Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Hello Friends and Family,
Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New year. I hope that all of yours was as good as ours! Christmas was definitely different, not in a bad way just different. I mean beach Christmas party? We had the blessing of attending both the church and youth Christmas parties and the youth party was held at the beach. We spent our Christmas doing what we love and that is spending time as a family serving our Glorious God. There is a feeding ministry on Saturday that coincides with Sarah's English class, well as you know Christmas was on Saturday. We served 55 children spaghetti and rice crispy treats (which is another story) and did a raffle where everyone got a prize. So the story about the rice crispy treats, there is a story in the Bible of Jesus feeing five thousand with just a few fish and a few loaves of bread, let me just say He is not limited to fish and bread. That Friday night Christmas Eve Brandon, another student, received a package from home that had a box of treats containing 54 treats. The box was opened and some treats were enjoyed maybe four or five leaving 49 or 50, now here is the good part, of you remember we fed 55 children each one received a treat, NOW THAT IS PRAISEWORTHY! Today is New Years Eve and we are just preparing for tonight, not sure of the festivities but are excited to bring in the New Year. Just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and support and wish send seasons greeting, remember what this season is all about JESUS is most definitely the reason for the season.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


As many of you know, Sarah was having some medical problems that resulted in her being admitted to the hospital. The doctors ruled out a number of things but were not really able to determine what was wrong. They ended up sending her home to see how she would do over the course of a few days. The short of it is that Sarah is now up and about again according to Joe and that is wonderful news!! Thanks to the Lord for His healing power because the doctors weren't able to do anything. Another wonderful thing in the midst of all this is that the hospital room that Sarah was able to stay in had both air conditioning AND television. Apparently that is very rare. It's usually one or the other or neither. She got both. God is good!

The family is now learning Tagalog from Pastor Angel if I understood the message correctly. And what I personally find to be awesome is that Joey is going with Joe on the hospital visits and on preaching trips and he is really getting "real world" experience in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ! NOTHING can take the place of that and for Joey to see that first-hand is an experience that probably 95% of the rest of the world will never get to experience.

On the financial front, if you pledged money to support the missionary work of Joe and Sarah and the kids, please make sure that gets taken care of. There isn't a problem but we just want to make sure that they can focus on the ministry and not have to concern themselves with finances. When you help them out, you are storing up treasures in Heaven because lives WILL be touched and people WILL be saved and live with the Lord forever in eternity because people here "back home" supported their work. It's a privilege to be a part of expanding God's kingdom.

In closing, please remember to make prayer a TOP PRIORITY for the Nelsons. There is nothing more powerful in all the universe than the power of prayer because the Lord hears and acts upon the prayers of His children. Consider Cornelius in Acts 10. The angel spoke to him and said that his prayers were come up to Heaven for a memorial before God. And we can also be encouraged and strengthened by 1 Pet. 3.12, which reads, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers." And we also know from Revelation that our prayers are offered up with incense before the Father. So, don't take prayer lightly and don't use prayer as a last resort. If we did more things by STARTING with prayer, we wouldn't get to a position where we think prayer is all we have left because our human efforts have failed.

God bless you all and thank you so much for your support! Joe and Sarah send their thanks. It's a very busy time for them and so I will be keeping you all updated on the blog from now on (for the most part) so that it can free up Joe and Sarah to do more important things!

Grace and peace,

Mike Larsen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As Sarah and I were sitting on our porch last night I asked her does it seem real yet? After a long list of all the "problems" of being here she said yes it's real. I thought that funny because that is not at all what I was thinking, I was sitting there in pure awe of the things the Lord has done in our lives over the last few years. To me that is unreal. What a glorious God we serve that would call us out of darkness and into this life. Who could have imagined we would end up in another country serving such a God? Not in my wildest dreams! Is it real we are not in the comfort of America? Absolutely! Can I believe it not yet. All is going very well, we are definitely getting settled into our home and what a blessing it is to be on our own. It is nice to be able to walk out the back door to use the restroom (that is actually where it is) or to stand in the restroom and pour cold water on ourselves to shower. I say that kinda being funny but really we are so blessed to have our own place. School is going well, I have I think five classes right now, the rest of the time I am traveling to teach or accompany Pastor Angel while he teaches. Monday night English study through James started last week and everyone is either very graceful or they enjoyed it, I hope for the latter. We are putting a Thanksgiving dinner together for us and the rest of the Americans, currently there are three others. Sarah is very excited by this and just having something to do is a blessing. Kids are all fine and will be starting school again in the next few days, it has been very hard out of suitcases and disorganized bu we have a classroom set up and that will be on its way. Praise the Lord. Thanks for all the prayers and support. God Bless

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From the Nelson's

Hello Everyone,
Really wanted to say hello myself. And say thanks as Mike already has. All is going very well and we are staying BUSY. God is so Good to sustain us through this time of adaptation. It has been very smooth, considering. There was a small miscommunication for our prayer requests, it was our plane tickets not our visas to be taken care of over the phone, they are for now in January I will have to go to Manilla to get them changed out further. Our visas will be taken care of in person during December on the other side of the Island please pray for the finances. Now that that is out of the way, Sarah just walked in the door, her first trip to market without me she is so excited it is so funny. Has anybody else checked out the little map to the right, it is cool it shows every place somebody has visited our blog from, if you have not check it out, it is cool atleast to me, there are people visiting from places I don't even think I know people, God is definitely moving in the hearts of the people. Next Friday we are going to try to put on a Thanksgiving day/birthday meal for the Americans here. As some of you know it is also Sarah and Joey's spiritual birthday. Well I think that is all for now just wanted to drop a line personally, Mike is doing a great job, huh. Praise the Lord for the faithful service of not only Mike but so many others.

1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

For those who don't know, a number of people from church contributed for the needs of the Nelson family and we sent a couple of boxes over to them. It's such a blessing to see God's people coming together and standing with our missionaries!! The sad part is that boxes get shipped there via rowboat piloted by a one-armed man. So, needless to say, it takes about seven weeks for the boxes to arrive. Nevertheless, the items will serve to help Joe and Sarah and the kids minister to many people.

Monday night service - Joe is teaching James
Every other Tuesday morning, Joe is teaching at the prison (next week, 11/23, is next in his bi-weekly rotation).
Every other Thursday morning, Joe is teaching at the city jail (this is Joe's week in his bi-weekly rotation).
Friday night youth group.
Bible studies at nearby locations to be determined.
Hospital ministry.
Opportunities to witness to neighbors and locals 
Visa renewal to go smoothly and to be able to do it over the phone instead of having to go to Manilla.
Youth ministry. They have their own worship and the young people attend five days each week. 

Joey is doing well. His bandage is off of his foot now.
Sarah has good and bad days. Please continue to pray for her health.

Looks like they'll be moving in on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. A few things remain to be completed but it looks like all is going well.

Joe, Sarah, and family are adjusting well. Communication is not a major problem since most people seem to speak English. A Skype call is in the works for maybe next Wednesday, Nov. 24th. It will be conducted during the church service if all goes according to plan.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and generosity in helping the Nelsons out. All that you've done is faith in action! It's being DOERS of the Word and not just hearers. (James 1.22). It's showing our faith by our works as James also says in James 2.18.

Until next time, God bless you all! Be sure to keep the Nelsons in your daily prayers and be sure to email them if you can.

In His service,

Mike Larsen

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Now EVERYONE can post comments!!

Hi gang. I re-configured the blog so that you can either type your name and post a message or just post a comment anonymously. It was previously configured so that only people registered with Live Journal, Wordpress, TypePad, and others could post.
Make sure to leave a comment and let the Nelsons know you're thinking of them!! 

In His service,

Mike Larsen

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hey everyone,
Just a quick note we are here, we are fine and things are going well. We have hit a few minor bumbs in the road but God is faithful and good. Amen?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last Goodbye

I wanted to personally thank everyone that has so lovingly said goodbye in the last few days. It has been a real blessing and comfort to know and see how much we are loved and will be missed. Thanks to all who have come by to pray and to those who brought food, I think we have eaten better this last few days than in the last few weeks. Friday was a huge blessing as Mike had stated before  but from the bottom off our hearts thank you to all that participated. This will be our last stateside post for some time as we leave tonight. We are all packed up and ready to go all our luggage is in the van awaiting transpo. We greatly covet the prayers of the saints lifting us as a family and a ministry. There are so many areas we need prayer but just to name a few that will be fairly constant for the first three months and that is adaptation; to a new culture, lifestyle, parenting, language, education; for myself and our kids, and the ministry that we will doing teaching kids and building relationships near our new home. As more specific prayers arise they will be posted here so please check atleast weekly. That is about the frequency we will be able to update our info....until then May The Lord Richly Bless You, our dear friends and family.

                                                                                              Joe and Family

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Nelson Home

Hi gang,

Here are some photos of the home that the Nelsons will be living in during their tenure in the Philippines.

Remember to keep them in your prayers as they go about the Lord's business!!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Schedule of Events

Hi Gang,

This is Mike and I wanted to give you the latest and greatest information concerning the "marching orders" for Joe and Sarah as they prepare to embark on their journey to the Philippines.

Joe will be going back to school once they get settled in. He will be a student in the Calvary Chapel U-Turn For Christ School of Ministry in Eastern Samar. This will continue for at least the first three months of their stay. He will also be assisting with the aquaponics program. It is a cost-efficient program that could produce a yield of three or four crops per year that will supplement the church and school.

One of Joe's main duties will also be to perform physical upkeep of the facilities on the East Coast. This will be in addition to the spiritual duties already mentioned. He will be working closely with Pastor Bong on various projects.

Also, for the first three months, Joe will be serving as the youth assistant teacher at the church in Lalawigin in E. Samar.

Sarah will be teaching the children English instruction through the bible twice each week. She will also be assisting CC U-Turn For Christ Lalawigin with the Children's Ministry at Sunday School during the worship service.

At the end of the three months there will be an evaluation and then Joe may be moving into a teaching position with the School of Ministry and possibly teaching through the gospels in English.

That is the schedule thus far. Joe and Sarah would also like to extend a very heart-felt THANK YOU to everyone who came out for the "Thanksgiving Dinner." It was a wonderful time of food, fellowship, and testimonies. We stayed for four hours and listened to a number of people sharing about their lives and about how Joe and Sarah have touched them and influenced them over the years. Many tears were shed as people reflected on the past and also contemplated the future as we prepare to see Joe and Sarah off this coming Tuesday, Oct. 26th. Their flight actually leaves at about 1 AM early Wednesday morning and so we'll be bringing them to the airport and seeing them off late Tuesday evening.

As updates come in, we'll be sure to keep you all abreast of things. Please keep the Nelson family in your prayers. It's an exciting time and yet big moves like this always bring stress into our lives. Pray that the Lord's perfect peace would accompany them each day and that He would place His angels around them and protect them and bless their every step.

Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you!!

Mike on behalf of Joe and Sarah

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tonights fundraiser

Thank you to all who attended, helped, cooked, or thought about any of the three and anything I missed. There is now a link to our blog through as well as the church website Follow us a stay in the loop!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Its about TIME!

Today we purchased our tickets to Manila. Our date is October 27, we fly out of LAX  at 1:15 am. For anybody not on Facebook sorry for the late notice, this Friday at 6pm here at the church we are having our last fundraiser dinner before we leave. We would love to have all that can attend here for possibly the last time for a while. We will be in the Philippines for about six months, then we should return for a time, then off toThailand. Also for anyone in the So Cal area October 7th in Los Angeles we are having a game show fundraiser, we attend they pay. If you are interested let me know and I will get the info to you. As you can imagine our life is a little hectic right now trying to get ready for this big move, prayer is a huge need, if everyone could keep this time in their prayers we would all greatly appreciate it. We are all very excited and anxious to finally get this over with. There is still much work to be done. Also that the Lord would continue to prepare our hearts to minister to the people of the Philippines as well as the hearts of the people that we will minister to. Adaptation to a new culture, especially for the kids. That we would have the faith it takes to KNOW we are not in control and He will take care of us And not last or least that Sarah and I as parents remember the kids will be going through changes and may deal with it differently, basically that we are sensitive to their needs.There are also some physical needs that could use prayer for the Lord's provision; although we have our tickets to Manila there is a domestic flight, our visas for the six month period, a generator for brown outs, refrigerator, transportation in the form of a mo-ped. Finances in general are a concern for me as a father and head of this household so please pray for our monthly financial support. If your led to help with any of the physical needs other than monthly support the best way to do so for the time being is to send them to the church office 44200 Palm Ave Hemet Ca 92544. This will ensure we receive them before our departure, there is a process to get funds through shepherd staff. If meeting a specific need please designate that in the donation. Thank you for your coveted prayers. 

James 5:16b The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's going on

So here is the latest revelation in the Nelson family story. This past week we have had meetings with both our Pastor and Pastor Gerry Brown of U-Turn for Christ which is the ministry that has the training facility in the Philippines we will be attending. After these get togethers all have decided as of right now we will be leaving to the Philippines by about November. This will be a six month stay, after which we will be coming home for a short period of time in order to share what the Glorious Lord has done in our lives. During the six month period at the School of Ministry we will be working on getting our support up to make the change to Thailand, which is a bit more expensive almost double. In the next few months we are holding several fundraisers, yard sales and doing side jobs in order to raise as much money as we can. Doing this will greatly offset the monthly support needed to stay in the Philippines. We aren't exactly sure the cost of living in the Philippines, we are working on getting a better idea but it should be no more than six hundred dollars that we need overseas however with taxes and admin it will about nine or so. Currently we have people committed to donate about three hundred of that so there is still in need there. If you would like to help please follow this link . Also if you are planning to donate monthly please let us know so we can keep track of where we are financially. You can also follow us at those of you not in a financial position to help, prayer is just as important and believe me we need it. The kids are about to start school and that is definitely an area of prayer. Sarah has home schooled the kids for two years now but this is the first year we have actually had to actually purchase our curriculum, wow what a headache, finally after much work we have purchased their studies and are awaiting their arrival. Please keep Sarah and the kids in prayer as they get back into the swing of things. Also for the whole family as we begin to take on this endeavor, it is a big step for all of us. Wisdom and strength for me as I lead this family. I could go on forever but won't one last prayer is for the Lord's provision through all this, not only financial but it is only Him that could provide the spiritual growth and change in our lives that have brought us to this point in our lives. Thank you and God Bless 
In His service
The Nelson Family
Romans 10:13-15

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 Wanted  to drop a line to update everyone on our status. As of about two weeks ago we are officially Shepherd Staff missionaries! This is something that is really a big deal for us as this organization deals with all of our financial stuff i.e. taxes, donation receipts, collection point for funds, online donations,  insurance, and many others. This however does raise our needed support some, the insurance, which is an option, will run about $360 for the entire family. Other than that social security and Fica or whatever the mandatory deductions is, and admin fee 10%, will be about $300 as well. We are totally relying on the Lord for these funds as He is who has placed this desire in our hearts. Our goal is to have all of our monthly support by September, I have said before and will say again this is our timing and we are very flexible to His direction and timing. Several people have stated we are not gone yet so they aren't supporting, which is perfectly fine, what we are asking is if this is you please let us know that you are going to support us monthly and the amount you are planning to donate, this information is important so that we know where we stand financially. For those of you who at this point are unable to make a monthly commitment we are accepting donations now online through Shepherd Staff at the link we shared several days ago as well at the bottom of this letter. I want to thank all of you for your prayers especially as they are coveted, and also those who have been giving both through the church and online through Shepherd Staff. Here at Calvary Chapel Valle Vista   we have been blessed by a brother in the Lord who so graciously built a website and links for us so you can follow us there  as well as through e-mails.

In His service
The Nelson Family
Romans 10:13-15