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


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.