel for Ivan as he’s going to end up spending three nights out on guard.

Excited About the Gospel Going Forth
Rodrigo Vallarta, Tury Nuñez, Scott Griffis, Daniel Nuñez and Ivan Casados getting the roof beams ready

Rodrigo Vallarta, Tury Nuñez, Scott Griffiths, Daniel Nuñez and Ivan Casados getting the roof beams ready for Saturday

Just think of all this church represents. All the people who have worked to get it to this point. The lives that have already been touched by the gospel. The Word of God that will be preached from the pulpit of this church. Heaven will rejoice as new people are won into the kingdom of God.

As heaven rejoices, we will rejoice. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Lord, extend your kingdom and bring heaven to earth.

Pray for God’s protection for all that go on this trip, and that the Lord will use this church in a powerful way to touch those who live in the surrounding community.

In HIs Grip, Dave

God’s Continued Work in 2014
Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez

Dave with Pastor Ivan, Pastor Jose Luis and Pastor Daniel Nuñez on the new church plant site

I’m still reflecting some on all that God did in 2013. The Lord’s mighty deeds encourage my heart, and I hope it will lift your spirits as well.

One of the projects that we began in 2013 that I’m very excited about going into 2014 is a new church plant in Tijuana. We are working with Daniel Nuñez (Lo Mejor del Trigo, “The Best of the Wheat“) and Harbor to start a new work in Valle Verde. The pastor of this new work is Ivan Casados.

We’ve had some set backs in getting this project up and running, but our hope is to get this new church off to a strong start in the next month or so.

Pray For God to Bring Things Together

We appreciate your prayers for pastor Ivan Casados and his wife, Rocio as they lead this new work. Pray God brings all the resources together, so we can move this church plant forward.

One of the reasons that I get stoked about church planting is that as C. Peter Wagner has said,

“Church Planting is the best methodology of evangelism under the sun.”          Church Planting for a Greater Harvest (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1990), 11.

A Changed Life
Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

Pastor Ivan Casados with the land for the new church site behind him

I love the stories of changed lives that come from our church planters.

Ivan shared this story with me lately of someone who his wife, Rocio reached out to. Rocio went out with a group from the church to visit neighbors in the community where they are starting the new church. Rocio met Veronica, and asked her if she could pray for her. Veronica said she was nervous about her upcoming back surgery.

Rocio prayed and Veronica felt God’s peace which gave her strength and carried her through the operation. Through the witness of Rocio and the prayer and loving support of the church Veronica gave her life to Jesus. Then her husband, Saul and her son, Samuel came to Christ. Now they are becoming an integral part of the church.

Pray for many more people like Veronica and Saul to come to know the Savior, and see their lives transformed. We’d love to see the Lord do a mighty work through this church in 2014 and beyond!

In His Grip, Dave