Posts Tagged ‘Short-term mission’

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

God’s Big Surprise!

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

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

Last week Dawn, Hannah and I had such a wonderful experience in Ensenada. God is working there, and it’s fun to watch him at work.

I remember two years ago when La Nueva Jerusalén church approached me, and asked me if I could find a group in the U.S. to partner with them to run a VBS. At first, I didn’t know what to think, because I didn’t know the people in the church at all.

God surprised us in a big way! We’ve grown to love the people at the church in Ensenada. The ministry outreach has also given us an opportunity to get know our friends from Skyview better as well.

Our Vision & The Value of Short-term Missions

Recognizing the children on the last day of VBS

Recognizing the children on the last day of VBS

Dawn and I are believers in short-term missions projects, because we’ve seen the Lord use them in our lives as well as in the lives of others. This particular project has opened our eyes to the opportunities for the church to reach out and expand in Ensenada.

A big part of our vision for the border and the Baja is to see a network of churches started that are used by God to bring about transformation in families, neighborhoods and cities.

We are getting ready to hold our first ever church planters evaluation for the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico in Tijuana this Fall. I’ve asked two of the leaders from La Nueva Jerusalén to participate as church planting candidates.

Lord, Enlarge Our Borders!

There’s so much we are hoping that Christ will do in our midst. It’s thrilling to experience His Spirit at work as he goes before us and opens new doors.

We know that a big part of the reason the Lord is at work here is because of the prayers of so many faithful followers of Christ like you. Thank you for going on this journey with us! We do appreciate the part that you play.

In His Grip, Dave

Two World’s Become One
VBS in Ensenada!

Children Learning about Christ at VBS

This week Dawn, Hannah and I are partnering with Skyview Presbyterian from Denver and one of our national partners INP La Nueva Jerusalen (The New Jerusalem church). So far it’s been a wonderful week filled with much laughter and significant life change.

The VBS theme is My Father’s House. 60 children are experiencing a week of fun while learning about how God created the world, and how much he loves them. More than 40 of these children are from the community and don’t attend the church.

You would be excited to see, what a great opportunity the church has to show the love of Christ to their neighbors. Tonight the church will host an event for the parents of the children that are attending the VBS. Pray that the Lord touches the hearts of those that come, and that they will receive the love of the savior while they are here.

A Highlight of the Year!
Learning about God's love

Learning about God’s love

This week is one of the highlights of the year for us. It energizes us, and lifts our spirit when we can bring our two worlds together. We are so thankful to have one of our partner churches from the US work with a Mexican national partner. Glory to God!

Both groups are upbeat and positive. They are exhibiting the love of Christ.

This year a total of nine people came from Skyview. The team is led by Tim and Kari Berglund who came along with seven amazing youth and young adults. This is the second year in a row that they’ve joined us in Ensenada.

One of the advantages of coming back for a second year is that they know the people in the church here in Ensenada. Their relationships are becoming more intentional and growing deeper.

VBS fun!

VBS fun!

Dawn, Hannah and I have grown to love the people from both churches as we’ve spent time with them by working together and serving the Lord. We feel like these summer projects open many doors for us as we build a much closer relationship with the church in Ensenada. The Lord is doing an incredible work here!

It’s interesting how people come together from different cultures, who speak different languages and yet they connect at a deeper level, because they both love Jesus.

God’s Spirit breaks through the initial apprehension when people are willing to take risks and be uncomfortable. Jesus is changing lives right before our eyes!

Pray Church

Join us in prayer for God’s ongoing work in Ensenada. We pray that His kingdom will be extended on earth. We pray that the Holy Spirit will do a life changing work in many people’s hearts. Change our hearts, O Lord! Do your mighty work. Be Glorified and lifted up!

In his Grip, Dave


VBS Outreach in Ensenada
The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

We are all excited as we gear up for the arrival of our friends from Skyview Presbyterian Church. They arrive this Saturday, July 11 from Denver to go down to Ensenada to partner with Iglesia La Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem church). They will work together on reaching out in the community through VBS.

Last year the majority of the children that came were from families that don’t attend the church. Some of them continued to attend the church after VBS.

That’s one of our goals to make a difference in the community. To reach families that aren’t connected to Christ and his church. Pray with us that these goals will be realized as we seek to honor Him through this ministry!

Lord, Grow Your Church
Skyview and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

Skyview’s group from last year and our friends from Iglesia Nueva Jerusalén in Ensenada

A longer term goal that we have is to see the church and the kingdom expanding and growing in Ensenada.

Dawn and I feel very encouraged by the relationship we’ve been able to build with our friends at La Nueva Jerusalén. Skyview’s visit last summer helped open the door for our relationship with the Ensenada church to begin.

We desire to see churches planted throughout the Baja. Ensenada is one of the cities we have our eye on. We pray that we will be able to open up a new work there soon.

Join Us In Prayer

Tim Berglund, who is the leader of Skyview’s group mentioned that they don’t have any Spanish speakers coming, which makes them feel a little uncomfortable. We do have some good young translators lined up for them. Pray with us for the Lord’s peace, and for good communication between all the participants.

Join us in prayer for a successful week filled with the joy of Christ. We look forward to sweet fellowship and effective outreach that makes a difference. Dawn, Hannah and I will be going on this trip. Please pray for us as we give leadership for the week that Skyview ministers with La Nueva Jerusalén church.

In His Grip, Dave


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
Medical Missions In Ensenada

I hope you are still living in the afterglow of Easter!

Kathie Kim & Sarah Oh from Redeemer SD in the middle surrounded by the leaders from iglesia Nueva Jerusalén

Kathie Kim & Sarah Oh from Redeemer SD in the middle surrounded by the leaders from iglesia Nueva Jerusalén

It’s because of Easter, because of what Christ did on the cross and through his resurrection that we are heading down to Ensenada, Mexico today to lead a medical missions outreach. A group from Redeemer Presbyterian Church San Diego will be ministering this week with the Nueva Jerusalén church. Redeemer and Nueva Jerusalén put in a lot of time preparing for a successful outreach.

Three Sites for Medical Clinic
A group we learned from performing dentistry in Ensenada

A group we learned from performing dentistry in Ensenada

Although I’ve led many short-term missions projects this is the first medical missions trip I have led. We are thankful for the wonderful group from Redeemer that is giving up their time to minister to the needs in Ensenada.

We will hold the medical clinic at three sites. On Monday we will be at the mother church (La Nueva Jerusalén). On Tuesday and Wednesday we will serve at one of their mission sites in a community called, Morelos. Thursday we will minister at another mission in the community of Maneadero.

Outreach to Children & Families
The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The Skyview group at the New Jerusalem church in Ensenada

The church we are working with in Ensenada (La Nueva Jerusalén) is the same church that Skyview Presbyterian from Denver worked with last year. The Lord gave us an amazing time with them as we used VBS to reach out to children and families in the community. I recently heard from Skyview and they are planning on coming back this summer!

Dawn and I have grown to love the people in this church. We are thrilled that they are so eager to share the good news of Christ.

Join Us In Prayer!

Dawn, Hannah and I will be going on this trip. We’d appreciate much prayer for the group that is going down, as well as for our family. Pray that the Lord goes before us and prepares the hearts of the people we will be working with. Pray as we minister to people’s physical needs that the Lord will open the door to their hearts, and that they will welcome the good news of the gospel.

Pray also that many people will come to the clinic, and that we don’t have any trouble getting things across the border.

Thank you for holding us up in prayer. This is an important week for the ministry here on the border as we seek to see people’s lives transformed.

In His Grip, Dave


Thank God for the Good Times
Good times with our friends from Ensenada

Good times with our friends from Ensenada

Sometimes life can get too serious! Sometimes I get overly serious. There is a time for that, but thank God for all the fun we have in ministry.

So the answer to the above question is a resounding, NO!

Ministry does not have to be boring.

One thing I love about Mexico is how everything happens through relationships, which usually means there is food involved!

On Monday Dawn, David, Hannah and I enjoyed a great time with our friends from Ensenada. We got to know them this summer through the ministry we did with the Skyview missions team from Denver that came to work with the church in Ensenada.

We’ve grown to love the people and the church in Ensenada, La Nueva Jerusalén. They are a fun group!

Dawn preparing the wonderful meal with Leo & Luz

Dawn preparing the wonderful meal with Leo & Luz

We took advantage of our time together to plan and dream together. I’m working with the leadership of the church, Jesus & Yudi Petrikowski and Jorge & Luz Salazar on a medical outreach in Ensenada this Spring. Redeemer San Diego is going to be sending down a group of doctors to minister with the church.

Jesus shared about some of the missions projects they have going on in and around Ensenada. We hope one day to be able join hands with them on a new church planting project. Pray with us that the Lord will make a way for that to happen! We have a couple that is interested in joining our MTW team, and they would like to minister in Ensenada. Lord, hear our prayer!

Join us in Prayer!

Pray for the Lord’s church to grow through new church planting projects in La Paz and Rosarito as well. I was able to spend some time with the pastor for the next church planting project we are working with Lo Mejor del Trigo on today. It’s so exciting to see new things happening all around us. Especially when the new things are new ministries!

I will write more about the new church plant in Rosarito in my next post.

In His Grip, Dave

Pastor Leo Nevarez and Dave

Pastor Leo Nevarez and Dave

Lord Bring Healing

Pray for our good friend, Pastor Leo Nevarez and his wife Gloria. Pastor Leo just found out he has cancer in one of his kidneys. He is in the hospital and they will operate in the next couple of days. We are praying for God’s complete healing and a full recovery.

Pastor Leo is the church planter for the first church that Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo came together to plant in 2012. The church is doing very well. It is growing and God is blessing.

It would be wonderful if he would be healed without surgery. We look to the Lord for his healing touch!

Oren por nuestro amigo Pastor Leo Nevarez y su familia. Pastor Leo tiene cancer en uno de sus riñones. Van a operarlo esta semana. Estamos orando que Dios lo sane completamente!

Skyveiw’s Missions Trip in Ensenada
VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

VBS at the Nueva Jerusalén church in Ensenada

We are in the middle of Skyview’s missions trip working with the Iglesia La Nueva Jerusalén (The New Jerusalem Church) in Ensenada. They are working with the church to lead VBS and helping with other outreach in the community.

The week is off to a good start. We had close to 50 children come on the first day, we are praying that each day more will come.

Thanks for praying and partnering with us!

In His Grip, Dave


Goal Accomplished – A New Church!
Celebrating finishing the roof on the church

Celebrating finishing the roof on the church

On Saturday we took another group of 40 down to Tijuana to finish up the church building. The trip to Tijuana was a wonderful day on many fronts.

We accomplished our goal to finish building the church. The Lord gave us his favor as we experienced pleasant weather, a great group to work with, awesome food and outstanding hosts. The day couldn’t have been any better. Thank you Jesus!

Once again we were amazed by the progress everyone working together made in one day. Our task was to put shingles on the roof, paint the outside walls and put drywall on the inside of the building. All that is left to do is the finishing touches on the inside of the church.

Yesterday (Sunday) Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) Ribera de Bosque celebrated its inaugural service. A joyous celebration that Dawn, Hannah and I were privileged to attend. I will write more about that in my next post.

The church is near two communities Valle Verde and Ribera de Bosque. Since a number of the people in the church are from Ribera de Bosque they are using that for the name, although the sign above the church will just say Lo Mejor del Trigo.

Two Cultures – One Church
Putting up the drywall

Putting up the drywall

One of the many things that I love about bringing groups from the States down to Mexico is seeing people from different cultures and different languages intersect for the purpose of the Kingdom. I believe God is glorified when we do this work. Over the last two weekends 75 Americans worked with 20 of our friends from TJ.

Jesus is glorified when his church grows. When there are more people to worship him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It takes a community of people sometimes from different cultures to come together to see the church grow. The Lord has given all of us different gifts, and when we put the gifts that we have before the Lord good things happen.

Dawn with Rocio and Ivan

Dawn with Rocio and Ivan

Pastor Daniel Nuñez has been involved in building many churches, but this was the first one that he led. He did an outstanding job. We give praise to the Lord.

Daniel told me that while we were helping to build the church for Pastor Ivan and Rocio Casados in Ribera de Bosque that another group was helping pastor Cesar and Kristina Zavala build a church in another community in Tijuana. Dawn and I have gotten to know Cesar and Kristina over the last year, and they are very dear friends. We are happy for them and their church.

It was an unbelievably busy and productive weekend for Lo Mejor del Trigo. I told Daniel and his wife, Yolanda that I hope they are able to get some rest this week. Dawn and I are worn out from the work we did, but we were only responsible for one group.

Church #3
David Jr., Dawn and Jon. It was great to have my family participate

David Jr., Dawn and Jon. It was great to have my family participate

This is the third church that Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo have come together to plant. It’s the 20th church for LMT!

Thanks so much for lifting us up in prayer. God surely heard our prayers as we didn’t have anyone get hurt, and there were no accidents save for a small tree that I backed over with the van. Oops!

I heard only positive reports from all those that participated. Actually, a number of them asked, when can we do this again? God comes through!

In His Grip, Dave


The Kingdom Expands
Daniel Nuñez directing our group at the start of the day

Daniel Nuñez directing our group at the start of the day

Wow! was the common sentiment expressed on Saturday and Sunday. The quick progress left our group of 40 that went down to Tijuana on Saturday amazed.

When we arrived in the morning there was only the concrete slab for the foundation, and a lot of lumber lying around. Once we got to work the building progressed quickly. Pastor Daniel Nuñez and part-time foreman did an outstanding job directing us.

I didn’t hear one complaint the whole trip, which doesn’t happen all the time. God truly answered our prayers. Thanks so much for joining us in prayer.

God Works Through Our Weaknesses
Dave & David Jr. (I loved having my son with us!)

Dave & David Jr. (I loved having my son with us!)

When I put these trips together I must admit that sometimes I stress over the details coming together. I got frustrated last week when I was working on organizing the trip. Things shouldn’t have bothered me as much as they did, but I let them get the best of me.

I’m confessing my own sinful struggles, but also proclaiming the Lord’s faithfulness to work through my weaknesses to bring everything together.

The Church is Standing!
Everybody working hard to get the church built

Everybody working hard to get the church built

By the time we left the work site on Saturday afternoon the church was standing, and had a covered roof. Amazing that we could get so much accomplished in one day. It’s a testament to Daniel and his crew’s hard work at directing us and working with us.

Now we are excited to go back this next Saturday to finish the job. We will put the shingles on the roof and put up all the dry wall.

Some of the favorite parts of the trip for me are watching as our team worked so hard, and worked so well together. I loved meeting more of the people from the church, and seeing how happy pastor Ivan and his wife Rocio were. It was wonderful to get to know Ivan’s dad and brother as well.

The church made us a wonderful lunch – fish tacos with great salsa.

Before and after with the whole group in front of the church before we left

Before and after with the whole group in front of the church before we left

Thank you Jesus for the good work that you are doing. Next Sunday, April 13th Ivan and Rocio are planning on having their inaugural service in the new church building.

I’m hoping that it will be a little easier this week preparing for the trip. I was able to get most of the work done last week, so I’m grateful for that.

Pray that this next week will go as well or better than this last Saturday went.

In His Grip, Dave