Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nelson Newsletter - June 2008

Dear friends – God’s grace and peace! We praise Him every time we think of you. You are our joy and our crown! Thank you for your faithful partnership in spreading the gospel in Ukraine. Here are some recent ways that God has been moving…

English Club These are pictures of our English Club picnic in the forest last month. They loved the delicious American hamburgers and baked beans! We ate, relaxed, threw the Frisbee, and Serge (above in the yellow shirt) shared how he came to know Christ. God has been drawing our neighbor Natalie (on the left with her son) to Christ through His word, our friendship and your prayers. Sasha (on the right, standing next to Maxim Rakovich) is also very open to the gospel. Please pray for him to trust Christ as his Savior!
 Relational Evangelism God has provided some excellent opportunities to share Christ through relationships. Recently, Maxim and I had a deep conversation with Bakrom, a Muslim from Tajikistan, who works in the market. He asked numerous sincere questions about Christianity. Also, Danelle and I returned to Chernigov to visit our new friends, Nic and Tanya (at left). Their children performed in the town square, dancing in their colorful, traditional Ukrainian outfits. Hundreds of young people performed on that cold, cloudy day. We missed the last bus to Kiev, and ended up spending the night with Nic and Tanya! It was God’s way of giving us more time together! Pray for them.

Finances Danelle and I thank you from the bottom of our heart for your financial support! You have made it possible for us to serve Christ here for three years without being concerned about how to pay the rent or buy food. Unfortunately, as most of you know, the dollar has taken a hit in Europe, as well as the cost of living in Ukraine continues to increase. Our rent alone has gone up 60% since we came. Please ask God to supply our needs. Also, think about how you might help us. Some of you may want to begin supporting us at $25 or $50 a month through GCM (address on second page). Others may want to increase the amount you have been sending us. Know that all you do is appreciated by us, and that God sees your sacrifices, and He will reward you!

Family News We have more good news! Scott and Marie are expecting a son in October! This will be our first grandson. Praise

God! Mother and baby are doing well. Merry officially graduated from KCA and is on her way to Georgia College and State this fall. Julie and Matthew are moving to New York where Matthew will attend graduate school at Hunter College in art. Whitney recently returned from a three month internship in New York, through Savannah College of Art and Design.

Josh We joined our friends Timmy and Kenyon Powers, and several hundred Ukrainians, to listen to Josh McDowell speak about what he called the greatest need in America and Ukraine – The Missing Fathers. His message was powerful. In essence he said that fathers need to have close relationships with their children, not just rules. Josh is a speech writer for President Bush on issues related to the family. He was asked by the president what he thought was the greatest problem in America. He told him that it was the breakdown in the relationship between fathers and their children. He admonished us in practical ways how to love our sons and daughters. I (Steve) thank God for Josh, who was instrumental in my salvation 37 years ago in Clemson.
Summer Plans Danelle and I will be in Atlanta this summer parenting our three youngest girls, working on our support, and visiting with many of you and our families. We plan to help Julie and Matthew move to New York in July, and take our girls to college in August. Then we will return to Ukraine as empty-nesters for the first time in 31 years! We can’t believe it will be our fourth year of ministry overseas. We couldn’t do it without you!

You are our joy!

Steve and Danelle