Wednesday, December 25, 2013


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

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Short term trip

 Hey everyone, well as most of you know November marked the arrival of the biggest storm to ever make landfall. Haiyan, or Yolanda as the Philippines named it had winds of up to about 230 mph. Sustained winds of 195 and gusts reaching much higher. Believe it or not the winds were not the problem, or the main one at least. Due to the high winds and the severity of the storm there was a "tsunami" type wave that caused most of the destruction. This wall of water was up at times 35-40 ft in some areas. With a initial "storm surge" of 20-30ft and then storm waves of an additional 10-15 ft. What many may not realize is the area of the Philippines that this storm greatly effected is the same area we lived and ministered during our time in there several years back. Tacloban, the city that received the most attention and was probably most effected due to the population and development of the city, is the same city that we would travel to every 59 or so days to renew our visas. Some of the less publicized areas Guiuan and Hernani we had also traveled. Guiuan really suffered the brunt of the storm, as that is where the eye made landfall. And Hernani is an area that U-Turn planted a church during our stay. All our friends and family from Borongan were also effected by this massive storm. Upon hearing about the storm, Thursday before it hit, we as a family and a church began to pray for the area knowing the size and path made it very personal. As Friday rolled around and the storm made landfall, pictures also began to trickle in and reports of the destruction were shared. Seeing the areas that we so often walked and ate in total ruin was a real shock, but worse than that was the realization that the smaller areas were most likely just as devastated. With no word or reports from Eastern Samar we began to pray "Lord if there is a way, if we are needed please make a way" I wanted to go see and help our friends. Monday morning He did just that. I received word that a initial response team from California would be in Cebu at 10am Tuesday morning, I needed to be there. Mind you it was already 9am Monday. In most parts of the world that may not be a problem but flights only leave for the Philippines from our area once every four days, I was in Thailand alone with the kids as Sarah was in Cambodia, and and and the list goes on. You know Monday the 11th happened to be a fourth day? and with a little shifting of children they were taken care of for two days while Sarah traveled home. The Lord is so good and knows what He is doing, His plans are perfect even when they seem crazy. Needless to say I made the necessary flights and met with Gerry Brown, and several other pastors from all over the Western United States as part of the initial response team. Words cannot express the things we saw, the utter destruction of so many homes, businesses, even towns. I cannot express how thankful I am that all our friends and family there were alive and mostly well, we were allowed to have great fellowship instead of retrieving bodies and funerals.There are many areas this would have been the case but the Lord showed His grace on Borongan and His people throughout Eastern Samar. Yes many many died, hundreds even, even within the church, even within the U-Turn, Calvary Chapel family, but as a whole the death toll was minimal. During the almost three week trip many things took place from the restoration of the Lalawigan church and Bible school to house future teams to the cleaning of the one remaining school in Hernani so that classes could resume, to clothes and dry food goods being handed out, even daily hot meals being prepared and passed out. Through Mercy Chefs we were even able to take part in providing a water purification system to several of the effected areas providing them with safe drinking water. Most of our relief efforts were focused on Hernani a small area totaling about 10,000, the "town proper" is 80-90% demolished with over 200 dead and over 200 missing. I have prepared a small video that provides a glimpse of the destruction and the relief work going on through U-Turn and Calvary Chapel, I have also provided a video shot on scene by Calvary Chapel. There is much work to be done and there will continue to be for months maybe years, if you feel like donating to the restoration of the Philippines I would really encourage you to do a little research and find an organization that personally has people on the ground distributing the resources not sending them to another organization or directly to the government. This is a crucial step in ensuring the assistance actually is used by those in need. U-Turn for Christ is such an organization but there are many others. I am praying about and trying to put together a team of Thai pastor/leaders to return in January for about 10 days to begin rebuilding some of the houses that were destroyed. The goal is 5 houses in two weeks, with a team of 5-10. The trip is roughly $700 per person, and each house is approx. $500, if you are interested in assisting in any way with this please make all donations to Joe Nelson and send to Calvary Chapel Valle Vista 44203 Palm Ave Hemet Ca, 92544. Thanks for reading and God bless

Calvary Chapel video footage
Click here to view video

Prayer Requests

Patong International Fellowship- This is the church plant we are working on, we have been invited to begin a second service and location, growth, guidance, maturity
Philippines- restoration physical/spiritual, guidance and funds
Family- The kids are back in home school. Joey just started High school and Jacob started middle school, understanding, growth and wisdom for students/teachers
Finances- as we are here by donation support is always a prayer, vehicle, and povision
Co-workers- As the time of our two interns draws to an end and the ministry grows help would be a great thing. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

September at a Glance

Hello Everyone,

Well this last month has been rather hectic with many many things taking place. Our move is complete we are now completely in our new home. A week or so after moving in we found a small sign on the door, it read, House on Heavens Hill. Wow thank you Lord.

I (Joe) was so blessed to have made the travel to Northern Thailand for the closing ceremonies of the third semester at the Calvary Chapel Training Center that Pastor Eric has going. Joe Orozco a young man we met a during our time in the Philippines finished his time at the school and came down to Phuket with us for about a week. Great time of fellowship with this young man as he also greatly assisted in the move, we had an immense amount of time driving back and forth from old house to new and back. He left us on the 6th and Robert Parker arrived on the 7th. Having Robert around for a few days was nice while I tried to not only recoup from travel and the move, we had Drama training, Robert, church and preparing to travel back to Bangkok for the first annual Calvary Chapel Missions Conference and to meet this years CCVV short term team. The conference was "Equipping the Saints" and based around Ephesians 4:11-16. I was given the task of teaching 11 reaching unity of faith. The conference went great with the opportunity to meet and fellowship with many new missionary friends as well as some we have not seen for quite some time. While at the conference I was also formally ordained as a pastor.

The Thailand team (Nelsons and Sam) traveled back with the American team on an overnight bus to Ban Nam Khem for a few days of ministry. We did several outreaches, one of which was visiting all my friends inside the Prison where I have been teaching English during our stay here in Southern Thailand. We then traveled down to Phuket where both teams where able to participate in the ministry in Patong. Let me tell you after dark this is no place to be! The freaks come out at night. When the team left we picked up a new Thailand team member, Kayberlynn Seals from CCVV has committed to stay with us for about 5 months. Thank you Lord for sending more servants.

Sarah had mentioned in our last post about the youth group we are training in the Youth For Truth dramas, tomorrow they will do their first live presentation to both their congregation and ours. We have two separate church bodies meeting in the same location. The youth with also be traveling about three hours North later this month on a week long "Mission trip" to preform the dramas and evangelize. We have taught them two dramas and one clown skit so far and we are all very excited to see what the Lord is going to do with these youth.

As a team we are currently serving in many different areas, Joe has discipleship once a week with two young men from the fellowship, Sarah has a weekly women's ministry meeting, as a team we go out with some of the church members to do street evangelism, Sam and Kayberlynn are serving at the Burmese school we helped get started, weekly drama training, and of course Church on Sunday.

Prayer requests:
Spiritual Growth in the Church
Fruitful time of street witnessing
Health, we have all had a cough for several weeks
Vehicle funds
Finances in general

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Better late than never!!!

Here is the latest update as of about 3 weeks ago. It has been delayed due to internet issues and being very busy. Keep watching for the newest info God Bless

On the road again
This week we will be moved and hopefully all settled in our new home in Kamala Beach. I am very excited for this move however; however we are also going to miss our current village. We have made so many friends and have been a part of so much here. I know the Lord knows best and His Will, will be accomplished in and through us.
I have so much news for this update, so please don’t grow weary reading. Through much prayer and fasting we have decided to partner with another missionary couple from AGM (Asia Gospel Missions) to church plant in the city. Dan and Liza are the names of the couple that we have been working with. Absolutely amazing people and so blessed to be working with them. As a church body we have been meeting at a church that allows us to use their facilities in the afternoons. We are currently looking and praying for a building to use, as we are not sure how long they will allow us to worship there. Please lift this up for us. This is officially the first week we will be having Childrens Sunday school classes. Which will be taught by Sam and myself (Sarah). Joe and Dan have been alternating teaching through the book of Romans. Most of the members are in the music industry here so our worship is always amazing.  So many things to do! I don’t think I really realized how much work it is when starting from scratch. I am super excited and can’t wait to see what the Lord is doing with all of this.
The same church we are meeting at also has a youth department with a heart for evangelism and they are  allowing us, Joey, Sam and me (Sarah) to go and train their youth in evangelism. We will be going on the 7th of Sept. This youth department has permission to go into the local high school and do evangelism. Praise The Lord!
Joe left for the North of Thailand this week to attend the graduation of CCTCT (Calvary Chapel Training Center Thailand) students. We are so blessed to be involved with Pastor Eric and his wife Mj as they continue on in teaching and training through the word.
As Joe had mentioned in our last blog the Lord impressed upon the heart of Pastor Dana and his wife Cindy to give us one of their trucks. What an answer to prayer! The Lord knows our needs and provides them through ways we least expect. We do still need to put in a new engine. We live near the ocean and the salt water has eaten through the metal and it’s an old truck. By faith the Lord gave us the truck and I am sure by faith he will provide a way to fix it. No place would I rather be than relying on the Lord to provide my needs; helps me keep a humble heart.
The kids are all doing well in school. We are moving and I believe I will need to go back to full time homeschooling. Joey should be starting his first year of high school. This is my first high school student  so we have no curriculum. If anyone has any material or suggestions please let me know.
After my last post maybe a day or two later I fell ill with Dengue Fever or( break bone fever).It was the worst 2 weeks of flu like symptoms I have ever experienced. Praise the Lord I pulled through. The only lasting effects that it has had on me are extreme fatigue and some paralysis of the face. But nothing serious the doctor said it would go away soon. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and to see what the Lord is doing here in Thailand.
Prayer requests
Pray for our new church (Still praying about a name)
Pray for a building to worship and the finances to do so
For Gods love and grace to be abundantly poured out here in Thailand
New engine in our truck
Nelson Kids schooling

Friday, August 16, 2013

Status Update

Hi guys, this will be an abnormal blog post designed to inform you, our readers of how we are doing purely on a financial end, both ministry and personally. We are coming up on 3 years since leaving the States and have yet made one of these available to you. We have recently found a new house and are able to be moving forward in church planting and community outreach. There will be a full update as to what is going on very soon. It is very easy to come to the conclusion that all is well when nothing is said “no news is good news” right?  The fact is though there are many needs both personal and for the ministry, all our support comes from donations and so we are just informing everyone what those needs are and maybe you would be led to meet one of them.  Just for a perspective each post is read by approximately 70 people, of those 70 about 20 donate consistently. If the remaining 50 would donate as little as $20 a month most of these needs would disappear. Now we understand not everyone can give due to circumstance this is just for a perspective. I want to thank you all for reading and praying with us as we continue to embark on this faith journey. Also we have a huge praise report, we have been requesting prayer for a vehicle for several months now, last week the Lord placed it on the hearts of another missionary to give us one of their vehicles. Thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and thank you missionaries for your prayers and obedience to the Lord. With that I will get into the needs list. There will be several things listed, some are one time and some are recurring. Please commit these to prayer and see if the Lord would use you to meet these needs. There is a popular thing I have been hearing lately, “Pay it forward” I find something just like that in the Bible, in Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Just a little food for thought. God bless.
We are in need of about $500 additional committed monthly support
Kids schooling-$500 per year per child online homeschooling
Medical- Average $100
Ministry travels- $100
Ministry supplies (tracts and outreach materials)-$50
Currently Truck repairs-$200 monthly will change if we replace motor

New engine for truck- $1500
New tires- $600
Church building- about $1500-$2000 monthly
Ministry webpage- cost???
Good camera-$3-$500

You can donate to or “sponsor” a certain area (except monthly support) by adding a separate note with your donation made out to CCVV 44200 palm ave hemet ca 92544 or through Pay-pal. All other donations please make through Shepherds staff Mission Facilitators using the link here on the blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Praise the Lord for he is good!

 This month has been pretty busy. However, that is not always a bad thing.
Joe received his TEFL certificate in the mail this last month. It could not have come at a better time. That means Joe is certified and trained to make English curriculum. The last 3 weeks or so the Thailand team has been working on setting up a daycare center for Burmese children. In which we are free to share the gospel with the children and able to have bible classes. Last week we held a one day training for the teachers. Sam has been diligently going everyday to help them get on a schedule and to help with the kids and teach them English while she is there. I (Sarah) have been designing a curriculum that will work for them, consisting of Math, English, Thai and Bible for now. Joe has been overseeing the process of setting up and building of the lessons, training and scheduling. We will have a practice day every Monday through Friday until next month when the daycare opens. I am so blessed to be a part of this. If you have read my previous post from the month of March I believe, we are helping in this to bring glory to the Lord and in memory of the little girl named Sin. My prayer is that the Lord and his love would be made know through this daycare and it would be a place of refuge for children Matthew 19:14.
We are still going to Kamala and Patong every Friday and Saturday. Still going and making ourselves known and building rapport in the area with the people. We are still praying for open doors in the areas of Kamala and Patong. We have been looking for a house in the surrounding areas of Patong and Kamala. At the moment we are very limited of time and days when we can go there, due to the fact that we live about an hour and a half away.
This last week we made our every three month trip to Burma for our visas. This trip tops all the trips we have ever made. It was kinda one of those days when you wake up and just know. Of course we got a late start. Then we were driving and Joe and I both knew that the truck was going to break down.  And sure enough about half way to Burma the transmission broke. Many Thai people of course stopped to help. After about an hour of explaining to about 5 different people what happened someone helped us get a tow truck. We were smack dab in the middle of two towns. We waited about another half an hour and they showed up towed us to the next town. Joe and I were standing there talking with the mechanic and  I felt the peace of The Lord come over me and I looked at Joe and said it will be ok. Pastor Echo was able to contact a Christian brother in the area and he took us the rest of the way to the border. Went an hour by boat to Burma got stamped and came back to Thailand. Walked down a few allies and got a ride back to the truck at the mechanics. Waited for about another hour and they were finished. They had the truck taken apart, transmissions rebuilt and put back together in 8 hours. Then we drove 4 hours to Baan Naam Khem stayed the night there and in the morning we headed 2 hours south home! This all happened in a 24 hour period! Looking back I see the hand of God the whole way.
The kids are all doing well. They have picked up so much of the language on the playground at school. Jacob, Tyler and Marissa are having so much fun going to school and are now able to somewhat read and write in Thai. All subjects are done in Thai. I can hardly believe it when I am trying to help Marissa with her homework and she is writing away in Thai. Praise the Lord one of our teenage neighbor girls comes over to help Marissa with her homework. Jacob and Tyler rarely need help they just get it! I think it is so awesome! Sorry had a proud moma moment. Jacob last night was able to play a worship song on the guitar and sing it in Thai. And for some reason the neighbor kids tend to flock to Tyler he is like a big brother and just loves on them all.  Joey is attending online school and graduates 8th grade in 20 days. IN September he will start his first year of high school! Where has time gone! Joey tops us all with language he can read, write and speak Thai more than any of us. He is self taught except when we had a reading teacher for a few months. Praise the Lord for his amazing things has done in and through my family.

Prayer Request:
-Burmese Daycare
-Ministry for Kamala-Patong area
-The right house in the right area
-Prayer for the people of Thailand
Teacher training for daycare

Trip to Burma by boat

Sam and her new bike

In memory of Sin.You will always be remembered.