The Nelson Clan

The Nelson Clan

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

June & July

The last two months have gone by like a flash, before we even recognized they were over. Getting everything sorted out after the trip to America and the never ending Visa struggle will surely do that! On the Visa note we are so blessed to announce The Lord has allowed for us to finally secure 1 year visas!! Not the one we were hoping for, but that is ok, we are secure in the will of the Lord. So I am sure many of you are anxiously awaiting the latest update.... wait no longer.

In the last update I had expressed the need to focus on a few things and letting others fall away, The Lord has given us a few things to do and many of the other busy work has fallen. That is not to say we are not BUSY, cause we are but more of a focused busy, pouring into a few things deeply instead of many things a little.

School: After much prayer and many requests we, mostly Sarah, have opened the church up for a "Homeschool". Currently we have our four children and five more that attend. Since we already have most grade levels it was not much to make that material available for other students to use while they are here in Thailand. Our other students are currently all church members that have no other way to attain an education during their time here. We hold classes Mon-Fri 9am to 12ish. The main idea is to teach them how to learn...not how to be taught by others. We have curriculum for English, Math, Bible, History, and Science, all of which are "independent" study type courses. Our students range from 5-19. Obviously the 5 year old gets alot more teaching time.

Discipleship: Discipleship has begun! We have been blessed with the opportunity to have several people hungry for the Word of God, more on this later. There are 5 men and several women. Currently we are going through the foundations workbook from Calvary Chapel Valle Vista, building a strong foundation. The men meet twice a week, and have fellowship individually most days, the women will begin meeting soon.

English ministry: English classes are still in effect. We meet Tues-Thurs. an hour a day. There are currently 6 (two are ours) advanced English students, and 4 beginner students. The advanced students have just finished and exam on sentence structure, parts of speech, and grammar. Classes will break for one week and we will begin a new lesson plan on the return. We are awaiting word from the University as to what our involvement will be in this term.

Church: The church is doing good. Over the last 8 weeks we have had atleast one visitor each week. There is a group of Indonesian Christians doing hotel internships here in Patong and each week we have had a new one able to join for worship. Unfortunately, their schedule does not permit them to join together or every week, but when they are free they join. In the last few weeks we had an older man come in to visit us. He is originally from Iran but has citizenship in the US, retired here and recently converted and baptized. He is so hungry for the Word and that is such a blessing. He had been attending another local Thai church with translation but was having a hard time with the dual language services so he sought out another fellowship. Praise the Lord, he landed on ours. Upon meeting this man he explained the situation and asked if I would teach him the word, would I? Oh man! Its been a long time since I had somebody so interested in the Word and so willing to be taught. Two of his friends have now made confessions of faith and are requesting baptism as well! Some really exciting stuff is going on right now, we are still a small fellowship, growing both spiritually and in number. We have started a "youth" group and meet every Wednesday, and our youth lead worship. Hopefully we will be putting on a small worship camp this month to assist them in growing towards worshiping our Heavenly Father.

This blog cannot portray the excitement or express the immense way the Lord has blessed this ministry since January. It has been an amazing ride and it just keeps getting better! Since our last update there have been baptisms, conversions, restored friendships and new, beautiful, relationships made. We cannot thank you enough, for intervening, interceding, and carrying this task with us. Thank each and every one of you, our readers and supporters. AND most assuredly THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Catching up Once again

Some how we managed to get months behind on our updates once again! Thankfully the last few months have been fairly regular and I will attempt to get all caught up.

The month of March went by like a flash, with a World Race team, travel to America, and Pastor Eric coming down for a month to fill in for my absence.

World Race, although the team came just at the end of the semester of University ministry we were able to do a 3 day extra-curricular English Camp on Student leadership. The camp was supposed to have 28 students but being that is was the week after the semester ended, considerably less showed up. By the end of the camp we were down to about 10. Praise the Lord for this as it enabled us to really build some relationships with the students as apposed to just teacher/student. This allowed for some real personal conversations, including some real questions regarding Christianity. The camp was small but effective and anyway who are we to question numbers? Due to this camp we have been asked to do another English camp when school resumes in August with possible  400 students. Some of the other ministry the WW team was able to participate in was teaching English at the church 3 days a week. There were days that we had to use the restaurant across the street because the church was just too full. At one time I believe we had 28 students! English teaching has really become one of the most effective ways to minister to the Thai community and we are excited for this opportunity to share the Lord and be a blessing in the area in which we live. English classes have taken a 2 week break to allow for the students to adjust back into the school year, they will pick up again tomorrow.

Travel to America, the day after the WW team left, I did as well. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the States for one month. This one month was to mostly share what the Lord has been doing here in Phuket, sharing the vision, gaining support, meeting some needs and getting others to share the load by joining the "team". I flew out March 27, and flew back April 27, Two days before our 10th wedding anniversary. Though the time was short and many people I would have liked to visit were missed the time was very beneficial. During the month I was able to share at 3 new churches and 4 small groups. I was also able to speak at a few locations that I have spoken at before. Thank you to Calvary Chapel Placerville, Calvary Chapel Truckee, Calvary Chapel Valle Vista, Calvary Chapel Romoland, and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Seniors for allowing me the time to speak and share. Thank you Lord for supplying our needs. One of the big needs we are trying to meet is furlough, we have now been on this trip just over 2 years, and it would be nice to visit, take a break and get refreshed. The Lord provided a huge chunk of this need however we are still lacking. We are praying that we can come for furlough at the end of this year or beginning of next. From the time spent in America about 5 people expressed interest in coming over for different periods of time to assist in the ministry.

Pastor Eric come for a visit, as the door opened for a trip home, one huge hindrance to the trip was someone to do the teaching while I was gone. As we are a new ministry leadership training is still in the process. I called pastor Eric and asked what where the chances he would be free to come down for the month, as it were he was already planning to come to Phuket for "summer" vacation. Ticket prices just so happen to be during the time Eric was already planning on being here, and he was more than willing to fill the position! Praise the Lord! Pastor Eric came down March 23 or so and left April 28. Perfect timing, His timing is always perfect. Thank you Lord and thank you Pastor Eric, MJ, Aubrey, Jana.

Ministry is back full swing. The time back in the states was both, fruitful and insightful. The Lord gave direction and focus, and we are now walking in what He has opened up, feeling our way along for His perfect will and allowing those "other" things to fall by the wayside. In the initial months of this new direction many doors were opened, and many opportunities taken, but not all things are from the Lord. The Lord has us here for a very specific purpose, and we must walk in that alone. Our focus must remain steadfast, opportunities are great but they are not all for us. We are focusing on our different language studies, English ministry, and purposeful intensive leadership training. "Other" things must not divide our focus and draw us away. Please pray for this as we discern what the "other" things are and walk in obedience to our Lord.

English Camp for Student Leaders

Free English Lessons @ New Beginnings

Pakistani Midweek fellowship

Pastor Eric and the guus

Honoring the Mothers

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Newest Opportunity

Last week I posted on FB one of the most awesome opportunities I have had in Thailand, possible ever, in the service of our Lord. Now don't get me wrong we have been blessed to serve in many ways but after reflecting and again hearing the continued reports and the report of a dear brother that is partnering, IT IS AWESOME! Let me explain....About two years ago I received a phone call from a brother here on the Island (Phuket) regarding Pakistani in Bangkok. He had heard stories regarding asylum seekers and their dire situation, he wanted to help but did not know what to do. I also living in Phuket and avoiding Bangkok like the plague, had very little to go on. Only stories of scammers looking for the next do-gooder to take advantage of. Not something I was interested in but together we committed this thing to the Lord. Several times over the next year or so we would talk about this situation but really had nothing to go on. A few months back some Pakistani began filtering into the church with stories, legit stories, personal stories, of the situation there in Bangkok. So bad that some young girls have even turned to prostitution for food. Now this is serious, these are our brothers and sisters suffering to the extent of prostitution. Shortly after this my friend and I were eating and he had a contact, something to go on, if I could contact her. At which point I shared the information I had gained over the last few months. If we could only find these girls etc. No information, no location, nothing to go on. As we prayed and began to actively attempt to make contacts to locate these girls, family after family began to make themselves known, we are hungry, without work and need help. My friend committed to donate, ship, and store, 5 tons of fish per month to feed these people, if we could get a program set up...screeching halt! Now we have the need, the resource to meet the need but no way to distribute the resource... PRAYER! Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have the means to help and no ability to do so? Praise be to God who's love never fails, within a few weeks the Lord brought another Pakistani that would be able to get this whole thing going. It would take about 3 months of prayer, visits and countless hours on the phone to put something like this together. We have 1 ton of fish to deliver in about 6-8 hours before it defrosts and begins to spoil, fish does not keep well if not frozen. Last Monday I had the opportunity to meet the first shipment of fish and distribute to over 400 families, roughly 1500 people received fish. I must stop to explain just how awesome this is; this project has been in prayer for close to 2 years, the majority of people that received the fish were not even in Thailand when the Lord began this project. Every step of the way has totally been by His doing. My friend has the resource no contact or information, I have the information and time, but no contact no resource, the last person our Pakistani sister, has no resource all contact. The Lord in His perfect timing brought us all together to meet these people when they are at their absolute worst, and with FISH no less. Not only were we able to meet the physical need of these roughly 400 families but we were also able to meet their spiritual needs, with an encouraging Bible message about just how much God loves them, and how HE has worked all this out for them.

To top it all of I was also blessed with the opportunity to partner in one of the Pakistani church's community outreach to Muslims. This feeding ministry has made a way for around 75 Muslim Pakistani to hear the Gospel and personally experience the Love of God. For me it just doesn't get much better than that, Both physical and spiritual needs, AND preaching the Gospel. To truly explain how awesome this is would take more words than any of my dear readers could bear. God and His Love are truly, truly Amazing.

We are asking for prayer for this ministry. It is draining to say the least. Even as great as this is it only scratches the surface of the problem, not even a dent. There are currently over 15,000 Pakistani in and around Bangkok, weekly we can only reach upwards of 2000. This trip requires 24 hours on a bus travel back and forth. The actual distribution lasts about 12 hours. Being poured out in every stop and being stretched in every way possible. The lack of ability to help everyone in and of itself is difficult, add minimal sleep, sun, exhaustion, both physical and spiritual, little food as there just is not time to sit around, and believe me you are drained! Currently there are three of us, two American missionaries and one Pakistani/Missionary/etc. The two Americans take turns every other week and the Pakistani every week. Please keep us in Prayer, We truly yearn for your prayers. There is Duke, Tirza and myself. That is our number one request. Although I do not want to I must, this program costs about $300 a week to run. This covers all travel, distribution costs. Currently we split the costs according to week but we are trying to get partners in financing this work. As you remember us in prayer please prayerfully consider this secondary need. Thank you God bless
Loaded and ready to go

Ready to hand out

One of 6 such lists

distribution to the needy

One location of distribution/crowd gathered