The Nelson Clan

The Nelson Clan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Catching up

Well as promised here is some more of the events over the last few months. Oh, where to begin? We will hit some of highlights, of course still working backwards. In the beginning of September I (Joe) received a phone call from the head chaplain at the local Loma Linda (Mission Hospital Phuket). He asked if I was available to come and meet with him, he had an opportunity he wanted to present to me. It turns out we have a mutual friend that suggested he call me. Praise the Lord, He truly knows how to make connections. Upon meeting with Pastor Somchai, he informed me that his wife is the assistant Dean at the University here on the island and she was looking for a "Christian" to come and volunteer at the Uni teaching English as a means to bridge the gap between Buddhism and Christianity as she is the only Christian she is aware of there. This is a huge open door as there are approx. 30,000 students, plus faculty, plus two schools for children. The idea is that we could build relationships with the students and faculty and prayerfully in the near future begin some sort of Bible study there. We are currently planning on a Christmas Party outreach, where we could present the Gospel to the students that we have been teaching English to. We have already taught 4 classes equaling about 200 students. They are currently taking their mid-term exams and then a semester break. Classes resume in November. In total there will be 6 classes to begin with, reaching up to 700 students. The University is also working at organizing a faculty English class. Our Heavenly Father sure knows how to open doors. Please pray for this as we learn and grow in this area of ministry, I would never thought I would be teaching English at a University. I never even went to one! God is amazing.

As many of you that have been following for the last few years know, immigration is an ongoing issue. Over the last 6 or so months we have made huge ground at attaining some sort of legal "long term" status here in Thailand. We are still without a long term visa, but it is in the works, the paper and footwork on this step has proven to be quite difficult. Everything has to be absolutely perfect in the eyes of whoever happens to be inspecting that particular day (NEVER the same things). We have however applied and received our work permits, we are officially volunteer missionaries for a Thai organization. This organization has enabled us to open the church legally as we as teach and stay, granted visas, and so many other things. We are so grateful to have made it this far and anxiously await the final step of this process. When all is said and done we will no longer have to leave the country.

And lastly, for this update, I would like to share something we (Calvary Chapel Thailand) were so blessed to take part in. Pastor Eric who lives in Northern Thailand and has been leading a Calvary Chapel Training Center there, Pastor Ehkhaw, the Pastor of Calvary Chapel Ban Naam Khem, and myself, acting on Eric's success, and Ehkhaw's vision prayed through and held Southern Thailand's first Calvary Chapel Bible Training session. The design of this fist semester was for the Burmese Christians here in Southern Thailand, with a desire to see it spread to the Thai and who knows what else the Lord will do. We were all so blessed that the Lord once again answered in a huge way. 13 students from all over Southern Thailand came for 16 weeks of intense Bible/ministry training. None of the three above mentioned Pastors could take 16 weeks off of their ministries so the call went out for assistance in teaching. Again we were so blessed to see the interest in this ministry as teachers came from the Philippines, Thailand, and even America. The students studied the Bible every morning for 4 hours and then practical ministry for the same amount of time in the afternoon. They learned many things from Inductive Bible study, Biblical Leadership, Systematic Theology, Hermaneutics, to Matthew Genesis, Acts, Roman, Pastoral Epistles, to guitar and drama ministry. As a family we were so blessed and humbled at the opportunity to partner in this work and to see these young men and women commit to following the Bible. We have been invited to begin yet another campus, and even possibly something more serious and established for the Thai Christians, but we are only in the very beginning stages of praying on this matter so please join us as we seek the Lord and His direction in this. Here is a link to a short video one of the teachers put together regarding the school and its need, Calvary Chapel Training Center Southern Thailand

Graduation Ceremony, CCBTC Southern Thailand staff and students

Joe and Sarah's Volunteer Missionary work permits

Sunday morning Worship service Patong International Fellowship


Beautiful, exceedingly Happy children

Recent wedding that Joe officiated

Small Birthday Party Bible Study


Thank you for your time and Please do not forget to Keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Long Time No Update

Hello everybody, it has come to our attention that it has been a LONG time since there has been an update? How the time flies. There has been so much that has happened over the last few months that even a very long update could not contain it, so there will be several short updates over the next few weeks to catch up. We want to say we are all doing well and the Lord is definitely doing a great work in our lives at this point in our lives. Of course when He does a work it is rarely comfortable as we are stretched and pulled, but we take great comfort in knowing we are in His hands and it is His hands that are doing the work.

For this series of catching up we will be starting from most recent to furthest away hitting the highlights.

The month of August brought about a great new change for us, both as a family and a ministry. August marked yet another move but this one we truly believe will be a more permanent one. We are currently not in any type of lease agreement, and that is nice. Probably the largest blessing was as we were doing some maintenance in order to move in, the kids expressed their excitement to finally have a home. We have moved around quite a bit over the last few years and the kids never felt "at home". It really blesses us as parents that our kids are finally comfortable and have a "home" not just a house. We as usual experienced difficulty getting established but after almost two months without internet and attempts to get it we have been blessed with internet service!! Our new house is within walking distance from the church which is really nice, we don't walk but in the even we had to we could. It sure is nice to not have to drive for up to an hour, depending on traffic, to and from the church. We also can receive mail, I think, at this house. Atleast the postman comes through delivering every few days. If you would like to send cards, letters, pictures or any thing else you can mail to 18/11 Prabaramee 2 Patong, Khatu, Phuket, 83150.

We will have some better updates coming soon really just wanted to touch base and re-establish communication with everyone. God bless

Sunday, May 11, 2014

March/April

As many of you probably last November the largest Typhoon to ever make landfall hit the Philippines just south of where we used to live, I have shared before about traveling there in the days after the storm, but what was not shared is that during the time there the Lord had placed a desire to build a team from Thailand to go back and assist  in the rebuilding of the effected area. The plan was to get local Thai churches involved in a construction trip to rebuild houses. Simple houses, four walls, a roof, few windows, and a room for sleeping. Although the plan was to take Thai people with the team the Lord had other plans. On March 17 myself along with 4 others made the trip from Thailand to the Philippines for a 10 day trip. The other members of the team where Joey, a young man from America, Christian, a Thai pastor, Tuu, and a fellow missionary from Namibia, Romie. The trip was great, turns out Tuu was the first known Thai missionary ever to go to Eastern Samar, possibly even first Thai person. It was very trying to complete the task at hand but praise be to God as a team we were able to assist the completion of an existing project, get a huge jump on the rebuilding of a local church that was damaged in the storm, and build to completion one house. As a team we were also able to finance 75% of another house as well as give pointers to the team that would be left to complete that same house. In the week after our departure this second house was also completed. The basis of the trip had a duel purpose, one to assist storm victims and the other was to spread the vision of missions within the Thai church. Our one Thai team member did exactly that, his life was changed by seeing how other believers struggle to survive yet still praise the Lord. Even in the aftermath of that huge storm the Joy of the Lord in the hearts and faces of our brothers and sisters throughout Eastern Samar not only touched him but all of the team. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him.

As per the last update we were waiting the opening of Patong International Fellowship. I am so blessed to announce we have now been worshiping in our own place for four weeks. We began with a large day of fellowship on Songkran (Thai New Years), have celebrated Good Friday, Easter and today we celebrated Mothers day. Out of the four weeks we have been there three have been holidays. It is so awesome to see how the Lord has transformed this broken down abandoned building into a beautiful place where His praises can be heard. Weekly we have between twenty and thirty people attend, including visitors so far every week. That is really our desire as a fellowship, to reach the World from this one place. We have the opportunity to reach so many from all around the world right here in Phuket. When we opened for worship we had to bring our fans from home to help keep the air moving, as well as strain to hear over all the traffic going by. In the last few weeks the Lord has provided ceiling fans, glass store front as well as a new concrete dividing wall between us and our new neighbors. Every week the Lord continues to provide for this place in ways we just cannot imagine. It is amazing to be a part of the work He is doing.

On May 19th the Bible training center Southern Thailand will begin classes, we are really excited to see what the Lord is going to do here. As of the last update from pastor Ehkhaw we have about ten students, with more expected. Currently we have teachers coming in from America, Philippines, and Thailand. Pastor Eric and I will each teach a couple of classes, I will have both opening and closing classes, teaching Inductive Bible Study and Apologetics. The goal here is to train up leaders that know how to study the Bible, teach, and lead in a manner worthy of the scriptures. We are looking at 12-16 weeks of intense training with Bible 3-4 hours every morning and practical application for the same amount of time in the evening. Things like Evangelism, music, outreach etc. Please pray not only for this time but also for all the teachers that will be traveling.

We have recently applied for our "work permits" that will allow us to stay in the country on a more permanent basis, currently we have to leave every 90 days this work permit is step 2 of attaining 1 year stays in Thailand. Please continue to pray for this as it has been a very difficult and long process.

Photos from top to bottom: Mothers day recognition, worship service, Front of Patong International Fellowship, the second house and the team from Calvary Chapel Hateras Island that completed the project.