Posts Tagged ‘Stephen & Bradford Phelan’

Bob Bjerkaas with Billy and her daughter Hillary

Bob Bjerkaas with Billy and her daughter Hillary

One of the things that I like about short-term mission groups is that they bring energy and that can be infectious in a positive way. This past week Pastor Bob Bjerkaas from Church in the Canyon in Calabasas, California brought a group of young people to minister with us. Most of the students he brought were Lacrosse players that he coached.

I enjoyed seeing their concern for the people and outreach of Harbor Mid-City Church. As I mentioned in my last post they built a chicken coop for Stephen and Bradford Phelan and their family. They also did a lot of work for Vicente and Billy Salinas and their neighbors.

Vicente and Billy live in an apartment complex in City Heights. Their landlord doesn’t take very good care of the place. It was in need of repair and some TLC. Bob and company got excited about taking on this project. It was so encouraging to see them love on and minister in this way to Billy and Vicente and their family.

Working hard to finish up the garage

Working hard to finish up the garage

On Saturday they were working on paneling and repairing their garage. The group had planned to go to the beach in the afternoon, but they didn’t finish by noon, so they didn’t let up until they finished their work at 3 PM. Wow, I was impressed! Here we had a bunch of high school students with the fun of the beach waiting, but they were committed to getting the project done before they headed out to the beach.

Many thanks to Bob and the group for taking the risk with us to be our first short-term mission team. I thank the Lord for them, and I’m encouraged by how they blessed the church and the community of City Heights!

Dawn and I continue our house hunting. It’s discouraging at times that the houses are so expensive, and even at that often not in very good shape. Please continue to pray for our housing need.

On a sad note, I know many of you have been interested and following the updates on Petra Anderson and her family. Petra’s mom, Kim Anderson went home with the Lord on Monday night. Let’s lift up their family in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

Cesia, Mario, Chivis, Diane and Silvia (from left to right)

One of our huge highlights for 2011 was reconnecting with our friends from Mexico, Mario and Silvia Silva. You might remember that their daughter, Chivis stayed with us for six months starting in September of 2010. Mario came out to Colorado to bring Chivis home in February. Then we were with the whole family in San Diego in August. It was so good to see them again!

We hadn’t seen them in almost 10 years. Mario and Silvia were our best friends in Mexico during our second term. They were very involved in one of our church plants in Mexico City.  We love them and their family. So it was a thrill to be with them!

Mario and Silvia are very gifted in ministry. They have a great love for people to reach out and serve others. We’ve been praying for God to raise up a team to work with us, so to make it even more exciting I asked Mario to pray about joining us in reaching Hispanics on the border. God is working and Mario and Silvia have a growing desire to serve with us in the bi-national city of San Diego – Tijuana. Thank you, Jesus!

When Mario was with us in Colorado I asked him to share more about his calling and how the Lord is working in his life. So Mario shared his call to ministry on some short videos that David and I shot. Check them out here – God’s leading and call for Mario Silva 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Mario & Silvia, Dave and Dawn with the Phelans

It was a lot of fun to be with them, and we loved having them meet our co-workers, partners and friends. And they made quite an impression. Stephen Phelan keeps asking me about them, and letting me know how much he and Bradford enjoyed getting to know Mario and Silvia.

We are praying that Mario and Silvia can join us in our work on the border soon. Please pray with us. There are two big areas that we have to figure out with them. One is getting them a visa to live and work on the US side of the border, and secondly is their funding.

Another big highlight for the Silva’s was the birth of their son, Daniel Ezequias. He was born on October 28! Their first boy. Wow! God is so good! We love the Silva’s and pray that the Lord will give us the privilege of working side by side with them for the harvest.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Please be in prayer with us for David Jr. He had an MRI for his knee which he hurt playing rugby. We will find out today whether he will need surgery or just physical therapy.

Dawn encouraged me the other day to take time to think about the good things God is doing, and to write them down. This is the third day in a row that I’ve reflected on the myriad of blessings that the Lord bestowed upon us in 2011. It has lifted my spirits! I hope it’s done the same for you!

Today I’d like to take some time to give thanks for the wonderful blessings God gave our family at the start of the summer, and then at the end of the summer.

Jonathan's graduation speech

We kicked the summer off with the graduation of Jonathan from high school. It was a great time of celebration. Dawn and I are very proud of the young man our son has become. He’s a very hard worker, and he loves people. He brings a lot of smiles to our family. You can check out more of what I wrote about Jonathan in two posts – Jonathan’s Graduation Celebration 1 and 2.

Jonathan is off to a good start at Pikes Peak Community College. We continue to pray with him for the Lord’s guidance and leading for his future.

David & Matt in their dorm room

Then we ended the summer sending David Jr. off to school at San Diego Christian College (SDCC). David has flourished at SDCC. Matt May also from Colorado Springs is his roommate, and I don’t think David could have found a better one.

It’s encouraging to meet the awesome friends from school that God has given David. He’s excelling on the speech and debate team, and in the classroom. We just learned that he made the President’s list this first semester! Wow!

The Lord has also given David an outstanding opportunity to intern at Harbor Mid-City with Stephen Phelan and his team. That’s been a wonderful experience for him, and it’s a great fit for him. He desires to pursue missions and ministry upon graduation. It was hard to send David off, but it sure makes it easier knowing that he is doing so well.

David Jr., Hannah and Jonathan

We are proud of both of our boys! We are also proud of our beautiful little daughter, Hannah. She has a tender heart for the Lord, and she is very caring. Hannah will be graduating from high school this May. Soon we will praising the Lord for her passage from high school to college. How did we get so old anyway!?!

Please pray for David Jr. as he hurt his knee playing rugby at SDCC. Some of the students just started a rugby team. David learned the hard way that maybe he should stick to baseball. No tackling in baseball! The doctor said he needs an MRI to determine whether he will need surgery or just physical therapy. We are praying for the later. Join with us as we pray.

It’s so encouraging to see what God is doing in our family and in our ministry. Thanks for caring about both. In fact, I’ve noticed I get more hits on my blog when I write about our family.

In His Grip, Dave

Stephen & Bradford Phelan from Harbor Mid City

God blessed us in many ways in 2011. One of the many ways is through some great friends and ministry partners. In March Stephen Phelan and I talked over lunch at conference we were attending, we quickly found out we had a heart for many of the same ministry ideals. It was so encouraging to meet Stephen, and later Dawn and I got to know his wife, Bradford. They are one of the most gifted, positive, loving couples we have met. What a thrill to see their bilingual ministry, as they are reaching out to English and Spanish speakers.

Stephen has gathered a great group of godly leaders around him. Edgardo Avila is pastoring the Spanish speakers at Harbor Mid-City Church. His wife, Elizabeth is very loving and caring.

Edgardo & Elizabeth Avila

Since Stephen and Edgardo have already started reaching out to Spanish speakers, we believe that it made sense to partner in ministry. It was so encouraging as we got to know them better to discover that we are like minded in many important areas including the desire to reach the bi-national city of San Diego and Tijuana.

Dawn and I just love Stephen and Bradford, Edgardo and Elizabeth and their ministry team. Thank you Jesus for bringing us together! We are so excited to work with them.

God also blessed us with new BEAMM team members in the spring, Ray and Michele Call. They are our first team members, and we are glad to have them working with us. They spent two years in Mexicali before joining us on the San Diego – Tijuana border.

Ray & Michele Call and family

One interesting connection that we have with the Calls is that they spent a couple of years in my hometown, Fresno, California when they were on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ – now Cru. They also attended the same church that is our home church in Fresno, Sierra View Presbyterian Church.

We’ve enjoyed getting to know the Calls over the last several months. They’ve beat us to the border, as they moved from Mexicali to Bonita in May of this year. This is one of reasons we can’t wait to get to border to start our ministry there with them.

Thank you Jesus, for bringing us such great people to serve with. We are so thankful that we don’t have to do this ministry alone.

Since we are at year-end for 2011, Dawn and I would like to encourage you to make a year-end gift to our ministry with MTW. We are praying for at least $25,000 to come in by December 31st, which will help us launch our ministry in the great bi-national city of San Diego – Tijuana. You can give online by clicking on this link: 

In His Grip, Dave Diaso

P.S. Please designate your gift for David & Dawn Diaso – #11717. If you need any help with your online donation, you will find it here…

David Jr. is in the middle with the blue shirt

Every time we come to the border God strengthens and confirms His call for us to be here. Even though we haven’t been able to move yet, we are thankful that we can visit. The Lord uses these visits to enable us to see our friends, ministry partners and the needs of the border. We meet and make wonderful new friends.

This past weekend we’ve been able to visit our friends from Harbor Mid-City, and friends at New Life La Mesa. There are so many extraordinary people at these churches that it’s impossible to list them all.

Stephen and Bradford Phelan are among these extraordinary people. Since our house isn’t selling, which has forced us to wait, I asked Stephen Phelan and his prayer ministry team if they would pray for us on Sunday. They always have a time for prayer during communion after the sermon. Annie Day is one of the key leaders on the prayer team. Annie has prayed for us in the past, and she has a real gift in the area of prayer and discernment. The Lord has used her to encourage us in a big way.

Our friends at Harbor who prayed for us

On Sunday Annie, Karen and Edgardo prayed for us. It was such a healing experience. Their prayers strengthened our hearts. It also reminded us of the spiritual battle that we are in. Satan doesn’t want us to be able to minister on the border. Thankfully, we serve a great God! Christ defeated Satan on the cross, and through his resurrection. We must live, and walk in this victory.

I know that ultimately the Lord is in control of when our house sells, and how soon we get to the border. Yet it is also true that Satan, our enemy, the roaring lion would want to discourage us. He wants to keep us from getting here. He wants to render us ineffective. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities of this world. Praise be to God, that Christ has overcome. We are more than conquerors in Christ! Nothing shall separate us from his love.

We not only experience opposition our selves, but those on our team do as well.  Ray and Michele Call have been in the thick of the trials and the battle lately. They just had their van break down outside of Albuquerque. They’ve been stranded there for five days waiting for the transmission to get fixed. A huge expense, and inconvenience for them. We have our first big ministry event in Tijuana coming up on Thursday, and we could really use them to be here. Pray with us for the safety of their family, and their soon arrival back to Bonita, California.

I just heard from Ray a few hours ago. They did get their transmission fixed, and now they are on their way home! They hope to make it here by late afternoon on Wednesday.

Again, I thank you for standing with us in prayer. Thank you for holding us up. I thank the Lord for you, for our friends at Harbor and our friends around the world who are upholding us in prayer.

In His Grip, Dave

In our last prayer letter that I sent out October 13, I mentioned the wonderful testimonies on a new video from our friends at Harbor Mid-City. The video is celebrating the many changed lives through four years of ministry at Harbor. It’s so encouraging to see how the gospel does change everything!

Continue to pray with us for Stephen and Bradford Phelan and their ministry team as they serve at Harbor Mid City. We also appreciate your prayers for our upcoming trip to San Diego and Tijuana  from October 24 – November 6. Dawn, Hannah, Jonathan and I will be going on the trip. We are grateful that we will have our whole family there for the first time, as David is already there.

Here’s the video – I know you’ll enjoy it!

In His Grip, Dave

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Participants at MTW's vision retreat

One of the enduring truths from scripture is the need for workers to bring in the harvest from the field. Matthew 9:35 – 38, is where Jesus says, “…the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We need faithful laborers to join us on the border. That’s one of the reasons why I was at Mission to the World’s (MTW) vision retreat.

It was a great opportunity to meet new friends who are interested in pursuing missions. Now they are just trying to figure out where God is calling them to work. We had field missionaries from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Thailand there along with me sharing about the needs we have on our respective fields. It was a great experience to not only meet the people who have an interest in serving in missions, but to rub shoulders with other missionaries, and learn about the needs where they are serving.

Ray & Michele Call and family

Pray with us that the Lord will provide more workers to work with us and the Calls‘. We are excited about a recent develop. A close friend of our family, who worked with us in Mexico City desires to work with us on the border. He will help us in administration and training. These are huge needs!

We also have Mario and Silvia Silva, that I’ve mentioned frequently, who are very interested in working with us. We still need to figure some things out, so they can labor with us. Thanks for praying for this need.

Some other holes that we need to fill are to find people gifted, who have a heart for mercy ministry. I feel like we could always use more evangelist, and people who are gifted in church planting. Lord, please do answer our prayer and send workers!

I talked to our good friend, Stephen Phelan the other day, and Harbor Mid City has a need for a director of children’s ministry. If you know of someone that has gifts for that ministry let us know. Another prayer request related to Stephen and Bradford is they are considering adopting. You might remember that Bradford just had a miscarriage in August. Now an opportunity has opened up for an adoption. They are seeking the Lord for His direction on this. They have a phone call with the birth mother this Monday, October 3. Pray for God’s leading, direction, peace and blessing. So be it Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

David with his Mom getting his room set up!

Since it’s Labor Day, and I have a little time to reflect I thought I’d share a sentimental moment. Yesterday, when I went into the balcony at church I saw David sitting at the table where he volunteers for Village 7. He helps with the projection system by running ProPresenter. I saw him for a split second, and a smile came to my face. Then all of the sudden I remembered, “Oh, David’s not here anymore!”

I suppose that was one of the many sentimental moments I will have as I adjust to my son’s new adventure, which takes him away to college. He’s at San Diego Christian College. I wrote about the beginning of his college experience a couple of weeks ago.

David with his R.A., Emmanuel

Dawn and I are happy for David. We believe he is in a good place. We were very impressed with the school when we helped get him started. We are excited by the positive Christian atmosphere at the school. We loved seeing him interact with his new friends. He introduced us to Arturo, his friend from Guadalajara, Mexico. We also enjoyed meeting his RA, Emmanuel from Kenya.

We are thrilled that he is able to intern at Harbor Mid-City. He’s already started working with them. Stephen and Bradford Phelan are some of our favorite new friends. The Lord is blessing their ministry. Stephen just texted me yesterday, and said they had a glorious conversion during the service. Praise God.

Yet even with these many good and happy thoughts there are the sentimental moments. They are not all bad, but they do remind me that I miss having my son close by. This is something that all parents go through as their grown children go off to college. It’s not particular to those in ministry. I noticed when I posted things about David going off to college on Facebook, I got a few more comments than I normally do. My friends can relate.

I had to chuckle when I saw one of our friends, Kian Shuemann’s post on Facebook after leaving her daughter at King’s College in NYC. She said, “is feeling like a horrible mother,” then she listed all these things she got for Caroline for school, and then she remembered she forgot to get her a flashlight. Even though she said this in jest, it’s something all us parents wonder from time to time. Did we do it right? Did we forget something?

20 years ago! Sorry, David sometimes it's hard to remember you are not a little guy anymore

It’s hard getting used to not being able to walk upstairs to my son’s room to talk to him about baseball, college, ministry, dreams. aspirations, etc. Although the other day we used FaceTime to talk to him, which is similar to Skype, and we talked to him for a long time. It was almost as good as being there! Dawn who was crying at first, seemed reluctant to engage. I suppose she was overwhelmed by the emotion, and she too misses her son. After we got done with the call we thought, “Wow, in some ways that was better quality time than we have when we are together.” Maybe because when we are together, everyone is doing their own thing.

Son, our prayer for you continues to be that you grow to be more and more like Christ each day. We pray that will be reflected in how you serve him and love others. Amen!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

Dave, Dawn and Hannah with Mario, Silvia, Chivis, Cesia and Diane

We just returned from our amazing trip to San Diego. We had a wonderful time with Mario and Silvia Silva, their two girls, Chivis and Cesia, and their niece Diane. Mario and Silvia were our best friends our second term in Mexico. It was a great reunion.

Although we saw Mario in February, and Chivis lived with us for six months, we hadn’t seen the rest of the family for about 10 years. Wow, time flies! It’s such a blessing to see all the different places the Lord has taken us, and now he has brought us back together again.

Not only are Mario and Silvia great friends, but they love Jesus, and they have a strong interest in working with us on the border. This was one of many steps we need to take to determine whether the Lord is calling them to work with us.

It was so fulfilling to see them interact with many of our other good friends, and ministry partners. Stephen and Bradford Phelan along with Edgardo and Elizabeth Avila from Harbor Mid City. Ray and Michele Call our team members with BEAMM. Daniel Nunez our friend who is spreading the gospel in Tijuana.

Mario & Silvia, Dave & Dawn with the Phelans

One of the unfortunate events that happened while we were in San Diego was that Bradford had a miscarriage. We all felt for their loss. Mario and Silvia really wanted to pray with the Phelans, and say good-bye before they left.

Last Friday morning, Dawn and Hannah took care of the Phelan children while Bradford went to the doctor. When she came back we prayed for Stephen and Bradford. Mario and Silvia have a real gift in prayer. They pray with power, and with much faith. After we prayed Bradford said she felt the Holy Spirit’s presence. Praise God!

Continue to pray for Stephen and Bradford as they deal with the loss. Often healing is a process, and the Lord graciously uses the prayers and encouragement of friends.

Cesia, Mario, Chivis, Diane and Silvia (from left to right)

Lord, we continue to ask you for your healing touch for Bradford and Stephen. We also pray for your leading for Mario and Silvia as they consider whether you would have them serve you on the border. Make straight the way before us.

Thanks for your interest in what we are doing, and for your holy prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

Worship at Harbor Mid City

It’s always exciting to see new life. We get excited when friends announce a pregnancy, or a new birth. The Bible speaks of a party in heaven when someone the Lord touches comes to Christ, and makes a confession of faith.

On Sunday, we were able to witness a new life at Harbor Mid-City. Stacey, who grew up in a Jewish home, and decided she didn’t believe in God after her dad died at a young age. She was angry with God. How could God take her dad away, when she was so young? But now she was desperate for answers. God was stirring her heart.

Communion and Prayer at Harbor Mid City

Stacey had gone through a hard time. She was feeling depressed. A friend asked her if she would study the Bible with her. Stacey decided to give it a try, since she was at her wit’s end. Then her friend encouraged her to go to church. Stacey found herself at Harbor Mid-City this past Sunday. She said when she came into the church she felt the presence of the Lord.

At the end of the service during communion Stephen invited people up for prayer. Stacey said she was afraid to go up, but she saw love in Karen’s eyes (one of the women that is part of the prayer team). This gave her the courage to go up. Her heart was tender and she was ready to hear the gospel. She prayed to receive Christ with them, and the whole church celebrated! More accurately all of heaven celebrated!!!

Thank the Lord for New Life in Christ!

Stephen & Bradford Phelan

On a sadder note, we just learned that early yesterday morning Bradford Phelan had a miscarriage. Stephen and Bradford were at the hospital from 10:00 PM til 3:00 AM. They need our prayers. Pray they are able rest, and that the Lord gives them emotional, physical and spiritual healing.

In His Grip, Dave