Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nelson Newsletter - November 2006

First Grandchild!
Jasper Louise Newton came into the world, reluctantly, on October 12, 2006, over a week after her due date. But, our daughter Julie did very well. She had a lot of support from her husband Matthew, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles. God has blessed us with this precious life!
Long Lost Friend Seven years ago, while on a short term trip to Simferopol, Ukraine, I met 15 year old Alla on the sidewalk. Our
team was waiting to go inside for our evangelistic meeting when I just said “Hi” to Alla as she walked past. She and her friend stopped and talked with us. After I returned home, we corresponded back and forth for a year and I wrote to her about God’s desire to have a relationship with her through Jesus Christ. I prayed for her often, and the following year when I returned to Kiev, she came up for a visit. Shortly after her arrival, she prayed and invited Jesus to be her Savior and Lord. It was beautiful! God had prepared her heart. I heard from a friend that she had married a Christian and they had a son. Unfortunately we lost touch. When we moved to Kiev last year I wrote to her but never received a reply. I assumed we would never meet again this side of heaven. Well, last week she called! She was in Kiev and wanted to come see us. I was shocked! She came over with her sister Anya and we had a wonderful visit. She told us that a few years ago her husband left her for another woman. She also said that her father died two years ago. We prayed before they left and Alla was in tears. She hugged Danelle like she was her own mother! Please pray for Alla and her son. Pray for her sister Anya who probably is not a believer and lives very close to us. Anya cuts hair and Danelle is planning on seeing her soon to get her hair cut.

Mentoring Leaders It has been a great joy to spend time with the leaders of Spring of Hope Church. They are men who are eager to seek God and do all that He desires for them and the church. I just meet with them again last night. I came away excited and thankful for men who are serious about living for Jesus Christ and loving His people and the lost. Pray for them please. Soon we are going to start the elder evaluation process with four of these leaders to see if they are ready to be appointed as pastors. We need God’s wisdom and grace.
Evangelism Opportunities I have had opportunities recently to share the gospel with numerous people in restaurants (Alexander), in the market (sisters Anya and Larissa), in our home (Vlaude) and even over the phone to a friend (Natalie) in Russia. Please pray for these people to place their faith in Christ! After the conversation with Alexander (with my friend Victor interpreting), I was freshly reminded that this is why we are here. This is what life is all about - giving people an opportunity to go to heaven!” Victor enthusiastically agreed.
Weddings on the Horizon Our two sons will be getting married, December 9th and January 5th. Danelle, Merry and I are going back for the weddings. Please pray for our sons and their wives to start off depending on Christ and walking in the Spirit. Thanks!
Thank you for making it possible for us to serve our Lord here in Ukraine! Please consider us in your end of the year giving plans and pray about helping us with a special gift at this time of the year. Make your gifts out to GCM – the address is on this page.


Thanks for your prayers and support - We need you!

Steve, Danelle and Merry

PS Please continue to ask God to help us learn Russian so we can reach out with confidence. It’s hard!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Nelson Newsletter - September 2006

4th of July Picnic in Ukraine
Summer, Language School and Mentoring
This summer we had an opportunity to speak in several churches and visit personally with many of you when we returned to America. Recently we started our second year of Russian language school and so far things are going pretty well. This fall I will be working more with Spring of Hope Church – speaking occasionally on Sundays and working with the church leadership team. We are thankful for this opportunity to help this church while continuing our Russian studies.
The Hot Biscuit Race

Girls Off to College
We came back to Georgia to take Grace to Shorter College in Rome where she is majoring in voice. We also took Stephanie to Athens. She transferred to the University of Georgia where she is majoring in Math and Math education. We enjoyed speaking and visiting with our friends at Downtown Community Fellowship in Athens too.
Matt and Amanda

Weddings on the Horizon!
Our two sons Scott and Matthew both got engaged while we were at home this summer! Scott will marry Maria Rodriguez in Atlanta on December 9th and Matthew will marry Amanda Helton in Athens on January 5th. We are very thankful for these two godly young ladies and look forward to having them in our family! We plan to leave Ukraine in time for my father’s 84th birthday December 7th.

Scott and Maria

Next we will celebrate Scott and Maria’s wedding. Matthew will graduate from the University of Georgia on December 16th. Yea! We will enjoy Christmas and New Years with our family, followed by Matthew and Amanda’s wedding in early January.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

Prayer Requests:
  1. The birth of Jasper Louise, Julie and Matthew’s daughter, in October.
  2. We need God’s help to learn Russian.
  3. Our two son’s marriages. God would prepare them and their spouses for a lifetime of love for each other and devotion to Christ and His cause.
  4. Grace and Stephanie adjust to college life and mature in their faith.
  5. Our GCM team would understand God’s plans for us in Ukraine and grow closer to each other. We would be devoted to prayer, evangelism and training leaders.

Your fellow ambassadors,

Steve, Danelle and Merry

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nelson Newsletter - Summer 2006

St. Catherine's Church
in Cherigov
Here it is – the blockbuster of the summer! Bigger than Superman, and you get to see it online!! “What is it?” you ask. It is a video from the DVD of our ministry – Hope in a Hopeless Ukraine. No, it will not put you to sleep because it is exciting, entertaining – and it is too short. This spring we had David Mansfield with GCM come over and film our life and ministry here in Ukraine. We are very thankful for David and the excellent work he is doing to help missionaries communicate with their supporters. We hope you enjoy watching this short 8 minute video from the DVD as much as we did filming it, and don’t forget the extras!
Pastor Jake Knotts

Chernigov Outreach
Danelle, Merry and I went to the city of Chernigov (not to be confused with Chernobyl) for two weeks of outreach. We joined Dale and Sandra Dixon and others from Atlanta for a business seminar and two, week-long youth Bible camps. We were also very happy to have Sarah Batchelor come work with us for the second camp. Many young people and teachers heard the good news of Jesus.
Danelle and I also met two young American missionary families who have planted a church in Chernigov and would like for us to help mentor them. We think God ordained this meeting as we share the same desire to see Ukrainians saved and grow in grace. Unfortunately, most of the churches are legalistic and believe you can lose your salvation. Therefore, it is refreshing to find some that understand and practice grace and teach eternal security. Please pray for discernment for us to know how to help these dear believers.
Sasha - a student we spent
time with who is seriously
considering the faith

Return to US We will arrive in Atlanta July 18th for a month visit! While we are there we will speak at several churches, travel to Pittsburgh and Columbia, SC, and squeeze in dentist and doctor appointments and shopping. Pray that we get quality time with our family and friends with this busy schedule.

Ukraine Plans Also, please pray for us as we seek God to reach Ukrainians with the gospel, train leaders and plant churches. Pray for our team to grow closer and work more effectively together as we are currently evaluating our methods of ministry.

Our daughter Julie
Grandparents We are going to be grandparents soon! God has blessed our daughter Julie and her husband Matthew with a baby girl. Jasper Louise Newton will make her grand appearance in early October we believe. We are so happy and thankful! Please pray for mother and child.
“Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45

We faced many new and difficult circumstances during our first year in Ukraine that caused us to cling to God’s promises. Even though we have been away from our family and friends (you all!), and immersed in the Ukrainian culture, we can say that not one of the good promises the Lord made to us has failed; all came to pass!

Yours in Christ’s love,

Steve, Danelle and Merry

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chernigov Report - June 2006

Hello Praying Friends,
Chernigov Summer Camp
We just returned from a week of ministry in Chernigov, a city of 305,000, 90 miles from Kiev. Danelle and Merry worked with a children’s Bible club led by Sandra Dixon from Atlanta. I went to observe the Highmark business seminar, led by Dale Dixon, and prayerfully consider how to help follow up new believers from both of these outreaches. It was a productive week with about 30 children hearing about the life, death and resurrection of Christ and opportunities to share the gospel with the attendees of the business seminar and the translators. Praise God!
We also had a productive meeting with a young Baptist pastor, Igor, and two of his supervisors about his vision for the new church he is planting. Mt. Vernon Baptist Church from Atlanta (my parent’s church) sent several members to research the spiritual conditions in Chernigov, so they were also a part of this meeting. Mt. Vernon has been doing ministry in Chernigov since 1994. The business seminars originated with their members and they have used that tool to reach out in Chernigov for years. They were looking for a church that they could partner with to follow up interested attendees. Mick Stockwell, Southern Baptist missionary and supervisor over the countries of the former Soviet Union, was the mediator of our meeting with the Ukrainian Baptist leaders. Mick, and his son Daniel, came up from Kiev on Friday and gave us a ride back to Kiev that evening.
Please pray for:
  1. The young people and business men and women who heard the gospel to get saved and any who did trust Christ to grow in Christ. The translators Sasha and Andrew, a secretary, Leda, a businessman, Sergi. Ask God for more time to share Christ with each them and the Holy Spirit to convict and save!
  2. The decisions Mt. Vernon Baptist is going to make about their future in Chernigov and if we should work with them.
  3. Our next youth outreach (June 18-23) in Chernigov. Sarah Batchelor is coming over from Atlanta to work with Danelle, Merry and I.
  4. My time in Chernigov with Igor and another American pastor named Jake, who has been church planting in Ukraine for 7 years. I need discernment about their character, doctrine and goals and I want to encourage them in the Lord.

Thank you all so much for praying. It does make all the difference. It is eternal business with eternal rewards!

Love you all,


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Nelson Newsletter - May 2006

Our Staff Retreat to Bucharest, Hungary
GCM Staff Retreat
The European GCM staff met in Hungary for several days of rest, teaching, fellowship and prayer. It was a family affair and the Nelsons all loved it! We felt more connected with our fellow missionaries in Ukraine and Europe. We benefited greatly from sharing our experiences with others who have been through the same things and seen God’s grace give them strength, comfort and faith. We were very thankful that Herschel and Mardean Martindale and Joe Dunn came to encourage us.
Grace First Choice!
Grace auditioned for a voice scholarship at Shorter College in February. After waiting 6 weeks she was offered a partial academic scholarship and only a very small voice scholarship. She was deeply disappointed at first but after sleeping on it made a choice to trust in God’s sovereignty completely and move on. Danelle and I were very proud of Grace; she handled the entire situation with faith and maturity. About a month later we received a phone call from Shorter asking us if Grace was going to attend. We said that she was. They were elated and told us that Grace was actually their first choice! They said they had only offered her a “token” scholarship because she would be receiving a full scholarship since we were Baptist missionaries. We told them we were not Baptist missionaries. We still don’t know how they got that idea. We don’t think she will receive any more scholarship monies, but we praise God for His grace and for our Grace too!
Oksana, Danelle & Steve at the market
New Sister in Christ!
Many of you have prayed for Oksana’s salvation. On May 1st we visited her in the market and she trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior! It was awesome to see 8 months of friendship and prayer, the Holy Spirit and God’s word change a life! She works 7 days a week from 7am until 10pm, so please pray as it will be difficult for her to ever go to church or have fellowship.
KCA Players Grace and Merry were fantastic in the school plays recently. They both love to act and we totally enjoyed the night! Danelle and I don’t know where they get it!
First Year of Russian Danelle and I have finished our first year of Russian language school. Hurrah! It was difficult, but God gave us perseverance and we learned a bunch. We will begin our second and final year in September.
Prayer requests:
  1. Grace will leave Ukraine on June 4th to start summer school in Georgia on June 5th. She will start Shorter College in August. Please pray for her, and for us, as we make another emotional transition. They are never easy. Your prayers really help!
  2. Merry, Danelle and I will work in Chernigov, Ukraine with two youth camps June 5-9 and 19-23 with the Dixon family from Atlanta. Sarah Batchelor is coming from Atlanta to work with us for the second week. Please pray for many of these young people to trust Christ for salvation.
  3. We will be coming home July 18- August 18th. We will bring Merry back for the GCM high school LT (leadership training) at Myrtle Beach in July and take Grace to Shorter College in August. Stephanie was accepted at UGA (yea!) and we want to help her move in too. We are planning on speaking at several churches and trying to see as many of you as possible.
  4. Oksana to grow in Christ. Her other family members to be saved too.

We want to express our heart-felt thanks to each of you who support us financially. If you wish to give to our work here in Ukraine you may send your gifts to GCM in Florida (see our website for the address). Your gifts are tax-deductible and reap eternal rewards! We also want to say thank you to those who gave to help build Kiev Christian School. God has provided almost everything and construction should begin next fall!

Yours in God’s unfailing love,

Steve, Danelle, Grace and Merry

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

GCM 2006 Summer Project (Kiev, Ukraine)

Overall Mission and Goals for the summer:
  • To share Christ with the young people who spend their summer days hanging out on the beach by the river in the growing Obolon region of Kiev.
  • To start relationships through sports, games, picnics, drama, and live music (if you have talents in these areas, we could use your help!)
  • To continue these relationships throughout the summer and invite people to church events and activities
  • To partner with Almaz Church leaders and members to multiply home groups in the Obolon region and to see a new congregation develop in this region.
  • To take part in the further development of Almaz teen ministry (LT and 2nd STM will be a part of camp)

Desired Participants:
  1. We are looking primarily for people ages 17-45 (exceptions will be strongly considered).
  2. Participants need to be comfortable in an outdoor setting as many hours will be spent along the river.
  3. Participants need to be comfortable passing out invitations and literature and initiating conversations with strangers. Willingness and desire is more important in this area than experience.
  4. Participants need to have a willingness to play volleyball (not required, but helpful) and other outdoor games.
  5. Camp participants will need to be willing to live in true camping conditions.

Project Summary:

Project Dates and Participants Cost Deadlines
LT 5 Week June 27th - August 2nd (Leave America on 26th)
LT Team. Students primarily from V-Tech, but open to others.
$2175 - $2475 Before February 20th: Send List of Likely Participants to Steve Nelson (
STM 1 June 30th - July 13th (Leave America on 29th)
1st Short Term Team. This team will do mostly friendship building/evangelism at Obolon and possibly other outdoor venues.
$1960 - $2260 Before March 3rd: Send non-refundable deposit of $100
STM 2 July 17th - July 30th (Leave America on 16th)
2nd Short Term Team. This team will do evangelism at Obolon and be a part of teenage camp.
$1909 - $2209 To be determined: Pay for plane tickets

Steve Nelson
Missions Pastor

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nelson Newsletter - March 2006

Dear Ministry Friends,
Our English Club - Kostia is in
the top left corner next to
Kenyan Powers
Sping is coming soon!
After a long winter, we have had highs in the low 30s lately. This is a heat wave for us and we are elated!
Nelsons on the escalator going
to the metro train.  Those
escalators sure move quickly!
Considered a Friend
Kostia is a 26 year old young man in our English club who has attended since last May. Ever since I met him last fall, we have been getting closer- spending time talking on the phone, running in the snow or meeting at McDonalds to discuss salvation and other issues. I have attempted to get Kostia a temporary job in America with the assistance of some of you all. He is a lawyer who would like experience working for a year or less in the States. Recently he shared with me some difficulty he had with his boss. I listened, mentioned some scriptures and told him that God was using this difficulty to bring him to Christ. He is searching, but not saved yet. He told me he considered me a friend and was very thankful for my advice and concern. You must understand that Ukrainians consider very few people to be their real friends. They will tell you that most people they know are only their acquaintances, not friends. This is a huge breakthrough! Please ask God to open his eyes and save him.
GCM staff dinner at our
Budding Writers
Danelle and I attended a writing class taught by Christian author Janice Rogers. It was inspiring and helpful in many practical ways. Please pray for both of us to write for the glory of God. We feel He has given us some insight into His word and some interesting stories to share that will benefit others. Many of you know I have enjoyed writing devotionals for Daylights for years. If you would like to read any of these you can go to the GCAC web site and find them. I wrote one for this issue of Daylights about running that was published on March 21st, my brother’s birthday! I have started writing a book and would like to be disciplined and creative to work on it. It takes work! Please pray for these needs of ours.
Open Air Preaching @ Local University
I want to preach at a small University near our home and see what God does. Please pray for Masha as she translates and for the students to come out and ask questions with a spiritual hunger. Ask God for a powerful work of His Spirit! Your prayers will make the difference!.
Thank you all so much for supporting us so we can be here in Ukraine serving our precious Savior. We know you pray for us, we feel it in our soul and see it daily in our faith.
Prayer Requests:
  1. Danelle’s knee to heal after a bad fall on the ice.
  2. Perseverance in speaking Russian. We finished all 6 cases and are practicing!
  3. Kostia, Zhanya and Julia to come to Jesus. They are very serious seekers!
  4. Danelle and I to write and have quality time with the girls during spring break.

Yours in our Savior's love,

Steve, Danelle, Grace and Merry

Help for KCA (Kiev Christian Academy)

Did you know that the number one reason missionaries leave the field is because of their children’s education?

Thankfully, the Lord has blessed us with a Christian school in Kiev for missionary kids! Kiev Christian Academy was started by two Campus Crusade moms shortly after the Iron Curtain parted. It met in a two-room apartment and had four students. Today, it has over 120 students and is sharing space in a dilapidated boarding school for deaf children. The only playground for the kindergarteners through high-schoolers is a dirt lot.

Because the school is exploding in growth as missionary families race to help in the former Soviet Union, we are in need of a bigger building. Imagine taking your young family to a foreign country, counting on the fact of having a safe school for your kids, only to arrive and discover that there is no space available to accept your children. Even dedicated home-schoolers are unable to educate their children while attending language school themselves.

The land for the new building is already purchased. To fund the building, each Kiev Christian Academy family and teacher are praying to raise $2,955. We would be so appreciative of anything you might be able to contribute towards this amount.

Thanks so much for all you’ve done for us personally over the years. We would be grateful for your consideration of this special, one-time request. Checks for donations should be made out to “Friends of KCA” and mailed to:

Kiev Christian Academy
c/o Mrs. Julie Newton
463 Gaillardia Way, NW
Acworth, GA. 30102

Friday, January 27, 2006

Missions Report - January 2006

Grace & Ala, her voice instructor
   Greetings from Frigid Ukraine! 
We heard it was 65 degrees in Atlanta yesterday, while it was 15 degrees below zero here in Kiev - with strong winds and blowing snow making it feel like 35 below! We experienced a first today on our way to language school – walking the mile each way to the bus stop in these frigid conditions and six inches of snow, but we were bundled up and it really wasn’t so bad.

Ala singing at The Messiah with Roger
McMurren & the Kiev Symphony Orchestra
& Choir

Loving the Lost. One of the most enjoyable things Danelle and I do is to stop at the open air market each day after school and build friendships with Nadia, who sells honey, and Bakrom, who sells dried fruits and nuts. We want them to hear about our Savior and Lord. Last week I was privileged to go and talk to them about Christ through a translator. Don’t you find it exhilarating to give to others, especially in the area of your giftedness? When I am filled with God’s Spirit, I just find myself sharing the gospel of Christ with people here in Ukraine, and enjoying it immensely! When my mind is on other’s needs, and not myself, I am filled with the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love.” Galatians 5:22

Grace Coming to America. Grace will be coming back to the United States in February to audition for a voice scholarship at Shorter College. Shorter is a small college in Rome, Georgia that has an excellent voice program. Please pray for Grace to perform well.
The Nelson Family in Bulgaria

Christmas. We had a wonderful Christmas with our family. God is so good! Our oldest son Scott made this special time a reality. It is hard to be separated from ones you love so much. Thank you sustaining us with your prayers, words of encouragement and gifts!

Summer Opportunities in Kiev. We will conduct evangelistic outreaches here in late June and July. If you are interested in joining a team for two weeks with GCM, please contact us for information or visit our 2006 Summer Project page!
Snowman and our snowgirls

Please pray for us to persevere in learning Russian and for Kostia, Julia, Zhanya, Ina, Bakrom and Babajon to come to Jesus. They are open and have heard the gospel recently. Bakrom and his father are Muslim.



Yours in our Savior's Love,

Steve, Danelle, Grace, and Merry