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Daniel's Life

How can one person impact a generation?
Working with youth was a passion of Daniel’s, but what he didn’t know was that working with at-risk youth would ultimately put his life at risk. Because he lived so radically and recklessly for the Lord, how would he know that the 1st youth to graduate from the youth home that he helped build was living in gang territory. How would he know that taking that young boy home for the night would land him in a territory where gangs were rivaling, and how would he know that he would end up in the crossfire?
He didn’t know, and he was tragically killed while the other youth he mentored watched in horror. How does a youth pastor, making a positive difference in this world become the 28th homicide in a city where 29 homicides were gang related?
Daniel’s desire was to create an open heaven through his life. His days were spent helping people in a variety of ways. If you were down and out he would lift your spirits, get you on a journey to doing something with your life from A-Z. His constant joy and incredible personality was contagious, you knew when he entered a room. If you had the privilege of meeting him, you had a friend for life.
Daniel’s ringtone on his phone alarm each morning was a song called, “I Give Myself Away” – he truly did! He also wrote on his Bible, “IT’S NOT THE DURATION OF YOUR LIFE BUT THE DONATION OF YOUR LIFE THAT COUNTS”. If all of us were to live like this… together we could change the world.
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Daniel's Seed

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church
On November 11, 2013, at the end of a long day finishing an outing with some of the youth he was working with, Daniel’s life here on earth came to an end. Daniel had just turned 33; he planned to establish a strong youth home for boys who were struggling. He also planned to create a program for low-income families to be able to purchase a home for a greater quality of life.
That dark night in the city of Pomona, a lone gun man opened fire into Daniel’s car filled with youth. Daniel was the only one hit. That year Pomona saw 29 murders. On that same day, pastors from Pomona had gathered for a national day of prayer to end the violence.
We believe Daniel’s life was a seed for change. His death was a call for action.
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Our Surrender

How does a family pick up the pieces?
Although we cannot choose the sufferings that will come our way, we can choose the response we have to our sufferings. It is said that the most horrible experience in life is to have to bury a son or daughter. This is true! But God’s strength and comfort has led us each step of the way. As a family we have chosen to be good stewards of our pain to help others.
On the night of Daniel’s vigil, we chose to forgive the unknown shooter and to plead with him for justice. “Had my son known you, he would have loved on you.”
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God's Plan

The only way to combat evil is with love
How does a family pick up the pieces? Where do they go from here? They go where God tells them to go… back into the city. Back into the city that took so much from them. Why? Because the only way to combat evil is with love.
The Diaz family goes back into the toughest gang infested neighborhood, where Daniel was killed, and does the unthinkable… they offer food, resources, free haircuts, job fairs, and racial reconciliation while uniting pastors and leaders in that city. What happens next is unbelievable, the homicide count drops by half the next year.
Daniel’s church family, Pomona Pastors, City Officials, and families of victims of violent crimes came together on June 14, 2014. The purpose was to walk in Unity and make a statement to the City of Pomona that we are tired of the violence taking place. The walk was also to let other families of victims know that they are not forgotten and that there loved ones are also remembered. Over a thousand people came out to walk and show their support.
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Our Obedience

How does a family pick up the pieces?
Our desire as his family is to continue Daniel’s work. Although the city of Pomona has brought us great sorrow and his absence in our lives is a constant pain, we are committed to bringing resources to Pomona and to help families who have been affected and or victimized by many types of crime.
The Daniel Diaz Foundation was established to connect and provide youth with the necessary resources to succeed in life and draw closer to God. Educational grants are awarded to young men and women demonstrating a sincere desire to overcome negative influences in their lives. This foundation also provides assistance to pastors in need.
The young man who shot Daniel was sentenced to 34 years in prision. On the day of his sentencing, each of Daniel’s immediate family members had a chance to speak to the shooter. One by one, they each found the strength in God to look this young man in the face and forgive him. Today, Daniel’s family has vowed to take care of the shooter’s children and have commissioned this young man to spread the Gospel while serving out his sentence.
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Your Part

Please join us
November 11, 2013 is a day the Diaz Family and New Beginning Family will never forget. The first two years of the anniversary brought a cold painful reminder of the life long journey of grief. In 2016, they decided to turn this day into a day of remembrance. They asked everyone they knew to honor their son by going out of their way and do something good for someone else. The results were amazing!
Sometimes the pain of such a tragedy is so great, there is no place to hide. But through this united effort… THE STING OF THAT DAY WAS TURNED AROUND. So we are asking you on November 11th, what will you do?
Daniel leaving us much sooner than we ever imagined has affected us by challenging us to live each day with an eternal perspective.
November 11th marks the anniversary of Daniel A Diaz entering into heaven in 2013. We celebrate and honor his legacy by living the way that he lived his life. We are asking you on this day, to go out and be a blessing to somebody else that is in need. Everywhere you look, there is hurt and pain, but you can be the one the make a difference in somebody’s life. Be a blessing to somebody and share your testimony with us by hash tagging #livelikethatlovelikethat
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