Friday, June 29, 2018

Nelson Newsletter

Dear Partners, 
Isn’t it an honor to be Christ’s ambassadors? Wow! Our sins are forgiven, we are children of God, and we are a light to those still in darkness. Here are some recent opportunities we had to be the light of Christ…

Clemson Outreach Danelle and I always enjoy engaging students in discussions about the purpose of life and explaining the good news of Jesus Christ to them. We did just that recently at our alma mater in Clemson along-side our good friends Berk and Barbara Wilson and the LINC team. We also went to support Brian Bridgeman and the student ministry of Clemson Community Church, as well as to help train the students with the LINC program. Hundreds heard God’s plan of salvation and many came to faith the Lord! It was beautiful! Thank you for praying!                      

                       Steve’s teaching on marriage and relationships.

Good News Going Out In Atlanta We are thankful for our church family and their steadfast faith. We have new babies, new homes, and new locations (the Powers in Clarkston) for outreach in Atlanta. We continue to have opportunities to share Christ with folks at the pool where Danelle and I swim. Last week I engaged two ladies in a serious conversation about death to find out they are both believers. One of their husbands probably doesn’t know the Lord yet. Please pray for him! We also shared Christ with a young lady from Kazakhstan a few days ago. She came by our house selling books. Yes, we shared about how to know God personally in both English & Russian. J Pray for Dianna to believe in Christ. She is reading Secure In An Insecure World in Russian. Finally, my son Scott and I recently met Mustafa and his wife, Apear, and their niece, Nour, who are refugees from Syria. We plan to continue to build friendships and to show them The Way. (Update since I wrote this a few days ago: Today they enthusiastically agreed to come over and read stories about Jesus!) Please pray for our church to understand Christ’s love for us which will result in a growing love for one another and for unbelievers.                                                    

                                                                      Alex & Oksana with their new baby Amy                                                                                                                     
                                     Prayer Requests

1. Clemson Outreach Pray for the students who found the light of Christ to grow in their new relationship with Him. Pray for their love for God’s word to result in fruitful lives. Ask God to save even more of those who heard but have not believed yet to see the light.

2. Atlanta Pray for the unbelievers that we are befriending to come to Christ. Pray for us to love Jesus!

3. Family Pray for the upcoming opportunities this summer to build our children and grandchildren’s faith in God.

You are God’s light to us. Thank you!         

Steve & Danelle   

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Has Your Christianity Become Religious?

“Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?” Zachariah 7:5-6

We read above how the Jews were very religious – observing the holy festivals, devoutly fasting and mourning. Our first thoughts after reading this might be, “That was impressive. They were devoted to the Lord their God!” On the contrary, the prophet reprimanded them for fasting for selfish reasons!

We too can become religious. Our Christianity has gone sour. Our relationship with God is dead or on life support. Our religious activities have become self-serving and self-centered. We need to get heart right and return to Christ – to the relationship.

The apostle Paul understood the natural human tendency to be distracted from our devotion to Christ when he wrote the Christians in Corinth, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3. We all default to being self-centered, and sometimes it is disguised with/by religious activity – fasting, prayer, Bible study, mission work, and Christian service.

Ask the Lord to show you your heart. Have you fallen into doing spiritual activities with selfish motives? Have your activities for the Lord become merely routine or self-serving? If so, do not despair or get down on yourself; instead ask Him for the grace to return to your simple and pure devotion to Christ.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Remember...You Were One Of Them!

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Have you ever heard Christians speaking about unbelievers in a way that made you think they were their enemies? Their attitude was one of condescension and condemnation. Compassion was obviously absent from the room. Maybe you have spoken in this way. At times I have been in that camp, where my heart was hardened (in an adversarial mode) towards the lost. What happened to make us so callous?
If we forget our past, we will fail to empathize with those who don’t know the Lord. Not remembering our past creates the “us versus them” mentality. This mentality leads to hostility toward our fellow travelers and condemnation rather than compassion.
Instead you must remember your past life when you were equally selfish, rebellious, sinful, and under God’s wrath. As Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth, “Such were some of you; but you were washed.” Remembering your rebellious and sinful past can help you relate to unbelievers, instead of criticizing them. You will have more compassion for those who are still in darkness, who are held captive by Satan as you once were: “...and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).
Remembering where you came from will keep you humble too. All of this will result in more of the lost coming to Jesus for eternal life. That is what God wants!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - May 2018

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Dear Partners,    
We are commanded by our Savior to follow His example and bear one another’s burdens. What does that look like? The love of Christ is manifest in countless ways when we bear the burdens of others. We all have the burdens - stress from work, anxiety about paying bills, worrying about our children, or concern for our lost friends. Praying for one another’s needs, serving one another, listening to one another, as well as encouraging one another to trust the Lord and His word, are a few of the practical ways to bear the burdens of others. As I said, there are innumerable ways to bear on another’s burdens. Here are a few ways the Lord has used us recently to bear the burdens of others. Your prayers and financial support are also ways that the Lord uses to bear our burdens and the burdens of others we serve.

Florida Church Danelle and I visited our friends in Gainesville to help them understand what God desires for them and their house church. God used us to bear their burdens by doing a lot of listening, asking questions, and seeking to understand their needs as couples and families who are on mission together. Danelle and I met with numerous couples for hours to hear their hearts and needs. They are all faithful followers of Jesus who want to please Him and be effective in their communities. Thank you for praying!

Good News Going Out In Atlanta
Here are some people who have heard the gospel in the past few weeks through our church. Kevin - a landscaper. Fallon – a haircutter. Ken - a barista. Finally, some of our family members have heard how to know Christ recently. Pray for the seed (God’s truth) to bear fruit (change lives)! One of these folks recently asked Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior! Praise Him! You bear their burden by praying!
Prayer Requests
1. Gainesville Pray for the Spirit of God to use His word to guide the church & give them confidence to bear one another’s burdens.  Pray for openness to taking steps of faith in God and trying new things.
2. Clemson Outreach Danelle & I will be helping students at the LINC summer training June 3-6. Pray we would bear other’s burdens by teaching and modeling compassion for unbelievers & a heart for Christ.
3. Unbelievers Pray for the unbelievers we mentioned above to come to Christ.

Thank you!                

Steve & Danelle 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832     

Monday, May 14, 2018

How You Start Determines How You Finish

“So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

Before I even began my search, I doubted myself. My unbelief totally influenced my search. If it weren’t for God’s grace, the end would have been just as discouraging.

Early one morning I shot a deer with my bow, or at least I thought I did. Immediately after taking the shot, I thought I had missed. When I got down from my tree stand to search for the deer, my doubt totally influenced my search. I was half-hearted. I did a perfunctory walk through the woods with little hope and a ton of self-abasement. What did I do wrong? After beating myself up, I had to cross a ditch on my return route. Guess what was in the ditch? I would never have found him if God had not directed my steps. He wanted me to find the deer, but even more importantly, He wanted to teach me about faith! His lesson was, “If you begin anything with doubt, you only set yourself up for failure.”

Start each journey with trusting God. A new job, a new friendship, a new marriage, or even looking for your lost keys will be done with faith in God or doubt. It’s your choice. Ask Him to help you. Expect Him to come through. Even if you don’t get what you hope for, you will have pleased God with your faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) 

Ask God to give you the grace to trust Him, no matter how bleak things look. He will!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - April 2018

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” John 11:25
Dear Friends,    
Spring is a beautiful reminder of God’s redemption. It is when new life appears: daffodils bloom, new leaves appear, and animals give birth to their young. It is also a time to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection! In the same way, God is using us to bring new life, eternal life, to the precious lives around us. Recently, Danelle and I witnessed a young man ask Jesus for forgiveness and a new life. It was thrilling! Pray for his growth and desire to reach his family and friends for Christ. Here is more news…        

 Pastors & Wives Conference Danelle and I had a delightful time with our friends last weekend. Pastor Tom Short spoke about 5 valuable things he and his wife, Roz, have learned about marriage. I thought they were worth sharing with you. 1. Have fun & enjoy one another. 2. Bring out the best in one another. Don’t look for faults. Praise their strengths. 3. Communicate daily. 4. Be hospitable. Make your home a place of peace and rest, as well as a place to serve others. 5. Be on mission, but keep your family first.    
Danelle and I enjoying Hot Chocolate with David and Mindy
David Henson Our very dear friend and fellow missionary passed away last month due to pneumonia. David was an amazing brother and a kind, compassionate servant to all! He was a close friend of ours for many years, especially when Danelle, Grace, Merry, and I lived in Ukraine. We served the Lord together side by side. Please remember his sweet wife, Mindy, in your prayers. Adjusting to life without him will be a challenge. Danelle and I will attend his memorial service this weekend in Columbia, Missouri to celebrate his life.      

David and I serving in Eastern Ukraine

Florida Church Matt Gordon, Larry Messer, and the church leadership in Gainesville invited Danelle and I to come help them seek God’s plans for their house church. From April 27 - 30 we will meet with the saints to seek the Lord in His word, have group and private discussions, and pray for His guidance. Please pray for this time. They are good people with hearts to please God!
Prayer Requests
1. Mindy Henson Please pray for God’s love and grace to comfort and sustain her.
2. Gainesville Pray for God’s wisdom for Danelle, and I and for the saints to hear from God.
3. Mother Thank you for praying for Mom. She is doing remarkably well after her knee surgery!  

Thank you,                
Steve & Danelle 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nelson Newsletter

“‘All you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’” Haggai 2:4-5
Dear Ministry Partners,                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                       Atlanta House Church: Alan & Suzanne. Alan is a gentleman I met while working out in the weight room. I have prayed for all the people there to come to know Christ personally. Sadly, most of them aren’t believers yet, and their time is running out - it is a senior center. It has been challenging to share Christ with a room full of people. But, recently Alan got extremely sick and wanted some of my honey to help him recover. I took some to his house. I met his wife Suzanne and the three of us had a delightful conversation about our families. They told me how happy they are their daughter started attending a Messianic church. Then I was then able to share my testimony, which led to an in-depth conversation about the gospel. They were receptive. Towards the end Alan said, “Well, I’m not a Christian. But I think it is good to have something to believe in like that.” Please pray for both of them to come to Christ!

This experience made me reconsider the impact we could have if we all cared more about those who are lost. This care would enable us to build friendships with unbelievers, to show them Christ’s love, and to share the Good News of His love and forgiveness with everyone who would listen. Imagine for a moment the impact this would have on our communities and our country! Ask God to help you see unbelievers with His eyes and have His compassion for them. Pray for God to open their hearts and convict them of their need for Jesus. Then, ask Him to help you take practical steps to show them you care. Finally, ask Him to give you boldness to speak of Him. He will surprise you! Remember His promise, “My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

Prayer Requests

1. Atlanta Church Pray for Alan and Suzanne, and others we have been sharing the gospel with.
2. Mother Please pray for my mother, Alice, who will have knee replacement surgery on March 28th.
3. Pastors & Wives (April 13-14) Pray for the SE pastors & wives retreat to be building & encouraging.

Thankful for you,                

Steve & Danelle 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832     

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Anyone Can Promise

Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  – Jeremiah 33:2-3

He looked into her eyes and promised, “I swear I’ll pick you up for work on time tomorrow!” She struggled to believe him since it was the fourth time that month he was late, and her boss was growing impatient with her consistent tardiness.
She promised her little brother, “I won’t ever hit you again. Just don’t tell Mom!” For some reason the little fellow doubted his older sister’s words as his arm throbbed in pain.
The young couple stood in front of the assembled family and friends in the breath-taking venue overlooking the ocean and repeated the vows, “I promise to love you for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” The married couples present knew how difficult it would be to keep that promise.
Have you ever wondered why we are so bad about keeping our promises? The promise, no matter how grandiose, is only as good as the character of the one making it. That’s why God always keeps His promises to us! He made the world, and His character is impeccable.
God has given us many incredible promises: “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Then why don’t we live amazing lives of faith and victory? Maybe we don’t know God as well as we think we do—we don’t trust Him and His promises. The Bible says, “The people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32). Seek to experience God on a deeper level and believe His extravagant promises. He can be trusted!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - February 2018

“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15-16

Dear Partners on “The Wall,”

 Thank you for “standing with us on the wall” as the Lord uses all of us to build His church! It is a great work!!! Here are some recent answers to your prayers…


Earlier this month, Danelle & I had a wonderful time at the retreat in Clemson with Brian Bridgeman and the students. We looked at what the Bible teaches about our new identity in Christ and as members of the body of Christ (the church) and the impact that has on our lives. Please pray for Brian and his wife, Miriam, as they build young disciples. Pray too for these students to grow to be faithful workers on the wall for Christ. 

Brian (right) & Clemson students @ the Bonfire     

                                                      Danelle sharing God's truth with the students                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Atlanta House Church     

The saints in our church are learning how to support and encourage one another through life’s changes and challenges.  “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Danelle and continue to build into Abel and Francesca by reading the Bible with them weekly. They love it and so do we! Pray for them to become contagious Christians.
Worshiping the Lord together with songs

                                                           Prayer Requests
1. Clemson Ministry  Pray for the students to apply the truth from our retreat by being more devoted to one another. Pray they would love students who aren’t Christians yet. Ask God to save many more.
2. Atlanta Church  Pray for Abel & Francesca to love God and read His work daily. Pray for them to grow in their love for unbelievers - including their family.
3. Mother  Please pray for my dear mother, Alice, who is turning 92 March 13th, and is scheduled to have knee replacement March 28th. Ask the Lord to keep her healthy enough to have the surgery, and for it to enable her to live without the pain and be more mobile. Thank you very much!

We are yours in Christ’s unfailing love,  

Steve & Danelle  11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832               

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Another View Of Jesus - Part 2

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21

If you look at someone from a certain angle they will look different if you move to another position. You will get a different view and see something you did not see before. Then, if you speak with them, you will learn more about them. If you talk to others who have been with them you will learn even more. With each new view of the person we gain a better understanding of who the person really is.

Do not expect to understand Jesus Christ only through your eyes. Why do you think there are four gospels? There were four men who all wrote about the same person, Jesus Christ, and they each noticed different things. The Bible is one means to see different views of Jesus.

We also need other Christians and their views of Jesus to understand Him accurately. Observe the lives of those that act like the Jesus of the Bible and imitate their faith and love.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Another View Of Jesus - Part 1

“For I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will come to Me and pray to Me and I will listen to you declares the Lord. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

I went deer hunting a few weeks ago and climbed up a pine tree about 15 feet. I wear camouflage and even cover my face so the only part of my body showing is my eyes. It was early in the morning before full light and this little brown bird landed in a tree only five feet from me. He was trying to figure out what this huge thing was up in one of his trees. How did he do it? He would quickly turn 180 degrees on the same limb and look at me from a different angle. He would then fly to another limb and repeat the process. Finally, he flew to another nearby tree and continued to flit and turn, constantly looking at me in an effort to see if I was dangerous animal or a large harmless limb. He kept getting another view.

You can experience God and know His plan for your life if you will seek the truth with a sincere heart. You must make the effort. The little brown bird was seeking the truth. “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” God is never found by the apathetic. The next post we will see how God reveals different views of Himself.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - January 2018

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:37

Happy New Year Friends!

I recently read a story about a man who learned humility the hard way. King Nebuchadnezzar was an arrogant man who believed that all his power and wealth were of his own doing. God loved him, so He humbled the king by taking the kingdom from him and sending him out in the field to eat grass for seven years. Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses and repented. God graciously restored his kingdom, and then he made the profound statement above. Read it again. After reading this story, I was challenged to pursue humility. May we learn from the king’s example and live humbly before God and honor Him this year! Receive God’s grace! “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

Faithwalkers The conference in Asheville (Dec 28-20) is always like a sweet family reunion for us. Thank you for praying for Danelle, myself, and the students. It was delightful to have our daughters, Grace and Merry, and their husbands join us this year too. Our seminar was well attended, and most importantly, they were humble and eager to learn how to better engage unbelievers in spiritual conversations.
                                                 The Messers - friends from Florida

Clemson Danelle & I will visit our Alma mater to speak at a retreat for Clemson students February 3-4. Brian Bridgeman invited us to teach about our identity in Christ, including being the body of Christ (the church), and how to live that out daily. Pray for the Spirit to lead us and transform lives! Pray for God to mature more students as campus missionaries in 2018.

                                                              Prayer Requests
1. Clemson Retreat (Feb 3-4) Pray for us to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray for each student to hear from God and humbly act on what He shows them. Pray for their love and unity to grow in 2018.
2. Atlanta Church Pray for our growing devotion to Christ that results in more love for unbelievers.
3. Our Support Thank you to each of you who gave special gifts in December! Thank you to all of you who give each month for our work in the gospel! We were able to receive all of our back pay from 2017. Praise God! You can give any time by following this link:  

Yours in Christ’s love,  

Steve & Danelle   
                                                                                                                             11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832