Monday, November 19, 2012

America

Hey everyone!
We have now been in America for about 6 weeks, catching up, seeking the Lord, and really getting refreshed. We have been blessed to have a house fully furnished, available for us to stay in until January when we return home to Thailand. Last week Sarah and I were blessed with a two day getaway to Cambria, CA, near Hearst Castle. This was a great time of relaxation and some husband and wife time, something we don't get much of with four children.

During our time here we are really seeking the Lord as to how we are to best serve Him in Thailand, with many decisions to make as to what that is. Many things are changing in the ministry in Thailand right now, not only with us but as a whole. It is also a time to rest as we prepare to continue in the work the Lord has before us. Believe me this "rest" is alot of work.

The kids are all being home schooled while we are here and we are also purchasing all the materials needed to sustain us for the next school year. They are also attending the weekly classes that are available here and not available in Thailand through the curriculum that we use. We are all very thankful for this time to be home during the holidays, getting time to visit family and friends that we have missed for the last two years.

This break has a duel purpose, rest., through "resting" we are able to be refreshed and seek the Lord for His guidance. and the second purpose is to gather support. We are here to gather support for us as a family and also for the ministry that we will be participating in. That support comes in many ways but the main two are prayer and financially. In order to gather this support we are making contacts and making speaking engagements with churches.The goal is to get both churches and individuals to commit to pray for us and to donate monthly to the ministry.

As friends, followers,and supporters of this work we ask that if any of you are in the position to set up a speaking engagement to share what the Lord is doing in and through the Nelson family, please do so. Also if you are not committed to support, either prayer or financial, we ask that you would prayerfully consider joining in the work and if you are already a part of this ministry we ask that while we are here in the States you continue that support. Please, please do not forget to pray for us as we are away from home, here in the States. And lastly please continue your financial support as if we were home.
If you have any questions or would like to make contact for any reason we can be reached at thainelsonmissions@yahoo.com

Thank you so much and God Bless

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blessed




  As you have read in previous post we accepted our first guy into the restoration ministry. Things are going great Kaeng seems to responding great to the gospel. Everyday Joe and Kaeng get up and do devotions in the morning. During this time lots of questions arise. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Let us continue to pray for this man’s salvation. Joe and Kaeng also have had the opportunity to work out on a fish farm belonging to one of the local pastors. Their ministry blessed us with two good sized groupers this last week and they were delicious. God has such amazing provision for His people.
Things have been fairly busy for Joe managing two ministries. However, we know that God will never give us more than we can handle. What a blessing it is to be used by the Lord. As you know some of our members cannot read. So on Tuesday nights Joe holds a reading for them and it’s been going great. The members have grown so much just by being able to hear the word of God. They are starting to make correlations between movies, such as the Jesus film, and the Bible. They are able to see how things fit together. I can’t help but to think how I take for granted that I can pick up my bible and read it any time. Or how privileged I am to be able to read. And when I see those who don’t have bibles or can’t read or it’s not in their native language and they hunger for His word I am blessed. They take the Word for face value, no digging or looking too far into things, just pure, simple, child like faith.
We (The Nelsons) are so excited…This is the first time in two years that we will spend Christ’s birthday with our immediate and church family.  It is very hard for us as we want to spend this time with  both our new family and with our family back home. We are very torn but through much prayer we know that it’s time for us to go home for a short time, get refreshed, raise our support and share our vision with the church back home. Joe and I both have a lot of preparations to make during this time. Thank you all who have prayed, supported our family and, made it possible for us to go back to the States for a visit. We hope to spend time with all of our friends and family while there.
Prayer requests
For Kaeng and his salvation
The church here in Ban Nam Khem in Joe’s absence
That all the necessary preparations are made before we leave
For those that hear the word of God
Traveling Mercies for The Nelsons (we will travel on Oct.11 back to America)

Morning Devotions

Joey and Rex

Wednesday Night Bible Study

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hellos and Goodbyes


Hi everyone! Okay so the last 2 weeks have been busy for the Nelsons. As most of you know Joe, Sam and a young man named John just returned from their 56 hour bus ride and 5 day trip to and from Northern Thailand. Joe was blessed enough to be invited by Pastor Eric to come and give a charge to the students as they were graduating from their first semester of Bible College .How truly blessed we are  to have been  a part of that. We also have guests right now, Benny and Long from Cambodia. They serve at Water of Life ministries where the team from our church CCVV just went on a missions trip. We are really blessed to have them here helping with the ministry.

Since Joe has returned home he has been very busy with entertaining guests, business meetings, working on our visa situation, and also working with the newest member to our family Kaeng. We have been praying for a long time for clear direction and a vision for the people of Thailand. We believe that the Lord has given us a clear vision for this area and these people. Those of you that know us and our hearts for the Lord you know that Jesus saved us from a life filled with destruction, drug abuse and violence. We have observed over the past few months the tremendous amount of drug use and violence in our area. While still seeking yet feeling the Lord's direction, we received a call one day asking if we could take in Kaeng and restore him. I guess that is the Lord saying move forward. As we do so we are asking that you would join us in prayer. This ministry is in the beginning stages and needs much prayer for direction and a clear goal for the men of the ministry.

On a personal note the children will begin their first day of home school September 3.Everyone's health is great. Jacob had a tooth pulled this week; his filling fell out and was causing him pain. So, we told the dentist pull it out. It was a baby tooth anyway. My allergies have settled and I have not had any facial swelling for about a week already praise the Lord. Joe and his family are mourning a sudden loss of his grandfather. Please keep them in your prayers. Sam is also doing great every morning, she gets up and goes to a school nearby and teaches English. Please keep her in your prayers. We will be saying goodbye to her on Saturday and she will be dearly missed. Joe's plate is full at the moment so beginning this week I will be taking over the newsletter, the books and writing English curriculum for the Prison. With all that said please keeps us all in your prayers we desperately need them.  

Prayer requests
Kaeng's salvation and restoration
God's direction for the Ministry
God to guide and direct Joe as he begins to lead these men
Joe and his family in their time of mourning
Kid's schooling and me (Sarah) as their teacher
Also for Gods provision 
Pastor Eric,Joe and the Bible students

Joe and Kaeng
Sam and the kids
                

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

July-August

I've been thinking I need to write something down here as it has been a while, come to find out it has been a long long while. Looks like the last thing I wrote was about my recovery from dengue fever. So many things have happened since then I am not even sure I can remember them all but I will try to catch everybody up. I will start with ministry then family.

We have had now for about four months a Bible reading "study" where we come together and read the Word of God. This began as a way for the illiterate members to get more of the word. It started as a twice a month gathering however about 1 month ago we noticed that it was growing and by request began holding it every week. It is a blessing to have this extra time of fellowship in the Word. This also doubles as a Thai lesson for me. Thai has two forms proper and common, the Bible and things of the Bible are communicated in proper Thai and is not part of my normal Thai lessons.

On Wednesday and Friday I we are just finishing James and Galatians respectively. Wednesday is our home cell group meeting that is going well and Friday is the combined fellowship with both Thai and Burmese fellowships coming together.

I think the most exciting event so far here in Ban Nam Khem is a wedding that I did on August 12. Without going into too much detail I will explain. There is a couple here in the church that I have been counseling and ministering to since arriving here in February. During Bua Garwood's visit here we were able to sit down and with no communication barriers explain clearly what the Bible had to say about their situation and lay the choices before them. Upon hearing the truth they made the decision to repent and repair their relationship with the Lord. As a step of their repentance Calvary Ban Nam Khem held the religious ceremony uniting them in marriage before the Lord. There is a long way to go but they have begun the process of restoration. Praise the Lord!

Recently July 17-28 we had a team of visitors from our home church in So Cal. Nine church members and two from other area churches came to Thailand for some time of ministry. We spent two days with Pastor Dana in Thatachai, Phuket, then traveled north to Ban Nam Khem for three days of ministry here. The three days spent here were very busy and fruitful with village outreaches, prison ministry, and a two day youth conference. Many youth and leaders came for the conference, about 100 people attended the event and were encouraged through the book of James. It was great to have so many youth groups from the area together, both Thai and Burmese fellowships were represented. We will be inviting all the groups back in the near future for a drama training seminar. Thank you CCVV and team for your sweat fillled service to the Lord. Also part of this trip included a few days in Cambodia, we were also blessed with the opportunity to travel and see the great work the Lord is doing there. The Nelson family was so encourages and refreshed by the time we shared with the Khmer believers.

From that team we have acquired a guest. Sam Parker, a youth from CCVV, sought the Lord and was directed to stay with us for an extended period of time. She has now been with us just over one month and will return to the states in a few more weeks. It has been a real blessing getting this time with her and seeing the Lord stretch and grow her in His grace and the knowledge of Him.

Pastor Eric has just finished the first course at the Calvary Chapel Training center in Mae Sariang. I was invited to give the graduating students a charge as they left, so Sam, John, and myself made the trip up North. The trip is about 36 hours each direction so of the 6 days we were gone 3 was on a bus. All travel aside the trip was very fun, I got to meet the students, and both Sam and John were able to see Thailand and also another ministry we have going on here in Thailand. We are home now, safely, and back to the ministry of Ban Nam Khem.

For several months now I have had the opportunity to go into the local prison and teach English. This has been a great open door to preach the Gospel to the inmates, it even opened the door for the CCVV team to go there for ministry. The Pastor that leads the ministry is back home on furlough for a few months and has left it to me. There are a few other local Pastors that join in from time to time and this area of ministry is growing. We pray that the inmates will really begin to be interested in spiritual things and start requesting we are allowed to start teaching the Bible. It is their right to be taught, they just have to initiate, we cannot be the ones to make the request.

On a personal note, the family is all healthy for the most part. We all have our days with fever, sore throat, upset stomach etc. but as a whole we are healthy. The kids have finished their school year and are now enjoying a break before back to the books. Sarah is doing a great job in the Sunday school dept, they are making gospel books that upon completion the children can take home and share with their unbelieving parents.

Joey is as tall as I am and eats atleast twice as much also. The other kids are growing just not nearly as fast.

Two of the team members from CCVV traveled standby and  ended up in Thailand three days before the team did. We had the opportunity to join both them and their daughter, who was not part of the team but had a week to see the ministry here and then return home, to Phuket for a few days of R&R before the team arrived. I can personally say that I was so blessed to get away for a few days and relax, swim at the beach etc.

There is not that much to write as not alot out of the ordinary takes place, but know we are all doing good and healthy.

During our trip to Cambodia we attained a 60 day visa that will allow us to stay here until the end of September and we are planning a furlough after this time. We are currently raising funds for this trip, currently travel for the six of us is right about $6,400 round trip to Thailand. If you would like to help please send all donations to Calvary Chapel Valle Vista 44200 Palm ave Hemet Ca 92544. We have many things to share and can't wait to do it in person.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 29th 2012

Just wanted to drop a quick update to everyone. Since my last post about Dengue I am fully recovered. I am no longer feeling any of the effects and most of the weight that was lost has been found. We thank the Lord that the experience I had with the sickness was rough but the recovery was rather quick. There are some other missionaries that were also sick at the same time that are still recovering. Joey, Jacob, and Tyler all also fell victim to these darn mosquitoes. Each had a very mild case of dengue. Joey had a mild fever and was down for a day, Tyler also had a mild fever but was never down, and of the three Jacob had the worst, down for a day but really under the weather for about 4or5 days. Again we praise the Lord they are all doing great, back to normal activities, and no longer in the recovery process. Many people in and around our village have fallen victim already this season with many more to come I am sure. This is a big area of prayer for not only us as a family but also us as a village.

We have been pretty busy getting ready for the Calvary Chapel Valle Vista team that will be joining us July 17th-23rd. We will be spending some time in Phuket and also doing a large youth conference for both the Thai and Burmese. On the 23rd the whole team including the Nelson family will be heading to Cambodia for the remainder of the trip, until I believe the 28th. We will be applying for new visas at that time as well as participating in short term missions with Water of Life foundation. We are really excited to welcome them and see so many of our friends and family. Please pray for the team, their visit, Cambodia, and our visas.

I have written about the twice monthly Bible reading before, by request we have now begun to hold this study every week. Last week there were 9 people that came to hear and discuss the Word of God. I am very excited to see what the Lord is going to do with this group. Prayerfully we will have to find somewhere else to hold study, with 9 it is already pretty full.

As we attempt to witness to the Thai of our village we continue to run into one roadblock. The animosity between the Thai and Burmese. Many attempts are thwarted as soon as the relationship between myself and the "Burmese Church" is established. Calvary Chapel Ban Nam Khem is of course not a Burmese Church it is a Church that holds services in both Thai and Burmese, but getting the Thai to understand that has not been easy. Satan has alot of strongholds in the lives of the Thai, making them very hard to reach. Please join us in fervent prayer for wisdom as we are faced with these strongholds and work with the Lord to tear them down.


Recap Prayer Requests:                                                     

Protection from Dengue
CCVV Team, Visas, Cambodia                          
New Bible  study                                                                                                                          Wisdom                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Marissa and Burmese friend

Combined service Thai and Burmese

Communion Father's Day service

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dengue Fever

I hope this post finds you all in good health and blessed by the Lord. Some may have seen on facebook that about three weeks ago I (Joe) was very sick with Dengue Fever. It has taken this long to really get my health back and I am still working on it, although I am over the sickness there are still some issues I am having. Mainly I lost about 20 lbs that I could not afford to lose. Let me be the first to tell you Dengue is not fun, nice, or like anything I have ever experienced before. The first few days were the worst with a very high fever, and a lot of pressure in my eyes, so much that I could not as much as open them. I slept these days. After I was able to wake up we noticed a rash in all my not tan parts, torso, arms, and legs, turns out this was not a rash it was hemorrhaging. There are four forms of Dengue and the one I was lucky enough to catch was Hemorrhagic Dengue. This form causes internal bleeding and obviously hemorrhaging. After about five days Pastor Ehkhaw and Sarah convinced me to go to the hospital, which was a good idea as I had started bleeding from my gums, and in addition to this I was having trouble breathing and had no balance. Upon arrival to the hospital it was clear to the staff I had dengue, so they administered a blood test which confirmed that I indeed had Dengue. I was given the option to stay in the hospital or go home. Being the hardheaded male that I am I decided to go home and tough it out. That is when Sarah posted on FB about my sickness and asked for prayer. I want to thank everyone for your prayers as that was really the turning point. The following week was spent regaining my thought process as with no food, water, internal bleeding and fever was not an easy task. Thankfully after three weeks I am doing better and am working, like I stated before, regaining the wait that I lost. Again Thank you for your prayers, I am fine and getting better daily. I am now back to my daily routine.

On a much better note Marissa is now a big 7 years old. Her birthday was June 2nd. I was very ill at this time but was able to go to the small birthday party we had for her, here at the church with some friends. For her birthday she received a few presents, a special dinner and a self made and decorated cake. She was totally blessed and worried about her poor sick daddy. She was very thankful for all the birthday wishes and the cards she received from her grandparents.

Many people in our village are under the weather with some strange stuff, ears ringing, dizzy, fatigue, and cold, no fever just cold. As a family we are also experiencing this so please pray for us as we struggle though it with the rest of our neighbors.

The ministry is going very well, with the members now really warming up to the new leadership. I am very thankful that the Lord has and is really doing a work both in the Nelson family and in the church members. The twice monthly Bible reading is going really well, we have had to non-church member Christians attending which is a huge blessing. As a church we are currently going through the book of James on Wednesday, Galatians for our combined service on Friday, and Mark for our Sunday worship service. We are going very slow through each book about 5-10 verses each week. Going slow has been a blessing as most of the members cannot read and really enjoy the slow study.

Today is Fathers day for most of the world, but not Thailand. We did however celebrate it here at CCBNK. We celebrated with a combined service and communion. Having all the members both Thai and Burmese is always a great time of fellowship. HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all you fathers out there, we as children appreciate all the work you do to provide for us and we are so grateful for your service as fathers. God Bless you.    

Thank you for your prayers and God Bless.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24

I guess it has been a while since I updated the blog. Ooops!
We are all doing good, just serving the Lord here in Southern Thailand. A few weeks ago we all come down with a cold that lasted about two weeks but we are all healthy again, Praise the Lord. Calvary Chapel Ban Nam Khem is part of an evangelical prayer meeting of local pastor/leaders that get together once a month for prayer and fellowship, this month they offered a retreat at a resort about 31/2 hours away. The retreat was offered at a great discount, we were able to attend. It was a great time of R&R with a great group of people, split about 50/50 between Thai and foreigners. I personally spent most of the time resting in the A/C while the kids spent most of their time in the pool. Definitely a needed get away time of refreshment. Each evening we had a few hours of worship and fellowship. Thank you Lord for providing a great, affordable time of rest in You.

I attempted to enroll Joey in the local High School with no luck. He did not meet the requirements to attend. This school has a half English, half Thai program that would have been great for Joey to attend, however he must read and write Thai. There was a chance we had a way to work around it but they did not approve. We will be spending this school year really working on that aspect so that before next year Joey can take the 6th grade Thai exam and attend next year. We are hoping to enroll the other boys also next year as this year has already started and we are hoping to have furlough that would disrupt their education here.

Sarah has started an English program for the Burmese church members using the same curriculum she used to teach while we were in the North. It is actually designed to teach the Burmese. She teaches for about two hour three days a week. Currently there are three students that faithfully attend. 

Ministry wise we are doing well also. Church attendance has not gone down even though we did lose a few while we made the leadership change. We lost a few and gained a few as well so that is great. I guess you can expect to lose a few. We have a helper that comes for every service to "translate". I prepare notes in English and have three different ladies assist in translating to Thai for my assistant to read and follow along. Not the best way but it is working well as we are both challenged in our language study. Me in Thai and her in English. We have many Moken members that cannot read or write, and it is hard for them to get the Word of God on there own. So we started a Bible reading study twice a month where we read two chapters one at a time and have a time of questions and discussion after each one. We are currently going through the book of Matthew. The beattitudes was a great reading study as there were many questions and discussions of how that is to apply to our lives and exactly what is meant. So far this has been a huge blessing.

And that is what we have been up to lately God Bless.

Photos from top to bottom: A tour of the bay in Krabi while on retreat, You find the strangest things at the marketplace!, Remind me never to eat at this restaurant! what is that first special menu item again?





Prayer Requests:
Continued spiritual growth
Health in the family
Upcoming CCVV mission team
Spreading of the Gospel
Finances (monthly, Furlough)
Language training




Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

As we were preparing to celebrate the rising of the Son, I almost sent a monk to meet his maker. That is how we started Resurrection Sunday. Praise the Lord I missed the man by about two feet, but it sure makes for an attention getter on Easter Sunday. So long story short, I was cut off but a monk and his driver while I was on the way to pick up some members. After sliding and going off the road I was able to avoid an accident, by the grace of God. One member in the back of the truck hit her face on the cab and got a black eye but that is the extent of the encounter. Easter services  were held at the beach and consisted of a message from 1 Corinthians 15, communion, a baptism, and food and fellowship afterwards. I was able to teach with an interpreter, one of the ladies that helped with the IC team made the trip back to assist and Pastor Ehkaw taught in Burmese. We baptized one new believer and then enjoyed some food. Thank you Lord for defeating sin and death for us.

About two weeks ago we were blessed again with the opportunity to be Tsunami evacuees. Wow what a blessing... NOT! After a large earthquake off the coast of Sumatra we were evacuated for about five hours. Really no big deal except three of our children were in Phuket. When we finally got someone on the phone our worry really began, they were at the beach?? Well that is the first message we got but after some more investigation they were "at the beach" on a 150 ft cliff overlooking the bay or something. They had planned on doing some swimming but instead headed up the hill to look out over the sea, as soon as they arrived in the parking area they received the warning and were not allowed to leave for the next 4 hours. Thank you Lord for your perfect guidance and protection. After we were at ease with the kids situation all we had to do was wait and wait and wait... about 5 hours we were given the all clear and returned home. Again thank you for your protection Lord.

Last week Joey and Jacob were given the chance to attend a kids day camp. They had a wonderful time at the CDC participating in games and having fellowship with other kids their age. This week Tyler and Marissa will get to do a "VBS" for three days. What we get a break?? YES! Our kids will be blessed beyond measure as they are taught the word and get to meet new friends from around the neighborhood. Oh yeah they will be missed also.

We now have a lady that comes to every service and helps with worship and most importantly with teaching the word. I prepare my notes in English, email them to one of three ladies depending on what day of the week it is for, they get translated into Thai and then we read them during service. Not exactly the best way to teach, being locked into notes, but the word is taught and it makes me that much more diligent making sure I include everything I want to the first time. We have been working together now for about three weeks and we are getting the feel for each other and I am figuring out the length and stuff like that. This lady, P Pla, is very devoted to helping here at the church she comes to each service including the Bible reading every other Monday, and also comes Saturday with all notes from the week before. She asks all kinds of questions trying to figure out how to say things herself and also adding to her very limited English vocabulary. Her devotion is a huge blessing and a real encouragement.

Pastor Ehkaw went to Myanmar for about 10 days, giving his two Sunday teachings to me. That makes three each Sunday for two weeks. Really that would not be much but for the first service I have to get up at around 5:30 and drive to the first one, mornings are not my friend. This week was the first week and it went really good, had a few bumps but went real well. I even got to take a nap between Thai service and Burmese. Much needed rest. Good time of stretching and growth for myself and the family.


I think I said more than I planned already so I will cut this post off. If I think of more I will post again soon.
Following are some pictures of Easter service.





Prayer requests:

Continued outreach opportunities
Followup opportunities with interpreter
Possible new cell group
Bible reading class twice a month
Commitment to the gospel
Faith in the church
Safe travel for the Burmese members traveling back to Thailand
Health there are many sick members (we are doing rather well)
Steadfastness to the word and diligence in study 
Guidance
Finances for furlough in August

Thursday, April 5, 2012

International Commision

From March 24 to April 2 we had a team of mostly Americans here in the Pang Nga area. There were about 30 of them total and about ten churches were involved. We had 8 here at CCBNK, 4 for each team. What a blessing it was to have some help going out sharing the Gospel in the neighborhood. The plan was to have each church member pray for and share the Gospel with ten of their friends or family, something that had been worked on for about five months. In the transfer of leadership this part was overlooked and about 10 days before the team arrived I was informed of the whole thing. It was so cool to see the hand of the Lord as He pulled it all together and challenged the church members to get active in their faith. Wednesday prior to the teams arrival at Bible study each member was convinced that sharing their faith was not possible and they would not be able to participate. Monday, the first day of ministry was a huge blessing as we visited a member and encouraged her to join in the days ministry, sharing with her neighbors. After not much reluctance we began our day with her mother and some other family members, by the end of the day she was translating into her native tongue, from Thai to Moken. Each and every church member was able to go with the team and share with their friends and neighbors.
Most of the ministry turned out to be to people that had left the church here for one reason or another, each with a clear Gospel message and a strong invitation to return to fellowship and to seek the Lord. We had a ministry of restoration. There were many who had never heard the Gospel before also and several who were seriously considering eternity when we left them. The following Sunday we had two new ladies join for service, Thank You Jesus.
I was blessed by the four people I had, as they were so flexible to a new style of evangelism and also having that restoration ministry. Thank you IC team.

On another note, as a family we are all doing good. Ministry is really taking off and I am busy almost everyday now. I have house visits two days a week, have just started helping a near by church in their prison ministry, and also will start a Bible reading "study" in the next week or so. There are several women who cannot read, and during this time we will gather and read the Word so they get the chance to hear the word. It will be read in Thai by a lady that is helping us. After moving twice and getting settled again, just before the team arrived the kids are finally back in the swing of things. All of our health is doing really good with nothing to complain about lately.

God is so good and faithful, His grace and mercies are fresh everyday. Thank you for your prayers and support. Check back often, and love to hear from you.

Our new address is Joseph Nelson Box7, Tambon Bang Muang, Ampur Takuapa, Pang Nga Thailand 82190

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Faith and Patience

Give me AIR! We are so busy it is hard to find time to breath. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness. Last week was my first week teaching the Thai church as the leader, it was rather interesting as has been every day since. The Lord did not provide an interpreter so I was blessed and challenged to prepare and teach in Thai, mind you my Thai has much to be desired. All things considered it went well, as well as reading notes in a foreign language could be that is, but praise be to God, most of it was understood. The Lord is really growing me and the members as we grow together in His grace and blessing. 
Each week we do home visits both Tuesday and Thursday, these I do in Thai only and pray for the day that I am able to actually pray and get into the word with them during these times. In the meantime while we pray for an interpreter we go fellowship and share the love of Christ. It is great to spend some personal time with the members while we build the relationship.
We are one of about ten churches currently hosting a large team from America, about 28. Here at Calvary Chapel Ban Namkhem we have 8 split 4 for each team Thai and Burmese. The Lord is so good at teaching us when we just listen and learn. As I stated before we are still without an interpreter of our own, for this team we had one lined up who cancelled the day of orientation due to a death in the family. WHAT? I have 4 people that are supposed to be doing evangelism and no interpreter? Oh Lord what do you have in store?  Just before bed last night after many phone calls and much prayer a local Pastor called me and would be able to help for service today. He had to find someone to teach in his place and would be able to assist both today and our midweek if we did not get something worked out. WOW! Thank you Jesus! Ok Sunday down and 7 more days to be covered. Tonight, Sunday, after dropping the team back off at their hotel we get an interpreter lined up until lunch time Monday, ok little by little Lord we will get through this. He is so faithful even when we are not, even when we are freaking out, not truly trusting all things into His hands, He has a plan. Shortly after this whole thought process we get someone set up for Monday afternoon until Wednesday evening, getting closer. As I write this that is where the Lord has left us, partly covered and fully relying on Him for the rest of the week. This few weeks has been a huge faith builder, I just hope I can hurry up and learn what this lesson is all about so we can move on already. 
Another praise report! Currently there are two offers for an interpreter we are praying for direction as to who the Lord would have us use to bring Him the most glory, who knows maybe both. 
All of us as a family are really being tested and tried growing daily in faith and grace. 
Bless you all and thank you for your prayers and support.

Prayer Requests:
Obviously we need alot of prayer.
Interpreter 
continued obedience
Growing in grace and wisdom
Strength and courage to share the gospel (personally and also for the body of beleivers)
Salvation for Thailand
Understanding and speaking of the language

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9 2012

So much has happened already since arriving in Southern Thailand. The last two weeks have been really crazy, we had a team of Pastors visit and tour the country, followed by two from Cambodia.

We were so blessed to have the team of Pastors come and visiting us, including our Pastor, Pastor Cliff and Randy our Care team leader. We had a great time of fellowship with all the visiting pastors, all from California. Our first day with them was spent in Phuket, then we traveled here to Ban Nam Khem. We held a small encouragement conference for the body here with the Pastors teaching through Matthew 5, the Beattitudes. After the conference I was given the opportunity to travel back North to Mae Sariang with the team spending two nights there before heading to Bangkok to see off part of the team and spend some, much needed time with Cliff and Randy. It was so encouraging to have this time with them, it has been a long time since we have had the chance to really sit and talk. It has been about 17 months since the rest of the family has seen Pastor Cliff also. Our church sent many letters and cards from America and it was so sweet to sit as a family and pour over them, feeling the Love of our home body. We were so blessed and encouraged by them, thank you so much for the love and support!

While in Bangkok we met up with a fellow missionary and one of her leaders from Cambodia. This is the second time we were given the chance to visit and encourage and mostly be encouraged by them and their fervent love for the Gospel. They made the trip down from Bangkok to Ban Nam Khem (BNK) and stayed for two days, today we saw them off, headed back the the Lord's work in Cambodia.

The continued blessing is I got to visit with some other missionaries from our church that happened to be in Northern Thailand the same day we were there. They left for the field about two months after we did and so they got to visit with our Pastor as well as spend some time with me. We were waiting for this since we left home and then moved just before they arrived, however the Lord worked it out that our flight up North landed the same day they had free and we were able to spend a few hours together.

I am home now and really excited to see what the Lord is going to do. Pastor Pichai is leaving early Monday morning and then I will be leading the Thai church after that. It has been real nice to have this time with him and his family before they leave, not only spending time with them but getting to know the ministry here as well as all the people.

Prayer Requests:


Please Please pray for this new ministry
Salvation for Thailand 
Interpreter 
Health
continued steadfastness in the word
A women's ministry

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ban Nam Khem

We have almost finished our first week now here in Ban Nam Khem, Southern Thailand. While we were heading down we found out that there was a house waiting for us to stay in when we arrived. Pastor Eckaw found a small house for rent in Nam Khem that will suit us for the time before the current Pastor and his family head to their home area. It is small but nice and much better than what we were planning, cramming into the church office or other available space. And did I mention, it is Lakeside! Our back yard is about 15 feet and then lake.
 The trip down was sooo long, we left Mae Sariang at 4 am Sunday and arrived around 10 am Monday, driving through the night. We were so blessed by the Lord and His provision of a great rental truck, it fit all 7 people, 2 dogs, and all our belongings. This was a huge area of prayer for a while as we made online arrangements that were just too good to be true, well make no mistake they were too good to be true and nothing hidden, the Lord is just so faithful.
We are so grateful to be able to serve the Lord here and for this time of transition with Pastor Pichai. It has been nice to fellowship with him and do ministry with him while we get to know the church members. This week we had a midweek, went to visit, pray, and encourage the members, and also had the Friday combined service.  This next month will be fun and challenging as we learn the “ropes” of Nam Khem ministry.
Today we helped assist some of the Burmese and Pastor Pichai set tile in the sanctuary, actually we just grouted but whatever. It is funny how the Lord works, Sarah and I were just talking and praying about doing something like this, when we arrived there was a huge stack of tile waiting to be set. Sarah, Joey, Eric, and myself all helped with this task.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to go fishing, that was fun, of course! And I think that about raps up our first week here. 

Prayer Requests:
Translator
Guidance, humility, strength, love
Smooth transition
Evangelism
Salvation


P.S. Some of you may have noticed, there is a new button at the very bottom of the page, you can now donate via PAYPAL for your convenience, these donations are not tax deductable, Shepherd Staff donations are the way to go for that sort of thing. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Exciting News

The original call to Thailand is finally being answered! After almost three years the Nelson family will finally be making the trek to Southern Thailand. During  the time Sarah and I were in Ban Nam Khem, November 2009, the Lord really spoke that we would be serving there, but that just never seemed to be "in the cards" so to speak, however during this last trip the Lord has confirmed His original calling and we will be headed down near the end of February. The local Thai pastor has stepped down and he and his family will return to the North where they are originally from. We will be taking their position. It is so amazing how the Lord works in His timing, not ours. Just as we are getting settled here in the North, getting comfortable, He confirms something that has been in His plan all along. We so often get distracted and forget what He has put in our hearts but He is faithful and never forgets. The whole family is very excited about this new chapter and new responsibility and cannot wait to see what the Lord is going to do. Pastor Eric and the Nelson family will be leaving the North around the 20th and head down South to meet with Pastors Cliff, Gerry, and the rest of the team around the 1st of March. Please keep this big move in prayer, also the visit from America. This next year is going to be exciting. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. It will be hard leaving our new friends and family here in Mae Sariang but we all find comfort knowing that it is the Lord's will. We will miss everyone here, that is for sure. 


Prayer Requests:


Salvation for Thailand
Upcoming Move
Upcoming Visit from America
Continued Growth of Small Church here
The New Task of Leading a Church
Steadfastness in the Word
Growth in the Grace and Knowledge of Christ






Thank you for all your prayers and support. God Bless. 

Photos

Here are some of the photos that I  have been promising, I am sorry to admit that most of our christmas photos were lost due to a crashed hard drive. Pictures are as follows Inductive Bible Study training Calvary Chapel Ban Nam Khem Burmese,
Pastor Trip Kimball teaching at the CDC to local Thai leaders Pastor Jason Goh translating (IBS training), Pastor Eric Johansen IBS training CCBNK Aseti translating, Nelson kids being surprised by their bicycles Christmas morning thank you Gma Kathy, Marissa and the Johansen girls making Christmas cookies, Tyler riding the puppy around on his new bike.





Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Almost Done!

It has now been over three weeks since the boys and I were home and we are very ready to be there. The trip has been and will be to the end a huge blessing, but it has also been very long.

Pastor Trip Kimball is here with Eric and I. He arrived about a week ago and will leave I think Sunday. Pastor Trip has over the years worked out a workshop for teaching Inductive Bible Study and that is what brings him here to Southern Thailand. In the last week we have completed two such workshops, and will finish the third tonight at 9 p.m. The three consist of one to the Thai believers here in Nam Khem and two to Burmese, one here and one about a half hour away in Khoa Lak. It has been a huge blessing to be able to partner with Pastor Trip in this area of ministry, having the opportunity to train leaders how to study in this fashion. Tomorrow morning we will head about an hour away, near Phuket for another three day workshop, then FINALLY make the twenty four hour drive home.

Aside from the IBS training we have had the opportunity to share the Love of Christ with many non believers here in the area with great response. It is such a blessing to see people recognize their sin and begin to seek Christ for the redemption found only in Him. Due to the IBS workshops at night we have not had many more video showings but that is ok as there are still many open doors to share in our down time. Thank you for all your prayers during this long trip.

Sarah will finish teaching at Mylongyee January 28th, which is of the Lord. This will free her up for many other areas of ministry. Thank you also for all your prayers during this time of teaching it has been a real blessing.

The kids are all good just missing the vacant parent on both ends of the country. Joey attended the IBS training also and was blessed by it. They have all been on break since Christmas but will begin schooling again when we return home. It really worked out good as their break was to be from Thanksgiving to Christmas anyway.

I think that is about all for now. Please remember us in you prayers.

I apologize there are still no pictures available... working on it promise! There should be a photo post soon (next week or two)

PRAYER REQUESTS:
Salvation for Thailand
Urgency to repent of sin (both saved and unsaved)
Furtherance of the Gospel
Upcoming visit Pastors Cliff and Gerry and crew
Direction for the Nelson's ministry
Finances