The Nelson Clan

The Nelson Clan

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.




Thursday, March 13, 2014

No News is Good News

It has been forever since I have had the time to inform anyone what has been taking place. We have been so busy you could not believe, the Lord is so good. I will try to keep it short but so much has happened since Christmas.

NEW CHURCH: Just about 10 weeks ago Patong International Fellowship signed a lease on our very own house of Worship. We have been praying about this opportunity since beginning our partnership in this work. We now have a three story building that should open the first week of April. We are so blessed to have the Lord provide this place, buildings this size in our area usually cost about $3000, the Lord really showed Himself faithful as our building is $500. It was in great disrepair and in desperate need of being made new. I know it is only a building but that is what the Lord is in the business of doing, restoring and making brand new. We started at the ground floor and have worked through all three, a complete new plumbing system, from incoming water to outgoing waste had to be installed, new electrical, all three floors, paint, block, doors, windows, tile, basically everything that goes into a building has had to be redone. Thankfully the Lord also was faithful in providing for all this work both financially and physically. All in all the total cost of repairs has run close to $3000 all provided through prayer and from the people here in Thailand. The sanctuary is 99% finished with some touch up paint and the like remaining. Thailand also has many legalities to opening a church and again He is faithful, we have found somebody that is willing to cover us in every aspect of ministry and we are now free to do anything the Lord opens up, both inside the church and personally. Please pray for this endeavor.

Bible Training Courses: I have spent 5 of the last 6 Tuesdays and Wednesdays away from the family as I travel back to the area we ministered before moving to Phuket. The area of Takuapa. I have been leaving after lunch and returning Thursday at lunch. Teaching two classes Tuesday and Wednesday night from 7:30pm to 2:30 am. I have been instructing the Burmese church members in the Inductive Bible Study method of study that enables us as readers and students of the Bible to correctly interpret the scriptures so that we are not led astray by false teachers. What a stretch this time has been but last night I wrapped up with the final lesson.

Bible College: Over the last few years as we combat false doctrine the need for a Bible training Center in Southern Thailand has become very apparent. For the last few months Pastor Eric Johansen, who has been doing this sort of ministry in the North, Pastor Ehkhaw, and myself have been organizing a 12 week Bible semester. We begin classes May 19th

Burmese Community Center: Last month, February, we began construction on a Community Center for Burmese factory and Migrant workers. The Lord has opened the door in an area not too far North of us to be able to repair/remodel 5 three story units that will serve as an outreach to the Burmese in the area. A friend of ours operates a factory with many Burmese workers and the Lord placed in on his heart to do more than just employ, he asked if we could assist him, organize and teach this project. Once open we will teach English, parenting, life skills, and of course the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the same location we assisted in setting up a Burmese day care. We are hoping to house 150-200 men, woman, and children on the upper two floors and have the actual center on the ground floor. There is much prayer needed as we go forward in this area of ministry, as we have just begun.

English lessons: Both Sarah and I have been teaching English lessons at our home, we each had one student but the Lord saw fit to excuse my student so that I could have more time for the other tasks at hand. The village we live in is upwards of 80% Muslim and everybody wants to speak English, this will prayerfully become one of our bigger areas of ministry as the Lord brings those students in. Please pray for Sarah and her student as she teaches English and evangelizes her student.

Family: As a family we are doing ok all things considered. The schedule and the move, and school, and and and. Joey and Jacob are both in online schooling, and Tyler and Marissa are back in homeschooling, with the move we saw fit to not place them back in public school until we got more familiar with the area and the people of the area. Not knowing what to expect due to the current ratio of residents. There are very few Christians in Thailand and in our village aside from our family I am sure I could count on one hand the others. We have been here now about 6 months and are really starting to make friends and be accepted into the community. Joey has friends at several of the local motorcycle mechanics and it is neat to watch him learn how to fix the different things wrong with them. As mentioned earlier the Lord provided somebody to cover us in ministry and upon my return from the Philippines March 28th we will begin the process of attaining our volunteer permits and visas that will allow for us to stay in the country and operate legally. I promised to keep it short so with that I will close, thank you for all your prayers and support, please prayerfully consider partnering in what the Lord is doing here in Thailand. There are many areas, not just financial. God bless

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CHRISTMAS

Christmas in Thailand is definitely different. As I am sure you know this is a Buddhist nation and Christmas aside from consumerism is non existent. I mean to say that only were money can be made is there Christmas, in the malls, santa hats on the street, and "Christmas" specials. There is no recognition what so ever of the meaning of Christmas, aside from within the Christian church. Most of our Christmas was celebrated in service to our Lord making Him known amongst the lost here in Thailand. We as a team have been working tirelessly since the end of October to prepare for a live nativity presentation followed by the gospel. Patong International Fellowship partnered with Freedom Church (the Thai church that allows us to rent their sanctuary for service) to do an outreach to the Thai people. It was so much work meeting at least every Saturday, all day, teaching and training how to perform. Thai culture does not really  support this sort of thing although it is catching on. Its effectiveness however is amazing as most people have not had the opportunity to attend such an event. Praise the Lord it is over!! and even better than that, it was a huge success. Many people were able to not only see the play that covered from the initial pregnancy to the visit of the wise men, and the rage of Herod but also heard the Gospel, some for the first time. Joey was the messenger angel, visiting both Joseph in a dream and also the shepherds by night, while Sam, Jacob, Tyler, and Marissa were part of the multitude of Heavenly hosts proclaiming "Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men" Sarah, Joe, Lisa, and Pastor Doo were the directing Staff, and Kayberlynn took care of stage management. Everybody really enjoyed the presentation and have all had really positive feedback. Praise the Lord!

On Monday December 23 we all traveled up to Nam Khem for a Christmas outreach to the Burmese. Joe was invited for the Gospel presentation end of the outreach. Again all went very well with portions of the Passion movie used to enforce the message. Praise the Lord as Pastor Ehkhaw and Kolin already had these clips prepared and Joe had no idea. They worked great hand in hand. About half of the 200+ people in attendance were none believers, atleast 25 had only heard the Gospel one other time a few days prior at another Christmas program.

Christmas Eve was mostly spent getting vehicles road worthy, as our truck had a few serious issues Joe stumbled on as he checked the oil. The providence of the Lord. Also getting the truck that we were hit in a few months back taken care of. Around Midnight we were joined with one of our church members Earl John for some added fellowship, pizza and encouragement before getting 5 hours sleep.

Oh beautiful Christmas morn, five hours sleep and off to our Christmas service! We at Patong International have recently began a new service as an outreach to the tourist of the area, we held a special Christmas service at this new location. The entire morning was centered around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunatly no tourist showed but there were about 15 church members there to here the message, have communion and some real intimate fellowship. Never hurts to preach the gospel within the confines of the "church".

In a few days we will hold our church Christmas party, December 27/28 beginning at 11:59 December 27th until 4 am  we will party on the beach, exchange gifts and have a truly wonderful time of worship and fellowship. Crazy hours for a party I know but when everybody works nights you make due with the time you have.

Yeah we had a very unconventional Christmas, even struggled with some of the things we had coming our way as we all struggled with how different and how exhausted we all were, but in the end we are just super excited and thankful that the Lord would count us as faithful enough to proclaim His name during this time.

I am sure you have heard it already but I want to reiterate, Jesus Christ is the reason for Christmas, His birth, His life, even his Death, and resurrection. The birth of Christ in only the beginning of the story. The first chapter of God's great love story towards mankind. The entire story is so beautiful, so amazing I just sit in awe. That the creator of all things would take the time to conjure up such an elaborate plan for us, for me. That through this plan He would pour out His wrath on Jesus so that I/we would never have to experience that wrath. I pray that each of you, our readers would ponder the amazing lengths God went just to spend time with you, with each and every one of you. God loves you and has put in place an awesome love story to save us from our sins, thus restoring fellowship with Him, adopting us as sons of God. God bless you this Christmas season


Yup that's them all dressed up and ready to go

All actors last dress rehearsal

AAAHHH, how sweat our four little Angels

Christmas service message
Zarni, a Burmese church member drama presentation Burmese outreach